Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

You already recognize that you need hearing aids, so now what? Finding the right hearing aids is an important decision because they will play a major part in your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones available only on the Internet. If you really believe that you can get a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your decision. What should you expect when investing in hearing aids?

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Really Hearing Aids

Hearing assistance devices that can be purchased from the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They are not very efficient and they don’t function that well. You have to buy new batteries so often that it ends up costing you a lot.

These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found in a modern quality digital hearing aid. You can go cheap and buy one online but you will lose out on important features.

You need to understand that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. Be sure to get the hearing aids you actually need. Even if you can’t afford them there may be other solutions.

Digital Vs. Analog

A higher quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent also. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth even considering.

It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you find at a quality retailer will be digital. If your not aware of the difference you may mistake an analog unit for a digital. Analog makes reference to the kind of audio signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound is very inconsistent.

Finding The Very Best Features

Features and style are the two aspects of hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life better in a style that is comfortable. Some standard features to consider include:

  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Telecoils
  • Directional microphones
  • Remote controls
  • Environmental noise control
  • Variable programming
  • Noise reduction
  • Bluetooth
  • Synchronization
  • Direct audio input

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

There are many styles available, as you will find out when you get started researching hearing aids. That’s great news because it means that there is definitely a style that will work for you. The various styles of hearing aids include:

  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Open Fit
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)

To get a pretty good idea of each style just have a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Did you already work out that ITE devices go “in the ear”? This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. There is nothing that goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper inside the ear, making them less visible.

RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, have a receiver unit that sits in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

Instead of having ear-molds, open fit units, which are a kind of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is unpleasant for some people. When this is the situation, an open fit unit, which has a tiny tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.

Your task is to look at each of these options and decide which of them matter the most to you. To give an example, if you use your phone or a computer a lot, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth capabilities. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is great if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

A competent retailer that has a free trial period and offers custom fitting is the best place to buy your new hearing aids. Having a chance to try out your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the right choice.

A quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that as well. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?

Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Your hearing issue might not even require hearing aids.

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