According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 15 percent of U.S. adults experience some difficulty hearing.
The older a person is, the more likely they are to develop what NIDCD refers to as “disabling hearing loss.” This is defined as hearing loss of 35 decibels or more in at least one ear.
If you’re experiencing hearing loss and looking to buy a hearing aid, you may want to consider Miracle-Ear.
Miracle-Ear is a well-known brand with thousands of retail locations in the United States. Unlike retailers that sell lower-cost personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), Miracle-Ear’s devices are true hearing aids.
Below, we take a deeper look at the company, its products, and its reputation.
Here’s a breakdown of Miracle-Ear’s pros and cons.
- FDA-approved. Unlike many PSAPs that are readily available online, Miracle-Ear’s hearing aids are FDA-approved.
- Free hearing test. You need to take a hearing test to qualify for Miracle-Ear hearing aids. The test is available online.
- Lifetime upkeep services. Miracle-Ear offers multiple ongoing services when you purchase one of their hearing aids, including regular cleaning and adjustments.
- Variety of options. Miracle-Ear sells several hearing aid models, including options worn behind and inside the ear.
- Custom fitting. Unlike some online PSAPs, Miracle-Ear’s hearing aids are custom-fit by professionals.
- Expensive. Prescription hearing aids are pricey, and Miracle-Ear’s products are no exception. However, the company does have a foundation that provides hearing aids to those who are unable to afford them.
- Locations aren’t available everywhere. You’ll need to visit a retail location to get a full assessment and prescription. While Miracle-Ear has many brick-and-mortar stores around the country, there may not be one close to your home.
If your hearing test shows that you might benefit from a hearing aid, you can test out devices in a nearby store. You can’t buy Miracle-Ear hearing aids online.
Miracle-Ear offers a few different forms of hearing aids, including:
- in-the-ear (ITE)
- receiver-in-canal (RIC)
- behind-the-ear (BTE)
If you’re looking for an invisible hearing aid, opt for an ITE device. They’re custom-molded to fit right inside your ear canal.
An RIC hearing aid has a speaker that fits right inside the ear canal. They’re a little larger than ITE models, but they’re still reasonably discrete.
BTE hearing aids offer the highest level of sound amplification, but they’re more noticeable.
Most of Miracle-Ear’s various hearing aid models are available in different forms.
Special features of Miracle-Ear devices include:
- Speech isolation. Devices amplify speaking sounds above others to make it easier to follow speech.
- Tinnitus control. This feature helps to drown out annoying sounds that are the result of tinnitus.
The Miracle-EarMINI is available in ITE or RIC versions. Both options are small and discreet. They’re custom-fit to your ears.
The Miracle-EarCONNECT line features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to use your hearing aid(s) like headphones. You can connect to devices, like your phone, tablet, or TV.
These hearing aids are available in BTE and RIC styles.
The Miracle-EarENERGY devices have rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth connectivity. They’re available in RIC and BTE styles.
Miracle-EarEASY hearing aids are the most affordable of the bunch, so they have fewer features. They don’t have Bluetooth connectivity or rechargeable batteries.
They’re available in RIC and BTE styles.
Cost varies between $1,000 and $4,000 for a single hearing aid. It’s about on par with other prescription hearing aids.
The price of Miracle-Ear hearing aids also includes a variety of services, such as:
- custom fitting
- lifetime aftercare:
- yearly hearing tests
Most models come with a 3-year limited warranty. You can also return your hearing aid within 30 days if you’re not happy with it.
Miracle-Ear hearing aids are more expensive than most over-the-counter PSAPs. However, unlike PSAPs, Miracle-Ear hearing aids are FDA-approved.
Prescription hearing aids vs. PSAPs
It can be tricky to tell a PSAP from a prescription hearing aid, especially since some companies market their PSAPs as hearing aids.
The FDA doesn’t regulate PSAPs the same way they do hearing aids. While a medical hearing aid requires a prescription, a PSAP doesn’t.
Unlike hearing aids, PSAPs aren’t custom-fit. They also don’t treat hearing loss. They’re only capable of amplifying sound.
Most Miracle-Ear locations take major insurance plans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance will completely cover the cost. They may only cover part of it.
You can always contact Miracle-Ear and get in touch with your insurance provider to find out about available coverage.
Some Miracle-Ear locations also offer financing.
Miracle-Ear also has a non-profit called the Miracle-Ear Foundation. It provides hearing aids to people without insurance.
To qualify, you must:
- have hearing loss that would benefit from a hearing aid
- have no other way to obtain funds for a hearing aid (such as insurance, Medicaid, or other programs)
- have a household income that’s at or below federal poverty guidelines
If you’re not sure if you qualify for this program, contact Miracle-Ear for more information.
Miracle-Ear has an excellent reputation according to the following criteria:
- Miracle-Ear has been in business for 73 years.
- They have an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- There aren’t many complaints about the business. Those that do exist mostly concern a promotion that some customers say was not fulfilled. However, updates confirm that the bulk of these customers eventually received their promotional gifts.
Reviews of Miracle-Ear hearing aids are mixed. Some reviewers say they have trouble adjusting the devices properly. Others report hearing annoying feedback. Some people also have difficulty getting the hearing aids to fit correctly.
But many more customers comment on the excellent customer service. One happy customer says that adjustment can take a few months to get right. Most reviewers seem very pleased with the in-person testing and fitting services.
We looked through reviews on various sites, including Consumer Affairs, and noticed that Miracle-Ear actively responds to customer complaints.
You can visit the Miracle-Ear website to take a free online hearing test. The quick test lets you know if you should consider taking an in-person test. Going to a location is the only way to get a Miracle-Ear hearing aid.
You can schedule an in-person exam through the company website. During the exam, a licensed professional will take your hearing health history, check your ears, and perform several hearing tests.
If your hearing test shows that you might benefit from a hearing aid, you can try out various hearing aids. You can also talk to the staff to determine which is the right fit for you.
If you decide to buy a hearing aid from Miracle-Ear, the fitting process can start right away.
Miracle-Ear is a reputable hearing aid provider with over a thousand locations across the United States.
You can make an appointment at one of their hearing test locations online.
If you decide to get a hearing aid from Miracle-Ear, the device comes with a generous aftercare package.
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.