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How do I choose the right hearing aid?

Which is the right hearing aid for me?

Choosing the right device for your hearing needs depends on many things such as degree, type and configuration of your hearing loss, lifestyle, ear shape, manual and cognitive dexterity, cosmetic appearances, style of hearing aid, and of course budget.

At Clarity we factor in all those considerations when we recommend which device would best treat your hearing loss and this article addresses many of those points.

Selecting your hearing aid

When it comes to selecting a treatment device to treat your hearing loss, Clarity’s independence means we have a very large range of devices from which to choose. This includes choices with a wide variety of features and options, a choice of optional rehabilitation packages, and wide price ranges. This means we can recommend options from different manufacturers that address your specific hearing loss and budget needs.

Our prices start from free for eligible pensioners, NDIS participants, health care card holders and DVA card holders. For patients not eligible for funding we have options starting at $295 for basic personal amplifiers through to $4000 for the most top of the range hearing aids.

What you must consider when thinking price though is that all hearing solutions on offer, no matter what price range, are of the highest quality and meet all Australian standards.

Also consider that you are not necessarily paying for better hearing with more expensive hearing aids. With top of the range hearing aids you are paying for more features — some which have nothing to do with hearing speech better.

not many audiologists will tell you there is no independent peer reviewed research that validates any improvement in outcomes between lower level technology and high level technology so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In fact, researchers at Memphis University found there was no significant difference in listening effort required between “basic” and “premium” hearing aids. You can read the article here.

Ethical and independent hearing aid recommendations

You can trust that Clarity’s audiologists are only going to recommend what you require to treat your hearing loss. They are not on commissions or sales targets—a practice employed by some other clinics—and they adhere strictly to our company policy of recommendation and treatment based on the Audiological Society of Australia membership charter Section A2:

“The welfare of the client, students, research subjects and the public must take precedence over a member’s self interest, or the interest of employers or colleagues”.

And Section A15:

Any device recommended to a client, or to another professional for a client, must not be less suitable for the client than other available devices, taking into account the likely performance of the device, features of the device, the cost of the device to the client, and the preference of the client”.

With our hearing aids we unbundle all the services to make our pricing transparent and we ensure we offer several options for you to choose from so you can match your lifestyle needs and budgets.

So you simply purchase your hearing aid for a minimal cost just above wholesale price then choose which treatment and rehabilitation option best suits your needs to accompany the hearing aid.

Our margins are the same across all ranges as we are billing for our time and expertise to cover our costs, not through the sale of hearing aids, so there is no incentive for prescription of anything other than what is required to suit your needs. You can even purchase hearing aids elsewhere or bring your old hearing aids and we still adjust them or you can do our treatment programs.

Hearing aid pricing

At Clarity Hearing Solutions we also understand that it isn’t just your hearing needs that are unique and require a broad range of treatment devices, but your financial requirements are also just as diverse. This is why we strive to provide unique plans and packages to best deliver your hearing treatment to suit your financial situation.

At Clarity Hearing Solutions we offer several options for obtaining your treatment devices. Purchasing, No Gap Private Health Insurance Options, and purchase-free ClarityFlex subscription plans. Furthermore discreet options including Completely In Canal, In The Canal, and Receiver In Canal/Over The Ear options are available free for all eligible recipients through the Office of Hearing Services Program (HSP).

If you would like to know our price of a hearing aid you have been quoted on please see our full list and pricing here.

As a guide the following are the pricing Clarity charges for devices in different range bands. Remember, these are the exact same devices you will get from other providers from manufacturers including Bernafon, Starkey, Widex, Unitron, Sonic, Siemens Signia, Oticon, GN Resound and Phonak.

  • Basic: $200-$500 per ear 
  • Economy: $745-$1295 per ear
  • Mid-Range: $1295-$1995 per ear 
  • High-Range: $1795-$2795 per ear 
  • Premium Range: $2495-$4000 per ear
  • Lyric: $180 per ear per month (Lyric is a subscription based model – read more here)

Hearing aid features

When it comes to selecting a treatment device there are a wide variety of features available in modern hearing aids. However, remember that most hearing aids, no matter what price range, are of the highest quality, and you are not necessarily getting better hearing if purchasing more advanced features. Remember that researchers at Memphis University found there was no significant difference in listening effort required between “basic” and “premium” hearing aids. You can read the article here.

Most of the features listed below are available in all hearing aid ranges and basic features such as directional microphones, telecoils and Bluetooth connectivity have been independently shown to significantly improve hearing and communication outcomes.

  • Channels: this feature allows the clinician to match the hearing aid to your hearing loss. Similar to a graphic equalizer on a stereo or radio it is the number of individual pitch adjustments available to bring each part of your hearing back up to a normal level. The more channels (anywhere from 4 to 24 channels) the closer we can match the hearing aid to your hearing loss,  and the more natural it is theoretically meant to sound. However there is no verified independent research that support any significant benefits in speech intelligibility or background noise suppression.
  • Directional Microphones: allows the hearing aid to change from picking up sounds all around (which is fine for when in quiet environments but makes it almost impossible to hear in noisier environments) to just picking up the person you want to hear in front. An essential feature to have if you are in noisy environments frequently. This feature has been independently verified to improve hearing in background noise.
  • Feedback Cancellation: feedback is the whistling sound created by a hearing aid when it picks up the sound of itself, similar to the feedback sound associated with a PA system. Most hearing aids now have a feature which cancels out the feedback sounds, so there should be no excuse for a whistling hearing aid in this day and age.
  • Noise Reduction: hearing aids now have features which are specifically designed to focus on sounds which resemble human speech (human speech is a very unique sound with specific pitches and unique modulations which no other sound resembles) and reduces the amplification of sounds which don’t behave in a manner similar to human speech. For example in the car the hearing aid will focus on the speech sounds not the road noise.
  • Programs: this feature allow the clinician to set up programs specific to certain environments. For example a quiet environment program will have minimal noise reduction features and pick up sounds all around, however a background noise program will lower the volume slightly, change to an increased amount of noise reduction, and will focus more on the sounds in front. Most hearing aids are automatic so they automatically change to the appropriate program setting for the environment that you are in. Other program settings available (both automatic or manual) include phone programs, music programs (which can be adjusted to the style of music you listen to), blue tooth, FM systems, induction loops, plane settings, or we can design one specifically for your communication needs.
  • Log: most devices now have a feature which keeps a log of exactly what environments you have been wearing your hearing aid in, how may hours a day it is worn, any volume or program adjustments made or what the automatic features have been doing. This helps with fine tuning and trouble shooting any problems with the hearing aids.
  • Bluetooth: most devices are now blue tooth compatible which means hearing aids can now talk directly to devices which have blue tooth transmitters such as mobile phones, televisions, iPads, iPods, lapel microphones to name but a few. For example if paired into the mobile phone the hearing aids become a hands free kit and you can hear the phone directly through the hearing aid, it is also exactly corrected to the hearing loss so it is as clear as you can hope to hear.

Hearing aid styles

There are several styles of hearing aids available to suit your needs. Most styles are available across all price ranges, scroll down to see full list of product range within each style.

IIC (Invisible In the Canal)

Very cosmetically appealing invisible device which sits deep in the second bend of the ear canal virtually completely hidden from view. Suitable for mild to severe losses. Can be remotely controlled by use of a smart phone app, remote control or magnetic wand. Some are now bluetooth compatible.

Soundlens No Gap Hearing Aid

CIC (Completely In the Canal)

Very cosmetically appealing invisible device which sits deep in the first bend of the ear canal virtually completely hidden from view. Suitable for mild to profound losses. Can be remotely controlled by use of a smart phone app or magnetic wand and some are Bluetooth compatible. Free for eligible pensioners and DVA recipients through the Office of Hearing Services scheme. .

No Gap CIC hearing Aids

ITC/ITE (In The Canal, In The Ear, Half Shell)

Slightly larger than a CIC but more features can be added such as a directional microphone and telecoil. Suitable for mild to profound losses. Can be remotely controlled by use of a smart phone app or remote controls and are Bluetooth compatible. Free for eligible pensioners and DVA recipients through the Office of Hearing Services scheme.

Half shell No Gap Hearing Aid

RIC/OTE (Receiver In the Canal, Over The Ear)

Very cosmetically appealing virtually invisible device for those with any type of hearing loss. Fitted with an open dome coupling specifically designed for Industrial Deafness and Age Related Hearing Loss, but with a Power coupling able to fit even the most profound hearing losses. Available in dust and water resistant models. Free for eligible pensioners and DVA recipients through the Office of Hearing Services scheme.

Receiver style no gap free hearing aidmicro behind the ear free hearing aid

Deep Canal Instant Wear

Starkey AMP: very cosmetically appealing virtually invisible device, which sits deep in the ear canal between an IIC and CIC. Able to be fitted on the spot without any need for impressions and ordering. See more information here.

Free hearing aid deep canal

Lyric 24/7 Extended Wear

Semi-Permanent invisible deep canal non-surgical implanted device. Like a contact lens is implanted and replaced every 2 months and allows you to hear 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No inserting, changing batteries or any sort of management and maintenance.See more information on our Lyric page.

lyric2comp

 

 

When you are ready to address your hearing loss…

If you are ready to talk to someone about your hearing loss, make an appointment for an assessment with Clarity today.

Request a booking today!

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