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Over-the-counter hearing aids are now available to buy without a medical exam, prescription, or professional fitting. Our top picks include hearing aids by Sony, Bose, Audicus, and more.
- Best discreet design: Eargo 6
- Best for speech clarity: MD Hearing VOLT
- Best sound technology: Lexie B2 Powered by Bose
- Best natural sound: Lucid Hearing Engage Rechargeable
- Best signal processing: Soundwave Hearing Sontro OTC Hearing Aids
- Best sound experience: Sony E10 Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids
- Best nearly invisible design: Audicus Wave
- Best low cost: Hearing Assist CONNECT
Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are medical devices that improve mild to moderate hearing loss for people 18 years of age and older.
How they work
OTC hearing aids work by magnifying sound vibrations that enter your ear. They consist of a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The microphone picks up sound waves, converts them to electrical signals, and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the strength of the electrical signals and sends them to the ear via the speaker.
- more accessible and less expensive than prescription hearing aids
- no need for a medical exam, prescription, or fitting adjustment by an audiologist
- remote customer support may offer adjustments, evaluations, and guidance
- can only treat mild to moderate hearing loss in adults 18 years and older
- less personalized care and in-person visits with an audiologist
- maintenance and repairs may require shipping costs
To research OTC hearing aids, we compared products from reputable companies.
We also read online customer reviews and considered factors such as features, ease of use, and app connectivity.
Best discreet design
- Price: $2,950 per pair
The Eargo 6 uses Sound Adjust technology that automatically adjusts to your surroundings and minimizes background noises to improve speech clarity. The Sound Match feature allows you to personalize hearing preferences for each ear and customize environmental programs.
The Eargo 6 features water resistance and a rechargeable battery lasting up to 16 hours. The tiny in-canal devices are virtually invisible.
Eargo provides lifetime support from audiologists and hearing professionals.
Best for speech clarity
- Price: $1,199.99 per pair
The rechargeable MDHearing VOLT has dual microphones to minimize background noise and improve speech clarity. The hearing aids feature advanced feedback cancellation technology to prevent whistling.
The behind-the-ear devices are nearly invisible. They have volume dials and program selection buttons for quick, easy adjustments.
MDHearing says they offer lifetime support from audiologists and hearing specialists.
Best sound technology
- Price: $999 per pair
The Lexie B2 Powered by Bose hearing aids pair with the Lexie app, which allows you to personalize your listening experience. The app includes a self-tuning feature and customizable environmental settings. It also provides volume, treble, and bass settings.
The hearing aids use a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 18 hours. The lightweight, behind-the-ear design is comfortable enough for all-day wear.
The Lexie B2s have Bluetooth connectivity but do not stream audio or take phone calls, which is a drawback for many.
Best natural sound
- Price: $799.99 per pair
The Lucid Hearing Engage Rechargeable hearing aids provide noise reduction, enhance clarity, and deliver natural, precise sound. The lightweight, discreet design is barely visible and extremely comfortable.
The devices offer Bluetooth streaming capability. The Lucid Hearing App allows you to adjust settings, customize hearing preferences, and select a program for your listening environment.
Best signal processing
- Price: $999 per pair
Soundwave Hearing’s Sontro OTC Hearing Aids offer noise reduction, feedback cancellation, and adaptive directionality. They automatically adjust the sound mode to suit your environment and help to increase your hearing range.
The hearing aids use disposable batteries and have Bluetooth connectivity, but no streaming capabilities. You can use the otoTune app to take a hearing test, customize your hearing settings, and adjust programs, volume, and sound quality.
Best sound experience
- Price: $1,299.99 per pair
Sony and WS Audiology joined forces to develop the E10 Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids, featuring prescription-grade sound quality for crystal clear hearing. The comfortable earbud design uses a rechargeable battery lasting up to 26 hours.
The Sony E10s automatically adjust and optimize sound in different listening environments. They offer Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, but audio streaming is only available for iOS.
You can use the Sony | Hearing Control App to customize hearing aid settings and fine-tune the sound.
Best nearly invisible design
- Price: $699 per ear (standard battery); $899 per ear (rechargeable battery)
The Audicus Wave is a receiver-in-canal (RIC) device that features directional microphones to reduce noise and improve speech clarity. They are available with standard or rechargeable batteries.
The Audicus Wave has Bluetooth connectivity and pairs with an app that controls settings.
Best low cost
- Price: $599.99 per pair
The sleek, discreet earbud design of the Hearing Assist CONNECT features volume and program controls for quick adjustments. The HearingAssist STREAM App allows you to customize and control sound settings.
The rechargeable hearing aids offer Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and phone calls.
You can buy OTC hearing aids online and in retail stores.
Retailers who sell OTC hearing aids include:
- Best Buy
- Sam’s Club
To use OTC hearing aids, place them in or behind the ear. Some designs have buttons that allow you to adjust the volume and select a program.
Self-fitting OTC hearing aids connect to an app, which may allow you to take a hearing test, customize environmental programs, and adjust settings such as volume, treble, and bass. You may need to try out your hearing aids in different environments.
It may take a few months to get used to new hearing aids. If you experience difficulty with the fit and settings, reach out to a customer service representative or schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional.
Most OTC hearing aid companies offer a trial period lasting a minimum of 45 days and a 1- or 3-year warranty.
OTC hearing aids offer a variety of features that you can consider to help make your selection.
Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to apps and other devices. With Bluetooth streaming, you can use your hearing aids to stream audio and take phone calls.
Custom hearing preferences
You can adjust various settings, including volume, treble, and bass.
This feature offers sound options and noise reduction for various environments.
Nearly invisible designs
Some devices are almost invisible, which is ideal for people who want to be discreet.
OTC hearing aids that are water resistant can withstand some moisture if you accidentally come into contact with water.
In general, OTC hearing aids are safe to use for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. Be aware of any warnings on the packaging and follow the directions for the hearing test to ensure accuracy.
- ringing in one ear
- sudden hearing changes
- visible ear deformities
- excess ear wax
- fluid, pus, or blood in the ears
- unilateral hearing loss
|Cost range||$200–$4000 per pair||$2400–$6150 per pair|
|Battery Life||up to 20 days||up to 20 days|
|Warranty (wear and tear)||usually 1–3 years||1-year minimum|
Who should use over-the-counter hearing aids?
OTC hearing aids are suitable for adults 18 years and older with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.
Who shouldn’t use over-the-counter hearing aids?
OTC hearing aids are not appropriate for children or adults with significant or severe hearing loss.
How much do over-the-counter hearing aids cost?
The price of OTC hearing aids can vary considerably and may cost between $200 and $4,000 per pair.
Are payment plans available?
Most companies offer financing options and payment plans.
Is there a set-up fee?
No, there is not a set-up fee.
Can I use my insurance to help pay for the hearing aids?
Most insurance companies do not provide coverage for hearing aids. However, check with your provider to find out the details of your plan.
OTC hearing aids increase accessibility and affordability for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. Choose OTC hearing aids that offer a trial period so you can test the fit, comfort, and function.