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Affordable Hearing Aids UK - Do I really need the top hearing aids? What are the best low cost hearing aids?

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 12th December 2023
Affordable Hearing Aids UK

Affordable Hearing Aids in the UK

Do cheap and affordable hearing aids that really work exist?

 

Discover great affordable hearing aids without compromising

Hearing loss is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on one's quality of life, making communication and social interaction challenging. Hearing aids are a common solution to this problem, but they can also be expensive.

Fortunately, there are affordable hearing aids available that can help people with hearing loss without breaking the bank.  In this article, we will discuss affordable hearing aids and how they can help people with hearing loss.

 

Cheap hearing aids vs expensive hearing aids 

You might be asking yourself whether you need the top hearing aids and looking for 'cheap' hearing aids or an affordable hearing aid center near you.  Once you’ve embarked on finding the right hearing aids for you – it can suddenly start to feel like navigating a maze of industry options. 

Brands, shapes, models, styles, price – it is quite a challenge especially when you are researching for the first time or you are a new wearer. 

 

Cheap hearing aids, affordable hearing aids - What's the difference?

Are cheap hearing aids good?  We know that everyone's perception and idea of 'cheap' and 'affordable' is different, so it is important to understand that we are generalising here.  When people refer to cheap hearing aids, this would mainly be the OTC hearing aids you've probably already seen online.  These aren't hearing aids, but sound amplifiers. 

We talk about Over the Counter hearing aids in this article here, which you might find useful and will educate you on the difference between this product and digital hearing aids.

Affordable hearing aids are usually labelled as 'essential' hearing aids in the audiology industry.  However, this article's purpose is to help you understand hearing aid prices, what you are paying for, and whether you need the top model and performance.  We hope it goes in some way to make the hearing aid research less stressful and complex.

 

Are affordable hearing aids an industry trade-off?

Over the years digital hearing aids have got better – more innovative, more advanced.  In the past, there were limited choices, which made decisions easier, but in reality, the devices didn’t work very well.  Now there has been a trade-off. 

Easier decision-making that offers poor results is replaced with more choice, but great technology that provides hearing solutions that work.  That ultimately brings its own complexities, as you try to make sense of the industry and what's on offer as a consumer.

However, even though researching the hearing solutions available on the market today can be intimidating, it really doesn't have to be.  You can now access great information online that can give you a better education on hearing loss and hearing aid solutions. 

Your hearing care professional can support you, along with your family, helping you overcome the challenges and get your hearing back on track.

 

cheap hearing aids UK

Balance your priorities and find a good local audiologist

The most important first step is finding the right local audiologist who will support you in your decision-making, test your hearing, and provide the best hearing aid aftercare for you and your hearing loss.  Aftercare that is just as unique as you.

Your audiologist will recommend hearing device options that take many factors into consideration.  These are level of hearing loss, lifestyle, connectivity needs, dexterity, personal hearing goals, and so on.  But, let’s not forget the budget.  Price is a huge factor in people deciding to get tested or not.  I am generalising here, but from experience, a lot of people feel like they will be sold more than they need.

I can’t speak for the rest of the industry, where perhaps targets and brand affiliation-based selections are often dominant – but I  feel that balance is key in hearing healthcare. You should leave your audiology appointment with the confidence that you have been advised on a hearing solution that doesn’t provide more or less than what you honestly need. 

That being said, the device you choose should also reflect what you truly want out of your digital hearing aids. 

 

Best affordable hearing aids UK

Affordable Hearing Aids with Bluetooth

What to look for in your affordable hearing aids

 

Hearing amplification

Amplification in digital hearing aids is not all at the same level.  In short, the cheaper the hearing aid the less amplification you will receive.  You may not need the premium product in the industry, but what is important is the personalised amplification and, therefore, programmability.

 

Hearing aid types

You might already know that hearing aids are available in various sizes and styles.  From Behind the Ear (BTE) right through to Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aids.  In this case, you will benefit greatly from balancing price, appearance, functionality and how easy it is to use when choosing a type of hearing aid.

 

Directional microphones

You’ve probably made the decision to purchase a hearing aid because you predominantly want to hear and understand speech.  With this in mind, you might want to look at hearing aids incorporating directional microphones.   

This will help assist clearer listening in noisy environments like office spaces and restaurants.  Also allowing you to focus on the person sitting in front of you and hold and understand the conversation.

 

Background noise

Background noise reduction and feedback cancellation are pretty standard in today’s hearing aids, but make sure you get clarification on this when you consider a device.  This advanced technology quickly identifies background noise and lowers the volume, so it doesn't mask the sounds you want to focus on.

 

Bluetooth connectivity

We are becoming a world that is connected constantly - to friends, family, and the world.  If streaming calls, music, premium sound, hearing aid control, and connecting to those at-home devices is important to you - you might want to invest in hearing aids that are compatible with your smartphone and offer direct streaming capabilities. 

 

Long term hearing benefits

With your hearing needs at the forefront, the solutions that are recommended don’t have to be the top performance with the finest features available - but a device that will deliver you hearing benefits long term. 

What is exciting is that the industry recognises that price is a key player in consumers finding professional help or not and is dedicated to making hearing aids more accessible.  Take Signia’s Active ready-to-wear hearing aid solutions into account - giving you the flexibility to pop in and out your hearing aids as and when you need them.  Giving you the hearing ‘edge’ in those tricky hearing environments.

  

Affordable Hearing Aids UK

The Best Affordable Hearing Aids of 2024

 Looking at two industry examples

 

Best affordable hearing aids for all listening environments - Oticon Zircon 1 hearing aids

We think that the Zircon 1 hearing aids are the best devices that work well in various hearing environments for the money.  With this launch, Oticon improved upon its older 'essential' ranges - the Ruby and with the added In-Ear products of the Siya range - there is now a style to suit everybody.. 

It offers four Behind-the-Ear hearing aids, including two disposable and two rechargeable options.  All raising the standards of the essential hearing aid category in the industry once again.

Oticon Zircon hearing aids provide great sound quality that's historically not been seen in essential hearing aids of the past.  Along with Oticon's Siya In-the-Ear styles - there is a wide product range that is both reliable and affordable.

The Zirocn range includes great sound quality, rechargeability, and Bluetooth connectivity in one simple, easy, and complete solution.  It also includes an uber-fast charging facility - giving you six hours of power in a 30-minute charge or a full day's worth of power in three.  

Its wireless capability provides crystal clear and high-quality sound streaming and simple connectivity to your favourite devices.  You can even pair with numerous TV adapters in a single household and, by using the Oticon ON app, you can choose which TV to stream from.

 

Why do we think Oticon Zircon 1 is one of the best hearing aids at an affordable price?

  • They address a wide range of hearing losses.
  • Made by the manufacturer that is currently only creating hearing aids that include IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
  • Along with the Oticon Siya - both these essential hearing aid ranges offer a full model portfolio.
  • Rechargeable battery versions available.
  • Notably a good hearing solution in many challenging listening situations.

 Oticon Ruby

Best affordable hearing aids for seniors - Resound Key 4 hearing aids 

We think that the Key 4 hearing aids are the best affordable hearing aids for seniors.  Resound Key hearing aids are Resound's latest essential range. Designed to work easily, comfortably and reliably with your own unique ears for a better hearing experience. You can benefit from accessing device guidance that will assist you and evolve with your daily listening experiences.

You can also personalise your listening experience and access audiology guidance remotely. This means that you can request hearing care from your audiologist wherever you are.

 

Why do we think Resound Key 4 is one of the best hearing aids at an affordable price?

  • They are available in ten different hearing aid styles.
  • They cater to various hearing loss levels.
  • There are rechargeable options available (only available in Key 4)
  • You can tap into direct Bluetooth streaming (not available in Key 2).
  • They are compatible with Resound apps and wireless accessories (all performance levels).
  • Plus they use the same powerful C5 processing chip seen in LiNX Quattro but in this lower-end hearing device.
  • Arguably the best affordable hearing aids for the elderly.

 Resound Key

Best affordable hearing aids for tinnitus - Resound Key 4 hearing aids 

We believe that Resound Key 4 hearing aids are the best affordable hearing aids for tinnitus.  We've chosen this hearing aid again, as Resound Key is not just a great affordable hearing aid - it also includes Resound Relief app, which offers tinnitus relief to wearers. 

It gives you the freedom to choose between a combination of sound therapy, relaxation techniques and exercises, meditation, and guidance while you stream audio directly to your devices.

Resound has also made bespoke soundscapes possible with the choice of library sounds and balancing the sound between both ears.  This can be an effective way to relieve tinnitus and symptom management over time.

 

A Soothing Experience

Because your tinnitus is as unique as you, there are five layers of sounds that you can pick to create a bespoke soundscape to relieve your symptoms.  Great and effective tinnitus management is more than just sound therapy.  You need to be proactive with engaging activities and follow the guidance within the app. 

Resound Relief will do just that - educate, assist, and help you understand your tinnitus better.

 Resound Relief App

In conclusion

It is essential to remember that hearing aids are an investment in your health and well-being. While the initial cost may seem high, the benefits of better hearing can be life-changing. Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. 

Affordable hearing aids are available for individuals with hearing loss who are on a tight budget. These devices may be less expensive than traditional hearing aids, but they can still provide high-quality sound amplification. It is essential to work with a qualified audiologist to determine the most appropriate device for your specific type and degree of hearing loss.

With the right hearing aids, individuals with hearing loss can improve their communication, social interactions, and overall quality of life.

 

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Affordable Hearing Aids Near Me

Looking for hearing aids at an affordable price and need more support locally?

 Wondering how to get affordable hearing aids?

If you are looking for hearing aids at affordable prices or you would like to know more about the hearing aids I have mentioned in this article or would like to book an appointment with one of our audiologists - call us free on 0800 567 7621

Wherever you live, we have between 2-3 audiologists local to you who can support, advise and look after your hearing healthcare in the future. 

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This article was written by audiology expert Paul Harrison

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Common FAQs when researching hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.

 

Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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