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This hearing aid or that one?

Picture the scene: You are in an audiologists office, you’ve had a hearing test and you need to decide which hearing aid you are going to buy. You’ve saved up for a long time to get some money together for an aid because you really need to hear better. It’s a lot of money. It’s a big decision and you can’t afford to not make the right one.

Based on your test results your audiologist suggests a few different aids that would suit you. The three aids being recommended have all had really positive feedback from previous customers.

You’ve got a lot of aids to pick from but three are being suggested. One’s cheap and well within your budget, one is just under your budget and one is slightly over. Which do you go for? Do you stretch your budget that little bit? How much better would you hear if you stretched your budget?

The audiologist has already warned you that it takes time to get used to new hearing aids, your brain needs to adjust to the new sounds and you’re a first time wearer so it’s a big deal. You get a three month trial period for your new aids after you’ve paid for them.

Which aids are you gonna pick?

Now you’re faced with an impossible choice. You ask the audiologist how much better you would hear if you bought the most expensive one and all he can say is, “well, it’s got a better noise-reduction algorithm and more channels so it’s going to be better”. Yes, but how much better? Is it worth my money better?

So, you decide to pick the cheapest aid because money is tight and there’s a bunch of other stuff you could be spending it on. Add to that the fact that you are a bit uneasy about handing over a large sum of money for something you are really not sure about.

You go through your trial period and you are reasonably happy with the results, you hear a lot more than you used to. But you have problems getting used to some sounds and some things sound very unusual, there’s also some stuff you still can’t hear as well as you would like.

Do you trade the aids back in and go for the more expensive ones? How much better would they be?