AccuAid Hearing Aid states it’s an FDA-approved hearing device that uses micro-miniature technology that can barely be seen and comfortably fits around either ear and help you hear up to 30x better. AccuAid Hearing Aid touts it’s customizable to your specific needs with adjustable volume and tone and has been independently tested to work so you’ll never say “what?” again!
How Do Hearing Aids Like AccuAid Hearing Aid Work?
According to the National Institute of Health, hearing aids essentially consist of a microphone, amplifier, and speaker: the microphone picks up sounds, the amplifier increases their volume, and the speaker transmits the sound to your ear.
There are basically 3 types of hearing aids that are sold – a behind-the-ear (BTE), which has the electronics and battery on the outside and a tube with a plastic ear mold that fits inside the outer ear. There is also something called a “Mini” BTE that is less bulky and the receiver goes all the way into the inner ear canal. Pros: these are usually the least expensive hearing aid. Cons: These are also the bulkiest, and the large BTE earplug can make your own voice sound “plugged up” (the mini BTE alleviates this problem).
There is an in-the-ear (ITE) that is made of plastic and fits completely in the ear; these sometimes include a tele-coil, which can make telephone conversations easier and can also receive signals from facilities like churches, schools, or airports. Pros: these are great for hearing at public events. Cons: These are the most visible of the devices.
Then there are canal aids that are much smaller; in-the-canal (ITC) are custom fitted and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) that are even smaller. Pros: These are almost completely hidden from view. Cons: Difficult to adjust levels and are usually too small to have tele-coils.
Photo: NIH Medical Arts
Analog Vs. Digital
The technology used in most of these devices is either analog or digital. Analog is the older technology where sound is converted into an electrical signal that is then amplified; digital converts the signal into a numerical code before amplification and gives more flexibility with adjusting for different listening environments. Newer technologies include Bluetooth and FM (radio) systems that work well for some patients.
Generally, analog is cheaper than digital but both are usually programmed by the manufacturer according to recommendations from your audiologist who conducts a hearing test and writes a prescription based on the results.
What Kinds of Hearing Aid is AccuAid Hearing Aid?
Now that we’ve gone over all the different types, judging from the photos on the AccuAid website and in the commercial, AccuAid Hearing Aid appears to be a BTE hearing aid.
Hardly “micro miniature technology”
AccuAid Hearing Aid doesn’t say whether it uses analog or digital technology (we left a message at the customer service number provided 877 300-5499) but since the price is relatively low for a hearing aid and digital technology is more expensive, we’re guessing it’s analog.
How Much is AccuAid Hearing Aid Charging to Buy it?
AccuAid Hearing Aid states it’s $39.95 plus shipping and if you buy one you get one free; however the fine print reveals that they charge $8.95 in fees per unit, which means the total is $57.85 for 2.
AccuAid Hearing Aid Guarantee
AccuAid Hearing Aid offers a 30-day money back guarantee, but this only includes the initial $39.95, not the $17.90 in fees. There is no warranty information listed.
AccuAid Hearing Aid Agreement
In order to buy AccuAid Hearing Aid, you must agree to the following statement:
I have been advised by AccuAid™ that the Food and Drug Administration has determined that my best health interest would be served if I had a medical evaluation by a licensed physician (preferably a physician who specializes in diseases of the ear) before purchasing a hearing aid. I do not wish a medical evaluation before purchasing a hearing aid.
Essentially, this means you are agreeing to buy AccuAid without having a hearing test first. A waiver like this is required by law to purchase any hearing aid.
Bottom Line: Is AccuAid Hearing Aid a Good Idea for a Hearing Aid?
AccuAid Hearing Aid appears to be more like a low-cost BTE personal sound amplifier (PSAP) than a hearing aid, even though it may use similar technology. According to an FDA guidance letter, PSAPs are supposed to marketed for use for people who don’t have a hearing impairment but would like to make certain sounds louder. There is still considerable debate within the hearing loss community as to whether this distinction is necessary or important. (AccuAid appears to be able to call itself a hearing aid because of the waiver you must agree to before purchase.)
But the easiest way to explain this is by comparing AccuAid and other PSAPs is to compare them with reading glasses/magnifying lenses you can buy over-the-counter at your local pharmacy vs. prescription glasses that are tailored specifically to treat your specific vision needs.
In other words, these generic devices may help some people with hearing difficulties, but won’t work for everyone. Since a prescription hearing device can sometimes cost thousands of dollars and is not covered by Medicare or most private insurance, this may be a good low-cost option for those with minor to moderate hearing loss.
However, with AccuAid Hearing Aid:
There is no battery information so we don’t know what kind it uses or how often it needs to be replaced. We found a similar product called the MSA 30X Sound Amplifier that comes with a recharging station. (It’s so similar, it uses almost the exact same commercial but it’s unclear if it’s the same company.)
There is no warranty listed, aside from the 30-day money back guarantee.
How to Buy a Hearing Aid
With all this information, we think you may begin to understand how complicated the process of selecting and buying a hearing aid can be. Generally speaking, if you have hearing loss and are seeking some type of device, you should consult with your physician who can refer you to an audiologist or otolaryngologist who can give you a hearing test and discuss the many different options available. These hearing tests are similar to eye exams in the sense that everyone’s loss is different and so your device must be specially calibrated; since everyone’s ears are shaped differently having a device that is fitted to your ear canal will make it more effective and comfortable, which is important since you are going to be wearing it every day.
We also suggest reading this informative 12-page Hearing Aid Buying Guide from Consumer Reports, which goes into great detail into all the options available. And check out the FDA’s Guide to Hearing Aids as well.
Finally, if you served in the military, free hearing aids are available for many US veterans. Check with your local veteran’s office for more information.
We hope this helps you make a decision about AccuAid Hearing Aid – let us know your experience below!