Hearing aids can be expensive devices, costing anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. To address the need for affordable hearing aids, Audien Hearing entered the market offering devices for less than $100.
While the devices are affordable and easy to obtain, there are limits to their effectiveness, particularly for people with complicated or profound hearing loss. Online customer reviews present a mixed bag of satisfaction and frustration with the products and the company’s customer service.
Audien Hearing, or Audien, is one of several companies providing inexpensive hearing aids. It’s important to know what you’re getting if you buy these devices and what’s realistic to expect in relation to managing your hearing loss.
If you or a loved one has hearing loss, it’s also worth knowing what may be causing it and what treatment options may be most appropriate.
Audien Hearing is an American company that manufactures two types of relatively inexpensive hearing aids and sells them online.
Audien says they can offer hearing aids well below the average cost because they sell directly to the consumer and because there’s no involvement with an audiologist, who conducts a hearing exam and sells hearing aids to patients.
Buying hearing aids from Audien has some advantages and disadvantages. While some of those disadvantages may not apply to everyone, they’re worth noting as you contemplate your purchase.
One type of Audien hearing aid, the EV1, costs $89 per pair, plus tax and shipping. The other kind, the EV3, costs $249 per pair. Each set comes with a charging dock fitted with a USB port, a small cleaning brush, and a small screwdriver to adjust the volume on each hearing aid.
Both products come with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee, and online support is also available.
You can find simple sound amplifiers that fit in the ear for as little as $10 each, but they’re meant for people with mild hearing loss and who need a boost in volume to hear conversations or television.
Traditional hearing aids usually cost between $1,000 and $5,000, and are prescribed after a person has a formal hearing evaluation and is diagnosed with hearing loss.
Does Audien provide free trial periods?
Audien offers a 30-day trial period. If you’re not satisfied with the product and notify Audien within 30 days, you can receive a full refund.
Can you use insurance to buy Audien hearing aids?
Hearings aids of any kind aren’t covered by Medicare. However, Medicaid will cover the cost of hearing aids for eligible children and, in some cases, for eligible adults — though the rules for adults tend to differ from state to state.
Coverage for Audien hearing aids or other brands by private health insurers varies considerably from one provider to the next. For most hearing aids, you can expect to pay out of pocket. There are no financial assistance programs associated with Audien.
Some service clubs and other organizations provide hearing aid assistance for low-income households.
Audien sells two types of hearing aids: the EV1 and the EV3. They both slip into the ear canal and are discreet.
The EV1 costs $89 for a pair and features 20 hours of sound per charge and four different earbud sizes for a better fit.
The EV3 sells for $249 and is smaller than the EV1. It’s rechargeable and has a 20-hour battery life, and it’s sold as having “enhanced comfort” and better sound quality than the EV1. The EV3 also has a wireless charging option, which the EV1 doesn’t.
If you’re unsatisfied with Audien hearing aids and want a refund, the company says they’ll return your money if notified within 30 days. In the case of a defective product, Audien may try to troubleshoot the problem online or provide a replacement product.
The company promises a 1-year warranty. So, for example, if a hearing aid can no longer be charged, Audien pledges to replace it if contacted within the time covered by the warranty.
Audien has an average customer rating of 1.49 out of 5 stars and 67 reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Audien isn’t accredited by the BBB. In fact, in 2020, the BBB notified Audien to discontinue claims that their hearing aids contained the “same technology as $5,000 hearing aids.” The F rating from the BBB refers to complaints filed against Audien.
Many of the complaints were related to shipping or return problems, and most were resolved by Audien either through refunds or further explanations of the return and warranty policies.
Audien’s rating on Trustpilot is more favorable, with an average of 3.9 out of 5 stars and 273 customer reviews. The positive reviews mention how people who had difficulty keeping up with conversations had a much easier time with Audien hearing aids.
Most of the complaints on Trustpilot were concerned with refunds or the timeliness of customer service to complaints.
Purchasing Audien hearing aids must be done online. The devices aren’t available in stores.
To buy a pair, go to the Audien website and select the type of hearing aid you want, add it to your cart, and check out as you would with any other online purchase.
No test is required and no medical questions are asked. The company pledges to have the hearing aids delivered within 5 days of purchase.
Audien Hearing has some competition in their niche of the hearing aid market. Other brands that sell hearing aids online and don’t require a hearing test include:
- HearGlow, which offers three types of hearing aids, ranging from $99 a piece to the more advanced model that sells for $249 each.
- HueHearing, which offers individual hearing aids for $68 each.
- WonderEar, which sells five different hearing aid products, ranging from $99.99 for its simplest, least expensive single hearing aid to $499 for a pair of its most advanced models.
- Eargo is also a hearing aid manufacturer that sells direct to consumers online. Their products range from $1,500 for a pair of EargoMax up to $2,950 for a pair of their latest fifth generation device.
Hearing loss can present a collection of financial, social, and emotional challenges, so the desire to improve one’s hearing at an affordable price is understandable.
Audien Hearing says they offer a solution for many people who could benefit from sound amplification, but their devices aren’t for people who have hearing issues and require more sophisticated devices.
While the Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to be wary of buying hearing aids that include expensive and unnecessary features, it also says to be wary of companies offering inexpensive devices that make bold claims.
Before making an investment in a hearing aid, talk with your physician about your hearing loss. You may also want to have a more thorough evaluation by an otolaryngologist or audiologist so you know the nature of your hearing loss and your best options moving forward.