Buying a hearing aid can be a confusing experience. Most people talk to their friends for advice, but hearing loss and experiences with hearing aids aren’t really comparable.
Many consumers don’t understand what it takes to be a successful hearing aid user. You can’t kick the tires or compare 0 to 60 mph like you can when purchasing a car. So the consumers compare the only thing that is obvious: the price.
If you had the choice of spending a little money or a lot of money for something whose value you are unsure of, what would you choose? In the absence of value, price becomes the issue.
So how do your purchase choices determine the value of a hearing aid? Here are my thoughts.
Buy Hearing Aids From Where?
Buying hearing aids from anywhere rather than avoiding hearing treatment can be a plus. 25% of people with a hearing loss delay or avoid treatment altogether, so doing anything to improve one’s relationships and communication abilities is admirable.
Which is why some people choose to buy their hearing aids online.
The Benefits Of Buying Hearing Aids From A Website
It has become so easy to shop online. We all do it all the time. We can sit in our pajamas if we want to, pick up our phone, and start comparing prices and reviews. And wow, look at all those features!
And the prices are cheaper because you are eliminating the middle man – those rascally and supposedly unnecessary audiologists.
But the cost seems to be the only benefit, and there is so much more to consider.
The Risks Of Buying Hearing Aids Online
You would think that price conquers all, but that’s simply not true when it comes to hearing aids. Buy cheap, buy twice, as the saying goes.
- Hearing test – A professional hearing test by an audiologist will include a physical exam before any hearing check to make sure the hearing loss isn’t caused by earwax or some other obstacle in the ear canal that needs immediate medical attention.
- Features – Do we really know what features we need, or which ones are important? Every manufacturer uses different descriptive names for their various features such as Warp Compression, Environment Manager, Split Directionality, or Deep Neural Network Processing.
But not all digital hearing aids are alike. Not all digital hearing aids perform equally. How can you compare apples to apples if you don’t know how the hearing aids operate?
- Styles – Some styles of hearing aids look sexier than others but are inappropriate for different types of hearing loss. How do you assess which style will work best for you?
- Volume – There are high risks of over amplification and under amplification.
- With over amplification, you could be making your hearing worse by wearing the aids every day.
- With under amplification, you have wasted your money because you are not getting the full benefit of your financial investment.
- Settings – If you are fitting the aids yourself, you have no idea if the settings are appropriate for your hearing. If you let a person adjust hearing aids until “they sound right,” you are trusting a brain that hasn’t heard properly for years to make a subjective judgment of what is appropriate.
A hearing care professional will take objective measurements with a comprehensive hearing assessment to make sure your hearing gets what it needs.
- Support – Did you know that hearing aids spend all of their time in moist, warm, waxy environments? They are subjected to dust, body oils, hair, getting dropped on the floor, etc., and tend to get clogged with wax or moisture.
If you bought your hearing aids online, who do you turn to for help?
If you purchase your aids from a hearing care professional, all it takes is a quick visit to get your aids up and running again. A hearing care professional helps you get the full value out of your investment.
My Opinion Of Listen Lively
Listen Lively hearing aids started selling in 2019. They are made by a reputable hearing aid company and privately labeled for Listen Lively.
Technology – Do they have the most up-to-date, upgraded circuits? Once again, you don’t know what you are paying for; is it watered-down, older technology compared to the best hearing aids that are available today?
Persuasive sales professionals – Listen Lively is a huge company with a lot of investor money to make it look slick. The online portal and phone assistants are masters at making the purchase process easy.
Customer support – But after you receive your aids “delivered to your doorstep,” the process becomes less adequate when compared to purchasing aids from a hearing care professional.
As an audiologist, I spend hours every day helping people who need someone to listen to their problems, who has expert skill and knowledge, and who knows how to help them succeed.
- An online chat person can’t take objective measurements of the hearing aid performance.
- An online chat person can’t modify the hearing aids to make them more comfortable for you.
- An online chat person won’t sit by your side to make sure you are inserting the hearing aids properly and assess the comfort and fit of the hearing aids.
Our patients value the personal care that we give them.
Watch The “Private Practice Versus Listen Lively” Video Created By Dr. Mangrem
I thought Dr. Mangrem took on a huge project when she decided to have two of her experienced patients do a head-to-head trial of Listen Lively hearing aids vs. traditional hearing aid care.
I thought the project was well thought out. The results were honest and easy to understand. The video which she created about the entire project was well produced.
If you would like to watch a real evaluation of Listen Lively hearing aids and hearing care compared to traditional hearing aids and care, please enjoy the video below.
If You Are Considering Buying Hearing Aids Online
First ask yourself what you want your hearing aids to do for you for the next 3 to 5 years. Do you want hearing aids that you can put in your ear and hope for the best, or do you want hearing aids that are professionally fitted, programmed, and adjusted for your unique hearing loss and lifestyle?
Only audiologists have the training and in-person presence to help you choose and wear the best possible hearing aids for you. Not only that, we’re local and here to bring solutions for all your hearing needs – hearing loss, preventative treatment, earwax removal, regular hearing checks, balance and tinnitus treatment, etc.
So come visit with all your questions about hearing loss and hearing treatments, and get a hearing assessment, so we can record your baseline hearing.
Our team has decades of expertise and experience to draw from. Book your visit today. We look forward to being your hearing support team for years to come.