Good hearing aids are modern digital hearing aids that a consumer chooses in consultation with an audiologist, according to Consumer Reports. Specific types of digital hearing aids have advantages and disadvantages depending on the needs and style preferences of the consumer.
Although over-the-counter personal sound amplifiers are cheaper and easier to obtain, they are not as safe and effective as digital hearing aids, explains Consumer Reports. Digital hearing aids are small in size, moderate the volume of surrounding sounds, and filter background noises. Some have accessories that can sync with smart phones, MP3 players, televisions and laptops. The degree of hearing loss, the manual dexterity and the lifestyle of a consumer all influence the choice of hearing aid type.
The behind-the-ear hearing aid, which attaches to the ear canal with an ear mold, is comfortable and easy to insert but lacks sophisticated amplification, advises Consumer Reports. The standard tube hearing aid is easily visible but allows a considerable degree of high and low frequency amplification for those with medium-to-high hearing loss. Hearing aids that fit completely in the ear canal are hidden but have small batteries and no directional microphones. Partially visible in-canal hearing aids may have directional microphones but still have small batteries. In-the-ear hearing aids have directional microphones and volume control, but are plainly visible.