Hearing Aid Shop
Helping You Get Started
Choosing between hearing aid brands such as Phonak, Starkey, Widex, ReSound, Unitron, Oticon, Signia, etc. is difficult enough without having to weed out sales and marketing jargon. A Better Ear was born from a desire to provide patients with clear and straight forward advice. Our founder and Principal Audiologist, Penelope Woods BMus, MAudS, MAudA (CCP), set out to create a clinical environment to be proud of, putting integrity and patient-centred care first. To do this we have created a clear and straight forward pricing structure, which allows patients and consumers easy access to the relevant facts. We hope this helps people make educated and well-informed decisions for themselves, but if you need help choosing the right device, please contact us.
Do You Need to Spend a Lot?
The short answer is ‘No’. But it depends on your lifestyle. Generally, hearing aid manufactures divide their technology into 5 or 6 levels. Each level affords more specialised features for more complex situations. Do not let anyone tell you the less expensive hearing aids are rubbish. All hearing aids sold in Australia are of a high quality.
They need to be, to meet rigorous Australian Standards. Entry level devices work very well to help you understand speech in simple listening situations (think; quieter environments like watching the TV or having one on one conversations in quieter environments). Unlike higher-end hearing aids, entry level devices do not have features specifically designed to deal with noisy and complex situations. If you want to hear the conversation at the other end of the table, on a Friday night, in a full bistro, whilst the band is playing, an entry level device will not be appropriate.
Is Price a Volume Knob?
A common mistake when thinking about price, is to imagine it is a volume knob; low price = low volume, high price = high volume. Hearing speech clearly, however, is more to do with the Audiologist skill at fitting the right hearing aid, to the right patient, for the right circumstances. If you are trying to work out what you need, a better way to plan your budget, is to think of price as the ticket to speech clarity in more situations. I.e., the more you spend, the higher level the hearing aid, the more dedicated sound processing features you get. If you want those features that are designed for challenging environment, you will need to consider a higher end device. If not, a less expensive device may suit.
Which Hearing Aids to Choose?
To help people be more in control when choosing a hearing aid, we use the table below to explain the cost/ features relationship. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do I want from my new hearing aids? (Possible answers might include to hear better at the club; to hear on the phone better; or to better understand my partner and the family).
2. Where do I want the benefits of better hearing? (The answer might be in complex situations, like at my U3A meetings, or in the busy Donald Simpson Centre café, or maybe you just want to hear better in business
meetings or at home).
3. What do I want the device to look like? (Hearing aids come in a variety of different shapes, styles, and sizes, from small behind the ear models or completely invisible in the canal custom made devices).
4. What sort of mobile phone do I use? (Most aids now connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to your mobile phone and other devices. Some devices will only connect to iPhones, whilst others can connect to both Android and iPhone).
5. What is my budget? (When you have a hearing loss, using any level of hearing aid is better than not using one at all. The best advice is to buy the highest quality hearing aid that you can comfortably afford, that is relevant to your circumstances. This together with having realistic expectations of the devices, and using good communication tactics, all contribute to successful hearing outcomes).
Once you have answered these questions, consult the table below. Remember, if you want to hear you granddaughters high pitched voice around a noisy dining table, an entry level device will struggle. Equally if you just want to hear the TV better, a premium level device may not be necessary.
“Penelope listened with intent and empathy to my issues and then explained the reasons and remedies available to
me. No pressure, no up-sell just a highly professional attitude. A Better Ear should be renamed ‘The Best Ear’.” –
Glenn, Birkdale, QLD 4159.