Embrace Hearing Blog

While few people are surprised when their audiologist recommends hearing aids, most are stunned when they hear how much the recommended models are going to cost!

The cost of hearing aids can vary dramatically depending on the model you choose and where you purchase them. On average a pair of aids will cost $4,500 at retail with top-of-the-line models selling for $7,000 or more. Most private insurance plans do not cover these devices, nor does Medicare.

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

Part of the cost of a hearing aid comes from the complex technology that powers many modern electronic devices, including processors, microchips, and receivers, developed in labs around the world.  But much of the cost of a hearing aid—and the reason costs can be so high—comes from the way they are sold.  Retail shops must cover costs that come from running a “brick-and-mortar” storefront, including rent, equipment, and staff salaries. In addition, they typically serve only a select local customer base so these exceptionally high fixed costs must be spread over very few customer orders. These costs can add $2,000 - $5,000 to the cost of hearing aids.

The cost of hearing aids

Thankfully, with a little investigation you will discover that there are many different types of retailers, manufacturers, models and designs to choose from which can significantly lower the price.

Naturally, you want to select the best device for your comfort, lifestyle and budget.  The best hearing aids are built using European technology and are custom programmed to meet each individual patient’s hearing challenge as determined by a hearing test completed by a licensed professional. Anyone who suffers from hearing loss should focus their research on these models.

Embrace Hearing, and other specialized online retailers, sell the same audiologist programmed hearing aids for about 30% of the retail price.  Buying online isn’t the right fit for every customer, but it’s a good alternative for many:

Buying hearing aids online

  • Buying hearing aids online guarantees lower costs. Retailers like Embrace Hearing can afford to sell at a lower price than brick and mortar retailers because they don’t have to pay high costs for overhead. In fact, AARP has found that these expenses can account for more than $2,000 of the sticker price on hearing aids at typical brick and mortar retailers.

  • Buying hearing aids online is convenient and easy. While your local audiologist or big box retailer is often only a drive away, ordering online is even easier. Simply submit the results of your most recent hearing test and our audiology staff can assist you in choosing, and then custom programming, the right model for your hearing loss needs.
  • Buying hearing aids online doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or service. Buying from a quality online retailer like Embrace Hearing means you’re buying the latest in European hearing aid technology at close to wholesale prices. It also means your hearing aids will be custom programmed by an experienced audiology team, who ensure that your devices meet the exact needs laid out in your hearing test results
  • Buying hearing aids online is risk-free. Once it comes time to buy, you have 45 days to try them out risk-free. If you are not completely satisfied, you can return them for a full refund. Online pricing is straightforward, with no hidden fees.

Are there services a local retail shop can offer its customers that an online retailer cannot? Frankly, yes. Local retailers are in a position to pamper their customers. They can change wax guards and perform minor repairs and reprogramming on the spot. However, you are paying an extra $3,000 - $5,000 for this pampering and, like online retailers, they will still have to return hearing aids to the manufacturer for more complicated repairs.

How does Embrace Hearing and other online hearing aid retailer provide these services? Some of the services, you will provide yourself with the help of customer service teams and instructional emails and videos. Maintenance and minor repairs are straight forward and can be done by users in a few minutes or less. For major repairs and reprogramming, the hearing aids will have to be returned to the online retailer who will usually turn around your repair in a few days.

In short, the decision to buy online comes down to how much you are willing to spend, whether you are willing to do a little maintenance yourself, and if you are willing to accept that you may have to part with your hearing aids for a few days every few years for reprogramming or repair work. Buying online is not as convenient as going to the local store, but allows purchasers to buy high quality hearing aids at a more affordable cost.

For some customers, buying from Embrace Hearing can be more convenient than traditional retail stores. For those that live in a remote area with few retail options or have limited mobility that makes it difficult to leave home, online purchase can be ideal. Others prefer the convenience and discretion of ordering online for delivery to their home.

Think about what is more important to you … buying the best quality product or being pampered? Are you the kind of person who is willing to spend time to scour the internet for the best product at the best price? Are you willing to pick up the phone or write an email and ask for help? If quality and the best possible hearing aid price are your primary concerns, then buying online may be the right way to go.

Whether or not you decide to buy hearing aids from a local retailer or online, your experience will depend on purchasing good quality aids with reliable professional customer support. Be sure to look online for independent reviews for both the retailer and the brand you are considering before you buy and make sure you are offered no obligation trial period.

Get answers to all your questions about hearing loss, hearing tests, and how to shop for the best hearing aids at the best prices.

CLICK HERE to download The Complete Guide to Buying Hearing Aids

  • Ergonomically redesigned for easier battery changes and adjustments
  • Enhanced Sound Management Technology generates the perfect acoustic mix and eliminates the need to manually change programs. 
  • Optimized Software for natural speech clarity and sound comfort in acoustically challenging noisy environments. 
  • Winner of German Design Award - Excellent Product Design (Medical)

Please see and compare all of our models HERE

 

 A number of years ago, both my father and father-in-law started to experience hearing loss. Communication became increasingly frustrating for everyone and eventually they were convinced to have their hearing tested. While no one was surprised that their audiologists recommended hearing aids, we were all stunned when we heard how much the recommended models were going to cost! $4,000 for a basic model and over $7000 for the best available. 

I knew there had to be a better and a more affordable option. After all, incredibly sophisticated smart phones and computers cost hundreds of dollars, not thousands!

I decided to look into the industry and see what could be done. Some very smart people had looked at this issue including The New York Times: The search for an affordable hearing aid and AARP: Why do hearing aids cost so much. But most articles simply explained why they were expensive rather than what do do about it. 

I quickly learned two things:

First, there are many models and options for hearing aids but the best ones are built using European technology and are custom programmed by an experienced audiologist to meet each individual patient’s hearing challenge.

Second, much of the cost of hearing aids comes from the highly costly local retail model. Hearing aid retail shops must cover the many costs that come from running a “brick-and- mortar” storefront, including rent, equipment, and staff salaries. In addition, they typically serve only a very local customer base so these exceptionally high fixed costs must be spread over very few customers, adding several thousand dollars to each order.

So, I began to wonder if it would be possible to provide high quality hearing aids without the costs of retail storefronts and retail staff while maintaining a highly experienced audiology and customer service team … and that is when I discovered Embrace Hearing.

Thanks to the Internet, Embrace Hearing can offer the highest quality audiologist programmed hearing aid technology found at a brick-and- mortar retailers for thousands of dollars less. I was really impressed and spoke with the owners and eventually decided to buy the company.

Embrace Hearing keeps costs down by:

  1. Buying directly from the German manufacturer. We focus on a few, really great models of hearing aids to get the best pricing possible.
  1. Selling exclusively online. We sell to customers anywhere – across the United States and around the world but we only sell online to keep our costs down.
  1. Eliminating the costs of retail storefronts and retail staff while maintaining a highly experienced audiology and customer service team.

In fact, Embrace Hearing can deliver custom programmed hearing aids directly to your home is less than a week for about 1/3 of the cost charged by the typical local retailer. That’s a savings of $2,500 - $4,000!

So, I found a solution that offers German technology, 24/7 customer service and a 45 day free trial program – 100% satisfaction or 100% of your money back.

Can I help you afford top quality hearing aids?

 For many of us, the holidays represent those joyous special moments when friends and loved ones come together and wonderful memories are made.

Yet for those that suffer from untreated hearing loss, the Holidays can be stressful, exhausting and can ultimately lead to feeling isolated outside the celebration.

Often individuals who suffer from hearing loss are aware that their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to accept the relief hearing aids will provide. The high cost of quality hearing aids may be deterring them or they may be embarrassed by what they see as a weakness and try "get by" without using a hearing aid. This leads to garbled and incomplete communication that can be source of tremendous frustration.

An individual’s hearing loss also affects families and friends, and this is especially true during holiday and family celebrations. Families and friendships have an inherent need for social contact and mutual support and this can be negatively impacted through the loss of sharing the companionship, humor and thoughts of the hearing isolated family member. It can be hard to address these issue but here are some helpful tools for speaking to others about the issue.

At Embrace Hearing, we want to help everyone with hearing loss to enjoy the holidays more this year. Because we cut out much of the overheads that are built into traditional retailers costs, our high performance hearing aids sell for well less than half the price of traditional hearing aid retailers – a savings of several thousand dollars for each customer. Embrace Hearing’s exceptionally discreet hearing aids are custom programmed by our experienced audiology team with state of the art European software and technology. Independent product reviews show that our quality and service is as good or better than the best names in Hearing Aids and our own excellent customer reviews completely back this up.

Can we help you Embrace the holidays this year?

 

 

 

Our customers often ask why they need a recent hearing test (also known as an audiogram) when they purchase new hearing aids. Often, they think of hearing tests as simple screens for hearing loss and they do not recognize the importance of an up to date assessment. 

However, a recent hearing test is as important to hearing aid performance as an eye test is to prescription eyeglasses.

A good hearing test provides a prescription for programming hearing aids to meet an individual’s exact hearing profile. A hearing professional will develop an audiogram (See image above) to record the degree of hearing loss at various tones and pitches. They will measure how well an individual hears and understands under different background noise conditions, and will assess an individual’s ability to tolerate loud sounds. Finally, they will determine whether hearing aids are recommended. If you choose to proceed, the information is then entered into specially designed software that will custom program the hearing aids to deliver maximum clarity for you. Individual programing will include variations on the filtration of background noise, and adjustments in volume, frequency, intensity levels, and maximum power output as well as a number of custom options that the individual will be offered. These inputs are completely dependent on the test results and will directly affect each individual users experience.

Individual hearing profiles can vary dramatically and can change substantially over time. “Normal” hearing ranges from 0 to 20 dB on the test in all frequencies. As we age, our high frequency hearing (shown on the right hand side of the audiogram above) declines but there is no set rate or pattern of change. These changes make it critical that hearing tests are repeated annually and that hearing aids are reprogrammed accordingly.

Getting a test: Hearing tests are offered by Audiologists and ENT doctors. As with any medical procedure, it is important to find someone that you can trust. The best place to start is someone recommended by a close friend or your doctor. When you book your test, be sure to tell them you want a copy of the results. They might charge you around $100 for this but having the test enables you to buy from anywhere you choose. We do not accept online hearing test results due to very poor accuracy.

Just as importantly, when you get a hearing tests, the doctor will examine your ear canals to be certain there is not some other health issue causing your hearing loss. Hearing loss can be caused by many conditions and it is important to verify that the use of a hearing aid or any other in-ear amplification device is the right solution for you.

 

When most people receive the news that they will need hearing aids, the biggest shock comes from learning how high the cost will be. It can be tempting to try and reduce the cost by buying only one aid for a “dominant” hearing ear and cut the cost in half. Unless you only have hearing loss in one ear, we strongly advice against this practice for a number of important reasons.

Your ears and your brain work in tandem to produce and interpret sounds. The brain relies on input from both ears to determine the location of sounds, filter out background noise, and to provide the inputs that will allow maximum reception of the clear speech. If the brain only receives signals from only one ear (or one hearing aid), it will not only be less clear but also the extra concentration required to hear and interpret speech can lead to stress and fatigue.

Not only do users who choose to use a single hearing aid suffer from sub-optimal hearing in the short term, they can cause more damage to their ability to hear in the longer term. If the brain receives clear signals from one ear and muffled signals from the other, it will shut off the inputs it receives from the muffled ear and the auditory nerve in the unused ear can deteriorate further.

In addition, many of the most powerful features of today’s best hearing aids are only active when two hearing aids are present. Todays high end hearing aids communicate wirelessly with each other to clarify sounds and optimize the localization of speech. To learn more about the benefits of two hearing aids, click here to read this excellent article from The Better Hearing Institute

 

Embrace Hearing is committed to providing the highest quality European hearing aids to our customers at about a third of the cost of Store Front retail operations. A pair of our custom programed digital hearing aids sell for $900 to $2,498, depending on performance level and processing technology. You can build you hearing aids at embracehearing.com.

 

Whether you choose to purchase your hearing aids from a local retailer or online, the right hearing choice is to purchase two hearing aids if this is indicated by your hearing test. Be sure to purchase good quality hearing aids with reliable professional customer support. Make sure you check independent hearing aid reviews for both the retailer and the hearing aid brand you are considering before you buy.

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