The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

There are a couple different ways to interpret the term “cheap hearing aids”. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a smart option for a budget-conscious person. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.

Regrettably, distinguishing between a thrifty purchase and an item of minimal value is frequently tricky. With regard to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.

With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” is particularly true. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not automatically going for the most expensive option. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices frequently leave out essential details about their products that consumers should be aware of.

They usually just amplify sound

Cheap “hearing aids” typically provide minimal functionality, primarily amplifying or reducing overall volume. If you boost the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also get background noises including the dishwasher, a fan in a different room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house slippers going across the floor.

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

A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does a lot more than just turn up the volume. It minimizes background noise while skillfully managing sound and enhancing clarity. Real hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom programmed to your particular hearing needs.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for those who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be called hearing aids.

Sadly, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.

There are many legit and reputable providers that comply with correct marketing. But you may 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. You may even find some that claim that they’re FDA-approved when that’s actually false.

They’re not inclusive for the majority of types of hearing loss

The progressive loss of hearing usually involves difficulty with certain frequencies instead of a sudden total loss. For instance, you may have no problems hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to understand.

A cheap hearing device typically results in overall volume amplification. But just cranking up the total volume will not be adequate for individuals who have a difficult time hearing specific frequencies. Furthermore, turning the volume up considerably to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor may lead to your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, potentially contributing to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for extended periods.

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

You may get a lot of feedback

Cheap hearing aids are generally not custom fit to your ears. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. This will result in a deafening screech.

They normally don’t have cellphone support

When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. When thinking about phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a major obstacle. With cheaper hearing devices, when you try to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your lips or ears brushing against the phone, or clothing and hair.

On the other hand, digital hearing aids use telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter speaks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.

They aren’t designed for people with hearing loss

Most people would most likely be surprised by this. These amplifiers were never meant to treat hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for people who have relatively good hearing.

Cheap devices might help a little if you only have minor hearing loss. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that helpful.

Finding quality, affordable hearing aids

Getting affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. They may even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing possibilities. The first step is to get a hearing test if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Call us today for a consultation, we can help decide what’s best for you, depending on your degree and type of hearing loss, and make sure you get a pair that won’t break the bank!


The content of this blog is the intellectual property of and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.