Top-5 Best Online Hearing Aids
Not every online hearing aid is a good fit. The right choice depends on your hearing loss, your feature preferences, and your budget. And some of this takes time to figure out. The good news: all trustworthy brands offer trial periods and full refunds. The bad news: There are a lot of untrustworthy products that are essentially garbage. We’ll help you navigate your options and provide you with a few starting points in your search.
Many of the hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) currently sold online will soon make their way into the FDA's brand-new OTC hearing aid category. However, the products listed in this review are confined to established FDA-cleared hearing aids that offer a self-fitting method for personalizing the sound to your hearing gloss and also provide at least some technical/professional telecare support.
Should You Buy Your Hearing Aids Online?
Buying hearing aids online is convenient, but is it a good idea? It depends. You can get much cheaper hearing aids when you order online, and the turnaround time tends to be faster, too. On the flipside, you will miss out on a comprehensive hearing test and professional services, including the assurance of a proper audiogram and important hearing aid fitting considerations like real-ear measurements.
Audiologists also caution you might need time to adjust to hearing sounds again, which is why hearing clinics offer multiple follow-up visits and careful adjustments. You should also be aware that, although rare, hearing loss can be a tip-off to a more serious health problem. While not a replacement for a visit to the audiologist, you can self-screen yourself for ear disease risk by taking the very quick Consumer Ear Disease Risk Assessment (CEDRA).
You don't just take hearing aids and go. You need a good service program with [hearing aids] to get them programmed correctly for your loss and help you adjust to them.Danielle Gorsky, AuD
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends you consult a local hearing care provider before you purchase an online hearing aid. Medical professionals can diagnose your hearing loss, recommend a suitable hearing aid, and help you find out whether your insurance will cover the costs. For example, Medicare will cover your in-clinic hearing test. While you can buy online hearing aids without it, a professional hearing test arguably permits better fine-tuning than an online or in-app hearing test.
For many forms of mild to moderate hearing loss, however, online hearing aids can be sufficient, and very soon many of these will become classified as over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Once you’ve ruled out causes that require professional treatment, and made sure your hearing loss is appropriate for self-treatment, you can consider addressing your hearing loss with an online-purchase hearing aid.
Does Your Insurance Cover Online Hearing Aids?
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, although some employee insurance and Medicare Advantage programs do. We recommend that you check with your insurance to see whether they cover hearing aids. If you have access to a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) through your employer’s health insurance plan, you may get reimbursed for the cost of purchasing a hearing aid. If you don’t have any insurance coverage at all, you might at least be able to get a tax break.
What About OTC Hearing Aids?
The FDA finalized rules for a new class of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids on August 16, 2022. These hearing aids are designed to make amplification safe and more affordable and accessible to consumers (ages 18+) with mild to moderate hearing loss. Because the FDA must clear most of these self-fitting devices prior to them entering the market, at this writing there actually are no OTC hearing aids available. We expect to start seeing them after the law actually takes effect in mid-October 2022. For more information, see the article “The New FDA Rules for OTC Hearing Aids: What Do They Mean for People with Hearing Loss?”
Five Current Online Hearing Aid Brands You Can Trust
The online hearing aid brands listed below offer legitimate medical-grade hearing aids registered with the FDA. You’ll also benefit from fair trial periods and competitive prices.
A brief summary of the hearing aid models offered by the companies included in this article.
You should note that, because we are writing this article prior to the availability of any official OTC hearing aids, be sure to check back as we add products we expect to hit the shelves (as OTC hearing aids) soon—including Jabra Enhance Plus, Nuheara IQbuds² MAX and more. We also anticipate that many, if not all of the companies in the table above, may either reposition their current offerings as “OTC hearing aids” or develop new products that conform with the FDA’s specifications for the new OTC device class.
All of the hearing aids below fall into the following form factors: receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) which have a thin wire from the hearing aid body to the receiver and ear-tip; behind-the-ear (BTE) which usually have a slim tube that carries the sound from the body to the ear-tip; or completely-in-the-canal (CIC) which is a device inserted into your ear. Although their services vary, all these hearing aids come with at least some advertised form of online support from the companies.
Lively Hearing Aids
Lively is part of the GN Group, which also owns brands like ReSound, Beltone, and Jabra. With their Lively online hearing aid branch, GN markets three receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid models: the Lively 2 Light, Lively 2 Plus, and the Lively 2 Pro. All three offer an outstanding 100-day trial period with free shipping and returns, a 3-year warranty, as well as a 3-year loss and damage protection plan.
Lively doesn’t offer a subscription, but the Lively 2 Lite comes with a one-year supply of batteries; the other models include a charging case.
- Price: $1,195 to $1,995 per pair with optional financing.
- Single ear option: No.
- Style: Receiver in the canal (RIC).
- Indication: Mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
- Hearing test: Online hearing test or third-party audiogram.
- Features: Bluetooth, rechargeable or replaceable battery, audio streaming and hands-free calling, automatic volume control.
- Services: Video orientation call, 7 days a week remote support, follow-up care and loss & damage protection for 3 years ($195 deductible), 3-year warranty.
- Trial period: 100 days, risk-free with a full refund.
Lexie keeps things simple by offering only two hearing aids, the Lexie Lumen behind-the-ear (BTE) and the new Lexie B1 Powered by Bose receiver-in-the-canal models. You can order these online and/or find them at select Walgreens.
Lexie offers a monthly hearing aid subscription, which includes a risk insurance (Lexie Cover) and accessories (Care Kit), sold separately. You can cancel this subscription anytime by returning the hearing aids. When you purchase the Lexie Lumen outright, you can add Lexie Cover and the Care Kit through the Lexie app. Both purchasing options include remote support (Lexie Care).
You can take Lexie’s free online hearing test to evaluate your hearing loss, but to self-fit the hearing aid, you’ll need to complete the hearing test in the Lexie app (available on Android and iOS). Unlike many other online hearing aids, the Lexie Lumen features a telecoil.
The optional Lexie Rewards program guides you through your first 45 days with your new hearing aids and earns you discounts on your monthly subscription or in-app purchases.
Lexie B1 by Bose
Bose’s SoundControl was the first self-fitting hearing aid approved by the FDA. Bose discontinued manufacturing SoundControl to concentrate on its core products, and in July 2022 Lexie and Bose announced a technology partnership.
The SoundControl hearing aid has been shown to apply to a wide variety of hearing losses. Although it doesn’t support audio streaming, the app offers on-the-fly tuning, and you can store preferred settings as modes.
- Price: For Lexie Lumen, $799 per pair, or $42 monthly subscription over 24 months with a $149 one-time security payment. For Lexie B1, $899 per pair, or $49 monthly subscription for 24 months with a $199 one-time security payment.
- Single ear option: yes, but only when you purchase it once-off.
- Style: Lexie Lumen: Behind-the-ear (BTE); Lexie B1 Powered by Bose: RIC.
- Indication: n/a
- Hearing test: In-app hearing test (Lexie App).
- Features: Features for Lexie Lumen include directional microphones, telecoil, noise reduction, 6 program settings, a replaceable battery that lasts up to 7 days, nano coating for moisture/sweat protection. Features for Lexie B1 include directional microphones, 6 environmental settings, non-rechargeable replaceable batteries with up to 56 hours of runtime, water resistant. Although the Lexie B1 has Bluetooth capabilities for connecting with the app, it does not stream music or TV audio.
- Services: 6 days a week remote support and fine-tuning
- Trial period: 45 days, risk-free with a full refund
Audicus hearing aids
Audicus markets hearing aids made by Sonova, the world’s largest hearing aid company and the parent group of Phonak and Unitron. You can choose from six different hearing aids from Audicus that differ in style, features, and price: Audicus Omni RIC, Spirit RIC, Wave RIC, Clara RIC, Aura CIC, and the lower-priced Dia BTE.
To have your hearing aid fitted, you need to complete the company’s online hearing test, submit an audiogram, or take a hearing test at one of the few Audicus locations in New York, Chicago, or Denver.
When you’re ready to make a purchase, you can either pay for your Audicus hearing aids in full or opt for a monthly membership; both are available with per-pair or per-ear pricing. The membership includes basic accessories and unlimited remote adjustments, and you’re eligible for a free trade-in every 18 months. You can cancel your membership anytime, but you will have to return the hearing aids and remaining accessories.
- Price: $998 to $3,398 per pair upfront (financing available) or $78-138 plus a $100 setup fee with a monthly membership. More recently, the company launched a new subscription product that lets users access advanced hearing aid technology and on-demand support for only $99/month.
- Single ear option: Yes.
- Styles: Options of RIC, BTE, and Completely-in-canal (CIC) models.
- Indication: Mild to moderate and mild to severe hearing loss.
- Hearing test: Online hearing test, third-party audiogram, or local hearing test at an Albertsons Audicus Hearing Store (select locations only).
- Features: Depending on model, bluetooth, replaceable or rechargeable battery, audio streaming and hands-free calling, optional TV Connector if needed, IP68 rating (dust and water resistant).
- Services: Free hearing aid reprogramming, add-on subscriptions for replacement parts, repairs, clean & care services, loss replacement.
- Trial period: 45 days with money-back guarantee.
Eargo invisible hearing aids
Eargo hearing aids fetch a premium price for advanced features and a nearly invisible design that promise quality amplification. However, if a self-fitting hearing aid is what you’re looking for, then this is a premium option.
The latest models (Eargo 5 and Eargo 6) of these rechargeable Bluetooth hearing aids are self-fitting through the Eargo app (available on Android and iOS), where Sound Match lets you store up to three custom programs. The Eargo 6 can automatically adapt to noise levels in your environment (Sound Adjust), and it comes with a two-year warranty. Eargo hearing aids are also available on Amazon. Less expensive offerings are the Eargo Neo HiFi and Eargo Max.
If you’re unsure whether Eargo is the right style of hearing aid for you, request a free sample kit, which includes two non-working replicas. While the sample kit won’t let you test the technology, it’s a great way to experience what it’s like to handle and wear these tiny hearing aids. You still get a 45-days trial period once you order a functional pair.
- Price: $1,450 to $2,950 per pair with optional financing.
- Single ear option: No.
- Style: Completely-in-the-canal (CIC).
- Indication: Mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss.
- Hearing test: Online hearing screener.
- Features: Bluetooth, rechargeable, Sound Match, Sound Adjust, up to IPX7 water resistant.
- Services: Lifetime remote telecare and support, Eargo 6 comes with a one-time loss or damage coverage original warranty for up to 2 years, while other models are covered for 1 year.
- Trial period: 45 days with full refund.
At MDHearing you can presently choose from three hearing aid models: AIR, VOLT, and VOLT MAX. Both VOLT models are rechargeable and include a charging case. The VOLT MAX features MDHearing’s highest technology level, and you can personalize the hearing aid using the MDHearing app (available on Android and iOS).
All models offer lifetime support. The VOLT MAX also comes with VIP services, like a one-on-one fitting and onboarding, unlimited follow-up care, a priority customer care phone line, and an extended one-year warranty.
None of MDHearing’s hearing aids support audio streaming.
- Price: $300-700 per pair with financing available (note: at time of publication, company was advertising a sale).
- Single ear option: Yes.
- Style: Behind-the-ear (BTE).
- Indication: n/a
- Hearing test: Online hearing test.
- Features: Rechargeable or replaceable battery, dual directional microphones, adaptive technology.
- Services: Free lifetime support, VOLT MAX-exclusive VIP services.
- Trial period: 45 days, 100% money-back guarantee.