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+ - Why are digital hearing aids so expensive? 4

Submitted by sglines
sglines (543315) writes "Over the last couple of years I've been slowly getting deaf. Too much loud rock and roll I suppose. After flubbing a couple of job interviews because I couldn't understand my inquisitors I had a hearing test which confirmed what I already knew, I'm deaf. So I tried on a set of behind the ear hearing aids, wow, my keyboard makes clacks as I type and my wife doesn't mumble to herself. Then I asked how much: $3700 for the pair. Hey I'm unemployed. The cheapest digital hearing aids thy had were $1200 each. WYF? If you look at the specs they are not very impressive. A digital hearing aid has a low power A to D converter. Output consists of D to A conversion with volume passing through an equalizer that inversely matches your hearing loss. Most hearing loss, mine included, is frequency dependent so an equalizer does wonders. The "cheap" hearing aids had only 4 channels while the high end one had 12. My 1970 amplifier had more than that. I suppose they have some kind of noise reduction circuitry too but that's pretty much it. So my question is this — when I can get a very good netbook computer for under $400 why do I need to pay $1200 per ear for a hearing aid? Alternatives would be welcome."
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Why are digital hearing aids so expensive?

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  • by Kerhop (652872)
    I was found to be partially deaf during my grade school years, tried out a $600 hearing aid that lasted about six months before needing repair and after repeating this several times discovered the $20 hearing aids (sometimes referred to as such, other times marketed as "spying gear") on eBay were just as effective for me plus I can carry around a spare and if it breaks it is less hassle to just purchase another one. Most of them use the common LR44 batteries of which a 10 pack can be purchased for a few buc
  • I have poor hearing. Health insurance does not generally cover hearing aids. I have had several major plans over the years. None of them have ever covered hearing aids. I had to purchase a pair of inexpensive analog aids from Hearing Help Express. They work well if the environment doesn't have too much background noise or the sounds levels don't change from loud to soft or back too much. (No automatic level control). Unfortunately, I'm a school teacher so the above conditions are rarely met. :( Jeff

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