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

Hearing loss affects millions of people, and the National Institutes of Health states that 28.8 million adults could benefit from using a hearing aid. But, only a fraction of those people actually use hearing devices. If you’ve put off seeking treatment for hearing loss because of time, cost, or another barrier, you’re not alone. Thankfully, with online retailers and direct-to-consumer brands, it’s never been easier to purchase a pair of hearing aids. 

“Purchasing a hearing aid online can be a viable and convenient option for all patients, especially those that have limited access to transportation, live in remote locations or simply struggle finding the time to make in person appointments,” says Dr. Mandi Chambless, a licensed Audiologist who spent a decade of her career working with a top hearing aid manufacturer.

“That being said, it is imperative for consumers to work with a provider that offers safe, properly fit amplification. Consumer education is of utmost importance to not only protect the buyer from poorly programmed devices that could lead to more hearing loss, but also to reduce economic strain that can be a direct result of purchasing a product that is not appropriate for the user.”

It can be nerve-racking to make an important purchase online, especially when it’s a medical device like a hearing aid. That’s why we partnered with two expert audiologists to score the safety of each brand on this page, so you can feel confident that any hearing aid brand you choose (whether direct-to-consumer or in-person) offers safe, high-quality care. 

Below you’ll find our audiologists’ safety scores and our reviews 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
Hear.com
  • Starting Price: $2,900 or $100 a month for one pair
  • Battery Type: Wireless Rechargeable
  • Standout Feature: Bluetooth-Enabled for All Smartphones
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Eargo
  • Starting Price: $1,450 for one pair
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Batteries for all Models
  • Standout Feature: Small, Discrete, and Appealing Designs
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lively
  • Starting Price: $1,195 for one pair
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: Custom-Programmed by Expert Audiologists
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Audicus
  • Starting Price: $998 for one pair
  • Battery Type: Standard Batteries and Rechargeable Upgrade Available for Some Models
  • Standout Feature: Low Monthly Payment Options
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lexie
  • Starting Price: $49/Month for one pair
  • Battery Type: Standard Disposable Batteries Only
  • Standout Feature: Unique Rewards Program
See Packages → Read Our Review →
ReSound
  • Starting Price: $2,000 - $6,000 average for one pair
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: All Current Models are Bluetooth-Enabled for Direct Streaming
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Phonak
  • Starting Price: $1,349 - $2,399 average for one ear
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: Provides a 100% Invisible Device
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Signia
  • Starting Price: $1,349 - $1,800 average for one ear
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: High-End Features Like Dolby-Digital Sound Streaming and Tinnitus Relief
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Widex
  • Starting Price: $1,500 - $3,500 average per pair
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: Specializes in Hearing Aids with Artificial Intelligence Technology
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Starkey
  • Starting Price: $1000 - $3500 average per ear
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable and Standard Batteries (Depends on Model)
  • Standout Feature: Provides Assistive Features for Seniors such as Fall Detection and Amazon Alexa Support
See Packages → Read Our Review →

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids

Our team read hundreds of online reviews, compared product specs and features, and consulted hearing aid experts to develop a list of hearing aids that covers a range of device types, feature and technology levels, and costs.

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

  • Availability of modern features such as rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Access to care from a licensed hearing professional, either in person or remotely 
  • Custom tuning for wearers based on their individual hearing profile 
  • FDA-registered devices 
  • Reasonable costs and high value for wearers 

Caring.com Hearing Aid Safety Scores

To provide the best, most reliable information to our readers, Caring.com partnered with a team of two audiologists who together have decades of experience in the hearing aid industry. Each safety score is the expert opinion of the audiologists, based on independently-conducted research, and scored using a ranking system of 11 metrics across three categories. For more information about how this ranking was developed, view our methodology section below.

The 10 Best Hearing Aid Brands of 2022

Hear.com Review

Horizon: Best Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aid

Hear.com Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Hear.com was rated highly for the accuracy of its hearing tests but received a low rating for the accessibility of its test.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Hear.com offers remote programming but the follow-up care may be costly.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

Hear.com horizon hearing aids in portable charging case

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Founded in 2012, Hear.com has helped over 1 million people with their quest to find better hearing with its “never corporate” and “customer first” approach. With more than a decade of research and focus on personalized care, Hear.com pioneered digital and remote hearing care. While its services are web-based, Hear.com partners with over 3,000 partner audiologists in 48 states and hearing specialists so you can get local, in-person assistance. The company provides free consultations, appointment bookings with its partners, and insurance verification. It also offers a risk-free 45-day trial with a 100% money-back guarantee.

One of Hear.com’s most popular products is Horizon, a Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid designed for active lifestyles. Suppose you dislike wearing traditional hearing aids because they’re too noticeable. In that case, Horizon might be for you – thanks to its almost invisible and sleek design that rivals modern headphones and ear pods. It comes with rechargeable batteries that last up to 19 hours on a single charge. But the best thing about Horizon is the included portable charging case that charges the device in 3-4 hours, so you don’t have to worry about losing power while on the go.

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

Hear.com partnered with Signia to create hearing aids with the most sophisticated tech and inconspicuous design. Released in January 2022, the latest generation of Horizon hearing aids offers the newest technology in hearing care, designed specifically for active adults. The Horizon lineup of hearing aids is powered by Signia’s Augmented Xperience (AX), which allows cutting-edge speech processing and noise-canceling – especially useful if you’re often in loud places or otherwise challenging listening environments. 

pair of hear.com horizon hearing aids

If you’re looking for a less conspicuous hearing aid, Horizon is a great option. One of the highlights of Horizon is the sleek behind-the-ear design that looks like your standard modern ear pods. Plus, Horizon offers three new features that set itself apart from its Signia counterparts – Speech Focus, Panorama Effect, and Relax Mode. The Speech Focus mode allows more mid-frequency gain and lets you focus on speech even in a noisy environment like a busy restaurant. Panorama Effect provides a 360-degree listening experience, and Relax Mode plays on-demand calming soundscapes. 

Horizon allows wireless connectivity with smartphones and audio streaming via Bluetooth, so you don’t have to wrestle with wires and cables. All Horizon hearing aids are powered by rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries with up to 19 hours of runtime. The portable charging case that doubles as a power pack lets you fully charge in just 3-4 hours if you’re always out and about. 

Pricing for the Horizon starts at $139 per month for the entry-level Horizon AX 3AX and $199 per month for the premium Horizon AX 7AX. All Hear.com products, including Horizon, come with a 45-day trial.

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

Eargo Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Eargo offers a free “hearing check”, but not an official audiogram performed by a licensed professional. Though easily accessible online, our audiologists did not find the hearing check to be accurate.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Eargo devices include access to lifetime support and remote adjustments. It scored poorly for its device fittings because devices are not custom-programmed based on one’s individual hearing needs.

Device Safety:

While Eargo is fully licensed by the FDA, not enough documentation was provided to ensure that industry-leading safety measures, including safe decibel limiting, were utilized.

one eargo neo hifi hearing aid held in hand

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Eargo hearing aids sport small, discreet, and cosmetically-appealing designs. These rechargeable hearing aids sit completely inside your ear canal, so nobody will even know you’re wearing them. The hearing aid comes with soft, silicone tips that enable the device to float in your ear while allowing air and natural sounds to come in.

Designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, Eargo hearing aids boast excellent sound amplification, feedback cancellation, and advanced noise reduction. This gives Eargo its superior sound quality, and the active noise cancellation means the hearing aids work well in a busy environment.

The company offers four products: Eargo Max, Eargo Neo HiFi, Eargo 5, and Eargo 6. All Eargo hearing aids have 4 custom sound profiles that you switch on-the-fly by double-tapping your ear. However, keep in mind that the hearing aids aren’t pre-programmed, so you’ll have to do that yourself through an app. If needed, an Eargo representative will be happy to assist you with programming.

Eargo Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Eargo Max
Eargo Neo HiFi
Eargo 5
Eargo 6
Cost Per Pair
$1,450
$1,950
$2,450
$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

Eargo Max

The Eargo Max is the entry-level model designed for those with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. The Max comes with soft Flexi Fiber ear tips that help eliminate feedback while keeping you comfortable. Like all Eargo devices, the Max has four sound profiles that you can easily switch by double-tapping your ear.

Eargo Max hearing aids retail at $1,450 and include ten extra Flexi Fibers in different sizes, cleaning brush, and a portable charging case.

Eargo Neo HiFi

eargo neo HiFi hearing aid and charging case

Eargo Neo HiFi is your best bet for best-in-class sound quality if you have mild to severe high-frequency hearing loss. The Neo HiFi hearing aids boast advanced noise reduction and feedback cancellation so you can hear things more clearly. The main highlight of the Neo HiFi is its high-quality sound and crisp speech that will impress even the most jaded audiophiles. These hearing aids include Tetrapalm eartips for increased comfort and optimal sound quality.

A pair of Neo HiFi costs $1,950 with a financing option of $90 per month. The package includes 4x Tetrapalms, 2x Flexi Fibers, a portable case charger, USB-C cable, USB plug, a wax guard, and a cleaning brush. 

Eargo 5

The Eargo 5 offers some of the best options for customizing the sound quality of your hearing aids. It uses Sound Match technology that enables remote custom tuning and hearing screenings through an app, so you don’t have to leave the comforts of your home to achieve your perfect sound setting. The Eargo 5 also has the smallest form factor out of the entire Eargo lineup – perfect if you want the most discreet design. Other upgrades include the new Petal eartips for easier maintenance and inductive charging for cable-free charging.

A pair of Eargo 5 will cost you $2,450 with a 0% financing option for 12 and 24-month terms. The package includes extra tips and caps, a wireless charger, power cable and adapter, a cleaning kit, telecare access, and a one-year warrantyecare, and more.

Eargo 6

Eargo 6 is the company’s latest and greatest hearing aid model equipped with cutting-edge technology. The highlight is the Sound Adjust feature which automatically adjusts the soundscape when you move between environments. Basically, Eargo 6 identifies background and foreground noise and reduces background noise automatically for a more authentic listening experience. Eargo 6 also has a water-resistant rating of IPX7 and can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

Eargo 6 is available at a retail price of $2,650, with financing options available. The package includes six extra tips and caps, a wireless charger, power cable and adapter, cleaning tools, and a two-year warranty.

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
  • Eargo Max model isn’t compatible with the official smartphone app

Read Our In-Depth Review on Eargo

Get a Quote for Eargo Hearing Aids

Lively Hearing Aids Review

Best for Affordable Hearing Aids

Lively Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Lively offers an accurate online hearing test, but is not rated as highly as companies that offer in-person assessments with a licensed professional. Patients may also upload their own audiogram results

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Lively hearing aids are custom-programmed by audiologists and can be adjusted remotely. No in-person repairs are available for follow-up needs.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

lively hearing aid in white with battery compartment visible

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Lively is a relatively new company to the hearing aid market. However, it didn’t take long for this company to distinguish itself from the competition with its all-inclusive hearing aid bundles and online direct-to-consumer sales. If you’re looking for high-quality but budget-friendly hearing aids, Lively products are worth checking out. 

Lively’s behind-the-ear hearing aids are designed for users with mild to moderate hearing loss, and it has a solid telehealth program for easy access to audiologists and excellent customer support. However, what sets Lively apart from its competitors is its budget-friendly products. While most companies would charge $2,000 or more for their hearing aids, all Lively models retail at under $2,000. Plus, there’s the convenience factor of being able to set appointments with Lively’s audiology team for hearing tests, consultations, and adjustments from your home.

All three Lively hearing aids are Bluetooth-enabled and seamlessly pair with iOS and Android devices. Bluetooth streaming is also supported which means you can directly stream music and phone calls through your hearing aid. The entry-level model Lively 2 Lite starts at $1,195 or 0% financing at $39 per month for a pair.

Lively Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
Lively 2 Lite
Lively 2 Plus
Lively 2 Pro
Fit Type
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Battery Size
312
Lithium Rechargeable
Lithium Rechargeable
Rechargeable
No
Yes
Yes
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes
Yes
Yes
Directional Microphone
Yes
Yes
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Digital Sound Processing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Processing Channels
12
12
12
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Yes
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Yes
Yes
Physical Program Switch
Push-button; App
Push-button; App
Push-button; App
Pricing
$1,195 per pair
$1,595 per pair
$1,995 per pair

Lively 2 Lite

Lively 2 Lite is the entry-level model and the most affordable. However, thanks to excellent speech quality and noise reduction, the 2 Lite is great for everyday listening despite the lower price tag. The Lively 2 Lite boasts the Noise Tracker II feature, effectively reducing noise without affecting speech clarity. The Lively 2 Lite operates on non-rechargeable battery power, but the package includes a year’s battery supply. 

The Lively 2 Lite bundle starts at $1,195 or as low as $39 per month in financing. This pair is an excellent option if you want budget-friendly hearing aids that you don’t need to recharge. 

Lively 2 Plus

pair of white lively hearing aids

Designed for active lifestyles, the Lively 2 Plus is the company’s mid-range rechargeable model that offers even better speech clarity and noise reduction. It supports Bluetooth streaming for calls and music. These hearing aids boast a 116 dB input dynamic range, making louder sounds clearer, and softer sounds can be heard with little to no background noise. Another notable feature is the DFS Ultra II With Music Mode, which provides precise feedback cancellation and improves the quality of live music. 

The Lively 2 Plus bundle retails at $1,595 or $52 per month with financing. The pair comes with a portable charging case that gives 30 hours of power with a 3-hour charge. It also includes a generous 3-year warranty and a 3-year loss and damage protection. 

Lively 2 Pro

Lively 2 Pro hearing aid review

The Lively 2 Pro is the company’s most advanced and feature-packed model. As the newest Lively model, the 2 Pro provides a higher frequency range than the other two Lively devices. This means a better listening experience in terms of sound nuances and balances. It’s the ideal pair if you’re frequently in dynamic environments like restaurants and theaters. This model also comes with Music Mode, which enhances live and streaming music, and hands-free calls for iPhone 11 and newer. The rechargeable power source means you don’t have to deal with tiny hearing aid batteries.

With a price tag of $1,995, the Lively 2 Pro is one of the more affordable premium hearing aids available. It comes with a standard 3-year manufacturer’s warranty and 3-year loss and damage coverage.

Pros and Cons of the Lively Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • Remote support from licensed audiologists
  • Affordable price for all bundles
  • All hearing aid purchases include three years of loss and damage coverage and three years of follow-up care with an audiologist
  • Direct Bluetooth streaming

Cons:

  • Only offers behind-the-ear style devices

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 Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Audicus offers an accessible online hearing test which our audiologists rated as moderately accurate. Patients may also upload their own audiogram results. Licensed audiologists are available to provide support remotely or in-person at one of three brick and mortar locations.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Audicus hearing aids are custom-programmed and include free adjustments for the life of the device. However, only one model is enabled for remote adjustments; all other models must be sent in for repairs or taken to one of three brick and mortar locations.

Device Safety:

While Audicus is fully licensed by the FDA, not enough documentation was provided to ensure that industry-leading safety measures, including safe decibel limiting, were utilized.

audicus wave hearing aid in silver

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

In the competitive hearing aid market, Audicus differentiates itself by focusing on accessible pricing and convenience. As an online retailer with a direct-to-consumer sales model, Audicus cuts out the middleman by selling hearing aids directly from its website, helping the company keep its prices low. 

Unlike some other direct-to-consumer brands, you don’t have to program your hearing aids yourself. Instead, you can take a free online hearing test or upload your audiogram results. Once the results are in, Audicus will pre-program your hearing aids before shipping. Therefore, once the hearing aids arrive at your doorstep, they should be ready to wear and will match your hearing loss. If needed, adjustments can be made at home, or you may ship your pair back. It’s not the most intuitive process, but it does help keep the costs down compared to traditional sales models.

Backed by Unitron, Audicus offers advanced hearing care technology even with its base models. The most affordable model Dia II provides excellent sound quality, Bluetooth compatibility, and adapts to your environment. With a $499 price tag for one ear or $998 for a pair, the Dia II is an excellent choice for new users or those looking for an affordable option.

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
$849/$1,698
$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 is one of the most affordable hearing aids you can buy, suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. The product was briefly discontinued, but Audicus brought it back by popular demand. The Dia II provides a good balance of sound technology and affordability. In addition, the Dia II offers 56dB of gain for greater audibility, a directional microphone so you’ll know precisely where the sounds are coming from, and user-programmed channels for creating your custom sound quality. On top of unlimited expert support, these features add up to a compelling package with an excellent value proposition.

The Dia II starts at $499 per ear and $998 for a pair. If you sign up for an Audicus membership, you can pay a monthly fee of $39 per ear and get a new device every 18 months. There are no minimum requirements, and you can cancel anytime by returning the hearing aids.

The Clara

The Clara is an award-winning midrange RIC (receiver in canal) style device that addresses mild to severe hearing loss. One notable feature of the Clara is its two directional microphones which improves speech clarity and reduces excess noise. Unlike the Dia II, the Clara has several upgrade options including the Enhanced Clarity upgrade for $100 per pair. Basically, this option upgrades the device to 20 channels (from 16 channels) which enhances sound processing, and makes the batteries rechargeable. 

A pair of Audicus Clara will cost you $1,398 or $49/ear per month if you sign up for a Clara membership.

The Aura

audicus aura in-ear hearing aids

If you’re looking for a pair of hearing aids with an invisible, discreet design, The Aura is worthy of your attention. The Aura is the only completely-in-canal (CIC) device by Audicus, and the discreet design makes it look like you’re not wearing anything at all. It also has an ergonomic form factor, so you can wear them all day without feeling any discomfort. Plus, the Aura comes with a built-in speech focus for clear conversations, and it packs extra amplification via the invisible receiver. The smaller form also means no buttons to operate – just double-tap your ear to switch between settings.

A single ear Aura retails for $699 and $1,398 for a pair. You may also sign up for an Aura membership for $49 per ear every month, including a 45-day trial. 

The Wave

If you want a hearing aid that comes with Bluetooth, The Wave should be a good starting point. The Wave seamlessly connects to your iOS or Android device so you can directly stream phone calls, music, and TV shows. It’s battery-powered as a standard, but you can upgrade to rechargeable batteries for $100 per ear.

The Wave is available at a base price of $1,698 for a pair or $849 for a single ear. Like all Audicus products, you can also sign up for a Wave Membership from $59/ear per month, which already includes the Enhanced Clarity upgrade.

The Spirit

The Spirit is Audicus’ newest hearing aid and the most feature-rich model. The Spirit adjusts based on your environment and reduces feedback for optimal listening experience. It also features direct streaming via Bluetooth, allowing you to make calls, watch movies, listen to music, and talk in the car through your hearing aid. Another excellent feature is the on-demand audiologist adjustments that you can do directly on your phone. Plus, the Spirit has an exclusive Partner Mic, a direct-to-hearing aid microphone that discreetly clips to your companion for crystal clear conversations. 

These advanced features come with a high price tag—$ 1,399 for an earpiece or $2,798 for a pair. A Spirit membership will cost you a monthly fee of $89 per ear.

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

Lexie Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Lexie offers an initial “hearing check” which our audiologists found to be somewhat inaccurate. The full hearing test is not conducted until patients receive the hearing aids in their home, and we have been unable to verify the accuracy of the in-home test.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Lexie’s approach to “fitting” is done in the home after purchasing the hearing aids. At this time, we’ve been unable to validate the safety of this approach. Lexie does offer remote programming and a fairly average 1-year warranty.

Device Safety:

While Lexie is fully licensed by the FDA, not enough documentation was provided to ensure that industry-leading safety measures, including safe decibel limiting, were utilized.

front of a silver lexie hearing aid

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Founded in 2020, Lexie Hearing combines sophisticated technology, competitive pricing, and a unique rewards program. Lexie sells its hearing aids directly to consumers to keep its prices down without sacrificing sound quality and cutting down features. If you’re looking for inexpensive, lightweight hearing aids to wear daily, check out what Lexie has to offer. 

Unlike most companies, Lexie only offers one model, the Lumen. This behind-the-ear (BTE) is relatively small and is about the size of a paper clip, perfect for folks looking for a discreet device. Moreover, the Lumen is equipped with dual microphones that enhance the essential sounds in front of you while simultaneously reducing background noise. Sound quality is also on-point, thanks to the Lumen’s dual drivers.

What truly makes Lexie Hearing stand out is its unique rewards program. Called Lexie Rewards, this point-based program awards points by meeting goals such as wearing the device for a certain amount of time, using the mobile app, or learning more about your hearing aids. You can receive a 5% off your monthly subscription or redeem points for Lexie’s in-app purchases. Lexie Rewards incentivizes you to wear your hearing aids and learn to use them properly.

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 only offers one hearing aid model, its flagship Lumen. Fortunately, the Lumen comes with a wide range of features like directional microphones, noise reduction, telecoil functionality, dual drivers, sweat-proof technology, and more. There are five different colors to match your style or skin tone. Using the app, you can manually toggle your listening environments (e.g., everyday use, noisy indoors, music, etc.) for optimal hearing. 

You’ll just have to complete the virtual hearing test through the Lexie app to get you started. Securing a pair of Lumen will only cost you a one-time payment of $799, including batteries, accessories, unlimited on-demand support, and access to the Lexie Rewards program. You may also opt for the monthly cost of $49 plus a one-time activation fee of $50. The monthly package comes with an extra care kit and a protection plan for breakages and losses. 

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

Best Mobile App

ReSound Hearing Aid Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:
Hearing tests and consultations for ReSound hearing aids are conducted in person by licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:
ReSound hearing aids are always programmed by a licensed professional and typically include access to both in-person and remote follow-up care. Patients can visit clinics in person for real-time device repairs and adjustments.

Device Safety:
Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent Audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

ReSound hearing aids are some of the most advanced devices available with industry-leading technologies to help you manage your hearing loss. Founded in 1943, ReSound GN is one of the biggest and most trusted brands for hearing loss products and solutions. The company offers a wide range of hearing aids that address all types of hearing loss – mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

ReSound is also a pioneer of standard features widely incorporated in modern hearing devices, such as 2.4 GHz direct streaming, wireless smartphone connectivity, and support for auxiliary devices. All ReSound hearing aids are compatible with ReSound Smart 3D – a mobile app where you can request remote adjustments, use the tinnitus relief feature, access telehealth support, etc. Plus, some models are available in rechargeable and standard battery versions, but all are Bluetooth-enabled.

ReSound’s hearing aids tend to be more expensive than those sold by DTC brands, largely because they’re sold through licensed hearing professionals rather than direct-to-consumer. For example, the high-end model ReSound One has an average price tag of $3,295 or $6,500 per pair. You will need to contact a ReSound authorized dealer to get exact prices. If you’re looking for a reputable hearing aid brand with top-shelf devices, ReSound is worth checking out.

ReSound Hearing Aid Device Features

Features
LiNX Quatro
Enzo Q
ReSound ONE
ReSound Key
Fit Type
RIE, BTE, or Custom
BTE
RIE
RIE, BTE, or Custom
Battery Size
13, 312, 10a, or Rechargeable
13 or 675
312 or Rechargeable
13, 312, 10a, 675, or Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Some models
No
Some models
Some models
Bluetooth Enabled
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wind Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Noise Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Feedback Reduction
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Telecoil
Some models
Yes
Some models
Some models
Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Physical Volume Button
Yes
Yes
Yes
Some models

LiNX Quattro

The LiNX Quattro is a premium hearing aid offered in three fit styles: receiver-in-ear (RIE), behind-the-ear (BTE), and custom-crafted. The LiNX Quattro boasts an extended dynamic range and improved frequency response which lets you experience greater fidelity and fuller sounds. It also houses ReSound’s high-performing chip platform for improved performance and reduced power consumption (i.e., longer battery life). 

The LiNX Quattro provides direct streaming from iOS and Android devices so that you can listen to phone calls, music, TV shows, etc., straight to your hearing aids. It comes with a portable charging case and provides over 30 hours of battery life or 24 hours with streaming.

Enzo Q

Designed for people with severe to profound hearing loss, the Enzo Q is an upper-tier model that focuses on enhancing sound and voice clarity. One highlight is ReSound’s Binaural Directionality functionality, which provides a more natural and clearer sound while improving your spatial sense. The hearing aid also detects high and low-frequency noises, so you’ll hear the difference between speech and fast-moving background noises.

The Enzo Q is available in two different styles: HP BTE 88 and SP BTE 98. It’s also offered in 13 different fun colors to match your personal style. ReSound also claims the Enzo Q has a 20% longer battery life than its predecessor, the Enzo 3D, which provided up to 12 days of battery life.

ReSound ONE

ReSound ONE is a first-of-its-kind M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-in-Ear) hearing aid. Most hearing aids only have microphones within the device’s body, which generally lodges behind your ear. What makes the ReSound ONE unique is the additional mic that sits inside your ear. This provides you with more organic sounds and helps identify the most important sounds. Another notable feature is the ultra-focused setting which filters background noises so you can focus on the sounds in front of you – a handy feature when you’re having conversations in a busy restaurant or other busy environments. 

ReSound ONE is available in rechargeable and standard battery versions. All ReSound ONE variants support direct streaming for iOS and Android devices. Remote fine-tuning is also available via the ReSound Smart 3D mobile app.

ReSound Key

The ReSound Key is a complete lineup of hearing aids that comes in many different models and technology levels. In terms of core technology, the Key falls a bit behind the LiNX Quattro and is more affordable. Specifically, the ReSound Key lacks the LiNX Quattro’s advanced features like Spatial Sense and Binaural Directionality. However, the Key does offer a more natural hearing experience and superior sound clarity.

It’s worth noting that the technology levels 1 and 2 of the Key don’t support direct streaming. If you want direct streaming to Android and iOS devices, you should look into technology levels 3 or 4. The ReSound Key is rechargeable and includes an easy-to-use Desktop charger. You may also upgrade to a Premium Charger case for up to 30 hours of power and on-the-go charging.

Pros and Cons of the ReSound Hearing Aid Brand

Pros:

  • All ReSound hearing aids are custom-programmed by a licensed hearing professional
  • ReSound 3D mobile app with ReSound Assist enables ongoing telehealth support and professional remote adjustments
  • Most current models are Bluetooth-enabled for direct streaming
  • ReSound offers a wide variety of battery types and fit styles

Cons:

  • ReSound hearing aids are more expensive than average, especially when compared to DTC companies
  • Patients must visit an audiologists’ office in person for their initial fitting

Read Our In-Depth Review on ReSound

Get a Quote for ReSound Hearing Aids

Phonak Hearing Aids Review

Lyric: Best Invisible Hearing Aid

Phonak Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Hearing tests and consultations for Phonak hearing aids are conducted in person by licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Phonak hearing aids are always programmed by a licensed professional and typically include access to both in-person and remote follow-up care. Patients can visit clinics in person for real-time device repairs and adjustments.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

close image of phonak lyric hearing aid

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Phonak is a Switzerland-based medical devices company and a subsidiary of Sonova – one of the biggest multinational hearing aid companies. Phonak offers more than 20 devices with various fit styles and unique features to meet a wide range of hearing loss needs and severities. With over 70 years in the business, Phonak’s products are worth looking into if you’re looking for a company with a long and storied track record.

One particular device that sets Phonak from the competition is the Lyric, which the company claims to be the first-ever 100% invisible hearing aid. The Lyric uses your ear’s natural anatomy to amplify sounds and provide a more natural listening experience. This hearing aid sits deep in your ear canal, entirely out of sight. Plus, this hearing aid is comfortable enough to be worn 24/7, which is massively convenient since you don’t have to take them off as frequently. 

Phonak only manufactures and distributes its hearing aids, and doesn’t sell them directly. Thus, the company doesn’t list the price tags of its hearing aids because prices vary depending on the model and services of the hearing care provider. Our research found that Phonak hearing aids have a price range between $1,349 to $2,399 per aid. 

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 Audéo Paradise is the successor to Phonak’s best-selling Audéo Marvel. It offers several improvements in speech enhancement, sound processing, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Audéo Paradise can pair with up to 8 Bluetooth devices and can have two active connections at a time. It’s an excellent feature if you find yourself switching between devices ever so often. Phonak also introduced the “Dynamic Noise Cancellation” with the Audéo Paradise, essentially an advanced automated noise cancellation feature.

The RIC-style Audéo Paradise is available in both rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and standard zinc air batteries. It’s also available in 8 different colors to match your style or skin tone. 

Naida Paradise

Naída Paradise comes in two different models, P-PR and P-UP. The Naida P-PR is designed for users with mild to severe hearing loss, while the P-UP is for those with severe to profound hearing loss severities. In addition, the Paradise is a complete range of hearing aids and comes in four technology levels: P30, P50, P70, and P90. This model features tap controls where you can double-tap the hearing aids to perform commands such as accepting or ending phone calls, pausing or playing the stream, and accessing voice assistants like Siri.

Direct streaming via Bluetooth is also supported by all Naída Paradise models, which allows you to enjoy hands-free calls and easily switch between supported devices. Using the myPhonak app, you can modify your sound settings and create custom profiles, making this model a great choice if you want to be able to use your smartphone to adjust your hearing aids. 

Virto Marvel

If you want a pair of hearing aids with a more discreet design, The Virto Marvel is an excellent option from Phonak’s extensive lineup. Obviously, the main draw of Virto M is its small and discreet design. The hearing aids are 3D-printed and custom-fitted to provide optimal comfort, so you can wear them longer without experiencing discomfort. When you wear these, they look very similar to modern wireless earbuds. Moreover, the Virto M is powered by Phonak’s proprietary AutoSense OS 3.0 technology, automatically adjusting the device based on your listening environment.

The only downside is that these hearing aids don’t have a rechargeable option that makes sense for this small device. However, its disposable 312-size batteries can provide five to seven days of uptime.

Bolero Marvel

The Phonak Bolero Marvel is about as classic as you can get with its behind the ear design. The Bolero Marvel line of hearing aids is one of the older Phonak devices and looks like your traditional aid. Designed for people with mild to severe hearing loss, the Bolero M supports direct Bluetooth streaming to Android and iOS devices so you can take phone calls, listen to music, and watch movies from your smartphone. The handy telecoil feature essentially turns your hearing aids into some type of antennae, so you receive amplified sounds delivered directly to your hearing device. Plus, the AutoSense 3.0 sound processing system senses your environment and automatically adjusts your hearing aids. 

The Bolero Marvel M-PR model has rechargeable batteries. With all other models, you’ll get the standard 312 zinc air batteries.

CROS B

The Phonak CROS B is a hearing aid that you can simply wear and forget. Powered by Phonak’s Belong technology, the CROS B hearing aids automatically detect your listening environment and adjust to the most optimal setting. Even when you’re in a noisy location, you’ll understand individual voices clearly and hear sounds and the direction they’re coming from. No more having to switch places so that you can listen on your good side.

With the CROS B-R model, you’ll get the rechargeable option which means you don’t have to worry about losing power. The rest of the CROS B lineup is powered by 312-size batteries.

Lyric

drawing of an ear with phonak lyric inserted in ear canal

Phonak’s Lyric is a different type of hearing aid from anything else on the market. Designed for folks with mild to moderate hearing loss, the Lyric delivers a more natural hearing experience and better localization of sounds. The company claims that these hearing aids are 100% invisible. The device is inserted deep into your ear canal by an expert hearing care provider, where it stays for months. These are non-rechargeable aids, so you don’t have to take them off when showering or going to bed.

Be aware that since the Lyric sits deep within your ear, it may cause discomfort. Also, the Lyric isn’t compatible with severe to profound hearing loss. Talk to your audiologist about whether you’re a good candidate for the Lyric.

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
  • The sheer number of models and options can be overwhelming for some buyers.

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 Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Hearing tests and consultations for Signia hearing aids are conducted in person by licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Signia hearing aids are always programmed by a licensed professional and typically include access to both in-person and remote follow-up care. Patients can visit clinics in person for real-time device repairs and adjustments.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

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

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

If the name Signia seems familiar to you, it’s because you’ve indeed heard of them since they’re one of the major players in the hearing aid industry. Signia offers a wide selection of top-shelf hearing aid models with cutting-edge technology and fashion-forward styling.

As one of the industry leaders, Signia never falls short regarding hearing technology. For instance, the higher-end Signia hearing aids have features like smartphone app controls, extensive Bluetooth connectivity, Dolby-Digital sound streaming, Tinnitus relief, and more. Furthermore, the company also has an excellent Signia app to help you make the most out of your hearing devices. From controlling the volume to direct streaming to fine-tuning your hearing aids, the Signia app is one of the better hearing aid apps we’ve used.

Being a top brand in the hearing aid industry, Signia ensures that its users get the best customer support. Signia provides TeleCare support where technicians can remotely adjust your hearing aid settings or conduct follow-ups without leaving your home. There’s also CareChat which is basically a text, phone, or video chat support.

If you like your options, you’ll be pleased with Signia’s broad product portfolio covering many different price points. The newest Nx series is available on all Signia form factors, including the RIC Stylleto and the CIC Silk. As expected from a premium brand, Signia products are relatively expensive and may cost as much as $1,349 to $1,800 per ear.

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

The Styletto X is the world’s first slim receiver-in-canal (RIC) that features a sleek design and portable rechargeability. Stigma is one of the main reasons people with hearing loss are averse to wearing hearing aids. The Styletto X’s slim and stylish modern design will surely appeal to such reluctant people. However, the Styletto X isn’t just an elegant hearing aid; it’s also packed with sophisticated technology

pair of signia styletto hearing aids with charging case

The Styletto X is suitable for mild, moderate, and severe (via exchangeable miniReceivers 2.0.) hearing loss. The pair is powered by the Signia Xperience chip that enables outstanding sound quality and speech clarity, even when you’re in a challenging environment. The built-in unique acoustic-motion sensors automatically adjust your hearing based on your surroundings.

Another selling point of the Styletto X is its Qi wireless technology-enabled portable charging case. This induction charging technology means you don’t have to plug in the charging case, simply set it on the charging pad, and you’re good to go. A single full charge can deliver up to 3 days of runtime, and a full charge takes about 4 hours to complete.

Pure

Signia’s Pure range of devices is the brand’s most extensive collection of small, high-tech hearing aids. These small and discreet hearing aids sit behind your ears and provide excellent comfort and numerous sophisticated features.

signia hearing aid

One of the more popular models from the Pure collection is the Pure Charge&Go T AX which comes with what Signia calls “Augmented Hearing.” This hearing aid uses the Augmented Focus technology that distinguishes the sound of speech from the surrounding sounds and processes them separately. The result is crystal-clear speech in a fully immersive environment – think of it as watching a 3D movie.

All Pure hearing aids have Bluetooth streaming support and tinnitus therapy features. The package includes a compact charger with the option to upgrade to a Pure Portable Charger or the Dry&Clean Charger.

Insio Nx

The Insio Nx line is one of the older offerings by Signia. It’s available in four different models that cater to any level of hearing loss: ITE, CIC, IIC, and ITC styles. The Insio IIC Nx and Insio CIC Nx are equipped with Ultra HD e2e, which is used for wireless binaural processing. This gives you unparalleled speech comprehension and sound clarity. Meanwhile, if you want a Bluetooth-enabled device, you’ll have to go with the ITC Nx and ITE Nx styles.

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

Widex Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Hearing tests and consultations for Widex hearing aids are conducted in person by licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Widex hearing aids are always programmed by a licensed professional and typically include access to both in-person and remote follow-up care. Patients can visit clinics in person for real-time device repairs and adjustments.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

pair of widex moment hearing aids in black

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

With over 60+ years in the business, Widex is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids and is known for delivering the world’s first commercial digital hearing aid. Widex’s primary focus is digital technology, so many of its devices work with its apps seamlessly. This makes Widex the best hearing aid company for streaming and app functionality.

Widex’s EVOKE line of hearing aids is the company’s best-seller as it’s available in many different styles, in-the-canal (ITC) to behind-the-ear (BTE), and addresses mild to profound severities of hearing loss. EVOKE hearing aids are wireless, and some models are labeled “made for iPhone,” which allows seamless integration with Apple iPhones and iPads. If you’re on Android, don’t fret because there’s also a non-Apple version of EVOKE that is compatible with the “Tone Link” application.

The new Widex MOMENT is the brand’s flagship model that works great as a “set and forget” device. One of the things that stood out for us is MOMENT’s excellent sound quality and music playback. In addition, the device comes with the PureSound feature, which the company claims to provide a more authentic listening experience. Other features include 2.4 GHz Bluetooth streaming, AI capabilities, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

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 is a completely-in-canal device with a small and discreet design. Designed for users with mild to severe hearing loss, the EVOKE hearing aids boast the SoundSense Learn. This artificial intelligence technology automatically adjusts your device based on your listening situation. Overall, EVOKE provides top-notch sound quality and amplification.

EVOKE is available in both standard disposable and rechargeable batteries for battery power. EVOKE users can use its app, where you can customize sound settings and create your listening programs

EVOKE Fusion

The EVOKE Fusion is a small RIC hearing aid ideal for people with mild to profound hearing loss. Like the main EVOKE lineup, the Fusion includes the AI technology SoundSense Learn which ensures that you have optimal hearing regardless of your listening situation. If you love music, you’ll enjoy what EVOKE Fusion has to offer as the music sounds full and natural.

The Fusion is available in ten fun colors and can store up to five customizable channels. It’s highly recommended that you download the companion EVOKE app to maximize your device.

MOMENT

Widex’s flagship MOMENT series is packed with innovative features for the best listening experience possible. The MOMENT is built on the company’s PureSound platform which speeds up the hearing aids’ ability to process sounds. Widex also recently introduced a new ZeroDelay Accelerator system that greatly improves sound quality while cutting down processing delays to 0.5 seconds. This reduces delays so you’ll hear sounds the “moment” they happen.

MOMENT is available in both ITE and BTE styles, and is suitable for mild to severe to profound hearing loss. Plus, you have 13 fun colors to match your personal style.

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 Safety Score:

Hearing Test & Consultation:

Hearing tests and consultations for Starkey hearing aids are conducted in person by licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care:

Starkey hearing aids are always programmed by a licensed professional and typically include access to both in-person and remote follow-up care. Patients can visit clinics in person for real-time device repairs and adjustments.

Device Safety:

Meets industry standards for device safety, including safe decibel limiting.

starkey hearing aid

*Safety Scores were conducted by a panel of independent audiologists. Read our methodology for more information.

Starkey is a proudly American-owned and operated brand that’s been in the business of selling high-tech hearing aids since 1964. While many brands focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance sound quality and speech clarity, Starkey took it up a notch by providing assistive features for senior users. For example, some models have senior accessibility features like Amazon Alexa connectivity, light-based hearing technology, and fall detection.

Starkey gets a spot on our list because their hearing aids have excellent build quality and sleek, well-fitting designs. The company has a wide range of hearing aids for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Starkey has BTE, RIC, ITE, ITC, CIC, and IIC hearing aid styles, so there’s something here for everyone.

Prices for Starkey products aren’t available through their websites. However, you can quickly look them up through the company’s network of authorized dealers.

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 is about unrivaled sound clarity, comfort, and universal connectivity. The Livio boasts the Hearing Reality technology, which allows you to hear speech clearly while suppressing unwanted noises. This is an excellent feature if you’re in a challenging environment like a coffee shop or restaurant.

Livio AI also supports Bluetooth connectivity for iOS and Android devices. You can directly stream phone calls, music, movies, and messages to your hearing aid from your smartphone. The device also has a Personalized Memories feature, which is essentially your standard custom sound profiles that you can switch as needed.

One thing that takes the Livio AI to the next level is the Thrive Hearing Control app. Besides managing your sound settings, this app acts as a remote control for controlling the volume and switching between memories. From the Thrive app, you may access assistive features like Find My Phone, Transcribe, Mask Mode (to hear people with masks better), and Self Check.

Picasso

starkey picasso in-ear hearing aid

Starkey believes that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all for hearing aids, thus prompting the company to release the Picasso line. The Picasso model uses your ear anatomy to create a one-of-a-kind hearing aid for optimal comfort and performance. This custom hearing aid is available in four different styles (ITE, ITC, CIC, and IIC), so you should find a style that best fits your needs. On top of the almost invisible custom fit, the Picasso also provides tinnitus relief and feedback cancellation and is available in several technology levels.

Unfortunately, the Picasso doesn’t have native Bluetooth support. To expand the Picasso’s connectivity features, you’ll have to avail yourself of Starkey’s collection of SurfLink accessories. For instance, the SurfLink Mini Mobile accessory allows you to stream phone calls, while the SurfLink Media 2 is used for streaming music, TV, and radio. Basically, you’ll have to purchase multiple accessories for certain direct streaming features, which can be a deal-breaker for many.

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

Compare Audiologist Safety Scores

The below scores reflect the research, testing, and expert opinion of two independent audiologists. You can read more about how we calculated each company’s star rating and the individual scoring metrics in the Methodology section below.

Company
Star Rating
Hearing Test & Consultation
Fitting & Follow-Up Care
Device Safety
Phonak
5.0
5.0
5.0
Signia
5.0
5.0
5.0
Starkey
5.0
5.0
5.0
Widex
5.0
5.0
5.0
ReSound
5.0
4.2
5.0
Hear.com
4.2
4.2
5.0
Lively
3.3
3.3
5.0
Eargo
0.8
2.5
3.3
Audicus
1.7
0.8
3.3
Lexie
0.8
2.5
1.7
MDHearingAid
2.5
0.0
0.0

Note: The brands that are sold through brick and mortar stores (referred to as “traditional” below) were each given the same score based on the expert opinion of our partner audiologists. Find more information about each of the metrics and how they were scored below. All metrics were given full weight unless noted otherwise.

Caring.com Hearing Aid Safety Scores Methodology

To accurately compare the safety of each hearing aid brand, Caring.com partnered with two independent Audiologists to develop a scoring system made up of three core metrics, and 11 individual metrics. and score each brand according to that score. These scores are based on the expertise of the Audiologists listed below.

Our Metrics Explained

Hearing Test & Consultation

This core metric is made up of four individual metrics, and it accounts for 20% of each company’s final score. Hearing Test & Consultation measures the quality and accuracy of each company’s hearing test, as well the accessibility of both the test and the consultation following the test. 

To score the brands with online hearing tests, each of our panel audiologists did “secret shopping” by taking the online hearing test as if they were customers in need of a hearing aid, and scored each metric based on their findings. 

  • Audiogram: This metric simply measures whether the hearing tests offered were an official audiogram (the industry standard). The online brands that required an audiogram got a maximum score (5/5), while those that did not were given the lowest score (1). All traditional brands were given a maximum score.  
  • Accuracy of the Test: To measure the accuracy of the test, our partner audiologists took each online hearing test and gauged the accuracy of the test based on their expertise and by comparing to previous tests that they had taken in traditional environments. All traditional brands were given a maximum score in this metric as well. 
  • Accessibility of the Test: This metric was only given half-weight, and examined how easy it is to take each test. Traditional brands were given a 3 (out of 5) for this metric as they must be done in a physical store, which isn’t always convenient and may be more difficult for older adults. 
  • Consultation Availability: After taking the test, it’s important to have an appropriate consultation to determine what type of hearing aid is right for the individual. This metric measures whether you can talk to an expert, such as an audiologist, and how easy it is to actually have the consultation. Similar to the reasoning above, the traditional brands were given a 3 on this metric. The weight assigned to Consultation Availability was 0.75.

Fitting & Follow-Up Care

Fitting & Follow-Up Care is made up of seven individual metrics all designed to score the safety of the processes used by each brand to fit and service patients’ hearing aids. This metric makes up 40% of the overall score. Our partner audiologists scored these categories by conducting online research, talking with representatives of the company, and by utilizing their expert industry knowledge. 

  • Initial Fitting: This metric examines whether the initial fitting and programming is done by a qualified professional, and whether the programming is tailored to the individual using data from their audiogram. Traditional brands were all given a maximum score on this metric. 
  • Cost of Follow-Up Visits: Since the cost of follow-up care can be a barrier for some, individuals who have access to free or low-cost adjustments are more likely to maintain the effectiveness and safety of their hearing aids over a longer period of time. This metric was given a weight of 0.75, and traditional brands were all given a maximum score on this metric. 
  • Follow-Up Programming Available: This metric measures whether individuals can get their hearing aids reprogrammed or adjusted as their hearing loss progresses. Higher scores were given for brands that made this process more accessible. Traditional brands were all given a maximum score on this metric. 
  • Remote Programming Available: While similar to the above metric, this metric has a more narrow focus and simply examines whether individuals can have their hearing aids programmed remotely. This metric was given a weight of 0.75 and traditional brands were all given a maximum score on this metric. 
  • Device Care: This metric examines the options for device cleaning and simple repairs, as well as the associated cost. Brands with hidden costs around device care were given lower scores as this could be a barrier for individuals to keep their hearing aids in proper working order. This metric was given half-weight and traditional brands were all given a maximum score on this metric.  
  • Risk-Free Trial: Because individuals that have an opportunity to return a device that doesn’t meet their needs are more likely to end up with the hearing aid that is best for them, brands with a longer risk-free trial were given a higher score on this metric, while those that required users to pay return shipping were slightly penalized. This metric was given half-weight and traditional brands were all given a 2.5 (out of 5) on this metric. 
  • Warranty: Brands with a commitment to keep their customers’ hearing aids in safe working order over the longest period of time were given the highest score on this metric. This metric was given half-weight and all traditional brands were all given a 4 (out of 5) on this metric.

Device Safety

The final two metrics were categorized under the Device Safety core metric, which makes up 40% of the final score. This category evaluates the safety of each brand’s devices and was scored by researching online and talking with representatives of the companies. 

  • Safe Decibel Limiting: Brands that best protect their customers by ensuring that all devices don’t have the potential to damage the hearing of their users were given the highest score on this metric. Traditional brands were all given the maximum score on this metric. 
  • FDA Approved: Since all of the brands that were scored in this ranking are approved by the FDA as a Class I Medical Device, each one received the maximum score on this metric.

Our Expert Audiologists

Dr. Mandi Chambless

Mandi Chambless graduated with her Doctorate of Audiology in 2006 from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She saw patients in both private practice and Ear, Nose and Throat clinics, offering hearing aid evaluations and balance assessments before spending ten years of her professional career working as a trainer for one of the top five hearing aid manufacturers on the market. During her time in manufacturing, she provided clinical support for hearing healthcare professionals and assisted in training providers on hearing aid technology and standards of care. Mandi developed and implemented the Remote Support Audiology program, the first of its kind, offering remote support to hearing healthcare providers and their patients. For the past two years, Mandi has worked as a Clinical Specialist for a cochlear implant manufacturer, providing clinical support and acting as a business partner to clinics in the Austin and San Antonio, Texas areas.

Dr. Ruth Reisman

Dr. Reisman is a licensed Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dispenser in New York State. She holds certification by the American Speech and Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Reisman currently heads the Audiology department for Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, and is a professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Touro College. She has been recognized as the first audiologist to successfully fit the new Maxum Middle Ear Implant in the tri-state area and the first in the country to successfully fit a Cochlear Bone Anchored Hearing Aid device with the magnetic attract implant system. Her experience in the evaluation and rehabilitation of hearing and balance disorders is wide-ranged. Dr. Reisman’s research and methods in the assessment and treatment of hearing disorders in some of the most challenging cases have been awarded and recognized within the field of Audiology.

Hearing Aid Styles and Types Explained

If you are new to hearing aids, it can be difficult to know which style of device best suits you. Below, we break down the two main types of hearing aids to help you narrow down the options and make a confident decision.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

behind the ear hearing aids

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are useful for people of all ages with mild to severe hearing loss. As the name suggests, a hard, plastic case is worn behind the ear and holds the electronic parts of the device. A small, plastic tube hooks over the ear to connect the case to a custom-fit earmold within the ear canal. While these devices are larger than other styles, they tend to offer more helpful features, like directional microphones.

If size is a concern, you might consider an open-fit or mini BTE hearing aid. While still placed behind the ear, this device style trades out the traditional earmold for a very narrow tube inserted into the ear canal. As a result, wearers have the freedom to keep an open canal, which eliminates the “plugged up” feeling that some traditional BTE hearing aids give.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids 

In-the-ear hearing aids are available in three main styles: traditional in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-canal (CIC). While the devices differ in size, they are generally smaller and more discreet than behind-the-ear (BTE) models.

Traditional In-the-Ear (ITE)

In the ear hearing aids

Traditional in-the-ear hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are commonly worn by those with mild to severe hearing loss. These devices are typically larger than the canal styles, which provides extra space for features like Bluetooth and telecoil.


In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

In the canal hearing aids

Sitting a bit deeper in the ear canal than traditional ITE devices, in-the-canal hearing aids are designed to fit the size and shape of the wearer’s ear canal. These are a great option for people seeking a discreet device without forgoing quality features, like directional microphones and long battery life.

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

Completely in canal hearing aids

Completely-in-canal hearing aids are the smallest ITE option and virtually hidden within the canal. While wearers love this style for its reduced feedback, its small size can also limit the available features.

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.

New Legislation Regarding Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

In August of 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of certain over-the-counter hearing aids directly to consumers without the need for a prescription or hearing test. This move creates a new category of OTC hearing devices specifically meant for those with mild to moderate hearing issues.

The legislation makes it much less expensive for consumers to purchase a true pair of hearing aids. Today, a pair of hearing aids can cost several thousands of dollars. This new class of over-the-counter hearing aid may cost as little as a few hundred per device as you won’t need to take costly audiology tests and be fitted for the device.

However, 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

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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