The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

There are a couple different ways to interpret the word “cheap hearing aids”. On the one hand, it signifies affordability, a practical choice for a budget-conscious person. But we’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”, and in this example, the term “cheap” indicates low-quality hearing aids.

Unfortunately, determining whether you’re getting a great deal from whether you’re getting a very low-quality device can be tricky. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.

With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” is particularly valid. This doesn’t always imply opting for the top-tier option, but instead, scrutinizing offerings that boast a price tag too appealing to be authentic. Companies marketing cheap hearing devices frequently leave out important details about their products that customers should know about.

Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers

Boosting the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. If you boost 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 shoes moving across the floor.

The purpose of having a hearing aid is totally defeated if it also amplifies unwanted sound.

A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does much more than just turn the volume up. It minimizes background noise while expertly managing sound and maximizing clarity. Real hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your particular hearing needs.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

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

Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are inaccurately sold as hearing aids even though they just amplify sound.

Most reputable providers follow the rules. But there are some vendors, particularly online, that might be misinformed about what defines the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and consequently, they put out misleading statements about their products. You may even find some that claim that they’re FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.

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

The majority of people who lose their hearing will slowly lose certain frequencies of sound before others. For instance, you may have no problems hearing a man with a low voice, but have difficulty with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to understand.

A cheap hearing device typically results in total volume amplification. But, if you have trouble with specific frequencies, merely increasing the volume proves insufficient. And turning the overall volume up could result in additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be booming in your ears.

High-quality hearing aids provide a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of specific frequencies. They provide a more customized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

You may get a lot of feedback

You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.

They typically won’t help you on your cellphone

Functionality is often sacrificed when opting for budget options, and this is true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth capability. When thinking about phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a major hurdle. Trying to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair rubbing against the phone, making it even more challenging to hear the person on the other end.

In contrast, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.

They were never meant to treat hearing loss

This might come as a shock because so many people think otherwise. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for people who have relatively good hearing.

If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But people who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that useful.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing test if you suspect you might have hearing loss. Make an appointment with us so we can help you get the best and most affordable hearing aids for your degree and type of hearing loss.


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.