Help hungry seniors. Deliver help and hope before Thanksgiving. Donate

AARP Bulletin

How to Shop for A Hearing Aid

10 tips for choosing a good provider and the right aid

How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid

To choose and purchase the right hearing aid, do your research. — Getty Images

En español l

1. Enlist a friend

When shopping for a hearing aid, bring a spouse, family member or friend, if at all possible, says Juliette Sterkens, a recently retired audiologist in Oshkosh, Wis. "Two people hear and remember more."

2. Find a good provider

The value you get out of your hearing aid will hinge on the skills and abilities of your provider so be sure to locate one you trust. Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists are both licensed to sell hearing aids, but audiologists hold a master's or doctoral degree in audiology. Get referrals from health care professionals, or contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association  or the American Academy of Audiology for information on finding a hearing professional.

3. Pinpoint your priorities

Top providers will question patients about their lifestyle and hearing needs: Are you active or more of a homebody? "What do you want the hearing aid to do for you? Do you just want to be able to hear the television? Or do you hope to hear the sermon in church?" Knowing your priorities will help the professional determine what style and technology are best for you.

4. Get tested

During your visit, you should be given a hearing test in a soundproof booth. It will tell the audiologist or hearing specialist what type of hearing loss you have, which will help her choose the appropriate hearing aid as well as program it specifically for you.

5. Ask for a demonstration

Ask to "test drive" the hearing aids recommended for you. An audiologist may be able to put a disposable plug on the tip of a behind-the-ear hearing aid and program the device to your hearing loss so you can experience how it works. A simulated sound field also can show how a hearing aid works in different kinds of settings. And take your time. "This is way too important and costly a decision to make in a hurry," says Sterkens.

Next page: Ask about add-ons. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Membership Discount Benefit Pet Plan Dog

Members save 10% or more on Petplan pet insurance premiums.

Senior couple working on laptop. Medicare open enrollment. (David Jakle/Corbis)

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends Dec. 7 ─ AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points