Stastistical chance of random purchase to improve hearing

If person knows they have poor hearing and nothing more and randomly buys aids from eBay what is chance statistically his hearing will be improved?

It depends a lot on what “improved” means here. ‘Less likely to die in a fire due to not hearing the alarm’ is pretty different from ‘improved speech comprehension.’


Probably about the same as buying a random set of glasses…


Let’s assume a person of modest means realizes he is hearing disabled and guesses he has a typical ski slope hearing loss. Unable to afford the high prices of audiologists or new hearing aids he buys a pair from eBay which has a ski slope correction. Will he not being hearing at least somewhat better at every frequency? Is there any scenario where he is hearing “worse” at any frequency?

1 Like

The exact reason so many get into diy.
I for one am one of them. I just couldn’t understand the prices of getting hearing aids.
So I bought the needed equipment to program used on eBay and got the fitting software here on the forum.
Learned about programming from many helpful members here and then understood exactly which aids I needed for MY hearing loss.

Good luck


How would you know whether a random pair on ebay had a ski slope correction or not?

Anyway, there are plenty of scenarios where this could make things worse. The proper settings for someone with severe/profound loss could be so loud they damage the hearing of someone with mild/moderate loss, even if both have ski slope losses. And the proper settings for someone with mild/moderate loss might be completely inaudible to someone with more severe loss. Which I guess wouldn’t be making things worse, but it wouldn’t exactly be helpful, either.

And that’s assuming that his “guess” that he has a typical ski slope loss is correct. There’s a lot that can go wrong here, to put it mildly. Don’t just buy random ebay aids and stick them in your ears, figuring anything must be better than nothing. I say this as someone whose entire setup is self-programmed used ebay aids and accessories.


Interesting topic, in this case me thinking, it’s like playing a Russian roulette with only one empty chamber and the rest are all full and loaded.
Unless you know you have 9 lives like a cat, I wouldn’t venture into that kind of gamble.
Like @Raudrive said DIY could be an option if you know what you are doing, so you will not end up worst than before.
Also, I suppose there are some organisations near you that can provide you with some help, maybe worth investigating who/where they are.
Good luck anyways.

1 Like

Here in California, it’s possible for folks of modest income to get health insurance through Covered California for not much money at all. I mean, something like twenty bucks a month if you qualify. And now, hearing aids are becoming covered through this program. More: most often one can pay for aids over a year without any interest. So: cheap aids that still allow for affordable monthly payments to cover the remaining cost due to the recipient.

why play around on ebay when you really don’t know what you’re doing?

1 Like

If a person randomly buys hearing aids from eBay and uses them as they are, fitted for someone else, what is the chance statistically that his hearing will be damaged?


I would liken that to someone who has experienced changes in vision and needs corrective lenses; hence, buys a pair of generic magnification glasses at the drug store. Generic magnification won’t be precise enough to compensate for that person’s specific needs. Equally importantly, the cause of the vision change is not determined, which is necessary in order to identify feasible options and the best solution.

It’s the same thing with hearing loss and generic devices. Simple amplification of sound alone is not going to a) identify the source and extent of the hearing loss; nor b) be tailored to the person’s specific needs.

1 Like

If Glasses and Hearing Aids are similar in their dangers of self dammage or help then these are my thoughts.
I live in Luxembourg.
About 10 years ago I gave up buying expensive frames and lenses and started to buy cheap reading glasses from the supermarket. I visit my Ophthalmologist yearly and she is perfectly relaxed with me doing so. She has repeated many times that cheap reading glasses are ok and do me no harm. I presently pay about €4 per pair.

I have had hearing aids for just over a year. They are Signia Active Pro. They are in ear. They cost approximately €4,000 and I am very happy with them and the service provided.
My choice of in ear was influenced by the fact that I had been using blue tooth ear phones and was therefore comfortable with something in my ear.
However I am very uncomfortable with the fact that a pair of high quality UNBRANDED in ear earphones cost +/-€50. I remain unconvinced that hearing technology and set up can cost an extra €3950.
Further there are many poor people in this world and €50 hearing aids may not be a bad solution and we should be cautious about putting people off.
I might in the near future try out a cheap priced hearing Aids from Amazon or similar.

A curve ball:

So I was referred to and got hearing aids from an audiologist and had troubles with them for over 1-1/2 years. I couldn’t hear. He finally suggested I should find someone that could help me better than he had.

I did and I hear better now.

My conclusion: The person setting them up is so important.
My recommendation: Get them set up by someone who knows how. Be prepared to pay. Sometimes a lot.

For fun: check out Dr Cliff on Youtube who just explained what he charges to set up hearing aids that someone bought elsewhere. It’s so darn much I’d throw them away and go to COSTCO and buy new ones and let them set them up. They would be a bargain in comparison.

1 Like

Your lenses just refract light - you might get a headache or be a bit out of focus.

Your hearing aids pump 50 to 10000 vibrations a second into your delicate cochlea at levels of up to 140dB - when prolonged exposure to levels over 85dB are known to be harmful.

Your ears, your choice.


My approach (after I lost a $4000 audiologist/hearing aid) was to get a hearing test (Costco, I think it was free), buy a used pair of last generation hearing aids (in my case Oticon Zircon 1, about $475 on eBay), then pay an eBay seller to program to my Costco audiogram (about $50). My previous set of hearing aids were Oticon OPN3 which I used for about 5 years pretty happily. I hear better with the new ones than I did with the older ones. Could be the technology is better, could be the $50 programming was better than the $4000 audiology/hearing aid package.


To repeat myself from another thread. I purchased a new set of hearing aids because I could no longer hear using my Costco KS7’s. The Costco HA specialist changed receivers from M to P at no charge. I still could not hear. Long story short, after I bought new Phonak aids from another source, I subsequently purchased a ConnexxAir on YouTube as a hobby purchase and reprogramed them myself. That made a world of difference. If the Costco specialist had taken the time to do a good job of programing (or if they knew how) I would have delayed my purchase of new aids, for maybe a year or two. Costco hardware is great for the money, their dispensers are the luck of the draw.

What HA did you buy and what price?

I understand Ray.

That was an objection I had when they started selling HA’s in Canada a few years ago.

Well before that I ended up buying from a vendor in the yellow pages. The fitter was excellent, but she left shortly thereafter and things went to heck in a handbasket. I bought a Widex hearing aid. I was unemployed; I bought one not two.

Along the way my hearing deteriorated and I qualified to get workman’s compensation. HA’s batteries and maintenance. I got wonderful hearing aids from an amazing audiologist. Phonaks with a dongle I had to wear. About 8 ? years later I got my second set from another audiologist. They never worked well. I couldn’t hear. I was deaf from behind.

There are huge restrictions in the WComp program. They have to control cost.

The audi picks from a list of hearing aids. They don’t dispense top of the line. They are restricted in the work they can do. So I’ve had terrible response from two audis that provided Phonak hearing aids for me.

I need to find a way to eliminate stress using this program. I’ve had a really stressful 1-1/2 year period since I got the HA’s im using now.


A year ago, I did not know there was a DIY option for hearing aids. That might be an option for you. I was nervous about fiddling with my “good” hearing aids so I picked up a pair of used aids on the cheap from Ebay and practice with them. I figure that if I can make them work well I can transfer my knowledge to my other aids. I also have programed my old KS7’s and am slowly gaining knowledge. Fortunately, my audi is very supportive and has offered help if I get stuck.


Thanks Ray.
I have an iMac. Software needs windows.

But I’m considering!

Let’s stay in touch. I like how you think!