Originally published by Forbes here.
You can buy practically everything online these days, so why schlep to a brick-and-mortar storefront to buy hearing aids? Buying hearing aids online has never been easier and is often cheaper for the customer. Sara Zeff Geber, a contributor for Forbes.com, wrote about her positive experience purchasing hearing aids online from Audicus. We’ll show you the benefits and ease of shopping for hearing aids online with Audicus!
Benefits to Buying Hearing Aids Online
1. Better Pricing
One of the greatest pros to buying hearing aids from online sellers is that you can often find them much cheaper than at an audiologist’s office. Online-only hearing aids are able to offer devices at a much lower cost because they don’t have to maintain a storefront. They’re able to buy directly from the manufacturer and then sell to you.
Traditionally sold hearing aids cost $2,300 per ear on average. You can find many affordable options online, but you’ll want to research to ensure that you don’t lose on function with a cheaper option. Finding a reasonably priced hearing aid that isn’t too low-tech can be important for those who want the best hearing outcomes.
2. Better Sound Quality
For many hearing-impaired individuals looking to maximize their benefit from hearing aids, it’s best to avoid hearing amplifiers or lower-quality models. Amplifiers, low-tech hearing aids, and poorly engineered hearing devices are unlikely to meet the needs of those who want the best sound clarity regardless of the noise environment.
Advanced hearing aids are customizable and therefore, uniquely fitted to you. These hearing aids are programmable and should be calibrated to the results of your hearing test.
Audicus offers the award-winning Clara hearing aid for 70% less by cutting middlemen markups and office overhead. By selling online, you pay thousands below the average for a device that’s top of the market.
3. Better Customer Service
Hearing aids can be finicky devices and getting support traditionally requires multiple appointments and commutes. Reputable companies like Audicus are able to provide excellent and dedicated customer care, even after you’ve purchased your hearing aids.
Geber noted in her article that she “liked Audicus’s customer service and responsiveness immediately”—online hearing aid companies are extra-dedicated to customer service because we have the bandwidth to provide it. Our number one focus is the customer, compared to an audiologist or brick-and-mortar store that needs to focus on other patients.
4. Ease and accessibility
Despite the fact that 50 million in the US suffer from hearing loss, only 20% get the treatment they need. It can be time-consuming to go to and pay someone locally to take a hearing test and the closest doctor may not be so close, especially in rural areas. Unfortunately, lack of access can be a limiting factor for those who don’t have the resources readily available to pursue the best hearing care.
Audicus opened up access to hearing healthcare with the Online Hearing Test. The free test allows users to test from home and provides results so accurate, they can be used to program custom hearing aids to the results. Taking a hearing test online is a way for people to treat their hearing, regardless of where they live.
Buying Hearing Aids Online: How It Works
With Audicus, you start by taking the online hearing test. This is an expert-designed test that will accurately tell you what type and stage of hearing loss you have, and which products would be best to treat your hearing loss.
Geber writes that she took the Audicus test after taking a hearing test at Costco and her results were “virtually identical.” You can also send a copy of a current test if you have one on hand.
Once you’ve sent your test results, Audicus offers free consultations over the phone to go over the results, and what solution will fit your unique hearing. The in-house audiology team custom-programs each device specifically to the results of your test. Your hearing aids are programmed just for you—just like an audiologist would, but without the exorbitant cost or office visit.
The Different Options for Buying Hearing Aids Online
Of course, Audicus is not the only direct-to-consumer hearing aid distributor out there. Eargo is a popular brand of hearing aids designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Eargo has several different device options and ships directly to you. However, Eargo does not have a hearing test and the hearing aids are not programmed individually for each customer. Learn more about hearing aids vs amplifiers here.
Lively is another brand for online hearing aids. This company does have its own online hearing test, but their devices cost well over $2,000 and their app only works with the iPhone.
Audicus encourages you to find the best fit for you, whether that’s local, with us, or with someone else. Always research your options carefully and make sure you’re getting high-quality hearing aids programmed to your test. Reading 3rd party verified reviews is a great way to ensure you’re getting the best hearing solution when shopping online.
Frequently Asked Questions about Online Hearing Aids
Is buying hearing aids online the cheapest option?
In many cases, when you buy online you’ll pay less for hearing aids than if you were to buy in a brick-and-mortar store. Online hearing aids tend to be cheaper than hearing aids sold in stores because retailers are able to cut out the middle man by manufacturing the hearing aid themselves.
Can I buy Bluetooth hearing aids online?
Yes. You can purchase a variety of hearing aid types online, which includes Bluetooth hearing aids. At Audicus, we offer a selection of products for you to choose from, depending on your unique hearing needs.
Can I purchase programmable hearing aids online?
Yes! Programmable hearing aids are generally recommended. This is because every ear is different and when you program your hearing aids, you’re able to calibrate to your unique hearing profile. This allows you to receive sound in a way that’s tailored to your specific hearing acuity
What are the pros and cons of buying online?
The main benefits of buying online are price, ease, and accessibility. Disadvantages vary based on brand. Some brands sell amplifiers, which are not as advanced as hearing aids. If you do buy online, you’ll want to ensure you understand the difference between hearing aids and amplifiers so that the product you purchase matches your expectations.