Buying a hearing aid is a highly personal choice. It’s important for a device to fit well, deliver high-quality sound, have the features you want and be within your budget. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best hearing aids in Milwaukee to improve your hearing loss and make it easier to listen and communicate with family and friends.
Benefits of hearing aids for kids, seniors and adults
Hearing loss affects 500,000 people in Wisconsin, according to the state’s Department of Health Services. Many have hearing loss due to old age, a genetic disorder, head trauma or exposure to loud noise. Hearing aids often improve hearing of these individuals, for whom medical or surgical treatment is not an option.
Hearing aids in Milwaukee have benefits for all degrees of hearing loss, mild to profound. These benefits include:
Better physical and mental health
More ability to socialize
Reduced tinnitus symptoms
What types of hearing aids are available in Milwaukee?
All hearing aids have the same basic parts: a battery, a microphone to capture sound, an amplifier to make sound louder and a speaker to send sound to the ear. Most hearing aids sold today are digital rather than analog, which allows for more complex processing of sound based on the user’s hearing loss.
Hearing aids come in various styles. Each looks different and has its advantages and disadvantages. There are five broad types.
Hearing aid styles
Behind the ear (BTE)
Most of device sits in case behind ear; a tube connects to an earpiece or earmold
Works for all types of hearing loss; good for children
Largest and most visible type of aid
Smaller BTE with thinner tube; variations include open fit, receiver in the ear (RITE) and receiver in canal (RIC)
Compared with BTE, less visible, more comfortable, reduced feedback and less “plugged-up” sensation
Earwax can clog speaker; more difficult to handle than BTE
In the ear (ITE)
Custom-molded; fits in outer ear
Lots of available features; easier to handle than smaller devices; long battery life
Earwax can clog speaker; may pick up wind noise
In the canal (ITC)
Custom-molded; fits partly in ear canal
More available features than CIC; second-smallest type of aid
Can be difficult to adjust; earwax can clog speaker
Completely in the canal (CIC)
Custom-molded; fits inside ear canal
Nearly invisible; good sound quality
Few extra features; small batteries
As you look at hearing aids in Milwaukee, you may also come across products called hearing amplifiers, or personal sound amplifiers. The Food and Drug Administration cautions that hearing amplifiers are not substitutes for hearing aids and should not be used by anyone who’s hearing-impaired.
How to choose a hearing aid in Milwaukee
The hearing aid you choose should:
Provide high sound quality for your degree of hearing loss
Be a style that is comfortable and fits well
Be easy for you to handle
Come with complimentary services like cleanings, checks, adjustments and annual hearing exams
Be backed by a warranty lasting from one to three years
Fit in your budget
In addition, consider which features are important. Popular hearing aid features include:
Noise and wind reduction
Wireless connectivity/direct audio input
Getting a hearing aid test and fitting
During a test and fitting, an audiologist or hearing care professional will measure your degree of hearing loss. If you are a candidate for hearing aids, you will discuss your lifestyle and preferences for a device before going over products.
Once you choose a hearing aid and it’s ready, the audiologist or hearing care professional will program it and make sure it fits well and is comfortable.
Before leaving with your hearing aids, you should know:
How to put in and take out your hearing aid
How to make basic adjustments
How to monitor and recharge/replace the battery
How to use the device’s features
What to expect during an adjustment period
Whom to contact if there is a problem
When follow-up with your audiologist or hearing care professional is
According to state law, hearing aids in Milwaukee must come with a trial period of at least 30 days. Wear your hearing aids as much as possible and in different environments. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase and return your hearing aids within the trial period, you are entitled to a refund.
How much do hearing aids cost in Milwaukee?
Hearing aids in Milwaukee cost $1,000 - $4,000 each. This usually includes a hearing test and fitting, a warranty and aftercare.
Health insurance plans in Wisconsin are required to cover hearing aids for children under 18 but not for adults.
Eargo designs comfortable, rechargeable, invisible hearing aids with natural sound for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Contact Eargo without first seeing an audiologist, speak with a licensed hearing professional and get Eargos shipped within two to five days or sooner. Customers like Eargo’s 45-day trial period and lifetime support.
Miracle-Ear has been committed to providing hearing solutions with leading-edge technology since 1948. Hearing aids come with an industry-leading three-year warranty and lifetime cleans, checks, adjustments, repairs and hearing tests. Customers like that there are Miracle-Ear Centers all over Milwaukee, including in Glendale, Greenfield, Brookfield, Port Washington and West Bend.
Zounds hearing aids come in four different models and have features including noise cancellation, rechargeable batteries and remote control. Customers can pay with a monthly financing plan. According to reviews, Zounds hearing aids are affordable and easy to use.
Beltone develops hearing aids, apps and accessories to make life easier. Its seven different models of hearing aids are digital and wireless and come with BelCare, which includes an annual hearing evaluation, lifetime care for your aids and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Customers give Beltone Centers in the Milwaukee area five-star reviews for patient, knowledgeable service.
ReSound Hearing Aids
ReSound’s hearing aids, apps and wireless accessories are built to offer a natural listening experience in all user environments. Contact ReSound for help finding a hearing care professional in Milwaukee or look for its devices in Costco Hearing Aid Centers. Customers say Resound hearing aids work well with their iPhones, but some users have needed repairs or replacements.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids, selling devices in over 100 countries. Request a no-obligation trial of Widex’s new EVOKE, which the company calls the first “smart hearing aid.” Customers give Widex mixed reviews, including many that mention inconsistent performance.