When it comes to hearing aids, what holds many people back from purchasing them is the high price. Modern-day hearing aid models are high-tech and packed with advanced features enriching the hearing experience, which makes them highly expensive. It is not affordable for everyone to purchase high-end models. Hence, many people opt for cheap hearing aids that fit within their budget. 

Many hearing aids are marketed as cheap ones. As a result, a common question among most people is – Are cheap hearing aids worth buying? Do they really work well? 

Besides, many leading, reputed hearing aid brands today produce different models with different ranges of prices to make them affordable for common people. In addition, medical insurance programs and government financial aid provide significant support in buying modern-day, high-tech hearing aids. 

Nonetheless, many resellers are flooding the market with cheap hearing aid options. Hence, the question arises: Are cheap hearing aids worth buying? Well, we have tried to answer this question in the article below.

Are Cheap Hearing Aids Worth Buying? 

Though cheap auditory aids seem enticing to buy, they do not offer the same level of performance and advanced features as higher-end models do. Most cheap hearing aids are not capable of amplifying the higher sound frequencies, which are commonly affected by sensorineural hearing loss. 

When there is severe damage to nerves in the ear or auditory pathway leading to the brain, this results in sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss generally impacts frequencies over 1,000 Hz. Hence, if people with sensorineural hearing loss use cheap auditory aids, they may still significantly struggle to hear certain sounds and speeches clearly. 

This is because cheap hearing aids do not offer the same functionality, quality, and reliability as expensive models. They may not be custom-fitted to an individual’s hearing needs and may not be durable or long-lasting. Further, some cheap models may not be FDA-registered. This implies they may not have undergone rigorous testing and safety standards that validate the safety and durability of products. 

Even if you have mild to moderate hearing loss, it is always better to consult hearing health specialists, as they recommend auditory aids based on an individual’s hearing level, preference, lifestyle, and budget. 

If you search online or locally for cheap hearing aids, you can find several options ranging from $50 to $100. Many people tend to buy them as the price appeals to them. However, it is important to note that many of them are actually not auditory aids. Rather, they are simply personal sound amplification products (PSAPs). 

FDA states that these products are not intended for people with hearing loss but for those who wish to increase their environmental sounds. PSAPs are not medical devices. 

Features of Cheap Hearing Aids 

The following are the characteristics of cheap auditory aids: 

  • Poor Support: Inexpensive auditory aids certainly offer little to no support, as they prioritize profit above all. Getting any exchange or refund if you buy them is challenging. Even if some brands offer customer support, the support team may not be hearing healthcare specialists. 
  • Not FDA-Registered: FDA registration is a set of rules and guidelines that monitor manufacturing operations in the production and distribution of medical devices in the United States. Most PSAPs and cheap auditory aids are not FDA-registered. This means they do not meet the international quality standards and FDA’s ANSI requirements for hearing aids.
  • Amplify All Sounds the Same: These hearing aids amplify all sounds – those you wish to hear as well as you wish to hear. Like FDA-registered, high-tech hearing aids, cheap ones don’t target specific frequencies; they equally amplify all sounds. 
  • Not Advanced Hearing Aid Technology: You do not get advanced features with PSAPs and other cheap auditory aids. These features may include the ability to distinguish between background noise and voice frequencies, adaptive listening programs changing with the environment, no wireless connectivity, and fewer customization options. 
  • No Support in Complex Environments: As mentioned already, inexpensive hearing devices amplify all sounds the same. Hence, they are not useful in noisy environments, preventing people from concentrating on important conversations. 
  • No Feedback Control: Feedback control is the technology that minimizes the whistling sound occurrence when a hearing aid takes its own output and amplifies it again. Cheap models do not provide feedback control. 
  • Highly Dangerous: If high-pitched noises directly transmit to your ear canal, this results in higher chances of potential damage to your hearing ability. 
  • No Warranty: Many cheap auditory aids offer no warranty. Hence, if they malfunction, there is no way to get them repaired for free or exchanged for a new one. 

An Example of Cheap Hearing Aids 

MEDca Digital Hearing Amplifier

cheap hearing aids

Available starting from $42.42 on Amazon, which is extremely inexpensive, MEDca digital hearing amplifier claims that it features complete background noise reduction and cancelation technology. Further, it claims that it can amplify sound for speech frequencies of the human voice, and the design is discreet and durable.

However, when you move to ratings, it is rated with just 3.5/5 based on 5,136 global ratings. Many people shred their reviews. In most of the reviews, people did not find these hearing amplifiers helpful. 

7 Best Affordable Hearing Aids To Consider in 2023

Cheap hearing aids do not guarantee to help you hear all sound frequencies clearly. Considering this and all its features mentioned above, we have compiled a list of the best affordable hearing aids, which serve as a middle point between cheap and high-end hearing aids. 

The following list comprises the best affordable hearing aids from reputed manufacturers: 

1. Jabra Enhance 

cheap hearing aids

Highlights 

  • Models: Enhance Select (50, 100, and 200) and Enhance Plus 
  • Style: Over-the-counter (OTC) receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to Moderate (Enhance Plus) and Moderate to Severe (Enhance Select)
  • Warranty: 3 years for Enhance Select and 1 year for Enhance Plus
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial: 100 days
  • Support: Yes

If you are searching for affordable hearing aids offering the best customer support, Jabra Enhance is among them. Jabra Enhance Select are high-tech hearing aids that are nearly invisible and Bluetooth-enabled. While Enhance Select 200 and 100 are rechargeable auditory aids, Enhance Select 50 are battery-powered (disposable). 

All these models are available in 5 standard colors, have a discreet design, and support Bluetooth streaming, allowing you to listen to music and calls. Further, they come with a dedicated app, Jabra Enhance Select mobile app, helping you control your volume settings, listen to music, and take calls. 

Jabra Enhance Plus are miniaturized 3-in-1 earbuds for hearing enhancement. They are only compatible with iOS devices as of now. As they are miniaturized devices, they have an ultra-discreet design. They offer different listening modes – Adaptive, Focus, and Surround, and you can switch between them based on your environment. 

Pricing

  • Jabra Enhance Plus: $799
  • Jabra Enhance Select 50: $1,195 per pair
  • Jabra Enhance Select 100: $1,495 per pair
  • Jabra Enhance Select 200: $1,995 per pair

2. Audien Hearing

cheap hearing aids

Highlights 

  • Model: Audien EV1, Audien EV 3, Audien Atom and Audien Atom Pro
  • Style: In-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to Moderate
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Financing: No
  • Trial: 45 days 
  • Support: Yes

If you are looking for budget-friendly options, hearing aids from Audien are among the best ones to consider. Atom and Atom Pro are the two available models that are rechargeable. 

As they are among the most affordable options, they offer a few advanced features. The major setback of these hearing aids is they do not offer multiple listening profiles to fit your environment; you get a single hearing profile. Further, they do not offer Bluetooth capability and app-enabled adjustments.

Atom and Atom pro models are significantly smaller and feature long-lasting batteries than EV1 and EV3. Also, they are discreet and highly comfortable. Atom Pro is the advanced model, offering a portable charging case, feedback cancellation, and the smallest size. 

Hence, if your priority is budget, and you don’t want to sacrifice the sound quality, you can consider auditory aids from Audien.

Pricing

  • Audien Atom Pro: $249.00
  • Audien Atom: $99.00
  • Audien EV3: $199.00
  • Audien EV1: $89.00

3. Audicus 

Highlights 

  • Model: Wave, Mini, Spirit, and Omni
  • Style: Receiver-in-canal (RIC) and Completely-in-canal (CIC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to severe
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial: 45 days 
  • Support: Yes

Audicus hearing aids are among the best choices for people looking for the best Bluetooth connectivity. Wave, Spirit, and Omni models support Bluetooth connectivity and are available in both types – rechargeable and battery-powered. On the other hand, the Mini is a new battery-powered, small, discreet, and virtually invisible model. 

Further, Spirit and Omni models support remote adjustments from Android and Apple smartphones and come with a dedicated app, allowing you to have full control over your hearing aids. Omni is the most advanced model of Audicus. It provides all the features the Spirit model offers, with the additional feature of adaptive-bidirectional microphones. 

Coming to the latest creation from Audicus, Mini, has the most discreet design and fits completely in your ear canal. It blocks unwanted noise, auto-adjusts to your environments, and offer advanced software and custom-programming capability. 

Pricing

  • Wave: $699/ear
  • Mini: $999/ear
  • Spirit: $1199/ear
  • Omni: $1499/ear

4. Lexie 

Highlights 

  • Model: Lexie B2, Lexie B1, and Lexie Lumen
  • Style: Behind-the-ear (BTE) – Lumen and Receiver-in-canal (RIC) – B1 and B2
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Financing: No
  • Trial: 45 days 
  • Support: Yes

Looking for affordable, high-quality OTC hearing aids? Don’t forget to consider the auditory aids from Lexie. All three models offer top-grade noise reduction and feedback management features, allowing you to listen to only important conversations in noisy environments. They all are powered by replaceable batteries. 

Lexie B1 and B2 are self-fitting, high-quality, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The simple and convenient process of fitting hearing aids eliminates the need for clinic visits. If you feel you need help, Lexie Experts are just a call away and can help you set up your hearing aids in real-time.

Further, B1 and B2 can adapt to different listening environments, whereas Lumen can adapt to only 6 preset listening environments. 

A dedicated Lexie app can be downloaded on your Android and Apple smartphones. You can select your environment, adjust volumes, monitor battery levels, connect with experts, and take advantage of Lexie rewards. The major setback is the inability for Bluetooth streaming. 

Pricing

  • Lexie B2: $999
  • Lexie B1: $849
  • Lexie Lumen: $799

MDHearing

Highlights 

  • Model: NEO, AIR, VOLT, and VOLT Max+VIP
  • Style: Behind-the-ear (BTE) and In-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate (NEO) and Moderate to Severe (AIR, VOLT, and VOLT Max)
  • Warranty: 1 year 
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial: 45 days 
  • Support: Yes

Hearing aids from MDHearing are FDA-registered and the most affordable after Audien Hearing on our list. They are available in four different models. All these models are designed by doctors, are rechargeable, and offer noise reduction and feedback cancellation features. The most convenient feature is that you can order this hearing aids online and get them at your doorstep with free shipping. 

MDHearing NEO hearing aids support only 1 environment setting, while other models support 4 preset environment settings. VOLT and VOLT Max have a volume dial to control the volume, whereas NEO and AIR have a volume button. Further, only VOLT and VOLT Max offer dual-directional microphones. 

The MDHearing smartphone app is accessible only with VOLT Max using Bluetooth. Hence, you can use your smartphone to control and change the volume settings of your auditory aids. Also, you get all-time support with VOLT Max, where a specialist works remotely and adjusts your auditory aids through the app. 

Pricing

  • NEO: $299.98
  • AIR: $299.98
  • VOLT: $399.98
  • VOLT Max+VIP: $699

Eargo 

Highlights 

  • Model: Eargo 5, Eargo 6, and Eargo 7
  • Style: Completely-in-canal (CIC)
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to Moderate 
  • Warranty: 1 year for Eargo 5 and 6 and 2 years for Eargo 7
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial: 45 days 
  • Support: Yes

Another brand that offers FDA-registered auditory aids on our list is Eargo. If you want invisible auditory aids, you can consider this brand, as all its models have the CIC style and are virtually invisible. Though small in size, these hearing aids never compromise on sound quality. 

The tip of Eargo’s hearing aids has a shape of a petal, fitting correctly inside your ear canal. All models are compatible with an Eargo app that work on Android and Apple smartphones. Eargo 6 is water-resistant, and Eargo 7 is water- and sweat-resistant. 

Eargo 5 is the cheapest model of them all, it comes with the Sound Match feature that screens your hearing and fits for unique hearing needs. Eargo 6 automatically adjusts your settings as you move between environments. The Sound Adjust+ feature of the Eargo 7 is something that makes it stand out from its other models. It automatically optimizes your devices to the soundscape. 

Signia Silk X 

Highlights 

  • Style: Completely-in-canal (CIC)
  • Types of Hearing Loss: Mild to Moderate
  • Warranty: 
  • Financing: Yes
  • Trial: 
  • Support: 

Signia is among the leading manufacturers of custom-fit hearing aids. Silk X hearing aids from Signia are ready-to-wear CIC hearing aids. They have four soft tips to help you fit properly in your ear canal. They feature advanced technology that offers the most natural sound. 

In addition, Silk X’s ultra-discreet size and flexible silicone Click Sleeves fit securely in your ear. You can enjoy a personalized hearing experience with a Signia app that lets you have complete control over your hearing aids. 

Further, this model supports taking calls from your smartphone but is too small to support Bluetooth streaming of music or TV audio. You may go through the hassle of changing batteries from time to time, as this model needs disposable batteries. 

Pricing

Starts from $1,526

Conclusion 

As hearing aids are technologically-advanced devices, most of them from reputed brands are expensive. Hence, many people opt for cheap hearing aids, which may not provide the same performance, reliability, and durability as higher-end options. They do not work well in noisy environments and do not offer any advanced features, such as noise reduction and feedback cancellation. Also, they may potentially damage your ears, as they transmit high-pitch noises directly to your ears. 

As a result, the middle point is one must opt for affordable hearing aids that provide all essential features. We have listed some of the best options for affordable hearing aids from leading manufacturers. You can consider above options while buying auditory aids. 

Head Hearing Health Clinician at | + posts

Florida License: AS-2471 – NPI: 1992749147

Ivonne Baixeras is a Florida-Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist with a track record of almost three decades treating hearing problems in Miami-Dade County and serving the needs of thousands of satisfied patients. Ivonne is a graduate of both Miami-Dade College & Florida International University and worked for many years at the largest national chain of hearing clinics in the US where she's received multiple awards.

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