It’s no secret that hearing aids are an investment, and depending on your budget, it might be tempting to look for less expensive ways to get them. You might wonder whether buying used hearing aids is a viable option, but there’s a lot to consider—and we’re here to guide you through
Despite seeming like a way to cut costs, buying used hearing aids can present some issues. Here, we’ll discuss what you need to know about used devices and what you should consider when choosing hearing aids.
While there’s no cure for hearing loss, hearing aids are a tremendous tool for improving hearing. With the help of these small, powerful pieces of technology, you can get back to hearing the world around you more fully while reducing hearing challenges like background noise.
One thing to remember is that wearing hearing aids to hear better is not like putting on glasses to see better. The more you wear hearing aids, the better your hearing journey will be as your brain adjusts to them over time with frequent use. Another major factor in improving your hearing with hearing aids is getting a pair that is truly right for you. They need to match not only your type and degree of hearing loss but the way you live your life. Active and highly social people need to hear differently than those who live a slower-paced, more introverted life, and your hearing aids should match your situation. Keep these factors in mind as you explore devices:
As you begin your hearing aid search, you will quickly learn that there are many sources for buying hearing aids, all promising solutions to these questions. One option you might come across is purchasing used hearing aids for sale from a previous wearer. While they might seem like a better financial deal, wearing used hearing aids can present challenges. Below are some of the key things to consider when thinking about buying used hearing aids.
Really, the question “Can you use someone else’s hearing aid?” should be “Should you wear someone else’s hearing aid?” You can put just about anything in your ear, but it won’t always be what you need—or even particularly good for you. Your hearing aids need to keep up with your life. To enable you to hear comfortably and confidently in all kinds of sound environments, your hearing care professional sets up hearing aid programs that adapt to any new space, whether in an office, a cafe, or even your car.
Because of this customization to the original wearer, choosing to buy used hearing aids might mean that you’re getting hearing aids matched to another person’s hearing loss and potentially without the programs you need to navigate your life. This mismatch can result in discomfort and confusion as you attempt to hear the world around you.
Beyond that, reprogramming hearing aids for a new user can present its own challenges, as you must find a hearing care provider willing to reprogram the hearing aids for you or try to reprogram the hearing aids yourself, which isn’t recommended. Programming is a highly technical and precise process, and it’s based on your audiogram results, which detail your specific hearing loss. Attempting to program hearing aids on your own often results in worse settings that further damage your hearing.
Regardless of programming and depending on the type of device, used hearing aids can also present complications with the fit. Some hearing aid styles are designed to fit the ear canal of the original wearer and won’t fit correctly unless a custom earmold is remade for the new owner. Replacement of this part can be costly, so it often makes more sense to purchase new hearing aids from the outset.
When putting up used hearing aids for sale, previous owners must follow certain state and federal guidelines to ensure buyers have clear and accurate information about the used product. Despite these regulations, there aren’t specific standards around the degree of cleanliness of used hearing aids before sending to the next user.
Because they sit in an environment primed for bacteria growth, hearing aids require maintenance to keep them clean and safe. A previous owner isn’t mandated to follow any cleaning guidelines, so you can’t be entirely sure of the cleanliness of the devices, inside or out.
While it might seem like an easy transfer from one person to another, the lack of regulation around cleanliness standards or sterilization means you could receive an unhygienic product.
Buying used hearing aids can feel like a quicker path to hearing aids that avoids testing, consultations and some of the costs associated with buying from a hearing aid company. However, hearing aids purchased from third-party sellers generally don’t come with the warranties and long-term care offered by hearing aid retailers, leaving you without the support to make a real difference in your hearing.
Depending on the age of the hearing aids, used devices might still be covered under existing manufacturer warranties, but those warranties might be void to you as the second owner. In most cases, you must purchase an extended hearing aid warranty, adding to the price you’re already paying for the devices. Without a warranty, you’ll also have to foot the bill in the cases of device malfunction or repair needs, or loss.
Alternatively, new traditional hearing aids bought at a retailer like Miracle-Ear come with lifetime care. Every Miracle-Ear product comes with an industry-leading 3-year hearing aid warranty, offering protection for loss or damage, instrument repairs and adjustments. This warranty also comes with an aftercare promise, which provides free lifetime service for any necessary reprogramming, tune-ups, hearing tests and hearing aid cleaning. This service program is crucial for the functioning of your devices and ensures that you won’t face additional costs.
Hearing aids today are much more than simple amplifiers; new devices offer advanced hearing aid technology features to improve your overall experience, including Bluetooth®, audio streaming capabilities, advanced hearing aid programs and apps for your smartphone.
While every pair of hearing aids is different, used hearing aids might lack sound processing capabilities, resulting in poor sound quality that makes it harder to hear clearly. They might also lack the features that help integrate hearing aids into your life, limiting the usefulness of the devices.
In contrast, up-to-date hearing aids offer advanced features to create the most natural sound and comfortable hearing experience. By incorporating features like binaural hearing systems, multi-directional microphones, intuitive sound processing and hearing aid-linked smartphone apps, it’s easier to hear clearly and confidently, no matter the environment. It’s a smart idea to learn more about modern hearing aid technology before you buy to be aware of all your options.
Hearing aid technology is evolving to create more cohesive and meaningful hearing experiences for wearers. These upgrades can render the older technology in used hearing aids obsolete and make them a comparatively less effective solution for hearing improvement.
When comparing the prices of new hearing aids and used hearing aids for sale, buying used ones might appear to be a cheap anomaly in the hearing aid marketplace. It’s no secret that new hearing aids can be expensive, with prices ranging from under $1,000 to more than $8,000 or more for a pair. However, used hearing aids can become just as (if not more) expensive as new hearing aids after factoring in costs for repair and maintenance.
Regardless of when the original owner purchased the hearing aids and how often they were worn, most used hearing aids are going to come with some wear and tear. Buying a previously owned product can translate to complications, like expiring technology, malfunctioning elements or parts needing replacement. You might have to spend money to update them, and you’ll likely need to replace them sooner than you would a new pair, which can end up costing you more overall.
If you take used hearing aids to a professional for assessment, fitting or reprogramming, you might incur even more costs. While they can initially seem like a better financial option, the added cost of repairs, maintenance and programming can significantly increase the price you’ll pay for used hearing aids over the long term.
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