See here the list of Top 10 best hearing aids. Read the buying guide and other important factors before making a selection for you or any of your dear ones[amazon bestseller=”best hearing aids”]
If you suddenly feel quieter around you and you can no longer follow conversations acoustically, then modern hearing aids continue to help. But the selection in the market is great. For example, some models can be placed directly in the ear, others are placed in front of it. A hearing aid test compares different models and variants and is a valuable decision aid when buying a hearing aid. In this article, you can read about the differences between the individual hearing aids and whether a model can be just as good for the health insurance company as one that you completely finance yourself.
1. Our buying advice: How do I find my personal hearing aid test winner 2019?
Preliminary: Even if different criteria speak for or against a specific model, the hearing aid must fit the person and the degree of hearing loss. Just as little as there is one tablet for all diseases, there is one best hearing aid on the market that satisfies all users. An age-related deafness comes with very different indications, such as a congenital hearing loss . In addition, you must be aware before purchasing whether you need a hearing aid or rather a sound amplifier.
What is the difference between hearing aids and hearing aids?
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” are often used interchangeably, but differ significantly. A hearing aid is used for a moderate to severe hearing loss . Hearing aids are individually configurable and can also be paid by the health insurance company free of charge.
Mostly, hearing aids are a little more discreet in design, but also much more expensive if you have to pay them out of pocket. A hearing amplifier is the first choice for mild hearing loss.It is used only when needed, for example, when visiting the theater and is available from about 20.00 euros. However, the health insurance does not pay any acquisition costs. Another disadvantage is that even noise is amplified and the sound quality is not the best.
1.1. What should I look for when buying a hearing aid?
The purchase of a hearing aid requires that you have already decided in advance for a hearing aid. You will not get an implant from the acoustician. Of course, you will then have the opportunity to test different hearing aids such as in-ear systems on site.
Detailed advice: The purchase of hearing aids always requires detailed advice from a specialist. A hearing aid is not something you just take off the shelf and think it’s good. It’s best to recommend a hearing care professional near you from friends or look for someone with good reviews on the Internet.
Hearing aids test: A hearing aid can only really be judged if you can test it yourself. Therefore, after the first consultation, a selection of different hearing aids will be followed by an on-site individual hearing aid test. Here you get a first impression of the sound quality, the processing, the operation and the wearing comfort.
Comfort: Ideally you will not feel your hearing aid at all. However, as there is a large variation in size among manufacturers and models, your acoustician will need to determine the exact size for your ear. How high the wearing comfort of the equipment of your choice is, you can find out again only by a hearing aid test on the spot. Stiftung Warentest carried out a major hearing aid test in 2012, comparing child hearing aids, Seifert hearing aids, Fielmann hearing aids and Iffland hearing aids among others. The highest wearing comfort after initial adaptation was provided by hearing aids from Fielmann.
Sound quality: A hearing aid achieves good sound quality when it can separate the ambient noise from the desired sound. This is a technical challenge, especially in concerts or at train stations. At the store you will only get a first impression of the sound quality . Your impressions will not be comparable until you have tested several hearing aids.
Volume control: The volume should be regulated very quickly on your hearing aid. Modern, digital hearing systems have usually already integrated an automatic volume control, but the operation can also be done manually. Many hearing aids have (additionally) a key principle directly on the device.
2. Hearing aids types: These models can be purchased from the hearing care professional
When you buy a hearing aid for the first time, the variety of models and variants is almost unmanageable. So here’s an overview of the most common models, so you can get a better idea of the pros and cons of each hearing instrument. Basically, a distinction is made between a closed and an open hearing aid system. With an open supply the auditory canal remains open , so that sounds from the environment can also naturally penetrate into the auditory canal.
With a closed supply, the auditory canal is closed by the hearing aid so that the sound waves only reach the eardrum via the device. This variant has the advantage that background noise can be almost completely faded out. However, closed hearing aids are not as discreet as open models. They are always noticeable from the outside.
2.1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of over-the-counter hearing aids?
Anyone who notes first hearing loss, but so does not want to go straight to the doctor or the hearing care professional, who can buy a hearing aid even without a prescription. You only need a prescription if you want to settle the services with your health insurance . You will not only get over-the-counter hearing aids from the acoustician, but also from the internet via the well-known marketplaces and portals. But not for all hearing impaired over-the-counter models make sense.
- Low hearing aids cost
- Fast order and delivery
- No time-consuming sales and consultation process
- No individual customization possible
- Worse sound quality
- No reimbursement by the health insurance
- Health risks due to lack of advice
2.2. Is an implantable hearing aid suitable for me?
In addition to the flexible variants, which are adapted by the acoustician, there are the implantable devices, short MOI. These hearing aid systems are only used for specific medical indications. This includes:
- Ear canal problems eg caused by inflammations or malformations
- To prevent occlusion in the ear canal
- In case of conductive problems and combined hearing loss
- Psychosocial aspects, eg with high suffering pressure
3. Here are some important questions and answers about hearing aids
3.1. How do hearing aids work?
Modern digital hearing aids all work according to the same principle: the sound is picked up from the environment via a microphone and converted into electrical signals . They are processed via the processor located in the hearing aid and then transferred back into the ear canal as sound waves. Most hearing aids still have other important additional functions today. For example, you can filter out unwanted ambient noise and have an automatic volume control.
3.2. How long do batteries for hearing aids last?
The duration of the hearing aid batteries depends crucially on the energy consumption of the hearing aid. Also, the brand of hearing aid batteries is crucial and about what setting the device is currently running. Hearing aid batteries are available in 4 different sizes. If you wear your hearing aid on a daily basis, you can expect a duration of between 3 days and 3 weeks.
3.3. Which manufacturer is the best?
On the German market more than 1000 hearing aids of different brands are available, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Among the well-known manufacturers are audiben, Vhp, Newgen Medical, Newear, Clearsound, audioline, Beurer, KIND and Siemens hearing aids . The cost and the name of the manufacturer in the end say nothing about how good the hearing aid is actually. Comparisons show that, for example, you already get a cheap hearing aid from newgen medicals for 80.00 euros, which reaches a volume of 130dB, is very well processed, eliminates noise and has a high wearing comfort.
3.4. How can I hygienically clean a hearing aid?
There are cleaning wipes for hearing aids that you can use for daily cleaning. Of course, the sensitive technology should not just keep it under water. The necessary accessories also include the hearing aid drying unit. It deprives the hearing aid of the moisture that has accumulated over the day and extends the proven lifetime.
4. Thus, the assumption of costs for hearing aids is regulated by the health insurance
Statutory insured persons can even get a medical hearing aid for free. The health insurance will pay in 2018 up to 784.94 euros for the first hearing aid. However, the individual health insurance companies individually handle the subsidies and the conditions for the reimbursement of costs.
It must be fulfilled several conditions for customers to at least get a partial refund . The acoustician must offer no-charge models that meet the latest technical standards. For example, KIND has developed its own “zero rate collection” that includes high quality behind-the-ear and in-ear devices . These devices, which are free of charge for the insured customer, have important additional functions such as wind noise suppression or telephone programs.