|Hours of Research||Companies Considered||Companies Selected||Hearing Aids Reviewed|
According to a study from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 20% or 48 million Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss. This percentage increases with age, with one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 suffering from hearing loss and one-half of people over the age of 75 being affected.
Hearing loss can make it difficult to have conversations, complete normal interactions, enjoy music and other media. It can even pose a safety hazard if one is unable to hear warnings and alarms. Hearing aids can help remedy this problem by amplifying sounds. But with so many companies and models available, shopping for the right one can be overwhelming.
We’ve curated this guide profiling the best hearing aid companies and their products. You’ll find details about product features, pricing, warranties, accessories, customer service, and how to buy. As you shop for your new hearing aids, this information can help you decide which company is able to provide the features you need in the style you want.
When it comes to understanding the world around you, sounds can’t simply be louder. They need to be processed and sent through the speaker for clarity. The best hearing aids on the market feature cutting edge technology that minimizes background noise and allows the user to hone in on what they actually want to hear.
While being able to clearly hear the world around you is the single most important feature of hearing aids, other features available on the market make them even more convenient to use. Features like Bluetooth capability, app control, and on-the-fly adjustments can greatly enhance the user experience.
Hearing aids are expensive. According to a 2015 report, the average price for a single hearing aid is $2,300. And with many insurance plans choosing not to cover the cost, seniors may struggle to find a way to make hearing aids affordable, with many opting not to buy them at all. So, we sought out hearing aids that provide the best value for consumers.
Hearing aids are a big purchase, and for many people, getting used to them can be quite an adjustment. After the initial setup, users will likely have questions about features, adjustments, warranties, and repairs. So it’s important to be able to get in touch with someone who can help. That’s why we took a close look at customer service practices for each company.
|Company||Styles Available||Price Range||Hearing Loss||Available Online?|
|MDHearingAid||Behind-the-ear||$800 – $1,600||Mild – Moderate||Yes|
|Lively||Behind-the-ear||$1,450 – $2,000||Mild – Moderate||Yes|
|Eargo||In-the-canal||$1,500 – $2,950||Mild – Moderate||Yes|
|Audicus||Behind-the-ear, Completely-in-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$998 – $2,798||Mild – Severe||No|
|Widex||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$750 – $3,000*||Mild – Severe||Yes|
|ReSound||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,200 – $3,000*||Mild – Profound||No|
|Phonak||In-ear, Receiver-in-canal, Behind-the-ear||$1,500 – $3,000*||Mild – Profound||No|
|Oticon||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,500 – $3,000*||Mild – Profound||No|
|Starkey||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,500 – $3,100*||Mild – Severe||No|
|ZipHearing||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$999 – $2,499||Mild – Profound||Yes|
In some cases, hearing aid companies may only sell their hearing aids through authorized audiologists and audiology centers. Because of this, exact pricing can be difficult to determine and will vary with the location purchased. An asterisk beside a price indicates that the company does not provide any pricing on its website or over the phone, and the price range is determined from third party sources.
Best for Low-Cost Digital Hearing Aids
MDHearingAid stands out among online competitors due to its very affordable prices. According to MDHearingAid’s website, some of its products offer savings of 90% compared to hearing aids purchased at an audiology clinic. While the level of care and personalization is not the same as one would receive working with an audiologist, these low-cost hearing aids can be a great solution for those with mild to moderate hearing loss who are looking for a hearing device that fits their budget.
MDHearingAid’s three current hearing aid models are Air, Volt+, and Core. Older versions of some models can be found through other online retailers, though not on the main MDHearingAid website.
The brand’s devices are capable of canceling feedback and digitally processing sounds with 4 different programs, providing better clarity in multiple settings. Of the digital models, the Air has the fewest advanced features but includes a telecoil. The Volt+ features rechargeability, and the Core has advanced Bluetooth capabilities. With the Core model, users can customize their own sound quality via an easy-to-use app. Since no MDHearingAid models are custom-programmed by an audiologist, they are most beneficial for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, as opposed to severe and profound loss that may require professionally fine-tuned devices. Note that all MDHearingAid models come in the same beige color which will blend into fair skin tones.
|Hearing loss||Mild – Moderate||Mild – Moderate||Mild – Moderate|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||No||No||Yes|
|Sound control with app||No||No||Yes|
In addition to its hearing aids, this brand offers a variety of accessories, including storage cases, cleaning kits, hearing aid dehumidifiers, and several different sizes and shapes for hearing aid tubing, domes, and tips. It also has its own brand of hearing aid batteries, though other brands can also be used. Customers who are interested can choose to add the MDShield Protection Plan to any model. While all devices come with a limited 90-day warranty, this protection plan goes beyond the terms of the warranty to provide better coverage. The MDShield Protection Plan costs between $10-$15 monthly.
Per pair, MDHearingAid typically charges between $800-$1,600. Purchasing single hearing aids is also an option, though in most situations, both will be needed. Payment plans, offered through the third-party Affirm, start as low as $33-$83. Since ordering online without testing first can be nerve-wracking, all hearing aids from this brand have a 45-day return policy.
For more information about MDHearingAid, read our in-depth review of the company.
At its low price point, Lively still offers technologically advanced features like direct Bluetooth streaming, app-enabled adjustments, and background noise cancellation. Its hearing aids are always sold as a bundle including extra batteries or a charging case, remote audiology care, and three years of loss and damage protection, making it easy and affordable to receive a replacement device in the event of loss or accidental damage. Plus, Lively offers a 100-day money-back guarantee so new hearing aid wearers can try the Lively risk-free.
Overall, Lively offers an excellent value for those seeking a modern hearing aid with advanced features, and increases access to professional audiology care with its included remote care program.
Lively currently offers one hearing aid- the Lively device. The Lively hearing aid is nearly invisible, measuring less than an inch in size, and is available in seven different colors designed to match and blend in with wearers’ hair or skin for a discreet profile. The device uses FDA-approved technology to reduce unwanted background sounds and recognize and prioritize voices for enhanced sound quality in various environments.
The Lively is available in two different models: one with a rechargeable battery, and one with a size 312 battery that will need to be changed periodically. The rechargeable model has an average battery life of 30 hours per 3-hour charge, and a charging case is included with every purchase.
All Lively hearing aids are custom-programmed by an audiologist based on customers’ hearing test results, so each person’s devices are fully personalized. Moreover, all customers can use the Lively mobile app for remote follow-up care with an audiologist for adjustments and assistance at no additional cost.
|Hearing loss||Mild – Moderate|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes|
|Price||$1,450 – $2,000|
A pair of Lively hearing aids cost $1,450 for the non-rechargeable model with a 312 battery and $2,000 for the rechargeable version. The devices are always sold as a pair and a bundle. The bundle includes access to the Lively mobile app, three years of free, remote follow-up care with an audiologist, three years of device loss and damage protection, and either a charging case or a year’s supply of batteries. According to Lively’s website, this is about half the national average price of hearing aids, which Lively can offer by using a direct-to-consumer model.
For more information about Lively, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best for Discreet Hearing Aids
Each one of the hearing aids has four different sound profiles available. These profiles are preset for various levels of hearing loss, so users can pick the option that sounds best to them. To change the profile, users only need to tap on their ear. And, the Eargo hearing aids will remember the user’s preferred profile, so there’s no need to reselect it after each use.
While customers can purchase their Eargo hearing aids directly from the company online or over the phone, they’ll always have access to licensed hearing professionals who can help with any questions or concerns that might arise.
Eargo currently offers four different hearing aid models: EargoNeo, EargoMax, EargoNeoHiFi, and the new Eargo 5. All of its hearing aids are rechargeable, allowing users to use them all day and recharge their batteries overnight. The included hearing aid case also serves as the charging port for each model. When fully charged, the case can power hearing aids for about a week.
The Eargo Max offers improved amplification as well as feedback reduction, and active noise cancellation for those with slight to moderate hearing loss. The Eargo Neo, designed for users with moderate hearing loss, is able to connect to the Eargo app for a customizable user experience. The fourth-generation NeoHiFi features enhanced noise and feedback reduction for a more natural sound. And the new Eargo 5 comes with the new Sound Match feature, which enables remote sound adjustment from the comfort of users’ homes. All of the hearing aids come as pairs, and can be paired with an app to adjust the sound and connect with one’s Personal Hearing Professional. All of the hearing aids come as pairs, and can be paired with an app to adjust the sound and connect with one’s Personal Hearing Professional.
|Hearing loss||Mild – Moderate||Moderate||Mild – Moderate||Mild – Moderate|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||No||No||No||No|
|Sound control with app||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Eargo has worked to make its products affordable, selling directly to customers with no middleman and offering payment plans for each of their hearing aids. These payment plans can be as low as $70 per month. Customers who wish to purchase their hearing aids directly from Eargo can do so on the company website with free shipping. New Eargo customers are eligible for a risk-free 45-day trial. .
For more information about Eargo, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best Monthly Payment Program
Audicus’ hearing aid purchase prices are lower than the industry average, and its unique monthly subscription program makes hearing aids even more affordable. It is also the only company to offer this first-of-its-kind, all-inclusive hearing aid membership. Rather than purchase a hearing aid from Audicus outright, members pay a monthly fee and receive a pair of Audicus hearing aids of their choice (prices vary for different models), unlimited reprogramming and customer support, new batteries every 3 months, and more. Monthly payments for the membership start at $39 per ear per month with no long-term contract or commitment.
Audicus’ monthly membership can be ideal for those who are unable to or don’t want to put a large sum of money down for a hearing aid purchase, and makes it easier for those at a range of budgets to afford quality hearing devices.
Audicus currently offers five hearing aids: The Dia II, The Clara, The Aura, The Wave, and The Spirit. Its most basic model is The Dia II, which is a great value at less than $1,000 per pair. This BTE device uses digital sound processing to minimize background noise and focus on speech, and is suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. The Clara offers slightly more functionality with Bluetooth compatibility and an optional rechargeable battery.
Those who want a very discreet hearing aid should consider The Aura, a completely-in-canal device that’s essentially invisible. The Wave and The Spirit offer the most advanced features of all Audicus devices, most notably direct Bluetooth streaming from an iPhone or Android and its accompanying mobile app. In addition to offering premium features like a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, The Spirit also includes unlimited remote care with an audiologist for a fully-customizable sound experience.
For all of the above devices, wearers have the option of purchasing the hearing aids or joining the monthly membership. The prices listed below are the purchase prices; monthly costs for the membership range from $39 to $89 per ear.
|The Dia II||The Clara||The Aura||The Wave||The Spirit|
|Hearing loss||Mild – Moderate||Mild – Severe||Mild – Moderate||Mild – Severe||Mild – Severe|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||No||Yes (with accessories)||No||Yes (direct streaming)||Yes (direct streaming)|
|Sound control with app||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Audicus also offers several hearing aid accessories, including a remote batteries, earwax guards, and other cleaning tools. Subscription members receive extra domes, earwax guards, and battery replacements every 3 months, included in the monthly cost.
Audicus’ hearing aids range from just under $1,000 per pair for The Dia II to almost $2,800 for The Spirit. The Clara and The Aura both cost $699 per ear or $1,398 per pair. There are optional upgrades for some models which raise the cost, such as the rechargeable battery upgrade for The Clara, which costs an extra $400 per pair. Free shipping is included within the U.S., and there is a 45-day trial period during which new wearers can return their hearing aids to Audicus for a full refund.
For more information about Audicus, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best for Tech-Savvy Users
Equipped with technology that can differentiate between conversations and ambient noise, users hear more of what they want while background sounds like wind and traffic are minimized. Some models, such as the Evoke, are even capable of learning user preferences when users provide feedback in the accompanying app, which personalizes the sound.
The company offers many different models for different levels of hearing loss and the user’s preferred style. These range from behind the ear, in-ear, and in-the-canal. All models are water-resistant and feature rechargeable battery options. This wide array of options means there’s truly a Widex hearing aid to meet everyone’s needs.
Widex currently offers three main models of hearing aids, the EVOKE, UNIQUE, and BEYOND. The Evoke model is considered the world’s first “smart” hearing aid. Users benefit from advanced machine learning technology. For example, it can understand that different genres of music should be processed differently for optimal sound quality. Beyond is made with the smartphone user in mind. It allows them to control every aspect of their experience in the app and stream audio directly from the phone with the touch of a button. And, the Unique is made to process a broad range of sound with minimal background noise. These models are all available in several different sub-models, such as the Fusion2, CIC, and Fashion Power. Each of which offers slightly different features to fit the user’s needs.
The table below highlights three of the company’s most popular submodels of hearing aids.
|Hearing loss||Mild – Profound||Mild – Severe||Mild – Severe|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In addition to hearing aids, Widex offers several accessories and apps that integrate with its hearing aids to improve the user experience. These accessories allow users to stream audio directly from the radio, a TV, or a smartphone with the built-in microphone off so they can hear media clearly and without any background noise.
Users are able to try any model of Widex hearing aids with a no-obligation, free trial. Because Widex only sells its hearing aids through audiologists and not directly to customers, the pricing of each model can differ significantly. Depending on the model, sub-model, and the location where it’s purchased, users can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $3,000 for their hearing aids.
For more information about Widex, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best app connectivity
All ReSound hearing aids are equipped with technology to enhance the user experience. Its latest models are equipped with cutting-edge sound processing software. This utilizes 20 percent less energy to stream media and also allows for advanced speech processing to enhance the user’s ability to understand what they’re hearing.
It also features a unique iSolate Nanotech coating on its products. This thin protective coating is on every component of its hearing aids and protects them from sweat, water, and other sources of moisture to minimize the risk of them failing.
ReSound hearing aids are programmed specifically for each user by an audiologist. This means each hearing aid is professionally tuned to give the user the best possible experience. Models are available for every level of hearing loss and in a variety of styles to suit each user’s needs and preferences. Rechargeable battery options and app connectivity also makes it easy for users to integrate the hearing aids into their life.
There are three different models of ReSound hearing aids available: LiNX Quattro, LiNX 3D, and ENZO 3D. The LiNX Quattro is designed for balanced sound, capable of easily picking up a conversation no matter which direction it’s coming from. The LiNX 3D is the company’s most technologically advanced optio. It recreates the natural performance of the ear with its Spatial Sense technology. These hearing aids can also be used as wireless headphones that pair with any Android or iPhone, making it easy to hear phone calls or media. The ENZO 3D is considered the smallest hearing aid available on the market for users with severe to profound hearing loss. It has been shown to provide 60 percent better speech understanding in noise.
|LiNX Quattro||LiNX 3D||ENZO 3D|
|Hearing loss||Mild – Severe||Mild – Severe||Severe – Profound|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In addition to its line of hearing aids, ReSound also offers various accessories to help users hear the world around them. The Unite Phone Clip+ allows users to stream phone calls from their smartphones. Unite TV Streamer 2 enables audio streaming from TVs, stereos, and computers. While the Micro Mic remote microphone streams audio directly to the hearing aid from up to 80 feet away. Remote controls allow users to make quick adjustments, and a comprehensive app has tools to help users manage their tinnitus.
Because ReSound hearing aids are only sold through the company’s network of audiologists and licensed distributors, the pricing for each model can vary. ReSound does not list any pricing information on its website and instead encourages customers to get in touch with a seller near them. Based on the information available from second-party websites, pricing can range from $1,200 – $3,000 depending on the model, submodel, and location.
For more information about ReSound, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best hearing aid for music lovers
Most notably, its AutoSense OS has been named the best hearing aid software for high-quality music listening because of its ability to analyze sound levels every 0.4 seconds and make adjustments based on the environment. This software has more than 200 settings, giving users the ability to focus on a single audio source even in noisy environments. It also minimizes ambient noise, and amplify conversations. Phonak also makes the AutoSense Sky OS specifically for younger users.
With over 20 different hearing aids available, Phonak makes a model for virtually every need and style preference. Its most notable product is the Lyric, which is the world’s only 100% invisible hearing aid. Utilizing the natural anatomy of the ear to provide a clear and rich sound, users can wear their Lyric hearing aid for months at a time without taking it out to shower or exercise. A more traditional offering, the Audéo Marvel, is a rechargeable hearing aid with connectivity to any Bluetooth enabled device. And the Bolero Marvel is a behind-the-ear option also providing advanced Bluetooth device compatibility.
|Lyric||Audéo Marvel||Bolero Marvel|
|Hearing loss||Mild – Severe||Mild – Profound||Mild – Severe|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||No||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rechargeable||No – Subscription Service||Yes||Yes|
Phonak uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for the majority of its hearing aids which are widely considered to be the fastest charging and longest lasting hearing aid batteries available. It only takes 3 hours to get a full charge, and a mere 30 seconds of charging can power the hearing aids for up to 6 hours.
There are a wide variety of accessories available to enhance the user experience. The myPhonak app serves as a remote control. It allows users to adjust volume and settings while also providing quick answers to frequently asked questions. Roger microphones are available to enhance speech understanding from a distance and stream audio directly to the hearing aid. A range of other accessories like the Roger Pen and the Roger Table Mic are aimed to enhance group conversations.
Phonak only sells its products through professional audiologists and audiology centers, so prices vary. The company does not list any pricing information on their website. But the average price is between $1,500 – $3,000 depending on location, model, and features selected.
Embrace also sells several accessories to go with the hearing aids. A TV volume streamer allows users to stream audio from their TV directly to their hearing aids so they can amplify sound without affecting others around them. Customers who want to use this feature will also need to purchase Embrace Hearing’s Premium Remote. It allows users to control their hearing aids and connect to any Bluetooth enabled devices, such as a computer or smartphone.
For more information about Phonak, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best natural sound
After years of research, it developed the Velox technology platform which features BrainHearing technology. This technology features fast processing technology able to follow the ever-changing soundscapes around a user for natural sound in real-time. The Speech Guard and Speech Rescue technologies recognize speech and amplify it over other background noises. This allows users to better follow and understand conversations in any environment.
And with the majority of Oticon hearing aids featuring Bluetooth technology, users have the ability to connect to nearly any smart device for audio streaming. Connecting directly to media sources not only allows users to hear the audio clearly, but it allows them to do so without affecting anyone else who might be in the immediate area.
Oticon offers a number of different hearing aids for various levels of hearing loss and for different style preferences. The Oticon Xceed is labeled the world’s most powerful hearing aid. It features BrainHearing technology for users with severe to profound hearing loss. The Oticon CROS is an innovative option designed specifically for users with single-sided deafness. And the Oticon Opn S utilizes the advanced Velox S platform to enhance speech understanding.
|Oticon Xceed||Oticon CROS||Oticon Opn S|
|Hearing loss||Severe – Profound||Mild – Severe||Mild – Profound|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
A range of accessories is available to help users make the most of their hearing aids, especially when it comes to streaming audio. The Connect Clip microphone allows users to stream audio from a distance while also serving as a hands-free headset for phone calls. The StreamerPro and the TV adapter both allow users to stream audio directly to their hearing aids from media sources over Bluetooth. And the On App enables users to control their hearing aids directly from their smartphones and access helpful resources.
Because Oticon only offers its hearing aids through authorized audiologists, the pricing on different models will vary by location. The average price for a single Oticon hearing aid ranges from $1,500 – $3,000 depending on model and features. The company does offer a trial period and many retailers have financing plans available to help make them more affordable.
For more information about Oticon, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best AI integration
Its products include an array of technology to help users better hear and understand the world around them. A nano-coating protects its products from moisture and naturally occurring oils in the ear, making them last longer and require fewer cleanings. The digital feedback reduction feature means that users hear more of what they want to hear, and less unnatural sound. Directional microphones work to recreate a more natural sound and also allow the user to hear what’s going on around them without turning their head in the direction of the sound.
Starkey has also been on the cutting edge of tinnitus masking technology. This technology helps users mask the ringing sound in their ears with white noise.
Starkey also has several subsidiary brands of hearing aids to its name, including:
Starkey’s marquee product is the Livio AI. Called the world’s first multi-purpose Healthable hearing aid, it features integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to bring users clear sound and the ability to track a user’s health. The hearing aid even features sensors that can detect falls and daily activity. The Z-Series is a more traditional hearing aid with a greater focus on comfort, but with all the newest technology to keep users connected. And the Picasso line of hearing aids is custom built to be discreet and nearly invisible in the user’s ear.
The table below provides a quick look at these three popular options.
|Livio AI||Z Series||Picasso|
|Hearing loss||Mild – Severe||Mild – Severe||Mild – Severe|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes (Receiver-In-Canal option only)||Yes|
For those who aren’t quite ready for a full-time hearing aid, but still need some assistance hearing in certain environments, Starkey also offers a personal amplification device. This amplifier is particularly useful for people who need their sound amplified from a particular source, like a TV or a single speaker, rather than in a noisy room or large group conversation.
Because Starkey only offers its hearing aids through authorized audiologists and hearing centers, hearing aid prices vary. And the company does not disclose any pricing information on its own website. Depending on factors like location, model, and submodel, prices can range between $1,500 – $3,100. Many retailers offer financing options and various discounts to help make hearing aids more affordable for customers.
Starkey itself donates a pair of hearing aids for every pair purchased to its Starkey Hearing Foundation. In combination with various organizations throughout the world, it works to bring hearing aids to people with limited resources around the globe.
For more information about Starkey, read our in-depth review of the company.
Best savings on big brands
ZipHearing is not a hearing aid manufacturer – it is a provider of discount hearing aids with local providers throughout the country. All of the hearing aids it sells are new and provided by the manufacturer with original documents, warranties, and serial numbers. The hearing aids are never refurbished, used, or damaged in any way.
Customers call the ZipHearing call center and are referred to their local provider where they’ll schedule an appointment and get a full consultation. When the customer decides they want to make a purchase, the local provider submits the order directly to ZipHearing. ZipHearing then contacts the customer for payment before ordering the hearing aids directly from the manufacturer and shipping them to the local provider. The local provider will do custom fittings and adjustments to ensure that the hearing aids are ready for use. Initial fittings and adjustments are included in the price of the hearing aid. And customers are able to come back for multiple sessions until the hearing aids are working as expected.
After the trial period, customers can get 3 additional follow-up appointments at no extra charge. Any extra appointments with the local provider cost between $35 – $65.
Customers are also provided with a 1-year supply of Rayovac batteries at no additional cost.
ZipHearing offers hearing aids from a wide variety of top brands, including several that made our list such as Starkey, Phonak, Widex, ReSound, and Oticon. It understands that users want the latest technology at an affordable price, so it has put an emphasis on offering hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity and made-for-iPhone features.
Because ZipHearing provides hearing aids directly from the manufacturer, its product offerings are subject to change at any time. The table below provides a quick look at three of the best hearing aids currently offered on its website.
|Starkey Livio||Oticon Opn S||Audéo Marvel|
|Hearing loss||Mild – Severe||Mild – Profound||Mild – Profound|
|Bluetooth / Wireless||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
There is a 45-day risk-free trial period. During this time frame, customers can make unlimited appointments with their local provider for additional adjustments. If they decide they aren’t happy with their purchase, they’ll receive a full refund.
In addition to the fittings, all purchases include the original manufacturer warranty, which varies by hearing aid.
The cost of hearing aids from ZipHearing does not include hearing tests, custom earmolds, or any additional accessories.
For more information about ZipHearing, read our in-depth review of the company.
The hearing aid industry today offers wearers an array of styles and advanced features from which to choose. This allows for more flexibility and customizability, but in many cases does raise the cost.
On one end of the cost and technology spectrum are analog hearing aids. This older-style aid amplifies all sounds the same way, which can be suitable for those with mild-moderate hearing loss but lacks the enhanced sound and noise-canceling capabilities of newer models. Analog hearing aids tend to be significantly less expensive than their digital counterparts. For example, an analog aid from MDHearingAid costs under $400 for a pair. Meanwhile, the company’s most technologically-advanced model costs over $1,000 more, but offers a more clear and customizable hearing experience for the wearer.
While hearing aids are available at a range of price points, in some cases, the type or model of hearing aid you need may cost more than your budget allows. Financial assistance may be available in some circumstances through insurance or local resources. Below, we explain some common forms of payment assistance for hearing aids.
With so many different hearing aids available, it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for when you begin shopping. While the perfect hearing aid will look a bit different to every buyer depending on individual needs and preferences, keeping the following steps in mind can help you narrow down your search.
Before you buy a hearing aid, you should visit a licensed audiologist who can conduct a full hearing test. These tests determine if you can hear certain frequencies and the softest sound you’re able to hear in each ear. Based on the results of your test, the audiologist will be able to make a recommendation about what type of hearing aid is best for your level of hearing loss.
The single most important factor when buying a hearing aid is to ensure that it’s a fit for your level of hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss but buy a hearing aid that’s intended for users with only mild hearing loss, it won’t be serving its intended purpose.
As with any major purchase, it’s important to determine your price range before you begin shopping. This way you can narrow down your options and avoid wasting time on products that are out of budget. The price of hearing aids varies widely and depends on factors like brand, model, extra features, and the provider.
After you’ve determined the type of hearing aid you need and your budget, most of the features you find in hearing aids are based on user preference. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you shop.
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles including behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and receiver-in-canal. While many people prefer in-the-canal and in-the-ear options because of their discreet appearance, they can be harder to adjust and are much easier to lose because of their small size. While hearing aids that fit behind the ear may be more noticeable, they’re typically easier to adjust, maintain, and keep track of.
Many manufacturers also make their hearing aids in a variety of colors. This usually includes natural tones to blend in with the wearer’s skin and hair color as well as bright, bold statement colors. While colors don’t impact the sound quality, choosing a color that you’re comfortable with will help you be less self-conscious about your hearing aid.
With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, many hearing aid manufacturers are integrating wireless technology into their products. This allows users to pair their hearing aids with their phones, laptop, or other Bluetooth enabled devices. Many hearing aids with this technology can be adjusted and controlled from an app on an iPhone or Android. It can also allow users to stream audio from a device, making it easier to listen to music, watch TV, and make phone calls.
While this technology is incredibly convenient for anyone that uses a smart device, it does increase the base price of the hearing aid. If you’re not someone who plans to stream audio from your phone to your hearing aid, you might want to pass on this feature to save some money for down the line.
Many hearing aid companies have also developed accessories to improve the user experience and make certain situations easier for those with hearing loss. Some typical accessories include:
These, and other accessories, can certainly make listening to certain audio sources easier, but they aren’t a necessity for many customers. If you watch a lot of TV in a space with other people, a streamer might be a great idea. But if you don’t typically watch TV or you watch it alone, it wouldn’t be a necessary addition. While these accessories may seem like a great idea, it’s always wise to think about whether you need them before you make the purchase. You can always add them on later if you think it will enhance your experience with your hearing aids.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, ask the company important questions about anything you’re still unsure of. Some important information to have before you make your final decisions should include:
Hearing aids are small amplification devices to help people with hearing loss better hear the world around them. They are composed of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Many hearing aids are now capable of honing in on conversations and minimizing unwanted background noise so that users can hear more or what they need to hear.
The best way to find out if a hearing aid is right for you is to discuss your hearing concerns with your primary care physician. He or she will be able to run a basic hearing test in the office. Based on your results, you’ll likely be referred to an audiologist who can run a more extensive set of hearing tests. Hearing tests typically take about an hour and will also include a discussion about your health and lifestyle. If the results of your tests indicate that you would benefit from a hearing aid, the audiologist will discuss your options and make personalized recommendations about the type of products that will benefit you the most.
Most insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids, though some plans do. Check with your health insurance provider to find out what your plan covers. Even if your health insurance does not cover the cost, help may still be available through Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid. There are also many charities and local organizations that are able to help seniors pay for hearing aids. Many hearing aid companies offer financing plans that can also make hearing aids more accessible for those who can’t afford one lump payment.
While all hearing aids work to serve the same purpose, they each have their own features and characteristics that can make them a better fit for certain individuals. With the number of options available on the market, you can customize everything from the style, color, wireless connectivity, and battery options to find one that fits your lifestyle. It’s certainly worth taking the time to compare brands and models to find a hearing aid that’s perfect for your needs and preferences.
Every person is different, so there’s no way to know exactly how long it will take you to get used to your hearing aid. If you have severe hearing loss and waited a long time before getting a hearing aid, it will likely take your brain longer to adjust than if you only have mild hearing loss and treated it right away. The best thing you can do to ensure a quick adjustment period is to follow your doctor’s instructions and use the hearing aids as recommended.
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