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Beltone is an international company selling a range of hearing aids in different styles. The brand also offers hearing-related services.
This article explores Beltone hearing aids, the brand’s reputation, alternative hearing aid retailers, and how hearing aids can improve hearing health.
The Beltone brand began in the 1930s when cofounder Sam Posen wanted to help a friend with hearing issues.
In the 1940s, Beltone opened its first location in Chicago, Illinois, and announced the Beltone Model H, the company’s first hearing aid. During the 1950s, Beltone created The Minuet, its first behind-the-ear hearing aid. Today, the company produces wireless hearing aids that allow for high-speed streaming to mobile devices.
In 2018, Consumer Reports conducted a poll involving more than 17,000 customer opinions on 16 hearing aid brands. Beltone scored 67 points out of 100 for overall satisfaction, putting it joint-bottom of the rankings with NuEar. Additionally, the survey found that the battery life of Beltone devices reportedly did not rank as high compared to those of other hearing aid companies. Beltone’s device ratings were also poor for use in noisy environments during conversations between two people. However, the brand’s devices did score similarly to others for communicating in small groups.
Beltone’s listing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) mentions that the company has an A+ rating, despite the brand having no accreditation with the BBB. However, Beltone has an overall rating of 1 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. In the last 3 years, the company closed eight complaints on the BBB website. The most common issues were due to advertising practices or problems with the company’s devices or services.
Beltone has 1,500 locations nationwide, and customers can receive a free assessment from a hearing care professional.
Each hearing aid purchase comes with BelCare Lifetime Care, which guarantees free customer support, hearing evaluations, cleaning, and other hearing care services. The company also offers an app for selected models, allowing for remote adjustments.
Beltone offers seven product ranges of hearing aids with additional variants. Below is a summary of the features and the products available.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
This hearing aid style is affordable and small, while its curved design allows it to fit behind the ear comfortably. The outer casing may match a person’s hair color, and the clear tubing allows the device to remain discreet.
This style may suit people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
Available BTE models from Beltone include:
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
ITE hearing aids are bigger than BTE models due to a larger battery. As such, the model may partially or completely fill the area of the outer ear. Additionally, a custom design is available that may feel more comfortable for wearers.
This style may suit people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
Microphone and receiver-in-ear
This hearing aid accommodates the wearer’s ear shape. According to Beltone, this style makes it easier to hear multiple sounds at once. There is only one available model in this style, which is the Beltone Imagine.
This style offers Beltone’s latest newest technology and is popular for being compact and barely visible. The speaker is the only part of the device that sits inside the ear, while the casing, which contains all of the major electronic components, rests behind the ear. This style may suit individuals with various degrees of hearing loss.
Available RIE models from Beltone include:
Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids
These hearing aids are small, fit completely into the ear canal, and are relatively affordable. Its custom design allows it to match a person’s skin color, which offers discreet operation.
However, there are some disadvantages, including exposure to ear wax and moisture due to how it sits within the ear, which can damage the device. It may also place pressure on the ear canal and obstruct the eardrum. This style may suit individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids
This style represents Belton’s most discreet model, which is reportedly hardly noticeable during use. A mold of an individual’s ear canal provides the basis for the custom design.
However, some disadvantages are that it is not suitable for all ear canal shapes, while the battery life is shorter than other models. This style may suit individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
At the time of publication, the Beltone website lists no available IIC models. However, assistance is available by requesting a free hearing appointment.
Digital hearing aids
These hearing aids are discreet and feature technology that processes signals while reducing unwanted noise and feedback. These functions may help when the wearer is listening to music or having a phone conversation.
The Beltone website lists no digital models, but assistance is available by visiting the nearest Beltone location.
People can buy Beltone hearing aids directly from the company. To help decrease costs, the brand offers a buy-back program, where customers can trade in old hearing aids to lower the price of a new set.
A leasing program is also available, which allows people to test hearing aids for a certain amount of time before deciding to return or purchase the devices.
All Beltone hearing aids include a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Customers can also buy additional coverage that protects against lost, stolen, or damaged hearing aids for up to 1 year.
Additionally, depending on their condition, hearing aids are refundable up to 30 days after purchase.
People can buy hearing aids from several manufacturers. Some brands similar to Beltone include the below.
- Eargo: Offers near invisible and rechargeable hearing aids. Learn more about Eargo here.
- MDHearingAid: Sells Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved hearing aids that are more affordable than many other competitors’ offerings. Learn more about MDHearingAid here.
- Hearing Assist: Offers rechargeable hearing in one size that fits most wearers. Learn more about Hearing Assist here.
- Hearing Life: A U.S. hearing healthcare group with partner locations across the world. Learn more about Hearing Life here.
An audiologist can advise on whether someone needs hearing aids as well as suitable models.
According to the
There are many causes of hearing loss and deafness, which can all impact a person’s quality of life. A
Although many causes of hearing loss are unavoidable due to genetic or aging factors, prevention is important. Due to damage from listening to loud sounds or music,
- staying up-to-date with immunizations according to recommendations from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- maintaining proper ear care
- avoiding the use of medications that lead to hearing loss where possible
- avoiding exposure to loud noises and sound
- quality prenatal care
- timely diagnosis and treatment of common ear infections
Consult with a doctor about any noticeable problems with hearing, such as sudden changes in hearing, ear drainage, or vertigo. A healthcare professional can refer a person to an audiologist to help minimize the risk of hearing loss.
Beltone sells different styles and models of hearing aids for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss. Additionally, across the operating lifespan of these devices, the company offers hearing care services at their physical stores and via online consultations. The first step to order Beltone hearing aids would be to request a free hearing evaluation.
Other brands are available, and a hearing healthcare specialist can offer guidance and recommendations when choosing a hearing aid.