January 6, 2022

What factors to consider when choosing a hearing device

Just as there are many levels of hearing loss, there are an equal number of devices available on the market to combat that loss. However, all those choices can make it confusing trying to decide which aid is the correct one for you to try. Therefore, you need to consider certain things when making your decision, and here we will look at the primary considerations. You’ll soon see that it’s not as confusing as feared, and you be hearing with clarity again.

Hearing Loss Type

One of the main things you need to consider before shopping for hearing aids is the type of hearing loss that you have. Some smaller hearing aids are not suitable for severe hearing loss or loss in the lower register. In-Ear devices such as CIC devices are excellent for mild to moderate hearing loss in the upper register. It’s due to the device’s small size, meaning they can only fit one microphone, limiting the sounds picked up.

A larger, partially external device can house more features for more severe hearing loss or lower register loss, providing better sound quality. Having the space for two microphones allows for multi-directional sound pick up or picking up sounds in the lower and upper register. This feature provides the user with a crisper, more natural sound.


Comfort is another major factor to consider when looking at which hearing aids to choose. Many companies, such as Eargo, provide non-functional trial sets so you can figure out if they’re comfortable to wear. Glasses can also affect how devices feel, as BTE hearing aids and the legs of glasses add a lot of bulk behind the ears. If appropriate, Completely in Ear removes this issue.


Modern hearing aids are now digital devices, which means they can provide a better sound quality than older devices. And now more and more hearing aids include other technology, such as Bluetooth, which allows the pairing of the devices or streaming to smart devices. However, not all hearing aid users will find the Bluetooth features suitable. Less able people who rely on carers may find devices with manual controls more appropriate than a set of smartphone-controlled devices.

The Wonders of Bluetooth

Where the use of this technology is appropriate, it can significantly improve the experience for the user. Bluetooth paired devices talk to each other, allowing them to adjust accordingly to the environment. You can also stream your hearing aids to other smart devices, such as your cell phone or TV. This means the sound is streamed direct to the hearing aids, making conversations easier to follow.

Single Ear Hearing Loss

On this note, paired devices are specifically designed to work together. Therefore, if you only have hearing loss in one ear, you’d be better looking for a non-paired model.  Other features such as multi-directional microphones will still improve your hearing experience. As you age and hearing naturally degrades, you may find paired devices become appropriate, even with different levels of hearing between the ears.


Older models of hearing aids include a telecoil, which lets them connect to an audio induction loop. Induction loops let hearing aid wearers better hear telephone calls and in environments that use microphone systems (such as in a museum). Many modern hearing devices still include a telecoil, especially where they aren’t Bluetooth enabled. If the device you are interested in doesn’t have a telecoil, be sure to check that Bluetooth will take over its role.


The good news for sufferers of tinnitus is they need not rule themselves out of having improved hearing. Many hearing aids work to neutralize the effects of tinnitus, giving a double benefit to the hearing aid. Wearers will hear more precise sounds without the background noise of the tinnitus. Considering tinnitus can cause other issues, this will bring much relief to sufferers.


Despite their tiny size, hearing aids can come with a hefty price ticket, especially those with more features. Like any other big-ticket purchases you need to be sure that you can handle the repayment costs. Many companies and resellers offer payment plans, which can make devices accessible for a larger audience. Although this may still not be affordable, modern basic models have also come a long way and are a good choice.


It may not seem like a big thing to consider when choosing a hearing aid, but the power supply should be something you think about. Hearing Aid batteries are tiny and therefore fiddly to change, so it could be problematic if you aren’t good with delicate dexterity. Also, there are many battery sizes used, so you need to be careful to buy the correct size. Hearing aids are coming with rechargeable batteries more often, so like your cell phone, you charge the device every few days.

Rechargeable batteries have several advantages, not least the environmental impact, as it means fewer batteries leaching harmful chemicals into the ground. But it also saves you money in the long run as you don’t need to buy replacement batteries, and hearing aid batteries can be pricey.

Personal Sound Amplifiers

There are times when people with no hearing loss feel the need for enhanced hearing, and there are devices that help. If you struggle to hear a speaker in a large, crowded seminar, for example, an amplifier can help you hear clearly. Personal Sound Amplifiers are non-regulated devices similar to a hearing aid that sits in your ear and amplifies ambient sound. They are straightforward devices and not suitable for people with hearing loss, but valuable nonetheless for people needing a hearing boost.

If you’re ever unsure if a specific feature of a hearing aid will be appropriate for your needs, be sure to speak to an audiologist. Whether an independent specialist or one connected to a hearing aid company, they’re your best source of information. But by looking at all of the points above, you’ll be able to make an educated decision as to which hearing aid is likely best for you.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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