You may think that all hearing aids are created equally. When it comes to finding low-cost hearing aids, this is often not the case.
Depending on the provider, the cost of hearing aids ranges from $499 and ear to up to $3,500 per ear, sometimes even more!
What are Reasonably-priced Hearing Aids?
If a device fits your needs AND your price range, that is a reasonably-priced pair of hearing aids. Every pair is unique to its wearer so the cost will be as well, but with the number of hearing aid options on the market, everyone can find their perfect pair.
How to Find The Best Hearing Aids for Your Money
If you’re like most shoppers, you want something that can get the job done without breaking the bank. It sounds simple, but for many, it’s easier said than done.
With hearing aid prices all over the place – from high to low – it shouldn’t be surprising to know that not all hearing aids are created equally. Some hearing aids do everything and then some, while others offer marginal value to the user if any at all.
To find an affordable hearing aid that really works, you have to know what you’re looking for. You should also know what to avoid.
6 Things You Get with The Best Low-cost Hearing Aids
Top-notch hearing aids come with unbeatable performance in conjunction with the customer support you may need. They are designed with you in mind, and the best reasonably-priced hearing aids include features that seamlessly improve your life.
1. Customer Support:
At every stage of the hearing aid-buying process, there are many questions to answer. Which pair to buy, how the technology works, how to set them up, and so on. Helpful customer support is available to walk you through these questions and remains available for questions that arise later down the line.
2. Reasonable Price Point:
Hearing aids are available at every price point, but some are not worth your money. An affordable, quality pair generally starts at around $800 or more. Cheaper-quality hearing aids come at a lower cost but are not tailored to your needs, making them less useful. Investing in the right pair will pay off over time.
3. Battery Capacity and Lifespan:
A quality hearing aid battery will last between two days and two weeks depending on wearing time and care. Battery life is extended when you remove the battery while not in use (such as overnight) and if the battery compartment is kept clean and dry.
There are also rechargeable hearing aids that last about a day per charge. This is an upgrade to consider at the point of purchase.
4. Auditory Performance:
Any hearing aids you purchase need to perform for you. That means getting a hearing test, programming your hearing aids to match the results, and benefitting from customized devices.
If you are still having trouble hearing, there may be an issue with the devices themselves or a specific setting. Quality hearing aids can be adjusted, so don’t settle for subpar auditory performance.
5. Top-rated Features:
Hearing aids can be customized in terms of size, color, and ear placement, but there are also newer technological features as well. Bluetooth connectivity is an option so you can link directly to a television or smartphone to cut down on feedback.
Many hearing aids also come with an external remote to simplify the process of adjusting sound volumes or changing hearing settings.
6. Reliable Functionality:
Depending on your price point, there are affordable options for you. Upgrades can always be made if there are features you cannot live without, but even the base models provide quality hearing at a great price.
Popular Places to Buy Reasonably-priced Hearing Aids:
Hearing loss does not need to be a frustration in your everyday life. Affordable, quality hearing aids are available in most price ranges.
According to AARP, prices vary by region. This is partially true since there is often a price adjustment depending on the area you live in.
Unlike brick and mortar stores, e-comm stores aren’t impacted by local cost-of-living. Buying online can be a cheaper option because the region you live in does not affect prices.
Instead, costs are adjusted at a rate stable across the nation. Going the e-commerce route can be especially beneficial if you live in a high cost of living area, like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, to name a few.
Fortunately, for individuals living in lower-cost areas, costs still tend to be competitive with local retailers selling hearing aids in physical stores. This is because e-comm stores are able to cut costs by eliminating the middle man and selling directly to consumers.
If you appreciate the service of your local clinic, an online clinic might be for you. Online clinics operate similarly to your traditional audiologists, except everything is done remotely.
You still take a hearing test and have access to a trained audiologist. You can even schedule telehealth consultations and receive support from real humans who are hearing aid experts.
Since the clinic has fewer overhead costs, they’re able to provide the same value you get in a physical clinic, but at a lower price point. Without needing to charge up to cover things like rent, online clinics have the flexibility to drop costs down without losing margins. In other words, it’s a win-win.
Did you know you can save on hearing aids by buying them from large-scale warehouse markets? Places like Costco and Sam’s Club are popular options for hearing aids.
Warehouse markets are able to provide affordable, quality products to consumers at a lower price point than many competitors. While they’re a solid option for many, it’s important to factor in convenience before committing to this option.
In today’s day and age, more and more people are choosing to do away with local retailers because of the hassle associated with them. It doesn’t hurt to consider your proximity to your local hearing center before deciding where to buy.
Do you want to spend your Saturdays driving to and from Costco for the lifespan of your hearing aids? Trekking around the city for each and every fitting and reprogramming can quickly lose allure, which is why so many are turning to online models for hearing care today.
The Main Advantages of Low-cost Hearing Aids
Reasonably-priced hearing aids are more than just a benefit to your paycheck. They can provide the technology and support you need without having to pay for excess frills and markups you do not want.
Lower costs of hearing aids mean paying less. That means savings for you. Since hearing aids are often not covered by insurance and you may not have the out-of-pocket costs saved up, finding the lowest cost hearing aid that still provides quality hearing is important.
There is a balance when it comes to technology and cost. The absolute lowest costing hearing aids do not come with high-tech advances, but you may be surprised at how little you have to pay to get these improvements.
Consider the value of your dollar and whether or not it is worth it to you to increase up-front costs for the benefit of customized hearing aids.
Control and Flexibility:
The online model of purchasing hearing aids can sound scary to some, but it is actually a hassle-free way to get what you need. When going online, you can compare prices and features, decide what is best for you, and click to purchase all without the pressure of a third party’s influence.
Remote customer services are available during more extended hours than an in-person option. The best part is that no appointment is necessary!
Low-cost hearing aids have become readily available through online retailers like Audicus. You no longer have to wait for a doctor’s appointment in order to purchase a pair.
The power is completely in your hands to find an affordable pair in a quicker timeline with the added bonus of greater options for devices and customization.
Hearing Aid Trials:
Any trustworthy company selling hearing aids will also offer a trial to ensure you are purchasing the best pair for you. At Audicus there is a 45-day risk-free trial offered with the support of a hearing aid professional available to answer any questions.
Every company offers different timelines for warranties, and at Audicus, that timeline is 12 months. Any hearing device purchased is covered under a manufacturer warranty, though accessories are not.
The Best Affordable Hearing Aids for Seniors
If you are looking to buy your first pair of hearing aids or are simply looking for an upgrade and want to know your options, start here. Begin with a price point in mind as well as the knowledge of any insurance or payment plan requirements to help narrow your decision. Consider your needs in terms of technology or add-ons.
Basic Hearing Aids for Adults and Geriatric Patients:
Basic hearing aids offer the same functionality as higher-tech hearing aids but have fewer features and add-ons. They get the job done, but with much fewer specs.
Basic hearing aids tend to be a good option for savers who want a no-frill hearing aid option. These should not be confused with amplifiers, as they’re a true hearing aid offering advanced functionality.
For basic hearing aids, consider Audicus’s Dia II for an affordable, quality hearing aid. Other more basic options include the MD Hearing Aid Air which lacks an auto-adjust setting for sounds but does include a year-long supply of batteries.
There is also the Eargo 6 which fits completely in your ear canal and is a great option for first-time hearing aid wearers.
High-tech Inexpensive Hearing Aids for 18+ and Elderly:
The other main option is to go with an affordable advanced hearing aid. These hearing aids are still reasonably-priced but include features and specs for an added layer of convenience. Common features of high-tech hearing aids include Bluetooth and rechargeability.
Most people shopping for low-cost hearing aids with advanced features are looking to get the most bang for their buck. They tend to be value shoppers.
A good place to start is to look for models that offer premium settings like Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone apps. Bose has hearing aids with the option to program the devices through an app, and Lexie hearing aids work the same way.
Audicus’s high-tech version is the Spirit which allows you to make adjustments from a smartphone, connect to Bluetooth devices, and recharge without single-use batteries.
The Most Common Ways to Pay for Hearing Aids When You’re on a Budget
Price and payment are always top concerns, especially with expensive hearing aids. By purchasing more affordable hearing aids online, you are already starting off on the right foot. However, there are additional payment methods that can help out your wallet.
1. Credit Financing Programs
Some great payment options are the Care Credit, Allegro, and Affirm programs. Care Credit acts as an interest-free credit card that allows you to make payments over the course of 12 months.
Allegro is also a credit card that helps finance specifically medical devices. Affirm is a program offered through Audicus where you can space out your payment timeline over 6, 12, or 18 months.
2. Renting Hearing Aids:
If you are interested in a quality pair of hearing aids, paying month-to-month instead of in one lump sum, and receiving upgrades frequently, renting or leasing hearing aids might be right for you.
The only downsides are paying a higher monthly fee and not actually owning a pair, but the benefits are definitely enticing.
3. Paying Out-of-pocket:
If you have the ability to pay for hearing aids out-of-pocket, good for you! With this option, you do not have to worry about remembering payments monthly to a credit card or hearing aid company. You can jump straight to enjoying your hearing aids.
4. Using a Health Savings Account (HSAs):
For those who are still working, contributing to an HSA or FSA is one way to save money for hearing aids. Both types of accounts are pre-tax which is already an incentive.
HSA accounts allow you to save and keep the money for healthcare costs, but you can only use what you have saved. These two different options can both be used to buy hearing aids.
5. Tapping Into Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs):
FSA accounts act as credit cards. Even if you do not have the money needed in the account at the time of purchase, as long as you are on track to save that amount of money by the year’s end, you can buy what you need. Any money left in the account at the end of the year usually goes away, so it’s important to budget.
6. Going Through Health Insurance:
Your insurance can help cover the cost of hearing aids. While most health insurance companies do not fully cover costs, some offer deductibles, incentives through specific companies, or partial reimbursement. Check which options are available to you by calling your insurance provider.
7. Leveraging Membership Models:
Audicus offers a special hearing aid membership plan for those looking for full coverage with a low monthly cost. Memberships start at $79 per month and provide a new pair of hearing aids every 18-months as well as complete insurance coverage and customer support along the way.
The benefit to using a model like membership is the total-value savings when you add all the perks and benefits up.
Are Cheap Hearing Aids Worth Buying?
Whether or not a cheap hearing aid is worth buying depends on your own needs and expectations. Some inexpensive hearing aids are considered cheap simply because they cost less.
Less expensive hearing aids can work well, but some may not have advanced features and technology, like Bluetooth or rechargeability.
What Kind of Low-cost Hearing Aids Work Well
For many, it’s wise to be wary of very low-cost cheap hearing aids. The lowest cost hearing aid options on the market are often made cheaply, do not come with customer support, and cannot be customized. Many are sound amplifiers that will increase the volume of all sounds.
This may not sound like a bad thing, but if you’ve had hearing aids before, you understand that there’s a lot more that goes into them than just loudness. Good hearing aids improve speech clarity, which is essential for understanding voices and participating in conversation.
Understanding the Difference Between an Amplifier and a True Hearing Aid
For this reason, many first-time users who opt for an amplifier over a true hearing aid (often mistakenly in order to save a buck) end up regretting their decision and returning their hearing device.
Despite a slightly higher cost, it is advantageous to upgrade to a well-respected and trusted company that provides the customization and support you need.
How are Companies Able to Offer Reasonably-priced Hearing Aids?
Operating expenses are the primary costs driving up the price of your hearing aids. At brick-and-mortar clinics, the business needs to pay for employee salaries, overhead, renting. All of these costs, plus the expense of the service itself, are baked into the number you see when you get your bill.
With traditional clinics, costs are passed down to the consumer. It sounds sneaky, but it’s really just the way old-school business works.
Online companies, on the other hand, are able to offer more affordable price points for a number of reasons, but the main one is that they have fewer recurring costs to worry about. They’re able to charge you less because they have fewer costs themselves. It sounds simple, but it’s really just smart business.
Frequently Asked Questions about Low-cost Hearing Aids:
What are the best hearing aids for under $100?
Quality hearing aids are rarely available for $100 per pair. In other words, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you have a limited budget, renting or leasing a hearing aid can be a good option. Check with your hearing aid company to see what programs they offer.
How do I get my hearing aids for free?
Some nonprofits and charities provide funding that can make your hearing aid purchase more affordable. Although not free, many companies offer promotions and discounts.
These help those in a position of need which can help reduce the cost of your purchase. Audicus works with Hearing Charities of America to refurbish used hearing aids and distribute them to those in need.
Are over-the-counter hearing aids inexpensive?
Over-the-counter hearing aids costs range from as little as a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. There are plenty of low-cost options out there, so if you feel like you are overpaying, check out other hearing aids on the market.
Do cheap hearing aids really work?
Cheap hearing aids may not work if they are actually hearing amplifiers. Amplifiers only increase the volume of all sounds. For the best results, you’ll want a hearing aid device that is customized to your needs and offers speech clarity, not just increased volume.