An online hearing aid is a hearing aid that can be bought from a company that only (or mostly) sells its hearing devices online.
In some ways, this is a good thing.
Because only about 50% of people with a hearing loss will seek treatment for it, it’s a way to get more people to wear hearing aids.
You put it in your shopping cart, fill in your credit card info, and a few days later it’s on your doorstep.
Some of the more well-known companies that sell their hearing aids this way are Eargo, Lively, and Audicus.
Their popular marketing message is that you can spend far less on your hearing aids and lose nothing in the process. But do you really lose nothing?
Why Not Buy Hearing Aids Online?
Surely, there’s no downside. Actually, there are quite a few downsides to this.
I’m all for making hearing aids more accessible; it’s just that I can’t see how an online purchase with no hearing care, and after an inadequate online hearing test, can be a good thing.
Why Are Online Hearing Aids So Much Cheaper?
Online hearing aids can be cheaper because the price doesn’t include the expenses of a local hearing clinic to get you the perfect hearing aids for you and provide the long-term care that’s best for your hearing health.
Big Thicket’s local presence means we can see you in person whenever necessary, do your comprehensive hearing evaluation and diagnosis in person, and give you the long-term service and hearing care plan you need to ensure your hearing aids always work well for you.
The price you pay for hearing aids with us is actually for a hearing care bundle — hearing aids PLUS all the ongoing care you require.
Buying Your Hearing Aids Online Is Not a One-Stop Shop
The thing is, buying hearing aids online isn’t like buying some other household product, because the purchase is just the beginning of your hearing journey. You need to also consider what happens after the purchase:
- Unauthorized retailers – Some online retailers have no business selling hearing aids to the public, and they have no real warranties or customer support. Some even take your money and you never get what you ordered.
- Payment – I always try to make hearing health accessible to everyone, and this includes making the experience as inexpensive as possible when cost is a huge concern.
- Trusting the hearing aid will address your hearing issue – the cause of your hearing loss might be due to a physical issue in your ear such as a cyst, earwax, or inflammation. Buying a hearing aid will be a waste of money if you don’t know the cause of your hearing loss.
An online hearing test will never assess your hearing comprehensively whereas an in-person comprehensive hearing assessment will.
I always conduct a thorough visual, hearing, and medical history assessment.
- Hearing aid options – Most online sales sites have an extremely limited selection of one rechargeable choice and one battery-powered choice. It doesn’t take your dexterity or lifestyle needs into account.
- Fitting – Everyone has a unique ear shape, and only with an in-person fitting can you be sure of buying one that fits you and works well with your lifestyle perfectly.
We can fit your hearing aid precisely thanks to our 3D ear scanning technology before we order your hearing aid(s), and we’re the only hearing clinic in East Texas to offer this at no extra cost.
- Real ear measurement – can only be done in person. We measure the sound the hearing aid delivers into your ears. We also test to make sure your hearing aid is filtering out background noise properly.
- Programing – You can damage your hearing more if you set the volume too loud, and you might also miss out on the benefit of some of your aid’s features because you aren’t all that knowledgeable about technology.
- Performance – Some hearing aids offered online come at a cheaper price because they are the older model rather than the latest one, causing you to miss out on recent tech improvements.
- Ongoing hearing care – Nothing beats ongoing, accessible, in-person care from a local business.
- Routine service – We manage your hearing aids for their lifetime.
We check your hearing aids regularly to check for things such as battery drainage or sound distortions.
We also clean them, replace any parts, and make any programing modifications needed.
- Repairs – We can fix most things in your hearing aids, and if there is something only the manufacturer can fix, we’ll try to get your repaired hearing aids back to you as quickly as possible.
So, while the short-term cost for a single product might be 50 to 65% less than purchasing the hearing care bundle through a hearing center, the total long-term costs might eventually amount to more on both your hearing health and your bank account.
We are proud of our Hardin community, and we love supporting you on your hearing journey.
We’re here to answer any questions at all.