10 Tips for Purchasing Hearing Aids

pAD-mAEQIf you’ve decided it’s time to find a reputable audiologist who can fit you with the best hearing aid technology for your hearing loss, you may find there’s a lot of “noise” in the marketplace to sift through. These tips can help you find an audiologist who can help you hear your best, and offers you a variety of options that can work with your budget.

  1. Find the right provider and begin with a diagnostic hearing evaluation which is the “blueprint” for your individualized recommendations. Ninety percent of your success with hearing aids is related to the professional you work with. At Associated Audiologists, our audiologists are university-trained, doctoral-level audiologists who are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and uphold a professional code of ethics.
  2. Work with a provider who can give you options specific to you and your lifestyle. Your audiologist should be able to choose from a variety of hearing aids from a number of respected manufacturers. Franchise or “chain” stores often do not provide this flexibility for consumers, and may only offer one brand.
  3. There are significant differences across hearing aid technology. A hearing aid uses tiny computer chips to process sound. More sophisticated computer chips have better processing which result in improved satisfaction. Costs can range from $675 to $3,200 per hearing aid depending upon the level of technology. Advanced technology with enhanced features will cost more than simpler technology and performs better in more demanding listening environments.
  4. Make sure your audiologist uses specialized diagnostic and verification equipment, including real-ear probe microphone and speech mapping measures. These sophisticated tests independently verify how the hearing aid functions while in your ear, and ensure your hearing aids are programmed just for your hearing loss.
  5. Regular follow-up is necessary so expect to pre-schedule your appointments. Routine maintenance and regular monitoring of hearing and hearing aids are critical to success.
  6. A hearing aid purchase should include an assessment period during which the hearing aid fee is either fully refundable, or has a minimum non-refundable amount, if the device isn’t satisfactory. Be sure to ask about the other options available if a particular device doesn’t work out during the assessment period.
  7. Be informed. Advertisements that offer big discounts or special “discount plans” are usually based upon inflated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). “Free trials” are often non-custom devices fit without verification. Also, be wary of advertisements promising discounts for trying new hearing aids under “study or field trial.” These marketing techniques can be misleading because hearing aid manufacturers conduct these studies prior to new product release.
  8. Beware of what appear to be less expensive options or third-party discount programs for hearing aids. These often don’t include the professional services necessary to meet your ongoing hearing aid needs and they may assess non-refundable fees.
  9. Hearing aid manufacturers discourage the sale and purchase of hearing aids online, especially those which are not directly supported by local, licensed professionals trained to fit their sophisticated hearing aid technology. Hearing aids purchased online may not be warrantied, may be difficult to get refunded, and in some cases take advantage of the online consumer.
  10. The doctoral-level audiologists at Associated Audiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating hearing loss and we are familiar with virtually every hearing aid on the market. Make sure you get the hearing technology you need to hear your best at the best price.

Learn more about the true cost of hearing aids, including 15 questions you should ask before you buy. Download our free e-book, The True Cost of Hearing Aids.