Anyone here tried these "hearing enhancers"?

They don’t call them hearing aids, I assume for regulatory reasons. I see them advertised in Scientific American and other publications (not that that proves anything) and today I got a Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog that is selling them for $500 and they have rechargeable batteries. That is at most a fifth or maybe a tenth of what hearing aids cost. And as more of my friends are using hearing aids, I discover that the cost of the batteries is exhorbitant. I have a severely hearing impaired colleague who pays several dollars a day for batteries. I myself have mild hearing loss and so does my wife. Neither of us has aids. I don’t care about hiding them (that seems to be the #1 concern, but I would like people to know that I might have trouble hearing and they should be patient).

So has anyone tried these el cheapo models and with what results?

A few things to consider:

>Those things caught my eye, too. Haven’t tried 'em.

>Perhaps your colleague should shop around. Amazon sells me a box of 80 Duracell 312 batts for $25.46. They have a “subscription” deal for recurring purchases, and they send me a box every 2 months. It’s a lot cheaper than one pack at a time at the drugstore.

>Perhaps you could get a better price than from Hammacher-Schlemmer. At, search for hearing enhancer. They have a wide range of prices, including some rechargeable ones.

I wear a pair of Phonak over-the-ear aids, and they were quite pricey. I need a new pair of batteries every 1 1/2 to 2 days.