- In-the-ear hearing aids are the most popular hearing aid style. Not as noticeable as behind-the-ear or as discreet as invisible hearing aids, middle-of-the-road in-the-ear hearing aids were the most preferred style, purchased by 32.9% of survey respondents. In-the-ear hearing aids don’t loop around the ear like behind-the-ear hearing aids. They also aren’t invisible hearing aids because they can be seen at the ear canal’s opening. The second most popular choice was the traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids that loop around the ear.
- A hearing aid’s comfort and stability are the most important qualities to consumers when shopping for hearing aids. Following closely behind were a hearing aid’s volume amplification, battery life, and background noise reduction. Price and aesthetics ranked behind these other qualities.
- Most people are not paying for hearing aids solely out of pocket. Many of the respondents we surveyed, 79.6%, used personal insurance, Medicare Advantage, or funds from a Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account to cover at least a portion of their hearing aid expenses. Only 20.4% reported paying for the entire purchase out of pocket.
- Even with direct-to-consumer hearing aids available online, most hearing aid users still purchase their hearing aids from an audiologist. Nearly half of all respondents (47.1%) went to an audiologist to get their hearing aids versus 31.8% who shopped online. Most hearing aid users (42.6%) still prefer to go to an audiologist for adjustments in person, while only 23.5% prefer getting their adjustments from an audiologist over the phone.
- The high cost of hearing aids is the number one reason people are hesitant to buy them. Cost was the biggest barrier to purchase reported by most respondents (52.9%), followed by lack of knowledge about hearing aids (39.7%) and concerns of stigma and aesthetics (39%).