Hearing aids bring great comfort to those who are hard of hearing. Impaired hearing requires specialist treatment and hearing aids are a major part of the solution. They are varied in type, quality and in price but are generally rather expensive, which can be prohibitive for those in need. Some may choose to pay less but this will of course mean a trade-off in terms of quality. Thus it is necessary to compare the qualities and prices of the various products available on the market.
Types of Hearing Aids
Usually, certain features will lead to higher prices and in general, the higher the quality, the higher the price. Hearing aids have different working modes, sizes and types, with the four basic types being Behind The Ear (BTE), Completely In the Canal (CIC) and In The Ear (ITE). The difference between the latter two is that the ITE aids are partially visible outside the ear canal. CICs are generally rated as the best, due to their high sound quality and their ability to prevent wind noise, as well as their ease of use with telephones. That is not to say, however, that the other types are not effective. In fact, BTE aids are the most commonly used and these other types can also possess handy features such as directional microphones and volume control.
Hearing aids also have two different modes of function - analog and digital. As with many products classified this way, digital is more costly than analog.
As for brands, some of the best include GN Resound Air Plus, Micro-Tech, Sonic Innovations, Rion, Oticon, Oticon Dual Connect V, Rexton Calibra 1 PRO, Phonak Exelia Art, Songbird and Conforma, among others. Reviews of these brands as well as other related products can be found online and should be studied in order to find the best value for money.
When purchasing, it should be remembered that digital aids are more often than not better than analog aids, however, as indicated earlier, this will mean a steep rise in price. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, normal analog aids may be your only option. Programmable analog products are effectively the next step up, although they are normally not as good as the digital aids. There will also be a difference in price from brand to brand, so a certain amount of research and comparison will be necessary to choose the best option.
Conventional Analog Aids are estimated at being priced between $600 and $1500 for one ear, while aids for both ears will cost $1400 to $3000. A pair of Programmable Analog Aids is likely to cost between $2200 and $4000, with single ear aids going for $949 to $2000. As for Digital Aids, the most expensive option, one can expect to pay $1399 - $2999 for a single ear, with a pair costing $4200 - $5400.