Hearing is something most of us take for granted, but those with hearing loss know the value of great hearing aids. To help determine the right device for you, our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best hearing aids in Lansing.
Benefits of hearing aids for kids, seniors and adults
Nearly 15 percent of adults over 18 years old report some level of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Furthermore, 2 to 3 children out of every 1,000 also have hearing loss in one or both ears. Hearing aids benefit these demographics. As Lansing’s senior population grows and the demand for hearing aids rises, technology is also expanding with more hearing aid options than ever.
What types of hearing aids are available in Lansing?
Hearing aid styles
Behind the ear (BTE)
Large or small device that settles behind the ear and amplifies sound into the ear
Improves all degrees of hearing loss; easy to handle
Most visible type of aid
Variation of behind the ear style that keeps the ear canal open
Less visible than BTE, does not plug the ear, good amplification, easy for any age
Small parts can be difficult to handle
Receiver in the ear (RITE)
Also known as RIC (receiver-in-canal), similar to BTE but has a tiny wire that connects the pieces in the ear
Less visible, good amplification, easy for any age to use
Small parts can be difficult to handle, can be clogged by earwax
In the ear (ITE)
Can be one of two styles: full shell that fits over the outer ear or the half shell that only covers lower part of the ear
Adjustable volume control, longer battery life, easy to use and handle
Can pick up unwanted noise, be clogged by earwax, more visible than smaller models
In the canal (ITC)
Sits partly in ear canal
Second-least visible style of aid; more features than CIC
Smaller battery and fewer features than most aids
Completely in the canal (CIC)
Custom molded to fit in the ear canal
Small and less visible, does not pick up unwanted noise
Shorter battery life, limited features, can be clogged by earwax
Features of hearing aids
Add-ons for hearing aids can enhance battery life and hearing capacity and reduce noise. Among the extra features are:
Direct audio input
Environmental noise control
Getting a hearing aid test and fitting
Before buying a hearing aid, first get a check up from your doctor to determine if the cause of your hearing loss is something treatable like an infection or earwax buildup. If not, your doctor can refer you to an audiologist to determine the best style and fitting for a hearing aid.
Getting used to a new hearing aid takes time. Most companies offer a trial period, but it may cost extra or not come with a full refund. Be aware that cheap hearing aids are not a long-term solution if your hearing loss worsens with age. Instead, look for hearing aids capable of increased power and a longer warranty.
Finally, beware of misleading claims. Know that hearing aids cannot restore your hearing and that background noise is impossible to completely eliminate.
How much do hearing aids cost in Lansing?
Hearing aids start around $1,000 each and rise to $4,000 or more for higher end models. This price is per device. In most cases, health insurance does not cover hearing aids, but programs like AARP and VA benefits may provide discounts or assistance. Costco hearing aids are popular as Costco offers affordable testing and hearing aids at wholesale prices.
Eargo has developed a sleek and invisible hearing aid that comes in three different products. The company’s products were named the best invention of 2018 by Time Magazine. Eargo’s hearing aids are rechargeable, virtually invisible and designed for comfort. Eargo maintains high reviews on consumer sites and from customers across Michigan.
Miracle-Ear has helped millions with their hearing loss through its line of innovative products. Now offering Genius technology, Miracle-Ear offers rechargeable hearing aids with tremendous sound quality. Miracle-Ear also donates a portion of proceeds to the Miracle-Ear Foundation. Satisfied customers review Miracle-Ear products as being great, but note they are on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
Zounds has developed products to improve hearing and clarity in phones and video devices, and has product lines of revolutionary hearing aids. Offering multiple models that cover a range of different hearing difficulties, Zounds hearing aids are packed with features. Customers are satisfied by the products and service, but report costs are on the high end.
For 80 years, Beltone has been producing top-of-the-line hearing aids. With changing technology, Beltone stays ahead by making their hearing aids pairable and compatible with mobile apps. Customer reviews said they liked the products and their warranties but found prices to be steep.
ReSound Hearing Aids
ReSound has been developing hearing solutions and technologies since 1943. By employing Smart Hearing technologies, ReSound offers the opportunity to hear like you used to with innovative designs and additional features like mobile apps. Customer reviews say they are satisfied with the products, but reported problems with the apps and other technical issues.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex is a hearing solution company based in Denmark. Having developed products for nearly 70 years, Widex offers a range of diverse products for children, adults and all types of hearing loss. Customers have reviewed their products as being worth the money although some experienced technical issues.