Why Are Invisible Hearing Aids More Expensive?
Invisible hearing aids are all the rage- always have been, probably always will be. It seems everyone wants an invisible hearing aid. Even when an invisible hearing aid is not the best option and will not deliver the best performance, many folks opt to get an invisible hearing aid anyway just for the fact that it is completely hidden. For a long time, “invisible” hearing aids weren’t really invisible at all- they were just marketed as such. Today, we live in a sort of “golden age” of hearing aids, where there are plenty of very good, and 100% invisible hearing aids to choose from.
What many people don’t understand is that invisible hearing aids (though the most desirable), are also usually the most expensive hearing aids as well, and for a number of reasons. In this post I’m going to outline the top 3 reasons why invisible hearing aids are more expensive than other styles.
1) Hearing aid manufacturers charge retailers quite a bit more for invisible hearing aids. Maybe it’s simply a matter of supply and demand, or perhaps invisible hearing aids really are more labor intensive for manufacturers to build, but the fact is hearing providers get charged 10%-20% more for invisible hearing aids, so those costs get passed on to you.
2) Invisible hearing aids are harder to fit. It’s so true- invisible hearing aids are often times the most difficult to fit. In order for an invisible hearing aid to fit you right and sound right, your hearing provider must take very deep ear impressions, and the anatomy of your ears has to cooperate so the aids will sit right as well. In addition, the bony portion of your ear can be very sensitive,so if the aids are not perfect, they will really hurt your ears after a while. This leads to many different ear molds being taken to try and get the hearing aid fitting well. In fact, I have never, ever fit a set of IICs and had both molds fit perfectly on the first take- I’ve always had to get at least one of them remade. This takes time and money for your provider and for the manufacturers, so again, the cost gets passed along to you.
3) Invisible hearing aids break more often. Now I know what you’re thinking- “wait a second, they break more often, yet I am paying more? What the heck!” The reality is, IIC hearing aids break down much more than other hearing aids because they sit deeper in your ear and as such are more vulnerable to failure from exposure to wax and moisture. While most IIC’s come with a 2-3 year warranty when they are fit, they are going to go back to the lab a few times during their warranty and the lab will fix them “for free” as part of the warranty, so the upfront price must reflect that cost and be a bit higher as well.
As far as prices of invisible hearing aids if you want a true IIC, you can now get them for around $1,500 each if you choose the right manufacturer. Widex in particular makes a few very affordable IIC’s in the Menu family of products. However, the majority of providers at this time only offer completely invisible hearing aids in their more advanced products, so look to spend around $5,000-$7,000 for a set of custom made, invisible-in-canal hearing aids.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.