What Is an Online Hearing Aid? | An Audiologist’s Opinion

05/20/2021 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Technology | 0 comments

No doubt you have heard of the ability to buy your hearing aids online lately.

Online hearing aids are a non-local option that takes the professional rapport and relationship benefit out of a hearing aid fitting and puts more responsibility into the patient’s hands.

They have recently become more popular, with patients feeling comfortable with online ordering of many types of products.

Are we fans? Well, we are happy that more people will get some form of help for their hearing loss if cost is the only obstacle. But we are concerned about people thinking that because they can buy a hearing aid this way, they’ll fix their hearing problem.

Let me explain: We haven’t established ourselves in Pensacola communities for more than 45 years just so we can sell hearing aids. That’s just one small part of what we do. We’re here to partner with you on your hearing journey for life.

Let us help you make an informed decision

The Real Cost of Online Hearing Aids

The cost of online hearing aids is certainly attractive, but before you hit that purchase button, consider all the facts about what your money will get you.

The hearing aids purchased on Lively are similar to hearing aids that we sell in our office at similar pricing structures.

Typically, the technology is a generation prior to what is currently dispensed. Still, our office also offers a similar product in technology at a very comparable price point to Lively and/or other online retailers.

Sometimes we hear stories about people who receive a hearing aid from an online retailer, and they report that the hearing aid is much cheaper.

The good news is that at The Hearing Center, our patients have the option to pay something similar for hearing aids and have the benefit of a local, trusted professional on call to help with the routine maintenance and care issues as well as programming when needed!

We offer the best of both worlds, which is gold standard professional fitting, with the capability of telehealth at an affordable, comparable price of online devices.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  Online Hearing Aids The Hearing Center MCC
Does the cost include an all-inclusive service plan? No Yes
Is there a credit for trading in my old pair? No Yes
Does the cost include ongoing hearing healthcare? No Yes
Are payment plans available? Yes Yes
Will the hearing test assess my hearing accurately? Probably not Yes
Will the hearing test find the cause of my hearing loss? No Yes
Can I choose hearing aids with the latest advances in clarity and performance? Maybe Yes
Will I have multiple options to choose from? No Yes
Can I buy a rechargeable aid? Yes Yes
Will the hearing aids fit with my exact lifestyle? Maybe Yes
Will the hearing aids fit my ear perfectly thanks to form-fitting? Probably not Yes
Will scheduled repairs, replacement parts, cleaning, and maintenance be included in the cost? No Yes
Will I be loaned a replacement pair when big repairs take longer? No Yes
Do they have a 3- or 4-year warranty? Yes Yes
Will I get an in-person demo of any hearing aids I am interested in? No Yes
Can I wear the hearing aids on a trial period that promises a full refund? Possibly Yes
Will my audiologist sit with me and teach me about the technology in my hearing aid and how to adjust the settings? No Yes
Can I get in-person, immediate adjustments of my hearing aid anytime I need them? No Yes
Will they deal with my insurance company for me? No Yes
Do they have virtual appointments? Yes Yes
Are online appointments with an audiologist? Possibly Yes
Are the online reviews on Google good? 4.2 – 4.7/5 5/5

Why Partner with Us?

In addition to the information above, we do so much more.

  1. Our Hearing Tests – One of our big concerns is relying on an online hearing test to be accurate.

The Hearing Center’s test doesn’t just test your hearing. It also includes a medical history, a chat about your lifestyle and how your hearing loss is affecting you, a precise measurement of your hearing ability of tones, pitches, and spoken words, a check of your balance, and an assessment of your tinnitus (if you have any). We also rule out any medical reasons for your hearing results.

Sometimes your hearing loss might be due to something as simple as too much earwax, which we can quickly clear out. Imagine spending close to $2,000 for online hearing aids only to find they don’t fix the problem!

This is why we want you to partner with us rather than order something that might not help – because we want to help you and your loved ones never miss out on the correct diagnosis and treatment of any aspect of their hearing health.

  1. Our Hearing Aid Fittings – In addition to this, we are trained to get your hearing aid to fit perfectly, no matter how long it takes. In most situations, patients need a more precise fitting that allows an audiologist to measure how loud the hearing aid is in their own ear canal to precisely customize the sound to their hearing loss.

Additionally, patients who need more instruction and counseling about what to expect from a hearing aid and how to maintain the function of the hearing aid need a local, trusted professional to be available to assist them when needed.

  1. Scheduled Maintenance – Our scheduled cleaning check includes a visual inspection, we check speech frequencies, replace batteries, wax filters, domes, microphone covers, external casings, and clean and sanitize. This service is free to all our patients. Have them cleaned while you wait.
  2. Consistent Follow-Up Care – So we can always monitor your hearing and make sure the hearing aids are serving you well.

In summary, we are here for you for life.

To Buy Online or Not

In some situations, online hearing aids might be a good choice if you have a very mild hearing loss and confidence in inserting, caring, and adjusting your hearing aids yourself.

However, many patients in our office report the value of a live, in-person visit for demonstration of hearing aid insertion, cleaning, and verification of loudness of the hearing aid in the ear.

Where you choose to buy your hearing aids is a very personal decision, and we’re glad that now you’ve read this, it will be a more informed one. Either way, congratulations for taking this step toward treating your hearing health.

A consultation is complimentary to discuss options. Please make sure to be fully informed about pricing, hearing device technology, and what professional services are included to thoroughly compare the price being paid versus the product (hearing aid) and professional services (audiologist support).

Schedule an appointment with the professionals at The Hearing Center so that you can rely on our experience of treating thousands of patients with hearing aids to determine what the best option is for each individual.


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Jennifer LaBorde Au.D., CCC-A

Dr. Jennifer LaBorde is an audiologist who has been in practice since 1999. She has a Masters in Communication Disorders from University of South Alabama, Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders from the University of Mississippi, a Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology.
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