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Miracle-Ear Hearing Aids: Review of Products, Services, and Pricing

What you need to know about Miracle-Ear and its products, so you can decide if their hearing aids and services are right for you
Expert review by Abram Bailey, AuD
Miracle ear logo at top and three Miracle-Ear hearing aids in different styles and colors

With over 1,500 offices, Miracle-Ear is one of the most recognizable hearing aid brands in North America.

Miracle-Ear™ is one of the most recognizable hearing aid brands in the United States due to its longevity and size, with 1500+ offices—or just slightly more than its closest like-competitor, Beltone. A part of the world’s largest hearing aid retailer, the Amplifon Group, Miracle-Ear hearing aids are made by some of the world's top hearing aid manufacturers, come in a wide variety of styles and models for almost any hearing loss, and typically cost between $1,500-$7,000. Like their competitors, such as Beltone, HearUSA, HearingLife, Connect Hearing, and others, Miracle-Ear hearing aids are dispensed by state-licensed hearing aid specialists and audiologists. But unlike these network distribution companies, Miracle-Ear is not owned by a hearing aid manufacturer.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about Miracle-Ear hearing aids, including what they are, who they are for, how they are fitted, and what wearers think about them.

What we love about Miracle-Ear

Established company with a 75+ year track record
Offers a full selection of high-quality prescription hearing aids for mild to profound hearing loss made by global leaders in hearing aid manufacturing
With over 1,500 offices, chances are you live within 30 miles of one or more Miracle-Ear offices
Free hearing test with a 30-day trial period
Purchase includes lifetime aftercare, including cleanings and adjustments for most instruments
Tinnitus features in many of the available hearing aids
3-year product warranty and loss & damage protection for most hearing aids
Philanthropic company values via support of the Miracle-Ear Foundation® Gift of Sound™

Limitations

Miracle-Ear hearing aids are locked, meaning you can only get them reprogrammed and serviced at a Miracle-Ear office
Pricing likely to be higher than other hearing care practices and offices, as well as large retailers like Costco
No hands-free calling with Android phones without accessory
OTC hearing aids not available at this time
Dispensing professionals are predominantly hearing aid specialists who have less university schooling than audiologists
While Miracle-Ear says all locations provide the same service offerings, their stores are independently owned and operated, which can result in differences in services, costs, and customer experience/outcomes
Amplifon and Miracle-Ear logos

Who Is Miracle-Ear?

Miracle-Ear operates mostly through a franchised network of about 1,300 independent offices as well as 290 corporate-owned offices, all of which are run under a basic set of Miracle-Ear guidelines meant to ensure a quality hearing aid fitting. Additionally, Amplifon Hearing Health Care (AHHC) offers hearing care benefits to health plan members through Miracle-Ear offices and other independent hearing care clinics that contract with AHHC.

Miracle-Ear was started by Kenneth Dahlberg, a colorful WWII fighter ace who, in 1948, established Dahlberg Electronics in Minneapolis. With the help of legendary hearing aid engineers Lester Wilbrecht and Bill Ely, he helped introduce some of the first transistor-driven eyeglass and in-the-ear (ITE) style hearing aids. Dahlberg sold his companies to Motorola in 1959, then bought them back 5 years later in 1964. In 1993, Miracle-Ear was sold to Bausch & Lomb, which then sold the company to the European hearing aid retailer, Amplifon, only 6 years later in 1999. For several decades, you could find Miracle-Ear offices in many Sears stores, making it a pioneer of the store-in-store hearing aid retailing model now used by Costco and Sam’s Club.

Night photo of modern-looking Amplifon headquarters in Milan, Italy

Amplifon's world headquarters are in Milan, Italy (shown above), and Amplifon and Miracle-Ear's U.S. headquarters are in downtown Minneapolis.

Amplifon is headquartered in Milan, Italy, and is a public company listed on the Euronext STAR Milan exchange (AMP:IM). Like Miracle-Ear, it was started shortly after WWII by a decorated (British) veteran, Algernon Charles Holland, whose family still owns a major share of the company. Its U.S. headquarters are in downtown Minneapolis—only a few miles from where Dahlberg started Miracle-Ear. In the last 30 years, Amplifon has grown into the world’s largest commercial distributor of hearing aids—responsible for about 12% of all hearing aids dispensed globally, with some 19,400 staff members in 9,000 offices and shops in 25 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to HearingTracker research, Miracle-Ear hearing aids range from about $1,500 to $7,000. However, Miracle-Ear is one of the largest franchise networks in the United States and the vast majority of its stores are owned and operated independently by hearing aid specialists and audiologists who set their own prices and service terms. This means prices can vary widely between dispensing offices.

Yes. Miracle-Ear offices are generally good at helping consumers with insurance coverage. However, this can vary. You should review your coverage with both your insurance provider and your local Miracle-Ear store so that you have a thorough understanding of all your costs before purchasing your hearing aids.

Miracle-Ear is unique for at least two notable reasons. First, it is one of the oldest and largest of all the networks in the US, established in 1948 and now has over 1,500 offices—a notable advantage if you travel a lot or own a second home (i.e., you can benefit from the services of nearby Miracle-Ear offices). Second, it is not owned by a major hearing aid manufacturer like its competitors Beltone and Audigy (GN/ReSound), HearingLife (Demant/Oticon), Audibel (Starkey), HearUSA (WS Audiology/Signia), and Connect Hearing (Sonova/Phonak). This means it probably has more leeway to choose from any of the available hearing aid technologies.

Miracle-Ear only allows its certified hearing care providers access to its software. That means if you want your hearing aids reprogrammed or adjusted, you’ll need to visit a Miracle-Ear store; other hearing care providers outside of the network cannot help you.

Miracle-Ear isn’t the only company to lock its hearing aids: Beltone, Audibel, and Sam’s Club also lock their hearing aids. The companies justify this by saying they invest a considerable amount of money and time in training professionals to fit their devices. They also point to the large number of offices available (1,500+ in Miracle Ear’s case) for care and services. However, Hearing Tracker is not a fan of this practice because we think it limits consumers’ choices.

Miracle-Ear hearing aids are made by some of the world’s biggest and best hearing aid manufacturers, and they are quality devices that should last 3-5 years—and maybe more if you take care of them. If you have a rechargeable model, you can expect the lithium-ion battery to lose about 10-15% of its power efficiency each year, just like your cell phone, which uses the same battery chemistry. However, depending on how hard you are on the devices and your care for them, it’s possible to get up 7-10 years of service life if you opt for battery-powered aids or have the rechargeable battery and other components (like receivers in Receiver-in-Canal or RIC aids) replaced. We suggest you do this prior to your warranty’s expiration.

Who makes and sells Miracle-Ear hearing aids?

Amplifon does not make hearing aids. Instead, it partners with some of the world’s largest and most reputable manufacturers that supply high-technology, reliable, and comfortable hearing aids. Traditionally, Miracle-Ear relied on Siemens Hearing Instruments, now called Signia and part of WS Audiology (WSA), for its hearing aids. Amplifon has more recently broadened its sources for hearing aids to other global manufacturers. However, the company does not like to discuss who those manufacturers are, and all of the hearing aids are privately labeled to their brand.

Yet, it's possible to speculate about at least some of the products and manufacturers. For example, the terminology used to describe the Miracle-EarBLISS™ hearing aids is identical to several Starkey products: both are described as having “Deep Neural Networks” and making “over 80 million adjustments per hour.” Another, the GENIUS™ X, describes the ability to analyze 192,000 data points per second; this is consistent with how the Signia IX is described.

We should also probably note two things here: 1) Because Amplifon has a large worldwide market presence, it may request significant modifications in these product designs to suit the specific needs of its various markets and franchises, and 2) Unlike many of its competitors, Amplifon is not owned by or "tied down" to any one manufacturer and therefore has some freedom in choosing from the different available technologies.

Photo of Audiologist holding a CIC hearing aid next to a patient

Your Miracle-Ear hearing care professional will fit you with a hearing aid, and then you have 30 days to decide if they work well for you.

Who will be fitting my hearing aids?

Miracle-Ear clinicians are independent owners and franchisees or are Amplifon staff members; all are state-licensed and most are hearing aid specialists, although some are audiologists. There are many outstanding dispensing professionals who work at Miracle-Ear offices, and now there are even second- and third-generation Miracle-Ear owners. When the second author (KS) served as editor of The Hearing Review for 28 years, he honored at least a half-dozen Miracle-Ear owners with the magazine’s Professional Distinguished Leadership Award during annual meetings of the International Hearing Society. So, there are many genuinely great Miracle-Ear professionals.

However, not all have sterling reputations. If you ask some hearing care providers, you may get an earful about a particular Miracle-Ear office that cuts corners with their clients. So, as with most offices run by independent owners, we recommend asking around and reading online reviews to make sure they will provide you with the service you deserve.

Also, note that some Miracle-Ear businesses have pricing that can be significantly higher than other providers, so be sure to compare not only service but pricing and what you get with your purchase. That is, inquire about warranties, what is covered in the warranty period, additional costs for repairs and, perhaps most importantly, how are the hearing aid fittings verified and validated. We'll discuss this in more detail below.

Finally, Miracle-Ear hearing aids are "locked," meaning that only Miracle-Ear certified professionals can adjust them. It should be noted several other large hearing aid networks, including Beltone, Audibel, and Sam's Club also lock their hearing aids. We're not a fan of this corporate policy because it reduces consumers' options for post-purchase services; however, Miracle-Ear's very large number of offices does make this less of an issue.

How Getting a Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Works

As you can imagine, the process of being evaluated for and fitted with hearing aids involves a few steps. Here we will walk you through the typical process of buying hearing aids from a Miracle-Ear store.

1) Take a hearing test

If you are not sure if you have a hearing loss that is appropriate for hearing aids, you can begin your journey to better hearing by taking an online screening that is offered at no charge right from the Miracle-Ear website. The test takes approximately 5 minutes and can give you a better idea about your hearing status. There are also several good online hearing screening tests, and you may even be inclined to screen your hearing from more than one site.  Alternatively, you can schedule a free hearing test at any one of the 1500+ retail locations.

Woman taking a hearing test in a sound-treated booth with an audiologist in the foreground

Although online screening tests can be informative, a true hearing test in a soundproof booth can better pinpoint your hearing abilities and also help set your hearing aids to the correct volume at each frequency.

If your online hearing screening indicates hearing loss, or if you want to start by having your hearing tested in person, you can request an appointment online and search for your nearest Miracle-Ear office.

The in-person exam will be more than a simple screening and will occur in a sound-treated environment. The Miracle-Ear professional will also take your hearing health history, examine your outer ears and ear canals, and test your hearing across a range of frequencies (pitches). The professional should also test your ability to understand speech at a level loud enough for you to hear. Afterward, they will provide you with your test results and recommendations, including purchasing hearing aids and/or referring you to a specialist, as needed.

There are a few things to keep in mind here. First, hearing aid retailers often offer a free hearing test, but the test is not intended to be a diagnostic test. That is, it is a good, basic test that will provide information about your hearing status. However, in some cases, further testing is needed to determine the cause of the hearing loss (etiology) or to provide additional testing/counseling. These are more likely to be done by an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician or audiologist, and the professional at Miracle-Ear can make a referral if needed.

2) Discuss options for hearing aid selection

If you decide to purchase hearing aids from Miracle-Ear, you will have a choice of several styles and technology levels at varying price points—all of which are Miracle-Ear branded hearing aids. Which product is best for you is a discussion you and your hearing provider will have together. Expect to pay in the range of $2,000 to $7,000+ for a pair of hearing aids. It is important to note that Miracle-Ear franchise owners set their own pricing. This means that the cost of the same hearing aid may vary from store to store.

If you have insurance coverage that includes hearing aids, you will be happy to hear that Miracle-Ear does accept some insurance company plans, but coverage can vary. Review your coverage with both your insurance provider and your local Miracle-Ear store so that you have a thorough understanding of all your costs before purchasing your hearing aids. For your reference, HearingTracker has published a Guide to Paying for Hearing Aids, and Miracle-Ear also offers two well-established financing methods: Synchrony's Allegro Credit and CareCredit installment loan programs.

Photo of a man opening a door with Miracle-Ear logos onto a family picnic

Be sure to tell the Miracle-Ear professional what your hearing goals are and set realistic expectations with the provider. While price is certainly a consideration, note that there are several options for reducing the out-of-pocket cost of hearing as well as financing.

In addition, be sure to ask questions of your hearing provider and find hearing aids that match your lifestyle needs. For example, if you are still working and/or are often in a varied and complex listening situation, you may want to consider higher-tier technology. However, if you are rarely in noisy and changing listening environments, more basic technology may suit you well. Do you have bothersome tinnitus? If so, see what options might be available to you.

Which hearing aid style and type you choose should be based upon several factors, including your hearing loss, listening needs, and budget. If you have severe to profound hearing loss, a tiny Completely-in-Canal (CIC) style is unlikely to be a good match for your hearing loss; instead, you will probably need a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) or Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) style hearing aid, although it’s possible that a custom In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aid may also work for you.

If you have dexterity and/or vision issues, you may want to choose a rechargeable battery to limit your frustration in changing small disposable batteries. Also, be sure to mention the activities that are important to you. These might include things like family events or obligations, workplace demands, social activities, sports and hobbies, TV listening habits, etc. What are the primary hearing challenges you’re facing and need to solve? The more insights you can give the hearing provider, the better they can help you achieve your listening goals.

If streaming audio to your hearing aids is important, make sure to ask how that can be accomplished, if the hearing aids are compatible with your smartphone, and ask for a demonstration. Finally, discuss options such as rechargeability and accessories, such as remote microphones or TV devices, etc. While your budget certainly plays a factor in the hearing aid you choose, do not let it be your only consideration.

3) Try the hearing aids

Miracle-Ear offers a 30-day, risk-free hearing aid trial for their prescription hearing aids. This means that the hearing aids will be programmed and fit your unique hearing loss, and you have 30 days to decide if the hearing aids work well for you or not. Miracle-Ear provides materials to use at home to support you in wearing your hearing aids and unlimited aftercare for any adjustments or additional counseling needed. Customer support is also available through the Miracle-Ear app, by phone, and in-store.

Photo of man adjusting his hearing aids with Miracle-Ear app with popcorn and TV in background

When trying out your hearing aids, explore how they work in important listening situations. Your hearing provider may be able to help in some cases by adjusting the programming or suggest accessories like TV streamers, remote microphones, etc., if warranted.

If you decide to return the hearing aids during the trial period you likely will not be charged a fee, particularly if you are self-paying for the hearing aids. However, if you are utilizing insurance, there may be a restocking fee.

Some states mandate a minimum trial period, so be sure to understand the length of your trial period and any associated costs should you return the hearing aids. For example, if you are fit with custom-made hearing aids, there likely will be some associated costs, even if you return them in good working order. Also, note that some other hearing providers and competitors to Miracle-Ear offer longer trial periods of 60-100 days.

A word about Best Practices

You may have read that best practice guidelines indicate that when buying hearing aids, you should have a thorough case history and a hearing test that includes speech understanding measures, preferably both in quiet and in noise. Once the hearing aids are chosen and programmed for your hearing loss and listening needs, best practices further indicate that they need to be expertly verified.

Woman with a real-ear measurement device hanging from her ear

A woman getting real-ear (probe microphone) measurements to ensure the hearing aid matches, frequency-by-frequency, her unique ear and hearing needs.

Long-established best clinical practices recommend that your hearing aids be verified via real-ear measurements (also called probe-microphone measures) and validated via various measures. The acoustics of each ear are different, as are your tolerances for loudness, the coupling to the ear, etc. Because of this, it is important to verify that the hearing aids are programmed appropriately for you, and probe microphone measures are one of the best ways to do that. Research indicates that conducting real-ear measurements can lead to better outcomes and improved satisfaction with hearing aids.

When questioned about Best Practices, Miracle-Ear assured us that “Best Practices” are shared across stores. Further, they indicated that they take best practices from a combination of qualified resources such as the International Hearing Society, their own audiologists, manufacturers, and other sources. This is great news and an excellent start to help ensure you are getting the proper care you need.

However, “sharing” the information does not necessarily mean Best Practices are followed or standardized across each franchise location. As always, be your own advocate and ask about how the hearing aids will be fit and verified. HearingTracker strongly recommends that you get real-ear measurements during your hearing aid fitting, regardless of what provider you visit.

4) Purchase the hearing aids and follow-up care

If you decide to purchase the hearing aids after your trial period, Miracle-Ear will continue to service the hearing aids for as long as you wear them, providing what Miracle-Ear calls “lifetime service.” This means that routine care is included for most hearing aids.* This includes:

  • Testing: Testing of all hearing aid components for proper functioning
  • Cleanings: Thorough cleaning of each hearing aid
  • Fittings: Fitting checks and adjustments
  • Inspections: Ear inspections to check for earwax buildup
  • Repairs: Minor repairs of hearing aid components
  • Annual Exam: Free hearing evaluation every year

*Note that Miracle-Ear lifetime aftercare is not included with hearing aids purchased utilizing some insurance benefits.

In addition, most Miracle-Ear hearing aids (except those in the Level 1 basic technology tier) are covered by a 3-year warranty. This means that the hearing aids will be repaired or replaced during the warranty period. This also includes loss of the hearing aids. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the damaged hearing aid can be repaired, there is no charge for the repair (though some components may come with a charge).

Hearing aids that cannot be repaired are replaced by the company but are subject to a replacement charge, which is “25% of the original purchase price” if an identical hearing aid is available. If a different hearing aid is needed or other options are requested, then the 25% charge applies plus the full cost of the additional options and/or the difference in price between the old model and the new model. As you can imagine, this can become quite costly given the initial costs of the hearing aids.

It is also possible that if you are fitted with a RIC-style hearing aid, replacement receivers may cost a fee that can vary depending on the Miracle-Ear store you visit, as prices are set by the franchise owner. Any hearing aid can break or malfunction, and the need for a replacement receiver within 3 years is not uncommon. That's why we highly recommend you be aware of all charges that you might encounter during the life of the hearing aid.

Latest Miracle-Ear Hearing Aids

Miracle-Ear offers a wide range of hearing solutions. This means that their products can fit most types of hearing loss and match your listening needs. We won’t discuss all available Miracle-Ear products but, rather, focus on their latest offerings.

Photo of gray Miracle-Ear EARBLISS RIChearing aid

Miracle-EarBLISS™ MEENERGY RIC (receiver-in-canal) R.

Miracle-Ear BLISS Hearing Aids

Miracle-Ear’s latest flagship hearing aid line is called Miracle-Ear (ME) BLISS™ and is available in numerous styles and technology levels. As such, Miracle-Ear categorizes its hearing aids into different families depending on their capabilities. For example, the Miracle-EarBLISS MEENERGY™ products are rechargeable.

Depending on the product, several technology levels are available, and Miracle-Ear calls these “solution levels.” The higher the number of the solution level, the higher the level of technology and price. For example, some Miracle-Ear products are available at Levels 2 to Level 5, where Level 5 provides all of the available features on the chip. A Level 1 may also be available for Miracle-Ear’s more basic products.  The chart below summarizes their newer MEBLISS products. You will note that lower (Levels 1 and 2)—the least expensive technology levels—are not available in the latest BLISS line of hearing aids.

MEBLISS hearing aids

Miracle Ear BLISS hearing aids in RIC, ITC, CIC, and IIC styles

The Miracle-Ear BLISS family of hearing aids includes (clockwise from top right): MECONNECT RIC 312, MEENERGY RIC R, MEENERGY RIC R-S, MEENERGY ITC R, MEMINI CIC 312, MEMINI CIC 10, and MEMINI IIC 10. Not shown to scale.

Product Family Available styles Description Available Solution Levels
MECONNECT RIC 312 BL Wireless (Bluetooth) receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid with 312 disposable battery. 4, 5
MEMINI CIC 312 BL Wireless custom completely-in-canal (CIC) discreet device with size 312 battery. 4, 5
CIC 10 BL Non-wireless custom CIC discreet device with size 10 battery. 4, 5
IIC 10 BL Non-wireless custom invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aid with size 10 battery. 4, 5
MEENERGY ITE R BL, HS R BL, and ITC R BL Wireless* rechargeable (lithium-ion battery) devices available in custom in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) styles, including half-shell (HS) ITE. 4, 5
RIC R BL Wireless rechargeable RIC. 4, 5
RIC RX (5W) Newest wireless rechargeable RIC with GENIUS X technology. 3, 4, 5

A quick summary of the Miracle-Ear BLISS family of products. *Wireless is available where size permits.

All of the above technology within the BLISS lineup, with the exception of the RIC R X (5W), appears to be based upon the Starkey Genesis AI platform.  Some of the highlights of that technology, according to Miracle-Ear are:

  • SmartSenseTechnology: The hearing aids can make up to 80 million adjustments per hour to help ensure “effortless listening while delivering more realistic sound.”
  • M-E MODE+™: Allows you to tap your hearing aid (or use the smartphone app) and activate changes to the hearing aid that will either help to improve speech in noise or improve listening comfort. This allows you to customize your listening experience.
  • Direct Streaming: Allows direct streaming of audio to your hearing aids with compatible Apple® iOS® and Android devices.
  • StillSound™: Provides a boost for speech in quiet environments.
  • Durable design: Many of these products have IP68 ratings, the highest level of Ingress Protection (IP) in hearing aids for resistance to debris and moisture.
Silver Miracle Ear Genius X receiver-in-canal hearing aid on light blue background

Miracle-Ear GENIUS™ X MEENERGY RIC R X.

The MEENERGY RIC R X is different than the other BLISS RIC products. It is labeled as a GENIUS X device and is available, at this writing, in only one style: a rechargeable RIC. While the company would not confirm the manufacturer of the product, it appears to have technology similar to Signia IX or AX hearing aids. Its features include:

  • A discreet rechargeable RIC-style hearing aid with onboard controls
  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses from mild to profound
  • Up to 28 hours of use on a single charge
  • 360-degree listening, allowing for improved speech understanding in noise
  • Hands-free calling for Apple iOS devices
  • Direct Bluetooth streaming for compatible iOS and Android devices
  • IP68 rating
  • Compatible with Miracle-Ear App

As noted, the above constitutes the newest flagship hearing aids offered by Miracle-Ear, but there are many more. Here is a quick overview.

Photo of three hearing aid styles in the Miracle-Ear Energy hearing aid line

The Miracle-Ear ENERGY product line (l to r): iRIC R, BTE R S, and GO ITE. Photos not shown to scale.

ME-ENERGY: Wireless rechargeable hearing aids

  • Miracle-EarENERGY iRIC R: A rechargeable wireless RIC hearing aid with a sleek design that resembles the Signia Styletto hearing aid.
  • Miracle-EarENERGY BTE R S: A rechargeable wireless BTE hearing for more severe hearing losses and features a portable charger that provides power on-the-go.
  • Miracle-EarENERGY GO: A rechargeable wireless instant-fit ITE that appears very similar to the Signia Active hearing aid line.

ME-CONNECT: Wireless battery-powered hearing aids

  • MECONNECT RIC 312 AX: A full-featured wireless hearing aid with Bluetooth wireless and Genius 5.0 technology with a 312 disposable battery.
  • Miracle-EarCONNECT BTE S 13: A more powerful wireless hearing aid with a size 13 disposable battery for people with more severe hearing loss.

ME-MINI: Discreet, battery-powered, non-wireless hearing aids

  • Miracle-EarMINI Mirage IIC: The smallest ME hearing aid available; it is non-wireless, does not use the app, and employs a size 10 battery.
  • Miracle-EarMINI™ RIC 10: A small RIC hearing aid that is non-wireless, does not use the app, and employs a size 10 battery.

ME-EASY: Lower-cost, battery-powered, non-wireless hearing aids

  • Miracle-EarEASY™ RIC 312: A non-wireless RIC that does not use the app and is powered by a size 312 battery.
  • Miracle-EarEASY™ BTE S 312: Same as above in a BTE model.

Wireless connectivity

Miracle-Ear hearing aids that feature Bluetooth wireless technology offer direct audio streaming of music, podcasts, and other audio from compatible Apple iOS and Android devices. These hearing aids will also feature hands-free phone calls for compatible iPhones, which means you can hear the other person via audio streaming to your hearing aids, and you can also talk with that person without holding your phones (i.e., the microphones in the hearing aid transmit your voice to the phone).

With Android phones, you'll hear the person on the line through your hearing aids, but you'll need to speak into the phone (as you normally would) for them to hear you. Android phone users who want hands-free calling should look into the availability of an accessory like the Audio Clip (see below).

Miracle-Ear App

The Miracle-Ear App is available on both Apple and Android smartphones for most ME models. Be sure to talk with your hearing provider to ensure your phone is compatible. Along with the hearing aid's onboard buttons, the free app can control your hearing aids. However, the app can do so much more, and it's definitely worthwhile for you to unlock all its features. For example, it not only helps you change programs or volume, but it also can adjust tone (bass/treble), set custom programs for unique listening situations, locate a Miracle-Ear store near you, and even help you find your hearing aids if you lose or misplace them. There is also a handy "Virtual companion" that provides advice and tips for using the aids.

Compared to some other hearing aid manufacturers’ smartphone apps, the Miracle-Ear App is well-rated, with a 4.5 (out of 5) rating for the Apple App® store and a 4.2 on the Google Play™ store at the time of this writing. While overall ratings are positive, most complaints center on pairing the app to the hearing aids and maintaining that connectivity. This complaint is not unusual in the industry, however.

Volume Control, Equalizer, and Hearing Direction controls in Miracle Ear app

Screenshots from the Miracle Ear App showing (l to r) the hearing aid Control Center for Volume Control, Treble & Bass Equalizer, and Hearing Direction.

Rechargeable battery life

If you are wondering about how long the rechargeable hearing aid batteries will last, you will be happy to know that the range is 28-41 hours of use on a single charge. Please note that this will vary depending on how your hearing aids are programmed and how you use them. That is, if you need more volume (gain) because of your hearing loss, the hearing aids are working a bit harder and the battery life will be more limited. Also, if you spend a lot of time streaming audio such as with phone calls or listening to music, this too will diminish the overall battery life. Be sure to speak with your Miracle-Ear professional to determine your expected battery life.

Photo of six different chargers for Miracle-Ear hearing aids

Miracle-Ear offers a wide variety of charging units for its rechargeable hearing aids, including desktop units, portable units that carry extra charges for on-the-go use, and systems that both recharge and dry your aids.

Regardless, you should get into the habit of charging your hearing aids each night when you take them off. Miracle-Ear will provide at least one charger with your purchase of a rechargeable hearing aid. Which style of charger is available (for example, desktop or portable) will depend on the type of hearing aid you purchase. If you want additional chargers, be prepared to pay an additional fee.

The overall lifespan of the rechargeable battery, which is typically about 5 years, can also vary depending on how you use the hearing aid and how well it is maintained. As with smartphones, which also use lithium-ion battery technology, you can expect the battery capacity to decrease by about 10-15% per year. Some experienced hearing aid users request a battery replacement and parts refurbishment just prior to the expiration of the manufacturer's warranty (there may be a fee for the refurbishment) to further extend the hearing aid's service life.

Miracle-Ear accessories

Miracle-Ear offers numerous accessories to meet your listening requirements. These include:

  • The MELINKRemote AV, which allows for easy program and volume changes, as well as allowing you to turn other features on and off.
  • The MELINK Remote AV, a remote microphone that you can clip onto a companion or set on a lecture, allowing you to hear them at a distance or in a noisy room as if they were sitting right next to you.
  • The Audio Clip acts both as a remote microphone and allows you to stream audio from Bluetooth-compatible devices to your hearing aids, including hands-free phone calls from newer Android phones.
  • The TV streamer (not pictured below) is a small and very useful accessory that, as the name implies, plugs into your TV and streams audio directly into both of your hearing aids.
Three photos of Miracle-Ear hearing aid accessories

Miracle-Ear accessories (l to r) include the MELINK™ Remote AV, Remote Mic AV, and Audio Clip. Not shown: TV Streamer.

Not surprisingly, these accessories look very similar to those of Signia and Starkey. They will come at an additional cost to your hearing aids and the pricing can vary by Miracle-Ear location—but all are useful and can be worth the additional investment. Before purchasing an accessory, be certain to ask your hearing provider if they are compatible with the devices you intend to use them with (smartphones, TVs, computers, etc.), if applicable.

Reviews and what people say about Miracle-Ear

Your experience with Miracle-Ear will depend largely on the owner and the staff’s skills in fitting your hearing aid and their adherence to best clinical practices. A maxim among hearing care professionals is that a prescription hearing aid is only as good as the professional who fits it. While good hearing aid technology is a prerequisite (and Miracle Ear definitely has good hearing aids), the service aspect is chiefly responsible for overall satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

When we checked in April 2024, customer satisfaction ratings for Miracle-Ear were quite good. Consumer Reports gives Miracle-Ear a 73% overall satisfaction score, which places it in 5th place among the 17 retail outlets they rated for the distribution of hearing aids (8th place when including non-retail sources like the VA, hospitals/clinics, and ENT/otolaryngologist offices, all typically staffed by audiologists). The company scored high in all categories except price transparency and price plan options, where it had only a mediocre rating of 3 out of 5.

Miracle-Ear also has a strong 4.5 out of 5-star rating on ConsumerAffairs.com, with 83% of 3,071 reviews giving it 5 stars, while 11% gave it only 1 or 2 stars.

As noted previously, most Miracle-Ear locations are privately owned franchises, and you may not find ratings for each and every store in your area from well-known agencies such as the Better Business Bureau. However, it is worth doing a search online to find out more about your local office.

As an audiologist, the first author (AF) has certainly seen patients inappropriately fit with Miracle-Ear hearing aids but, unfortunately, could not adjust them because the devices are locked. However, I have also seen patients with Miracle-Ear hearing aids that were well-fit, and the patients were happy overall with their purchase.

Some online reviewers noted that they felt as if they paid too much for their hearing aids, while others noted that they had received exceptional service beyond what they had experienced at other hearing aid retailers. As always, HearingTracker recommends that you do your own research about your local hearing aid retailer, whether it is Miracle-Ear or another provider.

Woman with silver hearing aids adjusting her Miracle-Ear hearing aids

Miracle-Ear offers exceptional technology that can include wireless capabilities that are paired with a well-rated hearing aid app.

Final verdict

Miracle-Ear offers world-class hearing aid technology fitted by licensed hearing aid specialists and audiologists. If the hearing provider follows best practices, Miracle-Ear is a good option for personalized hearing care. Judging from the online reviews of Consumer Reports and others, most people are satisfied with the products and services of Miracle-Ear.

There are two things you should note, however. First, Miracle-Ear hearing aids are locked, meaning you'll need to visit a Miracle-Ear franchise that has the software to adjust the devices; dispensing professionals outside their network won't be able to help you. However, given their large number of offices (i.e., over 1,500+ in the U.S.), there are usually multiple locations within a relatively short drive. Second, because Miracle-Ear franchises are mostly independent businesses, their pricing and service models can be different and, in some cases, more expensive compared to other options. We recommend you make sure you understand what's included in the price of the hearing aids in terms of the trial periods, testing and services, repairs, warranties, etc., so there are no misunderstandings or surprises.

But, overall, Miracle-Ear is a reputable network of hearing professionals that yields thousands of satisfied customers each year.

Some alternatives to Miracle-Ear

Numerous options exist for purchasing hearing aids with the advantages of professional care. Miracle-Ear offers an in-person, client-centered approach to hearing healthcare. If this is your preference, a suitable alternative is private audiology and hearing aid specialist offices, which will likely offer a wider product selection from several different manufacturers. There are also large national hearing aid chains owned by hearing aid manufacturers, including Beltone, HearUSA, Connect Hearing, Audigy, and Audibel.

Additionally, big-box stores like Sam’s Club and Costco provide in-person care. Note that Costco, like Miracle-Ear, offers Signia hearing aid technology under the Rexton brand but does not offer Starkey hearing aids. Online websites, including Zip HearingYes Hearing, and Hear.com, can also connect you to a provider for in-person care.

If you are comfortable ordering online and believe an OTC device might work for you, you might consider products such as SennheiserJabra EnhanceLexie, Sony, and Audicus to name a few. You can visit our review of OTC hearing aids and the HearAdvisor website for more information.

So, where do you start?

First, we recommend that you find out about your hearing status. For many, the free online hearing tests or in-person testing completed at retail hearing centers may be enough. However, if you are experiencing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, have had previous ear surgeries or ear diseases, have had a sudden change in hearing, or suffer from balance issues or bothersome tinnitus, then a more comprehensive medical/diagnostic test is recommended. In this case, see an audiologist and/or your local Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician to assess your overall hearing health. However, for the majority of people who have a typical age-related and/or noise-induced hearing loss with gradual onset, the care you receive at one of the many retail options will likely suffice, and they will refer you to a medical professional if needed.

Secondly, do your research, both on the HearingTracker website and others, to understand the overall process and what brand and pricing choices are available to you. If you can, do not simply focus on price; ask about how the hearing aid settings are verified on your ear, if they will conduct speech-in-noise testing, and if they adhere to best practices. You may also want to reach out to friends or family to see what their experiences have been with various providers.

In short, ask questions! If the hearing provider is not comfortable answering them or is impatient with you, then move on to another provider.

Consider your own comfort level with the different hearing care delivery models. If, after testing, you find your hearing is mild or moderate, and you are comfortable ordering a hearing aid online and setting it up yourself, then you may want to start there (if appropriate for your hearing). If you know that you will have questions and may need extra help with the technology, then in-person care is likely best for you.

Hearing is extremely important for your overall physical and mental health and quality of life. So, whatever you do, make sure to address your hearing healthcare needs. If you need to return your hearing aids before the trial period, there's nothing wrong with that. However, keep exploring your options until you find the right hearing solution for you.

Angela Flores

Doctor of Audiology

Angela Flores received her Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of South Alabama and completed her CFY at Mayo Clinic.  She received her AuD from Salus University in 2009.  She worked clinically with Mayo Clinic and the University of Florida Pediatric Program for over 8 years. Dr. Flores currently works as an adjunct professor for the University of New Hampshire and as a consultant.

Karl

Editor in Chief

Karl Strom is the editor-in-chief of HearingTracker. He was a founding editor of The Hearing Review and has covered the hearing aid industry for over 30 years.