Hearing Aid Decision Matrix

How Do You Balance the Scale?

You’ve had a thorough examination by a well qualified audiologist and you know the characteristics of your particular hearing loss. Now comes the hard part: how do you balance the need for hearing aids with the cost for a particular set of technology features, your lifestyle requirements, and your budget?

Hearing aid technology can be pricey at the top end, but a basic set of technology features may not be adequate for your social requirements. If you don’t get the right technology features for your lifestyle, you may not feel like you solved the problems presented by your hearing loss. For example, if you have an active social life you will likely need advanced noise reduction and other special technology features to allow better speech understanding in noisy environments, like busy restaurants, outdoor venues, and the like. 

You may not need the most advanced set of hearing aid features, but you will still need enough technology to mitigate the effects of your hearing loss, regardless of your lifestyle.


The following tables will help you understand how to balance the scale between your hearing loss, lifestyle priorities, budget, and available hearing aid technology. The audiologists at Pacific Northwest Audiology will conduct a thorough lifestyle and budget assessment before recommending a course of treatment for your hearing loss. Knowing the options and the trade-offs will help you make a good personal decision.


Hearing aid features and lifestyle priorities:  


Lifestyle web

The bottom line:

  • The table was designed to help you determine which “ballpark” you need to play in. For example, it makes little sense to purchase top-level technology if your lifestyle doesn’t require it. On the other hand, an active social life may dictate a higher technology level.
  • Your best choice will depend on your hearing loss, lifestyle priorities, and budget.
  • Prices increase as the level of digital technology and associated features increase.
  • To better visualize which technology level best fits your lifestyle, see the next table.

An alternative view of hearing aid features vs. lifestyle priorities:

The bottom  line:

  • Narrowing the choices depends on your hearing loss, lifestyle priorities, and  budget.
  • Higher technology levels (Advanced and Premium) allow greater listening clarity…especially in challenging environments. People with casual or active social lives may require this added flexibility to fully enjoy their lifestyle.
  • Moderately active people (Casual Lifestyle) may need at least the Advanced technology level to accommodate their lifestyle, budget  allowing. Most people fall into this category.
  • The Basic technology level will tend to limit speech clarity to relatively quiet environments. Lower technology levels (Basic and Mid-level) may be more appropriate for less active individuals and/or budget-restricted consumers.

Click here for “Decisions and Consequences” and here for “The Road to recovery”

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