Like any other market, shopping around for the right hearing aid is necessary for purchasers. The major stumbling block most run into is why do they cost so much? Is it all right to settle for a lower price, or does that force lower quality? Here’s a breakdown of what goes into the price of your hearing aid.
How Much do Hearing Aids Cost?
Since hearing aids are essentially small speakers why do they cost so much? The average set of hearing aids runs $3,000 to $7,000, not a small price tag for such a small unit. What’s even worse news is that over the past decade, these costs have doubled. While the technologies of the hearing aids (i.e. Bluetooth, better connections, more settings) have improved, that does not diminish the significant cost. What goes into these costs?
A Hearing Aid is Born
There are several steps that go into creating a hearing aid. To begin, a client must go to an audiologist and receive a prescription of sorts, or at least determine what level of amplification is needed. From there, an imprint is created, ideally forming a perfect mold of the inner ear. Gel is poured into the mold to form the actual hearing aid casing, which is then combined with the circuit board and additional electronic portions. The hearing aid can then be inserted into the casing and forwarded along to testing. Quality control is of course very important to ensure the hearing aid properly operates as well as fits in the ear snugly. The cost of the individual parts relies on its durability and functionality; however the hidden costs enter through the middleman. When retailers buy the hearing aids, they have the ability to increase price and pass that along to the consumer. Many boast that their long-term customer service is what makes their cost worthy, but this is worth questioning.
AARP helpfully specified the cost for the average consumer, basing their breakdown on a $4,400 pair of hearing aids.
- The manufacturer provides research into the best technology (totaling $1,320) as well as the costs of the materials ($400).
- The retailer must rent a building ($473), pay salaries ($660), market the hearing aid ($300), train the employees ($220), test the products further ($352), and insure their business ($132), all while trying to maintain a profit ($473).
Clearly, the hefty costs come through the retailer.
Audicus’s hearing aids are around 75% more affordable than the average set bought through a retailer. Without a brick and mortar store or overpriced audiologist to line the pockets of, the price is able to decrease to a rate more comfortable for most consumers. Without falling into the trap of “too good to be true,” Audicus hearing aids maintain the quality of product sought by purchasers and offer on demand support as well as quick turnaround of processing.
Next time you question the price of your hearing aid, question the source instead of the product!
By: Diana Michel
Sources: AARP, How Products are Made