MDHearingAid Reviews: Best Hearing Aids for 2021
- Includes access to a licensed hearing specialist to help fit hearing aids
- Only behind-the-ear (BTE) models available
- Basic hearing aids, Bluetooth-enabled, and high-tech devices available
- Value-priced devices start at $400 a pair
- Rechargeable and disposable, battery-operated devices available
Millions of people experience hearing loss, but only about one in four who need hearing aids have ever used them, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you find yourself among those who haven't received treatment for your hearing loss, you probably already know that the high cost of hearing aids keeps many people from getting the help they need.
While MDHearingAid devices have many attractive features, they may not be right for everyone. Provided below is our unbiased review of MDHearingAid, including the reasons they earned our top spot.
Why trust our expert review?
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We've spent collectively more than 5,000 hours conducting in-depth research on hearing aids. Throughout this process, we did the following:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with independent audiologists
- Consulted with geriatric care experts
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
- Tested various models of hearing aids
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read thousands of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Why we chose MDHearingAid
Health editors researched dozens of brands of hearing aids, including traditional brands sold through an audiologist's office and brands you can purchase online to help you find the best hearing aid for your needs. We chose to review MDHearingAid because it's one of our top picks for hearing aids you can buy online (alongside Lively, Audicus, and Eargo), primarily for the value they provide. Starting at $400 per pair, they're the most affordable hearing solution you're likely to find anywhere.
MDHearingAid devices come with a wide range of features and technology to suit most hearing needs, including mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss, which is the most common type.
They are sold directly to the consumer, thus cutting out the need for a middleman or costly storefronts. Customers can buy hearing aids from the privacy of their homes at a fraction of the cost of traditional brands, which is an especially an advantage for people who want to avoid the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Value-priced hearing aids starting at $400 a pair with 0% financing available through the company's lending partner
- No-questions-asked returns during the introductory period, a 45-day trial
- An audiologist-supervised online sales process, with recommendations based on your online hearing test results
- Comprehensive customer support options, including access to a licensed hearing instrument specialist to help fit your hearing aids
- Three models available, ranging from basic hearing aids to Bluetooth-enabled, high-tech devices
- Manufactured in the United States in compliance with FDA regulations
- Customized fit available with the CORE model, which uses an app for precise adjustments
- Both rechargeable and disposable battery-operated hearing aids available
- Only behind-the-ear (BTE) models available
- Limited basic warranty, although a more comprehensive protection plan is available for an additional fee
- Only one rechargeable model (the VOLT+), and only one model (the CORE) is compatible with the app; neither model currently offers both features
- Phone support only available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST; no online chat support for technical issues
MDHearingAid manufactures its hearing aids in Chicago, Illinois. Currently, three models are in the company's lineup:
The VOLT+ is the company's most popular device. It's rechargeable and lasts for up to 30 hours on a single three-hour charge. The magnetic carrying case can charge the hearing aids approximately three times before the case needs to be recharged. This feature makes it a great choice for people on the go. If you're active outdoors, we think you'll love the VOLT+'s water-resistant coating, which offers a layer of protection against rain, sweat, and other sources of moisture that could damage its internal components.
The VOLT+ has two multidirectional microphones and advanced noise reduction and feedback cancellation technology for an optimal hearing experience. It also has four different audio settings designed by audiologists to help you hear well in even the noisiest environments. The company's website claims the VOLT+ works for over 94% of individuals with hearing loss.
Cost: $599 each or $1,199 a pair, which includes the magnetic charging/carrying case ($100 a month with 0% financing for 12 months)
Call to buy: 1-800-995-7690
The AIR uses digital signal processing (DSP), which converts sound waves into digital signals. DSP enables more complex sound processing for improved performance in most environments. The AIR has noise reduction and feedback cancellation capabilities, enabling you to use them even in noisy environments.
Wearers can adjust the hearing aid volume and switch between four different audio settings by tapping buttons on the back of the device. The AIR uses disposable batteries. While it lacks a directional microphone, the AIR has a telecoil, which allows it to be used with other assistive listening devices.
Cost: $399 each or $799 a pair ($66 a month with 0% financing for 12 months)
Call to buy: 1-800-995-7690
The CORE is a Bluetooth-enabled "smart" hearing aid that automatically adapts to your environment and hearing needs. It also has four preprogrammed audio settings you can switch between either by pressing a button on the back of the device or more discreetly by using the smartphone app.
The CORE is MDHearingAid's most technologically advanced model. It uses a smartphone app to customize and fine-tune your audio profiles. This is especially helpful for people with dexterity issues who find it difficult to toggle the tiny buttons on the hearing aids themselves. It's also a plus for people who don't want others to know they're wearing a hearing aid.
Cost: $799 each or $1,599 a pair ($133 a month with 0% financing for 12 months)
Call to buy: 1-800-995-7690
Unlike many online hearing aid companies, MDHearingAid is well-known for its frequent sales, discounts, and perks. For example, you may be able to find a buy-one-get-one-free sale on the AIR and VOLT+ models, or a $600 discount on CORE hearing aids—depending on the current sales and discounts.
Coupon codes are occasionally available through affiliates for perks such as a free year's supply of batteries with the purchase of a pair of hearing aids.
Hearing aids and health insurance
Although the Affordable Care Act expanded the coverage requirements for health insurance plans, hearing aids aren't currently a mandated benefit. The good news is that many private insurance plans, including most Medicare Advantage plans, do cover some or all of the costs of hearing aids.
It's important to note that as a company, MDHearingAid doesn't file insurance claims on behalf of its customers. You have to pay for your hearing aids upfront and request reimbursement from your insurer. The company does at least provide the documentation you need to file a claim.
If you have a health savings account, you can pay for MDHearingAid devices with HSA funds. Under current rules, hearing aids are a qualifying expense for tax-advantaged HSA withdrawals.
The MDHearingAid buying process
Even if you've never bought health devices online, you'll find the MDHearingAid buying process to be both intuitive and easy to navigate. The first step is an online hearing test, which you should take wearing headphones or earbuds for the most accurate results.
You must enter your name and email address before you can take the test. When the test is complete, your results are displayed on the page along with your audiogram and tips for interpreting it.
MDHearingAid has a team of medical professionals, including licensed audiologists and ear, nose, and throat specialists, on staff. These professionals are available to help you choose the best hearing aids based on your audiogram results and individual lifestyle.
All MDHearingAid models accommodate different types and sizes of tubing, domes, and tips to help you get the best fit. MDHearingAid devices are shipped with a ComfortTIP designed to follow the curve of your ear for a more custom-like fit. If the tip doesn't work for you, you can easily replace it with a dome or mushroom-shaped tip or a custom-molded tip from a hearing center.
The AIR model comes with threaded tubing that can be screwed off and on for cleaning. The VOLT+ and CORE have snap-on tubing. All hearing aids come with a user manual, a special cleaning tool, and a starter set of batteries. The VOLT+ comes with a power adapter, cord, and charging case. If you misplace your manual, printable versions are available online.
There is also a comprehensive troubleshooting section on the website with videos and FAQs. Phone and email support are available if you need help.
MDHearingAid trial period and warranty
MDHearingAid offers a 45-day trial period. You can request a return merchandise authorization (RMA) for any reason during that time and receive a 100% refund. Without the RMA, the refund is capped at 80%. The company encourages consumers to wear the devices for a full 21 days to get acclimated to them before returning them, but this is not a requirement in order to get your refund.
The company only provides a 90-day limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. If the device malfunctions during the warranty period, you have to return it to the company for inspection. If they determine the failure is due to faulty materials or workmanship, the MDHearingAid will repair or replace the hearing aid for free.
If you want a longer warranty and protection against accidental damage, you can purchase a protection plan for a separate fee. The protection plan covers defects and malfunctions not related to materials or workmanship, as well as accidental damage. It does not cover the replacement of a lost device.
MDHearingAid customer reviews
Our review process includes examining third-party review sites such as Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau. It's helpful to know what actual customers say about MDHearingAid products. Here's what we found:
MDHearingAid achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 3.5 out of 5.0 stars rating from consumers. Over the last three years, the company registered 27 complaints. Most complaints involved misunderstandings about the buy-one-get-one sale prices and exceptions to the warranty or protection plan. MDHearingAid responded promptly on the BBB website to each customer complaint.
On the Consumer Affairs website, MDHearingAid has a customer satisfaction rate of 4 out of 5 stars. While customer reviews were generally positive, a few reviews mentioned limitations in the audio profiles on the less expensive models.
Also noteworthy is the fact that a few reviewers mentioned having difficulty getting a comfortable fit. MDHearingAid's website mentions that all models can be fitted with a custom earmold if the included tips and tubing aren't satisfactory. Custom tips are available from online stores and independent hearing centers.
The bottom line
MDHearingAid manufactures devices that defy the adage "you get what you pay for." Despite being the most economical hearing aids on the market, they deliver a level of technology and features found on hearing aids costing twice as much. For this reason alone, they deserve consideration if you or someone you love suffers from mild to moderate hearing loss.
We determined our top picks based on the following criteria:
- Audiologist care
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer service
- Features such as Bluetooth capability and rechargeable batteries
- Comfort and fit
Frequently asked questions
Is MDHearingAid legitimate?
Yes, it is a legitimate company. If your specific type of hearing loss doesn't require custom-fit or custom-designed hearing devices, these hearing aids may be a good purchase. While MDHearingAid produces affordable hearing aids and an audiologist can make recommendations based on your initial online hearing test results, these devices aren't custom-fit for the wearer by an audiologist.
But MDHearingAid devices are FDA approved, and the company offers a money-back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with the fit.
What is the best hearing aid to buy?
The best hearing aid out there depends on your specific hearing needs, lifestyle, and budget. MDHearingAid devices are our top pick for the most affordable hearing aids.
How much does MDHearingAid cost?
You can find MDHearingAid devices within the range of $400 to $1,599, depending on the model.
How long do MDHearingAid devices last?
Because of the advanced battery, the MDHearingAid Volt+ will last, on average, 24 to 30 hours, and the hearing aids take about three to four hours to fully charge. With MDHearingAid, you have rechargeable and battery-powered options.
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.