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 a new wearer.
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 offered poor results is replaced with more choice, but great technology that actually 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.
It does all start with finding the right local audiologist that will support you in your decision-making, test your hearing and provide the best 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 being level of hearing loss, lifestyle, connectivity needs, dexterity, personal hearing goals and so on. But, let’s not forget 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.
Hearing Amplification: Amplification in digital hearing aids is not all 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 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.
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.
But, I’m going to focus on the Resound Key hearing aid range in this article. Their answer to the industry’s ‘essential’ hearing device or more of a ‘budget’ hearing aid. Before I start, I understand that everyone’s idea of expensive or budget is very different – but Resound Key is a great example of a hearing range that isn’t at the top end of the scale and is packed with great hearing technology.
What I liked about this hearing aid launch was that its main focus was the cost barrier that prevents so many people with hearing loss from getting the healthcare they need. An affordable hearing aid range catering for a variation of hearing loss levels, with Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeability and impressive audiology technology.
2021 brought Resound Key - Resound's brand new essential hearing aid range. Created to be user-friendly and sit comfortably and reliably within your ears. Thus giving you a better hearing experience and more success in achieving a great first-time fit. You can access hearing aid guidance that will support you and grow with your daily listening experiences. lifestyle and common environments. As well as gain from automatic adjustments as your soundscape changes around you and be better educated about your hearing aids at the same time.
You can also personalise your listening experience and how you actually want to hear with Resound Key hearing aids and even receive audiology guidance remotely. This means that you can request hearing care from your audiologist wherever you are at your convenience.
I thought it might be beneficial to list a few more hearing aid devices that I consider to be affordable hearing aids and good value for money. Below is another great product highlight from Oticon and, in addition, the best current hearing aids available for under 1.2K (for a pair). Click on the links to the product pages so you can access more information.
In brief, Oticon extended its 'essential' range with the launch of Ruby. A Behind-the-Ear hearing aid that started the path to raise the standard of the essential hearing aid category in the industry. Oticon Ruby provides, along with Resound Key, great sound quality that's historically not seen in essential hearing aids of the past. Together with Oticon's Siya In-the-Ear styles - there is now a wide product range that is both reliable and affordable.
If 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.
Read Next: Digital Hearing Aids - What are they?
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.