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With virtual shopping on the rise, shopping for hearing aids appears to be no exception. MDHearing (formerly MDHearingAid) is just one brand that offers hearing tests online, along with hearing aids that may help meet your needs.
Read on to learn more about this hearing aid company, the types of products they offer, and the potential drawbacks.
MDHearing is a direct-to-consumer brand based in Chicago. Their mission is to offer affordable hearing aids directly to customers.
If you do business with this company, the entire process takes place online, including your hearing test. This differs from going to a hearing center where you work directly with a specialist who also sells hearing aids onsite.
The company’s hearing aids are tested by in-house audiologists. The devices are also registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “self-fitting hearing aids” that don’t require a prescription. While customer experiences with the shopping process are mixed, the streamlined experience could mean a lower cost for you.
MDHearing may be a good option for people who suspect they’re experiencing mild to moderate hearing issues. The company’s online platform may be less expensive and time consuming than a traditional hearing aid dealer.
But because the whole process happens online, MDHearing may not be the best option for people who are uncomfortable navigating online interactions.
Additionally, MDHearing’s services are not a substitute for an audiologist in cases of severe hearing loss.
- Buying through MDHearing may cost less than going through a traditional hearing aid dealer.
- The entire process takes place online, potentially saving you time.
- They offer a free hearing test and product recommendations.
- They offer four different hearing aids at varying price points.
- More than 20 in-house audiologists and licensed hearing instrument specialists are available for customer support.
- The company has a 45-day return policy.
- Customer service wait times have dropped to about 4 minutes.
- While the company offers a 1-year warranty, you must buy a product protection package separately if you want longer coverage.
- Insurance is unlikely to cover the cost of your hearing aids.
- Some customers complain about problems with product returns.
- The free hearing test and product recommendations are not a replacement for a visit to an audiologist in the case of significant hearing issues.
All MDHearing models cost less than $2,000 per set.
Depending on the type, MDHearing hearing aids cost $500–$800 each, or $297–$397 per pair. All prices are accurate as of September 2023.
While the company appears to have promotions, such as a buy one, get one free deal to help offset the costs, the National Counsel on Aging advises consumers against buying hearing aids just to take advantage of these promotions. Features, fit, and comfort ought to be considered first.
All products come with a 1-year warranty, and customers are advised to purchase extra protection to help cover their devices. Accessories, such as cleaning kits and carrying cases, are sold separately on the MDHearing website.
Can you use insurance to buy MDHearing devices?
Like other hearing aid companies, MDHearing doesn’t take insurance, as most policies don’t cover these types of products.
However, Medline, the largest medical device supplier to major Medicare Advantage plans, partnered with MDHearing in 2023 to make it easier for people to access affordable hearing aids without a prescription.
People with specific Medicare Advantage plans, such as Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield, can now use their over-the-counter hearing aid benefits to buy from MDHearing.
If you have a different insurance plan and your policy happens to cover hearing aids, you can ask MDHearing for the documentation you’ll need to file for reimbursement with your insurance provider.
MDHearing offers PayPal and Affirm as payment methods, both of which may offer financing options.
MDHearing currently sells four types of hearing aids:
- Volt Max
All four types have four environmental settings, but each model has different features and a different price point to consider. While the company says the Volt Max hearing aids are the most popular, it’s worth looking at all the models to determine the right device for you.
MDHearing has a 45-day return policy for their products. The company strongly encourages customers to give their new hearing aids a try for at least 21 days. The products also have a 1-year warranty.
To return your MDHearing device, you’ll need a return merchandise authorization from the company. You can read more about making a return through their website.
When buying through Amazon, Amazon’s return policy may apply.
MDHearing advertises that the company has “over 300,000 happy customers.” Their website also points out that the brand has been featured in several news outlets.
However, the reviews from actual customers tend to be mixed. As of August 2023, MDHearing had an average of 3.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with seven customer reviews. While two customers were satisfied with their experiences, the reviews point to a lack of transparency with the company’s policies.
MDHearing is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It currently has an “F” rating from the BBB and has alerts regarding a pattern of complaints, including defective devices, return and refund issues, and customer service concerns.
However, as of June 2023, the BBB noted that it had received sufficient responses from MDHearing to address all three patterns of concern.
Overall, the company’s customer rating on BBB is 3.87 out of 5 stars. Some customers describe a great-quality product, while others mention issues with some of the hearing aids. Other customers point out a less-than-desirable customer service experience.
The company has a higher-than-average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars on Sitejabber, a customer ratings analyzer. Sitejabber notes that MDHearing is the second-highest-rated hearing aid website. Many customers describe a good value for the cost, while others report that they are unsatisfied with the fit.
To buy hearing aids from MDHearing, you must first complete an online hearing test. You can do this in the comfort of your home, but you’ll need a set of headphones for accuracy. The test takes about 8 minutes.
Once you’ve submitted your MDHearing hearing test, you’ll receive results online. While this test isn’t designed to replace a professional test from an audiologist, the information may still be valuable in helping to confirm symptoms of hearing loss. Based on your results, you’ll receive product recommendations.
If you’re experiencing significant hearing loss, it’s a good idea to visit an audiologist for further evaluation. You may want to take the results of an online hearing test with you for confirmation. It’s also advisable to research multiple hearing aids ahead of time to discuss with the audiologist. They will likely have products they’re familiar with or can recommend.
If you want to try MDHearing, you might consider purchasing the device recommended by your hearing test results. Make sure you read the policies carefully, including those related to warranties and returns. You can also chat with a representative online if you have further questions.
Once you’ve purchased your hearing aids, you can email the company’s in-house audiologists with questions at no additional cost.
In addition to MDHearing, other hearing aid brands offer virtual hearing tests and product recommendations. Here are a few companies to consider during your search:
- Audicus: Audicus sells four models and includes unlimited expert support with purchase.
- Eargo: This is a newer hearing aid brand with three models available. All are self-fitting, which means you don’t need to see an audiologist or get a prescription for a purchase.
- Jabra Enhance (formerly Lively): This company is also relatively new to the market, but their hearing aids are produced by a manufacturer with decades of experience and a great reputation. Jabra Enhance sells three models, including battery-operated and rechargeable options.
- Miracle-Ear: This is a well-known brand with retail locations in addition to online buying options.
|Hearing aids||Price||Features||Return policy|
|MDHearing||$297–$699.98 per set||• rechargeable batteries|
• affordable price point
• online hearing test
• U.S.-based support
|45-day risk-free trial window|
|Audicus||$1,398–$2,798 per set||• rechargeable batteries|
• Bluetooth connectivity
• remote adjustments
• accessories included in Plus membership
• 2-year warranty
|45-day risk-free trial window|
|Eargo||$1,450–$2,550 per set||• rechargeable batteries|
• in-canal placement
• remote adjustments
|45-day risk-free trial window|
|Jabra Enhance (formerly Lively)||$1,915–$1,695 per set||• battery-operated and rechargeable options|
• manual adjustments
• positive reputation
|100-day risk-free trial|
|Miracle-Ear||$1,000–$4,000 per device||• retail locations available|
• lifetime maintenance included
|30-day risk-free trial|
Does MDHearing provide free trial periods?
MDHearing doesn’t offer any free trial periods. However, if you’re unsatisfied with the product, you can return it within 45 days of the purchase date.
Read the company’s return policy carefully before purchasing any products.
Is MDHearing a good choice?
For people who are experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss, MDHearing can be a great way to save time and money on hearing aids. Most of their products lack some of the bells and whistles of pricier custom hearing aids, which might appeal to anyone in search of budget-friendly, low tech devices.
Is MDHearing FDA-approved?
The hearing aids from MDHearing are FDA-registered but not FDA-approved. That means these medical devices are registered each year with the FDA. Approval means the FDA has determined that the product’s benefits outweigh the potential risks.
How long do MDHearing devices last?
MDHearing expects their hearing aids to last several years with proper care and maintenance. The company expects to have the technology and parts available to support your hearing aids for at least 5 years after your date of purchase.
MDHearing offers FDA-registered hearing devices directly to consumers without the need to go to a brick-and-mortar store. If you’re interested in this option, you’ll first need to take a free online hearing test from MDHearing.
For significant hearing loss, it’s important to visit an audiologist for a full evaluation. You can also mention MDHearing to your doctor to see whether this company provides the best option for you.
Kristeen Cherney is a freelance writer and PhD candidate who specializes in covering topics related to mental disabilities, women’s health, skin health, diabetes, thyroid disease, asthma, and allergies. She’s also currently working on her dissertation, which explores intersections of disability studies and literacy studies. When she’s not researching or writing, Cherney enjoys getting outdoors as much as possible. She also practices yoga and kickboxing.