A Guide to Buying Hearing Aids

In Hearing Aids by Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A

Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A

When the time comes to purchase a set of hearing aids, the choices might seem overwhelming. So many hearing aid manufacturing are producing devices with significant differences that you might wonder if you’re able to sift through the options. The good news is that your hearing health professional is there to not only diagnose your needs but also to point you in the direction of some aids that will suit your lifestyle. You will need to explain these features of your lifestyle as well as your individual preferences and desired features in order to end up with the right set of aids. The following considerations are important to keep in mind when you make your selection, but always consult with your hearing health professional for the most advanced perspective on your needs, wants, and possibilities.

What Size is Right?

When you are in the process of selecting aids, you might face a “goldilocks problem.” For one reason or another, some aids might seem too big, others too small, and the ideal pair will be just right. When making your choices within this wide range, here are a few size considerations. If you have severe hearing loss, you will likely need bigger aids. 

Larger aids also tend to be better at reducing background noise and raising the volume of specific frequencies, such as isolating the sound of voices. These devices have amplifiers and speakers that are able to give you the boost you need. Furthermore, those who have excess earwax or are prone to ear infections will likely want to get larger aids. 

One of the main benefits of smaller aids is their low profile. The very smallest hearing aids fit entirely in your ear canal, making them invisible to the naked eye. These size considerations are rough generalizations, so be sure to confer with your hearing health professional about subtle distinctions, as well as new models that may combine the size and functionality that you desire. 

What Features are Available?

The latest hearing aids come with a wide array of features, but not all of them may suit your needs. One of the revolutions in hearing assistive technology is wireless connectivity. These hearing aids can be compatible with your devices to make a seamless transition from listening to a conversation in person, hearing a notification on your smartphone, and picking up a call. This process is a vast improvement over the old days when talking on the phone was quite difficult with a hearing aid in place. 

Wireless functionality doesn’t stop there. You are able to stream audio from your music player, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos directly to your hearing devices, making it possible to use them, in effect, like wireless earbuds. Many people are interested in these features, but others find this an unnecessary hassle. Be sure to mention to your hearing health professional if you think these aspects seem appealing or not. Another feature that many find useful is compatibility with smartphone apps. 

Many of the latest aids are connected to an app that enables you to change the settings on your hearing aids without adjusting them directly on the devices. These apps can raise or lower the general volume, but they can also be used to create hearing zones that are tailored to the places you frequent. For instance, you may want a louder general volume level at a church service or lecture, but you might want speech recognition and background sound abatement to kick in while at your favorite restaurant. The latest aids can do all this and more, but don’t hesitate to tell your hearing health provider if you prefer a device without all the bells and whistles. 

With these considerations in place, we can help you find the best devices to meet your hearing needs. Our expertise and guidance on technical details will ensure that you will have the right match between your hearing needs and the capability of the latest aids. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!