Time to Read: 6 minutes
Hearing aids are an important investment in your hearing, health and well-being.
But in the pursuit for the lowest price, you might be missing out on some important features that will give you the best chance of satisfaction and success with your hearing aids.
Let’s take a look at some of those factors:
A Pair of Hearing Aids (not just one)
You have a pair of ears, so why wouldn’t you have two hearing aids if you need them?
Yes, there are people who have single-sided deafness but unless you’ve been diagnosed with that condition, you need two hearing aids to ensure the best success.
Not only do you get better hearing you’ll also enjoy these benefits including:
- Reduced listening effort
- Better tinnitus suppression
- Reduced risk of auditory deprivation (where the brain loses its ability to comprehend speech on the side without the hearing aid), and
- A more comfortable listening experience (with less risk of distortion, feedback, and discomfort towards loud sounds).
Minimum Three Year Warranty
Hearing aids manufacturers offer a minimum three warranty (Oticon offers four years) for hearing aids sold in Australia.
Unfortunately people think they can get hearing aids cheaper overseas and are disappointed to find that either they are counterfeit models, or foreign imports.
In this case, the local supplier will warrant the hearing aids for 12 months only. This means if you have a problem with your hearing aid after the first year, you will be charged significant sums every time your hearing aid needs service or a repair.
Some hearing aid clinics might offer a reduced warranty in exchange for a small discount, but it is a false saving.
First year loss and replacement
Hearing aid manufacturers in Australia offer a one year loss and replacement insurance.
If you are haggling on the price, this might be one of the benefits that you might choose to give away. But if you lose or damage your hearing aids, you will be up for the full price of replacement - so you could be paying twice over.
Expert testing and fitting
In Australia, hearing aids must be fitted by a qualified clinician.
When you purchase hearing aids from a clinic, the cost of the hearing aids will include the programming for your specific hearing loss.
If you purchase online, you will be charged a fee for programming and fitting. The fee can be between a quarter to a third of the cost of the ‘cheap’ hearing aids. That can amount to thousands of dollars.
Over a period of time, your hearing changes, so your hearing aids will need reprogramming to accommodate the loss.
Or, you might have questions about the features in your hearing aid or are having difficulties with cleaning and maintenance.
You might save money in the short term by foregoing aftercare support, but you will be charged for the clinician’s time every visit, that adds up to a substantial sum over the life of hearing aids which last five years on average.
Modern convenient hearing aids are often rechargeable. When you purchase rechargeable hearing aids, you should expect the charger to be included with the hearing aids. So, when you receive a cheap price for your hearing aids, they may not tell you that the charging unit is not included in that price and you will have to pay extra.
Clean and Service
In the same way you’ll take your car into the mechanic for a regular check and tuning, you and your hearing aids should go to your local clinic every six months to make sure your ears are in good health and your hearing aids are in working order.
If you’re after the best price on the initial purchase of hearing aids, this support may not be offered, or it may be charged per visit.
Here’s the bottom line: make sure that you’re comparing apples with apples. In pursuit of the lowest price, you might be losing out on the value that help you get the most from your hearing aids.