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Eargo hearing aids are available over the counter without a prescription. Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids may be suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Eargo is a brand that sells OTC hearing aids designed by an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, for people with mild to moderate hearing loss in the high frequency range.
Eargo’s three hearing aid models are sold directly to consumers and are described as self-fitting. You don’t need to visit an audiologist or provide a prescription to purchase Eargo’s OTC hearing aids.
The company aims to serve people with hearing loss who have avoided getting a hearing aid because they don’t like the way hearing aids look or because they’re outside of their budget. Eargo hearing devices are about half the cost of some of their competitors.
Eargo, founded in 2010, was featured by Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of 2018. Funded by venture capital, the California-based company went public on NASDAQ in October 2020.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Eargo hearing aids as medical devices, and some insurance policies cover their cost. Unlike traditional hearing aids, you don’t need a prescription for Eargo hearing aids.
Eargo was modeled after a fishing fly, with patented soft medical-grade silicone fibers (Flexi Fibers, or Flexis) that hold it in place and help it “float” in your ear canal. There’s a tiny, transparent fiber that helps you pull out the hearing aid.
The Flexi Fibers come in two sizes to fit most ears. The flexible design allows natural air circulation in your ear, according to the company.
Eargo amplifies only specific sound frequencies to compensate for mild to moderate hearing loss. The hearing aids can enhance high frequencies so you can hear speech clearly, and they simultaneously reduce background noise. Low frequencies are able to enter your ear naturally.
With four settings in all, you can personalize your setting profiles for phone, TV, outdoor, or group situations. To go from one setting to the next, tap your ear twice. The hearing aid will tell you which setting you’re on. The Neo HiFi model can also be controlled via a smartphone app.
Eargo has many advantages for those with mild or moderate hearing loss.
- costs less than some other hearing devices
- no professional fitting or prescription required
- supported by licensed audio specialists
- settings for different hearing environments
- 1- or 2-year warranty, depending on the model
- free non-working sample model available to help you test the comfort level
- 45-day trial period
- financing plans available
- personal hearing screening session and demo via Zoom
- not waterproof (though Eargo 6 and Eargo 7 have some water resistance), so you have to take off the hearing aids to shower or swim
- may not be covered by your insurance
- not designed to correct structural hearing issues or severe to profound hearing loss
- requires nightly cleaning and recharging
- device customization may be limited for those with certain needs
Hearing aids come in a kit that includes:
- left and right hearing aids
- extra tips and mic caps (can be swapped for a better fit or sound adjustment)
- cleaning tools
- wireless charger and power cable (Eargo 5 and 6 also come with a wall adapter)
- access to the mobile app
The Eargo website has a series of short videos that explain and demonstrate how to:
- insert and remove the hearing aids
- clean the hearing aids
- program the settings
- change the tips and mic caps
It may take some time for you to get fully used to your hearing aids. Eargo notes, for example, that your ears may feel itchy at first.
You also may have to get used to hearing your own voice, which can take a week or so.
Initially, Eargo advises that you start at lower settings, as soft sounds may sound too loud until your brain adjusts to distinguishing background noise.
Eargo notes that after a few weeks, you should find it easier to hold a conversation, even in a noisy background situation.
If you need help at any time in the process, you can call Eargo and speak with a certified hearing professional.
Start with clean ears
Eargo says that you’ll need to have clean ears with no wax buildup to use one of their devices. Wax can interfere with the overall performance.
If you’re unable to remove all of your earwax at home, Eargo advises that you see a professional for a cleaning. This can be done at a doctor’s office by a nurse.
Eargo hearing aids are designed to be taken out and charged overnight in the portable charger. According to the company, they charge fully in 6 hours and give about 16 hours of use.
The box has LED lights inside to help you see where to place the hearing aids.
On an ongoing basis, the hearing aids need to be brushed and wiped clean with the included brush and microfiber cloth before charging.
The brand states that the tiny internal wax guard needs to be changed every 3–6 months, depending on wax buildup. A small tool is provided for this.
The Flexis need to be changed every 3 months.
The charger can be left unplugged from the USB cord, but it needs to be fully recharged weekly.
Hearing aids are an investment. While Eargo hearing aids aren’t inexpensive, they’re about half the price of some other hearing aids on the market. Eargo prices range from $1,650–$2,950.
Eargo does have a 10% discount on certain models for military personnel, veterans, teachers, nurses, doctors, or first responders.
These hearing aids are available directly from Eargo by phone or online, or via Amazon. They’re also sold at a very small number of stores.
Monthly financing plans are available from Eargo, starting at $67 per month.
Eargo 5 and Eargo 6 have a 1-year warranty, while the Eargo 7 is covered for 2 years. The warranty covers unlimited repairs and one-time loss or damage per hearing aid.
For federal employees with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), Eargo hearing aids may be completely covered.
However, a 2022 lawsuit and agreement regarding Eargo’s role in the submission of FEHBP reimbursement claims with “unsupported hearing loss-related diagnosis codes” may mean these claims will require additional documentation or not be covered in the future.
Some other insurance companies that may have hearing aid coverage include:
- some Medicare Advantage plans
- Government Employees Health Association
- Federal Employee Program Blue Cross
Eargo advises that you check with your insurance company before purchasing.
You can return your Eargo hearing aids within 45 days for a full refund, but note that a couple of phone calls will probably be involved.
Learn more about Eargo’s return policies from their help center.
Return policies of retailers who sell Eargo hearing aids may differ. Check the store’s policy.
Eargo customer reviews are mostly very positive. Customers report that they hear much better and that the devices are comfortable, easy to use, and virtually invisible. Reviewers also give high marks for the service, including the technical support.
Customers also note that Eargo hearing aids were comfortable while wearing glasses and a face mask.
Complaints vary. Some people find the Eargo hearing aids uncomfortable. Some say they malfunctioned quickly, and others had difficulty getting a refund or reaching customer service.
Other users question their effectiveness as hearing aids and criticize their lack of customization, which could affect some users with more specific hearing needs.
Eargo replied to complaints made on some websites, such as ConsumerAffairs, and offered solutions.
Eargo’s website has more reviews than other sites, with an average of about 4.5 stars.
The company has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Eargo’s website is a good place to start to get an overview of the hearing aids and how they work. The website has many short videos with details about the use and maintenance of the hearing aid.
Eargo offers a free hearing screening and evaluation of your lifestyle to help determine if Eargo will work for you.
You can ask for a sample device to see how the Eargo models fit in your ear. The sample device isn’t a working model.
You can call Eargo to ask questions. The company also offers an online Zoom hearing auditory screening with a trained professional to help you select the best product for you.
Eargo offers this consulting service with an auditory professional free for the lifetime of your hearing aids.
Hearing loss can present challenges in your daily routine and you may not know what treatment options are available.
If you’re experiencing hearing loss or the severity of the loss is increasing, it’s worth talking with your doctor to discuss your symptoms. They may recommend that you talk with a specialist who can test your hearing, give you a clearer diagnosis, and build a possible treatment plan.
One of the biggest advantages of Eargo hearing aids is that they are available over the counter without a prescription and without meeting with a specialist for a hearing test.
In fact, according to the
However, this can result in a hearing aid that doesn’t fully suit your needs. OTC hearing aids do allow for some customization, but they may not meet your needs if your hearing loss is less common or beyond a moderate level.
That’s why it is important to discuss with your doctor any potential prescription hearing aids that may be available for you and if they’re covered by your insurance. Prescription hearing aids will be uniquely customized for your ears in a way that many OTC hearing aids are not.
Is Eargo a new brand?
The Eargo brand has been around since 2010 and was founded by French ear, nose, and throat surgeon Dr. Florent Michel and his son Raphael Michel.
However, it wasn’t until 2015 that Eargo launched their first hearing aids. They introduced Eargo 5 in 2021, Eargo 6 in 2022, and Eargo 7 in 2023.
Does Eargo offer a free sample trial period?
Eargo does not offer a free trial period, but they do offer a 45-day right to return period that starts when your hearing aids are delivered.
To help you get the most from your Eargo hearing aids, the company provides a scheduled call with licensed personal hearing professionals who act as your hearing coach during your right to return period.
There are also helpful videos and client care specialists to make sure you have a positive experience.
Eargo also offers a free fit and feel sample, which is a nonworking model. You can use it to test the fit and comfort of the design.
Should I use Eargo if I don’t have severe hearing loss?
According to Eargo, they have designed their hearing aids to help mainly with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. These problems are usually due to typical wear and tear from noise and aging.
If you’re unsure if Eargo can help you, you can use the hearing screening tool on the Eargo website to find out.
Is Eargo a real hearing aid?
Yes, Eargo sells three models of hearing aids that are classified as medical devices by the FDA. They are OTC hearing aids, which are different from traditional hearing aids. You don’t need a prescription to purchase OTC hearing aids, but they’re not appropriate for all types of hearing loss.
Is Eargo just an amplifier?
Eargo’s devices are hearing aids, not just amplifiers. This means that Eargo hearing aids use technology to make specific sounds louder while reducing other sounds, like background noise. An amplifier, on the other hand, simply makes all sounds louder.
Amplifiers are designed for people without hearing loss. OTC hearing aids, like Eargo, are designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
How long does Eargo last?
Eargo offers rechargeable hearing aids that have about 16 hours of battery life on a full charge.
What does Eargo look like in the ear?
Eargo’s hearing aid models are designed to sit inside of ear so that they’re barely visible.
Does Medicare cover Eargo?
No. Medicare parts A and B don’t cover hearing aids.
Are Eargo hearing aids FDA approved?
Yes. The FDA classifies Eargo hearing aids as medical devices.
Eargo is a fast-growing company with an innovative product that they’re continuing to improve.
If you have hearing loss and you’ve avoided buying a hearing aid because of their cost or look, Eargo may be a good option to consider.