Our Top Picks: If budget is less of a concern for you, then check out our list of this year’s best overall hearing aids.
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Hearing loss can make life feel frustrating. An inability to process sounds makes it harder to keep up with one’s surroundings, leaving those with hearing loss feeling like they cannot partake in life fully. It’s no surprise that hearing loss often correlates with feelings of social isolation. Hearing loss, from mild to severe, has even been linked to increased risks of dementia.
Luckily, it’s easier than ever to purchase devices designed to augment the natural loss of one’s hearing. A hearing aid is a good way to restore some hearing clarity, so you can better follow conversations or TV, especially in noisy settings. With that said, the financial cost of a hearing aid can be troublesome, especially since Medicare does not cover such devices. With hearing aids often costing upwards of $5,000, it can be difficult to even consider purchasing one.
Luckily, your friends at The Senior List are here. Through our months of research and testing, we’ve figured out which hearing aid manufacturers offer affordable devices that still deliver a high-quality hearing experience.
Our Top Picks: If budget is less of a concern for you, then check out our list of this year’s best overall hearing aids.
Some companies sell hearing devices rather than hearing aids. These devices are often cheaper than hearing aids because they work as amplifiers rather than true hearing aids. In some cases, this is a way to get a little hearing support in a more budget-friendly fashion. In this article, however, we’ll be looking exclusively at fully functional hearing aids that are FDA-approved.
Unfortunately, no good-quality hearing aid can be considered truly cheap. A hearing aid is a significant investment, often upwards of $1500 per device, with some costing as much as $3000 per ear for particularly advanced models.
However, there are a handful of models on the market that are less expensive, models that compromise little when it comes to quality and functionality.
FYI: New to the world of hearing aids? Then I’d definitely recommend taking a look at my guide to hearing aids, covering their cost, function, and the different types available to you.
With so many different hearing aid manufacturers to choose from, we had our work cut out for us when it came to choosing our favorites. While no single hearing aid will be perfect for everyone, all of the manufacturers on this list meet the following criteria:
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best affordable hearing aids.
MDHearing offers several one-size-fits-most hearing aids at lower prices than you’d pay for custom fit models. These devices are also FDA-registered and good for hearing loss of all types.
Best Budget Model: Air is a nice solid middle-of-the-range digital hearing aid. It features an unobtrusive behind-the-ear design that you can wear every day without worrying. Air has three settings for different environments: quiet, social, and noisy. Depending on which environment you find yourself in, the Air can adjust its level of noise cancellation. It also features feedback cancellation, meaning that even if you’re with someone else who wears a hearing aid, you won’t have to worry about that awful feedback squeal.
Pricing: MDHearing’s device prices start at an impressively low $399 and go all the way up to $999, which in the world of hearing aids, is still rather affordable.
Type of Hearing Loss: MDHearing devices are suitable for most types of hearing loss, from mild to severe. If you’re not sure whether they’re suitable for you, we recommend calling to check with MDHearing first. They offer a free online hearing evaluation, allowing you to determine which of their devices will suit your needs. Their audiologists can also look at any hearing test results you already have and discuss what will work for you.
Batteries: MDHearing offers devices with disposable or rechargeable batteries.
Accessories: MDHearing’s Air comes with a carrying case, and if you buy a pair of devices, you get a year’s worth of batteries at no additional cost. You can also purchase extra tubing, tips, hearing aid cleaning products, and a damage protection policy.
Support: You can get in touch with MDHearing by phone or email to talk to one of their team members.
Evaluation Period: You can try out your MDHearing devices on a 45-day risk-free trial. If they don’t suit you, simply return them within the time limit for a refund with no questions asked.
What We Loved: While it’s easy to be skeptical of hearing aids that aren’t custom-fitted, MDHearing’s devices fit us perfectly, something you can’t take for granted with all hearing aids of this type. We also liked how light and small the devices were.
What We Didn’t: If you’re looking for the most premium hearing aid features (auto-adjusting settings, for example), then you might want to consider a different manufacturer.
Ideal For: For the user looking for a simple hearing aid that delivers quality audio performance, MDHearing has several great options to suit any budget.
Our Verdict: At around $399 per pair for Air or the more basic Pro model, and $999.99 per pair for the more advanced Core, MDHearing is much more affordable than custom-fitted hearing aids. Whether the design suits you is based on personal preference, but with a generous 45-day risk-free trial period, it’s worth finding out.
Lively offers two different hearing aid models that start at $1,850 per pair. While this may seem expensive compared to the other providers on this list, this cost pales to that of traditional hearing aids, and Lively’s models boast exceptional quality and a great customer service package.
Best Budget Model: The battery-powered Lively Bundle gives you everything you’ll need to start hearing better. This package includes one pair of professionally programmed hearing aids, a year’s supply of batteries, and — most importantly — three years of free follow-up care from one of Lively’s audiologists. These professionals can help you fine-tune the performance of your hearing aids for optimal hearing restoration. What’s more, these behind-the-ear hearing aids have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to stream music, make calls, or watch TV with the augmented capabilities of your hearing aids.
Pricing: Lively’s battery-powered option costs $1,850 per pair, and the rechargeable model goes for $2,400 per pair. With that said, either of these devices can be purchased through financing plans, bringing your cost to under $100 per month.
Type of Hearing Loss: Lively’s hearing aids are suitable for people with a range of hearing losses, from mild to severe.
Batteries: Lively offers devices powered by either disposable batteries or rechargeable ones. In our testing, the rechargeable units lasted for nearly 28 hours on a single charge.
Evaluation Period: Both of Lively’s models come with an impressive 100-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, they’re covered by both a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 3-year loss and damage protection program, allowing you to replace your devices for free in the event that something happens to them.
Support: Lively really shines when it comes to customer support. When you purchase a pair of their hearing aids, you can use their free smartphone app to have 24-hour access to licensed audiologists. For example, with my pair of Lively aids, I was able to speak to a professional who then made remote adjustments to my hearing aids, reducing a whistling sound I heard in noisy environments.
What We Loved: These devices are so easy to use and adjust. Considering their impressive range of features, they’re a lot more budget-friendly than devices with comparable feature sets.
What We Didn’t: The only caveat of Lively’s aids would have to be the pricing, well over that of MDHearingAid’s devices. Still, you won’t find this quality of hearing aid at the same price as Lively.
Ideal For: Lively hearing aids are ideal for users with all types of hearing loss, especially for those who want high-tech features like Bluetooth streaming and remote customizations through their smartphone app.
Our Verdict: Lively hearing aids offer advanced features like auto-adjusting sound settings without driving up the costs. For hearers of all types, Lively has a device that will likely suit your needs, and with a 100-day money-back guarantee, they’re definitely worth a try.
Eargo offers tiny devices that fit right in the ear canal. Using their proprietary flexi fibers, these hearing aids allow for breathability and a natural, comfortable fit while delivering a good balance of different sounds.
Best Budget Model: Eargo Max is their most affordable model, at $1,500 a pair. Eargo Max is small and discreet, and it features four different sound profiles, so you can always choose the one that best suits your situation. You can change profiles by simply tapping the device. Financing is also available for any Eargo device.
Pricing: Eargo prices start at $1,500 and go all the way up to $2,950, which is pretty affordable, especially considering that financing options can make them cost under $100 per month.
Type of Hearing Loss: Eargo Max is best suited to those with mild to moderate hearing loss, and its simple design makes it great for the first-time hearing aid user.
Batteries: All of Eargo’s models are powered by rechargeable batteries. They also include a charger that can power them for up to a week per charge — a very impressive longevity in terms of rechargeable devices.
Accessories: As well as the charger, each set of Eargo devices comes with a USB cable, cleaning brush, wax guard, and spare flexi fibers in two sizes.
Support: Eargo offers phone support in addition to online support guides. This support lasts for a lifetime.
Evaluation Period: Eargo offers a generous 45 day evaluation period; however, they do retain a $99 processing fee in the event that you return your device within this period. The Eargo Max comes with a standard 1-year warranty.
What We Loved: We loved how comfortable and discreet these devices were. Though not custom-fitted, each Eargo model fit us with no problems, and the sound quality was superb.
What We Didn’t: When used in noisy environments, we noticed that our Eargo had trouble delivering clear audio.
Ideal For: For the first-time hearing aid buyer, Eargo offers a simple user experience that will surely please those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Our Verdict: Easy to use and reasonably priced, Eargo offers a trio of great options for those looking to augment their hearing capability.
To learn more about Eargo, check out my full Eargo review.
Audicus offers three different models of hearing aids, all of which deliver stellar audio quality and comfortable fits — all at a cool price point.
Best Budget Model: Audicus hearing aid prices are some of the most affordable I’ve seen. Audicus’s most affordable model is the Dia II, which can be purchased for just $499 per ear. In addition to Audicus’s signature sound quality, the Dia II also filters out background noise and features a discreet behind-the-ear design.
Type of Hearing Loss: Audicus offers hearing aids to suit any level of hearing loss. The Dia II is best for those with mild to severe hearing loss. Those with profound hearing loss should check out their Clara model.
Batteries: Both rechargeable batteries and disposable batteries can be used to power your Audicus hearing aid.
Evaluation Period: Every Audicus hearing aid includes a 45-day risk-free trial, during which time you can return your device for a full refund.
Support: With the purchase of any Audicus hearing aid, you’ll receive unlimited access to their customer support team.
What We Loved: We loved the fit of our Audicus hearing aids, in addition to their discreet designs. We also appreciated that we had access to their knowledgeable support team.
What We Didn’t: Audicus’s one-year warranty does not cover loss or theft.
Ideal For: An Audicus hearing aid is perfect for those who want a high-powered device with a behind-the-ear design.
Our Verdict: For hearers of all types, Audicus provides hearing solutions that will restore one’s engagement with their surroundings. What’s more, all of this comes at an affordable price.
To learn more about Audicus, check out my Audicus hearing aid review.
Phonak offers a wide range of hearing aids at different price ranges, and their solutions are both innovative and modern.
Best Budget Model: Lyric is one of the only hearing aids we know of that you can pay for by subscription. The subscription model is an interesting one as it not only reduces upfront costs but also provides a uniquely hassle-free way of using a hearing aid. Lyric is a fully in-the-canal hearing aid that is fitted by a professional fitter. You can then wear it 24 hours a day for up to four months. There’s no charging, battery changing, or removing your aids at night. Your monthly subscription pays for the next hearing aid to be sent when your current one runs out. Prices vary depending on your location, but you should expect to pay around $130 monthly per hearing aid.
Type of Hearing Loss: Phonak devices are suitable for those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Batteries: While Phonak’s Lyric does use batteries, you don’t need to worry about replacing them. Instead, you simply replace the entire unit every three-four months as part of your subscription.
Accessories: Lyric comes with a little device called SoundLync which adjusts the Lyric, switches it off, or places it into sleep mode.
Support: Your devices are fitted by trained professionals, and you can get in touch with Phonak by phone or online at any time.
Evaluation Period: Once a Phonak hearing specialist confirms that Lyric is a good fit for your hearing needs and fits the devices, you are eligible for a risk-free trial period.
What We Loved: The Lyric was incredibly comfortable to wear, and we also appreciated that we didn’t have to worry about changing its batteries, as it was always ready to go.
What We Didn’t: Because the Lyric relies on analog sound (as opposed to digital), you can’t use it to stream audio from other devices.
Ideal For: The Lyric would be a great fit for those who want something convenient and low-input that they can literally forget about as they go about their daily lives.
Our Verdict: An interesting take on hearing aids, Phonak offers stellar audio quality in a very low-maintenance package.
Hearing aids can be quite costly, but there are budget-friendly options available. Whether you opt for a simple device or a brand that offers interest-free financing, there are ways to decrease the cost of better hearing.
Hearing loss is something that no one should have to live through, especially due to the prohibitive cost of most hearing aids. With one of the affordable devices on this list, you can rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank in order to restore the hearing that you deserve.