Generally there's very little difference in the hardware between technology levels; any entry-level product is just as sturdy as a top-tier model if they come from the same brand. Manufacturers don't like repairing hearing aids as they lose money via the labor necessary to do so. Therefore it's incumbent on them that they build a sturdier hearing aid, regardless of what level of technology you're purchasing.
When you get higher technology, you're primarily paying for the research and development to build the software that runs the hearing aid. It's very comparable to regular computers, where you're often paying for the software you need. This is why it's important to determine how much technology you need based on your lifestyle demands. The more socially active you are, the more likely you will need higher technology. If you spend most of your time at home, don't go out very much, hardly in background noise, etc., then entry-level technology is not only adequate but more appropriate since you won't be spending money on features you won't use. By contrast, if you have a very active, dynamic lifestyle, you'll need more features to keep up with that lifestyle. So under most circumstances when you're purchasing premium technology, you're primarily paying for the software, not the hardware.
Based on different manufactures sometimes there are changes in the hardware, like better microphones directional or non directional. Also casing sometimes changes from one level to the next. Mostly you are paying for software changes inside the hearing instruments that you can't see unless your specialist shows you while working through the software with you. We try extremely hard to show our patient the benefits visually but wrapping your brain around the differences is sometimes like painting a portrait. I like to express to our patient that if i gave you three crayons and had you draw a famous painting verse us giving you 30 crayons to draw with that would be the difference between a basic hearing instrument and an advanced hearing aid. It would be much easier but the specialist has to know how to use the 30 crayons/features in order to make you hear the best.
Jeffrey C. Cline
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