Hearing aids improve lives of those with mild to profound hearing loss. The device should be comfortable, easy to use and supported by professional care. ConsumerAffairs researched the best hearing aids in San Diego so the product you choose makes it easier to listen, communicate and participate in daily life.
Benefits of hearing aids for kids, seniors and adults
Hearing loss affects people in San Diego of all ages and genders. According to the National Institutes of Health, 1 in 8 people age 12 or older in the U.S. has hearing loss in both ears, and 2 to 3 of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss in one or both ears.
Hearing aids don’t cure hearing loss or restore normal hearing, but they do help millions of users. The benefits of hearing aids for kids, seniors and adults in San Diego include:
Better physical, mental and cognitive health
Reduced tinnitus symptoms
What types of hearing aids are available in San Diego?
Hearing aids in San Diego use a microphone, amplifier and speaker to deliver louder sound to the wearer’s ear. Most, if not all, hearing aids on the market today are digital, using computer chips to analyze speech and sound and process and transmit it based on an individual’s hearing loss and the surrounding environment.
Hearing aids in San Diego differ mainly in style and features.
Hearing aid styles
Behind the ear (BTE)
Rests behind the ear; tube connects to earpiece or earmold
Durable; easy to handle; good for all degrees of hearing loss
Largest type of aid
$1,500 - $2,800
Smaller BTE with thinner tube; variations are open fit, receiver in the ear, receiver in canal
More discreet than BTE; less “plugged-up” sensation in ear
Earwax can clog speaker
$1,600 - $2,800
In the ear (ITE)
Fits in outer ear
Custom-made; many features; easier to handle than smaller aids
Bulky; earwax can clog speaker; wind noise
$1,600 - $2,800
In the canal (ITC)
Fits partly in ear canal
Custom-made; small but still accommodates features
$1,700 - $2,900
Completely in the canal (CIC)
Fits entirely in ear canal
Custom-made; virtually unnoticeable; good sound quality
Few features; shorter battery life; low amplification power; can be hard to handle
$1,700 - $3,000
Hearing aids in San Diego are available with many features. These include:
Multiple frequency channels
Direct audio input
While shopping for hearing aids in San Diego, you may come across another type of hearing improvement device called a hearing amplifier, or personal sound amplification product. Even though hearing amplifiers are less expensive than hearing aids, you shouldn’t use one as a substitute for a hearing aid if you have hearing loss, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
How to choose a hearing aid in San Diego
Choosing a hearing aid in San Diego is a highly personal decision. Consider these factors:
The purpose of hearing testing and hearing aid fitting is to measure your hearing loss and set you up with a device. Your hearing care professional will answer questions, take ear impressions if necessary, program your hearing aid and show you how to use it.
Here’s what to ask during your testing and fitting:
What is my type and degree of hearing loss?
Will a hearing aid improve my hearing loss? Do you recommend I wear one or two?
What styles of hearing aids are compatible with my hearing loss?
What features are available? Can you explain how each works?
How long is the hearing aid warranty?
Is my trial period longer than the California-mandated 30-day period? What are the refund terms?
Can you explain the services included with my purchase?
What is the adjustment period like when wearing hearing aids?
What regular care do I need to receive?
Your hearing care professional should set a follow-up appointment to check your progress, address concerns and make adjustments if needed.
How much do hearing aids cost in San Diego?
Hearing aids in San Diego generally cost $1,000 - $4,000 each. This price usually includes the testing and fitting, a warranty lasting from one to three years and services including cleanings, adjustments and annual hearing tests.
Most private insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids in San Diego; check with your insurer to be sure. Many hearing aid sellers offer financing options to help consumers afford hearing aids. The California Department of Social Services has a list of hearing aid assistance programs.
Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids or hearing tests. If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, check your policy for hearing benefits.
Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, covers hearing aid benefits up to $1,510 per person per fiscal year, but some beneficiaries are exempt from the cap.
Eargo designs comfortable, rechargeable, natural-sounding hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Customers can purchase without seeing an audiologist and have a 45-day trial period. Eargos users say their hearing aids have improved their quality of life and are nearly invisible to others.
Miracle-Ear hearing aids come in a variety of styles and solutions and use the latest in digital technology. The “Miracle-Ear Promise” includes a three-year warranty and lifetime cleanings, adjustments, repairs and hearing tests. Customers appreciate the personalized, knowledgeable service from licensed and trained professionals at Miracle-Ear Centers in San Diego, Chula Vista and El Cajon.
Zounds offers four hearing aid models and features including noise reduction, feedback cancellation, rechargeable batteries and remote control. Customers can pay with monthly financing plans and get a 30-day money-back guarantee. According to reviews, users are highly satisfied with their Zounds aids and recommend them to others.
Beltone has been helping people improve hearing for nearly 80 years. Hearing aids, which come in seven different styles, are available for all degrees of hearing loss, budgets and lifestyles. Each comes with BelCare, which includes a one-year warranty, two-year protection for hearing loss and complimentary inspections, cleanings and hearing screenings. San Diego customers give the local Beltone Hearing Center in La Mesa five-star reviews.
ReSound Hearing Aids
ReSound makes hearing aids, apps and wireless accessories to provide wearers with a natural listening experience. San Diego customers can get assistance finding a hearing care professional for testing and fitting. Customers like ReSound’s device selection and affordability, but some have had problems with smartphone integration.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex is one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, selling its products in over 100 countries. Try its latest technology, EVOKE, or any hearing aid solution with a no-obligation trial through a partnering hearing care professional. Customers give Widex mixed reviews: Some users love them, while others are unhappy about needing repairs and replacements.