Used Hearing Aids Review

Is Buying Used Hearing Aids a Bargain or a Mistake?

When people want to get more for their money, they often buy used articles instead of new. Goodwill and second hand stores secure all their business from people that don’t have a problem wearing second hand clothes or a set of dinnerware from an estate. Used cars hold their value far better than new cars, so why shouldn’t you consider used hearing aids?

The type of hearing aid makes a big difference and so does the reason the person is selling the used hearing aids. If they’re selling them because they don’t work right, then you don’t want to purchase their problems either. However, sometimes the hearing devices don’t work properly for their type of hearing loss, but you might benefit from them. In that case, check with an audiologist. It may cost you, but the expense is well worth it. If you purchase them, you’ll need your specialist to adjust the hearing aid for your hearing loss and if he finds the hearing aids are junk, you’ve saved money.

Some of the other good reasons for selling hearing aids include new cochlear implant, an upgrade to an invisible hearing device or one with more features or the owner passed and no one in the family wanted the hearing aids.

The type of used hearing device for sale also makes a difference. Behind-the-ear (BTE)hearing aids, including receiver-in-the canal, open fit and the original type with an earmold, are viable candidates. In the case of the open fit hearing aid, a small unit goes behind the ear with an almost invisible plastic tube fitting over the ear and into the ear canal. Attached to the end of the tube is a tip that’s called a dome, a tulip, basket or other name, depending on the manufacturer. The receiver-in-the-canal is very similar but since the receiver fits inside a small dome, you place in the ear canal, it allows for streamlining the device behind the ear. The original behind the ear models are larger and bulkier they require a fitted earmold.

Most of the newer BTE hearing aids are digital and the audiologist can reprogram the device to fit your specific hearing loss. If the used digital hearing aid is an open fit, traditional or receiver in the canal, the audiologist uses a computer program to make the hearing aid compatible with your hearing loss. The analog models, are simply amplification devices but are adjustable, just in a different way. Either type of the used hearing instruments increase the volume but you’ll have to purchase new tubes, receivers or earmolds that fit your ears.

Most likely, you won’t find the newer types of hearing devices listed when you look for used hearing aids. The old devices, those that fit in the ear or in the canal with half of the shell showing, have to be custom fit for the shape of the person’s ear. Unless you’re purchasing from an identical twin with an identical ear bowl, a used one probably won’t work because it won’t fit your ear shape.

Decide What You Want In a Hearing Device

Just like shopping for a used car, you have to decide what features are important to you before shopping for a used hearing aid. While analog hearing aids may be less expensive, depending on the quality, used digital hearing aids offer the ability to reprogram specifically to your hearing loss. The difference between the two is how the sound processes.

Analog or Digital

Analog hearing aids simply amplify sound, but digital hearing aids change the sound into mathematical equations. The device processes the signal and then converts the sound back to analog. During the processing, some of the digital devices contain programs that reduce the whistling noise, known as feedback or increase certain frequencies while eliminating others. While there are a number of programmable features in digital hearing devices, some analog hearing devices may be more powerful and just because the device is digital, it doesn’t mean it has all the features.

Hidden or More Visible

The BTE versions are always more visible than those listed as invisible-in-the-canal. However, the degree of visibility varies. Receiver-in-the-canal devices tend to be the most discreet, with open fit slightly less. The original BTE version is quite visible and not a good choice if cosmetics are important.

Options and Hearing Loss

Hearing aids often suit specific types of hearing loss. Some are far more suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss while others work well for people with severe hearing loss. Before you select used hearing aids, whether analog or digital used hearing instruments, read the information from the manufacturer about the hearing device to insure it’s right for your situation.

Hearing aids also vary by the types of features they offer. Some work with Bluetooth technology and are perfect for those who use cell phones since they become the cell phone receivers. Others aren’t compatible with cell phones and make it impossible to use the two together.

The type of lifestyle you lead also determines the best type of used hearing device you should purchase. Those who seldom frequent noisy areas require a different type of device from those who attend many types of gathering where noise and hearing is difficult.

Where to Purchase Used Hearing Devices

You might want to talk to local audiologists first. Often they know of clients who upgraded and wish to sell. They know the condition of the used hearing aids and can make a recommendation on both price and usefulness.

Several organizations either sell used hearing aids or give them away. One organization called Hear Now, is part of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The organization repairs the hearing aids people donate and resells them. With the profit from the sales, they provide hearing devices for those who can’t afford a hearing aid. Some of the hearing aids they receive as donation can be used for the Starkey Donation Program in the condition they are received. The organization is located in Eden Prairie, MN. If you’re considering purchasing hearing aids that been used, including used digital hearing aids, you might want to contact Hear Now. is a collection source for the Hear Now Hearing Aid Program. If you would like to donate your used hearing aids that you longer use, you can send them to:
Hearing Aids for Starkey Hear Now Program
12 Windsor Way
Camp Hill, PA 17011

All hearing aids will be collected and forwarded to Starkey’s Hear Now Program. If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, please include a self addressed stamped envelope.

Hearing aids do not have to be Starkey hearing aids to be donated. Starkey is currently looking for hearing aids from the following manufacturers:

Beltone, Bernafon, Bosch Body Aids, Electone, Interton, Magnatone, Oticon, Phonak, GN ReSound, Rexton, Siemens, Sonic Innovations, Starkey Body Aids, Unitron, and Widex hearing aids. If you have hearing aids from other manufacturers not listed above you may still donate.

Some hearing aids may not be used for the donation program because of condition. These hearing aids will be sent to Starkey’s All-Make Repair Lab to be used for parts.

Free Used Hearing Aids

Some service organizations collect used hearing aids and operate hearing banks or recycling programs. The Lions, in addition to collecting eyeglasses, also have a hearing aid program. They collect used hearing aids and then ship them to a regional center. The center then collaborates with hearing health care professions who volunteer. The professionals refurbish the hearing devices then fit them to recipients who can’t afford them.

Some of the local Sertoma Clubs also have hearing aid recycling programs for both the elderly and children. Depending on the local organization, some also provide them to other individuals in need. The state organizations that offer used hearing aids include Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

Certain states offer governmentally run programs for used hearing aids. California has the John Tracy Clinic that accepts used hearing aids for recycling. Utah has the Hearing Aid Recycling Program that’s part of the state’s Hearing, Speech and Vision Services arm. Washington County in Minnesota works with local businesses and offers the “Take It Back” program.

Getting used hearing aids can allow you to upgrade quality without upping the price. Searching for used hearing aids may be one consideration if your pocketbook doesn’t allow you to buy new. In some cases you may be able to get a good quality aid for about what you would pay for a new amplifying device. You’ll find these amplify all sounds, often have feedback and will be far more disappointing than good used digital hearing aids.

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