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Best Over The Counter Hearing Aids

An over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid is one that you buy and fit yourself, without having to see an audiologist or hearing health professional. These types of devices are often less expensive than professionally fitted hearing aids; however, they may not be right for all types of hearing loss. Still, for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, an OTC hearing aid might be just what you need to improve your quality of life.

According to the National Institutes of Health, only one in five Americans who have hearing loss wear a hearing aid. Yet, research has shown that not wearing a hearing aid if you need one can increase the chances of depression, dementia, and even falls, not to mention the social impact and health risks of being less active.

One of the barriers to getting a hearing aid is the cost. Currently, Medicare does not cover hearing aids, and neither do most health insurance programs. With hearing aids running anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 per device, it’s easy to see how cost can be an issue, even if a payment plan is available.

Over-the-counter hearing aids are one possible way of getting around the cost – but are they worth it? Let’s take a closer look, and find out where to get them.

Pro Tip: If you don’t mind getting your aids professionally fitted in person, then I’d recommend checking out our list of this year’s best medical-grade hearing aids.

Best Over The Counter Hearing Aids

Pros and Cons Of an Over the Counter Hearing Aid

Over the counter hearing aids come with their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. To help you figure out if this type of device is right for you, here are the main takeaways.

Are Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Worth It?

Getting a professional hearing aid offers lots of benefits. However, don’t overlook OTC hearing aids as a possibility. OTC hearing aids are a way to reduce the cost of hearing aids and streamline the whole process. What we would say, however, is to buy them from a reputable company such as those listed here.

The More You Know: OTC hearing aids are generally suited to those with mild to moderate hearing loss. If your hearing loss is greater than this, then take a look at my favorite hearing aids for profound hearing loss.

How We Chose the Best OTC Hearing Aids

With hearing aids being such complicated and expensive devices, we looked for the following characteristics in each company:

The Best Over The Counter Hearing Aids

Let’s take a closer look at our picks for the best OTC hearing aids.

1. Lively Hearing Aids - Best Overall OTC Hearing Aid

Lively Hearing Aids Logo
4.8 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • FDA-approved devices
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Access to audiologist care
  • Rechargeable options

Overview

When it comes to over-the-counter hearing aids, it’s hard to find a company with more advanced devices than Lively. Their hearing aids, both FDA-approved and Bluetooth equipped, come with three years of follow-up support from a team of licensed audiologists.

Hearing Aids: Lively hearing aids include two different devices: a rechargeable unit and one powered by disposable batteries.

Cost: Lively hearing aids will run you from $1,850 (per pair) to $2,400 (per pair).

Evaluation Period: Lively hearing aids come with an impressive 100-day money-back guarantee.

Warranty: Both of Lively’s models come with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and a three-year loss and damage protection plan. Together, these will cover your devices in the event of defects, damage, or loss.

Charging: Lively’s rechargeable unit comes with a convenient traveling case that allows you to charge your hearing aids on the go. Additionally, these batteries lasted us nearly two days on a single charge.

Anything Else: I really appreciated that Lively’s staff of audiologists was able to adjust my hearing aids remotely. This made it easy to have them adapt to different settings.

What We Loved: From the three-year protection plans to the professional support, I really appreciated the level of customer care that goes into Lively’s hearing aids. I also loved the sound quality.

What We Didn’t: Compared to other hearing aids on this list, Lively’s devices are on the more expensive side; however, I think the price is definitely worth it.

Ideal For: Lively hearing aids are ideal for those who want an advanced device without the hassle of in-person consultations.

Pros
  • Easy and Comfortable to Wear
  • High Quality Sound
  • Ongoing Support from Hearing Professionals
  • Easy to Adjust Settings
  • Bluetooth Compatible
  • Rechargeable Option
Cons
  • Only One Hearing Aid Model
  • Relatively Costly

Our Verdict: If you’re looking for high-powered hearing aids with stellar support –– not to mention that you can easily purchase them online –– then I’d definitely recommend a pair of devices from Lively.

2. MDHearingAid - Best Low-Cost Hearing Aid

4.6 / 5
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Call for best price:
844-554-2820
What We Like Most:
  • Free shipping
  • 45-day risk-free trial
  • Sold individually or paired
  • Optional smart devices

Overview

MDHearing offers FDA-registered behind-the-ear hearing devices that offer a budget-friendly alternative to custom hearing aids. Their more advanced models even have premium features such as smartphone compatibility.

Savings Tip: Many companies like MDHearing offer promotions on their hearing devices. Currently, MDHearing is offering buy-one-get-one-free deals on its three premium hearing aid models.

Hearing Aids: MDHearing offers three models in total: Air, Volt, and Core. Air is a small but powerful digital model. Volt is their first rechargeable hearing aid, and Core is a smartphone-enabled model.

Cost: MDHearing devices range from $399.99 – $1199.99 per pair.

Evaluation Period: Similar to Eargo, MDHearing offers a 45-day trial period on their hearing aids.

Warranty: The hearing aids are covered against defects in workmanship or materials for 90 days after purchase. You can also purchase a warranty plan to cover your accidental damage.

Charging: Air and Core are powered by disposable batteries, while Volt comes with a handy recharging pod.

Support: Email and phone support are available both before and after your MDHearing purchase. This will come in handy during the early configuration of your device.

Anything Else: If you’ve recently had your hearing tested, MDHearing can look at your results and advise the best model for you. They also offer a free online hearing test in order to accurately assess your hearing needs.

What We Loved: Our MDHearing devices were nice and comfortable to wear. We also can’t say enough about how affordably priced these hearing aids are.

What We Didn’t: In terms of battery life, our MDHearing devices didn’t last as long as the others on this list. Additionally, most of their models lack more advanced features, such as Bluetooth compatibility and custom sound settings.

Ideal For: MD Hearing devices are perfect for seniors who want something comfortable to wear, but without a huge price tag

Pros
  • 45-Day, Risk-Free Trial
  • Affordable Medical-Grade Devices
  • FDA Registered
  • Easy Online Ordering
  • Can Be Purchased in Pairs or Single
Cons
  • No In-Person Evaluations
  • Buggy Smartphone Features
  • Disposable Batteries

Our Verdict: MD Hearing offers a budget-friendly alternative to custom made hearing aids. Thanks to the 45 day evaluation period, you can try them out first to be sure the quality and fit suit you.

3. Eargo - Most Advanced OTC Hearing Aid

Eargo Logo New
4.7 / 5
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Call for best price:
866-334-3974
What We Like Most:
  • Virtually invisible in-ear models
  • Can be purchased online
  • Two-year warranty with a 45-day return window
  • No professional evaluation required

Overview

Eargo offers tiny, discreet in-ear hearing aids that sit snugly in the ear canal. In addition to their stellar audio quality, Eargo hearing aids come with a 45-day trial period, allowing you to try them out before finalizing your purchase.

Hearing Aids: Eargo offers four different hearing aid models. The basic design and functionality are the same across devices, but the hearing quality increases with each model. Max is good and features enhanced sound plus better noise reduction. Neo offers the best sound, plus it comes with an app for full control. Each model comes with four sound profiles, which can be toggled simply by tapping the in-ear device.

Cost: The Eargo Max costs $1,500 for the pair. The Neo costs $2,000. The Neo HiFi and Eargo 5 cost $2,500 and $2,950, respectively.

Evaluation Period: You get a 45-day evaluation period with any of Eargo’s hearing aids.

Warranty: Both the Eargo Max and Neo come with a one-year limited warranty, while the Neo HiFi and Eargo 5 have a two-year warranty.

Charging: Eargo devices can be recharged by plugging them into the included carrying case, which can store several charges for portable use.

Support: You get lifetime support for the life of the hearing aids, plus a welcome call to find out how you’re getting on and to talk you through any issues.

Anything Else: Eargo will send out a pair of non-functioning hearing aids so you can try them on and see if you like the fit and feel of the devices before you buy.

What We Loved: Ultimately, what impressed us most about Eargo was the sound quality, among the best we’ve seen regardless of the price range. These devices are also lightweight, discreet, and comfortable to wear.

What We Didn’t: Due to the small size and lightweight build of these devices, we couldn’t help but feel as though it would be easy to lose them.

Ideal For: Eargo hearing aids are ideal for those who want a discreet device to wear daily, one with amazing sound quality.

Pros
  • Lightweight and Comfortable
  • Stellar Sound Quality
  • Attentive Customer Service
  • Secure In-Ear Fit
Cons
  • Suitable Only for Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
  • No In-Person Fittings

Our Verdict: Eargo is a little more cost-effective than having hearing aids professionally fitted, but these devices still offer good quality, one with support, guarantees, and a strong reputation. They’re definitely worth checking out.

For more information on their hearing aids, be sure to check out my review of Eargo.

4. Audicus - Best Discreet OTC Hearing Aid

Audicus
2.9 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Affordably Priced Devices
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • FDA Approved
  • Solid Feedback Reduction

Overview

Over-the-counter hearing aids can vary when it comes to quality, but Audicus delivers three different hearing aid models, all of which featuring crisp audio quality and an FDA seal of approval.

Hearing Aids: Audicus offers three different models of hearing aids: the Dia II, their basic model; The Clara, which offers advanced sound processing; and The Wave, which features Bluetooth compatibility.

Cost: Audicus hearing aids prices range anywhere from $499 (per ear) to $899 (per ear).

Evaluation Period: Like the other devices on this list, Audicus hearing aids all come with a 45-day, risk-free trial period.

Warranty: Each Audicus hearing aid comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. After this period, you’ll have to purchase an Audicus Protect plan, starting at $12 per month.

Charging: Each of Audicus’s hearing aids comes standard with long-lasting disposable batteries; however, the Clara and Wave models can be upgraded to use rechargeable batteries for an additional cost.

Anything Else: The Wave, with its Bluetooth capabilities, can be used almost like headphones for your favorite smart devices.

What We Loved: As far as over-the-ear hearing aids go, Audicus’s three models are among the most discreet. We also appreciated the stellar sound quality on these devices.

What We Didn’t: Loss and theft are not covered under the included warranty and can only be added for an additional subscription charge.

Ideal For: Audicus hearing aids are ideal for the person looking for a discreet device with high-performance audio capabilities.

Pros
  • 45-Day, Risk-Free Trial
  • Different Color Options
  • FDA Registered
  • Bluetooth Capabilities
  • Standard One-Year Warranty
  • Flexible Payment Options
Cons
  • Weak Disposable Battery Life
  • High Cost for Rechargeable Batteries

Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid that doesn’t break the bank, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than Audicus.

For more information on Audicus, be sure to check out my full review of Audicus.

What About Buying Hearing Aids From Amazon?

A quick search of Amazon will turn up lots of results for hearing aids. Most of these are relatively lost cost hearing amplifiers that run in the $200-$400 range. With these, we’d advise you to proceed with caution. You don’t get the support you get with Eargo or MDHearing, and you might not get the same warranties.

Many of these devices don’t have any “smart” programming at all and will simply amplify whatever is there. We think these fall into the category of “something is better than nothing,” but if possible, we recommend going with a reputable company that offers some level of support and warranties. This way, you’ll be able to try the devices before you fully commit. Oftentimes, you get what you pay for in these situations.

Bottom Line

Buying OTC hearing aids can cut the cost and hassle of getting the hearing support you need. Eargo and Audicus are both doing interesting things in terms of producing excellent quality devices at a lower cost than many other providers, and with quick and customer-friendly service to boot. With all of these manufacturers offering some form of risk-free trial, there’s little reason to not try one out today.

Written By
Amie Clark

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