Beltone was founded in Chicago by Sam and Faye Posen in the 1930s. They had a friend with hearing loss and strove to provide an individualized and miniaturized hearing aid option. The name comes from the desire to hear “as clear as the tone of a bell.” They continued to innovate both their hearing aids and their marketing model, premiering both a behind-the-ear hearing aid and a TV commercial in the 1950s.
Through the remainder of the twentieth century, they added in-the-ear hearing aids to their product line as well as several celebrity endorsements and spokespeople. Today, they are part of the GN Group who also owns the prescription hearing aid brand GN ReSound, as well as Jabra, a maker of a variety of audio products including over-the-counter hearing aids.
Beltone offers a variety of hearing aids with wireless capabilities, rechargeability, and customization options. In North America, Beltone has over 1,500 independently owned “hearing care centers.” This article will explore the pros and cons of Beltone hearing aids.
What are the pros of Beltone hearing aids?
Beltone offers four different hearing aid models: Achieve, Imagine, Rely, and Boost Ultra. They differ in the available styles, price points, and degrees of hearing loss for which they are appropriate. Their hearing aids are available exclusively at Beltone hearing care centers. Here are some of the pros of Beltone hearing aids:
Beltone offers a proprietary app called Hear Max, one of the features of which is live support from the comfort of your home, or wherever you happen to be. The professional is able to answer questions and make some adjustments to your devices from afar, which can be a large asset for people who have difficulty attending multiple in-person appointments.
Award winning technology
Beltone hearing aids offer directional microphone technology called CrossLink Directionality, which is designed to utilize both the right and left hearing aids to help users focus in the presence of background noise. Their devices are also available in rechargeable styles, with Bluetooth and other wireless connectivity options, and in waterproof and sweatproof styles. The Beltone Imagine, released in August of 2020, is the world’s first to use both a microphone and a receiver in the ear to filter and deliver natural sound quality. This device is also rechargeable and compatible with Apple and Android smartphones. It won a gold Stevie Award in 2020 for Most Valuable Medical Innovation.
As mentioned, Beltone has an extensive network of over 1,500 hearing care centers nationwide. If you are in need of another provider for any reason, you can easily search for Beltone stores in your area to see an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser who will be able to assist with your hearing aid needs. This provides great peace of mind for those who travel in particular.
Variety of styles and models
Like many of the hearing aid manufacturers, Beltone started with a behind-the-ear style and has since evolved to offer anything from tiny completely-in-canal hearing aids to receiver-in-canal, providing the flexibility for patients and providers to choose the best fit based on degree of hearing loss and aesthetic preferences.
What are the cons of Beltone hearing aids?
Higher price tag
A pair of Beltone hearing aids can range in price from about $2,700 to $7,000. This is comparable to other prescription hearing aids, but more expensive than over the counter options.
Limited online availability
Beltone hearing aids are not available to purchase online and must be purchased in person in a Beltone hearing care center. You can use the Beltone website to find local providers and research the different hearing aid models, and the remote care option will be available via the app after hearing aids are purchased and fit in person. If you purchase Beltone hearing aids, you must be seen at one of their hearing care centers. The hearing aids cannot be serviced or adjusted by any provider who is not affiliated with Beltone, so this may limit your ability to change providers depending on your area.
Are Beltone hearing aids right for me?
Beltone is a reputable brand that has won awards not only for their hearing aid technology but also for their customer service and general business practices. The hearing aids are good quality, and if there is a hearing care center in your area with a provider you have good rapport with, Beltone could be a great choice for you. They will be able to outline the pros and cons of Beltone hearing aids based on your hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
If you prefer to be seen at a location where several brands of hearing aids are offered, Beltone is not going to be the best fit. The first step if you are noticing difficulty hearing is to see a licensed audiologist or hearing aid dispenser for an evaluation. Establishing a good relationship with a provider is key; finding someone you trust and enjoy working with is likely going to contribute to a smart purchase and ongoing success with your devices.
How can I purchase Beltone hearing aids?
If you are interested in purchasing Beltone hearing aids, you can use their website to search for hearing care centers in your area. The hearing aids need to be purchased and fit in person at one of their centers. You can find a center and make an appointment for an initial hearing evaluation, during which the provider will assess your hearing sensitivity and make a recommendation for hearing aids, if appropriate.
Like any devices, there are pros and cons of Beltone hearing aids. They are robust devices with proven technology and are suitable for nearly any degree of hearing loss with a variety of styles. Their business model using specific hearing care centers can be seen as a pro or a con, depending on your preferences. You should consider your individual needs and preferences before making a decision
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do Beltone hearing aids cost?
They range from $2,700-7,000 for a pair, depending on style, model, and technology level
How long do the batteries last in a Beltone hearing aid?
The newer devices contain rechargeable batteries which will last a full hearing day (12 hours) on a single charge. Hearing aids with disposable batteries last around a week, depending on the power level and wear time.
How long do Beltone hearing aids last?
Like any electronic device, the lifespan is going to be largely dependent upon how they are cared for. That said, Beltone offers a one–year warranty that protects against failure due to manufacturing or material defects, as well as a one–year loss and damage warranty. They also offer two–year protection for change in hearing; if you demonstrate a permanent change in your hearing which renders your hearing aids no longer appropriate, you can change to another Beltone model free of charge. These warranties offer good peace of mind.
Erin Edwards received her Doctor of Audiology degree from Towson University in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Education and Leadership from Pacific University in 2022. She has worked with patients of all ages in a variety of settings and has a specific interest in cochlear implants, the relationship of hearing loss and dementia, and interdisciplinary healthcare.