The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

There are a couple separate ways to interpret the term “cheap hearing aids”. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a wise option for a budget-conscious person. Conversely, it conveys low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.

Regrettably, distinguishing between an economical purchase and an item of negligible value is often challenging. This is especially relevant in terms of hearing aids.

With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings particularly valid. This doesn’t necessarily mean opting for the top-tier option, but rather, looking closely at offerings that boast a price tag too appealing to be authentic. Consumers need to be aware that essential information is frequently left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.

They often just amplify sound

Boosting the overall volume is usually the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background sounds you don’t want.

The purpose of having a hearing aid is completely defeated if it also amplifies undesirable sound.

A modern state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does much more than just turn up the volume. It skillfully manages sound, maximizing the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Real hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your specific hearing needs.

PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids

The Food and Drug Administration has drafted guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have stringent rules as to what can be labeled hearing aids.

Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are incorrectly marketed as hearing aids even though they just amplify sound.

Most reputable providers follow the rules. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into believing that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. Some even inaccurately advertise that they are approved by the FDA.

They aren’t inclusive for the majority of kinds of hearing loss

The slow loss of hearing usually involves trouble hearing specific frequencies rather than an abrupt complete loss. You might have a hard time understanding a small child or a woman, for instance, but you have no problem understanding a man with a low voice.

A cheap hearing device typically results in overall volume amplification. But just cranking up the total volume will not be sufficient for people who have a difficult time hearing certain frequencies. And turning up the overall volume could lead to additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be roaring in your ears.

High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to increase particular frequencies offering a much better solution. They can automatically adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more tailored and reliable hearing experience.

You may get a lot of feedback

Cheap hearing aids are usually not custom fit to your ears. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.

They usually don’t have cellphone support

When individuals are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth capability. When thinking about phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a major hurdle. Trying to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair brushing against the phone, making it even more challenging to hear the person on the other end.

More advanced hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.

They were never meant to treat hearing loss

This could come as a shock because so many individuals think otherwise. PSAPs were never designed for people with hearing loss. They were designed to help individuals who have relatively good hearing hear things a bit louder.

Cheap devices might help a little if you only have minor hearing loss. But they won’t be of much use for people who actually need hearing aids.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties might cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing test if you think you may have hearing loss. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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