In a Nutshell
- Extremely affordable
- Simple, easy-to-use
- Free online hearing screening
- Lacks fancier features of costlier brands
- Smartphone-enabled model is not rechargeable
MDHearing Hearing Aid Models
MDHearing has been selling FDA-registered hearing aids direct to the consumer for over a decade. These devices are affordable and easy to use. The company sells three behind-the-ear models, all designed to meet the needs of most adults with uncomplicated mild to moderate hearing loss.
While all MDHearing devices provide a level of user-driven customization, they are not individually programmed by an audiologist. Instead, you will choose among 4 preset sound environments and manually adjust volume levels within them. For more advanced models, you will find added “smart” features and more ways to personalize your hearing experience.
The Air is MDHearing’s entry-level model. It offers the standard brand features, including four preset hearing environments, a volume dial, a basic level of background noise cancellation, and feedback cancellation (which removes the whistling effect found in older hearing aid models). It uses disposable batteries, and each pair comes with a year’s supply.
MDHearing has come out with a hearing aid model made for those seeking the smallest and most lightweight device possible. NEO ends up being a super discreet hearing aid, that looks almost invisible in the ear. The device is rechargeable through a charging case, which is reminiscent in design to today's wireless headphones. The battery lasts for more than 17 hours of high-quality hearing.
For $200 more per pair, the Volt+ includes several upgrades over the Air. Intelligent background noise cancellation uses advanced algorithms to fine-tune background noise response for an improved listening experience. This model also includes dual-directional microphones, which allow the device to distinguish between sounds you want to hear – like conversations in front of you – from those you don’t, like sounds behind you. The Volt+ is the only MDHearing model that is water-resistant and rechargeable.
At double the price of the Volt+, the Core model includes some great features, like an app to create a hearing map to drive a more customized, automatic hearing experience. Rather than fiddling with buttons and dials on the hearing aid itself, you can adjust settings on your app and allow the hearing aid to automatically switch between sound settings while you’re wearing them. In many ways, the Core is an improvement over the Volt+, but it is not water-resistant, and it uses disposable batteries. Like the Volt+, it includes intelligent noise reduction and dual directional microphones.
MDHearing Additional Services & Products
MDHearing devices come with a 90-day warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. You can purchase additional coverage through their MDShield Protection Plan, which costs $9.99/month for Air and Volt+ models, and $14.99/month for Core. The plan can be canceled at any time. MDShield covers damage not included in the warranty, such as pet damage, battery corrosion, and accidental destruction. The plan does not cover loss, theft, or damage from unauthorized repairs.
When you purchase a pair of MDHearing devices, you will receive a year’s supply of batteries (for Air and Core models), or a charger (for the Volt+ model). MDHearing sells a variety of additional tools and accessories on their website, including tubing replacement kits, batteries, cleaning tools, and hearing aid dehumidifiers.
MDHearing offers a free hearing test on their website. This test works with headphones and takes about eight minutes to complete. It doesn’t replace a thorough audiologist workup, but it can help to verify any hearing loss you think you might have and provide insight to help you determine if MDHearing devices might work for you.
How Do I Purchase MDHearing Devices?
While a hearing test is not required to purchase MDHearing devices, the company will review the results of your existing hearing tests if you have them and they offer a free online hearing screening to help inform your purchase decision.
The hearing aids can be purchased online or by calling the company’s toll-free number. The entire ordering process is performed directly with the company, eliminating the need for an audiologist’s prescription.
MDHearing Payment Options
MDHearing accepts traditional online payment options (credit and debit cards, PayPal), and accepts checks or money orders by postal mail. The company offers a financing option through Affirm. For a $400 purchase, Affirm advertises an estimated payment plan of $33.33/month for 12 months if you qualify for 0% APR.
MDHearing Features and Tools
- Behind-the-ear design
- Volume control dial (Air and Volt+) or button (Core) on device
- Four preset sound profiles
- Noise reduction
- Feedback cancellation
- Affordable pricing
- Disposable batteries (Air and Core), rechargeable (Volt+)
- Water-resistant (Volt+)
- 45-day trial period
- Free online hearing screening
What About the MDHearing App?
The MDHearing app is included with the Core model. It is available for iPads and iPhones with iOS version 10 and higher, and Android devices with version 5 or higher. This easy-to-use app offers an in-app hearing test, personalized hearing aid settings based on your hearing test, volume adjustments, video lessons, remote support, and controls to switch hearing environments. With fine-tuning options in the app, an MDHearing specialist can review your concerns and send updates to your personal hearing profile to deliver adjustments to your hearing experience.
Service and Support
The MDHearing website provides a toll-free phone number for support. There is also a contact form to send an email to the customer service department. The company has in-house audiologists who will review hearing test results if you send them in, and help you decide which hearing aid model would be most appropriate for your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle.
The FAQ section of the website is thorough, with sections on hearing aid maintenance, troubleshooting, product-specific questions, manuals, warranty information, and the MDHearing app. Most questions have detailed answers, and some include video tutorials. Be aware that once you enter the FAQ section of the website, it is difficult to navigate back to the company’s main sales page.
How to Get a Refund from MDHearing
Returns are accepted during the company’s 45-day trial period. To get the full refund, you need to first call Customer Service to receive a Return Merchandise Authorization number.
The Bottom Line
MDHearing is an established name in the direct-to-consumer hearing aid market, with a decade of experience selling affordable, easy-to-use devices online and over the phone. If you are looking for great value and won’t miss the snazzy features of costlier brands, visit their website or call to speak to a customer service representative. Note that for access to a smartphone app, you will need to purchase their highest-level Core model, which is not rechargeable.
Is MDHearing a Personal Sound Amplifying Product (PSAP)?
No, MDHearing devices are FDA-registered hearing aids that are programmed to distinguish between different sounds and amplify those that are important to the listener. PSAPs amplify all sounds.
Is MDHearing legitimate?
Yes, in spite of their low price tag compared to other hearing aids, MDHearing devices are a simple alternative to pricier hearing aids on the market today. It is a legitimate U.S. company, with in-house audiologists. They have been selling hearing aids directly to consumers for more than a decade, with more than 500,000 hearing aids sold to date.
Are MDHearing devices FDA approved?
While FDA approval usually applies to drugs and medical procedures, FDA registration is provided to Class I and II medical devices. MDHearing devices are registered Class I medical devices, meaning that they meet or exceed federal standards.
How long do the batteries last in MDHearing devices?
For the basic Air model, the replaceable batteries are estimated to last 21-26 days. For the smartphone-connected Core model, they only last 5-6 days. The batteries in the rechargeable Volt+ model last 24-30 hours on a full charge. As with any rechargeable hearing aids, rechargeable batteries will eventually lose their ability to hold a charge, so the entire device will need to be replaced after several years.