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The 10 Best Hearing Aids of 2021 - Based on Features, Price, Fit, and More

Nicky Lowney

Thanks to quickly advancing technologies, hearing aids have become more sophisticated, capable, and discreet in recent years. About 37.5 million adults in the United States have hearing loss to some degree and would benefit from wearing hearing aids, but only 1 in 5 does so.

Research shows that helping to restore a person’s hearing can greatly improve their overall well-being and help them participate in everyday life with greater confidence and happiness. 

Picking the right hearing aid for your needs is no easy feat. To find the best hearing aids, we scored each brand according to their average price, range of models, features on offer and comfort. Our reviews will provide you with all the information you need to find the right hearing aid for you.

Mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss in adults
Adapting to changing noise environments
Personalized hearing aids
Buyers looking for ongoing support, maintenance, and cleaning services with their hearing aids
Access to hearing experts
High-end performance
Personalized hearing loss remediation
Cutting-edge hearing aid technology
Those on a tight budget
$1500-3000
$400-1200
$1,500–$3,200 per pair
$1450 to $2000
$998-$2,798 per pair (without coupon)
$799–$1,176
$1,200–$8,000 per pair
Variable according to provider
$1,200–$3,568
$149.99 to $499.99 per pair
45 days
45 days
Varies by dealer
100-day money-back guarantee
45 days
45 days
Varies by provider
N/A
Varies by provider
45 days
No
No
No
Online hearing test required
No, but recommended
No
No
N/A
Yes
No
Unlimited repairs, one-time loss, or damage coverage
90 days, defects in materials or workmanship
1 year; manufacturing defects
Three-year comprehensive warranty
1 year (unlimited with Membership)
1 year; manufacturer’s defects
Varies by provider
1-year international limited warranty covering material and manufacturing defects.
Manufacturer’s defects (2 years), loss and damage (1 year)
None
Yes, except Eargo Max
Yes (Core only)
Yes, iOS and Android
Yes, iOS and Android
Yes (third-party, only certain models)
Yes, iOS and Android
Yes (iOS and Android)
Yes, iOS and Android
Yes, Android, iOS, Apple Watch
No

A Closer Look at Our Top 10 Hearing Aids

  • 1
    Eargo

    Eargo

    • Best forMild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss
    • Price range $1500-3000
    • Trial period 45 days

    Eargo offers direct-to-consumer hearing aid technology at four model levels. The devices feature an in-the-canal design, making them virtually invisible when worn, and silicone tips replace hard plastic in the ears for a comfortable fit. All Eargo models are rechargeable, with a portable charging case for on-the-go charging. After 1000 charges, the batteries begin to lose power and are not replaceable. 

    The company offers sample products, a 45-day test period, and a one- to two-year warranty, with several options for customer support. Three of the models include an app to provide personalization, alerts, and updates. 

    Pros
    • Tiny design, nearly invisible in the ear
    • Portable charging case
    • 45-day return policy
    Cons
    • Rechargeable batteries cannot be replaced
    • Not designed for severe hearing loss
  • 2
    MD Hearing Aid

    MD Hearing Aid

    • Best forMild to moderate hearing loss in adults
    • Price range $400-1200
    • Trial period 45 days

    MDHearingAid sells simple behind-the-ear hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices are easy to use and come factory-set with four sound profiles. Three models are available, ranging from the basic Air at $400, to a smartphone-enabled Core model for $1200. The rechargeable $600 Volt+ model does not have smartphone capabilities.

    The company provides a free hearing screening through their website, as well as in-house audiologist reviews of hearing tests, to help you decide if their hearing aids are appropriate for your level of hearing loss. After ordering your hearing aids, you have a 45-day return period and a 90-day warranty.

    Pros
    • Extremely affordable
    • Simple, easy-to-use
    • Company provides free online hearing screening
    Cons
    • Lacks fancier features of costlier brands
    • Smartphone-enabled model is not rechargeable
  • 3
    Signia

    Signia

    • Best forAdapting to changing noise environments
    • Price range $1,500–$3,200 per pair
    • Trial period Varies by dealer

    Signia is a popular hearing aid brand that uses cutting-edge technology originally developed by Siemens. The company has a wide range of hearing aid styles for mild to severe hearing loss, including invisible-in-canal and behind-the-ear devices. Most Signia hearing aids are Bluetooth-compatible and use rechargeable batteries to suit active lifestyles.

    Part of what sets Signia apart is its AI technology, which adapts your hearing aids to your noise environment as you go about your day. You can also easily control your hearing aids with the free Signia app, available for iOS and Android devices.

    Pros
    • AI assistant automatically adjusts aids to your environment
    • Free smartphone app for iOS and Android
    • Free repair program with 1-year warranty
    Cons
    • Must visit a dealer to purchase
    • No money-back guarantee
  • 4
    Lively

    Lively

    • Best forPersonalized hearing aids
    • Price range $1450 to $2000
    • Trial period 100-day money-back guarantee

    Lively offers custom hearing aid solutions based on the results of an online hearing test. There’s one model available in rechargeable and battery-powered forms, and your devices will be personalized before being posted out to you. 

    One standout here is the level of ongoing customer care that’s available. In addition to a 3-year warranty, all users will benefit from 3 years of free technical support from the Lively team. There’s a great selection of accessories to add to your experience, a tidy mobile app, and a range of other features that makes Lively stand out as one of the best hearing aids we’ve seen. 

    Pros
    • Great personalized hearing aid solutions
    • A selection of powerful accessories
    • 3-year warranty and 3 years of free customer care
    Cons
    • Quite expensive compared to some alternatives
    • Hearing test required before purchase
  • 5
    Audicus by Sesame

    Audicus by Sesame

    • Best forBuyers looking for ongoing support, maintenance, and cleaning services with their hearing aids
    • Price range $998-$2,798 per pair (without coupon)
    • Trial period 45 days

    Audicus offers 5 different rechargeable and battery-powered hearing aids. With Audicus, you can choose between behind-the-ear and invisible hearing aids in multiple color options. In addition to a 45-day trial, each hearing aid comes with a 1-year warranty. 

    While not required, you can submit Audicus’s online hearing test results or a third-party audiogram to get a personalized recommendation. Audicus is more expensive than some other hearing aids but offers multiple long-term hearing aid repair, cleaning, and support services. You can finance its products with Affirm or CareCredit, or join its Audicus Membership program and get hearing aids and support for life for a monthly fee. 

    Pros
    • 45-day trial period
    • Monthly membership and support options
    • Offers rechargeable and battery-powered options
    Cons
    • Does not accept health insurance
    • More costly than some other online hearing aids
  • 6
    Lexie

    Lexie

    • Best forAccess to hearing experts
    • Price range $799–$1,176
    • Trial period 45 days

    The Lexie hearing aid is a highly customizable device that includes support from hearing experts. Using the Lexie app, you can run a hearing test and make adjustments to your hearing aids on your own. Alternatively, you can video chat with a specialist who can adjust your devices remotely.

    Lexie offers a 45-day risk-free trial, so you can try out the company’s hearing aids. In addition, the company offers a 24-month payment plan that includes protection against damage and loss and biannual maintenance kits. There’s no prescription needed to order Lexie hearing aids.

    Pros
    • Access to specialists who can adjust your device remotely
    • Monthly payment plan that can be canceled anytime
    • Protection plan for damage and loss
    Cons
    • Uses non-rechargeable batteries
    • No children’s model available
  • 7
    Starkey

    Starkey

    • Best forHigh-end performance
    • Price range $1,200–$8,000 per pair
    • Trial period Varies by provider

    Starkey produces high-performance hearing aids with outstanding sound quality. The company has won several innovation awards for its use of AI to improve clarity and reduce noise. Starkey also uses AI to add features like automatic language translation, body movement monitoring, and fall detection.

    You must visit a local audiologist to purchase Starkey hearing aids. Payment options, trial periods, and warranty policies can vary by provider, but you can get technical support for your hearing aids directly through Starkey.

    Pros
    • All hearing aid models available in multiple styles
    • Control your hearing aids with the Thrive Hearing Control app
    • AI-enabled hearing aid serves as a wearable whole-health device
    Cons
    • Must visit a local audiologist to purchase
    • Warranty details vary by provider
  • 8
    Phonak

    Phonak

    • Best forPersonalized hearing loss remediation
    • Price range Variable according to provider
    • Trial period N/A

    Phonak is one of the largest and highest-rated hearing aid manufacturers in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Its hearing aids are a little on the expensive side, but they are distributed through a network of hearing care specialists in more than 100 countries worldwide. 

    In addition, all Phonak devices are equipped with the latest technology, such as Bluetooth connectivity and digital sound processing. Technical support is limited to email, but the integrated mobile apps and international warranty stand out as excellent. 

    Pros
    • Excellent integrated mobile apps
    • A global network of distributors
    • Over 70 years in the hearing aid industry
    Cons
    • Cannot be purchased online
    • Relatively high prices compared to some alternatives
  • 9
    Oticon

    Oticon

    • Best forCutting-edge hearing aid technology
    • Price range $1,200–$3,568
    • Trial period Varies by provider

    Oticon is a premium hearing aid manufacturer that makes dozens of different models for every type of hearing impairment. The company’s cutting-edge models use deep learning to minimize noise and improve conversation clarity, and most Oticon hearing aids can be controlled with your smartphone. In addition, Oticon offers hearing aids for children and one-sided hearing loss.

    To purchase Oticon hearing aids, you’ll need to visit a local audiologist who sells Oticon products. The company has thousands of dealers across the country, which also means that you can get local support anytime you need it. 

    Pros
    • Wide range of hearing aid models to meet specific needs
    • Remote control via Oticon ON mobile app
    • Thousands of local dealers across the US
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive
    • Must purchase through a third-party audiologist
  • 10
    Wonder Ear

    Wonder Ear

    • Best forThose on a tight budget
    • Price range $149.99 to $499.99 per pair
    • Trial period 45 days

    WonderEar offers a selection of highly affordable hearing aids and accessories designed to help those suffering from hearing problems. Its devices feature background noise reduction, feedback cancellation, digital sound processing, and more. 

    However, those suffering from advanced hearing loss may not experience the same level of improvement as they would with high-end custom devices. Although it’s not a requirement to consult with a hearing specialist before purchasing WonderEar devices, we’d recommend doing so for the best results. 

    Pros
    • Very competitively priced
    • No prescription or hearing test required
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
    Cons
    • No warranty or results guarantee
    • Only available online

How does a hearing aid work?

Hearing aids are small electronic devices that are worn in or behind the ear by people with hearing loss. Their job is to amplify specific sounds helping their wearer hear and communicate with others better. These devices can improve hearing in both quiet and noisy environments, depending on the user’s specific needs.  

While there is a large range of designs available, almost all hearing aids function on the same basic principle. The hearing aid’s microphone picks up sound waves, converts them to electrical signals, and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier then processes, boosts, and modifies the power of these signals and passes them on to a tiny receiver in the ear. 

Did you know? Only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually use one.

What are the different types of hearing aids available? 

Depending on the characteristics of your hearing loss, your ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) or audiology professional will recommend the right type of hearing aid for your needs.

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

A BTE hearing aid has two parts: the main part hooks over your ear and sits behind your auricle. A thin, clear tube connects it to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The earpiece itself can be custom molded, but many people now use small pre-made ear tips that fit very comfortably within the ear canal.

Receiver-in-canal (RIC, also RITE)

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver that sits in the ear canal. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver. This style of hearing aid usually has a less visible behind-the-ear portion and may be available with a rechargeable battery.

Completely-in-the-canal or invisible-in-the-canal(CIC/IIC)

A completely-in-the-canal(CIC) or invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) aid sits deeper inside the ear canal, making it nearly or entirely invisible. They are made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal and are the most discreet kind of hearing aid. Because of their small size, these devices may be difficult for a person to adjust and remove. Their compact form also means less space for additional features such as volume control or extra microphones.

In-the-canal (ITC)/In-the-ear (ITE)

An in the ear/canal (ITE/ITC) aid sits completely within your outer ear (ITE) or just inside your ear canal (ITC). As these styles are larger than CIC/ICC hearing aids, they can include more practical features and are available with directional microphones (two microphones for better hearing in noise). ITE hearing aids usually include larger batteries than CIC/IIC models and can be easier to handle.

What you must consider before buying a hearing aid

Audiologist vs. direct-to-consumer

Hearing aids can be prescribed, programmed, and fitted by a licensed audiologist or ordered directly from the manufacturers. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are generally less expensive, but you will sacrifice the benefits a local expert provides, including personalized device programming, in-depth hearing test results, and in-person customer service.

Hearing test

Before getting a prescription for hearing aids from a licensed audiologist, the first thing they will require is a thorough hearing test and evaluation. They will also explain the differences between hearing aid styles and recommend which type might fit your lifestyle best. Hearing tests are easy and painless and covered by most health insurance companies. Many online hearing aid retailers also include a free hearing test in their offer, so be sure to shop around. While you can order direct-to-consumer hearing aids without a hearing test, it is better to have as much information on your hearing loss as possible to inform your purchase decision.

Pricing

Unlike a hearing test, hearing aids are generally not covered by health insurance companies, leaving you to cover the cost. Hearing aid prices can vary significantly from retailer to retailer and range from just a few hundred dollars to well over $2000. Professional fees, remote controls, hearing aid accessories, and other hearing aid options may cost extra. Talk to your audiologist about your needs and expectations, and make sure that you understand which features are important to you and fit your budget. Almost all online hearing aid retailers offer comfortable payment plans to fit your financial needs.

Trial period 

Hearing aids can be a major investment, so make sure to purchase devices that come with a risk-free trial of at least 30 days, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty. Retailers will usually credit the cost of the trial toward the final price of the hearing aid. Also, ask how much of the purchase price is refundable if you return the hearing aid during the trial period.

Warranties/repairs and adjustments

Make sure your hearing aid includes a warranty that covers parts and labor for a specified period. Some hearing aid dispensers may include office visits or professional services such as cleanings and adjustments in the warranty.

Are additional accessories available?

Modern hearing aids, especially higher-end models, can come with a wide array of additional accessories such as remote controls, replaceable batteries, custom ear tips, cleaning tools, and many more. While some of these accessories are simply nice to have, others can make life with your new hearing aid considerably more comfortable.   

Extra features

Directional microphones 

Directional microphones help to improve the pickup of sounds and are most effective in noisy environments, allowing their wearer to focus on sounds from a specific direction without the distraction of background noise. Adaptive directional microphones can automatically focus on speech and sound coming from different directions giving their wearer the freedom to move between environments with varying noise levels comfortably.

Noise reduction/cancellation

All modern hearing aids have noise reduction features available. The degree of noise reduction will depend on the model of your hearing aid, with more expensive devices offering more advanced reduction. Some hearing aids also offer wind noise reduction.

Rechargeable batteries

Higher-end hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, making maintenance easier for you by eliminating the need to regularly change the battery. Keep in mind that these batteries are not usually replaceable, so when they reach the end of their lifespan (usually within 3-5 years), the hearing aids will need to be replaced.

Smartphone capabilities

Some modern hearing aids can wirelessly connect with your smartphone devices so you can stream calls and audio from your phone to your hearing aids. They also connect to hearing aid apps, allowing you to adjust your sound settings discreetly.

Takeaway

Hearing aids can be expensive, and while they are not usually covered by insurance or Medicare, companies do offer ways to spread out the costs. If you are willing to sacrifice some of the fancier features available in newer models, there are basic devices that are more affordable, yet still effective. We’ve broken down the top choices to help you find the best hearing aid for your needs.

Check out our in-depth reviews for more details.

Nicky Lowney
Nicky Lowney has been writing about health and medicine for more than 15 years. With a master’s degree in health communication, she specializes in translating complex medical information into readable, engaging content. Nicky has written for top10.com, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Decision Resources Group, and EBSCO Information Services, among other clients. In her free time, Nicky enjoys cycling, hiking, and performing with her local community theater.