Choosing a hearing aid: Top questions to think about before buying hearing aids

Published 11-03-2019
Last Updated04-12-2019

Choosing a hearing aid isn’t easy, particularly if you’re new to hearing aids. They come in all sizes, colors and technology levels. 

The first factor to dictate which hearing aid to get is your unique hearing loss, which could be anything from very mild to severe. So what comes next?  What do you want your personal hearing aids to be able to do – and what should it look like?

What should my hearing aid look like? 

According to the World Health Organization , 466 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss. While some prefer to show off their new hearing devices, others prefer that it doesn’t attract too much attention. That all depends on who you are! With hearing aids, it’s like any other piece you wear on your body, and you can choose your style, color and size (depending on your specific hearing loss). So think about what you would like your hearing aid to say about you, or if you don’t want it to say anything at all.  

How important is ease of listening in more complex sound environments? 

While its common to consider your unique lifestyle habits- are you more socially active or do you live a quieter lifestyle? -you also want to consider your overall desire for easier hearing. If you are more socially active, you are more likely to be exposed to a lot of situations with more background noise. This is often the situation that people have the most problems in following conversation. Look for a hearing aid technology that offers more features to enhance speech when in background noise. Typically, the more advanced the technology level, the more features to support you with easier hearing in background noise. For some people, even if they do not find themselves in these situations frequently, being able to hear easily no matter where are is the number one priority.

Do I want to stream music or TV directly to my hearing aid?

If you’re an avid smartphone user, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Bluetooth hearing aids that are made for connectivity. Many hearing aids today offer Bluetooth 2.4GHz connectivity (Made for iPhone) that will connect your iOS devices (Apple products) directly to your hearing aids. A solution for streaming directly from Android phones is also in the making, until then, you can easily use an assistive listening device to stream from your Android phone for both audio and music. If your phone offers 2.4GHz connectivity (Apple products and most Androids) you’ll be able to control your sound and streaming audio through your smartphone.

Do I want to use my smartphone to manage my hearing aids?

Hearing aids today can do so much more than simply amplify sound. In fact, you can get apps for your smartphone that will help you personalize your listening experience through Artificial Intelligence. These kinds of features are usually managed through your smartphone. So if you have one, and you like using it, this could be a great way to get even more features available to you on top of the automatic sound features, which vary from hearing aid to hearing aid. 

Do I find it hard to hear soft sounds? 

Loud sounds are not usually hard for any of us to hear, the softer sounds like birds chirping, the rustling of a newspaper, a soft voice of a small child, loved one or even a conversation or lecture from a distance, reduces in volume when you have hearing loss. They can even disappear completely! If you miss them, there’s no doubt you should find a hearing aid with emphasis for those soft and essential sounds in our environment. 

What is my work environment like?

There’s a big difference between working at a construction site or in a theater or an office. That said, your office could be a noisy one! Think about how your work situation is: do you need a hearing aid that reduces unwanted background noise substantially? Do you need one that captures soft sounds, or has a good handle on acoustics at big venues?

Where do I need to hear my best?

Are you active in attending sporting or theatrical events? Do you attend large lectures, religious services or sail on the sea? Whatever your important listening moments are, make sure your hearing aids are able to capture each of them with the highest capacity. Some hearing aids will offer features that are great for sports; others may be better for music and live performances. And some hearing aids can almost do it all! Just make sure that your new hearing aids can give you the best possible support in your favorite moments. 

How do I get started…?

If you haven’t yet taken a hearing test, we suggest you do. Start by taking a quick and free online test. If you do have reduced hearing, a hearing care professional can help answer your questions and find the best solution for you.  

If you are interested to Try Widex, click here to be routed to a local Hearing Care Professional.