In a Nutshell
- Tiny design, nearly invisible in the ear
- Portable charging case
- 45-day return policy
- Rechargeable batteries cannot be replaced
- Not designed for severe hearing loss
Eargo Hearing Aid Models
Eargo has been described as a disruptor in the hearing aid space, selling nearly invisible in-the-ear hearing aids directly to consumers, without the need for an audiologist prescription. The entire process, from hearing screening to fitting, to post-purchase support, is done online.
The hearing aids themselves are modeled after fishing flies, with a set of silicone tips that allow the devices to “float” within the ear canal. Eargo sells four rechargeable models, all with several amplification profiles for different sound environments.
Eargo Max is Eargo’s entry-level hearing aid. In 2018, it was the winner of Time magazine’s Best Inventions of 2018 award. The Eargo Max provides basic Eargo features, such as a choice of sound profiles and a comfortable design featuring silicone Flexi Fibers, but it does not pair with an app. The Eargo Max was designed specifically for patients with mild to moderate, mostly high-frequency hearing loss, so it does not offer amplification for low frequency or severe hearing loss.
Eargo Neo offers all the basic functionality of the entry-level Eargo Max, with several added benefits. The Max’s digital amplifier allows for more fine-tuning, and Flexi Fibers have been replaced with Flexi Palms – flattened versions of the original Fibers -- reported to be more comfortable than Fibers. The Neo pairs with a mobile or web app to further customize each user’s hearing experience.
Eargo Neo HiFi
The Eargo Neo HiFi is a step up from the Neo model, with improved noise reduction and feedback cancellation. Its circuitry responds to a wider range of frequencies than the Max and Neo models. Like the Neo, it comes with Flexi Palms and is compatible with the app.
The newest model from Eargo offers more personalization and a new app that offers hearing screening. It is smaller than the other models and offers better sound quality and Sound Match technology to personalize settings. The charging case features magnets instead of contact pins for easier charging and provides a full charge in 2.5 hours. In the Eargo 5, open petals replace the previous models’ Palms and Fibers.
Eargo Additional Services & Products
Eargo hearing aids come with the following accessories:
A portable charger. Eargo hearing aids are designed to be charged overnight and provide 16 hours of use on one charge. The charger itself lasts one week on a single charge and comes with a power cord.
Cleaning accessories. A brush and microfiber cloth are provided to clean the hearing aids before charging each night.
Extra wax guards and wax guard changing tool. Eargo hearing aids contain a small internal wax guard, which needs to be replaced every 3-6 months.
Silicone tips. Each set of hearing aids comes with a selection of silicone tips to fit a range of canal sizes. The company recommends changing tips every three months to prevent wax buildup.
Additional accessories are available for purchase on the website:
Silicone tips: These come in packages of three pairs each for $25.
Wax guard replacement tool: for $25, you can purchase a tool with a set of 15 wax filter screens.
The Max, Neo, and Neo HiFi models come with a one-year warranty. The Eargo 5 has a two-year warranty, with unlimited repairs and one-time loss or damage coverage. After the warranty period, Eargo will replace a device or charger for $295. The warranty excludes devices purchased from unauthorized distributors, damage from improper handling (including immersion in water), and damage from unauthorized service centers.
How Do I Purchase Eargo Devices?
All Eargo hearing aid models are purchased directly from the company through their website. Customers receive a personal hearing screening and a demonstration with company representatives who are licensed audiology professionals, all through private video appointments. You can request a sample non-working Eargo device to test the comfort level, then after you order the active devices, you will have a 45-day trial period to return them if they don’t work for you.
Eargo Payment Options
Because they are FDA approved hearing aids, Eargo products may be covered through certain insurance companies and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. Payments can be made using credit, debit, and Health Savings Account cards.
The company offers a payment plan through their finance partner company, Bread. Rates range from 0% to 29.99% APR and are subject to credit approval. For the latest Eargo 5 model, the company advertises payments as low as $123/month over 24 months if you qualify for 0% APR.
Eargo Features and Tools
Several factory-set sound profiles
Rechargeable batteries: 16 hours of use on an overnight charge, and 3 hours on a 30-minute quick charge
Silicone tips to comfortably hold the hearing aid in the ear canal
Smartphone app with Neo, Neo HiFi, and 5 models
Noise and wind reduction and feedback cancellation for clear sound quality
Remote support options to allow users to receive updates and adjustments from the manufacturer
What About the Eargo App?
The Eargo app is available for free for users of the Neo, Neo HiFi, and 5 models. There are two different versions depending on the model:
Eargo Neo HiFi app for the Neo and Neo HiFi hearing aids,
Eargo 5 app for the newest Eargo 5 model.
Both apps are available on the Apple App Store for iPhones 5s and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or later, and iPad (October 2012 or later). They are available on Google Play for Android devices running operating system of 6.0 and later. Both apps are intuitive, with a range of useful functions.
The Eargo Neo HiFi app allows users to personalize audio settings based on different sound environments (such as restaurants, meetings, and theater). There are four present programs included within the app. Within each program, you can personalize bass and treble settings. The app also allows you to remotely update your hearing aids, provides how-to videos, and offers alerts and reminders for charging and cleaning your devices.
The Eargo 5 app offers Sound Match, a feature that allows the app to customize your hearing aid settings to your level of hearing loss and provides three listening environments. You can manually adjust volume, bass, and treble setting within each environment. The app also allows you to manually adjust the Noise Filter while wearing the hearing aids. It offers alerts, reminders, remote updating, and in-app video calls with Eargo hearing specialists.
Service and Support
For every Eargo product, the company offers “lifetime support” from licensed hearing professionals. The support model is fully remote, with phone, video chat, text, and email contact options.
The Eargo website offers a library of training videos and articles to help with setting up and using the devices, a toll-free phone number, an online “HearingHelper” bot, and an online message center, which states that responses are usually received within a few hours.
The website’s comprehensive FAQ section provides answers for questions about hearing loss, hearing aids, Eargo products, financing options, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
How To Get a Refund From Eargo
Eargo offers a 45-day trial period for their devices. If you return them within this window, you receive a full refund.
The Bottom Line
Eargo hearing aids are relative newcomers to the hearing aid market, with a sales model that allows you to skip a visit to the audiologist. If you have mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss, it may be worth a visit to the website to learn more, request a sample, speak to a hearing specialist, and try them out for 45 days. Rechargeable batteries make them convenient, but be aware that the devices will need to be replaced when the batteries eventually wear out.
Is Eargo FDA approved?
Eargo hearing aids are FDA-registered Exempt medical devices: Eargo Max is Class I and Neo and Neo HiFi, and Eargo 5 are Class II. They are hearing aids -- not personal sound amplifiers like other direct-to-consumer products -- so they are subject to FDA regulations regarding performance, manufacturing, labeling, and safety.
Is Eargo Bluetooth?
While the hearing aids themselves are too small to have Bluetooth technology built into them, the charging cases for all models except Max do have Bluetooth, allowing them to connect to a smartphone or tablet and receive remote updates and personalization.
Are Eargo batteries replaceable?
Eargo’s batteries charge through the portable charging case. One charge provides approximately 16 hours of use. The batteries last for about 1000 charges, which is approximately 3 years. After that, they may not hold a charge for as long. While the batteries cannot be replaced, Eargo offers a discount for previous customers who wish to replace their devices.