Hearing loss is a common issue affecting millions of people around the world, and it can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. While hearing aids are an effective solution for those with hearing loss, the cost of these devices can be prohibitive for many people. This is where affordable professionally fit hearing aids come in.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of affordable professionally fit hearing aids, and compare some of the top models and manufacturers in the market. We will also provide tips and recommendations for those considering purchasing hearing aids, including information on the different types of hearing aids, fitting and maintenance, and lifestyle considerations. See how costs break down for OTC hearing aids vs professionally fit hearing aids.
It’s important to note that not all hearing aids are created equal, and while basic or economy-level hearing aids may be cheaper, they may not provide the same level of benefit as higher-end models. We will also compare these different types of hearing aids and explain why it’s important to invest in a professionally fit device.
Whether you are an athlete, musician, or senior citizen, there is a hearing aid option available to fit your needs and lifestyle. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the different hearing aid options available, and be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision on which hearing aid is right for you.
High-end Hearing Aids vs. Basic/Economy Level
Hearing aids can be categorized into two main types – high-end and basic/economy level. High-end hearing aids are typically more expensive and offer advanced features that provide greater comfort and improved sound quality for the user. On the other hand, basic or economy-level hearing aids are generally more affordable and provide fewer features than their high-end counterparts.
One of the main differences between high-end and economy-level hearing aids is the level of sound processing technology they offer. High-end hearing aids feature advanced signal processing, noise reduction, and feedback management technology, which work together to provide a more natural and clear sound quality. They are also designed to be more comfortable, with features like digital noise reduction and wind noise reduction, which are important for people who spend time outdoors.
Basic hearing aids, on the other hand, are more basic in their design and feature set. They may not offer the same level of noise reduction or signal processing, and they may not be as comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
While both high-end and economy-level hearing aids are better than over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, high-end hearing aids still provide greater benefits to users. OTC hearing aids are typically less expensive and can be purchased without a prescription, but they are not custom fit for the user’s ear, which can result in discomfort and reduced effectiveness. In addition, OTC hearing aids may not offer the same level of sound quality and noise reduction as professionally fit hearing aids.
Comparison of Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Models
There are many hearing aid manufacturers and models available on the market today, making it challenging to choose the right one for your needs. In this section, we will compare five of the top affordable hearing aid models from the leading manufacturers: Phonak, Oticon, GN Resound, Widex, and Starkey.
|Audéo Lumity 30
|Evolv AI 1200
|Price (per pair)
Phonak Audéo Lumity 30: At $2498 per pair, the Phonak Audéo Lumity 30 is a popular choice for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. It features advanced noise reduction technology, speech enhancement, and automatic program adjustment. Phonak is my favorite manufacturer, it cost a little more but I believe it is worth it.
Oticon More 3: The Oticon More 3 is priced at $3198 per pair and is designed for people with mild to severe hearing loss. It uses artificial intelligence to improve speech understanding in noisy environments and features a rechargeable battery. Oticon is also known for its great sound quality.
GN Resound Omnia 5: The GN Resound Omnia 5 is priced at $3198 per pair and is designed for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Has the options of the M&RIE receivers. It features advanced noise reduction technology, and wireless connectivity, and is available in both ITE and BTE styles.
Widex Moment 110: The Widex Moment 110 is priced at $2798 per pair and is designed for people with mild to severe hearing loss. It features advanced noise reduction technology, and customizable sound, and is great for those who have tinnitus and would use the zen program.
When comparing these models, it’s essential to consider the individual’s specific hearing needs and lifestyle. All of these hearing aids provide advanced features and technology that make them more comfortable and effective than basic/economy-level hearing aids. They are also all custom fit for the individual’s ear, providing greater comfort and effectiveness.
Types of Hearing Aids
When it comes to hearing aids, there are several types available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will explore the most common types of hearing aids and compare them in terms of cost, visibility, and other factors.
First, understand that the style does not really affect the cost.! It doesn’t matter what style you choose it is about the same price.
In-the-ear (ITE): ITE hearing aids are custom-made to fit entirely inside the ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and are nearly invisible. They can be challenging to adjust, and some people may find them uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.
Behind-the-ear (BTE): BTE hearing aids are worn behind the ear, and a tube or wire connects to an earmold or dome that sits inside the ear. They are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss and are easy to adjust. They are visible but can be customized with different colors and designs.
Receiver-In-Canal (RIC): RIC hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids, but the receiver sits inside the ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and are nearly invisible. They are easy to adjust and comfortable to wear for extended periods.
It’s also important to consider the differences between OTC and professionally fit hearing aids. OTC hearing aids are available without a prescription, but they may not be suitable for everyone. They are often less expensive than professionally fit hearing aids but may not provide the same level of customization and support. Professionally fit hearing aids are custom-made to the individual’s specific hearing needs and provide a higher level of comfort and effectiveness.
Fitting and Maintenance
Getting the right hearing aid is just the first step in improving your hearing. Proper fitting and maintenance of the device are crucial to ensure it provides maximum benefit. In this section, we’ll discuss the fitting process, types of fittings, common side effects, and how often hearing aids need to be reprogrammed or replaced.
When fitting a hearing aid, it’s important to see an audiologist who can evaluate your hearing needs and fit the device properly. They will take measurements of your ear canal and use those to create a custom fit. This is essential for comfort and effectiveness.
There are two main types of fittings: dome and earmold. Domes are small, rubber tips that fit into the ear canal and are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Earmolds are custom-made to fit the ear canal and are suitable for people with severe hearing loss. They provide a more secure fit and can be adjusted to meet specific hearing needs.
Common side effects of hearing aids include occlusion and itchy ears. These can often be resolved by adjusting the fit or using different types of tips or earmolds. It’s important to address any discomfort early on to prevent further issues.
Hearing aids typically need to be reprogrammed every few years as hearing needs change. They may also need to be replaced entirely after five to seven years, depending on the type and frequency of use.
Real ear measurements are essential to ensure the hearing aid is set up correctly and provides the right level of amplification.
When considering hearing aids, it’s important to take lifestyle factors into account. Different individuals have different needs, and some hearing aids may be better suited to certain lifestyles than others.
For example, musicians may need hearing aids that provide exceptional sound quality, while seniors may need hearing aids that are easy to use and maintain.
Microphone and background noise reduction features are also important considerations. Microphones help to pick up sounds and transmit them to the hearing aid, while background noise reduction features can help to filter out unwanted sounds. These features can be particularly useful in noisy environments such as restaurants or crowded public spaces. High-end devices will do much better in background noise than at the affordable basic level.
Overall, lifestyle considerations can play a significant role in selecting the right hearing aid. By working with an audiologist, individuals can find a device that meets their specific needs and allows them to lead an active and fulfilling life.