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If you’re thinking about getting hearing aids or looking into new ones, you’re not alone. Approximately 37.5 million American 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.
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.
We only chose hearing aids from manufacturers with solid reputations. Hearing aids are medical devices and that must meet criteria approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
We read scores of online consumer reviews and spoke with people who use some of them. 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
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 like follow-up visits and hearing aid maintenance.
Prices are estimated as follows:
- $ = under $1,000
- $$ = $1,000–$2,000
- $$$ = over $2,000
Most tech-forward hearing aids
These tech-forward hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity, plus lots of other special features. They’re available in multiple styles, including behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal, and receiver in the canal.
According to Starkey, they use artificial intelligence to adapt to your environment and hearing needs through automatic adjustments that don’t require manual input.
They suppress background noise and boost speech sounds, so you can easily follow conversations. You can program them to listen and transcribe your words or translate foreign languages.
They can also detect falls and can be programmed to notify an emergency contact.
Best invisible hearing aids
Eargo hearing aids are only sold in pairs, so their cost represents two hearing aids plus a charger and other accessories.
The company doesn’t require a prescription from an audiologist.
The Neo HiFi is Eargo’s most recently developed hearing aid. They’re designed for people with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. They’re meant to help with high frequency sound, so you can hear sounds like human speech easily.
Eargo hearing aids use a design they call Flexi Tetrapalms that lets them float in the ear canal and is part of what makes these hearing aids discreet.
They come with four settings that you can manually adjust with two simple ear taps.
The Phonak Lyric is placed directly into your ear canal near your eardrum by a professional, making the aids invisible. They use your ear’s natural shape and anatomy to localize sound.
You can leave these hearing aids in your ears for months at a time without removing them.
They also provide relief from tinnitus. Their price is based on an annual subscription.
Best low cost hearing aids
These affordable hearing aids have an ergonomic design for a comfortable fit. They’re small and nearly invisible. Their smaller size means they may reduce earwax buildup around the unit.
You can change settings with a simple ear tap.
They’re meant for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
This affordably priced analog hearing aid is sold by a direct-to-consumer retailer. They’re not customizable, but the manufacturer claims they can help 80 percent of people who have hearing loss hear better.
They have no bells and whistles but are easy to use. They come with two audio settings: one for people with hearing loss across all frequencies (flat loss) and one for people with high frequency hearing loss (sloping loss).
They block some degree of surrounding noise and supply crisp, clear sound that makes human speech easily heard.
Best hearing aids for streaming
These hearing aids double as high-tech earbuds that allow you to stream TV, music, and telephone calls.
They’re meant for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and provide a natural hearing experience with clear, clean sound.
They come with a lithium-ion charging case that provides 4 days of streaming without the need to recharge.
They pick up and process the sound of your own voice separately, making it sound as natural to you as it does to others.
The MyControl app for iOS or Android allows you to change and personalize your settings.
Best hearing aids for one-sided hearing loss
This small, behind-the-ear hearing aid has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream phone calls, music, and TV directly to your ear from other devices. They’re designed to provide enhanced hearing in noisy environments.
They’re also designed to charge overnight for a full day’s worth of reliable hearing performance, plus they have a fast-charging option.
In addition, they detect your voice and process it to generate a natural sound.
Best hearing aids for natural sound
These behind-the-ear hearing aids have three microphones:
two on the hearing aid itself and one at the opening of the ear canal.
This technology supports your ability to pinpoint and localize sound.
The ReSound One is designed to mimic the ear’s natural ability to funnel sound into the ear canal.
You can purchase this hearing aid as a rechargeable device or with disposable batteries.
These hearing aids are designed to process sound quickly so that what you hear in your environment reaches your eardrums in real-time. This eliminates out-of-sync distortion and metallic sound. They don’t amplify low-level noise.
These hearing aids have a water-resistant coating that reduces moisture damage.
You can choose from in-canal and in-ear models.
Best rechargeable hearing aids
These hearing aids come in behind-the-ear and receiver-in-canal models. They have Bluetooth connectivity so you can pair them with devices.
They use a lithium-ion charger so you don’t need to replace hearing aid batteries. Charge them overnight and they last for about 24 hours.
Miracle-Ear rates both types as appropriate for all hearing loss levels, including profound and high frequency hearing loss.
Best hearing aids for severe hearing loss
These hearing aids are designed to isolate sound and focus on the person in front of you, to differentiate between speech and background noise.
They use a technology that the manufacturer calls BrainHearing to scan your environment repeatedly, providing speech clarity and reduced listening effort. They can eliminate the feedback noise caused by close proximity to the speaker, such as whistling and static.
They also have Bluetooth technology and direct streaming capability.
If you work with a healthcare professional such as an audiologist, they’ll give you a full hearing exam (audiogram), 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 may not be as comprehensive or personalized as some people would like.
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.
Correct and comfortable fit
To avoid this, make sure the ones you choose fit correctly and feel comfortable in your ears, even after all-day wear.
Some people love bells and whistles. Others simply want to put their hearing aids in and forget about them. Choose hearing aids that accommodate your technical skill set.
Features for 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.
Compare prices and cost breakdowns
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.
Filter out PSAPs
Make sure you purchase an FDA-regulated medical device instead of a personal sound amplification product (PSAP). PSAPs are sold over the counter and don’t need an audiogram, or prescription. They’re not meant to be used by people with hearing loss.
About 37.5 million adults in the United States have hearing loss and would benefit from wearing hearing aids.
Get fitted for hearing aids, and make sure the ones you buy fit properly, are comfortable, and accommodate your tech style.
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.