In the last several years, medical devices that used to require in-person doctor visits are now offered online. You can now order dental braces, contact lenses, personal prosthetics, and hearing aids from the comfort of your home and even have them adjusted remotely.
Lively is a relatively new arrival to the hearing aid market, but it hasn’t taken the company long to distinguish itself. Its all-inclusive bundles combine a high-tech device with ongoing telehealth services from licensed audiologists.
Most hearing aids are delicate pieces of technology that require careful calibration and cannot be bought “off the rack.” Hearing aid manufacturers rely on audiologists to prescribe, sell, and service their devices. Lively changes the game by offering the same level of care on a fully digital platform.
Can an online hearing test and a series of video calls fully replace an in-person visit? Which company offers the most affordable option? Is Lively right for your hearing needs? Keep reading to find out.
- A lower price – $1,450 for a bundle of services that usually costs $5,000 or more
- Convenience – hearing tests, consultations, and adjustments happen from home
- Renowned audiologists and peer-reviewed studies back tech and methods
- Your choice between a battery-powered or rechargeable hearing aid
- An easy-to-use, well-rated smartphone app
- 3 years of free follow up care after purchase
- 100 Day Free Trial
- Affordable but not the lowest-priced quality hearing aids
- No in-person examinations, bone conduction tests, or fittings
- Buying just one hearing aid requires a phone conversation with a Lively hearing expert
Lively’s hearing aids (made by ReSound) come in a high-value bundle that can save you considerable money compared to many competitors.
While not the least expensive hearing aids you can find, Lively’s hearing aids come with a valuable three years worth of check-ups included in the price. If that coverage appeals to you, we can recommend these hearing aids.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has 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 Lively Hearing Aids, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
We want to ensure that you get an accurate picture of Lively as a company. This can help you make a more informed decision about your purchase. We evaluated Lively’s quality, functionality, cost, user-friendliness, and customer support.
Lively offers high-quality products that meet or exceed industry standards for a fraction of the cost of traditional hearing devices. Its testing is convenient and easy to navigate. It provides thorough product descriptions and ongoing customer support as you choose, set up, and use your device. The Lively app is user-friendly, and Lively’s customer care team is responsive, kind, and helpful.
The hearing aid bundles offer a range of products and services that serve your diverse needs. The device, along with the app, helps you customize your settings and request help from your audiologist. You can also stream music and phone calls through your hearing aid. With some of Lively’s accessories, you can truly personalize your hearing experience.
Using online testing and telemedicine instead of in-person visits reduces the price and the time it takes to get a Lively hearing aid compared to traditional means. Some hearing aid companies offer similar products to Lively but for lower costs. Because Lively provides products from ReSound and not its own proprietary products, prices are somewhat higher.
Some may worry that Lively is only for the tech-savvy. While it is a high-tech device, it doesn’t require a lot of know-how to use it properly. If you can make a call or play music on your cellphone, you can use Lively. Even contacting customer support is more accessible with email, chat, and phone options.
Lively is a standout for its customer support. With the hearing aid bundles, you receive 3 years of follow-up appointments with Lively’s audiology team. If you need to make adjustments to your device beyond the app’s controls, you can contact your audiologist for remote adjustments.
You also have access to Lively’s Care Team 7 days per week for technical support and troubleshooting questions. One of our testers used the customer support chat function and had their question answered within 5 minutes.
Lively, founded in January 2019, sells hearing aids directly to the consumer without the need to ever go to an audiologist’s office.
To ensure all its clients receive the level of care needed to make the most of its hearing aids, Lively sells a bundle deal that includes
- The hearing aids
- A year’s supply of batteries or a charging case
- 3 years of follow-up appointments with your audiologist
- Access to the Lively app
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- 3-year insurance plan that covers loss or theft
- 100-day satisfaction guarantee
The cost of this bundle is $1,450/pair for the battery-powered hearing aid and $2,000/pair for the rechargeable pair. You can finance the bundle for up to two years.
The hearing exam
The hearing exam that Lively provides is impressive, even at first glance. This fully online test takes just ten minutes and includes a tone test and a short survey. You also have the option to upload an audiogram instead of the tone test, if you have one. For the tone test, use a laptop or smartphone.
Put in your earphones
Turn the volume all the way up
Listen to the tones played
Click Save when you can hear the tone
Insider Tip: Remember to turn your volume back down immediately after testing. Lively tells you to do the same, but if you’re in a hurry, you might overlook the message. One of our testers didn’t notice it and forgot to turn down his volume, causing him to be startled by an intense noise later.
Suppose the tone test indicates that you may need a hearing aid. In that case, you take the Consumer Ear Disease Risk Assessment (CEDRA) survey meant to detect the likelihood of a more dangerous underlying condition.
If your results show severe hearing loss or any red flags during the CEDRA survey (for example, if you notice a marked difference in your hearing ability), Lively will strongly encourage you to see a doctor in person.
Lively’s hearing aids
The basic Lively Bundle ($1,450) includes
- Two battery-powered hearing aids: LiNX 3D5 model made by ReSound
- One-year supply of batteries (usual cost is $40 to $70 a year)
The second bundle option ($2,000) includes
- Two rechargeable hearing aids: LiNX Quattro 5 model by ReSound
- Charging case: up to 30 hours of power on a three-hour charge
Both models are behind-the-ear (BTE) mid-range models offering solid performance across various environments and noise levels. They feature
- Four preset settings that can be tweaked with the partner app
- An option for tinnitus relief using white noise that distracts from ringing in the ears
- Streaming capabilities for phone calls and music
- Anti-theft features (which work via the smartphone app)
The hardware is covered by a three-year warranty and protection plan. If you lose or break your hearing aid, you can get a replacement one for a deductible of $195.
Insider Tip: The streaming function for calls and music is not compatible with all Android devices. If you have an older Android phone, you may need to purchase a phone clip, also available on Lively.
Remote audiology care
While much of the technology needed to adjust a hearing aid remotely already exists, Lively takes it to a new level. According to your online hearing test results, Lively calibrates your device before shipping it to you. However, hearing aids are rarely perfect on the first go: in addition to technical tweaks, most people need some time to adapt to their new hearing levels.
This is why the after-care provided by an audiologist is so important. Lively’s remote audiology care service is meant to help you adjust your device without physically going to an office. Instead, you can message and schedule video calls with a licensed audiologist.
As soon as you receive the hearing aids, contact one of Lively’s audiologists for a video call set-up appointment, usually lasting 30-45 minutes. Your audiologist periodically checks on you during the first few months, calibrates your device remotely, or helps you deal with any ongoing hearing issues.
You can request assistance or technical support for the next 3 years. Contact customer support on Lively’s site via email, chat, phone, or social media for help.
The Lively app’s primary function is to help you control the hearing aid directly from your phone. This is undeniably more comfortable than trying to flip a tiny switch on your hearing aid. The app lets you:
- Turn the hearing aid on and off
- Change its settings
- Send any incoming phone calls directly to your hearing aid
- Use the streaming function to listen to music
- Activate the tinnitus manager
Insider Tip: Even if you don’t have your hearing aid yet, you can preview the app. Download it and select Demo Mode.
All of these are pretty standard for hearing aid apps these days. However, Lively includes some extra tweaks that help the company distinguish itself from traditional audiologists.
The app will let you contact Lively directly to:
- Receive technical assistance
- Request a phone or video call with an audiologist
- Forward any tweaks or calibrations sent by your audiologist into the device via Bluetooth
- Locate your hearing device in case you misplace it
In addition to hearing aid bundles, Lively offers several other accessories to help with hearing in certain situations, like when watching TV or in a crowded restaurant.
- TV Streamer ($299): streams audio from your TV directly into your hearing aid
- MultiMic ($275): a portable microphone that streams voices straight to your aid
- Android Phone Clip+ ($199): for older Android phones to stream music and calls
- Charging Case ($250): purchase an additional case for your rechargeable aid
One of the advantages of an all-inclusive bundle deal is that it’s pretty easy to follow even if you’re not tech-savvy. Follow these steps to get started with Lively.
Step 1: Answer a short questionnaire about your hearing
After arriving at the Lively website, head to the “Am I a Candidate?” link and complete a short questionnaire about your experience with hearing loss. Then, you’ll have a chance to take the online hearing test. If you already have an audiogram, click “Upload your Audiogram.”
Step 2: Take the online hearing test (if needed)
To take the online test, you need a desktop or laptop with a good internet connection and a pair of headphones or earbuds. Turn your volume up to its loudest setting. Turn off any background noises like a TV or fan, and make sure you’re in a distraction-free area. When you hear the tone, click the number, first listening with your right ear and then your left. The test itself takes less than ten minutes.
Step 3: Examine your results
Your results state the severity of your hearing loss and the type of sounds that give you the most trouble. They also let you know if you need a hearing aid or if you should see a doctor.
Step 4: If you’re eligible, choose hearing aids
If Lively determines that you need hearing aids, it’s time to shop. Lively asks you to choose a bundle. The site includes thorough product descriptions of each device and what’s included in the bundles. Once you’ve decided, enter your payment information.
Step 5: Receive your Lively hearing aids
You can expect your hearing aids in about 10-15 days—Lively contacts you around the delivery date to book the initial set-up consultation.
Step 6: Assess your hearing improvements during the testing period
You’ll get a 100-day window to test your hearing aids. During that time, if you don’t notice any benefit for your day-to-day hearing, you can request a full refund and return the hearing aids.
Otherwise, you can keep them and receive continuous aftercare or follow-up appointments for 3 years. Lively also covers you if your hearing aids are stolen or damaged during this time.
Lively makes good use of online hearing tests, consultations, and adjustments to keep pricing lower than many competitors, but the company does not control the manufacturing process. Lively’s affordable hearing aids aren’t the least expensive on the market because competitors make their own line of hearing aids, which means they control the entire process from manufacturing to hearing consultation, sale, and adjustments.
Like Lively, Audicus offers both battery-powered and rechargeable hearing aids that are affordable and Bluetooth-enabled. The company provides an online hearing test, an app for device maintenance, and five different hearing aid models. What sets Audicus apart is its membership program–you pay a monthly fee that insures your device and provides new hearing aids every 18 months.
Eargo offers four different styles of hearing aids, three of which include access to Eargo’s app for personalization of settings. Take a quick hearing test to determine which aid is best-suited to you. Unlike behind-the-ear hearing aids like Lively, Eargo offers aids that sit in the ear canal and are virtually invisible while being worn.
Phonak offers a wide variety of hearing aid styles, including those worn behind the ear, in the ear, and in the canal. The website provides a lot of instructional material, particularly for first-time buyers and parents of children with hearing loss. Like Lively, Phonak offers a quick hearing test, various accessories, and an app for setting customization.
Diverse product line
Signia has the most extensive hearing aid options of any company in this review. The company offers seven categories of hearing aids, each with its own qualities and features. Overall, choose from over 20 hearing aid options. Signia offers an online hearing test, exclusive app, and Bluetooth compatibility with all its products.
Most insurance companies don’t cover hearing aids, so Lively doesn’t take direct credit from insurers. It will provide you with itemized bills and receipts if you want to try your luck with a reimbursement claim. You may need to contact your insurance company to check the extent of your coverage and its requisites. The bundled model that Lively uses may complicate coverage a bit if your plan covers audiology care or the initial audiogram but not the actual device.
Lively makes its bundles more affordable by offering payment plans. Bundles can be financed for up to 36 months via Bread.
Finally, Lively takes payments from HSA or FSA debit cards once they are linked to a major credit card company.