The challenge for those finding themselves losing their hearing is understanding which hearing aid is the best fit for their needs and lifestyle and where to buy them from. With hearing aids lasting three to five years and advancements in technology, customers are often looking for ways to access the latest, quality options without breaking the bank. The same brands and models available in clinics can also be purchased online.
There are two main types of hearing aids: ones that sit completely inside the ear and ones that have a component that is behind the ear. When buying online you should only be purchasing behind the ear hearing aids. The most common type is the RIC – receiver in the (ear) canal. This has a small receiver that fits inside of the ear instead of adding bulk to behind the ear.
Having the receiver in the ear it makes it less susceptible to feedback sounds, creating a better overall sound experience for the user. These tiny aids are small, discrete and light plus can pack all the latest technology.
Benefits of buying online
You can purchase your hearing aids directly from your audiology clinic or, after obtaining copy of your hearing test, you can purchase online. The biggest drawback from purchasing aids from a clinic is the expense, clinics usually have a substantial mark up to cover their additional running costs.
Can online retailers really tailor the aids to my hearing loss?
The online retailer should be asking up front for a copy of your latest (less than 12 months old) hearing test. If they do not ask for a hearing test when you order the aids, then your new hearing aid cannot be tailored to your unique hearing needs and are most likely not being programmed by an audiological professional.
There are so many prices, how do I know which retailer is better?
The old adage is true for hearing aids, you get what you pay for. Whilst it is tempting to buy from the cheapest supplier, be wary. Often these can be cheap knock offs, old technology, warehouse clearance or not be sourced direct from the manufacturer because the retailer is not an authorised reseller.
Often, if they are offering discounts substantially lower than other online retailers or promoting pricing gimmicks, like price beat guarantees, it usually means they are cutting costs in other areas, like after sales service or paying a professional to set up your hearing aids.
This is an easy way to tell if you are dealing with a retailer that is an authorised manufacturer reseller. The warranty for your hearing aids should be at least 3 years. The number will be dependent on the manufacturer’s terms for that specific model, but all quality brands offer at least 3 years.
How long should it take for me to get my hearing aids?
This is another great way to tell if your hearing aids are being tailored to your needs. If the shipping promise is less than 3 days, be wary as this is a limited time for a hearing specialist to properly review your hearing test and program your aids properly. The standard is 5-10 days from order to dispatch from reputable sellers.
What if I need help after I buy online?
This is the most common concern for online hearing aid shoppers. You should always select an online retailer that has well supported by a network of clinics so you can have an appointment with an audiologist if you need. Also choose a retailer that offers email, phone and online chat support to customers so you can quickly and easily ask a question or receive guidance when you need it.
What if I change my mind?
Your online retailer should offer a 100% money back guarantee within 60 days.
Buying your hearing aids online should be an easy, stress free experience, resulting in you receiving top quality, tailored devices that you are happy with.
This information has been brought to you by The Hearing Heroes. The Hearing Heroes have been involved in the hearing health sector in Australia and New Zealand for several decades. Read more about us here.