The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

The word “cheap” has dual meanings. For someone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. Conversely, it implies low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.

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

With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” rings especially true. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not necessarily opting for the most expensive choice. Customers need to be aware that essential information is often excluded from the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.

They usually just amplify sound

Cheap “hearing aids” typically offer limited functionality, primarily amplifying or decreasing overall volume. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background noise you don’t want.

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

A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does much more than simply turn the volume up. It skillfully manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while reducing background noise. Genuine hearing aids are tuned to your particular hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with greater accuracy.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

There are stringent 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 market themselves as hearing aids when they’re actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.

There are lots of legit and reputable companies that comply with correct marketing. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into believing that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. Some even incorrectly advertise that they are FDA-approved.

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

The progressive loss of hearing often involves difficulty with certain frequencies instead of a sudden total loss. For example, you might have no problems hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it difficult to understand.

You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. But, if you have trouble with certain frequencies, merely boosting the volume proves inadequate. And turning up the overall volume could lead to added damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be booming in your ears.

High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to increase selected frequencies providing a much better solution. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.

You may get a lot of feedback

Cheap hearing aids are generally not custom fit to your ears. A feedback loop is often the consequence 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 usually don’t have cellphone support

When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they frequently sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth capability. When thinking about phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a huge hurdle. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not only the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair rubbing against the phone, making it even more difficult to hear the person on the other end.

More sophisticated hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.

They’re not made for individuals with hearing loss

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

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

Finding quality, affordable hearing aids

Getting affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. They might even be covered by insurance or other third parties. You can also find financing options, leasing programs, and more affordable brands. If you think you have hearing loss, begin by getting checked out. Make an appointment with us so we can help you get the best and most affordable hearing aids for your degree 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.