Best Cheap Hearing Aids Review

Updated: Sep 02, 2022
Medically Reviewed by

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If you’ve ever searched for affordable hearing aids, you probably know that most of them aren’t cheap at all. Hearing aids can easily cost $3,000 to $5,000 per pair, especially if you get them through your audiologist’s office. In a recent AgingInPlace.org survey of 1,000 hearing aid users, almost 53% of respondents answered that price was the primary reason they were hesitant to get hearing aids.

And yet, hearing aids do so much more than improve hearing loss. “Some of the greatest benefits to hearing aids is they reduce loneliness, delay dementia, and improve overall quality of life,” said Philipp Orso, head of audiology at Makehear. Our survey results confirm this sentiment, with 87.4% of respondents saying that purchasing a hearing aid was a worthwhile purchase. Considering this, it’s about time for cheap hearing aids to become widely available. We’ve compiled our top picks for the best cheap hearing aids, so you can find the perfect pair for your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle.

How We Research and Test Hearing Aids

At AgingInPlace.org, we research and recommend products to provide value for our readers. We’ve spent more than 4,000 hours conducting in-depth research on hearing aids. Our team evaluated hearing aids across various models and versions in order to better understand their features. Our goal is to provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers.  

To select on our top hearing aids, we did the following:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed hundreds hearing aid users
  • Tested various models of hearing aids
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, like Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Reports

We then grade each hearing aid company against a 1–10 rating scale and score them according to the tests in the following categories:

  • Reputation and credibility
  • Audiologist care
  • Features
  • User experience
  • Pricing and value
  • Customer support
  • Warranty and adjustments
  • Tech features
  • Durability
  • Comfort and fit

Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criterion, the higher it scores in the overall category.See our full hearing aid review methodology for a breakdown of criteria in each category and our scoring system.

How to Get Affordable Hearing Aids

Even the best inexpensive hearing aids can still be a significant health-related expense, ringing in anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Here are all the ways you can make sure you’re getting the best price.

Insurance

Unfortunately, Medicare and private health insurance coverage aren’t available for hearing aids. However, some health insurance providers and Medicare Advantage plans may cover a portion of the cost. Check with your provider to find out what benefits your plan offers.

Discounts

Like many other products, hearing aids are often offered from the manufacturer or retailers at a discount or as part of a promotion. If you’re in the market for affordable hearing aids, it’s worth browsing around to see which brands are currently offering discounts.

Financing

Many hearing aid companies, including those on our list, offer special financing with little or no interest, which can make the devices much more affordable than paying the entire amount up front. This is usually done through partnership with third-party financing companies like Affirm and Care Credit, known for flexible approval and easy payments. 

Online

Buying cheap hearing aids online doesn’t have to mean lower quality, and many trusted and reputable hearing aid brands offer direct-to-consumer sales. The often much-higher cost of getting hearing aids through your audiologist can largely be attributed to manufacturer fees, retail markups, and office visit costs, all of which are removed by purchasing directly online. 

Other coverage or discounts

You may be able to get discounts or other benefits such as a free hearing check-up through the AARP Hearing Care Program. Check if the program is available in your state. According to our medical reviewer Dr. Hadassah Kupfer, an audiologist and hearing aid expert, under certain conditions, Medicare will cover a hearing test once per year for diagnostic purposes, but there may be a co-pay. Financial assistance may also be available through local civic organizations, such as the Kiwanis or Lions Clubs and labor unions or Veterans Affairs, if applicable.

Best Affordable Hearing Aids on the Market

Best Trial Period & Editor's Choice

Best Trial Period & Editor’s Choice

Lively 2 Lite
  • Cost: $1,195 per pair
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial Period: 100-day
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Style: Receiver-in-the-canal
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: Yes
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Hearing test: Online or at-home
  • Adjustments: Remote by smartphone app or mail-in

Pros

  • Generous 100-day trial

  • Three-year warranty

Cons

  • More expensive among inexpensive brands

  • Not designed for severe or profound hearing loss

What makes Lively stand out as a top choice for best cheap hearing aids for older adults (besides the price, of course) is the company’s generous trial process. Lively hearing aids come with a 100-day trial period, meaning users have a full 100 days to test the devices out before deciding whether or not to keep them. That’s more than twice as long as the 45 days offered by the other hearing aid companies on our list. 

Many people, older adults especially, have well-established routines and preferences. Adding a daily device like a hearing aid can be a big adjustment, and one that some users may have ups and downs with, especially if their hearing aid needs adjustment. Offering 100 days to try the product lets users experience their hearing aids in many different settings, different circumstances, even different seasons to see what it’s really like living as a hearing aid user.

We also like that Lively conducts online hearing tests, and adjustments are made via a smartphone app or via an audiologist consultation. “Even though the lack of an in-person exam isn’t ideal, Lively hearing aids are adjustable, which is a huge advantage over competitors like Audien and Otofonix,” said Dr. Kupfer. “Lively can be personalized to the user’s actual hearing loss rather than a blanket volume control across all pitches.”

Lively hearing aids

If you’re willing to spend a bit more up front, the ample trial period and pitch adjustability ensures that you are getting the most tailored experience available without having to physically go into an audiologist’s office. 

Lively has an A+ rating on BBB and 4.33/5 stars, although there are minimal reviews on the third-party review site. On the Lively website, the Lively 2 Lite has 4.7/5 stars out of more than 200 reviews. Overall, the reviews praise the quality of the hearing aids, comfort, and customer service.

Editor’s Choice

What Is Editor’s Choice?

Our team of editors and writers choose a product from each article that stands out based on our extensive research of the products we review. While it may not always be the highest-scoring product in the lineup, we’ve chosen the product based on its overall value to our audience.

Why We Chose This Product:

Even inexpensive hearing aids represent a significant financial investment. We believe that a longer trial period gives you the chance to be absolutely sure that your purchase is the right one, and be sure that the benefits of using the Lively 2 Lite hearing aid are worth the cost.

  • Cost: $399.99 each, $299.98 per pair *current promotion
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial Period: 45-day
  • Warranty: 90-day
  • Style: Behind-the-ear
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderately severe
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: No
  • Battery type: Disposable size 13 battery
  • Hearing test: Online/at-home
  • Adjustments: Remote by smartphone app

Pros

  • Advanced noise reduction

  • Simple operation

Cons

  • 90-day warranty less than competitors

  • Limited variety of colors to match skin tones

The MDHearing AIR is an excellent all-around option if you’re looking for an affordable hearing aid with basic functionality. It’s compact and discreet compared to many larger behind-the-ear models and designed to fit comfortably with glasses thanks to its super-thin tubing. While it doesn’t have some of the more advanced features that other models do, like bluetooth connectivity and remote operation, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many older adults want a hearing aid that they or their caretakers can easily operate, and this model delivers exactly that. 

With the MDHearing AIR, the four program settings simplify adjustment so you can quickly and easily set your hearing aid to the ideal setting for your environment. Setting selection is operated by the single “program” button on the back of each hearing aid, and volume is adjusted using the easy spin-dial. This hearing aid allows you to adapt to your surroundings, choose your desired volume, and focus on conversations with friends and family uninterrupted by things like background noise and whistling sounds. 

By eliminating more advanced features while including built-in technology like feedback cancellation and noise reduction, the AIR offers a high quality hearing aid at an incredible price—if you need two hearing aids, the buy-one-get-one-free discount is a steal.

TIP: It’s important to note that the MDHearing AIR and a few more on our list are not water resistant hearing aids. Avoiding water damage can be simplified by keeping a clean, dry container anywhere you may need to quickly place them before activities like bathing or swimming where your ears may be submerged or exposed to excessive moisture. 

An analysis of consumer reviews shows that MDHearing as a brand has 4.22/5 on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a B rating. On MDHearing’s website, the AIR specifically has approximately 4.3/5 out of more than 2,000 reviews, with many users praising the affordability and clarity of sound.

  • Cost: $249 per pair
  • Financing: No
  • Trial Period: 45-day
  • Warranty: Limited one-year warranty comes with purchase, lifetime protection for $4 per month
  • Style: In-the-canal
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: No
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Hearing test: None required
  • Adjustments: Not available

Pros

  • Inexpensive for a pair

  • Small devices fit in canal

  • Cheap lifetime protection plan

Cons

  • No Bluetooth options

  • Mixed consumer reviews

For the most inexpensive hearing aid cost on the market, look no further than Audien. The Audien Atom Pro is the brand’s latest, most advanced option offering a nearly invisible design, enhanced feedback cancellation to eliminate annoying whistling sounds, and Audien’s “Atom” sound technology. This model also comes with a portable charging case to charge your hearing aids on-the-go whenever you need to. We loved this charging case during our testing and found it super easy to use. It holds enough power for up to three charging cycles, and it clearly indicates when the hearing aids are charged with a green light. It’s about the size of a Tic Tac box, making it easy and discreet to bring with you anywhere.

The Audien Atom Pro is certainly budget-friendly, but there are some downsides to consider before choosing this less-expensive option. Because Audien doesn’t require you to undergo a hearing test before purchasing, older adults with moderate hearing loss who want a simple solution may benefit, but others with more serious hearing loss may want to consider having a professional hearing assessment to be sure that they’re choosing the right hearing aid. It’s also important to consider your lifestyle and where you most need hearing enhancement. This model is great for amplifying sound but doesn’t do much for background noise cancellation, so it’s not an ideal choice for those looking to focus on conversations in noisy environments.

Another important consideration with the Atom Pro is its nearly invisible size and color. This is an ideal option for older adults who don’t want an obvious hearing aid, and it can be easily worn with glasses because it sits entirely inside of the ear. However, this design can be particularly difficult for those with limited finger dexterity, decreased hand and finger sensation, or arthritis as they require a fine, pinch-type motion to insert and remove.

Audien Atom Pro user manual

When testing the product, we found that while adjusting the volume was simple, and done by a small screw on the back of the hearing aid, a caretaker or family member may have to help if you have hand or finger mobility issues. Also, if you or your loved one can be forgetful at times, keep in mind that this hearing aid can be easily lost if it’s put anywhere other than in the case. 

Audien as a brand on BBB has a B rating and 3.98/5 stars from consumers. On *Trustpilot, the brand has 3.6/5 with 70% of reviews being “excellent” or “good” and 28% falling under “poor” or “bad.” Many of the complaints from both review sites are about customer service, while some complain about the hearing aid not fitting correctly or poor sound quality. However, most mentions of the Atom Pro specifically are positive, with consumers appreciating the affordability and amplified sound quality.

*Trustpilot’s scoring platform doesn’t simply collect an average of reviews but is affected by three main factors: Recent reviews weigh more heavily than older ones; companies that collect reviews more frequently will have a more consistent score; and to ensure balance for companies with fewer reviews, Trustpilot automatically includes the value of seven reviews worth 3.5 stars in all calculations.

  • Cost: $695 per pair
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial Period: 45-day
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Style: Behind-the-ear
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: No
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Hearing test: None required
  • Adjustments: Not available

Pros

  • Easier to modify fit and amplification than competitors

  • Designed to meet FDA requirements

Cons

  • Not designed for severe or profound hearing loss

Compared to other models on our list, we love how you can customize the Otofonix Helix for fit, volume, and settings as soon as you get them. Each kit comes with the standard charging station, travel case, and cleaning supplies, but it also includes multiple dome styles and sizes, different sized sound tubes, and an ear hook kit. By including these in the purchase, particularly the sound tubes and ear hooks, Otofonix allows users to tweak their hearing aids to achieve another 10 decibels of amplification without professional assistance.

Besides the customizable fit, the Helix is an excellent choice for customizing volume. This model has four settings for conversation, restaurants, TV, and outdoors, and 10 volume settings to further fine-tune your hearing experience. Settings and volume are easily changed by buttons right on the hearing aid, with one to four beeps indicating which program is selected. Dual directional microphones pick up clear sounds in front of the user, like speech or TV, and offer excellent background noise cancellation—allowing you to focus on what you want to hear without distractions.

TIP: When your new hearing aids arrive, try to use them in as many different scenarios as you can during the trial period (45 days for Otofonix). Even if you don’t go to restaurants or to a movie often, doing so within the return window ensures that you don’t have any surprises after they’re no longer eligible for return.

On Amazon, the Otofonix Helix has 3.4/5 stars, but there were minimal reviews and none found on other third-party review sites. Out of the reviews on Amazon, most people were happy with the fit, price, and sound, while several complaints mentioned experiencing some feedback.

  • Cost: $1,398 per pair
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial Period: 45-day
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Style: Receiver-in-the-ear
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: No
  • Battery Type: Size 10 battery

Hearing Test: Clinic locations nationally or online

Pros

  • Membership option helps with affordability

  • Tap-to-adjust operation is subtle

Cons

  • Small size can be difficult for some to hold or insert

For older adults who are social and active, we love the Audicus Aura for its discreet design, subtle setting operation, and use of disposable versus rechargeable batteries—whether you’re out for a hike with friends or participating in game night with family, the last thing you want to be concerned about is messing with your hearing aid.

Audicus Aura size comparison to a Quarter
Audicus Aura size compared to a Quarter

The Audicus Aura is so small that it’s practically invisible, and its ergonomic shape and comfortable domes allow it to stay put, even during high-impact activities. Its size and fit also make it imperceptible to those around you, which is an important but often overlooked factor for many older adults. To make it even more discreet, the settings can be changed simply by tapping your ear.

There’s plenty to consider in terms of ideal hearing aid battery types, but for active adults who don’t want to think about their hearing aid, a standard replaceable battery is often the better choice. With the Aura, you never have to plan your day around your hearing aids, because you can carry spare batteries for whenever they’re needed. However, it’s important to note that while we found the Aura’s battery door is easy to open, the small size of the hearing aid and battery made replacement somewhat difficult.

While it’s not the right choice for everyone, we also like that Audicus offers a membership program as opposed to making a one-time purchase. If you choose the membership option, you pay a single start-up fee and the cost of your hearing aids is rolled into a monthly payment plan. Members can enjoy perks like extended warranty coverage, easy access to live support, and model upgrades where and when applicable. This membership can make your hearing aids more affordable, but be aware that it involves committing to an 18-month contract.

Audicus has an A+ rating on BBB with a consumer review score of 2.92/5 stars, although there are minimal reviews on the site. On the brand’s website, they have 4.7/5 stars out of thousands of reviews. Complaints about Audicus on BBB focused on poor customer service and positive reviews praised the overall product and service.

  • Cost: $1,950 per pair
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial Period: 45-day return policy
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Styles: Completely-in-the-ear
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss without complications
  • Bluetooth Capabilities: No
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Hearing test: Online
  • Adjustment: Remote through smartphone app or with assistance from company

Pros

  • Virtually invisible

  • Natural sound and feel

Cons

  • 16-hour battery life

  • Small size can be difficult to manipulate

When it comes to discreet hearing aids, Eargo has a definite corner in the market. The company’s innovative, medical-grade silicone fiber hearing aid is virtually invisible. Unlike other completely-in-the-ear hearing aids, the Eargo was modeled after a fishing fly. Odd as it sounds, the silicone “wings” on the device enable it to sit suspended in the ear canal, which allows air to flow naturally in and out of the ear for a more natural feel.

These rechargeable hearing aids only hold their charge for about 16 hours, which is less than most other rechargeable models. While the overall battery life is a little short, we do like the “quick charge” feature that gives the Eargo Neo HiFi two to three hours of battery life after just 30 minutes of charging. 

These hearing aids have the latest technology you’re looking for to get crisp, clear sound, like directional microphones for focusing on desired sounds and background noise cancellation, and they’re water resistant to offer an added layer of durability and protection. The Eargo Neo HiFi is the perfect choice if you want an excellent quality hearing aid that’s almost imperceptible to you and others.

It’s worth noting that this style hearing aid can be a bit awkward for those whose family members or caretakers manage their hearing devices. The completely-in-the-canal design often needs a little wiggling and manipulation to fit perfectly in the canal, and its hard to get the perfect fit and position if you’re not doing it yourself.

TIP: During our recent hearing aid research summit, one focus group participant reported a similar style hearing aid getting stuck in her ear. It was so stuck that she had to visit her audiologist the next day to remove it! Bottom line: We love this style for being nearly invisible, but we recommend larger or more substantial styles for anyone who has significant trouble with fine motor use of the fingers and hands.

On BBB, Eargo has an A- rating and consumer review of 3.26/5 stars. On Trustpilot, Eargo has 4.3/5 stars, and on the company’s website, the Eargo Neo HiFi has approximately 4.4/5 stars out of more than a thousand reviews. Complaints are focused around poor customer service, but with some people not seeming to understand return policies and warranty coverage. Some complaints were that the hearing aid didn’t fit well or was defective. Consumers who gave positive feedback praised the overall fit and quality and appeared happy with the service they received.

Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?

There is a lot that goes into designing and manufacturing high-quality hearing aids. Hearing aids are pricey due to the continuous research and development that goes on to improve the technology that makes them smaller and more powerful and able to amplify sound more naturally.

A smaller portion of the cost comes from the professional overhead required to conduct hearing tests, fit users with the devices, and adjust them to individual health considerations. Other professional features may include hearing aid selection and recommendations, significant adjustments needed for clarity or individual preference, verification that the devices are meeting hearing needs, and periodic service for cleaning and checking functionality of all hearing aid parts.

How to Choose the Affordable Hearing Aid for You

Before you purchase hearing aids, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice. Here are some questions to help you narrow down your selection when shopping for hearing aids:

  • Do I need one hearing aid or two? Many people experience hearing loss in only one ear, or are in different stages of hearing loss in each ear where only one may need a hearing aid.
  • Which hearing aid style is recommended for my type of hearing loss? Different hearing aids are tailored to varying levels of hearing loss (e.g., moderate vs. profound).
  • What feature preferences and needs do I have to enhance my hearing aid experience (e.g., enhanced music listening, wind noise reduction, ability to stream phone calls and podcasts, directional microphones, etc.)?
  • Do I have issues that may hinder my ability to operate the hearing device’s programs (e.g., vision loss, manual dexterity issues, etc.)?
  • What sort of trial period and warranties come with the hearing aids?
  • How important is customer service? Can I easily get in touch with a customer service representative if I have any questions or issues? Will the online hearing aid be difficult to learn how to use on my own?

Comparing the Cheapest Hearing Aids

Price
MDHearing Air$299.98 per pair
Audien Atom Pro$249 per pair
Otofonix helix$695 per pair
Audicus Aura$1,398 per pair
Lively2 Lite$1,195 per pair
Eargo Neo HiFi$1,350 per pair
Financing
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Type of Hearing Aid
MDHearing AirBehind the Ear
Audien Atom ProCompletely in the Canal
Otofonix helixBehind the Ear
Audicus AuraCompletely in the Canal
Lively2 LiteReceiver in Canal
Eargo Neo HiFiCompletely in the Canal
Type of Hearing Loss
MDHearing AirMild to Moderately Severe
Audien Atom ProMild to Moderate
Otofonix helixMild to Moderately Severe
Audicus AuraMild to Moderately Severe
Lively2 LiteMild to Moderately Severe
Eargo Neo HiFiMild to Moderate in the High Frequency Range
Rechargeable Battery
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Water Resistant
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Directional Microphones
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Noise Reduction
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Adjustment
MDHearing AirRemote by smartphone app
Audien Atom ProNone
Otofonix helixNone
Audicus AuraRemote by phone app or audiologist consultatio
Lively2 LiteRemote by smartphone app or mail-in
Eargo Neo HiFiRemote through Eargo support
Bluetooth
MDHearing Air
Audien Atom Pro
Otofonix helix
Audicus Aura
Lively2 Lite
Eargo Neo HiFi
Trial Period
MDHearing Air45 days
Audien Atom Pro45 days
Otofonix helix45 days
Audicus Aura45 days
Lively2 Lite100 days
Eargo Neo HiFi45 days
Warranty
MDHearing Air90 days
Audien Atom ProLimited one-year warranty comes with purchase, lifetime protection available for $4 per month
Otofonix helix12 months
Audicus Aura12 months
Lively2 Lite3 years
Eargo Neo HiFi12 months

Bottom Line for Choosing the Best Affordable Hearing Aids

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one-third to one-half of older adults would benefit from hearing aids. And yet, despite the benefits they provide, only about a third of older adults have ever used hearing aids, according to calculations by NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program from the annual National Health Interview Survey. Hearing aids are an investment for your overall health and wellness. Our selection of the best cheap hearing aids are carefully researched and considered to bring you the best quality options to fit your budget. 

Wearing hearing aids can improve your social life, your self-esteem, and your enjoyment of daily activities almost immediately. While you can’t undo the damage that has already been done to the hearing nerve, wearing hearing aids can slow down the decline of speech understanding by stimulating the auditory nerve and the brain, noted Dr. Orso. The sooner you can aid hearing loss, the better the long-term outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is possible to find a good pair of inexpensive hearing aids. In fact, our list of best cheap hearing aids includes reputable brands, many of which have been in the hearing aid business for decades. Hearing aid manufacturers spend a lot of money in research and development to improve comfort and technology of hearing aids, which comes at a price. Be prepared to spend at least a couple hundred dollars. In the end, it’ll be worth the investment. With proper care, your hearing aids can last up to seven years.

Other Hearing Aids Guides

Learn More About Hearing Aids

Jennifer Walker-Journey contributed to this report.

WRITTEN BY

With over six years of clinical experience in long term care and rehabilitation, Ayla is passionate about helping people age safely and with dignity. She is an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), licensed with the State Board of Nursing in Massachusetts, and holds a B.A. in Psychology. Through her education and work she has focused on combining practical health knowledge with the individual needs and desires of older adults to bring the absolute best care and content to patients and readers.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Dr. Kupfer is an Audiologist and Hearing Aid Specialist in NYC, where she works with adults and older adults daily. In addition to diagnosing hearing loss, tinnitus and fitting cutting-edge hearing aids in her private practice, she serves as adjunct clinical faculty for the CUNY Audiology Doctoral Program.