The Truth About Cheap “Hearing Aids”

Unhappy and disappointed customer giving low rating.

The word “cheap” carries dual meanings. For someone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the saying “You get what you pay for”.

Unfortunately, determining whether you’re getting a great value from whether you’re buying a really low-quality device can be difficult. This is particularly relevant in terms of hearing aids.

With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” rings especially relevant. This doesn’t necessarily imply picking the top-tier option, but instead, looking closely at products that boast a price tag too appealing to be legitimate. Companies marketing cheap hearing devices often leave out important details about their products that customers should know about.

Cheaper hearing aids are basically only amplifiers

Increasing the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” can handle. When you just amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background noise you don’t want.

The purpose of having a hearing aid is totally defeated if it also amplifies unwanted sound.

Contrastingly, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It reduces background sound while expertly managing sound and enhancing clarity. Genuine hearing aids are tuned to your distinct hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with better accuracy.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

There are strict rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as published by the Food and Drug Administration.

Sadly, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they are actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.

Most reputable providers follow the rules. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into thinking that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. You may even find some that state that they are approved by the FDA when that’s actually not true.

For the majority of kinds of hearing loss they won’t be helpful at all

The majority of people who lose their hearing will slowly lose specific frequencies of sound before others. You may have a hard time understanding a small child or a woman, for example, but you have no issue understanding a man with a low voice.

A cheap hearing device usually results in overall volume amplification. But just turning up the total volume will not be sufficient for people who have a tough time hearing particular frequencies. And turning the overall volume up could lead to additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be booming in your ears.

High-quality hearing aids provide a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of specific frequencies. They can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more customized and effective hearing experience.

Feedback can be an issue

You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll create a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear jiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.

They usually don’t have cellphone support

Functionality is frequently sacrificed when choosing budget options, and this holds true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes crucial when thinking about phone connectivity. With cheaper hearing devices, when you attempt to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your lips or ears rubbing against the phone, or clothing and hair.

In contrast, digital hearing aids use telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.

They were never meant to treat hearing loss

This might come as a shock because so many individuals think otherwise. These amplifiers were never meant to treat hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for individuals who have fairly good hearing.

Cheap devices may help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But people who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that helpful.

Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?

There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. They might even be covered by insurance or other third parties. You can also find financing possibilities, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. The first step is to get a hearing test if you think you might have hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.