How To Cost Hearing Aids.

THE ULTIMATE BUYERS GUIDE

I am often asked to comment on the price of hearing aids. What I generally tell people is the price you can afford is the best price to pay. The question people should be asking is, how to cost hearing aids?

 

various types of hearing aids

 

Purchasing a hearing aid should be looked upon as an investment. It shouldn’t be treated like buying a pair of shoes or a new pair of jeans. It shouldn’t be treated like just another thing that you must have.

 

Purchasing a hearing aid is about making an investment in you hearing health. It is about purchasing something that will add to the quality of your everyday life. Due to the cost involved, it is a decision you will want to get right.

 

Is there a formula or a guide on how to cost hearing aids?

The short answer is yes. I have developed a 6 point plan for anyone who needs to purchase a new or even a first time hearing aid. This guide will walk you through the process to ensuring that you get the hearing aid that you need and one that will meet your individual needs for many years to come.

 

What not to do.

 

Before I outline my 6 point plan, I would like to tell you what NOT to do. I am severely hard of hearing. I have lived with hearing loss most of my 50 years. I am a long-term hearing aid wearer and have had more than a dozen different types of devices.

 

If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, please don’t panic. Most people’s first reaction is to rush out and buy the first thing that someone recommends. In most cases, this will be a disaster. The hearing aids won’t work as you would expect them to and you end up thinking that all hearing aids are the same.

 

Hearing loss is a very complex issue and therefore buying hearing aids can be a complex issue too. Use my 6 point plan outlined here and you will end up with the best value device that is ideal for your individual needs.

 

My 6 POINT PLAN

 

Step 1.

Know your hearing loss level.

Not all hearing loss is the same and you need to know your level. There are 4 main levels of hearing loss. They are mild, moderate, severe and profound. Hearing aids are manufactured to deal with particular levels of hearing loss.

 

The most common are mild and moderate. These two are most closely associated with age-related hearing loss but can affect people at any age. The only way to know your hearing loss level is to get it checked.

Free hearing test

 

The best way to get your hearing level checked is through a professional audiologist. I highly recommend this. This is the starting point when buying a hearing aid. Without having this information you are simply rolling a dice and hoping for the best.

 

Your local medical centre can tell you where to get this simple test done. Most hearing aid suppliers will also be able to perform this test. Just remember, just because you get the test done in a certain place, you shouldn’t feel obliged to purchase a device from that supplier.

 

When you have the test done ask the audiologist for a copy of your audiogram. Even if there is a small cost for this it will give you much more freedom when you begin shopping for your hearing aid.

 

Step 2.

The various types of device.

You now know your level of hearing loss. It is time to begin the search for the right device for you.

 

You will need to know the type (or style) of hearing aid that you want to wear. This can be broken down into two main types. Some manufacturers have subcategories within these but they are,

 

ITE (In the ear) hearing aids. These are also called hidden hearing aids. The device sits inside the ear with nothing showing from the outside. They are particularly suitable for people who are a bit self-conscious about wearing hearing aids.

 

Due to the extremely small nature of these devices, they tend to have a limited level of technology. However, as technology advances, I would expect to see this improve in a very short period of time.

 

BTE (Behind the ear) hearing aids. These are still by far the most popular type of hearing aid. They generally consist of a small case that sits behind the ear. This case is connected to a receiver that sits inside the ear canal via a thin piece of plastic tubing.

 

With these devices the amount of technology available to you is vast. From iPhone and smartphone connectivity to remote control use, the possibilities are almost limitless for the wearer.

 

Step 3.

Where will you use your hearing aids?

Knowing where you will be using your hearing aids will help you to determine what level of technology they will need to have. Some people, like myself, wear them all the time. Others will only wear them around the home for watching television etc….

 

Home – If you only need a hearing aid for watching television, listening to the radio or for conversation in the home then a fairly basic model would be fine for you.

 

Work – If you are involved in telephone calls or conference calls or regular meetings then you may want to look at a device with a T setting. This can allow you to connect your hearing aid to a loop system to make hearing easier.man at work

 

Social outings – If you regularly go to places such as pubs/clubs, restaurants or the theatre then as well as a T setting, you may also want to look at background noise control.

 

The point of this step is to look at as wide a range of places and environments you will use your hearing aids as possible. The benefit of this will be seen in the next step when you are deciding what level of technology you want in your device.

 

Step 4.

What level of technology do you want in your hearing aid?

Once you know your level of hearing loss (step1), the style you would like (step 2) and where you will be wearing your hearing aid (step 3) you can begin to match particular models to your individual needs.

 

Getting the basic technology that covers the first 3 steps is essential. These 3 steps cover your everyday living. Once you have them covered you can begin to look at additional technology to enhance your hearing aid experience even further.

 

The key at this stage is to look at as many different models as you can. You can check out hundreds of different types online to see what would suit your needs. Just type “hearing aids” into google and you will have a world of options at your disposal.

 

Here are two examples of the different levels of technology available in modern hearing aids.

 

Example 1.

HD 150 Digital hearing aid. (review here)

 

This particular model would be suitable for someone who uses a hearing aid mainly for home use such as watching television or listening to the radio or just talking at home. It would cost £169.00 Its main features are,

 

In-the-ear digital hearing aiddiscreet hearing aid

Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss

Two sound processing channels

Wax barrier to protect the device against dirt and moisture

Feedback shield to eradicate unwanted whistling

3 tips varying in size can help eradicate whistling or improve comfort

12 months full manufacturers warranty

Uses a 10A battery

 

Example 2.

The ReSound LiNX 7 Digital hearing aid. (review here)

 

This a much more advanced model and comes with a multitude of modern technology. With this model, you can work, rest and play and it will cope with it all. It would cost £1395.00 and it features,

 

SmartApp – is available from the Apple Store. It facilitates maximum connectivity between your Apple device and your hearing aid, by providing the following functions:

 

Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset – if you want to listen to some music, your hearing aids can be turns into a surround sound stereo headset at a click of a button.

 

Audio Streaming Program – enables sound to be streamed directly to your iPhone or alternative Apple device, making listening to music or taking part in a telephone conversation a simple and rewarding experience.

 

Remote Microphone – turn your Apple device into a remote microphone for those times when you find yourself in a challenging listening environment.

 

Remote Control for your hearing aids – can be conducted via your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. You can discreetly adjust volume, base and program settings whenever you choose.

 

Geo Tag your favourite places – with the settings to match that particular environment. Upon your return to the same area, your hearing aids will adjust automatically.

 

SmartRange Dual Core Platform – facilitates access to FaceTime, Skype, TV, films, and music by processing high-quality sound wirelessly to your hearing aid.

Sound Shaper – helps to improve the clarity of speech.

Binaural Fusion – with 2.4 GHz of wireless capability, your hearing aids are designed to communicate with each other to produce the very best sound.

hearing aids linked to apple
The ReSound LiNX 7

Environmental Optimiser – reduces wind interference and background noise, to enable your hearing aid to produce excellent clarity even in more challenging listening environments.

Natural Directionality Program – creates a natural and equalised sound by enabling the microphone settings to be adjusted according to the direction of the speech you wish to focus on.

iSolate Nanotech coating – offers dust and moisture resistant protection, prolonging the life of your hearing device.

17 Sound Frequency Channels – provides greater choice when programming your hearing aid to suit your personal requirements.

Surround Sound Technology – provides an organic, natural listening experience.

Synchronised Soft Switching – means that your hearing aids can adapt automatically to compensate for loud or unexpected noise, reducing levels to a more comfortable level when required.

Comfort Phone Program – allows your ‘phone ear’ to receive enhanced volume so that speech is highlighted, while the other hearing aid reduces the background noise around you. This provides focus and clarity to your telephone conversation.

Three memory programs – allow you to adjust your hearing aids according to your personal requirements.

 

As you can see the differences are massive. You need to spend as much time as you can on this step of the process. The easiest way to do this step is to find an online supplier. You will have all the information in front of you regarding the technology available for any particular device.

 

Step 5.

Set your budget and stick to it.

At the very beginning of this article, I said that the price you can afford is the best price to pay for a hearing aid. I stand by that statement. I will repeat, buying a hearing aid is an investment in your hearing health and your quality of life.

 

However, I would never advocate spending what you can’t afford. You need to be realistic. If you can afford to go for the very best then do so. Being able to hear properly can’t be costed. The true value of hearing loss can only ever be measured when you have it.

 

My advice is to set yourself a budget and stick to it. Even if you have to save up for a while to get the price you have in mind, once you get there then set that as your upper limit.

 

Do not allow yourself to be pressurised by salespeople trying to sell you the most expensive model on the market. If you have done your research and gone through steps 1 to 4 then you will know what you need and want from your hearing aid.

 

Here is my formula for buying the right hearing aid for you.

 

COST = WHAT YOU NEED + WHAT YOU WANT x WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

 

Step 6.

Use a reputable supplier.

This is perhaps the most important step of all. You are about to invest a lot of money in purchasing a device that is going to affect your quality of life. You want to make sure that the company you buy from have the very highest of standards.Premium quality

 

There are a number of things you should consider when looking at a supplier of hearing aids.

 

1. Expertise and knowledge. They should have fully qualified audiologists available to speak to potential customers and people who just need advice. These people should understand hearing health. They should be able to go through your audiogram in detail and discuss what type of hearing aid will work for you and more importantly, what type of device will not work for your individual needs.

 

2. The range of hearing aids. You should look at a supplier who has a wide range of hearing aids. If they only sell one or two models then they are going to try and sell you those models. If they have a wide selection from different manufacturers then you will have access to the best possible choice.

 

3. Their price range. You will want your supplier to have a range of prices from fairly cheap models right up to the very elite hearing aids available on the market. This will make it easier for you to find a model within your budget.

 

4. Their aftercare program. Your supplier should offer a comprehensive aftercare program that includes all repairs and fine tuning for your hearing aids for the lifetime of the device.

 

5. Guarantees and warranties. Your supplier should offer both of these. Your hearing aids should always come with a minimum of a 12-month manufacturers warranty. I would also recommend that you use a supplier who offers at least a 30-day return policy from the day you purchase your hearing aids. This will give you plenty of time to ensure that the devices are perfect for you.

 

I have recommended a supplier called HEARING DIRECT.COM on this website. I am happy to do so again here. I have used this company many times in the past and find everything about them to be ultra professional. You will find a full review of them here.

 

Your 6 point guide Summary.

Step 1. Know your hearing loss level. Get your hearing tested by an audiologist.

 

Step 2. Decide what type of device you want. Either ITE (in the ear) or BTE (behind the ear).

 

Step 3. Decide where you will need your device. At home, work and social settings.

 

Step 4. The level of technology. Make sure your device covers steps 1,2 and 3. Everything else is a bonus.

 

Step 5. Set your budget and stick to it. This is an investment. Don’t be sold something you don’t need.

 

Step 6. Use a reputable supplier. Only use a supplier you can trust.

 

I hope that this ultimate guide proves to be as useful to you as it has been to me in the past. Purchasing a hearing aid is too important to leave to chance. Your hearing health and quality of life are too important to be left totally in the hands of others.

 

Take control of purchasing your hearing aids. Know what you want. Know what you need. Know what you can afford. This is your hearing health. This is your quality of life. Use this guide and get what is right for you.100% satisfaction

 

If you have a particular model of hearing aid that you would like my opinion on or for me to review then please get I touch and I will be happy to help out.

 

As always I welcome all comments and suggestions. Please leave them below and I will reply to them as soon as possible. Take care and good hearing health to you all.

Eddie.

 

 

Digital Hearing Aids. HD 420

PRODUCT – HD 420 DIGITAL HEARING AID. New HD 420 hearing aid

PRICE – £399.00

GUARANTEE – 12 MONTH MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY.

WHERE TO BUY – HEARING DIRECT.COM

OVERALL RATING – 4.5 OUT OF 5.

 

The HD 420 digital hearing aid is one of the best in its class and price range. Sitting at the lower end of the pricing structure you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a basic model.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. This slick, slim and extremely small device has as much technology packed into it as some models costing 3 times the price. It is a very discreet device that sits behind the ear and is connected to the earpiece through a very slim plastic tube.

 

The HD 420 is a READY-TO-WEAR device. No fitting or hearing test required. It is fully programmable to match hearing test results. All you have to do is supply hearing direct.com with your latest audiogram and they will do the rest.

Who is the HD 420 hearing aid for?

This device is suitable for pretty much anyone. It is great in social situations due to its noise reduction capabilities. It is equally good for both work and home environments.

 

The technology available with the HD 420 will ensure that your hearing ability is at its very best in virtuously any situation. It’s dirt and moisture resistant capabilities make it a very robust device which will help to prolong its lifespan.

 

The Pros and Cons of the HD 420.

The Pros.

The HD 420 Hearing Aid is loaded with the latest digital technology, designed to provide excellent sound quality, comfort and discretion to the wearer. Being automatic, it’s exceptionally simple to use, despite the complex nature of the technology. The volume control has been kept on a manual basis, leaving you firmly in the driving seat when it comes to controlling the hearing aid’s sound levels.

 

The HD 420 Hearing Aid offers every feature you could possibly need to make your hearing as clear and natural as possible. Say goodbye to those days when you entered a crowded room and failed to understand what was being said in front of you. HD 420 hearing aid

 

With speech enhancement technology and dual adaptive microphones, you can focus on a conversation while the premier noise reduction feature melts away unwanted background sound.

 

With Hydro-guard, the device is water and dirt resistant, extending the life of the device and making it easier to clean. Being automatic, there is no need to make fiddly adjustments. It’ll all happen seamlessly, which is perfect if you like to keep things simple.

 

The Cons.

The only thing missing, in my opinion, is connectivity. In this day and age, everything seems to be able to connect to iPhones and smartphones. I think all hearing aids should be built with this option included.

 

This is a harsh criticism and in no way takes away from the fantastic technology included in this device. If being connected to a smartphone or other such device isn’t important to you then the HD 420 is perfect. The bottom line for any hearing aid is the sound quality it gives to the user and this device provides an exceptional quality of sound.

 

Key features of the HD 420.

Behind-the-ear digital hearing aid

Hydro-guard – means it is water and dirt resistant

Contemporary, sleek design

Manual volume control

Adaptive noise reduction – to dampen down confusing background noise

Multi-memory – to easily customise your device to fit your listening needs

Dual directional microphones – to help you focus on speech

Feedback reduction shield – helps to filter unwanted whistling

Tele-coil compatible

Dynamic speech enhancement – making speech clearer

Operates using a 312 battery – more power for longer

Low battery warning indicator

8 sound processing channels

30-day money back guarantee

12 months manufacturers warranty

 

Tools and training for the HD 420 digital hearing aid.

Because hearing aids are such delicate devices, they need to be handled very carefully and treated correctly. To many suppliers simply sell you the device and then leave you to it.

 

If you purchase your devices from hearing direct.com you will have access to 3 short instructional videos. They will show you how to.

 

HD420 Insertion and Removal. Damaging your hearing aid by simply pulling it out of your ear is all to common. Knowing the correct way to do things helps to prevent unnecessary repairs.invisible hearing aid

 

HD420 Cleaning and Maintenance. A lack of cleaning and looking after your hearing aids will result in a poorer performance. Getting into the right routine from the beginning will ensure that your devices are always working at their very best.

 

HD420 Battery Insertion and Operation. Knowing the correct way to insert these tiny batteries will allow you to be able to do it in a matter of seconds.

 

These instruction videos only last about 2 minutes each but are a great help in learning the correct way to look after your new hearing aids. They are always available on the hearing direct.com website.

Why purchase from Hearing Direct.com?

 

When reviewing products I think it is just as important to look at the supplier. After some bad experiences with other suppliers I began to use Hearing Direct.com a number of years ago. They have a very extensive range of hearing aids as well as other assistive listening devices.

 

I have found their quality of service to be second to none. From the beginning you will be put in contact with one of their fully qualified audiologists rather than a sales person. Their attention to detail is fantastic. The reasons I am happy to recommend them are,

 

  • A chance to make a saving – given their competitive pricing. As they’re an online company, they have significantly fewer overheads than those on the high street. It means any savings they make can be passed on to their customers.

 

  • A speedy delivery service – means you can order your hearing aid today either via their Customer Care Help Line or the Internet and they will endeavour to get the device delivered to you as early as tomorrow.

 

  • Free professional advice – is available when buying one of their hearing aids. They have a team of qualified hearing aid audiologists on standby to answer any questions you may have concerning hearing requirements, performance related issues or fitting enquiries. All you have to do is ask.

 

  • Hearing aids are pre-programmed – to assume a high-frequency requirement most commonly linked to age-related hearing loss. They can, however, be altered to meet your specific needs. All you need to do is send them your most recent audiogram to audiology@hearingdirect.com and they will reset it accordingly.

 

  • A 30-day money back guarantee – means you can return the product and receive a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied with the purchase. This is the most important one of all. It allows to you try the devices for a full month to make sure that it is exactly what you want and need.

Final summary on the HD 420 digital hearing aid.

I am still trying to figure out why this device is at the lower end of the pricing scale. The technology available in the HD 420 is usually only seen in devices much more expensive.New HD 420 hearing aid

 

This is a high quality hearing aid. It is suitable in virtually every situation. It has a clarity of sound that is very impressive and the device is very small and discreet. At only £399.00 it won’t break the bank.

 

If you are looking for a new hearing aid then you would do well to give the HD 420 a closer look.

 

# GET THE HD 420 HERE #

As always, I hope this has helped. If you need further information then please get in touch. I appreciate all comments and suggestions. Please leave them below and I will answer back as soon as possible.

Reviews for the HD 420 digital hearing aid.

 

A really good buy

Review by sheila wylde (Posted on 23/12/2016). I upgraded from a HD 350 . What a difference ! The audiologist advised me to have the HD 420 after a lengthy discussion on the telephone . The volume control lets me adjust it to suit different situations and the noise reduction programme is very effective . The sound quality is superb , I’m glad I upgraded it has made a real difference .

STAR RATING  *****

Your choice for clarity in noise! More control than audiologists want you to have

Review by Can You Hear Me NOW?! (Posted on 26/08/2016). Not just good…..the best hearing aid I have ever (20 Years!) owned. I have tried alot, but this is amazing. I hear everything, but the volume control makes it easy to change for MY liking. I never seem to get programmed to the volume that is right for me – so I like being in control. It’s a pretty small szie compared to many I have owned and really does a great job in noise which is a benefit I wasn’t expecting.

STAR RATING *****

 

Digital Hearing Aids. HD 430 RIC.

PRODUCT – HD 430 RIC DIGITAL HEARING AID.HD 430 RIC Hearing aid small

PRICE – £499 (UK) – $649 (USA).

GUARANTEE – 12 MONTHS WARRANTY

WHERE TO BUY

 HEARING DIRECT (U.K.)

HEARING DIRECT (USA)

OVERALL RATING – 4.7 OUT OF 5.

 

Discreet hearing aids are becoming increasingly popular and they don’t come much more discreet than the HD 430 RIC device. This tiny digital hearing aid looks good when worn. It also packs a powerful punch for something so small.

 

Although it is classed as a traditional behind the ear (BTE) model, this device is very difficult to detect when worn. The case is connected to the receiver by a very thin transparent tube. The receiver sits inside the ear canal and the case is almost unseen sitting behind the ear.

 

The HD 430 can be bought ready to wear. It requires no fitting nor even a hearing test. It is fully programmable with your latest audiogram. Simply send this to hearing direct.com and you will have your device delivered within a couple of days.

 

Who is the HD 430 (UK) or HD 430 (USA) suitable for?

This device is suitable for anyone with a mild to moderate hearing loss. The exceptional features make it ideal for a number of different environments. It can be worn at work, doing sports and is particularly good in social situations such as restaurants etc….

 

For those people with a higher degree of hearing loss, hearing direct.com can offer a wide range of alternatives with similar features and the same degree of discreetness.

 

The Pros and Cons of the HD 430

The Pros.

 

Highlights of this hearing aid include the hydro-guard, a water-resistant coating that acts as a barrier against moisture and dirt. This, in turn, can help to increase the lifespan of the device.HD 430 RIC Hearing discreet

 

You can focus on a conversation within a crowded restaurant, thanks to directional twin microphone and speech enhancement technology. Distracting background noise is filtered out, leaving you with a purer more natural sound.

 

With multiple memory settings and 16 sound processing channels, your device can be programmed to adapt to a number of your favorite listening environments and can operate according to your individual hearing requirements.

 

It also has a telecoil facility, perfect for keeping you connected. It operates using a 312 battery, providing you with a battery life that is impressive for the size of the hearing aid.

 

The Cons.

 

There isn’t really a downside to this ingenious device. If I am being overly critical, then I would have to point out that the HD 430 doesn’t have the connectivity to smartphones and other devices that some other hearing aids have.

 

This is purely a personal opinion regarding connectivity. At the price range of the HD 430, you get much more than most devices would have. If being able to connect your hearing aid to your iPhone or smartphone doesn’t matter to you then this device would score a perfect 5.

 

The key features of the HD 430 (UK) or HD 430 (USA)

  • Receiver-in-canal digital hearing aid
  • Hydro-guard – acts as a barrier to both moisture and dirt
  • Discreet and compact
  • Feedback Shield – aims to eradicate unwanted whistling
  • Tele-coil compatible
  • Adaptive speech enhancement – making it easier to follow a conversation
  • Dual directional microphones – helps to distinguish between speech and background noise by using a trademarked tracking technology
  • Environmental classification noise reduction – means the hearing aid intuitively adapts according to speech versus noise ratio in your immediate vicinity
  • Powered by a 312 battery
  • Low battery warning indicator
  • 16 sound processing channels
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 12 months manufacturer’s warranty
  • Multi-memory options – designed to fit with different listening environments.

As you can see this small wonder really packs a punch in terms of the technology inside it. There are a lot of more expensive models on the market that don’t contain half of the features of the HD 430. It really does stand alone in its class.

HD 430 RIC Hearing aid.

 

Tool and training for the HD 430.

If bought through hearing direct.com you will be able to download the user manual. This will have all the instructions to enable you to get the most out of your new device.

 

You will also have access to three videos showing,

 

HD430RIC Insertion and Removal.

HD430RIC Cleaning and Maintenance.

HD430RIC Battery Insertion and Operation.

 

Support from Hearing Direct (UK) or Hearing Direct (USA)

I have been using hearing direct.com for a number of years and would thoroughly recommend them if you are considering buying a new hearing aid. These devices aren’t cheap and you should always look to buy from a reputable supplier. With Hearing Direct.com you will get,

 

  • We aim to save you money – with our competitive pricing on quality hearing aids. Being an online company, our overheads are significantly lower than those on the high street, so we can afford to pass those savings on to you. Simple.

 

  • A fast and efficient delivery service – if you live in the UK and order online or via our dedicated phone service today, your purchase could arrive as early as tomorrow.

 

  • Free advice from a qualified hearing aid audiologist is available when purchasing one of our hearing aids. They are there to answer any questions relating to your specific hearing needs including performance or fitting issues.

 

  • Pre-programmed hearing aids are initially set up assuming a high-frequency requirement most commonly attributed to age-related hearing loss. We can, however, personalize the device to reflect your specific hearing requirements if you send us your most recent audiogram to our email address audiology@hearingdirect.com.HD 430 Digital hearing aid.

 

  • We offer a 30-day money back guarantee so if you’re not satisfied with your purchase, return it within 30 days and you can receive a full refund.

(sourced from the hearing direct.com website)

You can check out my full review on Hearing Direct.com here.

Final summary.

The HD 430 RIC is a top quality receiver-in-canal hearing aid bursting with the latest technological advancements. It’s small, sleek, design means you can wear it with confidence and enjoy listening to the world around you. Given the impressive specification of this hearing aid, it really does represent outstanding value for money.

 

For UK customers get the HD 430 HERE.

             For USA customers get the HD 430 HERE.

 

1 customer review.

 

Excellent clarity

Review by Edward J Harborne (Posted on 22/12/2016)

I live in France and purchased from Hearing Direct the HD 430 RIC hearing aid.
I have had cheap ones in the past which have not had good sound and also some years ago a very expensive in-ear unit costing £2500 and after 3 years broke down and they wanted Euro 1000 to repair it.
The new unit has excellent clarity and background noise suppression. I had a minor problem with feedback but Joan at Hearing direct could not have been more helpful in resolving the problem. This at a fraction of the cost of a unit bought from a hearing
aid specialist shop.

STAR RATING *****