Hearing Aid Consumer Guide

Hearing aids are electronic devices placed behind or inside the ear in order to amplify external sound and assist individuals experiencing hearing loss to hear voices, sounds, and noises that they would not otherwise be able to detect. With advances in technology, hearing aids have become both smaller and more effective.

Although hearing aids are not perfect replacements for hearing loss, they are an important life-enhancing alternative which have made a positive difference in the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The purpose of this site is to provide you with important and detailed consumer information about hearing aids.

This site is comprised of several sections, with each section focusing on an important subset of information that a consumer seeking to purchase a hearing aid device would want to have prior to making a final buying decision.

Because hearing aids represent a significant investment of money and because they have the potential to materially enhance the quality of a person’s life, we believe that by putting all of the necessary consumer information in one place we can greatly help those in need of hearing assistance.

The first step is to understand the type of hearing aids that are out there because there are several possible choices. While the two main types are behind-the-ear and in-the-ear, there are several sub-types which differ in terms of fit, feel, functionality, features, technology, appearance, battery life and appropriateness with regard to hearing loss severity. Also note that hearing aids are different from best earplugs for sleeping.

For a detailed description of each type, please select “Types” from the navigation panel above, or click on this link:

Hearing Aid Types.

Once you have an idea of the hearing aid type you prefer, it is then vital to identify manufacturers who have high quality models of that type available. To help with this search, we have conducted an impartial, in-depth survey of the leading hearing aid brands based on a combination of consumer reviews, expert assessments and independent research. You can see our Top Hearing Aid Brands here. In considering the full breadth of factors, we have concluded that Phonak, Miracle Ear and Siemens deserve top ranking. However, we encourage you to review all of our top ten.

For consumers who are interested in learning about the latest advances in hearing aid technology, or to simply understand how a hearing aid works to amplify sound, we have created a readable guide in our Technology section here.

The price of a hearing aid will vary depending on a range of factors, including brand, quality, type, and customization requirements. There are also on-going costs associated with using a hearing aid. Please take a look at our Cost Guide for more detailed information.

Hearing aids run on batteries, but different models take different types of batteries. There is a classification system specifically designed for hearing aid batteries and we explain this system in our Batteries section here.

A number of accessories exist for individuals who suffer from hearing impairment and many of these are specifically designed to work effectively with hearing aids. We present the main accessory types in our Accessories section here.

Once you have a good idea of the kind of hearing aid you would like to purchase, the batteries you may need, and the accessories you would like to acquire, you can find out some suggestions for where to start your shopping by clicking on our Where to Buy section.