Eargo Hearing Aids Review 2021
- Invisible, comfortable, rechargeable
- Costs 50% less than traditional hearing aids
- 45-day, no-questions-asked return policy
- Free sample to test fit and feel
- Insurance may cover full or partial cost of Eargo hearing aids
- Federal employees may receive Eargo hearing aids at $0 cost to you
- Lifetime support from a dedicated hearing professional
- Remote service and audio personalization
- Order anytime from the comfort of your own home
In 2018, Time magazine named the Eargo Max one of the year's best innovations, calling it "a hearing aid meant for the masses." Eargo is a disruptor in the hearing aid industry, selling its high-tech devices directly to consumers online at prices well below those of traditional brands.
Founded in 2010 by Florent Michel, Raphael Michel and Daniel Shen, this Silicon Valley-based start-up company designs and manufactures virtually invisible hearing aids modeled after the standard fishing fly. Today, all Eargo devices continue to be modeled after the fly— suspended in the ear canal with medical grade silicone fibers, enabling air to flow naturally in and out of the ear. As of June 30, 2020, Eargo reports sales of 42,000 hearing aid systems. The CEO of Eargo, Christian Gormsen, credits the success of Eargo to the team of ENT surgeons, industry professionals, tech geeks, and "dreamers" working to create a hearing aid for everyone.
If you're considering buying hearing aids, there's a lot to like about Eargo. The company is known for innovative, nearly invisible completely-in-the-canal hearing aids with high-tech features that appeal to active adults. Independent Eargo hearing aid reviews are generally positive across all third-party review sites. But are the devices right for you?
Health editors researched dozens of brands of hearing aids, including traditional brands sold through an audiologist's office and brands that you can purchase online to help you find the best hearing aid for your needs. Here's our take on the pros and cons of Eargo hearing aids, which earned the distinction of "Best Invisible Fit" by our team of experts.
- The hearing aids have rechargeable batteries that charge when connected to their carrying case.
- The Eargo free sample programs allows you to test the fit and feel of the hearing aids before you buy.
- Eargo offers a 45-day return policy, which is one of the longest in the industry.
- The mobile app is user-friendly and allows you to adjust and reconfigure your hearing settings as needed.
- The batteries in the hearing aids are rechargeable, but they cannot be replaced.
- Some users with severe high-frequency or profound hearing loss cite that the hearing aids don't improve their hearing.
- Eargo hearing aids can be pricey, though there are financing options available.
About Eargo hearing aids
In 2017, Eargo released its first hearing aid, the Eargo Plus. It released the Eargo Max, the company's popular entry-level hearing aid, in 2018, and following shortly after, the Eargo Neo and Neo HiFi in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Its latest line, Eargo 5, launched July 2021 as the company's most advanced hearing aid to date.
The most common type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss, and it's often associated with aging. It can't be cured, but it can be treated with a hearing aid. Because their tiny size and sleek design make them virtually undetectable to others, Eargo hearing aids can improve your mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss and eliminate the stigma sometimes associated with hearing aids.
Eargo features include:
- Advanced noise reduction and feedback cancellation, which delivers clearer sound quality
- Four preset sound profiles with audio personalization so users can customize the sound amplification to their specific level and type of hearing loss (Eargo hearing aids only amplify high-frequency sounds, which the company says offers a more natural sound experience)
- Wind reduction technology for active users who spend a lot of time outdoors
- Rechargeable batteries that automatically charge when the hearing aids are placed in their carrying case
- On-the-go quick charge, which gives you up to three hours of use after 30 minutes in the charging case
- Comfortable Flexi Fibers and Flexi TetraPalms that suspend the hearing aid in the canal instead of blocking it so sound can travel freely into the eardrum
- A user-friendly smartphone app that lets users set up, configure, and adjust their hearing aids to suit their needs and environment
- Remote support capabilities via cell phone connectivity, which allows users to get updates and adjustments directly from the company without mailing in their devices
- Every Eargo hearing loss device comes with lifetime support from their team of licensed professionals
You can request a free sample of Eargo hearing aids here to test their fit and feel.
Eargo hearing aid models
Currently the company sells four different models.
Eargo Max is the company's entry-level hearing aid and winner of Time's 2018 innovation award. The Eargo Max is designed for mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. It features dynamic feedback cancellation and noise reduction. It is not compatible with the Eargo app.
Eargo Neo is a step above the Max and features an upgraded digital amplifier and more custom adjustment options. The Neo uses Flexi Palms instead of Flexi Fibers for anchoring the device, which many users consider more comfortable to wear. The Neo is compatible with the Eargo app.
Eargo Neo HiFi
Eargo Neo HiFi offers state-of-the-art design with an even greater sound fidelity. Its internal circuitry responds to a wider range of frequencies than the other two models. The HiFi comes with Flexi Palms and is compatible with the Eargo app.
Eargo 5 is the newest and most advanced model, while simultaneously being the smallest aid Eargo has ever made. It uses Sound Match technology that enables at-home hearing screenings and custom tuning with no clinic visits or waiting rooms required. Users can further customize their hearing settings depending on the environment they're in, be it a restaurant or a movie theater, which allows more freedom for a tailored hearing experience. The 5 is compatible with the Eargo app.
Eargo hearing aids pricing
Eargo hearing aids are only sold in pairs, so the prices below are for two hearing aids. The price includes:
- Hard plastic carrying case with built-in charger
- USB cables
- Two large and six small Flexi Fibers or Flexi Palms (depending on model)
- Two Flexi Domes
- Wax guard and cleaning brush
Eargo Max: $1,500 with financing as low as $70 per month.
Eargo Neo: $2,000 with financing as low as $93 per month.
Eargo Neo HiFi: $2,500 with financing as low as $116 per month.
Eargo 5: $2,950 with financing as low as $137 per month.
Will insurance cover the cost of my hearing aids?
You'll be relieved to know that many insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost of your hearing aids, and Eargo will do all of the work for you to determine your coverage.
Not sure whether your insurance plan covers hearing aids? Here's what you need to do.
- Go to Eargo's site.
- They'll ask you for some information including your name, contact information, and insurance carrier.
- Wait for a call regarding your coverage.
Eargo will determine along with your insurance company whether you're covered and what the cost will be out-of-pocket, and they'll contact you with this information. If you choose to go forward with your purchase, Eargo will even file the claim for you.
RELATED: Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
Benefits for federal employees
If you're a federal employee or retiree, you may be eligible for full coverage of your hearing aids though the Federal Employee Health Benefits program. Some of the popular insurance plans accepted by Eargo include:
- Aetna Federal Plans
- BCBS Federal Employee Program
- NALC Health Benefit Plan
To find out if you're eligible for Eargo hearing aids at no cost to you, follow the steps above and Eargo will determine your coverage and cost.
The Eargo warranty covers the hearing aids, charger, cables, and USB plugs. It includes unlimited repairs and a one-time replacement if a device is lost or damaged. However, if you buy the hearing aids on a third-party website such as Amazon or eBay or through an unauthorized third-party reseller, the warranty is void.
The Eargo Max and Neo have a one-year warranty; Neo HiFi and Eargo 5 come with a two-year warranty.
The Eargo buying experience
Buying hearing aids online is a relatively new phenomenon, but Eargo has emerged as a leader in customer experience.
Telehealth options with Eargo
Wondering whether or not you should consult with an audiologist before purchasing hearing aids? Eargo offers private video appointments called "Telecare Checkups" with their licensed hearing professionals. During your virtual appointment you'll have the ability to review your hearing screening results, ask questions about your hearing loss, discuss your specific needs, and get a demonstration of Eargo's mobile app. If you're not comfortable with a video call, Eargo also offers private appointments with licensed hearing professionals via phone.
Free sample program and lifetime support
Eargo has a unique free sample program. If you want to test the fit and feel of the hearing aids before you buy, you can request a free non-working sample to wear.
All Eargo hearing aids come with lifetime personal support from the company's team of licensed hearing professionals. Your hearing aids arrive with an appointment for a welcome call with a member of the hearing team. You learn how to wear, fit, adjust, charge, and care for your hearing aids.
There's a comprehensive "watch and learn" video library and FAQ section on the Eargo website with answers to common troubleshooting questions. The entire hearing aid user manual is also available to download. Live customer support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST).
Eargo offers a 45-day, no-questions-asked return policy, which is one of the longest in the industry.
Eargo customer reviews
The user experience is often one of the best ways to get a feel for how a product works. To better understand how customers rate Eargo hearing aids, we read hundreds of customer reviews.
Consumer Affairs reviewers give Eargo 4 out of 5 stars based on 72 reviews submitted in the last year. Over on Amazon, the Eargo Neo Hearing Aid earned 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is based on 94 global ratings, with 41% of customers giving this model a 5-star rating.
The Eargo Neo HiFi earned higher points from Amazon customers with 141 global ratings giving this model an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars. The reviews on Eargo's site range from 5 stars and "wonderful devices" comments to 1 star and "hard time distinguishing sounds I want to hear." That said, the majority of the reviews on the website are positive and average 4 to 5 stars.
Here are a few customer reviews you may find helpful:
Some customer complaints about Eargo
Eargo gets consistently high reviews from verified purchasers, but there are a few complaints. These concerns were mentioned on third-party review sites:
- Occasional high-pitched sound:
Reviewers mentioned a whining or squealing sound, possibly due to feedback. This can result when amplified sounds from the hearing aid speaker are picked up again by the microphone.
Of note, the latest generation of Eargo hearing aids, the Eargo 5 and the Neo HiFi, have more advanced feedback cancellation technology than the Max and Neo models.
- Does not work for more severe hearing loss:
Users with severe high-frequency or profound hearing loss complain that the Eargo hearing aids don't improve their hearing.
This is not a complaint unique to Eargo devices, however. Most hearing aids purchased online without the expertise of an audiologist are not designed to treat profound hearing loss. People with more severe hearing issues typically need consultation with an audiologist to help them choose the proper device and tailor the settings specifically for their type and degree of hearing loss.
- The hearing aids don't fit or stay securely in the ear:
Some users complain that the hearing aids hurt their ears or move around too much, although this seems to be related to the Max model, which comes with Flexi Fibers.
Most reviewers say the Flexi Palms on the Neo and Neo HiFi models are more comfortable and secure. The good news is Flexi Palms can be used with the Max model and are available for $25 for a package of six.
The bottom line
Eargo is one of the leading innovators in the hearing aid industry. By lowering the price of hearing aids, Eargo removed the cost barrier for people who otherwise might be unable to afford them. The virtually invisible devices help remove the stigma sometimes associated with wearing hearing aids.
Eargo is not the cheapest brand in the direct-to-consumer hearing aid niche, but the financing options put them within reach of most budgets. Eargo hearing aids cost roughly half as much as most traditional hearing center brands. The company's liberal return policy, comprehensive warranty, and customer service gets top marks.
If you are looking for affordable, discreet, and feature-rich hearing aids, Eargo deserves your consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Eargo hearing aids the right solution for my hearing loss?
Adults with mild to moderate-high frequency hearing loss can use Eargo hearing aids. If you have more severe or profound hearing loss, Eargo is not the right solution. That's because Eargo hearing aids are designed to help with clarity more than volume.
How are Eargo hearing aids different from other hearing aids sold over the internet?
Like many other online companies, Eargo is a direct-to-consumer hearing aid manufacturer. Where Eargo wins is in the nearly invisible size of its hearing aids. All of the models are completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids, which gives users looking for a barely-there hearing aid an excellent option. The discreet size and privacy features of the various models are noted in many Eargo hearing aid reviews. Eargo cost is higher than other direct-to-consumer companies, but they provide a comprehensive service from start to finish, including lifetime support from their team of licensed professionals. The company also provides benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. If you qualify, you may be eligible for Eargo hearing aids at no cost.
Do I need a hearing test to order Eargo hearing aids?
You do not need to take an online hearing test or provide results from a hearing test administered by a licensed physician or audiologist to order Eargo hearing aids. That said, taking a hearing test can help determine the type and degree of loss. Most online hearing tests assess your ability to hear everyday sounds. These tests are designed to give you an overview of your hearing, but they are not a substitute for a professional audiometry evaluation. If you think a medical condition might be causing your hearing loss, talk to your doctor. They can determine if the loss is age-related or caused by an underlying condition.
Is an Eargo hearing check the same as a traditional hearing test?
No, the online hearing check offered by Eargo is not the same as a traditional hearing test. The Eargo hearing check focuses on your ability to hear in noise. It's also intended to see how well you hear tones in the speech range. After the hearing check portion of the test, you will answer a few questions about your lifestyle and how you plan on using your hearing aids. The Eargo hearing check is designed to help you choose the right Eargo hearing aid. Several Eargo hearing aid reviews note a positive experience using the online hearing test.
Can I return my Eargo hearing aids if they are not right for me?
Eargo offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. Day one is considered the day your hearing aids are delivered.
Sheila Olson has over two decades of experience writing about Medicare, health, and personal finance. Her work has been featured on sites such as Investopedia, The Motley Fool, and Boomer Benefits. Sheila holds a MPH (Master of Public Health) from Northern Arizona University.