Choosing a suitable, affordable hearing aid can feel like a challenge, but with the help of a hearing instrument specialist, you can easily find the right device to meet your needs. From narrowing down the styles of hearing aid to the features that will be most beneficial for you, the hearing instrument specialist will be your partner when finding the right affordable device for you.

If you’re unsure where to start on your hearing aid search, consider some of these features, which vary from basic to advance, to talk to your hearing instrument specialist about.

Basic hearing aid technologies

Although hearing aids can come with all kinds of powerful technologies, there are a few technologies which are now viewed as “standard” and come with practically every device on the market. These are entry-level technologies designed to provide a maximum of utility at low cost.

Directional microphones

Although rare in the past, most of today’s basic hearing aids come equipped with directional microphones – a type of microphone that emphasizes sounds emanating from particular directions, usually in front of the user.

Directional microphones are useful for people who need a hearing aid that helps them to focus on a person talking opposite to them in a noisy coffee shop or a speaker on stage. This particular feature is incredibly beneficial because it helps to reduce the amount of extraneous noise your auditory system has to process.

Noise-suppression technology

Noise suppression technology might sound advanced – and five years ago it was – but the industry has moved on a lot, and now even the most basic models usually have this feature. Noise suppression technology can help to reduce the amplification of background noise, allowing wearers to focus on the sounds in their environment that are most useful for them. If you’re somebody who is often in noisy environments where you struggle to focus on a particular sound or person, then choose a hearing aid that comes with this technology.

Some hearing aids also come with a slight variation on this technology, called impulse noise reduction. This kind of noise reduction detects loud, transient noises in the environment and lowers their volume relative to other sounds. Impulse noise reduction is ideal if you spent a lot of time typing on a keyboard or washing dishes in the kitchen.

Advanced features

Advanced technologies are making hearing aids even better for wearers, providing a range of additional functions beyond basic models that aim to improve quality of life. Hearing aids with advanced features may increase the overall cost some, but should still be considered if they will greatly impact your overall listening experience. Consider these popular advanced features when factoring them into your needs vs wants list.

Learning algorithms

With the rise of artificial intelligence, hearing aids are now being imbued with the ability to learn about (and react to) the environment around them. Wearers can now transition from one setting to another without having to fiddle with controls on their device – the onboard software does all the legwork automatically. Hearing aids with this feature are ideal for anybody who needs to move between loud and quiet locations, or from indoors to outdoors, regularly as part of their work.

Better sound processing

Most basic hearing aids come with a couple of adjustable channels, allowing wearers to adjust the amplification of both high and low pitch noises depending on their setting. But being limited to just two channels often produces crude results. More advanced models come with many more channels, allowing wearers to adjust amplification more precisely depending on the frequencies with which they have difficulty. Having the option of changing multiple channels is great for people who spend a lot of time in complex noise environments, such as cinemas, auditoriums or churches.

Data logging

Hearing aids that connect to smartphones offer wearers the ability to quantify their experience and record data which could help them adjust their devices in the future. Data logging usually comes on the most advanced models, but it’s slowly trickling down, providing a new level of customization for people with hearing loss.

Visit a hearing instrument specialist

Visiting a hearing instrument specialist during this process is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you get the right device. Affordability is an essential factor, but you also want to make sure you will actually use and benefit from the devices.

Choosing an affordable hearing aid is an important investment, but the hearing instrument specialist at Modern Hearing is here to help. We can advise on the features you should choose given your particular needs and budget. Call us today at one of our three convenient locations: