Why are hearing aids expensive?

There is no getting away from the fact that for many purchasing hearing aids is seen as a costly exercise. So why are hearing aids expensive? Hearing aids are commonly marketed as a commodity much like TV’s and laptops but the professional skills that are involved in selecting, fitting and rehabilitating a person who needs a hearing aid are commonly overlooked. This way of marketing is carried out for simplicity for the consumer and is based on the assumption that from the outset a hearing aid provider would expect to give the same level of care to each and every one of their customers. Therefore the differentiation in pricing is often based on the level of technology that is chosen between the consumer and hearing aid dispenser. When purchasing a hearing aid privately it is important to remember that the selecting, fitting and some form of rehabilitative care will usually all be included in this price.

I still don’t understand why costs are high please tell me more?

Hearing aid manufacturers spend millions on research and development as they constantly push the boundaries of hearing aid technology. Despite the technology used in hearing aids being as advanced as that used in laptops, TV’s and smartphones the average hearing aid price is generally more expensive. However, unlike laptops, TV’s and smartphones, hearing aids are not a mass market consumer product. In 2013 hearing aids sales worldwide were approximately 10 million units. Compare this to Apple’s iPhone sales that alone were 150 million units. When hearing technology is more readily accepted by the world’s population (much like spectacles) then due to economies of scale we believe pricing will decrease.

What about the cheap hearing devices I see advertised?

There are some really cheap hearing devices advertised but these are often personal sound amplifiers (PSAPs) which are used to encourage people into a store or to sign up to a database before they are recommended a hearing aid more suitable for their hearing range. Many PSAPs cannot be programmed specifically for your hearing range and will not be available in a custom fitted in-the-ear style. Be aware that many cheaper hearing aids that are available with discounts or two for one offers can be older products that have been superseded.

What should I look for when purchasing a hearing aid?

In our opinion the most important aspect of purchasing a hearing aid is to ensure that you will be receiving a first class service with your product.

At Key to Hearing our prices include your hearing aid/s, our professional skills including hearing aid selection, fitting and programming, our comprehensive two-year aftercare package, a two-year supply of batteries and all of this in the comfort of your own home.

All of these elements ensure that we can maximise your hearing potential and get the best from your hearing aids. We believe it is really important to choose a skilled hearing care professional that you’re comfortable with and with whom you can build a rapport.

We’ll finish with this quote from a Which magazine report last year on purchasing hearing aids privately. “The difference between a good and bad hearing aid outcome is not often the aids themselves – it’s more to do with the fit and service given by the provider”. Bear this quote in mind next time you are looking to purchase hearing devices and make sure you understand what is included in the price.