Affordable Digital Hearing Aids: Trends and Predictions
Are you looking for affordable digital hearing aids? Well, here’s a figure that might shock you:
That’s the share of the hearing aid market controlled by the five largest manufacturers, according to Franklin Lin, director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health at the Bloomberg School.
It’s no wonder, then, that cost of a pair of hearing aids is sky-high—or that this cost remains the primary barrier to widescale hearing aid adoption. In fact, a 2012 survey of people with hearing loss found that “the most important impediment to the purchase of hearing aids [was] expense”. In the United States, one of the largest markets for hearing aids, the devices cost an average of $2,500 per pair, with the price of top-of-the-line models exceeding $8,000 per pair. Worse yet, this expense is generally not covered by insurance.
“Over the years, our number one call, email [and] letter is from people who can’t afford hearing aids,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America.
The lack of affordable hearing aids is only one part of the equation. Consumers also have to factor in the cost of audiology appointments. Not to mention that traditional hearing aids use replaceable batteries that can end up running as much as $150 per year.
A changing landscape
In a speech given in October 2021, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden laid out a grand new vision for the future of the affordable hearing aid market: “You no longer are going to have to go to the doctor and spend five grand… you can go buy at Walgreens [an American drug store chain], and buy over-the-counter hearing aids” ( ).
The president was referring to a recently announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule change—one that allows hearing aids to be sold over the counter as soon as early 2022.
The reasons behind the shift are vast, and the implications are global. First, technological innovations have made it easier to put high-end features into affordable digital hearing aids. Second, a new generation of hearing aids, like Ven™ by Audientes, include self-fitting technology, so that they can adapt automatically to users’ hearing profiles right out of the box (Read “What is self-fitting?” for more info). Finally, a group of affordable hearing aid startup companies, including Audientes, are challenging the dominant business paradigm by selling affordable hearing aids online, directly to consumers.
The best affordable hearing aids
Consumers have an increasing array of choices, but one of the most exciting new products to hit the market is our very own self-fitting, digital hearing aid, Ven. One of the most affordable hearing aids available, Ven has some of the same features found in devices that cost ten times as much—or more. Bluetooth connectivity. Rechargeable batteries. Personalized sound profiles. An optional companion app. Ven’s got it all.
Ven is also binaural, which means that it’s for both ears. Say goodbye to the expense of buying a pair of hearing aids. With Ven, you only have to buy one device.
You can purchase Ven online, in . Ven is also available at select retailers and audiology clinics (Try the buy from your local clinic option on our home page).
Consumers need to be aware that not all devices on the market are created equal. Especially concerning are PSAPs (portable sound amplifying devices). These devices are inexpensive but largely ineffective at improving users’ hearing abilities. According to Consumer Reports, such devices “showed very little benefit in any of our tests and sometimes actually blocked incoming sounds the way earplugs do.”
Disturbingly, such devices are totally unregulated—and they are not intended to be used for hearing loss. Worse yet, the devices often amplify sounds too much, damaging users’ hearing further.
There’s never been a better time to buy an affordable digital hearing aid. Technological advances and a changing regulatory environment are bringing costs down rapidly. If you’re in the market for a high-quality, low-cost hearing aid, Ven by Audientes is the perfect device for you.
Learn more about Ven’s and purchasing options.
More affordable hearing aids are coming onto the market. Learn what’s causing the shift–and features to look for when making a purchase.
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