10 Tips For Buying Hearing Aids in 2023
1. Find a qualified Audiology company
The first step in the process is finding a reputable Audiology company that employs fully qualified Audiologists. In order to be a fully qualified Audiologist, a Degree (BSc) or Master’s Degree (MSc) must be completed in order to attain accreditation and practice as a qualified Audiologist. Our Audiologists have completed the necessary training & attained either a BSc or MSc in Audiology.
Speak to your GP about your concerns regarding your hearing. Your GP will be able to refer you to a reputable Audiology company using an electronic referral system. We have been a member of eHealth Ireland since 2020 which allows GP’s to refer patients for Audiology assessment.
Take some time to read customer reviews online, customer feedback both positive and negative can be a fantastic way to learn more about an Audiology company and get a sense of their customer service, aftercare service & how they treat their customers.
In 2023 we have further improved our customer experience by increasing our online offering. We now use web chat as a customer service tool, dedicated mobile numbers to our Audiologists and support staff, make bookings through Facebook & Instagram.
2. Book a hearing consultation
The first step is to discuss the concerns you may have about your hearing and if you may benefit from hearing aids. Our Audiologists will note any concerns or symptoms you may have.
In order to understand if you have hearing loss, our Audiologists will conduct a full pure-tone hearing test which includes a full Audiogram. The Audiogram is a graph of your specific hearing result for each ear and it distinguishes if hearing loss is present or not. Our Audiologists will explain the Audiogram and results in detail, explaining the type and degree of hearing loss.
We will always encourage patients to bring a loved one to the consultation if they are feeling nervous. Having a loved one at the appointment can be a great way of expressing family concerns or questions. Our Audiologists can offer in-clinic hearing tests or home visits if the patient prefers
3. Discuss if you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids
When discussing your Audiogram if the Audiologist determines that you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids they will highlight the benefits that they could make to the quality of your life. In some cases, patients feel they may not be ready for hearing aids and prefer to revisit them at a later stage.
Understanding the level of hearing loss and where you are on your journey is critically important. Some styles of hearing aids may not be suitable for your ear canal. In some cases, we can arrange custom moulds for the most comfortable fit.
4. Understand what you need from your hearing aids
There are vast amounts of hearing aids available, understanding what you need and require from your hearing aid is important. Hearing technology has improved dramatically over the past number of years and consistently gets more advanced each year. Understanding what features you require is really important.
Some features now include:
- Rechargeable models for people constantly on the move
- Smart connectivity to your iPhone, Android, Laptop or iPad
- Multiple sound environments
- Machine learning that learns and adapts to your hearing loss
- Tinnitus masking
- TV streaming for a personalised experience
5. Get a demonstration on the day
Understanding how to put a hearing aid in your ear and experiencing how it feels is an important step. Our Audiologists help you to try on and experience how it feels, sounds and looks for yourself.
There are several styles of hearing aids including:
- BTE – Behind the ear
- CIC – Completely in Canal
- RIC – Receiver in Canal
Understanding which type of hearing aid you prefer the look and sound of is also important. Once you are comfortable with how the hearing aid feels, our Audiologists will demonstrate the different sound levels allowing you to experience improved hearing for yourself.
6. Ask about aftercare service
One of the key misconceptions about hearing aids relates to after-care service, and what to do if any issue arises. Once you become a Blackberry Hearing customer, you are allocated a designated Audiologist and a support member who is your main point of contact.
Your support member:
- Can schedule service calls
- Arrange home visits
- Arrange filters, domes, and batteries posted directly to you
- Provide service calls in a clinic or in your home
- Program or tune your hearing aids in a clinic or remotely
- Address any issues you may be experiencing
- Provide follow up hearing consultations and appointments
- Provide Microsuction wax removal
7. Ask about payment plans, grants & tax relief
Purchasing hearing aids can be daunting due to the cost involved in purchasing for the first time. Ensure you ask about available payment plans to help spread the payments across several months. Some Audiology companies provide this service but others offer it through a third party.
In Ireland, you can avail of a PRSI grant that can reduce the cost of hearing aids up to €1,000. For more information please visit our PRSI Grant Page.
9. Ask about additional costs or extras?
Ensure you ask about any additional costs you may incur like service calls, wax removal, batteries, filters or domes. Being aware of additional costs can help you make an informed decision about purchasing hearing aids and the provider you choose.
We offer batteries for a minimum of two years, and four years on selected models. We do not charge for service calls or home visits. We do charge a small fee for filters and receivers which only need to be purchased every six months or so.
10. Warranty & returns policies
Understanding the warranty policy on your hearing aids is critically important. Be sure to check how many years are included on your warranty with the hearing aids you purchase. If your hearing aid has a manufacturer fault, we will replace the damage parts free of charge during your warranty period.
- Widex – 4 Year Warranty
- Unitron – 4 Year Warranty
Ensure you ask the hearing aid provider about their returns policy. Most Audiology companies offer a cooling-off period where you can receive a full refund within a time period.
We offer a 45 day money-back guarantee for customers once the hearing aids are returned with original packaging and in original condition.
11. Software and Firmware updates
Some updates for 2023 for Widex include a new firmware update for the Widex Moment 440. The new firmware update now includes Android 10 compatibility. This now means, if your smartphone is running the latest Android 10 software, your device should be compatible to stream calls directly from your phone.
Another update for 2023 includes an update to the Unitron rechargeable smart hearing case. The new case acts as a portable charging unit allowing you to charge your hearing aids on the go. The new smart rechargeable case can be requested with all new pairs of Unitron Blu hearing aids.