Guide to selecting the best hearing aid for you

There are several factors that can determine which hearing aid is the right model for you. This 3-step guide will help you understand how to find the best hearing aid for you.* 

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*Choosing a hearing aid and having it fitted to your hearing needs can have a big impact on your quality of life. Therefore, we also recommend that you get advice from one of our professional hearing aid audiologists when choosing the best hearing aid for you.

Step 1. Compare the available hearing aid styles

Start out by using the overview below to understand the differences between each type of hearing aid.

The overview will prepare you for Step 2 of the guide, where we will explain the 6 important factors that you should consider when choosing hearing aids.

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*The above hearing aids represent different types of Oticon Opn ™ models.

Step 2. Consider these six factors when choosing a hearing aid

In this step we will describe 6 different factors that you should consider when choosing the best hearing aid for you.

  1. Your level of hearing loss
  2. Comfort
  3. Price and quality
  4. Style
  5. Your level of social engagement
  6. Hearing aid technology

 

Factor 1 - Your level of hearing loss

The severity of your hearing loss has an impact on the types of hearing aids that you can choose from. Therefore, getting your hearing tested and knowing your level of hearing loss will help you to understand what hearing aid types will be best suited to accommodate your needs.

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The 5 categories of hearing loss are:

Normal hearing (≤25 dB)

Mild hearing loss (26-40 dB): Quiet and soft conversations - or situations with only some background noise - may become difficult to understand.

Moderate hearing loss (41-60 dB): Higher volume levels are required for radio and TV, and conversations accompanied by background noise become difficult to understand.

Severe hearing loss (61-80 dB): Difficulties with speech and group conversations in both quiet and noisy environments. Comprehension is impossible without amplification.

Profound hearing loss (greater than ≥80 dB): Difficult or impossible to hear and understand amplified devices or speech in all environments.

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So what hearing aids are available for each level of hearing loss?

Mild to moderate hearing loss:

Choose any type of hearing aid (or all the types represented in Step 1)

Severe hearing loss:

Choose between selected types of hearing aids, such as “full-shell in-the-ear”, “miniRITE”, or “plus power behind-the-ear”.

Profound hearing loss

In terms of hearing aids, choosing the “plus power behind-the-ear” hearing aid will probably be the right solution for you. In cases of very profound hearing loss, ‘cochlear implants’ might be an option for those who are interested in a more permanent solution (as surgery is required.)¹.

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Conclusion: Knowing your level of hearing loss is the first step to understanding what might qualify as the best hearing aid for you. No matter your level of hearing loss, there are options available to suit your specific needs.

 

Factor 2 - Hearing aid technology

Today’s advanced technology provides a more natural sound experience by allowing you to experience an open, 360-degree sound experience, all while providing higher sound clarity with less effort. Tinnitus support settings are also new features which benefit users. Hearing aids today can also reduce feedback (or the “whistling sound” that some hearing aid users can experience). It is also possible to connect modern hearing aids to your smart devices and TV, so that you can hear your smart device and/or TV sounds directly through your hearing aids.

 

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Learn to get relief from tinnitus:

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Conclusion: Modern hearing aids can provide a host of different technologies that will help you to experience the best possible hearing. For instance, hearing aids can provide a 360-degree sound experience, allowing you to focus on the sounds that matter most - with less effort. Modern technology also allows hearing aids to connect wirelessly to smart devices and connect to TV audio. Being aware of the latest technologies available can help you to choose the best hearing aids for your lifestyle.

 

Factor 3 - Comfort

When you’re looking for the best hearing aids for you, it’s important to consider how comfortable they will be for you to wear.

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Behind-the-ear hearing aids

What characterises behind-the-ear hearing aids?

  • The main body of the hearing aids is placed behind the ear.
  • Has a clear tube or wire connecting it to an earmould or dome placed inside the ear canal.
  • The earmould portion can be made of different materials.
  • Most people find behind-the-ear styles to be more comfortable than in-the-ear styles.

In-the-ear hearing aids

What characterises in-the-ear hearing aids?

  • It is custom-made to fit the shape of your ear canal.
  • It's made of a hard material that sits inside the ear canal.
  • The size and shape of your ear canal determines if it is possible for you to have in-the-ear hearing aids.
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Conclusion: Behind-the-ear hearing aids are typically known for being the most comfortable, while in-the-ear hearing aids have the benefit of being slightly more discreet.

Our hearing care experts can increase your comfort

Comfort is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting hearing aids. Wearing hearing aids should never be uncomfortable.

Our hearing care experts are trained to help you find the most comfortable hearing aids for you. We will ensure that you are satisfied and that you find the best hearing aids for your needs.

 

Factor 4 - Price and quality

The styles represented in Step 1 are available in multiple price ranges – in order to meet all budget levels.

The price of your hearing aid can depend on the number of benefits you are hoping to get out of your new hearing aid. Such benefits can include automatic volume adjustment and wireless connectivity. Depending on your needs, these additional benefits can have a noticeable impact on the overall experience. Read further to learn more about the benefits provided by hearing aids today.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids have higher tech capabilities

Due to their larger size, behind-the-ear hearing aids provide the broadest selection of potential technological upgrades. However, the larger in-the-ear styles such as half-shell-in-the-ear and full-shell-in-the-ear styles do have the capacity for larger batteries and high technological capabilities as well.

Benefits available in hearing aids on the market today:

  • Wireless connectivity to smart devices.
  • 360-degree sound (allowing a more “natural” hearing experience).
  • BrainHearing™ technology by Oticon (allows your brain to do less work to process the sound).
  • Automatic adjustment for different sound settings.
  • Rechargeable battery option.
  • Telecoil option provides sound access in theatres and churches.

Modern hearing aids (such as the Oticon Opn S) have the technology to provide you with a “360 degree sound experience”, allowing you to understand speech in noisy environments and focus mostly on the sounds directly around you or in front of you.

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Conclusion: The more sophisticated features offered, the higher the price of the hearing aids. Such features can include (but are not limited to): automatic volume adjustment, wireless connection to smart devices, and a 360-degree, natural sound experience.

Would you like more details about hearing aid prices?

You are welcome to visit one of our clinics, and we can show you the available hearing aids and what they cost.

View a hearing aid price comparison table:

Hearing aid prices

 

Factor 5 - Style

Some appearance factors to consider are:

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Size

Is long battery life or discreetness the most important thing to you?

Larger hearing aids (behind-the-ear or full-shell in-the-ear hearing aids) could be the best hearing aid for you if you are looking for larger batteries with high-tech capabilities and a longer battery life while small, in-the-ear hearing aids could be the solution for someone with mild to moderate hearing loss who is most interested in discreet, nearly invisible hearing aids.

Colour

Did you know that hearing aids are available in different colours? You have the option of finding hearing aids that blend in well with your skin tone – or just choosing a colour that appeals to you.

Ear canal shape determines hearing aid size

The shape of your ear canal can also have an influence on the best hearing aid for you; since in-the-ear hearing aids are placed in the ear canal, a mould of your ear canal is taken, and the hearing aids are personalised to your unique ear canal shape.

As represented in Step 1, the invisible-in-the-canal and in-the-canal hearing aids are the smallest and most invisible hearing aids and are suitable for most ear canals. If you’re interested in an in-the-ear hearing aid style, your audiologist will make a mould of your ear canal and determine which hearing aid style makes the most sense for you.

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Conclusion: Both behind-the-ear and in-the-ear styles come in various sizes and colours. When it comes to in-the-ear styles, the shape of your ear canal can influence whether this particular style would be the best hearing aid for you (since this style must sit properly inside the ear).

 

Factor 6 - Your level of social engagement

Whether you enjoy spending time at home or out of the house at restaurants or social events, the best hearing aid for you will be one that matches your level of social engagement. The more active you are socially, the more “advanced features” you may want to look out for, and the less socially engaged you are, the more basic your hearing aids may be.

For the highly socially engaged:

If you travel frequently, attend live entertainment, regularly give presentations, or attend social events, the best solution for you will be one that can automatically adjust to the sound environment. Modern hearing aids can be programmed to adjust the volume based on your environment.

Those who have a high level of social engagement will want to consider:

  • Automatic sound adjustments.
  • 360-degree sound.
  • BrainHearing technology™ by Oticon.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • TV connectivity.

Since your social activities will have you changing sound environments more frequently, getting hearing aids with this automatic adjustment feature would be ideal. Wireless connectivity will also allow you to connect your hearing aids directly to your phone or tablet while on the go. Refer to Step 1 to get an overview of which features are available in each hearing aid type available.

For the moderately socially engaged:

If you occasionally participate in social events, meetings, and/or outdoor physical activities, the best hearing aid for you will be one with certain advanced features (such as automatic adjustment and 360-degree sound).

Those who are moderately socially engaged will want to consider:

  • Automatic sound adjustments.
  • 360-degree sound.
  • BrainHearing technology™ by Oticon.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • TV connectivity.

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For the lightly socially engaged:

If your everyday social activities take place in a relatively quiet environment (or if you attend relatively few social activities), you most likely will not require some of the high-tech features that hearing aids can offer (such as automatic sound adjustment).  

Those with a low level of social engagement will want to consider:

  • Basic hearing aid offerings.
  • TV connectivity.

lightlyengaged

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Conclusion: Those who are highly socially engaged will want to consider hearing aids that can provide more advanced technological features, while those who engage in less social activities will have more basic needs when it comes to choosing the best hearing aid for you.


Read an in-depth overview of the different types of hearing aids:

Types of hearing aids

Step 3. Demo hearing aids at your local clinic

The knowledge that you have obtained in this guide can help you understand the most important factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid.

The next steps in the process are the following:

  • Book a hearing test at a hearing clinic
  • Discuss your preferences and any questions you might have with your hearing care expert
  • Your hearing aid audiologist will demonstrate the latest hearing aid model to suit your hearing loss and needs

Make an appointment with your local hearing aid audiologist who can help you understand how you get the:

  • Best value for your money
  • Best sound quality

Book A No Obligation, Free Hearing Test

It's as easy as 1-2-3. Select your branch, choose your date and time and then provide your contact details.

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¹https://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/hearing_impairment_grades/en/ 

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