Posted on: February 16, 2018
Why do hearing aid prices vary? The answer is the technology and features various models come with. Like most electronics such as computers, different models will come with different features. The number and quality of these features will influence the price of the hearing aids. Let’s have a look at some of the most important features when deciding on a hearing aid model.
- Noise Reduction
Most current hearing aids have some degree of noise reduction. This feature operates by reducing the level of background noise, such as that found in a busy restaurant. Not all hearing aids are created equal in this respect. Generally, the higher the technology level of the hearing aids, the more refined the noise reduction.
Hearing aids process incoming sound in channels. Higher levels of technology have a greater number of channels. These channels can be loosely thought of like pixels in a camera: a greater number of pixels in a camera results in clearer images, and a greater number of channels in a hearing aid results in clearer sound.
- Directional Microphone
The microphones of a hearing aid can be in directional mode or surround mode. In surround they pick up sound from all directions, while in directional mode they focus in one direction, usually forward so that you can hear the person speaking in front of you when there is background noise present. In higher technology levels the microphones are adaptive, which means they can change their direction of focus based on where the speaker’s voice is coming from.
- Wireless Communication
This refers to the ability of the hearing aids to be wirelessly linked to other devices such as a smart phone or TV through a Bluetooth or similar adaptor. This feature allows sound to be wirelessly streamed from a phone or other device, allowing for hands free communication, or hearing TV directly through your hearing aids. In general the higher the level of technology, the more wireless accessories there are available.
Hearing aids come with multiple programs that can be set up for various listening situations. The first program always prioritizes speech. Additional programs can be set up for specific situations, such as listening to music or for hearing comfortably in a noisy restaurant. The higher the technology level, the more programs there are available.
- Automatic vs Manual
Most of the features above can be either manual or automatic. Generally, higher end hearing aids are more automatic than entry level hearing aids. In an automatic hearing aid, features such as noise reduction and microphone mode are activated by the hearing aid in response to the environment you are in. You can simply put the hearing aids in and not touch them again until it is time to take them out. In a manual hearing aid you would change the settings by pushing a button on the hearing aids.
As we can see there are a wide variety of features, which leads to a wide variety of prices. When you go for an assessment, make sure to discuss the features that are important to you with your specialist, so that you can work together to find the best technology and price for you. The level of service you get from one place to another varies as well so make sure you ask about service options too.
For more information please feel free to contact Accurate Hearing at:
Lower Sackville: 902-252-3004
Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327