The market for direct-to-consumer hearing devices has spiked in the past decade, and there’s little wonder why. The cost of seeing an audiologist and getting fitted for hearing aids can be jaw-dropping, and insurance rarely assists.
Direct-to-consumer companies save you money by cutting out the middleman and eliminating the need for an audiologist evaluation to make a purchase. Eargo is a relatively new company producing discreet, inside-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids delivered right to your door. These innovative FDA-approved devices are almost as small as a fishing fly and become virtually invisible in your ear canal.
But is Eargo the best choice for your hearing issues? We’ve thoroughly evaluated Eargo’s products and will break them down in terms of affordability, comfort, and effectiveness.
- Offers several payment and coverage options
- Fully rechargeable
- Almost completely invisible
- Fast, responsive customer service
- Comfortable to wear, with soft Flexi Fibers to hold them in place
- Access to support from professional audiologists
- 45-day money-back guarantee for undamaged products
- Not suitable for one-sided, profound, or low-frequency hearing loss
- Recharger isn’t sold separately for replacement purposes
- Only sold in pairs
- App can’t adjust the devices while in use
Our team concluded that Eargo’s products are some of the most discreet direct-to-consumer hearing aids on the market. Its models are almost undetectable and perfectly comfortable. We appreciate that all hearing aids come complete with accessories and a charging case, making your purchase easy to unbox and use right away. Eargo’s hearing aids are ideal for individuals with uncomplicated, mild to moderate hearing loss. If your hearing loss is more profound or complicated, you should see an audiologist for an evaluation.
If you’re looking for discreet, high-quality hearing aids that don’t break the bank, Eargo’s direct-to-consumer devices might be ideal.
You can find high-quality direct-to-consumer hearing aids for a lower price, but not hearing aids as discreet as these. In addition to their low profile, Eargo’s devices are also highly comfortable. A 45-day money-back guarantee offers good protection to try them out!
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, this review of Eargo, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Eargo is a California-based manufacturing company producing inside-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids sold directly to the consumer. ENT surgeon Florent Michel’s inspiration for the design arose during a fly fishing trip when he envisioned a tiny device that could “float” inside of the ear canal, projecting sound. Knowing that many patients opt out of hearing aids because of their bulk and visibility, Michel set out to create the discreet Eargo product line.
Eargo’s products went live online in 2015 and have since become best-sellers in the direct-to-consumer hearing aid market. Each of Eargo’s three models comes fully assembled at your door and ready for use. With a savvy marketing campaign and sleek design elements, Eargo appeals to a broad audience of hearing loss sufferers, both young and old.
Eargo founder Florent Michel’s creation reflects its inspiration: it looks like a little fly. The Flexi Fibers, Flexi Palms, and Flexi TetraPalms are like tiny silicone hairs or leaves that keep the device positioned comfortably in your ear canal. At the same time, they allow for airflow and ambient sound to pass through.
Eargo hearing aids are less than 20 mm long and 10 mm thick, making them very hard to spot at a simple glance. They come with a recharging station that will give you up to 16 hours of use. All models also offer at least four preset sound profiles for different environments.
Eargo sells hearing aids through its website in all-inclusive bundle packages. These bundles provide a pair of hearing aids plus all the essential accessories needed to operate and maintain them:
- A charger, cable, and plug
- Two pairs of Flexis
- A wax guard to clean the fibers
- A cleaning brush
- A welcome call
- Access to on-demand advice from a licensed hearing professional
The Eargo app
Eargo’s app serves as an interface with support from Eargo as well as a good library of supportive information about your device. After pairing your devices with the app via Bluetooth, you’ll be able to adjust bass and treble settings to your liking as well as check your battery charge. In the app, you can also customize settings for different environments like meetings, theaters, restaurants, or watching TV. You can make adjustments for both ears or for just one if necessary. Easy-to-follow tutorials make these options very accessible.
We do have one complaint from testing: your hearing aids have to be nested in the charger in order for you to make adjustments via the app. While not a dealbreaker, this adds a slight layer of nuisance to the process of adjusting your settings.
The common thread among Eargo’s three hearing aid models is invisibility. Each device rests inside your ear canal, suspended by tiny silicone extensions. Eargo has now developed four types of silicone “Flexis,” giving you the option of upgrading some models.
PRICE: $1,850 for the full bundle with a one-year warranty
Eargo’s original model, the Eargo Max, remains the most affordable one in their catalog. This model is suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss only.
The Max amplifies any sounds you hear and discreetly handles background noise to help you understand speech better. It also offers moderate wind noise and feedback reduction. However, you won’t be able to tweak any settings or fine-tune the device in any way.
PRICE: $2,350 for the full bundle with a one-year warranty
The Eargo Neo offers several improvements on the Max’s initial design. It features more customizable software, making it a good option for mild to severe hearing loss or those having issues with high-frequency sounds.
This model also lets you choose among six different environmental settings that change the degree of amplification, wind, and feedback reduction offered at any given moment. The Neo provides four custom sound profiles and access to a video call consultation with a licensed audiologist to help you figure out the best settings. You will then be able to switch or alter these settings directly from your smartphone, using the Eargo app.
Finally, the Neo replaces Flexi Fibers with Flexi Palms, which use tiny silicon leaves rather than needle-like tips to improve comfort.
Eargo Neo HiFi
PRICE: $2,950 for the full bundle with a two-year warranty
Eargo introduced the Neo HiFi in early 2020 to target audiophiles and music lovers. This advanced model offers more sophisticated noise reduction than the standard Neo. It also provides more substantial sound amplification than the Max.
The Neo HiFi replaces Flexi Palms with Flexi TetraPalms, which adds an extra layer of silicone leaves supporting the device. This minor change lets more air pass through the ear canal and helps preserve natural low-frequency sounds. For music lovers, the result will be a richer, more natural sound experience.
All packages sold by Eargo come with their own set of accessories, which include a spare pair of Flexis, an extra roll of wax guards, and a charger. You can purchase additional accessories as needed through the website. While Eargo hearing aids are rechargeable and, therefore, don’t require frequent investment in new batteries, they do present you with the need to make similar periodic investments.
- Flexi Domes improve the comfort of the Eargo Max over the standard Flexi Fibers. These attachments also provide better sound quality and help with feedback. They cost $25 for three pairs.
- Flexi Fibers, Flexi Palms, and TetraPalms are the silicone tentacles that hold your hearing aid in place. You will need to replace them every three months. They cost $25 for three pairs.
- The Wax Guard Replacement Tool comes with replacement wax guards for $25.
- The Eargo Turbocharger is unfortunately not sold separately, but you can get it replaced within the original warranty period. It works with any standard USB-to-USB-C cable, and the charging case acts as a battery bank with up to two full charges on reserve.
Ordering hearing aids through the Eargo website is easy, intuitive, and does not involve in-person appointments and visits to an office. The site’s sleek design makes it easy to evaluate its main products and compare specs without getting lost.
Take the hearing test. Like many direct-to-consumer companies, Eargo offers a free hearing test on its website. This brief three-minute test presents a series of tones in different background environments to determine if you suffer from hearing loss. Online hearing tests help to determine if you suffer from some level of hearing loss, but it’s worth noting that in-office testing is capable of being more comprehensive. To learn more, visit our full online hearing test guide.
Review your results. To obtain your online hearing test results, complete the simple form with your name, email address, phone number, and zip code. Eargo will present your results and will email or call you to consult on your best options.
Make your selection. Based on your hearing assessment and the specifications you desire, decide which of Eargo’s models will work best for you.
Checkout. Eargo accepts all major credit cards and offers several payment options, including installments through the company Bread if you qualify. See “Insurance, HSA, and financing options” for more information below.
Your package arrives. Eargo offers two shipping categories. Standard shipping comes at no additional cost and will usually take about a week. Expedited shipping costs $25, but you will get your package in just two or three days. Eargo products arrive in a sleek and compact box. Inside, you will find the hearing aids inside the charger, as well as all other accessories neatly arranged and labeled. You will also find a user guide, a quick start manual, and a couple of extra items (like stickers to remind you to take out your hearing aids before showering).
Orientation with an audiologist. On the day your hearing aids are expected to arrive, Eargo will contact you to schedule a welcome call with an audiologist. These are typically video calls, but they can be voice-only as well. During the call, the audiologist will teach you the basics of the device’s operation and cleaning. They will also answer any additional questions you may have. These calls can last up to 45 minutes.
If you are dissatisfied, you can return any Eargo device within 45 days for a full refund. Contact the company for a prepaid shipping label and send back the product in the original packaging. Provided you haven’t damaged the device, Eargo will refund your original form of payment.
The Eargo Max and Neo models both come with a one-year warranty; the Neo HiFi offers two. The company does not provide the possibility to extend any warranties.
If your device is still under warranty, you can send it back to Eargo for inspection, repairs, or even replacement at no cost to you. However, if one of your hearing aids stops working after the warranty has expired, you’ll face $295 for its inspection plus any repairs. If something happens to the charger, you’re unfortunately out of luck because Eargo doesn’t sell them separately.
Among direct-to-consumer hearing aid producers, Eargo stands out for its efforts to make hearing aids accessible and affordable, presenting several ways to purchase them on a budget.
If you are a federal employee, you can get your Eargo hearing aids fully covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. To qualify, head to the Federal Employees page on the Eargo website and provide the necessary information. Eargo will check your eligibility and handle most of your paperwork.
Eargo hearing aids are not available directly at V.A. clinics. However, veterans, active military members, and their dependents can access a 20% discount on the Eargo Neo HiFi or the Eargo Neo models. There is a similar program available for first responders, nurses, and doctors.
Attaining coverage for hearing aids through traditional health insurance remains difficult, no matter which brand you choose. Eargo’s customer service agents will, however, help you collect the paperwork needed to submit a claim. If you pick this route, you may still have a rocky path ahead of you.
If you are not eligible for federal benefits and can’t pay $2,000+ upfront, Eargo offers two more options:
You can split the hearing aid cost among several credit cards, debit cards, or a Health Savings Account. Customer service will assist you if you choose this option.
You can access a payment plan. The company Bread handles payment plans for Eargo products. Depending on the terms and your credit score, you may get monthly installments as low as $86 for the Eargo Max or $109 for the Eargo Neo.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service and/or product high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?
User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the product, program, app, or website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?