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 sensible option for a budget-conscious person. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.

Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great value from whether you’re purchasing a very low-quality device can be tricky. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more true.

With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” is especially relevant. This doesn’t always imply going for the top-tier option, but instead, scrutinizing products that boast a price tag too enticing to be genuine. Customers need to recognize that essential 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 usually 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 like the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house shoes moving across the floor.

If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of using a hearing aid.

On the other hand, a high-quality, contemporary hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It skillfully manages sound, enhancing the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Authentic hearing aids simulate natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your specific hearing needs.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

There are strict rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as written by the Food and Drug Administration.

Regrettably, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.

The majority of reputable providers follow the rules. But there are some vendors, especially online, that may be misinformed about what defines the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and as a result, they put out misleading claims about their products. Some even incorrectly advertise that they are approved by the FDA.

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

The slow loss of hearing usually involves trouble hearing certain frequencies rather than an abrupt total loss. For instance, you may have no problems hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to comprehend.

You get overall amplification with cheap hearing aids. But just turning up the overall volume will not be sufficient for individuals who have a hard time hearing particular frequencies. And turning the overall volume up could result in additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t have trouble 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 can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more tailored and reliable hearing experience.

You may get a lot of feedback

You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll create a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. This will generate a deafening screech.

They normally won’t help you on your cellphone

Functionality is often sacrificed when choosing budget options, and this holds true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes crucial when considering phone connectivity. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone leads to capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair brushing against the phone, making it even more challenging to hear the person on the other end.

In comparison, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, creating a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.

They aren’t designed for individuals with hearing loss

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

Cheap devices may help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But they won’t be of much use for individuals who actually need hearing aids.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

Obtaining affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. They may even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level 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.