The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

There are a couple separate ways to think about the word “cheap hearing aids”. For someone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. Conversely, it conveys low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the saying “You get what you pay for”.

Regrettably, distinguishing between a thrifty purchase and an item of negligible value is often tricky. With regard to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.

The adage “you get what you pay for” is particularly relevant with hearing aids. This means eliminating the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not necessarily opting for the most expensive choice. Consumers need to recognize that important information is often left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.

Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers

Amplifying the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. If you amplify the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also get background noises including the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house shoes moving across the floor.

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

A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does much more than simply crank up the volume. It minimizes background sound while expertly managing sound and improving clarity. Genuine hearing aids are tailored to your specific hearing needs, closely simulating natural hearing with better accuracy.

PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids

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.

Sadly, there are many devices out there that market themselves as hearing aids when they are technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.

There are many legitimate and reputable providers that comply with correct marketing. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that deceive consumers into thinking that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. You may even find some that state that they are FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.

They aren’t helpful for the majority of types of hearing loss

The progressive loss of hearing often involves difficulty with particular frequencies rather than an abrupt total loss. You might have a hard 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 typically results in total volume amplification. However, if you have trouble with certain frequencies, just boosting the volume will be inadequate. Furthermore, turning the volume up significantly to catch the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might result in your adult son’s voice sounding like a roar, potentially adding to hearing loss if subjected to high volumes for prolonged periods.

High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to increase selected frequencies offering a much better solution. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

Feedback can be an issue

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. This will result in a deafening screech.

They typically won’t help you on your cellphone

When individuals are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes critical when considering phone connectivity. 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 difficult to hear the person on the other end.

More sophisticated hearing aids are digital and use Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter speaks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.

They’re not made for people with hearing loss

The majority of individuals would most likely be surprised by this. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were designed to help individuals who have relatively good hearing hear things a little louder.

If you have very slight hearing loss then cheap devices may help a little. But they won’t be of much help for people who actually need hearing aids.

Finding 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 plans, and financing options. If you suspect you have hearing loss, begin by getting checked out. Call us today for a consultation, we can help figure out what’s best for you, depending on your amount and type of hearing loss, and make certain 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.