How We Found The Best Hearing Aids
450+ Hours of Research
24 Brands Considered
10 Brands Selected
60+ Hearing Aids Considered
32 Hearing Aids Selected

We created this guide of the best hearing aids to help you find the device that best fits your needs. Our selected devices run the gamut from extremely low-cost hearing aids to those featuring the latest, high-end technologies, and hearing aids you can buy online and in-person with an audiologist. Below you’ll find our review of the best hearing aids, information on the cost of hearing aids and financial assistance options, how to choose a hearing aid, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

At a Glance: The 10 Best Hearing Aids

Overview of the Top Recommended Hearing Aids

Overview of the Top Recommended Hearing Aids
Hear.com
  • Starts at $2,900 or $100 a month per pair
  • Wireless Rechargeability
  • Bluetooth Enabled for All Smartphones
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Eargo
  • Starting at $1,500 for Two Ears
  • Rechargeable & Virtually Invisible
  • Audio Personalization
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lively
  • Starts at $1,450 per pair
  • Programmed remotely by an Audiologist
  • Three year warranty and loss and damage coverage policy
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Audicus
  • Starting at $998 for Two Ears
  • On-Demand Audiologist Care
  • Low Monthly Payment Options
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lexie
  • Starts at $49/Month for One Pair
  • Adaptive Noise Reduction
  • On-Demand Remote Care
See Packages → Read Our Review →
MDHearingAid
  • Starting at $799 for Two Ears
  • Bluetooth Enabled Options
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Phonak
  • Multiple custom-fit options
  • Provides a completely invisible device
  • One-year limited, international warranty
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Signia
  • Broad range of options to customize the look of their devices
  • Provides uncommonly sleek and small hearing aid housings
  • Signia's patented programming delivers multiple special features
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Widex
  • Specializes in technologically-advanced hearing aids
  • Provides industry-leading sound adjustment and personalization tools
  • Works with apps that allow users to personalize their hearing aids
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Starkey
  • Provides assistive features that particularly benefit the elderly
  • Current models come with a live telehealth feature
  • Includes features like fall detection , light-based hearing technology and Amazon Alexa connectivity
See Packages → Read Our Review →

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids

Our team of experts reviewed over 60 different hearing aid models from 24 brands to determine the best hearing aid brands and devices. To evaluate the different options, we read hundreds of online reviews, compared product specs and features, and consulted hearing aid experts to develop a product list that covers a range of hearing aid types, levels of need, and costs.

We only included companies that fulfilled our strict requirements and excluded many brands because of their high costs, lack of access to professional care, and/or lack of sufficient product offerings. Below are the main criteria categories we looked at when selecting the ten best hearing aid brands. 

  • Modern Features and Designs: All of the brands recommended below offer at least one model with features like Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone application controls, and telehealth capabilities. We’ve also included a broad range of fit types, from larger behind-the-ear styles to ‘invisible-in-canal’ designs.
  • Individualized Adjustment: We have excluded hearing aids that are not custom-tuned for the individual, or which do not at least offer versatile, user-programmable sound settings. We have also worked to exclude brands that are ‘locked’ so that buyers can only have their hearing aids adjusted through that specific brand’s audiologist locations. 
  • Access to Care: Hearing aids are medical devices, and should be treated as such. To ensure you use your hearing aids safely and get the maximum benefit, we’ve only included companies that offer in-person care or remote consultations with an audiologist or other hearing aid specialist. 
  • Value: Our list features a varied range of prices and feature sets for people with any severity of hearing loss. We included many direct-to-consumer brands that offer high-quality hearing aids but do not require users to visit a professional, and pay medical fees, in order to obtain, adjust, and properly use their devices.

The 10 Best Hearing Aid Brands of 2021

Hear.com Review

Horizon: Best Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aid

Hear.com horizon hearing aids in portable charging case

– Rechargeable battery reaches full charge in 3-4 hours
– Direct Bluetooth streaming from your smartphone
– Speech Focus sound technology for enhanced clarity
– Starts at $100/month

Founded in 2012, Hear.com was one of the first companies to take a digital approach to hearing care. Today, Hear.com offers one of the most comprehensive online hearing aid services. It works with a network of over 3,000 partner audiologists and hearing instrument specialists located throughout the United States to provide resources about hearing loss and hear care, and to conduct consultations and hearing tests. Hear.com helps its customers along every step of the way in the hearing aid purchase process, providing educational information and connecting them with local providers for hearing tests and to find the right hearing aids. 

Hear.com carries devices from the top hearing aid manufacturers on its online marketplace. It focuses on hearing aids with the latest technology, including a wide selection of rechargeable hearing aids. 

One of these modern, rechargeable hearing aids is the Hear.com Horizon. This Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid was designed for active people, and its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 19 hours on a single charge. Horizon hearing aids also come with a small, portable charging case, that provides a full charge in 3-4 hours and can charge the devices three times on a single charge, making it perfect for active adults with an on-the-go lifestyle. If a device from another manufacturer is better suited for you, you’ll still have plenty of rechargeable, digital hearing aid options to choose from on Hear.com’s marketplace. 

Hear.com Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Horizon
Fit Type
RIC
Battery Size
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Yes, wireless charging
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes, direct Bluetooth streaming
Directional Microphone
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Digital Sound Processing
Yes
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Physical Volume Button
No; App-controlled
Pricing
Starting at $2,900 or $100/mo

The Horizon

The founders of Hear.com worked with engineers from top hearing aid manufacturer Signia to develop the Horizon hearing aids, a first-of-its-kind device specifically designed for active adults. The nearly-invisible hearing aid is receiver-in-canal style and has a very small and slim behind-the-ear component connected to the earbud with a tiny, translucent cable. The sleek hearing aid resembles many common Bluetooth devices on the market today and is suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

pair of hear.com horizon hearing aids

Though small in size, Horizon hearing aids use advanced technology and have premium features including Bluetooth connectivity for direct streaming, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with up to 19 hours of runtime, and dynamic sound processing. Horizon hearing aids easily connect to a Smartphone app where wearers can adjust their devices for complete control of their sound. Additionally, the hearing aids use a unique algorithm that focuses on speech for enhanced sound clarity even in loud spaces. 

All Horizon hearing aids come with an included portable charging case that provides a full charge in just 3-4 hours for all-day, on-the-go wear. Hear.com typically uses a financing payment model with monthly payments; the Horizon hearing aids start at $100 per month, or a one-time price of $2,900.  Like with all hearing aids purchased through Hear.com, Horizon users will have a 45-day risk-free trial period to try the hearing aids in a variety of different situations before committing financially. 

Pros and Cons of the Hear.com Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Horizon hearing aid comes equipped with high-tech features, including rechargeability and Bluetooth streaming
  • Monthly payment options
  • 45-day risk-free trial
  • Network of thousands of partner audiologists

Cons:

  • Starting price for Horizon is higher than devices from other online companies

Read Our In-Depth Review on Hear.com

Get a Quote from Hear.com

Eargo Hearing Aids Review

Best for Comfortable In-Ear Hearing Aids

one eargo neo hifi hearing aid held in hand

– Eargo offers four completely-in-canal hearing aids
– Prices range from $1,500-$2,950 per pair
– Financing plans available starting at $70/month
– All Eargo hearing aids are rechargeable

Eargo offers some of the least visible completely-in-canal hearing aids available, and unlike the majority of other hearing aid brands, all four Eargo models are rechargeable. But what makes this brand unique is its approach to inner-ear comfort and sound amplification.

Featuring soft silicone earpieces that are suspended within the ear canal rather than plugging it, Eargo hearing aids give users with mild to moderate hearing loss a far more breathable option than ever before. Eargo’s Flexi earpieces fit deep inside the ear, hiding the hearing aid from view, and they leave plenty of room for bass-heavy sounds to travel into the wearer’s eardrum unamplified while only high-treble sounds are picked up and aided by the device. The result is natural sound and unrivaled comfort.

Eargo hearing aids are sold directly to consumers via the company’s website, Eargo.com. Though these hearing aids are not pre-programmed using individuals’ audiogram results, Eargo offers a capable and user-friendly app through which users can program their devices and reach Eargo hearing specialists.

Eargo Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Max
Neo
Neo HiFi
Eargo 5
Cost Per Pair
$1,500
$2,000
$2,500
$2,950
Fit Type
CIC
CIC
CIC
CIC
Rechargeable
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bluetooth Streaming
No
No
No
No
Audio Personalization
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Active Noise Cancellation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Dynamic Feedback Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Max

The Max, with its rechargeable batteries and advanced sound quality, provides users who have mild to moderate hearing loss with industry-best comfort thanks to its Flexi Fiber earpieces. The Max provides four sound programs, and rather than beeping when program changes are made, users hear more specific prompts spoken in a friendly voice.

Eargo Max hearing aids retail at $1,500 for a set of two and come with ten extra Flexi Fiber earpieces.

Neo

Eargo’s Neo was fully redesigned to feature improved build quality and an even more discreet form factor. This model delivers Eargo’s great noise suppression capabilities and stable gain, as well as sound wave personalization through the Eargo app. The most noticeably different feature of the Neo is its updated Flexi earpieces, which sit more lightly in the ear canal than Eargo’s other models thanks to their innovative, flower-like design.

A set of Eargo Neo hearing aids retails at $2,000 and comes with six medium-sized Flexi Palm earpiece replacements.

Neo HiFi

eargo neo HiFi hearing aid and charging case

Neo HiFi hearing aids were designed to provide an even clearer hearing experience than Eargo’s other devices. The Neo HiFi features enhanced noise and feedback reduction and amplifies mid and high frequencies for a natural sound. The earbuds are Eargo’s new Flexi TetraPalm design which have an extra layer of flexis for wearers’ comfort. Like other Eargo models, the Neo HiFi is a CIC device and nearly invisible. 

A pair of Neo HiFi aids costs $2,500 and includes a charger, six extra Flexi TetraPalms in three different sizes, a wax guard, cleaning brush, USB plug and USB-C cable. 

Eargo 5

The Eargo 5, the company’s newest model, is the most technologically advanced of Eargo’s offerings. Like Eargo’s other models, the Eargo 5 sits completely in the ear canal and is rechargeable with a lithium-ion battery. The most notable new feature is Sound Match, which enables remote, at-home tunings for the best sound quality without having to visit an audiologist’s office for adjustments. Other improvements include new Petal ear tips for easier maintenance, and contactless charging that can complete a full charge in 4 hours. 

These hearing aids cost $2,950 per pair, with financing available for as low as $123/month for 24 months. The price includes a two-year warranty, wireless charger, access to a mobile app and telecare, and more.

Pros and Cons of the Eargo Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Virtually invisible design
  • Made of soft silicone for a comfortable fit
  • All hearing aid purchases include lifetime support from licensed hearing professionals
  • Free online hearing check

Cons:

  • No models feature direct Bluetooth streaming
  • Only one model, Eargo 5, is compatible with the mobile app

Read Our In-Depth Review on Eargo

Get a Quote for Eargo Hearing Aids

Lively Hearing Aids Review

Best Customer Experience

lively hearing aid with battery door open

– All Lively hearing aids are custom-programmed by an audiologist
– Rechargeable and non-rechargeable versions are available
– Costs range from $1,850 to $2,400 per pair
– All purchases include access to the Lively app, which offers remote on-demand care

Lively is a direct-to-consumer brand offering a hearing aid equipped with some of the best technology at a lower cost than many of its competitors. By primarily operating as an online company- there is only one brick and mortar location, in Manhattan- Lively is able to keep costs lower than the industry average while still providing a top-of-the-line product. Its hearing aids are designed to be user-friendly and come with a 3-year loss and damage coverage free of charge. 

What really sets Lively apart from other companies in the industry, however, is the customer experience. The entire process, from the initial hearing assessment to ongoing adjustments, can all be completed from the comfort of users’ homes. Lively contracts with a network of professional audiologists to provide remote assessments, assistance, and adjustments for its customers. Each pair of hearing aids are programmed specifically for each user’s ears based on their remote hearing assessment, and the aids can continue to be adjusted as often as needed, since three years of follow-up care with audiologists is included with all Lively purchases. Using the Lively mobile app, customers can even contact audiologists for remote, on-demand adjustments to their hearing aid when they enter a new environment or just need a bit of a tune-up. 

The Lively hearing aid is Bluetooth enabled and can easily be paired with both iOS and Android devices. Sold only directly from Lively, a pair of Lively hearing aid costs $1,450 for the battery-powered model or $2,000 for the rechargeable option. Customers may also opt for a monthly payment plan, which starts as low as $47 a month.

Lively Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
The Lively
Fit Type
Behind the Ear
Battery Size
312 or Rechargeable
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes
Directional Microphone
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Digital Sound Processing
Yes
Processing Channels
12
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Physical Program Switch
Push-button; App
Pricing
$1,450-$2,000 per pair

The Lively

The Lively hearing aid is currently the only model available from the company, but it comes in two different varieties- one rechargeable version and one standard 312-battery powered device. Lively aids are always sold as a pair and bundled with 3 years of follow-up care with an audiologist and a 3-year loss and damage coverage policy. All users also have free access to the Lively mobile app, where they can contact audiologists for on-demand assistance and make immediate adjustments to their aids for the ideal hearing experience in any environment. 

pair of white lively hearing aids

The Lively is equipped with 12 warp channels and gain channels for a very high resolution and a high degree of adjustability. It also has noise-blocking technology to cancel out background noise and white noise, though the hearing aids can also be manually adjusted by the user or remotely by an audiologist. The behind-the-ear component of the Lively measures about one inch long and is available in seven colors intended to match users’ hair for a nearly invisible device. 

Pros and Cons of the Lively Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Remote support from licensed audiologists
  • Free mobile app
  • All hearing aid purchases include 3 years of loss and damage coverage and 3 years of follow-up care with an audiologist
  • Direct Bluetooth streaming

Cons:

  • Only one model is currently available

Read Our In-Depth Review on Lively

Get a Quote for Lively Hearing Aids

Audicus Hearing Aids Review

Wave: Best Low-Cost Bluetooth Hearing Aid

audicus wave hearing aid in silver

– Direct Bluetooth streaming from Apple and Android smartphones
– Starts at $1,798 per pair
– Rechargeable battery upgrade available
– Monthly membership option for The Wave starts at $59/mo

Audicus is an online company offering some of the most affordable digital and Bluetooth hearing aids available. What makes Audicus a top hearing aid provider is that its offerings rise above comparable low-cost products with advanced features at an undeniably affordable price. 

Audicus is able to offer such competitive base prices by offering a-la-carte upgrades and by selling its hearing aids online, directly to consumers via Audicus.com. However, Audicus aids are not ‘one size fits all’ like those offered by so many other direct-to-consumer brands. Audicus allows users to take its free online hearing test or upload their audiogram results to the website when they purchase, then has a team of audiologists program each hearing aid to suit the buyer’s hearing loss profile. In addition to these online options, Audicus has clinics around the U.S., with its newest clinics located in New York City and Chicago. Prospective customers can visit these stores for a free hearing assessment and to experience Audicus’ 5-star support in-person.

Even at their lowest prices, several Audicus models are fully digital, directional, noise suppressing and Bluetooth compatible. The Wave device is completely Bluetooth enabled for direct streaming, even at its base price without any optional upgrades. All of these things make the overall value of Audicus hearing aids hard to beat.

Audicus Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
The Dia II
The Clara
The Aura
The Wave
The Spirit
Fit Type
BTE
RIC
CIC
RIC
RIC
Rechargeable
No
Yes (optional upgrade)
No
Yes (optional upgrade)
Yes
Battery Size
312
312
10
312
Rechargeable lithium-ion
Bluetooth Enabled
No
Yes (with added accessories)
No
Yes (direct Bluetooth streaming)
Yes (direct Bluetooth streaming)
Directional Microphone
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Telecoil
Yes
No
No
No
No
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Pricing (single ear/both ears)
$499/$998
$699/$1,398
$699/$1,398
$899/$1,798
$1,399/$2,798

Audicus also offers a one-of-a-kind hearing aid membership for a low monthly cost that provides new hearing aids every 18 months, all the supplies you’ll need shipped to your door regularly, and insurance is included in case you damage or lose the hearing aids. Pricing starts at $39/month and a one-time fee of $100 – you can cancel anytime by returning the hearing aids.

The Dia II

The Dia II was temporarily discontinued, but Audicus brought it back ‘by popular demand’ as it has remained its most popular offering. Buyers seem to appreciate the unusually low price for a fully digital hearing aid (the price was lowered even further after the device’s reintroduction) that delivers all the modern features consumers have come to rely on, including custom pre-programming by audiologists. This is a behind-the-ear hearing device that is available in three colors. The Dia II features 56 decibels of gain, directional microphones, and eight user-programmed channels.

This device is suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. It holds up to 140 hours of battery life and retails at $998 for a set of two.

The Clara

Clara is a small receiver-in-canal device and one of Audicus’ premier models, offering up to 57 decibels of gain. Unlike this brand’s other model, the Dia II, the Clara hearing aid can be upgraded for enhanced clarity ($100), which increases the available number of user-programmable channels. This model is also available with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery at an additional $400. 

The Clara retails at a base price of $1,398 for a set of two and is available in the buyer’s choice of four colors. It is suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

The Aura

audicus aura in-ear hearing aids

The Aura is a completely-in-canal (CIC) device that’s nearly invisible. Featuring a discreet “micro-design,” these small devices sit comfortably in the wearer’s ear canal so no part of the device is visible outside of the ear, making it a great option for those looking for a discreet device. The Aura uses a compact, size 10 battery for longer-lasting power than other CIC aids. And since there are no buttons on the product, users can control the volume by cupping their ear- no need to pair with an app for sound control.

The Aura is available in two colors and may be purchased individually or as a hearing aid set. A single Aura device retails for $699 and a pair costs $1,398. 

The Wave

The Wave is a nearly invisible RIC hearing aid that features advanced capabilities, such as direct Bluetooth streaming. Users can connect their smartphone to their Wave to directly make calls, listen to music, and more, directly through their Wave. This device also features an impressive 12 processing channels and an optional rechargeable battery.

The Wave retails at a base price of $1,798 for a pair and is available in four colors. The rechargeable upgrade costs an additional $300.

The Spirit

Audicus’ newest device is the Spirit, a receiver-in-canal hearing aid offering the company’s most advanced technology. Released in 2021, the Spirit comes standard with three premium features: direct Bluetooth streaming, a rechargeable battery, and remote adjustments from an Audiologist. Using the Audicus Hearing Remote smartphone app (available for both iOs and Android devices), wearers can request sound adjustments to their device from the comfort of their own homes. This unlimited, on-demand Audiologist service gives wearers complete control over their sound experience. 

The Spirit also features two directional microphones, ten different volume settings, and auto-adjust capabilities. One Spirit hearing aid costs $1,399, and a pair retails for $2,798 on the Audicus website

Pros and Cons of the Audicus Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Low monthly payment option with a subscription plan for new hearing aids every 18 months
  • Starting costs for hearing aids are lower than the industry average
  • Offers a range of devices for mild-severe hearing loss
  • Several clinic locations where customers can get in-person support

Cons:

  • Most affordable model is not Bluetooth-enabled
  • Features like rechargeability cost extra

Read Our In-Depth Review on Audicus

Get a Quote for Audicus Hearing Aids

Lexie Hearing Aids Review

Best Rewards Program

front of a silver lexie hearing aid

– Behind-the-ear style device
– Competitively priced at $799 per pair or $49/mo for 24 months
– All purchases include access to the Lexie mobile app and Lexie’s hearing check

Lexie is an industry newcomer that offers a premium hearing aid at the extremely competitive price of $799 per pair. Founded by the experienced hearX group, Lexie was created to make high-quality hearing care more accessible. The Lexie hearing aid leverages smart technology to offer sought-after features like on-demand remote care and adaptive noise reduction at an affordable price, so users don’t have to compromise on features for affordability. 

In addition to its industry-beating price, Lexie’s suite of extra features helps set it apart from other companies. Its rewards program, Lexie Rewards, guides and supports customers from the moment they start using their Lexie Lumen. This unique program encourages users to wear their aids regularly and learn more about their devices during the crucial first weeks of wear. Users are incentivized to meet their goals with award points that can later be used as a discount on their subscription or in-app purchases. Users access the rewards program through the Lexie Hearing mobile app, which has many additional features for users to take advantage of as well. 

The Lexie Lumen hearing aid is sold direct to consumers from Lexie and costs $799 for a pair. Users may also pay for their devices on a subscription basis at a rate of $49 a month for 24 months. Both payment plans include access to Lexie Rewards, remote care, and the mobile app.

Lexie Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Lumen
Fit Type
BTE
Battery Size
312
Rechargeable
No
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes
Directional Microphone
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Digital Sound Processing
Yes
Processing Channels
6
Telecoil
Yes
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Physical Program Switch
Yes

The Lumen

lexie hearing aids

Lexie currently offers one hearing aid model, the Lumen. The device is equipped with dual microphones for directional hearing and noise reduction, and six different processing channels that auto-adjust to changing environments. The Lumen also has a telecoil for extra clear hearing in environments like churches, theaters, and other buildings with induction loop systems. 

Lexie devices are delivered bundled with a handful of accessories, including up to 6-weeks worth of replacement hearing aid batteries, a soft carrying case, and nearly-invisible slim tubes in different sizes for behind-the-ear comfort. All users receive free access to the Lexie Hearing mobile app, the Lexie Care on-demand remote care program, and Lexie Rewards. 

Pros and Cons of the Lexie Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Lexie Lumen is more affordable than comparable devices from competitors
  • Unique rewards program
  • All wearers have access to a free mobile app where they can adjust their hearing aids or video call a hearing expert
  • Free 4-6 day delivery

Cons:

  • Only one model is currently available
  • Lexie hearing aids are not custom-programmed by an audiologist

Read Our In-Depth Review on Lexie

Get a Quote for Lexie Hearing Aids

MDHearingAid Review

The Air: Best Affordable Hearing Aid

mdhearingaid air BTE hearing aid

– Telecoil-equipped
– Starts at $799 per pair
– Noise and feedback reduction
– Four sound settings for different environments

MDHearingAid is the most affordable brand on our list, offering some of the best tech at the lowest prices. MDHearingAid currently offers three digital models at economic prices. The Air hearing aid is currently one of the least expensive options on this page.

Though MDHearingAid devices are not pre-programmed for the individual, wearers can speak to a hearing aid specialist for recommendations and advice on how to set their hearing aids. To ensure that its customers can find their best hearing results, this direct-to-consumer retailer offers a no-obligation, money-back guarantee within the user’s first 45 days from the date of purchasing their hearing aid. 

MDHearingAid Device Features

Features
The Air
The Volt+
The Core
Fit Type
BTE
BTE
BTE
Battery Size
13
Rechargeable
312
Rechargeable
No
Yes
No
Bluetooth Enabled
No
No
Yes
Directional Microphone
No
Yes
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Digital Sound Processing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Processing Channels
4
4
4
Telecoil
Yes
No
No
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
No
No
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Yes
Yes
Physical Program Switch
Dial
Dial
Push-button; Smartphone App
Pricing (single aid/both ears)
$399/$799
$599/$1,199
$799/$1,599

The Air

The Air is MDHearingAid’s most affordable product and also its bestseller. This digital device is a virtually invisible behind-the-ear model and is MDHearingAid’s only aid that comes with a telecoil. The Air provides noise and feedback reduction, though it does not feature directional mics or automatic adjustment.

The Air’s high-quality sound production is suitable for even noisy environments, and its batteries can keep going for up to 26 days. This model retails at $799 per pair, and buyers of two hearing aids receive free replacement batteries.

The Volt+

mdhearingaid volt+ hearing aids in charging case

The Volt+ is MDHearingAid’s rechargeable model, providing 24-30 hours of power from a single charge. The water-resistant device features advanced feedback cancellation technology and two directional microphones for enhanced sound quality. Like other hearing aids from the company, The Volt+ is designed with ComfortTips for inner ear comfort and fits 80% of people even without audiologist programming.

A pair of Volt+ hearing aids costs $1,199, and individual aids for single ears can be purchased for $599 per ear. 

The Core

MDHearingAid’s Core device offers arguably the most advanced tech of any MDHearingAid device, including the Volt. The Core stands out from other offerings due to its Bluetooth compatibility which allows users to connect with a smartphone app to adjust the aid’s settings for a customized hearing experience. The Core is on par with the Volt in terms of noise cancellation and feedback reduction, both providing crisp and clear sound. 

A single Core hearing aid costs $799, and a pair can be purchased for $1,599. 

Pros and Cons of the MDHearingAid Brand

Pros:

  • Offers one of the most affordable hearing aids on the market, the Air model
  • Free online hearing test
  • 45-day risk-free trial
  • Monthly payment plans with 0% interest available

Cons:

  • Only offers BTE-fit hearing aids
  • MDHearingAid devices are not custom-programmed by an audiologist

Read Our In-Depth Review on MDHearingAid

Get a Quote for MDHearingAid


Phonak Hearing Aids Review

Lyric: Best Invisible Hearing Aid

close image of phonak lyric hearing aid

– Completely invisible in-ear fit
– Custom-programmed and inserted by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist
– Can stay in-ear for months at a time

Phonak was founded in Switzerland in 1947, and today continues to aspire to a mix of Swiss craftsmanship and Silicon Valley technologies. Under ownership by hearing care giant Sonova, the Phonak brand is manufactured by Sonova’s German hearing aid engineering firm, Hansaton, which also manufactures Phonak’s sister brand, Audicus.

Phonak is a prolific brand offering numerous hearing aid models in a broad range of fit styles, including multiple custom-fit options. One of the products that set Phonak apart is the Lyric. The Lyric is the first-ever 100% invisible hearing aid and remains the only one available today. This unique device sits deeper inside the ear canal than other styles of hearing aids, rendering it completely invisible and producing natural sound. In addition to the Lyric, Phonak offers several almost-invisible hearing aid models, giving those looking for a discreet hearing aid plenty of options. 

Phonak Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Audéo Paradise
Naida Paradise
Virto Marvel
Bolero Marvel
CROS B
Lyric
Fit Type
RIC
BTE
Custom in-ear
BTE
BTE and Custom in-ear
CIC — 100% Invisible
Battery Size
312, 13, or Rechargeable
675 or Rechargeable
10 or 312
312 or Rechargeable
312, 13, or Rechargeable
Custom
Rechargeable
Some models
Some models
No
Some models
Some models
No
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Telecoil
Yes, on “T” models
Yes, on “P-UP” models
No
Yes
No
No
Physical Adjustment Button
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Varies; some models
No

Note: Phonak’s product line is extensive. The above table is not an exhaustive inventory of available Phonak hearing aids, but represents the variety Phonak currently offers. Additionally, older-generation Phonak devices, such as the Virto B, may still be available from third-party retailers. 

Audéo Paradise

phonak audeo hearing aid

The Phonak Audéo Paradise builds upon the previous-generation Audéo Marvel, making several key improvements to the device. The Paradise features a new operating system, AutoSense 4.0., which has built-in artificial intelligence technology to automatically recognize and adjust to match different hearing environments. The Audéo Paradise also benefits from improved Bluetooth connectivity, the addition of acoustic motion sensors, and a new feature called “air tap” control, which lets wearers control their hearing aids with just a tap motion to the ear (similar to how users can control Apple AirPods).

The RIC-style Audéo Paradise is available with rechargeable lithium ion batteries, a 312 zinc air battery, or a 13 zinc air battery. It is also available with and without a telecoil. Buyers have their choice of seven different colors. 

Naida Paradise

The Naida Paradise, a seventh-generation version of Phonak’s Naida hearing aids for those with severe to profound hearing loss, was updated with new software for enhanced speech clarity, dynamic noise reduction, and overall enhanced sound quality. This hearing aid connects directly to iOs and Android devices for easy Bluetooth streaming and is compatible with the myPhonak app where wearers can make adjustments to their devices for personalized sound. 

The Naida Paradise is currently available in two variations- the P-PR and P-UP. The P-PR features a rechargeable battery and tap control, and is better suited for those with mild to severe hearing loss. The P-UP is recommended for those with severe to profound hearing loss and includes a telecoil.

Virto Marvel

The Virto Marvel hearing aid series from Phonak consists of custom-fitted in-ear devices which resemble modern wireless earbuds. These hearing aids are nearly invisible in the wearer’s ear and provide maximum comfort for long-term wear. Virto M devices come with Phonak’s AutoSense 3.0 operating system as well as a directionality improvement thanks to Virto M’s biometric calibration capability.

Virto M hearing aids are 3-D printed to fit the user’s ear canal and are suitable for varying levels of hearing loss.

Bolero Marvel

Phonak’s Bolero Marvel line features behind-the-ear hearing aids suitable for those with mild to severe hearing loss. Like most Phonak devices, these hearing aids are small, discreet, and comfortable. These devices are also equipped with direct Bluetooth streaming, an optional rechargeable battery, and Phonak’s AutoSense 3.0 sound processing system. 

The Bolero Marvel is available in 9 colors and two models. The Bolero M-M uses a disposable size 312 battery, while the M-PR features a rechargeable battery.

CROS B

CROS B hearing aids are uniquely designed for those with single-sided hearing. Introduced in 2011, CROS B hearing aids use Phonak’s proprietary technology to automatically change settings based on the wearer’s listening situation. CROS B is available in behind-the-ear and custom-fit in-ear styles depending on one’s preferences and hearing needs. An audiologist can recommend the best solution for you.

Lyric

drawing of an ear with phonak lyric inserted in ear canal

Phonak’s Lyric is one of the very few completely invisible hearing aids currently on the market. It features an unusual design, made of a very soft material that fits so snugly in the ear canal that it must be inserted by a hearing care specialist. The Lyric can stay in a user’s ear until the batteries need changing after months of continuous use. Lyric wearers can shower as normal while wearing the device, though total submersion, such as while swimming, is discouraged.

Lyric does not need to be removed by the user, but a special removal tool is included in the cost of purchase. However, the Lyric is not made to be reinserted after removal. This device is best suited for users who have mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Pros and Cons of the Phonak Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Wide range of models available to meet a range of needs and hearing loss levels
  • All models offer multiple customization options
  • Phonak Lyric is one of the very few completely-invisible hearing aids on the market
  • All Phonak hearing aids are audiologist-programmed

Cons:

  • Higher price point than DTC companies

Read Our In-Depth Review on Phonak

Get a Quote for Phonak Hearing Aids

Signia Hearing Aids Review

Styletto: Best for High-End Design

signia styletto x hearing aids in 5 colors (black/grey, navy/tan, white/tan, white/white, black/black)

– Award-winning design
– Sleek, portable, wireless charging case for rechargeable batteries
– World’s first SLIM-RIC style hearing aid
– Custom-fit by a professional

Signia is one of the most tech-forward and fashion-conscious hearing aid manufacturers of 2021. Under ownership by Sivantos alongside other top brands, like Widex, Signia has become one of the top three hearwear brands in the world.

Signia’s new Nx line of hearing aids offers people with mild to profound hearing loss a broad range of options to customize the look of their devices, both during and after purchase. Signia provides uncommonly sleek and small hearing aid housings which include brushed metal finishes and wider color selections than other brands offer. Signia’s patented programming also delivers multiple special features that bring an enviable quality of sound and noise management to this brand’s users.

To complement its high-quality and attractive range of devices, Signia has developed a system to help clients find the best hearing aid and the best fit for them. Through a network of authorized dealers, Signia can individualize the shopping, fitting and adjustment process for consumers, and also provides a streamlined telehealth app, TeleCare 3.0, to provide live remote tuning for most troubleshooting and adjustment needs.

Though Signia devices can cost about $1,349 to $1,800 per ear, consumers with more modest budgets may find that Signia’s previous line, the Primax Star series, could be more affordable.

Signia Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Styletto
Pure Nx
Insio Nx
Fit Type
SLIM-RIC
10: RIC
312: RIC
13: RIC
Charge & Go: RIC
ITE, ITC, CIC or IIC
Battery Size/Life
Built-In Li-ION Power Cell
10:10
312: 312
13:13
Charge & Go: Built-In Li-ION Power Cell
ITE: 312
ITC: 312
CIC: 10
IIC: 10
Rechargeable Battery
Yes
Charge & Go Model: Yes
ITE: No
ITC: No
CIC: No
IIC: No
Bluetooth (Wireless) Enabled
Styletto Connect Model: Yes
10: Unlisted
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: No
IIC: No
Directional Microphone
Yes
10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: No
Wind Reduction
Yes
10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
BiCROS Fitting
No
10: Unlisted
312: Yes
13: No
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
Push-Button Volume Control
No
10: No
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Optional
IIC: No
Telecoil
No
10: No
312: No
13: Optional
Charge & Go: No
ITE: Unlisted
ITC: Unlisted
CIC: Unlisted
IIC: Unlisted
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes

Styletto Nx

Styletto Nx is Signia’s top-of-the-line option that looks just like a sleek Bluetooth earpiece. Suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, this SLIM receiver-in-canal hearing aid sits more discreetly behind the ear than the vast majority of BTE and RIC hearing aids currently available.

pair of signia styletto hearing aids with charging case

The Styletto Nx is a rechargeable hearing aid and ships with a small charging case that fits easily inside a pocket or purse. This device also comes in an alternate version, the Styletto Connect, which does not require the purchase of additional accessories to connect wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Styletto hearing aids come in two-tone, brushed metal finishes, and if you get tired of the colors you initially choose, new housings are available from Signia and can be changed out at home. This hearing aid comes in three technology levels- 7x, 5x and 3x- which determine how advanced the feature set will be.

Pure Nx

The Pure Nx line of devices from Signia includes four receiver-in-canal options, including one Charge&Go rechargeable model. For hearing loss sufferers with mild to profound impairment, the Pure line offers BiCROS fittings, Bluetooth compatibility and industry-leading noise reduction and directionality.

signia hearing aid

The Pure Nx line’s two most feature rich options, the Pure 312 Nx and the Pure Charge&Go Nx, are equipped with Signia Xperience, a new technology that uses motion sensors to streamline the hearing aid’s ability to adapt directionally and in changing sound environments. The most discreet offering in the Pure Nx lineup, the Pure 10 Nx is one of the smallest RIC devices available, and the Pure 13 Nx is a great option for users who desire longer battery life and advanced features. Both provide better own voice processing so that the user’s voice sounds more natural to them.

Insio Nx

Insio Nx is a line of four fit styles, and options for people with any level of hearing loss. Insio models are available in ITE, CIC, IIC and ITC styles, though only the ITE and ITC styles are Bluetooth compatible. Insio Nx users enjoy OneMic directionality, CROS or BiCROS fittings, and advanced noise management while in motion.

Pros and Cons of the Signia Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Broad range of hearing aid models and price points
  • Many rechargeable options
  • Sleek, small hearing aids with a stylish look
  • Mobile app offers live, remote programming with an audiologist

Cons:

  • No online purchase option is available
  • Higher price point than DTC companies

Read Our In-Depth Review on Signia

Get a Quote for Signia Hearing Aids

Widex Hearing Aids Review

EVOKE and MOMENT: Best for Artificial Intelligence Features

pair of widex moment hearing aids in black

– SoundSense technology auto-adjusts device settings based on user input and detected noise level
– Direct Bluetooth streaming
– Always custom-programmed by an audiologist or hearing aid expert

Widex is one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced hearing aid brands, and since merging with hearing care provider Sivantos, has become part of one of the largest businesses in the world. This brand specializes in technologically-advanced hearing aids, but Widex also provides industry-leading sound adjustment and personalization tools, providing audiologist assistance in person and advanced app features at home.

Widex’s EVOKE line of hearing aids comes in a broad variety of fit styles, colors, and feature sets, so we have selected two of these devices which we believe represent the variety of the EVOKE line. Each of these devices is equipped with machine learning capabilities that other brands have not yet incorporated into their user technologies — a feature which Widex has named SoundSense. EVOKE hearing aids leverage artificial intelligence to gradually learn about the user’s most frequented kinds of sound environments and preferences.

Widex now also offers a MOMENT line of hearing aids, which offer new technology for a natural sound as well as other exciting features. Beyond the AI integration of EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aids, both lines also provide a comprehensive range of technology packages. Each EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aid is available in a variety of feature levels, though all are fully directional and come with sophisticated noise reduction capabilities.

Widex Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
CIC
Fusion
MOMENT
Fit Type
CIC
RIC/RITE
RIC/RITE
Battery Size
10
312
Rechargeable, 312, 10
Noise Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Telecoil
Yes
Yes
Some models
Programmable Push-Button
Yes
Yes
Yes
Microphone Openings
Yes
No
No

The EVOKE CIC

The EVOKE CIC is a completely-in-canal device that sits discreetly within the ear canal, best for users with minimal to severe hearing loss. Though small, the CIC is just as advanced as the other EVOKE models listed here. It contains a patented Fluid Sound Controller that processes sound faster and more clearly than previous Widex series, as well as the Widex SoundSense machine learning program.

The EVOKE CIC offers up to five user-programmable channels and is compatible with DEX assistive listening devices. This model is available in three neutral tones and can be purchased in four feature levels.

EVOKE Fusion

The EVOKE Fusion is a small RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aid that is suitable for people with mild to profound hearing loss. Like other EVOKE series devices, it comes equipped with Widex’s machine learning software, SoundSense. The Fusion is available in the consumer’s choice of four feature sets, from the 110 level, which lacks features like Smartwind Manager and Speech Enhancer RT, to the 440 level, which comes with the complete range of EVOKE series enhancements.

The Fusion comes in a range of ten colors and provides up to five user-programmable channels.

MOMENT

Widex’s MOMENT series implements a new technology for natural-sounding hearing. While most hearing aids have delayed processing times that interfere with the natural sound and can create echoes, Widex has significantly sped up these processing times so wearers hear sounds the “moment” that it happens. MOMENT hearing aids currently have the fastest processing time in the industry. 

The MOMENT line includes a variety of different fit options including CIC and receiver-in-the-ear, and up to 13 color options for some hearing aid styles. 

Pros and Cons of the Widex Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • All Widex hearing aids are custom-programmed by an audiologist
  • Broad range of fit types and customizations available
  • All hearing aids are water-resistant
  • Numerous accessories available to help hearing aids fit a variety of different lifestyles

Cons:

  • No online purchase option is available

Read Our In-Depth Review on Widex

Get a Quote for Widex Hearing Aids

Starkey Hearing Aids Review

Best for Assistive Features

starkey hearing aid

– Livio AI is first hearing aid to include fall detection technology
– Hearing aids have sensors that track brain and body activity for overall wellness monitoring
– All devices are enabled for remote programming

Starkey is an American-owned-and-operated brand that, since 1964, has developed some of the most technologically advanced hearing aids available. While other high-tech hearing aid manufacturers have focused on using AI and machine learning to advance the clarity of sound that their models offer, Starkey has taken this trend a few steps further, providing assistive features that particularly benefit the elderly.

Starkey’s current models come with a live telehealth feature that connects users to a licensed audiologist who can tune hearing aids remotely. The models covered below also include features like fall detection, light-based hearing technology and Amazon Alexa connectivity. Pricing for Starkey hearing aids is available through a network of authorized dealers, and interested consumers can schedule an appointment with the dealer nearest them right through Starkey.com.

Starkey Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Livio AI
Picasso
Fit Type
RIC, micro RIC or BTE
ITE, ITC, CIC, IIC
Battery Size/Life
RIC R: Built-in
RIC: 312
micro RIC: 312
BTE: 13
CIC: 312 or 10
ITC: 312
ITE: 13
IIC: 10
Rechargeable
RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: No
Available in some models
Telecoil
RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: Yes
No
Physical Buttons or Dials
RIC R: Yes
RIC: Yes
micro RIC: Yes
BTE: Yes
No

The Livio AI

Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aid is one of the most advanced hearing care devices available. As the Livio AI is Starkey’s feature model, it comes packed with its best proprietary features for sound and noise management. This model now features three times more digital processing power than previous models, and gain adjustments can be made automatically on any processing channel that is not already maxed out. Users also have the benefit of a variety of tailor-made programs, such as Livio’s Adaptive Car Mode that automatically reduces road noise.

Once a user sets up their sound and assistive feature preferences in Starkey’s Thrive Hearing Control app, Livio AI devices become incredibly adaptive to the user’s needs. This device can provide audible memory cues and fall detection alerts that are sent to the user’s choice of emergency contact, as well as live transcription of conversations onto the user’s smartphone. Transcribed text can even be saved and sent to contacts as a text or email.

Livio AI is available in three fit styles: Receiver-in-canal (RIC), micro-RIC, and behind-the-ear (BTE), and is suitable for those with mild to profound hearing loss. The RIC version is available with a rechargeable battery.

Picasso

starkey picasso in-ear hearing aid

Starkey’s Picasso line allows wearers to obtain a completely-customized hearing aid. With four different styles to choose from (ITE, ITC, CIC, and IIC), essentially any person can find a Picasso fit that works for them. In addition to comfort, Picasso hearing aids offer feedback cancellation, customizable tinnitus relief, and three different technology levels to suit a range of lifestyles. 

Picasso hearing aids are also fully compatible with Starkey’s SurfLink accessories, which offer a range of features for a better listening experience. Using the accessories, Picasso wearers can stream television, music and phone calls directly through their hearing aid, adjust the aid with a mobile app, and more. 

Pros and Cons of the Starkey Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Only American-owned and operated manufacturer of hearing aids
  • Livio, Livio AI, and Livio AI Edge products connect with Thrive app, which gives users full control over their hearing aids
  • Free online hearing test
  • Operates Starkey Hearing Foundation, which helps those in need access hearing care and assistive devices

Cons:

  • Higher price point than DTC companies

Read Our In-Depth Review on Starkey

Get a Quote for Starkey Hearing Aids

The Cost of Hearing Aids

audiologist presenting adult with hearing aid options

Hearing aid costs can vary dramatically depending on the type of device, its basic and premium features, and the manufacturer. As demonstrated in our list of the Ten Best Hearing Aids, some hearing aids can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars, while other, more advanced models may cost upwards of $2,000. Below, we cover three key things you should consider before purchasing a hearing aid to ensure you choose a suitable device for your needs and budget. 

Access to Professional Care and Assistance

While in the past you would have to work with an audiologist to obtain a hearing aid, modern companies offer a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model. Today, you can easily buy hearing aids online without any input from an audiologist. However, that doesn’t mean you should

Though most DTC hearing aids offer online hearing tests and some form of customized programming, be aware that it’s not the same level of personalization and care you would experience working with a hearing care professional. For those with mild-moderate hearing loss, these DTC devices are often sufficient and in general, they’re much less expensive. But for those with more advanced hearing loss or other audiology-related concerns, it may make more sense to work with an audiologist to get your hearing aid (though be aware that the cost will likely be much higher). 

Some companies that we’ve covered above, like Lively, connect customers virtually with audiologists who can offer advice, review your hearing tests, and help you adjust your hearing aids to suit your individual needs. If you’re hoping to keep costs low but want personal assistance from a hearing care professional, look into a company that offers this virtual audiology service.

Payment Structures

Understanding the impact of the various payment structures used by different companies can be confusing. Some hearing aid companies maintain a basic pricing structure, while others use a subscription model. Furthermore, some companies offer bundles of accessories and cleaning materials, free add-on devices, or device protection plans. 

Before making a purchase, be sure to read the fine print about what is and is not included in your purchase price or monthly cost. If choosing to buy hearing aids on a payment plan, check if there is any interest charged over time. If you choose a subscription model, make sure to check if there are any long-term contracts. One of the main appeals of a subscription plan is that you can try a device without a significant financial commitment. Accidentally signing on for a multi-year contract may defeat your purpose of choosing this payment style. 

Long-Term Costs

In most cases, you’ll need to put some money into your hearing aid over time; the total cost goes beyond your initial purchase price. You’ll undoubtedly need to buy cleaning materials if you want to keep your device operating in top shape, and you never know when you may need a repair. Below we outline the three main things to consider when thinking about long-term costs. Factoring these things into your decision may cost you more money upfront, but can save you money in the long run. 

  • Bundled Plans: Some hearing aids are sold as a bundle with accessories, cleaning supplies, or technology upgrades like a rechargeable battery. If you find that one company offers a bundle with extras you feel you’ll really use or that will benefit you, it may be worth spending a bit more initially to save money on these extras in the future. 
  • Device Protection: Most hearing aid companies offer a device protection plan, either included in a monthly cost or for a small monthly fee. In most cases, it’s worth your while to sign up for the protection plan to prevent large replacement or repair fees in the event your device breaks or is damaged. Furthermore, if you’re clumsy, forgetful, or simply tend to need replacement electronics frequently, you may choose to spend a bit more upfront for a hearing aid with device protection included in the cost. 
  • Warranties: Unlike device protection plans, which are offered by the company selling the device, warranties are typically determined by the manufacturer. Not only do warranties cover different lengths of time, but they can have completely different terms. Spend some time checking the warranties of your top choices of hearing aids. If there is a significant imbalance (i.e., one offers an extra year of coverage), it may influence which option makes the most long-term sense for you. 

Financial Assistance for Seniors Buying Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be a significant expense, especially medical-grade devices purchased through an audiologist. However, the price tag shouldn’t deter you from seeking professional hearing care if you need it. Hearing aids undoubtedly improve everyday quality of life for those who struggle to hear, and studies have shown that wearing them can even improve brain function for those with hearing loss. 

Additionally, there are some financial assistance options available for seniors that can make hearing aids more affordable. Below, we explain some of the most common sources of help paying for hearing aids. 

Veterans Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers numerous health benefits through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). One of these benefits is audiology services, including diagnosis and treatment with a professional audiologist. VHA Audiology can prescribe modern hearing aids from some of the top manufacturers including Phonak, Starkey, and Signia. Some people may need to pay a copay for these services, but VHA care is free for those who meet income requirements. 

Qualifying for VHA Assistance

Most veterans who served active duty qualify for VHA services and assistance. Veterans must have served for 24 continuous months or the full length of time for which they were called to service. Some exceptions exist, such as for those who were honorably discharged or served prior to September 1, 1980. You can learn more about eligibility for VA health care on the official VA website, and apply online or over the phone

Medicare

Medicare parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, is the program that most people automatically qualify for upon turning 65. Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover any portion of hearing aids or hearing exams. However, most Medicare Advantage plans, which are purchased separately from Original Medicare through private insurers, offer additional benefits beyond what standard Medicare provides. Some Medicare Advantage plans include hearing care, which can include diagnostic services, working with an audiologist, and/or the cost of hearing aids themselves. If you currently use a hearing aid or need hearing care, be sure to specifically look for a plan with this coverage when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicaid

Medicaid may provide some financial assistance for hearing aids, but it depends where you live. Because Medicaid is a joint program between federal and state governments, Medicaid benefits can vary depending on your state. Some services, like hospital care, are required by the federal government to be included in all states’ Medicaid programs. But since hearing care is not one of these required services, the conditions of coverage vary from state to state. Some states cover the cost of hearing aids in addition to diagnostic services, follow-up care, and more; in others, hearing aids and hearing care may not be covered at all.

Learn more about Medicaid’s coverage of hearing aids.

National and State Resources for Free/Subsidized Hearing Aids

In addition to the financial assistance options described above, there are national, state, or local resources available to help people access affordable hearing aids. Below, we list some of the national resources for seniors who need help finding free or low-cost hearing aids. To find additional local or state resources in your area, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.  

ResourceWebsite/ContactHow They Help
Help America Hearwww.helpamericahear.org/ 
info@helpamericahear.org 
This organization was founded in 2004 to help those with hearing and vision impairments. In 2019, they started focusing on helping low-income individuals afford hearing aids. You can apply to receive one of Help America Hear’s free hearing aids on the organization’s website.  
Lions Club Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP)www.lionsclubs.org/en 
Lions Club International partners with audiologists for the AHAP, a program that provides individuals in need with high-quality, low-cost hearing aids. You can apply to receive one of these hearing aids via mail with an application form, or ask your audiologist if they currently work with Lions Club on the AHAP. 
Miracle-Ear Foundationwww.miracle-ear.com/miracle-ear-foundation Miracle-Ear is a hearing aid retailer that operates a foundation to help people in need access hearing aids. For each hearing aid Miracle-Ear sells through retail, it donates one through the Foundation. You can learn more about eligibility and apply on Miracle-Ear’s website
National Hearing Aid Projectwww.hearingaiddonations.org/ This resource was created by the Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) to help those who face economic barriers to accessing assistive hearing devices. You can apply to receive a hearing aid on the organization’s website. Note that in your application, you must include an audiogram/official diagnosis of hearing loss from an audiologist. 
Starkey Hearing Foundationwww.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/ 
info@starkeyfoundation.org 
Starkey is a hearing aid manufacturer that helps those in need access hearing care through its foundation. The foundation provides several services, including helping low-income individuals access hearing aids. You can contact Starkey Hearing Foundation via email if you or someone you know is in need of assistance. 

What You Should Know About Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids and FDA-Approved Hearing Aids

With the rise of telehealth and online shopping, there are many companies from which you can now buy a hearing aid online rather than by visiting an audiologist. However, valid concerns have been raised by hearing care professionals that these direct-to-consumer hearing products can potentially harm wearers. If not programmed correctly by a specialist, there is a risk that the sound will amplify too much and be too loud, further damaging the wearer’s hearing and ears. 

Still, that is not to say that all hearing aids you can buy online or over the counter are unsafe. It’s important to understand the difference between over-the-counter sound amplifiers, direct-to-consumer hearing aids, and FDA-approved hearing aids so you can make the most informed choice when choosing a device for yourself or a loved one.

The Difference Between Hearing Aids and OTC Hearing Amplifiers

First and foremost, it’s essential to know that there is no such thing as over-the-counter hearing aids currently being sold in the United States. The FDA has not yet approved any over-the-counter hearing aids for sale, which means any hearing device you can simply buy in a store without input from a specialist is not a hearing aid- it’s a personal sound amplifier product (PSAP). 

PSAPs function differently than hearing aids and amplify all sounds rather than specific ones. They’re also not customizable and present a risk of over-amplification that can cause hearing damage and exacerbate existing hearing loss. PSAPs are not recommended for people with hearing loss; rather, they’re meant for someone without hearing loss to wear in certain situations when necessary. 

The FDA is in the process of approving over-the-counter hearing aids. However, even once these are approved, we recommend still working with an audiologist when possible. Without professional input, you’ll still run a higher risk of exacerbating hearing problems or simply not using your devices to the maximum benefit.

Buying Hearing Aids Online

Asian senior video call with doctor telemedicine appointment

Most of the companies included on this page are direct-to-consumer brands, meaning that you can buy a hearing aid from them, usually online, without visiting an audiologists’ office. Many of them are FDA-registered, Class I medical devices. These FDA-registered hearing aids you can buy online are not PSAPs; they are proper hearing aids designed to help people diagnosed with hearing loss. 

However, it’s important to note that FDA registration is not the same thing as FDA approval. Class I medical devices pose the lowest risk of harm to consumers and thus are not required to undergo the testing process necessary for FDA approval before reaching the market. Being FDA-registered simply means that the FDA knows that the product is being manufactured. On the other hand, FDA approval means that there has been sufficient testing of the product and it has been determined that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. 

Hearing aids sold directly to consumers online can certainly still be safe and effective as long as they are custom-programmed for wearers’ sound profiles, ideally by an audiologist. If you’re on a budget, buying a hearing aid online from a company that offers remote care and adjustments with an audiologist can be the best way to get a high-quality and safe hearing aid.

FDA-Approved Hearing Aids

Some hearing aids are defined as Class II medical devices, meaning that they pose a greater potential risk to wearers and thus must be FDA-approved to be on the market. Hearing aids that are class II medical devices include bone-conduction hearing aids, which you should absolutely only wear if prescribed, implanted, and programmed by an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or another skilled medical professional. If you ever see this type of hearing aid available for sale direct-to-consumer, it’s either false advertising of the product or the company is violating FDA regulations. 

If you’re living with impaired hearing and have yet to visit a hearing specialist for testing and hearing aid recommendations, you can find an audiologist near you through the American Academy of Audiology.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid

An elderly woman wearing a hearing aid

Step 1: Get a Hearing Test

Traditionally, your first step on the path to a hearing aid purchase should always be to see a licensed hearing specialist. However, in-person testing is not always possible, especially right now during COVID-19. Just like many people are turning to telehealth appointments, you can also take a free online hearing test instead of visiting an audiologist in-person. 

Online hearing tests can play a valuable role in determining your need for a hearing aid, but you won’t get as precise information as you would from a hearing test with an audiologist. If you do undergo a hearing test using an audiogram, the audiologist can provide highly detailed reports of what types of sounds, pitches, ranges, etc. that you most struggle with. This information will make finding the best hearing aid for you a more exact process and can give you a more specific price range.

Audiologists can also make recommendations for hearing aid brands, models, and fit styles. Keep in mind that audiology practices may have a few brands that they sell or endorse in particular, but once you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to ask about the brands or devices that interest you personally.

Step 2: Think Beyond Hearing Aid Cost

After your audiologist provides a deeper look into your hearing loss profile, it may be tempting to keep things simple by shopping based only on cost and your audiogram results. However, you will also need to consider the kinds of activities wherein you’ll be relying on your hearing aids. Think about what types of sound environments you frequent most often.

The cost of hearing aids varies based in part on how well they can filter out peripheral noise. If you don’t often find yourself in noisy restaurants or music venues, you may wish to purchase a low-cost model that is best suited to calm, quiet environments, such as peaceful one-on-one conversations or TV watching at home. While you’re at it, also consider whether you would benefit from Bluetooth connectivity that could stream sound directly from a television or radio to your hearing aids. Another thing to look out for is a free trial period, which can be especially useful when buying hearing aids online. 

Step 3: Determine What Accessories You May Need

Most companies sell accessories like remotes and streamers that can make programming and using your aids more convenient. However, buying accessories for various purposes can easily make your hearing aid far more expensive. For that reason, it’s best to start the shopping process by considering your specific accessory needs. The following are some of the most common accessories offered by hearing aid brands.

Streaming Accessories

Many of the devices covered here feature Made for iPhone functionality, so Apple device users often spend less on accessories as these devices stream directly to Apple devices. However, if your phone runs on OS (Android) and you’d like the freedom to connect to other devices, such as your TV or car stereo, most brands will most likely require you to purchase a separately sold accessory. Bluetooth streamers can connect a hearing aid either wirelessly or with the use of a wired adapter to a broad range of external devices, and users will no longer need to excessively crank the volume of their TV or radio. Bluetooth streamers and adapters can cost hundreds, but they can make the balance of sound in your listening environment more level and clear.

Remote Controls

It’s common for brands to offer physical remotes in a variety of styles, so if you’re not confident using a cell phone app for sound programming and other functions, or if you just want a backup remote, a physical remote control is a smart purchase. Not all hearing aids come with physical buttons to change the volume or the sound program which adapts your aids to different sound environments, so with some models, physical remotes are even more important.

Microphones

For conversations in noisy areas or where the speaker and listener are at a distance from one another, an external microphone can be extremely handy. These come in multiple configurations, including as a mic that clips onto the speaker’s shirt, a table-top model or a small device that can be easily held and passed around during multi-party conversations. Mics are ideal in classroom environments too as some can accommodate group conversations at distances of up to about 60 feet.

Step 4: Try a Variety of Styles

Your audiologist can help you find the most comfortable and appropriate fit style for you, whether you’re more comfortable with a device that sits mostly behind your ear or a more discreet option that sits fully within your ear canal. The look of a hearing aid is important to most people, but the feel of the device is also highly important as hearing aids are meant to be worn long-term. 

The most commonly found hearing aid fit styles are BTE (behind-the-ear), RIC (receiver-in-canal), and CIC (completely-in-canal). Some of the brands listed above also offer a custom-molded earpiece for which audiologists must fit the individual customer. If you find that most of the fit styles you try seem uncomfortable, consider a custom fitting.

Step 5: Anticipate Additional Costs

When you buy hearing aids, there are often additional costs beyond the initial purchase. And, anticipating the total cost involved in purchasing hearing aids can be tricky. Costs are dependent on needed accessories, warranty coverage, added fees, and brand-specific incidentals. When you’ve narrowed your search down to a few select brands, research the provider’s website or ask an audiologist about the following cost-related concerns.

  • Is there a money-back guarantee during a risk-free trial period?
  • Does the warranty cover lost, stolen or damaged devices?
  • How much do replacement batteries or earpieces cost?
  • Are fittings and/or servicing for adjustments included in the purchase price?
  • How much do accessories for Bluetooth streaming cost?

Frequently Asked Questions

Image of senior hearing patient during consultation.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids cost an average of approximately $2,500 in the United States. Many of the hearing aids listed on our list cost less because they’re from online brands. Hearing aids purchased through an Audiologists’ office are typically more expensive, but you’ll get personal attention from a hearing expert, which can be invaluable for some people. In other cases, it makes sense to buy a more affordable hearing aid online.

What does it mean when hearing aids are “locked”?

Many hearing aid brands come from the manufacturer ‘locked’, meaning they can only be serviced and adjusted by proprietary dealer locations. Brands like Miracle-Ear, Audibel, and Beltone can only be adjusted in stores that bear that brand’s name over the front door. Often, these brands are also ‘vanity brands’, which means that they are made and/or designed by a company that specializes in manufacturing generic hearing aids for various unaffiliated brands. For hearing aid users who may travel or otherwise find themselves out of range of their device manufacturer’s audiology locations, owning a locked hearing aid can be more trouble than it’s worth.

How much should I pay for a hearing aid?

Hearing aids can range in cost by hundreds, or sometimes, thousands, of dollars, and how much you pay for a hearing aid depends on your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle. More advanced features like smartphone connectivity and direct Bluetooth streaming raise the price, but if those aren’t important to you, you’ll likely save hundreds of dollars. Additionally, more severe hearing loss typically requires more advanced devices and the care of an audiologist, while mild hearing loss can sometimes be rectified with a basic hearing aid ordered online. 

Why are directional microphones important?

Directional microphones shift their focus toward the direction from which they process the most sound, making voices clearer and reducing unwanted background noise. They rely on software that tells a hearing aid where the closest speaker to the aided listener is located. Lower-cost digital hearing aids may not provide directionality. This significantly reduces a hearing aid’s ability to reduce noise and amplify the right sounds.

What do hearing aids do?

Hearing aids process sounds to amplify them or otherwise make the sounds easier to hear for someone with hearing loss. Hearing aids work by picking up sound with a microphone, processes the sound according to the hearing aid’s specific pre-programmed settings, and then sends the sound to a speaker located in or near the wearer’s ear canal. 

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

Hearing aids can be expensive because of high-grade materials, performance upgrades and advanced features, and due to some hearing aids’ status as a medical device. The cost of hearing aids can vary significantly, with some of the most affordable over-the-counter hearing aids costing under $800 per pair. 

Are hearing aids tax deductible?

Hearing aids are sometimes tax-deductible when claimed as a medical expense. To deduct the cost of hearing aids from your taxable income, you must itemize the expenses on form Schedule A (Form 1040). Note that only certain hearing aid expenses are tax-deductible, and only in certain circumstances. The medical expenses you incurred over the year must total over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income to claim medical expenses on your taxes. 

How to insert and remove hearing aids?

To insert your hearing aids, you should identify the left-ear and right-ear devices, do a quick check to ensure the devices are clean, turn the hearing aids on, and place the device in the ear canal or behind-the-ear, depending on the type of device. To remove your hearing aids, gently pull on the outermost portion of the device and slowly pull it away from your ear and back into the case. 

Can a hearing aid stop tinnitus?

Hearing aids cannot cure tinnitus, but they can lessen the severity of symptoms and even stop the symptoms in some cases. Tinnitus is partially caused by the brain trying to overcome one’s hearing loss when processing sound. So, when wearing a hearing aid and the brain is more easily able to process sounds, many people with hearing loss experience relief from tinnitus. 

How long do hearing aids last?

Hearing aids last several years, typically between 3-7 years, though for some people they last even longer. Be aware that hearing aid batteries last just 3-14 days before needing to be replaced, but replacing hearing aid batteries is a simple and inexpensive process.

Can people who have profound hearing loss use hearing aids?

Yes, people who have profound hearing loss can use hearing aids (but will need to work with an audiologist) and may also be good candidates for cochlear implants. Additionally, those who have single-sided deafness can use CROS and BiCROS hearing aids. These devices receive sound through one hearing aid but process that sound to manufacture the sensation of hearing in both ears. Sound signals are then sent to the unaidable ear where a specialized hearing aid is worn. Read more about how CROS and BiCROS hearing aids work in this article from Starkey.

Read More Hearing Aid Reviews

Learn More About Hearing Aids

Citations 

  1. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/presbycusis
  3. https://healthjournalism.org/blog/2017/03/social-isolation-loneliness-negatively-affect-health-for-seniors/
  4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/head-neck/patient-education/resisting-help
  5. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/hearing-loss-health-risks.html
  6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-the-journals-hearing-aids-may-help-improve-brain-function
  7. https://www.va.gov/health/
  8. https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/audiology/index.asp
  9. https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/
  10. https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/
  11. https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply/
  12. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/hearing-aids
  13. https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/financial-assistance/medicaid/
  14. https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/index.aspx
  15. https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/
  16. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/over-counter-hearing-aids
  17. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2015/hearing-amplifiers-psaps.html
  18. https://www.fda.gov/media/114844/download
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK385313/
  20. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/14794-bone-anchored-auditory-implant#
  21. https://members.audiology.org/cvweb/cgi-bin/memberdll.dll/info?wrp=find-an-audiologist.htm

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