The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

The word “cheap” carries dual meanings. On the one hand, it signifies affordability, a smart choice for a budget-conscious individual. On the other hand, it implies low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the saying “You get what you pay for”.

Regrettably, distinguishing between an economical purchase and an item of negligible value is frequently tricky. This is especially true in terms of hearing aids.

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” range, not necessarily going for the most expensive option. Consumers need to be aware that important information is often left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.

They usually just amplify sound

Cheap “hearing aids” usually provide minimal functionality, primarily amplifying or reducing overall volume. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background sounds you don’t want.

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

Contrastingly, a high-quality, contemporary hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It reduces background noise while expertly managing sound and maximizing clarity. Authentic hearing aids are tuned to your specific hearing requirements, closely mimicking natural hearing with greater accuracy.

PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids

The Food and Drug Administration has drafted guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be labeled hearing aids.

Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are falsely advertised as hearing aids even though they just amplify sound.

There are lots of legitimate and reputable companies 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 classification of a hearing aid. Some even falsely advertise that they are FDA-approved.

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

The gradual loss of hearing often involves trouble hearing specific frequencies instead of a sudden total loss. You may have a difficult time understanding a little kid or a woman, for example, but you have no issue understanding a man with a low voice.

You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. But just cranking up the overall volume will not be adequate for individuals who have a difficult time hearing specific frequencies. Moreover, turning up the volume substantially to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to your adult son’s voice sounding like a roar, possibly adding to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for prolonged periods.

High-quality hearing aids provide a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of specific frequencies. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

You might get a lot of feedback

Cheap hearing aids are typically not custom fit to your ears. A feedback loop is often the result of poorly fitting hearing aids. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it wiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.

They typically won’t help you on your cellphone

Functionality is often sacrificed when choosing budget options, and this is true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth capability. When thinking about phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a huge hurdle. With cheaper hearing devices, when you attempt to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your ears or lips rubbing against the phone, or clothing and hair.

On the other hand, digital hearing aids use telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is sent directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.

They’re not designed for people with hearing loss

This might come as a shock because so many people think otherwise. These amplifiers were never meant to treat hearing loss. They were made to help individuals who have fairly good hearing hear things a bit louder.

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

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

Obtaining affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. If you think you have hearing loss, begin by getting checked out. Schedule 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.