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Why are hearing aids so expensive? Looking into the reasons why hearing aids are so expensive

Updated 27/03/2024
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Expensive Hearing Aids UK

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

Why are some hearing aids more expensive than others?

 

But first, why are digital hearing aids so expensive?

When embarking on researching hearing aids, a lot of people often wonder "why are modern hearing aids so expensive?", "Why are Oticon hearing aids so expensive?", "Why are Phonak hearing aids so expensive?" or "Why are private hearing aid so expensive?"

These are, without doubt, a few of the most common questions we get asked by our customers.  As most people with hearing loss need two hearing aids - the price tag eventually becomes a huge factor in people deciding to get help or not.  

Digital hearing aids are an important investment for your health and quality of life.  They are something that you wear practically all day every day, so it's important to remember that you are investing in far more than just the devices themselves. 

UK statistics show that 6.7 million would benefit from hearing aids, however, only 2 million people wear them.  If we take a look at the reasoning - price, appearance and stigma are up there when considering hearing aids.

 

Are expensive hearing aids worth it?

So, why are hearing aids so costly?  When it comes down to cost - there's a lot to consider when researching hearing aids, as well as making sure that the money and time spent are well worth it.  At the end of the day, everyone has their own idea of what 'expensive' looks like. 

Hearing aid prices are dictated by things such as level of amplification needed, hearing aid brand, lifestyle choice, dexterity, technology and Bluetooth connectivity. 

 

How do hearing aid brands select their price tags?

Hearing aid brands set their prices based on various criteria, but to simplify things it is mainly because of the degree of design and research needed.  Over time hearing aids have become more advanced and modernised due to research and technical design. 

How the brain manages sound, how the ear works and how we can support the brain and deliver better sound information are a few key research areas.  Oticon's BrainHearing technology breakthrough is one great example of this.

 

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

 The truth about hearing aid costs

Why are good hearing aids so expensive?

 

Behind the scenes

What makes hearing aids so expensive?  The research and development costs for hearing aids are a lot higher than in many similar sectors. This is because hearing aid chips are not reused technology that is also in other devices.

They are custom-made by the hearing aid manufacturer, specifically for that line of hearing aids. As well as the hardware development costs there is research to refine the hearing aid features which are software-based.

Such development is important, as hearing aid manufacturers need to be on top of their game to remain competitive and offer better solutions to make you hear better.  Hearing aid price is reflective of this so that it covers the cost of research, staff and obviously they also want to make a profit.

 

Value for money 

The good news is that due to advances in technology, you get more for your money now than you would have done a few years ago and most premium hearing devices back then are now considered to be relatively basic. Therefore you may well be able to spend a lot less than you did on your previous pair of hearing aids but still get better performance.

Hearing aid manufacturers know that price often influences choice, and this is the reason why they are dedicated to offering various technical specifications to suit different budgets, price points and therefore accessibility.  Introductory performance levels will include fewer and less advanced features and the premium specifications will have all the top features. It all depends on what you want.

While hearing aids can be pricey, the ongoing support and aftercare you will receive from your local audiologist go in some way to make the amount more reasonable.  The gift of communication, health benefits and quality of life that investing and wearing hearing aids bring - surely outweighs the cost?

 

What is the most expensive hearing aid?

 What is the most expensive hearing aid?

How expensive are hearing aids?

 

To give you a rough idea, the most expensive hearing aid is £1895 (per aid) and the most expensive hearing aids are £3695 (for a pair).  However, this would be even more expensive if you decided to not purchase hearing aids from us, as you may find yourself paying up to 40% more.  Just for comparison's sake, hearing aids generally start from around £445 per aid and £795 a pair.  

 

Are expensive hearing aids better?

In regard to more expensive hearing aids being better, the premium devices provide you with top technology. They include more hearing solution features and better programs to personalise your experience. The more features you want, the more expensive the hearing aids will be. That being said, cheaper hearing aids are still very powerful and effective. You just need to ask yourself what you want from your aids and what your audiologist thinks your hearing loss needs. 

 

Good inexpensive hearing aids

What is the best inexpensive hearing aid?  Hearing aids are costly, but in all honesty, they don't have to be. There are some great hearing aids out there from the top hearing aid manufacturers in the industry that are jam-packed with fantastic technology. Hearing aids that cater to all budgets as well as simply helping you to hear better.

 

Are inexpensive hearing aids any good?

The cost of hearing aids is generally determined by two things, the type of hearing loss and your lifestyle. Generally speaking, there is no need to buy top-end hearing aids if your hearing requirements are quite simple. Cheaper hearing aids have fewer features and less finesse, they are not lower-quality products.

Should I buy an inexpensive hearing aid?

Is buying a cheaper hearing aid the right thing to do for my hearing loss?  Hearing Aid UK is a true advocate of finding the right solution for you and your hearing loss.  This might not be the most expensive hearing aid, but you might want all the bells and whistles and that's down to you and your preferences.  In the end, you shouldn't pay more for what you actually need.

Like most things in life, it all depends on what you actually want from your hearing aids. How important connectivity is, your budget, the overall look of the hearing aid, if dexterity is limited, what feature set you require for your hearing loss, your lifestyle and much more.

 

Hearing aid expenses in the UK

Hearing Aid Expense in the UK

Online Hearing Aids

 

Buying hearing aids online

In this section, when I talk about inexpensive hearing aids, I am referring to the online devices you can buy needing no hearing test and are pre-programmed.  A quick fix, so to speak.  These might do more damage than good, as finding the right hearing solution secures the success of your hearing future.  This should always start with a professional hearing test undertaken by an audiologist. 

A hearing healthcare professional that will advise, support, fit your devices, service them and give you the aftercare service you deserve.

 

Cheap hearing aids

These cheap hearing aids are never going to be as beneficial as the hearing aids you purchase from a professional audiologist.  It is also common that cheap online hearing aids can't successfully individualise conversation from background noise or even modulate the volume.  The danger is that they focus on amplifying all sounds the same - giving you an uncomfortable listening experience. 

 

Hearing aid expense - In conclusion

Hearing aid costs can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of hearing aid, the level of technology, additional features and the hearing aid provider's location. On average, hearing aids can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds per device.

It's important to remember that while hearing aids may have a significant upfront cost, they are long-term investments that can greatly improve one's quality of life. It is advisable to consult with an audiologist or hearing professional to assess your specific hearing needs and budget and find the best solution for you.


Need more support with the expense of hearing aids?

It is important to note that while the initial cost of hearing aids may seem high, they are long-term investments that can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss. 

You might also be wondering why are private hearing aids so expensive.  In truth, they don't have to be - it all depends on what you want.  Call us free on 0800 567 7621 to speak with one of our audiologists today who can answer any queries you might have regarding hearing healthcare.

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This information was written by Paul Harrison - Audiology Expert

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert

Audiology expert at 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 about why hearing aids are so expensive

How do hearing aid manufacturers price their hearing aids?

Hearing aid brands set their prices based on various criteria, but to simplify things it is mainly because of the degree of design and research needed.  The research and development costs for hearing aids are a lot higher than in many similar sectors. This is because hearing aid chips are not reused technology that is also in other devices.

Are expensive hearing aids better?

A premium device provides you with top technology. They include more hearing solution features and better programs to personalise your experience. The more features you want, the more expensive the hearing aids will be. That being said, cheaper hearing aids are still very powerful and effective. You just need to ask yourself what you want from your aids and what your audiologist thinks your hearing loss needs.

What if I don't need all the features of an expensive hearing aid?

The cost of hearing aids is generally determined by two things, the type of hearing loss and your lifestyle. Generally speaking, there is no need to buy top-end hearing aids if your hearing requirements are quite simple. Cheaper hearing aids have fewer features and less finesse, they are not lower-quality products.

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