Which hearing aid is best for you?
Once you have a hearing test done and decide to purchase a hearing aid, the big question pops up; which hearing aid should I buy? There are so many options with different models and manufacturers offering varying features to meet your needs. So what can you do to make that decision easier? Well, this guide will help you reflect on what you need in a hearing aid and it also offers information about some devices on the market.
Audiologist and hearing aids
There are hundreds of devices on the market and researching each one can be time consuming and hectic. It might be a good idea to speak to your audiologist as they might be able to help you choose a good device. On a daily basis, audiologists deal with many people with hearing loss and they have a lot of experience in choosing the best hearing aids for people. They also know which ones might not be that great. So, after you get your test done, speaking to your audiologist would bring down the number of options available, making it easier to make a decision.
The first thing you need to do once you have decided to buy a hearing aids is to ask yourself some questions about your lifestyle, needs and budget:
- What kind of lifestyle do you have? – if you are a really social person who attends many parties and goes to restaurants often then you would need a premium technology device compared to someone who leads a quiet life.
- Level of hearing loss – the level of your hearing loss will help determine which devices you can and can’t have. Some devices are only for people with moderate loss whereas others are for more severe types of hearing loss. Therefore, it is important to understand your level of loss. The audiologist will explain your level of hearing loss to you after the hearing test.
- Needs – what kind of device are you looking for? ITE (In-the-ear), BTE (Behind-the-ear) or RIC (Receiver-in-canal). Digital or analog? Some people want a device that is invisible and hidden in their ear canal whereas others don’t mind a small BTE that shows a little bit. Ask the audiologist to try on hearing aids to see how the different types of hearing aids look and feel.
- Budget – How much money can you spend on your new sound instruments? Everyone has a budget and one's budget helps decide which device might be for you. There are devices to match every budget but you need to be realistic when setting a budget. Remember, you get what you pay for. A good quality digital hearing aid will cost more than a device that may not amplifier sounds well or reduce background noise.
- Other factors – Do you have other ear related medical issues? Tinnitus is such an example. People with tinnitus can buy hearing aids with technology that not only helps with the hearing loss but can help with the symptoms of tinnitus.
Hearing aids on the market
With technological advancements taking place every year, the hearing aid market is competitive and full of options. From rechargeable hearing aids to waterproof devices, the possibilities are endless. Here are some of the devices:
A top of the range BTE (Behind-the-ear) device which is water and dust resistant so you’re not missing out on the important sounds if you get a bit of water on them. They adapt automatically to the environment you are in to ensure you have the highest level listening experience. Suitable for people with mild to profound loss and available in several different colours. There is also the option to go for 30, 50, 70 or 90 the higher the power, the more features the device has. So, if you love going out and often find yourself in noisy environments, then this device could be for you.
A product that is discreet but a high performer. It is a CIC (Completely-in-canal) device that is completely discreet, giving the wearer the comfort they want. The microphone focuses on the speaker and cancels background noise, which enhances the hearing experience. This is a custom device thus the audiologist would need to take measurements before the fitting.
Linx2 hearing aids are available in different styles; BTE, ITE and RIC. They provide the wearer with 30% better speech clarity and premium noise cancelation. This advanced technology means they can connect with iPhone, iPad etc. so your music and phone calls can be directly streamed into your ear via the device. Suitable for different levels of loss. The Linx2 is perfect for everyone.
Starkey Halo 2
A RIC device made for iPhones as it effortlessly connects to your phone and ensures that you are able to listen to music and make calls easily. The device also helps with sound directionality, making it easier to understand what is being said. Tinnitus relief program integrated into the technology so you can deal with two things at once.
As mentioned before, price can be an important factor when choosing a device. The cost of each one varies depending on the features. Every manufacturer has a range of basic to premium devices that serve the needs of different customers. The basic ones have simpler features and might not be suitable for complex environments. The premium ones have additional features such as connectivity with phones, ability to use them via apps and automatic adaptability. However, these features aren’t necessary and whether you want them is dependent on your lifestyle needs.
But it is important to remember that, you should never buy hearing aids online in order to save money. As they can be second-hand devices that haven’t be fine-tuned for you making them useless to you. Always consult an audiologist before purchasing a hearing aid.