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About 13 percent of people in the United States over the age of 12 experience some form of hearing loss. Additionally, about 2 percent of adults between the ages of 45 and 54 have disabling hearing loss — and the percentage only increases for older age groups.

A hearing aid can help amplify sounds and allow people with hearing loss to follow conversations.

However, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders explains that few people who could benefit from hearing aid technology use a hearing aid — likely because of the barriers involved in getting one.

Most prescription hearing aids can be anywhere from $900 to $6,000 or more, and they aren’t fully covered by medical insurance.

Lively is a company that provides direct-access prescription quality hearing aids online. The company’s pricing is more affordable compared with similar devices on the market.

Below, we take an in-depth look at Lively and its hearing aid offerings.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Lively hearing aids.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing. Lively hearing aids are less expensive than comparable devices on the market.
  • Bonus support package. At no extra cost, buyers get a free virtual consultation with an expert and ongoing support for their device.
  • Manual adjustments. In addition to adjustments by an expert on staff, you can also fine-tune your device’s settings via the iOS or Android app.

Cons

  • No custom fittings. Because there’s no in-person exam, these devices are not custom-fitted for you.
  • Not suitable for severe hearing loss. The hearing aids are designed to help with mild to moderate hearing loss. Not everyone will benefit from wearing this type of hearing aid.

Lively hearing aids are low cost hearing aids that are available for purchase online and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While Lively is relatively new to the online hearing aid market, its hearing aids are produced by a decades-old hearing aid manufacturer with a solid reputation called Resound.

The hearing aids aren’t suitable for everyone with hearing loss. However, taking Lively’s at-home hearing test and consulting with their audiologists can help you determine if they’re a good fit for your needs. The hearing aids are best for those with mild or moderate hearing loss.

The company recommends getting an in-person exam before shopping. This can rule out potential underlying medical causes for hearing loss. An exam can also determine whether a hearing aid will help you, since a hearing aid won’t benefit all people with hearing loss.

Hearing aids vs. PSAPs

Personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) are a type of over-the-counter (OTC) device that often cost way less than a regular hearing aid. But they aren’t useful for all types of hearing loss and can, in some cases, worsen hearing loss.

The FDA doesn’t currently allow PSAPs to be sold as hearing aids. Still, there’s a push to get these types of devices available to more people with mild hearing loss who might benefit from having an accessible, cost-effective option.

Whether you decide to opt for a hearing aid or a PSAP, it’s essential to get a hearing exam first. A hearing aid specialist or audiologist can help you figure out the next steps and determine whether you need a customized, prescription hearing aid.

Lively offers three different hearing aid models, including battery-operated and rechargeable options. The battery-operated hearing aid model is the least expensive of the three.

All models are behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. They’re also all Bluetooth enabled, so you can control them via the companion iOS or Android app.

Each hearing aid also features customizable programs suited to different environments and directional microphones to help amplify specific sounds like speech.

Each model is:

  • equipped with noise-canceling or reduction technology
  • able to stream music and calls from your device
  • almost invisible and hidden behind the ear
  • custom-programmed by a Lively audiologist
  • adjustable via the smartphone app

Lively 2 Lite model

The Lively 2 Lite model, which is battery operated, comes with a 1-year supply of batteries.

Other key features for this model include:

  • Good speech clarity and noise reduction
  • Bluetooth streaming for phone calls and music
  • These hearing aids are compatible with all Apple devices and some Androids

Lively 2 Plus model

The Lively 2 Plus model is rechargeable and comes with a charging case that can hold up to 30 hours of charge.

Other key features for this model include:

  • Better speech clarity and noise reduction compared to the 2 Lite model
  • Bluetooth streaming for phone calls and music
  • Music mode to enhance the live music experience

Lively 2 Pro model

The Lively 2 Pro is similar to the Plus model, but it has advanced sound processing technology to make hearing in a complex, noisy environment easier.

Other key features include:

  • Bluetooth streaming for phone calls and music
  • Music mode to enhance the live music experience
  • Hands-free calling for iPhones 11 and newer
  • Automatic volume control

Lively hearing aids are much more affordable than similar, custom, prescription hearing aids. A pair of rechargeable ones cost $1,595, while the lower cost battery powered hearing aids cost $1,195. The Lively 2 Pro is the most expensive of the three, going for $1,995.

All three hearing aid models have a financing option as well.

Lively claims that, because the company doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations and conducts all business online, it can cut costs and save the customer money.

Buying a hearing aid online is easy and convenient, but it’s not a great option if you have profound hearing loss.

If you have severe hearing loss, you might not benefit from a hearing aid. You may also need more customization than an online retailer can give you.

Whether you choose to buy online or directly from an audiologist, a hearing exam is a must. Getting an exam can pinpoint the cause and severity of hearing loss and rule out any other possible medical stressors that can cause hearing loss, such as infection and injury.

NamePrice of productBatteryStyle of hearing aidWarrantyTrial periodFinancingBluetooth
Livelystarts at $1,195 per earrechargeable and replaceable optionsBTE only3 years100 daysyesyes
Eargostarts at $1,450rechargeable (contact and inductive charging options)IIC (Invisible in canal)1–2 years45 daysyesyes
PhonakDepends on provider rechargeable and replaceable optionsBTE, RIC, ITE, IIC1-year limited manufacturer45 days for consumers in NY, NM, and VTdepends on provideryes, some models
ReSoundDepends on provider; ranges from rechargeable and replaceable optionsBTE, RIEdepends on providerno, but allow testing at any hearing aid center that sells ReSound’s productsdepends on provideryes, some models
Costco$1,399.99rechargeable (Costco also sells hearing aids aside from its Kirkland brand model)BTEyes, varies by model90 daysinformation unavailableyes
MDHearingstarts at $799 per earrechargeable and replaceable optionsBTE90 daysno, but offers returns within 45 days of purchaseyesyes (CORE model)

Lively is pretty new to the online hearing aid market but has a reasonably good reputation so far. The company is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and has an A+ rating.

Generally, people have positive things to say about Lively’s hearing aids.

However, because the hearing aids aren’t custom-fitted, some customers complain about fitting issues. There are also reviews from people who had programming and connection issues with the devices.

Customers do note that these hearing aids aren’t helpful for severe hearing loss, but they mention that the trial and returns process was smooth.

Lively has a 100-day trial policy with a money-back guarantee. The company also covers shipping costs in this guarantee.

The hearing aids come with a 3-year warranty and 3 years of damage and loss protection. The hearing professionals at Lively will also help customize and adjust your hearing aids as you wear them to make sure you find the best fit for you. Read more about their warranty program and what it encompasses.

To order a Lively hearing aid, you first have to take a hearing test on the website. Lively recommends doing the test in a quiet space with headphones for the best results.

The process tests hearing in both ears. You’ll listen to sounds at varying volumes and frequencies. At the end of the test, you need to provide your name, email, and phone number to see your results.

Your results will show you whether you have hearing loss in both ears or one and which frequencies are impacted. You can choose whether you want a battery powered or rechargeable device, then select from various color options.

The next steps in the process include:

  • a one-on-one virtual meeting with a hearing specialist on staff
  • remote adjustments by an audiologist

Keep in mind there’s no option to buy a single hearing aid, even if the impairment detected affects only a single ear.

If you have questions during or after your consultation about hearing aids, you can talk to a Lively audiologist at any point in time.

Are Lively hearing aids covered by insurance?

Most insurance providers don’t cover hearing aids.

Does Medicare cover Lively hearing aids?

No, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids. If the cost of hearing aids is outside your budget, some retailers offer financing so you can pay for hearing aids over time. You can also look for nonprofit programs that help people with hearing loss buy hearing aids.

Medicaid, however, can help families with the cost of hearing aids, but it does vary by state and candidate. For more information about what Medicaid offers, visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Where can I buy Lively hearing aids?

You can buy Lively hearing aids directly from the Lively website.

Do I need to take a hearing test to buy Lively hearing aids?

For Lively, it’s required to either upload a hearing test from your doctor, or to take a free online hearing test to see if you qualify as a candidate who has mild to moderately severe hearing loss. Their website stresses using their hearing specialists for any questions or hesitancies about purchasing hearing aids. A hearing professional can also recommend hearing aid options that might work for your level of hearing loss.

That said, not everyone is able to book an in-person appointment for a hearing exam, and some people prefer the convenience of online shopping. If that’s so, Lively could be a great option for you.

What does the Lively hearing aid warranty include and cover?

Lively hearing aids come with a 3-year warranty that includes loss and damage protection. Within the three year warranty, Lively offers you continuous support with your hearing aids through their hearing professionals. They will help customize and adjust your hearing aids as you wear them to make sure you find the best fit for you. Read more about their warranty program and what it encompasses.

Lively’s FDA approved hearing aids are a more affordable option for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. The online test can also give you an idea of whether you have hearing loss.

While we recommend getting an in-person exam before committing to any hearing aid purchase, Lively makes it easy to buy direct online.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.