While the latest hearing aid model from Eargo, the Eargo 6, launched in January 2022, you can now get it direct-to-consumer with the FDA’s ruling establishing a new category for hearing aids to be available over the counter (OTC). This means the Eargo 6 is accessible directly through the brand’s website as well as in select stores.
While there is much debate about the FDA’s recent approval of selling hearing aids OTC, studies on outcome evaluation suggest positive outcomes of OTC devices in the older adult population.
Like its predecessor, the Eargo 5, it sits completely in the canal (CIC) and is rechargeable. It offers new technology additions—the most notable of which is called Sound Adjust. With this capability, the device is designed to automatically adjust levels when it senses you have moved into a different listening environment. Eargo has also made improvements in background noise cancellation and water resistance with this latest model.
The Eargo 6 offers automatic program adjustments. This means that while you can still use the app or double-tap feature to switch between preset programs, the Eargo 6 will sense when you are entering a new sound environment and automatically adjust accordingly in 10–30 milliseconds. For example, if you’re walking into a noisy restaurant, you shouldn’t have to make any manual adjustments, and the same is true for when you leave and enter into a quieter environment.
While this specific technology sounds like a game changer, realistically it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Dr. Rachel Magann Faivre, Au.D, a longtime audiologist and owner of Oklahoma City-based ASH Audiology, noted that it can be inaccurate, and when the sound does adjust with the new environment, it can’t be measured objectively from person to person. “With any OTC or [prescription] hearing aid, the manufacturers have their marketing points that don’t always equate to real world improvements,” she said. This is something to keep in mind when testing your hearing aids during your trial period.
Background Noise Cancellation
Background noise is a common complaint for hearing aid users. Environments with the most background noise generally cause the most trouble for speech comprehension. The Eargo 6 has been programmed with more advanced algorithms than previous models to detect and deflect annoying background noise. It works in conjunction with the Sound Adjust feature to keep speech at the forefront and background noise to a minimum.
The Eargo 6 is the first Eargo model to incorporate an IP (ingress protection) rating. The IPX 7 rating means that the device can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes and still function. This does not allow for swimming but does mean that you can exercise and shower without worrying about damaging your hearing aids.
Sound Match was first offered with the Eargo 5. Most hearing loss is not fully symmetric, with one ear more or less affected than the other. Sound Match allows you to create a unique sound profile for each of your hearing aids based on a 10-minute test while wearing them. It customizes your preset programs and Sound Adjust system so that they are specific to the needs of each ear.
Eargo 6 Review
The Eargo 6 hearing aid is a solid choice for its mid-range price. We found in our testing that it stands up against competitors in the same price range now that it features water resistance, automatic sound program adjustment, and reduced background noise interference. You can also order online and customize the fit with different petal tip sizes and shapes.
The silicone petal tips come in an open or closed shape and mimic the look of petals on a flower. It’s a unique design to this brand and allows for a more customized fit and feel. Closed petal tips offer a tighter fit, minimizing sound leakage and reducing feedback for more moderate hearing loss. Open petals provide a roomier fit and lend a more natural listening experience, making them typically better for milder hearing loss. Both styles come in two size options as well.
Although the Eargo 6 hearing aid comes with an app that we confirmed through testing easily connects to Android or iPhones, it does not have Bluetooth connectivity. Most CIC hearing aids don’t, which allows them to remain so small. The app allows you to make real-time, in-ear adjustments to volume (including mute), bass, and treble. It also lets you optimize the programs and the noise filters for different environments, including TV, restaurants, phone calls, and meetings.
You can also use the app to:
- Access the user guide, tutorials, and help videos.
- Get support from hearing professionals via chat, phone call, video call, or email.
- Get notifications and reminders about cleaning your devices and replacing petal tips.
We found the app to be straightforward and easy to use, and we especially appreciated the quick ability to connect with customer support directly through the app.
We were impressed with Eargo’s customer service and support, as well as the generous two-year warranty and 45-day free trial period.
Nearly invisible CIC style
Accessible customer support
45-day trial period
No Bluetooth streaming
Tiny size difficult for large or stiff fingers