A Guide to Buying New Hearing Aids

In Hearing Aids by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD

Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD
Latest posts by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD (see all)

If you are starting to notice that your hearing is not what it used to be perhaps you are considering what to do. Hearing aids have been proven time and time again to be the best tool for dealing with irreversible hearing loss, but with so many options out there on the market it can be confusing what kind of hearing aid to invest in.

With so much information out there on hearing aids how do you know whom to trust? If you have the right information and know what questions to ask then this process can be a lot less stressful. Here are a few tips to help you get informed about your options so you can find the best hearing aids for you and your budget.

Hearing Test

It is scary but true that 90 percent of instances of hearing loss cannot be reversed. The good news is hearing aids can make a big difference in helping you hear the sounds you may have lost. With 1 in 10 people dealing with hearing loss it is a very good idea to make sure that you have your hearing tested annually. Often your general practitioner can refer you to get a hearing evaluation by a specialist. While your general practitioner can check your ears for many problems a proper audiogram will be able to detect subtle instances of hearing loss that are best not to ignore

Where is the best place to buy hearing aids?

Once you have been tested and the results are analyzed, your hearing health professional can recommend the best options in hearing aids for you. Your hearing healthcare provider will be trained in hearing aid selection, fitting, and care. They will give you many options to choose some so you can get the most out of your hearing experience daily. It all depends on what you want to invest in to make your life as full as possible. While some of these features can be of varying price points it is up to you to decide the level of investment you want to make in hearing while doing the things you love.

What style of hearing aid is best for me?

Hearing aids of course come in all sizes shapes and styles. Factors include what are the most comfortable, aesthetically pleasing hearing aids for you matched with their function in your daily life. Discuss your options with your hearing health care provider and ask about the benefits and drawbacks to each type of device. Here are a few popular models:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE); receiver-in-canal (RIC): Both of these models are currently the most popular, durable and comfortable but can be a challenge to wear at first. Because there is less circuitry inside the ear, they are known to have a more “natural” sound
  • In-the-ear (ITE); in-the-canal (ITC): The most user friendly, with a portion in the ear and the rest visible behind the earlobe. They tend to be easier to insert and have a longer battery life.
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC); invisible-in-the-canal (IIC): These fit deep in the ear, are discreet and do not interfere with over the ear headphones and other listening devices.

What about special features?

There are just so many innovations in hearing aids in the past few years that make hearing easier than ever including:

  1. Rechargeable batteries: These only require changing every three years while you can recharge them using a portable charging dock.
  2. Water resistant hearing aids: While not completely waterproof these hearing aids can withstand moisture from sweat. They might survive the shower if you forget to take them out but it’s best to take them out.
  3. Bluetooth: This feature allows you to transmit phone calls, music and more right to your hearing aids using Bluetooth connectivity.

Fidelity Matters

Fidelity, also known as technology, is where a price difference reveals itself and is usually tiered in three levels. The lowest tier is designed to create an affordable option for hearing aid users while the higher levels enhance communication the most effectively. The higher the level, the greater the clarity of conversation, the greater the suppression of background noise and the more dynamic your listening experience will be. Whatever hearing aids you choose make sure you are informed before you buy so you can get the most out of your hearing aids.