Want to keep up with work, family, and friends like you used to? Today’s hearing aids feature advanced technology that not only can help you hear better, but that’s available at a more affordable price than ever before. Here are some popular features to ask about if you’re considering hearing aids.
Bluetooth Hearing Aid Technology
Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids allow you to connect with specific Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as your smartphone or iPad. In fact, Bluetooth technology has made it possible for your phone to send the sound directly through your hearing aid(s). This allows for convenient, clear, custom-set communication, as well as hearing in both ears, which results in a much clearer signal compared to using a phone on one ear.
Some advanced hearing aids are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) that helps learn your listening preferences and target the sounds you need and want to hear, making those sounds more prominent.
For example, when seated in a noisy room with a friend or spouse, hearing aids with AI can automatically shift to provide more comfort or more clarity to help you hear and communicate your best. These hearing aids also can remember your preferred settings and automatically adjust when you enter locations you often visit.
Digital Adaptive Directional Microphones
Newer digital hearing aids typically include two microphones, helping detect which direction a sound is coming from. Adaptive directional microphones are designed to prioritize speech coming from in front when other sound may interfere. This may help you hear speech better in a complex listening situation.
Rechargeable hearing aids
Most of the major hearing aid manufacturers now offer rechargeable hearing aid options. In general, rechargeables offer technological advances beyond the battery, including improved signal processing and more automatic adjustments. These help you hear better and more comfortably in complex listening situations, like in the car, social settings, talking on the phone or watching TV. Most of this advanced technology is available in non-rechargeable options as well. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of rechargeable and disposable batteries before making your decision.
What should you expect to pay for hearing aids equipped with these features?
There are significant differences across hearing aid technology. Digital hearing aids use tiny computer chips to process sound. More sophisticated computer chips have better processing which help make it easier for you to hear and understand in all situations. Typically, the cost of hearing aids start at about $650 to $2,700 per ear, depending on the sophistication of technology purchased. The length of time or amount of the professional hearing aid-related services also can affect purchase price.
Do be aware that advertisements offering 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 clinical trial.” These marketing techniques can be misleading because hearing aid manufacturers conduct these studies prior to new product release. Beware of what appear to be less expensive options or third-party discount programs for hearing aids. These may not include all the professional services necessary to meet your ongoing needs. In addition, they sometimes only offer off-brand, lower-end technology.
To keep this breakthrough technology affordable, Associated Audiologists accepts most major insurance plans, and also has options for Medicare Advantage or replacement plans. In addition, there are financing and private pay options available to help make hearing aid technology more affordable, too.
Learn more about the latest hearing aid technology and affordable options. Schedule an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist.