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.
If you're considering buying hearing aids, there's a lot to like about Eargo. 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 unbiased look at 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 whenconnected 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
Eargo was founded 10 years ago by Florent Michel, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon, alongside his son Rafael, and Daniel Shen, an MIT-educated medical engineer. 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 its latest line, the Eargo Neo and Neo HiFi in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Eargo is known for innovative, nearly invisible completely-in-the-canal hearing aids with high-tech features that appeal to active adults.
Key Eargo hearing aid features
Eargo hearing aids are designed for people with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. Their tiny size and sleek design make them virtually undetectable to others, eliminating 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
Currently the company sells three 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 is the newest and most advanced model in the Neo lineup. 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.
How much do Eargo hearing aids cost?
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
Two large and six small Flexi Fibers or Flexi Palms (depending on model)
Two Flexi Domes
Wax guard and cleaning brush
Eargo Max: $1,850 with financing as low as $86 per month.
Eargo Neo: $2,350 with financing as low as $109 per month.
Eargo Neo HiFi: $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 will 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 have to do.
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.
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:
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 comes with a two-year warranty.
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 review complaints
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 Neo HiFi, has 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.
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.
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.