The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

The word “cheap” has dual meanings. For somebody on a small budget, it means “affordability”. But we’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” indicates low-quality hearing aids.

Unfortunately, determining whether you’re getting a great value from whether you’re getting a really low-quality device can be challenging. With regard to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more true.

The saying “you get what you pay for” is especially relevant with hearing aids. This doesn’t always mean opting for the top-tier option, but instead, looking closely at products that boast a price tag too tempting to be legitimate. Customers need to be aware that essential information is frequently excluded from the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.

Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers

Cheap “hearing aids” generally provide limited functionality, mainly amplifying or decreasing overall volume. If you amplify the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also get background noises including the dishwasher, a fan in a different room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house slippers going across the floor.

If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.

Contrastingly, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It expertly manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while reducing background noise. Genuine hearing aids are tailored to your specific hearing requirements, closely mimicking natural hearing with increased accuracy.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

The Food and Drug Administration has drafted guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be called hearing aids.

Regrettably, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.

The majority of reputable providers follow the rules. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into thinking that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. You might even find some that claim that they’re approved by the FDA when that’s actually false.

For most kinds of hearing loss they won’t be effective at all

Most individuals who lose their hearing will gradually lose specific frequencies of sound before others. You might have a difficult time understanding a little kid or a woman, for example, but you have no issue understanding a man with a low voice.

A cheap hearing device usually results in total volume amplification. But simply turning up the overall volume will not be adequate for individuals who have a hard time hearing particular frequencies. Moreover, turning the volume up significantly to catch the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor may lead to your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, potentially contributing to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for extended periods.

High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to boost particular frequencies providing a much better solution. They offer a more customized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

Feedback can be a problem

You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. A feedback loop is frequently the consequence of poorly fitting hearing aids. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. This will generate a deafening screech.

They usually don’t have cellphone support

Functionality is often sacrificed when opting for budget options, and this holds true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. When considering phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a huge hurdle. With cheaper hearing devices, when you try to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your ears or lips brushing against the phone, or clothing and hair.

In contrast, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, creating a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is sent directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.

They were never meant to treat hearing loss

The majority of people would probably be surprised by this. PSAPs were never made for individuals with hearing loss. They were designed to amplify sound for individuals who have relatively good hearing.

Cheap devices might help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But they won’t be of much help for people who actually need hearing aids.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties might cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. If you suspect you have hearing loss, start by getting checked out. Call us today for a consultation, we can help figure out what’s best for you, depending on your degree and type of hearing loss, and make sure you get a pair that won’t break the bank!


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.