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On the hunt for hearing aids? Check out our list of the best prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid options.

three different types of hearing aids against a light blue background.Share on Pinterest
Product Review, aid, hearing, Human, Person

If you’re thinking about getting hearing aids or looking into new ones, you’re not alone. Approximately 37.5 million U.S. adults have some degree of hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss may benefit from assistive technologies, such as hearing aids.

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
  • price
  • ability to recharge

Pricing guide

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 aidPriceAvailabilityStyle of fitBattery life
ReSound ONE$$$prescriptionreceiver-in-the-earrechargeable: 25 hours
Jabra Enhance Plus$$over the counterin-the earrechargeable: 30 hours
Phonak Lyric$$$prescriptioninvisible-in-canalno batteries required: months
Signia Pure Charge&Go X$$prescriptionreceiver-in-the earrechargeable: 1 day
Oticon Xceed$$$prescriptionbehind-the-earrechargeable: 3–10 days
Phonak Bolero Marvel$$$prescriptionbehind-the-earrechargeable: 24 hours
Oticon More$$$prescriptionbehind-the-earrechargeable: 24 hours
Signia Silk X$$prescriptioninvisible-in-canaldisposable: up to 7 days
Bose Lexie B1$over the counterreceiver-in-canaldisposable: 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:

  • CVS
  • Walmart
  • Hy-Vee
  • Best Buy
  • Sam’s Club
  • Walgreens
  • Costco
Things to considerPrescription hearing aidsOTC hearing aids
Affordabilitycan be priceyyes, for many budgets
Covered by health insurancemay be covered or partially covered by some plansno
Require a prescriptionyesno
Can be worn by people of any age, including childrenyesno
Appropriate for all hearing loss levelsyesno
May correct tinnitusmost modelsno
Comes with Bluetoothmost modelssome models
Professional fittings and adjustments are included usuallyno
Rechargeable batterysome modelssome 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 general, prescription hearing aids are not covered by insurance plans, but some can be eligible for reimbursement through a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).

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?

Research from 2013 studied why a group of individuals chose not to wear hearing aids, and, along with other reasons, some people chose to opt out of wearing their aids due to an uncomfortable fit.

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.

About 37.5 million U.S. adults have hearing loss and would benefit from wearing hearing aids.

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.