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Hearing loss can lead to increased feelings of isolation and decreased physical activity among older adults. An inability to hear makes it harder to keep up with your surroundings, leaving you unable to partake in life fully. As well as the social impact, hearing loss often correlates with an increased risk of dementia.
Luckily, with the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids, several affordable devices have come onto the market. While there are certainly cheap hearing aid brands to avoid, others offer a reliable hearing experience comparable to that of prescription-grade hearing aids.
Through months of research and testing, our team has found five hearing aids that are not only affordable but also of high quality. For those with mild to moderate hearing loss, these devices are worth every penny.
Pro Tip: If budget is of less concern, then check out our rundown of the best hearing aids overall.
With so many hearing aid manufacturers to choose from, we had our work cut out for us when choosing our favorites. No single hearing aid will be perfect for everyone, but all the manufacturers on this list meet the following criteria:
Sound quality: Sophisticated devices have premium features such as custom soundscapes and smartphone compatibility, but a hearing aid should deliver quality sound first and foremost.
Affordability: While you can find a pair of hearing aids for $100, these tend to work poorly. Every hearing aid on this list costs under $2,000 for a pair, and they performed well in our tests.
Audiologist support: While prescription hearing aids require consultations with a hearing specialist, OTC hearing aids offload this responsibility to the user. Because of this, we gave extra points to devices that came with professional support.
Trial periods: Each of these manufacturers offers trial periods on its hearing aids, allowing you to be sure it works for you before you waste thousands of dollars.
Long-lasting batteries: Whether they’re powered by rechargeable or disposable batteries, a good hearing aid needs to work throughout the entire day. All the devices on this list can hold enough juice for daily use.
MDHearing is known for its shockingly affordable hearing aids. While none of their devices have Bluetooth compatibility, automatic sound adjustments, or smartphone compatibility, they do have reliable sound programs that can help restore proper hearing.
At $297 for a pair, the Air is MDHearing’s most affordable model. The Air comes preprogrammed with four settings corresponding to the most common sound environments: quiet, noisy, social, and restaurant. Toggling through them was as easy as pressing a single button. In particular, I found the restaurant setting useful. When sitting in a crowded cafe, I found that this setting allowed me to clearly hear my friend from across the table.
Past iterations of the Air used disposable batteries, but as of 2023, it now uses rechargeable batteries. In our tests, the batteries lasted roughly 16 hours before needing a recharge. Additionally, our Air hearing aids came with a portable charging case that stored a couple of extra charges.
In terms of support, we found that MDHearing was among the best. Each of our calls to their support team was promptly answered, and their team was able to walk us through the proper way to use their hearing aids. MDHearing even had a team of dedicated insurance experts who helped us file an insurance claim for our hearing aids.
So, while MDHearing’s Air does lack some advanced personalization features seen on Eargo and Jabra devices, their price is unparalleled. And with a 45-day trial period, they’re definitely worth a try.
While they’re a bit more costly than MDHearing’s devices, Jabra Enhance hearing aids offer more advanced sound performance combined with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to adjust your hearing aids from your smartphone, as opposed to manually adjusting them by reaching into your ear. (As a reviewer, I definitely appreciated this feature.)
As well as the controls, I was also impressed by the overall sound quality of my Jabra Enhance hearing aids. From one-on-one conversations to watching TV to talking to a waiter in a restaurant, my hearing aids helped drown out background noise and accentuate speech. In particular, I was impressed by the performance of these hearing aids when worn outdoors. Lesser hearing aids tend to create a hissing noise due to wind, but Jabra hearing aids continued providing crystal-clear audio. Additionally, our Enhance Select 50 hearing aids lasted roughly five days before needing their batteries replaced.
When you purchase Jabra Enhance hearing aids (regardless of the model), you’ll be presented with two package options: Basic and Premium. Basic includes a one-year warranty as well as limited customer support. The Premium package, which costs $200 more, includes a three-year warranty as well as three years of support from Jabra’s hearing specialists.
No matter the type of user, I would wholeheartedly recommend purchasing the Premium package. The Jabra hearing specialists were incredibly helpful, and we were able to chat with them through both phone and video calls.
Cost: $1,490 for a pair ($67 per month through Eargo financing)
Due to their stylish and impressively small hearing aids, Eargo has long been known as the Apple of hearing aids. Eargo 5, their most affordable model, is no exception to this. Eargo 5 hearing aids are practically invisible when worn. Despite their small size, however, these hearing aids deliver powerful sound performance.
Through what Eargo calls Sound Match, we could use our Eargo app to answer questions about our current hearing environment. Essentially, you can think of it like a private hearing screening, during which I heard a variety of tones in each ear and responded on my iPhone. When the screening was complete, my Eargo hearing aids were automatically adjusted to suit my environment. (For reference, the Eargo 6 and 7 models will automatically adjust to your environment––no screening required.)
Elsewhere, I found that my Eargo 5 hearing aids performed exceptionally well. While watching TV, going for walks, and sipping coffee in a cafe, I found that these hearing aids consistently helped drown out background noise and amplify whoever I was looking at. In terms of support, Eargo offers lifetime support from their hearing health team at no extra cost. I spoke to them both over the phone and through video calls handled through the Eargo app.
Lexie B2 hearing aids (powered by Bose technology) are designed to provide superior sound quality, convenience, and comfort to those with hearing loss. These OTC hearing aids can be purchased online, adjusted by the user, and worn throughout the day with their long-lasting rechargeable batteries.
While Lexie does offer solid hearing specialist support, what impressed us most was the usefulness of the Lexie app. From the smartphone app, a user can adjust a variety of settings on the hearing aid, including volume, frequencies, and directionality. For example, if you’re in a crowded restaurant, you can adjust your hearing aids to listen to a friend sitting directly across from you, blocking out all the background noise.
Lexie also offers a free online hearing assessment, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, the hearing aids come with a one-year warranty and free lifetime service, so users can get the most out of their hearing aids.
The affordable and accessible Audicus Dia II is produced by Sonova, the longtime, well-respected manufacturer that produces Phonak and Unitron. The Dia II is a slim tube-style hearing aid with an IP68 rating for water resistance, which makes it an excellent choice if you have frequent wax or perspiration or live in a humid climate. In addition to being an excellent choice for moisture, the hearing aid also provides clear sound quality and is compatible with streaming accessories.
Audicus provides the option of purchasing its hearing aids outright or getting an all-inclusive monthly plan that includes a new set every 18 months. All of its devices come with a 45-day risk-free trial, so you can try them before making a full commitment.
Through Audicus’s website, you can take a hearing test that will help you determine which product is right for you. When you purchase its hearing aids, you’ll also receive unlimited access to the company’s support team hotline, which will come in handy if you run into issues with your devices.
Audicus’s devices are discreet, lightweight, and capable of delivering solid audio quality, making them one of our favorite affordable hearing aids. To learn more about Audicus, check out our full review of Audicus hearing aids.
Different color options
Standard one-year warranty
Flexible payment options
Leasing option available
No in-person testing options
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.
Are There Hearing Aid Discounts for Seniors?
The cost of hearing aids is generally high, but there are a few ways to get a discount on them.
AARP Hearing Care Program: The AARP Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA offers members 20% off digital hearing aids, a free hearing checkup, a free cleaning for your current hearing aids, and a free demonstration of the latest hearing aid technology, among other benefits. You’ll also get a risk-free, 90-day trial, one year of extended follow-up care, a three-year manufacturer warranty, and a free three-year supply of batteries. AARP members can check its website to find a participating hearing health clinic.
VA health benefits: To qualify for hearing aid benefits, you first have to qualify for VA health benefits. To apply, fill out an application for health benefits. Once approved, you may be eligible for either free or low-cost hearing aids. Coverage varies from person to person, but people with disabilities, prisoners of war, Purple Heart recipients, and recipients of benefits under 38 U.S.C. 1151 are most likely to receive coverage.
Medicare Advantage: Medicare covers neither hearing aids nor overall hearing health, but many Medicare Advantage plans offer discounts or coverage for hearing aids and exams.
Charitable organizations: Organizations such as the Hearing Aid Project and the Miracle Ear Foundation offer free or affordable hearing aids to people whose income meets certain requirements. You may qualify for the Hearing Aid Project if you have a low income or no health insurance, for example, or if you have documented hearing loss.
Hearing Aids vs. Hearing Devices
Some companies sell personal sound amplifiers 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 hearing support in a more budget-friendly fashion. In this article, however, we looked exclusively at fully functional, FDA-approved hearing aids.
Hearing aids can be quite costly, but there are plenty of great 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.
No one should have to live through hearing loss because of the prohibitive cost of hearing aids. By choosing one of the affordable devices on this list, you can rest assured you won’t have to break the bank to restore the hearing and quality of life you deserve.
To learn more about our favorite hearing aids, check out our helpful guides.
There are many ways to get free or discounted hearing aids, depending on the state you live in. We recommend looking into nonprofits or charitable organizations that offer free or refurbished hearing aids. Unfortunately, neither Medicare nor most health plans will cover hearing aids.
Personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs, are affordable alternatives to hearing aids. Their price usually ranges from $20 to upward of $600. According to the FDA, “PSAPs are intended to amplify environmental sound for non-hearing-impaired customers,” and they are not for everyday use.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here