Why are Hearing Aids/Hearing Instruments so Darn Expensive?

Hearing Aid Streamer

Hearing Aid Streamer
Copyright 2015 Oticon Canada.

Long gone are the days when ear trumpets and animal horns were used to transmit sounds to the ear.  Today, hearing aids are essentially mini computers custom programmed to your hearing loss.  The signal processing speed of is so fast that your brain will not even notice that the sound has been changed to meet your needs.  Modern digital wireless hearing aid technology includes noise reduction algorithms and directional microphones to help you hear better than ever in our noisy world.  Aside from the advances in microelectronics that make them almost “invisible”, hearing aids today also have connectivity capability with other audio sources.

Bluetooth technology is now available in most hearing aids.  This technology turns your hearing instrument into a hands-free cell phone device through the use of a small intermediary accessory.   This is especially handy when driving since it not only frees up your hands but allows for crystal clear hearing.  You can also stream sounds from anything that is Bluetooth compatible, like music from your iPod.  Your mini computer of a hearing aid today also comes with a remote control.  You can control volume, turn your hearing aids on and off, answer your phone, adjust TV volume levels independently from others in the room, and listen to your tablet or MP3 player all with a click of a tiny pocket device. Many hearing aid manufacturers also have apps which allow you to turn your iPhone, blackberry or android smartphone into a remote control.

A hearing aid computer chip acts like an artificial intelligence scanning the sounds in your environment to reduce background noise and increase the speech sounds you are not able to hear.  However, this only helps if the person you want to hear is close to you.  There is a solution though for those who need to hear a person at a distance in a noisy environment, such as a church, synagogue, mosque or other places of worship where music and side conversations may be present at the same time.  In these cases, your hearing aids can be paired with a small discrete clip-on microphone anywhere within close range of a speaker’s voice.  The microphone delivers their voice directly to your hearing instruments with beautiful clarity.

People are often surprised to learn that hearing instruments/aids cost several thousand dollars.  Hearing aid manufacturers are not trying to gouge the public.  They need to invest significant amounts of money into research and design to make hearing aids faster, smaller and better at helping you hear.  In the end, there really is no price on better hearing.  It is one of our five senses and crucial to our ability to stay connected with one another.   Protect your hearing and we will help make the most of what is left with technology and our professional expertise.

For more information please contact our office at 905-303-HEAR (4327) and we will be happy to book you a complimentary telephone consultation with our Doctor of Audiology.  You can also email us your questions at info@salushearing.com.


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