Hearing Aids Consumer Reports
If you are the kind of person who likes to do plenty of research before making a major purchase, then you should be congratulated because the more homework you do about what makes for a good project in its category, the better chances you have of making a really good purchase decision. And when it comes to product research, there are a wealth of consumer reports that are available in just about any product category to draw on. That is certainly true when it comes to the art of buying hearing aids.
Of course, any consumer report worth its salt applies the same standards to hearing aids as any good product has to live up to. Those standards would include…
. Durability. The hearing aid has to keep on working for many years trouble free.
. Usability. The unit must work well, giving service without troubling the owner.
. Support. If the hearing aid has a problem, the manufacturer must be professional and always ready to repair or replace the unit.
. Serviceability. The user of the hearing aid (you) must be able to take care of it easily. That means the batteries are easy to find, affordable and easy to change. It also means you can clean the unit without special equipment and that you can get it thoroughly clean.
There are many good product reviews websites and publications that are a good starting place to find objective and critical opinions about what hearing aids are made well and which ones are "lemons". By critical we mean you need a consumer report site that knows how to evaluate a product fairly and without bias. In that way if they find the hearing aid to be a quality product, they will tell you so without payment or kick back from the manufacturer. Similarly, they can give a product a bad review if it genuinely a poorly made hearing aid and they are insulated from reprisal from the maker of the unit.
Of course, the flagship of this kind of publication is the Consumer Reports magazine. They excel because they employ experts in each area of expertise to review products. But you can add to what Consumer Reports has to say by looking at consumer review sources that are devoted to issues of hearing impairment and aging including AARP and the Beyond Hearing organization which operates a listserv and web site that can help you a lot.
But there really is no better consumer report than one that comes from a consumer. So don’t overlook a resource for solid hearing aid reviews in your friends and neighbors who use hearing aids. If a real world user of a hearing aid gives a particular unit or manufacturer high marks, that is solid experience talking and that is worth its weight in gold as you evaluate what hearing aid you will buy.