Hearing loss is an epidemic in Australia, with one in seven Australians being diagnosed with mild to profound hearing loss.
Although there’s no cure for hearing loss, hearing aids can help improve quality of life. However, if you don’t qualify for government assistance, it can be difficult to budget for hearing aids cost.
Making the right purchasing decision for hearing aids in Australia requires collaboration between you and a qualified hearing care specialist. It’s also important to research hearing aid brands to determine the best hearing aids for you.
There is no such thing as the “best” hearing aids. Everyone has different needs. It’s important to understand your needs and to discuss your hearing loss with a hearing care specialist.
Different hearing aid brands offer different solutions at varying price points. Here are some of the most well-regarded hearing aid manufacturers.
Oticon is a Danish company established in 1904. It’s the world’s second-biggest hearing aid manufacturer. Its designs embrace cutting-edge technology to empower people living with hearing loss.
Its innovations are powered by its dedicated research facility, the Centre
for Audiology. This research centre has made significant steps forward in understanding how the brain reacts to and processes sound.
One of its most advanced models is the Oticon Opn. It’s powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), which means it can be connected with smart home devices, like thermostats, fire alarms, and smoke detectors.
Oticon’s flagship BrainHearing technology is dedicated to reducing listening effort and enhancing speech understanding in challenging environments.
Phonak is well-represented in the Australian market. The Swiss company has supplied more than 100 countries with top-quality hearing aids.
Now owned by Sonova, Phonak has utilised bionic systems to produce the world’s first biometric hearing aid. By taking into account the anatomy of the individual’s ear, hearing solutions are customised according to the wearer.
Its AutoSense OS technology has taken hearing solutions into the future by producing a hearing aid capable of automatically adapting to any environment without manual adjustment.
Phonak has also managed to create the Audeo B, which is the world’s first hearing aid to include a lithium-ion battery within the device. This enables a single charge to provide 24 hours of hearing, including media streaming.
Signia is a relative newcomer to the market after being launched in 2016 as a core part of the Sivantos Group.
Incorporating Siemens audio technologies, including the Binax system, the Primax is a hearing aid that includes acoustic-motion sensors while also being the world’s smallest hearing device.
Primax reduces listening effort and provides relief for tinnitus sufferers. The latest hearing aid reviews on Signia praise its products for boosting speech recognition and limiting background noise.
Starkey was launched in 1967 in the U.S. and has made its reputation through launching the In-the-Canal (ITC) style of hearing aid. Its fully programmable digital hearing aids are completely invisible.
This hearing device manufacturer has models to suit most types of hearing loss while providing maximum comfort and meeting the aesthetic expectations of its customers.
The 3 Series is Starkey’s most advanced hearing aid. These aids create a natural listening experience when making phone calls or streaming media through Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Its innovative hearing aids in Australia also utilise artificial intelligence and sensors to track the cognitive health of the wearer.
Widex was established in Denmark in 1956 and produces discreet and stylish hearing devices for the global market. They have become widely known for their tinnitus relief hearing solutions.
Dubbed the Zen Tinnitus Management System, these hearing devices limit all kinds of tinnitus to produce a clearer, higher-quality sound experience.
As part of its commitment to producing better hearing solutions for all, Widex was responsible for producing the first listening device specifically for babies.
Hearing aids prices can act as a barrier to many Australians who want to reconnect with the beauty of sound.
If you’re ineligible for government Hearing Services Program assistance, they can cost as much as $12,000. Although this sounds like a lot, you need to remember that the best hearing aids in Australia can last as long as five years, or even longer.
So how much are hearing aids per month?
A premium $12,000 set of hearing aids in Australia will cost $200 a month. For the quality of life benefits, most people with hearing loss would agree it’s a price well worth paying.
The device itself isn’t the only thing included in the overall price. Prices usually include the following:
Of course, what’s included will vary depending on the supplier. It’s good practice to discuss what’s included in the price before committing to any purchase.
The prices typically don’t include any accessories, including charging ports and replaceable batteries. These are part of the ongoing costs of wearing hearing aids.
Many factors determine the overall cost of a hearing device. With so many options, you’re bound to find something to suit your budget.
Certain additional features are always going to increase the cost, however. Some of these features include:
Many of the additional features of state-of-the-art hearing devices are well worth paying for. It’s important to perform a hearing aid comparison before settling on a purchase.
Whether a feature is worth paying for depends on your lifestyle and the extent of your hearing loss. Speaking to an independent hearing specialist with EarPros can help you to determine which features are most important to you.
One of the most common questions we receive is whether paying for a warranty is worth the cost. The average hearing aid warranty has a duration of 1-3 years and may be included with your purchase.
Most warranties allow for one free replacement of a hearing aid and cover all repair work. Some hearing devices are small and easy to lose, whereas older, cheaper hearing aids in Australia may be less durable.
We highly recommend getting a warranty, even if it isn’t included with your initial purchase.
Buying a hearing aid online without the help of a hearing loss specialist is not recommended. If you’ve already made a hearing aid comparison, you’ve likely come across inexpensive sound amplification products known as Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs).
These are marketed as over-the-counter alternatives to hearing aids in countries outside of Australia, which ordinarily require a prescription. They are mainly aimed at people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
PSAPs have not been approved as hearing loss solutions and should be avoided.
Hearing aid reviews have examined PSAPs, and licensed professionals have commented that these devices:
Comprehensive hearing solutions must be customised according to the individual. Studies have shown PSAPs consistently fail to [SM2] optimise hearing and, at worst, may even cause further hearing damage.
While it may be tempting to save money on high hearing aids prices by investing in PSAPs, they will not provide you with the consistent, crystal clear hearing experience of a prescription hearing aid produced by a reputable manufacturer.
When buying a new pair of hearing aids in Australia, it’s important to make your decision carefully. This includes being aware of the different styles of hearing devices and ensuring they are the best solution for your type of hearing loss.
There’s a whole spectrum of hearing loss, ranging from mild to profound. Not every type of hearing device is geared towards your needs.
For example, if you have single-sided deafness, you’ll need a different solution to someone who has moderate conductive hearing loss.
The answer is to consult a professional. Book your free hearing test with a qualified professional through EarPros.
At your hearing test, a professional will measure your level of hearing loss and make recommendations as to the correct type of hearing aid for you.
During your hearing test, you’ll be asked some basic lifestyle questions to ascertain when and where you most have trouble hearing. Other tests conducted include:
The results of your hearing test will distinguish between different types and extents of hearing loss. Using your results, a professional can then make recommendations for hearing devices that will best address your hearing problems.
There are several types of hearing aid to choose from. The right device for you depends on the extent of your hearing loss and your lifestyle.
Here’s a brief rundown of the different styles of hearing aid available in Australia right now.
A BTE hearing aid is visible and fits behind the outer ear. An ear mould fills the majority of the outer ear, with a small tube connecting the two.
These are the largest types of hearing aid and tend to come with more power and capacity. BTE hearing devices are better for people with severe and profound hearing loss.
RIC aids also sit behind the outer ear, but the speaker is placed within the ear. You’ll still need an ear mould customised to the size of your ear.
These are smaller and more lightweight than BTE hearing devices. Although they can still be seen, they are more discreet.
If you don’t require the power a BTE aid can offer, RIC hearing aids in Australia are the next best alternative.
ITE is an excellent choice of hearing aid because they offer a higher level of discretion. Since the main selling point of an ITE hearing device is discretion, these are available in various blended skin tones.
There are sub-styles of ITE hearing aids available, including:
Developing technology means this style of hearing aid is becoming increasingly available to people with more severe forms of hearing loss.
Finally, there is the Lyric hearing device. Manufactured by Phonak, hearing aid reviews on this device are glowing.
Lyric is designed to be worn 24/7, including when sleeping. They fit deep inside the ear and require no servicing, no adjustments, and no regular recharging for an average of two to three months. However, an audiologist will need to service your hearing aid a few times per year.
While these hearing aids are typically more expensive, if discrete, low-maintenance hearing solutions are important to you, Lyric is the future of hearing.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.
The initial hearing aids cost rarely includes any additional features or extras. You will need to pay extra for certain convenience and quality of life features. However, for many sufferers of hearing loss, the additional cost is worth it.
Let’s examine some of the most common extras available for hearing aids in Australia.
One of the major downsides of being a hearing aid wearer is switching out the batteries. Due to the small size of the average hearing device, the hearing aid batteries are notoriously tiny and difficult to change. This is especially problematic for wearers with poor vision and limited dexterity.
Bear in mind that BTE and RIC aids are currently the only styles that offer rechargeable batteries.
In the modern world, staying connected is increasingly important. Digital hearing devices with Bluetooth connectivity can be paired with smartphones, TVs, and even smart home appliances.
Smartphone connectivity is particularly important because it means you can adjust sound levels from your phone.
It also allows for mobile devices to transmit sound directly into your hearing aids. This can be helpful for media streaming and taking hands-free calls.
Microphone technology has seen dramatic advances in recent years. Standard microphones will pick up the sound in front and to the side of you. Older hearing devices wouldn’t register any sounds coming from behind the wearer.
Omnidirectional microphones use both hearing devices to provide full 360-degree sound. These microphones can be switched on and off at will, so if you’re listening to a speech or a movie at the cinema, you can prevent any background interference.
The best hearing aids in Australia are capable of automatic microphone switching. In other words, they will automatically detect noise levels and tune out background noise.
Also known as T-coils, this feature can be used together with a hearing loop. This means if you’re in an airport, theater, or auditorium, you’ll be able to pick up announcements and speeches without the background noise.
Since telecoils are customised according to the wearer, it will be necessary to consult with an audiologist to install this feature.
Do you suffer from tinnitus?
Using modern sound therapy techniques, many aids will play low-level white noise to drown out the worst of tinnitus symptoms.
The majority of hearing aids in Australia are manufactured using plastic. Plastic isn’t the most durable material in the world and also means that hearing devices are naturally bigger.
Most top manufacturers now have titanium alternatives for their most popular models. Titanium is lighter, more durable, and also enables the creation of smaller hearing devices.
Be aware that titanium hearing aids prices are higher.
Premium hearing aids come with additional features and accessories. These are designed for specific people with specific problems.
If you’re on a budget and can only afford a basic model, this doesn’t mean you’ll have a lesser hearing experience. It just means you may not be able to filter out background noise in crowded conference halls, or your hearing device may be slightly heavier because it’s made from plastic, not titanium.
For first-time wearers, it’s always recommended to start with a more basic model and to upgrade when needed.
Most of the top manufacturers of hearing aids in Australia make it easy for you to upgrade as and when needed.
Discuss your needs with a qualified hearing loss specialist and begin your journey to better hearing by booking a free hearing test with EarPros.