Let us look at brands…
Briefly touching on hearing aid brand (I do not wish to endeavor on any comparison among brands), but I would like to mention that the choice of brand is an important aspect that you need to consider in conjunction with your audiologist. The manufacturer’s time in the market, the extent of their research and development departments, the after sale service that they offer and their repairs & service warranties need to be taken into account when you make your decision! Some brands also have additional functionality that others do not offer that might be useful to you personally.
Let’s look at tech level… (Entry level, mid range & premium products)
Within each brand – you would typically find anything from 3-6 hearing aid models in a range – which constitutes your entry, mid and top range instruments. Just to clarify – the quality of product, in other words robustness, is typically the same across these models. So, the top-range would not necessarily have a longer life span than the entry level models. Then what is different among these hearing aid models?
Noise management & Speech enhancement/preservation
With changes in technology levels come some major differences that often influences the ability of the hearing aids and eventually your satisfaction and benefit. Basic hearing aids typically work well in a quiet home environment and one on one conversation in this quiet environment. They will not function as well in noisy, social environments. More advanced hearing instruments have more features and more ability to preserve speech and control background noise for an enhanced listening experience and improved communication. Top range hearing instruments typically contain the best features available to make listening as natural, comfortable and clear as possible (especially in noisy listening environments). When comparing more basic levels of technology with more advanced levels, it is clear that the technical features in the lower technology levels are limited as opposed to higher technology levels.
Sound quality is an important aspect to consider when comparing instruments with one another. Higher technology instruments generally offer better sound quality, simply because its ability to adjust sound is very frequency specific and correct hearing in the exact right balance enhances your experience.
Why not take part in the next question?
Do the following: Let us use the comparison of an equalizer in a sound system, even if you know absolutely nothing of sound.
Which one of systems on the following images do you think will provide the best sound quality and clarity?
Yes – that is indeed right – the second image contains an equalizer system with many more adjustable bits or bands as opposed to both the previous pictures. This means that the sound could be set much more specific according to a person’s hearing loss, with much better sound quality and clarity. That is why your hearing health care provider should focus on and look into your unique hearing loss and individual need. Spend some time with your Audiologist to really understand what the best solution would be.
How do I know what is right for me?
The recommendation of hearing instrument suited for you is essentially based on four main aspects:
1. AUDIOLOGICAL NEEDS
- The degree and configuration of your hearing loss (What your hearing test result looks like).
- The type of hearing loss (Conductive or sensorineural hearing loss)
2. TECHNOLOGICAL NEEDS
- Bluetooth and connectivity needs (Do you need to pair your hearing aids with your smartphone)
3. LIFESTYLE NEEDS
- Listening needs
- Budget needs
4. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS
- Anatomical needs
- Handling & Dexterity needs
Yolandé’s pro-tip: Being informed is being empowered.
Contact us today if you need help in choosing the correct instrument for you!!
Wierdapark – Centurion: 012 653 3830 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Saxby Medicross Centurion: 087 944 1803 – email@example.com
Benoni – Northmead: 011 425 0171 – firstname.lastname@example.org