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Best Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids HP NEWS

Score 3.77/5

Price $1,450–$2,950

Type of Hearing Aid Completely-in-canal

Hearing Loss Mild to moderate

Battery type Rechargeable

Bluetooth Streaming No

Warranty length One to two years

Trial period 45 days

Financing Yes

Eargo focuses its efforts on simplifying hearing loss treatment with tiny rechargeable hearing aids that are both comfortable to wear and virtually invisible in the ear, making this brand our choice for “Best Invisible” OTC hearing aid.

Eargo devices are appropriate for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss, and they were the second most-popular brand among our survey of 600 hearing aid users (behind hearing aids from Costco). The majority (69 percent) of Eargo customers said their hearing aids were comfortable to wear.

How Hearing Aids Help the Ears and Brain

Comfort is a big factor in long-term success with hearing aids, and audiologists say it’s important to wear your hearing aids as much as possible each day for the health of both your ears and your brain.

“Your brain changes when you have hearing loss,” says Jacqueline Lovitt, Au.D., a clinician from Capital Hearing and Balance in Silver Spring, Maryland. ”There are studies that show that the brain can reorganize itself when you wear hearing aids and you get adequate auditory stimulation.”

In addition, Brian Murray, a hearing instrument specialist in Raleigh, North Carolina, explained to our reviews team that letting hearing loss go untreated causes auditory deprivation and affects our ability to process sound and speech. A December 2022 study published in JAMA Neurology found that people who wore hearing aids not only got help with their hearing, they also lowered their risk of developing dementia by 19 percent and scored higher on cognitive tests.

If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or aren’t adjusted correctly for your hearing needs, you’ll be less likely to wear them throughout the day. Eargo devices come with a variety of domes and tips to help you find the best fit. The set includes closed and open tips as well as fiber-style and petal-style domes. Murray explains that both the style and configuration (open or closed) of your hearing aid tip can impact sound quality.

It can be hard to know which one you need and when you’ve achieved the best fit, so it’s important to take advantage of the free remote support offered by the Eargo audiology team, especially as you’re getting started.

Are Eargos Truly Invisible?

Since invisibility in the ear is one of the brand’s selling points, our reviews team wanted to see how Eargo stacked up against other CIC models. Note that all four Eargo devices are about the same size, 18–19 millimeters long. We compared the size of the Eargo 6 with the Signia Silk X, a prescription CIC model. The Eargo 6 was noticeably smaller than the Signia Silk X.

Size comparison of Eargo 6 (left) to Signia SIlk X (right)

Eargo Models and Features

Eargo hearing aids are available in four rechargeable CIC models, each with a distinct set of features.

The Eargo Max is $1,450 and comes with four listening settings that can be adjusted by tapping the hearing aid. It’s not compatible with an app for volume or setting adjustments.

The next level is the Neo HiFi with a price of $1,950. This model is compatible with an app for adjustments and remote support, and in addition to choosing from the four listening settings, you can also create your own settings.

The Eargo 5 costs $2,450 and provides an in-app hearing screening, the results of which can be used to make adjustments to your settings.

The company’s top-of-the-line model, the Eargo 6, makes automatic adjustments based on your listening environment. It’s also the company’s only water-resistant model. We submerged the Eargo 6 in three feet of water for 30 minutes, based on its stated level of water resistance, and were pleased to find that the water resistant claims held up. The hearing aids worked well and connected to the app with no problems after our water test.

The Eargo 6 comes with a two-year warranty, compared with the one-year warranty offered with the other three models.

All Eargo models include feedback cancellation and digital noise reduction. Due to their small size, though, they don’t come with directional microphones or telecoil. Because they also don’t have Bluetooth streaming capabilities, you’ll need to look at OTC brands Jabra Enhance, Audicus, or a prescription hearing aid brand if you want to stream sound or calls.

Eargo batteries hold a charge of about 16 hours, depending on app use for volume and setting adjustments. But because they don’t have Bluetooth streaming capability, you won’t see as much variability with battery life as you would with a model from Jabra Enhance or Audicus.

Where to Buy Eargo Hearing Aids

While Eargo is sold at Victra-Verizon stores and Best Buy, the stores’ salespeople may not be able to help you with the physical fit or listening settings on your Eargo devices. When we contacted Best Buy to see if it offered post-purchase hearing aid support, we were told that the company’s Geek Squad could help with adjustments. But since Best Buy employees aren’t trained in the physical or audiological fit of hearing aids, you won’t get the same level of service or expertise as at a hearing clinic.

Some hearing care clinics that sell prescription hearing aids now offer in-person support for people who have bought OTC devices. The American Academy of Audiology has an online locator to help you find a hearing clinic in your area.

Financing and Veterans Discounts

The company also offers financing with zero percent interest for up to 24 months — the longest interest-free payment plan we’ve seen among OTC manufacturers. And if you’re a U.S. veteran, the company will give you a 20 percent discount on a pair of Eargo 6 hearing aids.

For more information, read our Eargo hearing aids review.

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