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- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
On the hunt for hearing aids? Check out our list of the best prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid options.
- Best hearing aid for natural sound: ReSound ONE | Skip to review
- Best OTC hearing aid for natural sound: Jabra Enhance Plus | Skip to review
- Best invisible hearing aids: Phonak Lyric | Skip to review
- Best for one-sided hearing loss: Signia Pure Charge&Go X | Skip to review
- Best for severe hearing loss: Oticon Xceed; Phonak Bolero Marvel | Skip to review
- Best hearing aids for tinnitus: Oticon More | Skip to review
- Best ready-to-wear hearing aids: Signia Silk X | Skip to review
- Best OTC hearing aid: Bose Lexie B1 | Skip to review
If you’re thinking about getting hearing aids or looking into new ones, you’re not alone. Approximately
Shopping for hearing aids can be challenging, especially if you haven’t purchased them before. Some come with lots of options and settings, while others are simpler to use. We rounded up an array of options based on common concerns, including cost.
Note that before choosing the right hearing aids for you, it’s best to speak with your doctor or a healthcare professional and ask for a hearing assessment. They may refer you to a specialist and can help you decide if and what type of hearing aids you might need.
For this roundup, we chose hearing aid brands and products based on our high quality standards. The products featured here are medically accurate and meet criteria approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
We also did a deep dive into each brand’s best practices to make sure their products meet industry standards. We also looked into each brand’s reputation to see if any changes were made to remedy past offenses, if any.
In addition, we read scores of online consumer reviews and spoke with people who use these products. We only chose hearing aids that consistently get more positive than negative comments.
Most of the hearing aids on this list come with financing options, a manufacturer’s warranty, and a 30-day or greater risk-free trial.
We looked at a wide range of features that are important to consumers, including:
- invisibility, or being discreet to wear
- Bluetooth connectivity
- ease of use
- adaptive noise reduction
- tinnitus relief
- custom fit options
- ability to recharge
Hearing aid prices can vary significantly from retailer to retailer. We’ve indicated the price for single hearing aids. In some instances, these prices are bundled and reflect additional services such as follow-up visits and hearing aid maintenance.
Prices are estimated as follows:
- $ = under $1,000
- $$ = $1,000–$2,000
- $$$ = over $2,000
|Hearing aid||Price||Availability||Style of fit||Battery life|
|ReSound ONE||$$$||prescription||receiver-in-the-ear||rechargeable: 25 hours|
|Jabra Enhance Plus||$$||over the counter||in-the ear||rechargeable: 30 hours|
|Phonak Lyric||$$$||prescription||invisible-in-canal||no batteries required: months|
|Signia Pure Charge&Go X||$$||prescription||receiver-in-the ear||rechargeable: 1 day|
|Oticon Xceed||$$$||prescription||behind-the-ear||rechargeable: 3–10 days|
|Phonak Bolero Marvel||$$$||prescription||behind-the-ear||rechargeable: 24 hours|
|Oticon More||$$$||prescription||behind-the-ear||rechargeable: 24 hours|
|Signia Silk X||$$||prescription||invisible-in-canal||disposable: up to 7 days|
|Bose Lexie B1||$||over the counter||receiver-in-canal||disposable: 4–7 days|
There are several factors to consider when you’re choosing between hearing aid types. These include the severity of your hearing loss and your inner ear shape. Your personal preferences about hearing aid visibility and features like Bluetooth connectivity will also play a role.
The main hearing aid types are:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE): worn behind or on top of the outer ear
- In-the-ear (ITE): worn in the ear canal
- Receiver-in-the ear (RITE)/receiver-in-canal (RIC): components are placed in and behind the ear
- Invisible-in-the-canal (ITC): fit deeply inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible
- Completely-in-the-canal (CITC): worn within the ear
Many hearing aids are available in either rechargeable or disposable battery options. Your ability to handle small batteries and other hearing aid components is another important factor to consider.
The main difference between prescription and OTC hearing aids is cost.
Prescription hearing aids aren’t usually covered by health insurance and can be prohibitively expensive for many people. This can lead to uncorrected hearing loss and reduced quality of life.
The cost of hearing aids, as well as the financial burden caused by needing to see and travel to a specialist, is the main driver of uncorrected hearing loss.
To increase access to affordable hearing aids, the FDA issued a ruling that makes hearing aids available over the counter without a prescription. They range from around $200–$1,000 per pair.
OTC hearing aids are approved for use in adults, ages 18 and over, with mild to moderate hearing loss. They may work best for people with sensorineural hearing loss rather than conductive or mixed hearing loss.
You won’t need an audiogram, fitting, or prescription to get them. In addition to reducing the cost of the hearing aids, this ruling helps eliminate financial hurdles for people without health insurance and for those with high deductible plans.
The FDA estimates that the new OTC hearing aid ruling will reduce the overall cost of hearing aids by around $3,000 per pair. However, they’re not right for everyone.
If you’re considering OTC hearing aids but don’t know the level or type of hearing loss you have, consider seeing a specialist first.
OTC hearing aids are available through many online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores like:
- Best Buy
- Sam’s Club
|Things to consider||Prescription hearing aids||OTC hearing aids|
|Affordability||can be pricey||yes, for many budgets|
|Covered by health insurance||may be covered or partially covered by some plans||no|
|Require a prescription||yes||no|
|Can be worn by people of any age, including children||yes||no|
|Appropriate for all hearing loss levels||yes||no|
|May correct tinnitus||most models||no|
|Comes with Bluetooth||most models||some models|
|Professional fittings and adjustments are included||usually||no|
|Rechargeable battery||some models||some models|
Establishing the cost for a pair of hearing aids can be difficult to predict unless you’re ordering a pair over the counter. OTC hearing aids do not require a prescription or consultation with a professional, which can immediately save you money up front.
Prices can vary for OTC hearing aids, but they’re generally under $2,000 and can go as low as $250–$300 for a budget pair. The downside of OTC hearing aids is that they won’t be customized to your specific hearing needs and your options are limited in terms of professional advice if they do not meet your needs.
Going the prescription route will cost more, but you’re also more likely to find the right pair for your needs, and you can follow up and with your prescriber to discuss any trouble you’re having with your new pair.
These consultations may vary in price. In some cases, they may be covered under your insurance plan or Medicare, so it is worth verifying with your insurance to see if the visit is fully or even partially covered.
In fact, several of the hearing aids on our list state are FSA and HSA eligible. For a pair of prescription pair of hearing aids, you can expect to see prices from about $2,000–$3,000 on average.
Hearing loss usually occurs gradually. You may suddenly realize you’ve been turning up the volume on your devices or TV for a while so that you can hear them better.
If you’re having difficulty hearing and following conversations, especially in noisy environments, that may be a sign to have your hearing checked. Difficulty hearing while on the phone is another possible sign.
The only way to know for sure that you need hearing aids is to have a professional audiological evaluation. You can also take an online hearing test, but these are not as conclusive or detailed as an exam from a hearing care professional.
It’s important to know your level of hearing loss before you buy. If you’re considering OTC hearing aids this is especially important, since OTC hearing aids only address mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Hearing aids are not usually covered by insurance, so keep your budget in mind
- If budget is an issue, look for hearing aids with fewer “bells and whistles,” like Bluetooth streaming
- If you have a condition that affects your grip or hand dexterity, avoid buying hearing aids that utilize hard-to-handle, tiny components or disposable batteries
- It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. If this is your first pair, make sure they come with a money-back guarantee and a risk-free trial period
- Always check for a warranty and insurance options that protect you from loss or damage
Once you have identified your level of hearing loss, you can work with an audiologist or hearing care professional on the fit and features that will be beneficial for you. Things to consider include:
- Trial periods and warranties: If you’re new to hearing aids or are trying out a new type, make sure you can return them if they don’t work for you.
- Visibility: Some hearing aids are completely invisible. Others have small, unobtrusive wires or behind-the-ear parts that can be seen. Your hearing ability, hairstyle, and comfort are factors that may influence your choice.
- Streaming capability: Bluetooth streaming enables you to listen to media and phone calls through your hearing aids, hands-free.
- Budget: Hearing aids can be very expensive and aren’t always covered by insurance. Avoid looking to cut costs by buying used hearing aids or defunct models. Instead, look for hearing aids that work within your budget or those that come with payment plans.
- Battery type: Hearing aids may be rechargeable or use very small disposable batteries. If you have issues with hand dexterity, you may be better off with a rechargeable model.
- Noise reduction: All hearing aids reduce noise to some extent. Find out the level of noise reduction you can expect in the environments that are important to you, such as restaurants and windy natural settings.
- Program changes and adjustments: Hearing aids may be adjusted via a remote control, app, or by touching the hearing aid itself.
Buying hearing aids online can be a convenient and budget-friendly option. However, it’s important to buy wisely.
- Online hearing tests don’t give as much information as professional testing. To get the most effective hearing aids for your type and level of hearing loss, consider getting a prescription, prior to purchase.
- Only buy hearing aids from a reputable retailer with a good track record
- Look for consumer-friendly features like free shipping and returns, a trial period, and warranty.
- Check to see if they include access to a hearing care professional.
- Hearing aid use has a learning curve. Talk with a hearing care professional to help you troubleshoot and tailor your experience.
How can I get a hearing exam?
If you work with a healthcare professional such as an audiologist, they’ll give you a full audiogram, or hearing test, which provides concrete information about your level of hearing loss.
They can also explain the differences between hearing aid styles and make a recommendation about which style might be best for you.
Audiologists may not offer the same variety of brands and styles that you might get from an online retailer.
If you purchase hearing aids through an online retailer, you may have the option of taking an online hearing test. These tests may be accurate, but they may not be as comprehensive or personalized as some people would like.
Should I get fitted for a hearing aid?
To avoid this, make sure the ones you choose fit correctly and feel comfortable in your ears, even after all-day wear.
Do my hearing aids need extra technology?
Some people need certain technological functions added to their hearing aids, such as the ability to pair them with their phones. Others simply want to put their hearing aids in and forget about them. Choose hearing aids that accommodate your unique situation.
What can I do if I have tinnitus?
If you have tinnitus, look for a hearing aid that specifically addresses this condition. Many hearing aids come with apps that provide built-in tinnitus therapy sounds or reduce overstimulation.
Are hearing aids covered by Medicare or insurance?
Hearing aids can be expensive, and while not usually covered by insurance or by Medicare, it’s possible to find ones that work for you and ways to cover the costs.
Shop around for the best price. Many online retailers and big-box stores sell hearing aids at deep discounts.
Ask if the price you’re paying is bundled or unbundled. Unbundling the costs of your hearing aids may eliminate line items you have no use for.
Hearing aids are an investment, so make sure to only purchase those that come with a risk-free trial of at least 30 days, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty.
Getting fitted for hearing aids to make sure they fit properly, are comfortable, and match your preferred style is important. But the price and cost of meeting with a professional may be outside of your budget at the moment.
In that case, OTC alternatives, while not specifically tailored to your needs, may be a more budget-friendly alternative.