General Question

Bobinnj's avatar

Hearing aides, are the lesser priced ones any good, what is a decent aid and price?

Asked by Bobinnj (7points) July 28th, 2010

Hearing aids, need information.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

kevbo's avatar

I worked closely with an audiologist and learned a bit from her. Generally, the cheaper hearing aides are basically amplifiers. The more expensive hearing aides do provide more sophisticated sound filtering/amplification, etc. You get what you pay for in most cases and cheap isn’t really worth it. That being said, no hearing aid will mimic normal hearing. It’s always going to fall short of that expectation.

Also, inside the ear hearing aids do not perform as well as over/behind the ear hearing aids.

Lastly, the guys who advertise free hearing tests in the newspaper are out to sell you a hearing aid. They only test for whether you need one, and don’t bother so much with the nuances of the test results or more sophisticated tests. Caveat emptor.

Also…. there were two brands she liked. Starkey(?) was one. And, she was very reluctant to sell anything below $800—$1,000 for quality reasons. This was in 2005.

Bobinnj's avatar

Thank you, this is a step in the right direction.

YARNLADY's avatar

@kevbo that is per ear, right?

kevbo's avatar

I wasn’t 100% sure, but I believe so, yes.

gailcalled's avatar

Bearing bad news, I’m afraid. I wear one Oticon aid in one ear…I artifically induced both nerve and conduction hearing loss due to a very bad fall I took. Oticon has gone digital, which improved the quality of my hearing dramatically, since I had been wearing an analog one.

Figure, with the audiologist’s fee and the state tax, $2500—$3000 per aid.

Bobinnj's avatar

Very steep pricing I would say, seems the price of technology is way ahead of the demand….

keobooks's avatar

If you are able to pay for it upfront in one sum, rather than using a payment plan, you can get them much cheaper on ebay. My mom did this and saved 900$ on a pair. She checked to make sure that she could still get them adjusted locally first, though.

gailcalled's avatar

@keobooks: Personally, I envy your mom. I had a complicated program chip embedded in mine, to deal with my personal hearing loss. It varied with range, tone and volume.

And I started with the hearing tests to decide what kind of aid was suitable. The audiologist downloaded a program designed for my little and unique shell-like ear.

This month’s AARP newsletter suggests that you can try to bargain with your audiologist since the mark-up is dramatic. Since I have few expenses in my happy retirement, I figure it is money well-spent.

My well-being is directly connected to having almost normal hearing. I’ll just drive my car for a few more years.

keobooks's avatar

@gailcalled I don’t know how complicated my mother’s is, but it is digital. She’s a little mad because right after she bought it, some with a bluetooth feature came out. She didn’t get one simpler on ebay—she got a deluxe set. She just wanted to make sure that buying it somewhere else would somehow void the warrantee and she couldnt get it adjusted.

john65pennington's avatar

Kevco, you are correct. cheap hearing aids are just that… i have worn hearing aids in both ears for two years. i lost most of my hearing in a 32 minute gunfight in 1966. i am fortunate that my police department has bought and furnished everything for my hearing loss, since it happened in the line of duty.

My hearing aids cost $6,000.00 for the pair and worth every penny. you are also correct that the over the ear aids provide much better sound quality, than those that fit inside the ears. i have tried both.

Hearing aids are like everything else… get what you pay for.

gailcalled's avatar

@keobooks: The other issue, which I forgot to mention, is that each ear has a different shape and configuration. M The audiologist pours glop in to take molds. My ears are not identical.

Gottta run to have my car inspected.

keobooks's avatar

Ahhh.. I see. She’s got the kind where it doesn’t matter. Its the little teeny ones that are mostly outside the ear. That makes sense. My grandfather had to get the glop too.. and something extra because one of his ears was weird shaped inside and they were afraid that it wouldn’t make a good shape for an aide.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther