If you’re looking to save money on hearing aids, you may have considered buying hearing aids online. Another question you’re probably asking is, should I consider buying used hearing aids?
We’ll help you think through a few factors, including actual pricing, and show you some alternatives for hearing amplification.
Can I buy used ITEs?
The first thing to consider is the type of hearing aid. If you’re looking for In-the-Ear (ITE) aids, don’t bother. The fit of an ITE is completely customized. It won’t fit your ear. (Recasing is possible, but will almost always be cost-prohibitive. You’ll be better off going another route.)
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) aids are a possibility. You can get earmolds made or use the ones you already have, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of the mold and fitting. More on that below.
How long do hearing aids last?
The functional lifetime of most aids is around 3-7 years. Some may last longer.
But keep in mind that aids older than 5 years are considered outdated. Hearing aid technology changes rapidly, so the hardware and software in the aid is a factor when it comes to personalizing your aid. Some hearing professionals cannot reprogram outdated aids.
You will probably want to check with your hearing professional before making a purchase of an aid that is older than 5 years.
If you or the seller are unsure of the age of the hearing aid, you may be able to tell by contacting the manufacturer with the serial number. The serial number on most aids is in the battery compartment.
You might not get the warranty
Keep in mind that one of the drawbacks of buying used is that you may not be purchasing the warranty. Most aids require some type of regular maintenance on a yearly basis, so keep in that in mind.
Let’s talk pricing
Jot the prices of each component down, just to make sure you don’t miss anything.
A good used BTE is going to run $50 to $5,000 depending on the type of aid you get. Don’t forget to check if you are getting one or two aids and don’t forget shipping.
If you don’t have earmolds already, you’ll want to budget $100 to $150 for a set of two.
Hearing aids are built for custom programming. You’ll need to have a professional reprogram your aids to fit your needs. Insurance may cover some or all of this, but if you pay out of pocket, you’re probably looking at $100 to $300.
So, your minimum cost with no insurance coverage would be around $250.
PSAPs, another sound amplifier option
Do you find yourself in the following situations?
- Difficulty hearing conversations
- Difficulty hearing in crowds
- Always turning up the television
- Missing calls and visitors
- Missing the sounds of nature
- You’ve been told you need help hearing
If so, then you may want to consider a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP). PSAPs are over-the-counter devices which look and function like hearing aids. The difference is that they don’t require professional prescriptions or programming.
They are built for you to be able to try each preset yourself to find the best setting.
And the cost is about the minimum you would pay for a used hearing aid. Ours start at $270 (with a free 30-day trial.) Keep in mind that the device does not require custom-molds, fittings, or professional programming. So you’re saving money without the add-ons.
Also keep in mind that you may not be getting a warranty with a used hearing aid, but you will with a new PSAP.
Try the Tweak Focus or Focus+T free for 30 days
What’s different about Tweak?
Tweak is the only digital PSAP using specialized patented technology that lets you select from among three ranges of amplification, plus remembers what level of amplification you like best. It also incorporates a digital volume control to give you even more flexibility in different environments.