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.