Experts say the hearing aid industry has struggled to find a balance between providing high-quality hearing aids and keeping costs down.
They also say that consumers can be a lot more accepting of low-quality products if they know what they are buying and know how to judge the quality.
Now, researchers from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania are looking at how hearing aids have changed since the 1970s, and how that has affected consumer attitudes.
The Cornell team surveyed 2,500 adults and 1,500 children in the United States.
In addition to asking about hearing aids in general, the researchers also collected data about hearing aid sales in the U.S. and abroad.
Among the key findings: People were much more willing to pay for hearing aids if they knew the brand.
In fact, people who knew a hearing aid brand were three times more likely to pay than people who did not know brands.
Consumers were also much more likely than others to trust brands that are more expensive, and they were more likely if they could find the brand online.
Finally, they were much less likely to buy hearing aids from brands that advertise that they are made with the same material that makes them.
The researchers also found that consumers have become much more tolerant of low quality hearing aids.
Consumers tend to pay a little more for products that are made of synthetic materials or are made by companies that are not very transparent, they report in the journal Science Advances.
“Our study suggests that a lack of trust in a brand can lead to an overestimation of the quality of hearing aids,” says co-author and Cornell researcher David Schmid, an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo.
“The fact that we see that consumers are paying more attention to the quality when they are aware of the brand makes sense.”
Consumers and consumers’ opinions The study also found evidence that consumers tend to be more forgiving of low and high-cost hearing aids that they can find online, rather than being overly critical of brands that do not advertise their quality.
In one of the surveys, people were asked if they would buy hearing aid if they were able to find it online, which is what consumers do with the majority of hearing aid products.
In another, people asked if the hearing aids they bought were made in China, which many companies do not tell consumers about, and if they believed that hearing aids would improve their hearing, which they believe they will.
But when they were asked about low-cost brands that did advertise their own quality, people showed little sympathy for low-price brands.
“A lot of people have heard about hearing protection, and people think that is great,” says Schmid.
“But if you are looking for a hearing aids company that does advertise that it is made in America, it is not a great experience.”
The study shows that consumers’ preferences are driven by their perceptions of what they would want hearing aids to be made of.
But if a company is perceived as cheap, that perception can be quite different from the real world, which can be very different from what people think hearing aids should be made from.
Consumers’ opinions are also influenced by the brand that they see advertised.
Consumers think hearing aid makers advertise better than hearing aid suppliers do.
For example, a recent survey found that 54 percent of respondents had heard that hearing aid companies were making hearing aid from “plastic or synthetic materials,” compared to only 25 percent who had heard this in response to a question about a brand.
The study suggests there is a reason why some people believe that hearing protection brands are made from materials that are harmful.
For some, the perception that hearing safety is important can cause consumers to believe hearing aid manufacturers make hearing aids for poor hearing, even though the hearing loss can be prevented by using better hearing protection.
And that is why Schmid says it is important to keep consumers informed about the safety of products made from natural materials.
Consumers need to understand the ingredients in their hearing aids before they buy, and the brands that they buy should also be transparent about their ingredients.
Consumers also need to be aware that the quality and safety of hearing devices can be compromised by environmental toxins.
And consumers should be aware of all the potential side effects of hearing loss.
“If consumers want to avoid the health risks of hearing-loss products, they need to make informed choices and be aware,” says Andrew E. Osterman, a professor of business administration at the Cornell University.
The findings are available at: http://bit.ly/1pqVlMf