The cost of a pair of hearing aids varies widely, depending on the manufacturer, quality, and features. Generally, hearing aid prices range from NZD 2,300 to NZD 5,400 per unit, but some hearing aids cost as much as NZD 9,300 each. The average price for a set of hearing aids is NZD 7,000 per set.
When seen as a one-time purchase, hearing aids certainly may seem expensive. To get a realistic view of how much hearing aids cost, however, you have to consider their full lifespan. Let’s say you purchase a set of hearing aids for NZD 7,000. The hearing aids have a lifespan of five years, so they cost you approximately NZD 890 a year or NZD 75 a month. That’s less than what most people spend on cable television or streaming services.
When put into perspective, hearing aids aren’t that expensive over the long term. The difficulty, of course, is paying the full-cost of hearing aids upfront. Many hearing aid dispensers offer financing to make purchasing easier, or you can take advantage of insurance policies and other ways of paying for hearing aids.
Prices for hearing aids are largely determined by the level of technology and extra features that are available. You’ll pay more for a hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity than for a similar model without Bluetooth, for instance. Keep this in mind as you choose hearing aids. Don’t purchase models which come with features you know you won’t use.
Like any product, newer hearing aid models with the latest technological advancements cost more than older, less advanced models. As a technological feature becomes more popular and is adopted by more manufacturers the cost of that particular feature drops. Pretty much all new hearing aids, for instance, now come with telecoils, which were once reserved for high-end models.
Hearing aid manufacturers are constantly researching and developing new technologies. A portion of your hearing aid cost goes towards research and development.
Additional features can drive up hearing aid costs. It’s also important to remember that those same features can greatly improve your quality of life. They can make it easier to detect which direction sounds come from, they can reduce background noise when talking in loud environments, and they allow phones and televisions to transmit audio directly to your hearing aid.
A Consumer Reports survey of hearing aid users found 53% said rechargeable batteries were among the most important features looked for in hearing aids, with 43% valuing smartphone connectivity and tinnitus symptom reduction the most. Automatic noise level adjustments, multiple program settings, advanced microphone features, and wireless technology all ranked high among survey respondents.
Different types of hearing aids come with very different prices. The average price is determined largely by where you live and the style/model that you choose. Prices can go up or down based on the manufacturer, quality, and extra features that the hearing aid has. It’s important to work closely with your licensed hearing care professional to determine which style, model, and price point works best for you.
Hearing aids are generally available by prescription, but if you spend any time researching hearing aids online, you’ll find offers for something called a personal sound amplification product. Advertised as inexpensive over-the-counter alternatives to prescription hearing aids, PSAPs are not approved for use as hearing loss treatments.
Consumer Reports tested four types of PSAPs whose prices ranged from $20 to $350. The publication found a number of concerns with PSAPs, including:
While advertised as a treatment for mild to moderate hearing aids, PSAPs cannot be customized to achieve optimal hearing. It can take two or more adjustments by hearing care professionals to fine-tune hearing aid settings to individual needs. PSAPs cannot provide this level of customization.
Your hearing problems are unique to you and require custom solutions. If you’re having difficulty hearing, contact a licensed hearing care professional for a consultation and hearing aid checks.
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