For many people, hearing loss is a major health issue, with sometimes crippling social, economic, and psychological repercussions. Yet the National Institutes of Health reports that most people with hearing loss don’t use hearing aids. In fact, fewer than 1/3 of people over 70 who could benefit from hearing aids have ever used them, and the numbers are even worse for younger people.
For some, getting hearing aids is just too complicated or expensive. Most insurance plans don’t cover them, and hearing aids have traditionally required a trip – or many trips – to a hearing specialist to get the right fit and necessary adjustments.
MDHearingAid is one of a growing number of companies attempting to mitigate this cost and hassle by selling hearing aids directly to consumers. By ordering directly from MDHearingAid online, you can save time and money, at the cost of sacrificing some of the technological advances offered by higher-end models. Our reviewers have tested the products and done their research to help you determine if MDHearingAid is right for you.
For those with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss, MDHearingAid sells hearing aids online at a fraction of the cost of traditional hearing aids purchased from an audiologist. These hearing aids won’t give you fancy technology or customization options, but they’re high quality devices that prioritize convenience and affordability.
- Good value for money
- Excellent, US-based customer support
- Rechargeable model can last up to 30 hours and be recharged 3 times by a portable recharger before needing a plug
- One model syncs with user-friendly app
- Free one-year supply of hearing aid batteries using coupon code INNERBODY20 at checkout
- Dedicated phone line for any of our readers who’d prefer using it: 1-800-315-3913
- Not customizable to your ear
- Only sells BTE (behind the ear) models
- Smart connection incompatible with water resistance and rechargeable batteries
- Not suitable for severe or profound hearing loss, or people under 18
- No off button on some models
MDHearingAid equips you with high-quality hearing aids at a fraction of the ordinary price.
MyHearingAid offers 3 hearing aid options. You won’t find custom-made hearing aids here, but you’ll get high-quality hearing aids that save you hundreds of dollars compared to the competition.
- How we evaluated MDHearingAid
- What is MDHearingAid and who is it for?
- Hearing aid options at MDHearingAid
- MDHearingAid AIR
- MDHearingAid VOLT Plus
- MDHearingAID CORE
- Customer experience
- Pricing and payment options
- How MDHearingAid stacks up against its competition
- Frequently asked questions
- Why you should trust us
Quality of hearing
All MDHearingAid products feature advanced noise reduction capabilities and feedback cancellation, along with four environmental settings, including quiet, social, noisy, and restaurant. The Core – MDHearingAid’s most expensive, “smart” model – and the mid-range Volt+ offer additional technology that improves audio quality and, in the case of the Core, allows you to create and save customized settings with unique volume levels for different environments.
MDHearingAid devices are not suitable for severe or profound hearing loss, however, and they lack the advanced technology used by some more expensive brands. Devices from Oticon or Signia, for instance, can often mask tinnitus and distinguish speech from other sounds. These companies also have much more advanced Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, which means you may be able to connect your smart TV or laptop directly to your hearing aids. You can’t do that with MDHearingAid.
MDHearingAid notes that all of its products are FDA-registered Class 1 hearing aids. Bear in mind, this does NOT mean that they are FDA-approved, only that they are registered with the FDA. For comparison, Audicus, another direct-to-consumer hearing aid company, boasts that its devices are FDA-approved. Devices classified as Class 1 are low to moderate risk and are subject to some regulations.
Because MDHearingAid eliminates the middleman in its production and delivery process, you can buy its hearing aids at a fraction of the cost of comparable products sold by audiologists and hearing centers. Hearing aids from MDHearingAid start at $800 per pair, but its frequent two-for-one discounts mean that you can often get two hearing aids for as low as $400.
This price is great compared to traditional hearing aids, which can range from $1000-5000 per pair. But without discounts, the prices at MDHearingAid are only slightly less than comparable products at the growing number of other direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies, such as Audicus and Bose. Some models at Otofonix are even cheaper than comparable ones at MDHearingAid, particularly if you are only buying one hearing aid.
Ease of use
Users of MDHearingAid products rave about the ease of setting up its products, and the company sells tons of accessories to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape. It recommends cleaning your hearing aids daily and replacing the tips and tubing every three months. Unlike its competitor Audicus, however, MDHearingAid doesn’t currently offer an option to have these replacement items shipped to you automatically. It also doesn’t provide as many accessories at purchase as do other companies.
All MDHearingAid products are adjustable at the touch of a button, but the different specs on its three models mean you’re forced to choose between valuable, user-friendly features. Sick of replacing batteries? Well, the Volt+ has rechargeable batteries, but it doesn’t connect to an app for easy volume adjustment and customization. Want a Bluetooth connection? The Core has that covered, but sacrifices water resistance and rechargeability.
People also complain about the fact that two of MDHearingAid’s three models don’t come with an off switch. To turn off the AIR and the CORE, you have to open the battery compartment, which can be difficult for elderly fingers and makes it easy for the batteries to fall out.
In designing its products, MDHearingAid decided to focus on low cost and simplicity rather than style and individual fit. As a result, all of its hearing aids are BTE (behind the ear) devices. BTEs are easy to clean, but in the Covid 19 era, people report that it’s sometimes difficult to wear them with face masks. We discuss the features of this style of hearing aid more below.
As far as BTE hearing aids go, MDHearingAid’s are rather discreet, particularly the AIR model. But they won’t match the low profile of ITE (in the ear) hearing aids, such as those sold by Eargo, or the chic styling of Signia’s various models. MDHearingAid also doesn’t fit its products to your ear or allow you to customize its appearance, as does Audicus, a rival direct-to-consumer hearing aid company.
Customers rave about MDHearingAid’s proactive and responsive U.S.-based support staff, available via phone 24/7 with trained audiologists on call. The company offers a 45-day trial period with a 90-day warranty for manufacturing defects, along with the option of purchasing a protection plan covering accidental damage for $10/month.
These policies are good compared to hearing aid companies overall but lack the VIP service offered by some other direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies. Lively, for instance, offers even longer warranty periods, with telehealth visits included as part of a purchase package. Audicus even offers a “Clean and Care” service, along with four brick-and-mortar clinics throughout the country to help people with issues.
MDHearingAid was founded over a decade ago by Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist and surgeon. Disturbed by how many of his patients were unable to afford hearing aids, Dr. Cherukuri worked with audiologists to design products delivering high audio quality at a low cost.
The result is a company centered on affordability and convenience. With no need to see your primary care physician or hearing specialist, you can easily and quickly have your hearing aids delivered straight to your door. For those interested in saving time and money, or for whom a visit to the audiologist is difficult, MDHearingAid offers a great solution.
MDHearingAids’ products work on the principle that “one size fits most” – which is great, if you’re one of “most people”. Since its products aren’t custom-fitted to your ear, they also may not fit your individual ear structure. Also, if you have severe or profound hearing loss, or if you’re under 18, MDHearingAids is not for you.
The company offers three models of hearing aid at different price points. The AIR, its most affordable model, is a no-fuss, no-muss option, with lower audio quality and fewer features than the rechargeable Volt+ and the Bluetooth-enabled Core.
If you aren’t sure whether you need a hearing device, MDHearingAid also happens to feature one of our top-rated online hearing tests. (For more information about online hearing tests, check out our full guide.)
After recently discontinuing the PRO, its cheapest and least advanced analog model, MDHearingAid now offers three models of hearing aids: the AIR, the VOLT+, and the CORE.
|Current Price (pair)||$400||$600||$1200|
|Dual directional microphones||
|Smartphone app compatible||
|Personalized hearing experience||
|Volume Control||Volume dial on device||Volume dial on device||Smartphone app or Push-Button|
|Approximate Battery Life||21-26 days||24-30 hours (Full Charge)||5-6 days|
|Dimensions||1”x 0.25”x 0.5”||1.25” x 0.25” x 0.5”||1.375” x 0.25” x 0.5”|
Price: $399.99 per ear or per pair
The AIR is MDHearingAid’s most basic, least expensive, and best-selling hearing aid. It has all the essentials you would want in a hearing aid, with no frills. That is, it doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeable batteries, dual microphones, or water resistance available in MDHearingAid’s other models, but still gives you good quality sound amplification for an impressively low price.
- Advanced background noise reduction
- 4 audio settings: Allow you to adjust your environment by choosing between for quiet, social, noisy, and restaurant environments
- Feedback Cancellation
- Replaceable size 13 batteries
- Small Size: At only 1” long, one of the smallest BTEs on the market
As with the CORE, the AIR doesn’t have an off switch. Instead, you have to open the battery compartment, making it inconvenient to turn off the hearing aids for only a brief time. Some people also complain that the battery compartment door is flimsy and requires too much manual dexterity. Since the AIR was introduced, it has come in for some competition from other direct-to-consumer companies. In price and features, the AIR is very comparable to the Otofonix Elite (which is cheaper). If you can afford a bit more, you may want to consider the Audicus Dia II, which is similar but offers several additional features: moisture resistance, two directional microphones, automatic adjustment to your environment, color customization, and a free one-year warranty.
Price: $599.99 per ear or per pair
If you have a bit more to spend, the VOLT+ offers serious advantages compared to its cheaper sibling. We were quite impressed by this device. The VOLT+ has all the essential features offered by the AIR, with added water resistance and rechargeability – all for a super-affordable price. If you’re looking for convenience at a low price, this hearing aid is worth your strong consideration.
- Intelligent background noise reduction
- Feedback cancellation
- 4 audio settings: Allow you to adjust your environment by choosing between automatic, quiet, conversation, and restaurant settings.
- Two directional microphones: Allow you more control to focus on the sound you want to hear.
- Rechargeable: No more buying and replacing batteries!
- Portable recharger case: Makes travel easy by allowing you to recharge your hearing aids three times without plugging into an outlet. Just remember to recharge the case.
- Water-resistant coating: Protects your hearing aids from sweat, rain, or an accidental drop in the sink.
- Off switch: Unlike the AIR and the CORE, the volume control button also functions as an off switch.
The VOLT+ marks a significant improvement over its predecessor, the VOLT, which took longer to charge and only lasted 18-22 hours. In comparison, the VOLT+ lasts 24-30 hours, which, while not as long as the higher-priced Audicus models, is almost double the battery life of Otofonix’s comparable hearing aid model, the Helix. At 1.25” in length, VOLT+ remains average in size for modern BTEs, a little larger than the AIR but smaller than the CORE.
The VOLT+ comes with a portable magnetic recharging case that can hold three full charges for your hearing aid – a big improvement over its predecessor. This means that you can recharge your VOLT+ as many as 3 times within its case without plugging the case into a wall outlet. For those who are often on the go, love getting outdoors, or find themselves off the beaten path during a vacation, the capacity of this recharging case makes a big difference.
The VOLT+ also contains an IP57-rated water-resistant coating that protects it for up to 30 minutes in water up to one meter deep. In other words, you won’t have to worry about your hearing aid when you’re on the run and a rainstorm decides to give you an impromptu shower. The water resistance of VOLT+ is superior to many of its competitors.
Price: $959.99 per ear, $1199.99 per pair
MDHearingAID’s most expensive model, the CORE responds to people’s desire for connectivity by delivering a Bluetooth connection. Syncing directly to your smartphone or tablet, the CORE allows you to adjust your hearing aid remotely, as well as create and save customizable audio settings. It doesn’t offer the connectivity you see in more expensive “smart” hearing aids, and it doesn’t offer the water resistance or rechargeability offered by the VOLT+, but you may like it if you’re looking for an individualized audio experience controlled in the palm of your hand.
- Intelligent background noise reduction
- Feedback cancellation
- Two directional microphones: Allow you more control to focus on the sound you want to hear.
- Four audio settings: Allow you to adjust your environment by choosing between automatic, quiet, conversation, and restaurant settings.
- Replaceable size 312 batteries
- Adaptive technology: Automatically adapts between its four audio settings.
- Bluetooth-enabled with supporting app: Lets you adjust your hearing aid and customize your experience without having to fumble with tiny buttons.
- Customized experience: App allows you to create and save customized settings, even between different ears.
The handy, discrete smartphone app–compatible with iOS version 10 and up, or Android version 5 and up–is the CORE’s big selling point. Our testers found the app to be very intuitive, and it’s nice not to have to fumble around with your ear to turn up the volume. Plus, if your hearing changes, you can make adjustments by re-running the hearing aid’s setup in the app.
In today’s world of increasingly technologically advanced hearing aids, though, the CORE is on the more basic side of smart devices. It doesn’t have a telecoil, so you can’t connect to audio systems at theaters, auditoriums, or churches that also have telecoil technology (induction loop system). You also can’t stream your phone calls directly to your hearing aid or connect to a smart TV system. You can get these features in hearing aids like the Audicus Wave ($799 per ear), which is rechargeable, unlike the CORE. The Otofonix Encore ($495 per pair) and rechargeable Helix (currently $555 per pair) also both offer a telecoil, though without Bluetooth.
But maybe you don’t need all those bells and whistles. If you’re only looking for an easy smartphone app, the CORE might suffice, or you might want to consider one of its comparable competitors. Bose just came out with Bluetooth-enabled SoundControl hearing aids with similar features to the CORE, at only $840 per pair. And the Bluetooth-enabled Otofonix Sona is currently going cheap at $399 per pair, as the company clears its stock to promote its newer products.
Many of these competitors also offer a smaller profile. At 1.375”, the CORE is almost a half-inch longer than the AIR, and it’s on the larger side of comparable BTEs.
The other big downside to this model is that the (NOT rechargeable) batteries in our testing only lasted for 5 days. That pretty much lines up with the company’s estimate of 5-6 days, but regardless, this is a rather short battery life compared to other MDHearingAid devices (the AIR’s batteries last 21-26 days).
Getting your hearing aids
The streamlined process of buying hearing aids online is a big way in which MDHearingAid saves you time and money. Traditionally, choosing and using hearing aids has been a complicated, multi-step process:
Schedule an appointment.
Travel to a hearing center. This may be easy for some, but can be inconvenient for those who live far away or who want to minimize person-to-person contact.
Take a hearing test. This test is usually performed by a trained audiologist. Of course, the cost of the hearing aid takes this service into account.
Buy the hearing aids. These tend to be expensive for hearing centers to stock. Plus, prices rise as the hearing centers compensate for the cost of operating their business.
Need to adjust your devices? Make another appointment and get to a hearing center.
Now by contrast, here is the experience we tested with MDHearingAid:
Go online to the MDHearingAid website. MDHearingAid happens to feature one of our top-rated online hearing tests, which gives you personalized information about your hearing. If you already had a hearing test done, you can submit the results to MDHearingAid and one of their in-house audiologists will give you recommendations.
Choose the hearing aid that best suits your needs, based on the detailed product descriptions and price. Innerbody Research users can even get a free year’s supply of batteries using the discount code INNERBODY20. If you prefer to order by phone, MDHearingAid has given Innerbody Research a dedicated phone number just for our readers: dial 1-800-315-3913 to get started.
Receive your hearing aid(s) in the mail (free shipping).
Set up your hearing aids–a simple process, thanks to MDHearingAid’s straightforward designs and instructions.
Need adjustments? U.S.-based, expert online support from MDHearingAid will help with whatever you need, no in-person appointments necessary. It also has audiologists on call.
The result is hearing aids that are simpler, less fancy, and far less expensive than other high-quality hearing aids. By removing unnecessary human touch, MDHearingAid saves you time and money.
Using and maintaining your hearing aids
MDHearingAid’s devices are designed so that “one size fits most.” To that end, it provides an abundance of accessories allowing you to find the best fit for your hearing aids without having to make a trip to the audiologist. You can buy circular domes (the part that goes in your ear) in various sizes, as well as two types of ComfortTIPs (open or closed) in standard (small) and medium sizes.
MDHearingAid recommends cleaning your hearing aids daily. It sells a bunch of accessories designed for this, including a cleaning tool set, tubing air blower, earwax rinse kit, dehumidifier jar, and a UV-Clean & Dry Box.
You will also have some regular maintenance costs. MDHearingAid recommends you replace your tubing and tips every three months ($35). Plus, if you buy one of its non-rechargeable models (the AIR or the CORE), you will need to buy replacement batteries, which range anywhere from a few cents to almost $2 a battery.
If you go for the rechargeable VOLT+, you should recharge the hearing aids every night. You may be able to stretch them to a couple of days if you don’t wear them that long, but you do run the risk of running out of power. If you do, and you’re not near an outlet, you can always count on your portable recharger case, which holds enough power for three chargings. But just remember to recharge the case, too – it won’t recharge your hearing aids if it’s dead!
Most insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids, so most people have to pay for them out of pocket. MDHearingAid is no exception, though they will provide you with documentation if you plan to submit a claim.
As detailed above, MDHearingAid’s products range from $400 to $1200, which put the company solidly on the cheaper end of the hearing aid spectrum, but only slightly cheaper than most other direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies. These prices do assume that you can catch one of MDHearingAid’s “buy one, get one free” deals, but since these deals seem to happen all the time, it’s not hard to do so.
Keep in mind that MDHearingAid’s price structure means that it’s a far better value to purchase a pair of hearing aids than buying them individually. This is what most audiologists recommend anyway, as it can stress the parts of your brain that process sound to have improved hearing on only one side. However, if you are only purchasing one hearing aid, you may find a comparable hearing aid at a lower price elsewhere.
If you can’t afford to pay all at once, you can take advantage of MDHearingAid’s financing options. MDHearingAid has partnered with Affirm to provide 12-month financing with 0% interest. This cuts the cost of hearing aids down to $33, $50, or $66 per month, depending on which model you choose. So even if you don’t have a lot of extra cash on hand, you still have options to improve your hearing.
Regardless of how or how much you pay, remember to use your INNERBODY20 coupon code. This code will allow you to get a free year-long supply of hearing aid batteries, on top of any additional savings.
When MDHearingAid first began, few companies sold hearing aids directly to consumers online. Thankfully for consumers, though, the number of these companies has grown dramatically, with the result that MDHearingAid now has several serious competitors in the direct-to-consumer hearing aid market.
Audicus offers a wider selection of hearing aids than MDHearingAid, with a greater variety of style, features, and customization options. However, these hearing aids do come at a slightly higher price point–though still far cheaper than ones bought from a hearing center or audiologist.
In general, Audicus’ FDA-approved products have more advanced technology than MDHearingAid. The Audicus Dia II, for instance, is only $100 more per ear than the MDHearingAid AIR, but it also offers moisture resistance, two directional microphones, and automatic environmental adjustment. Plus, for those who wish there was a hearing aid combining the best features of the MDHearingAid VOLT+ and the CORE, Audicus has an answer. Its Wave model is both rechargeable and Bluetooth-enabled with a telecoil, for $400 more than the CORE.
If you don’t like MDHearingAid’s BTE style, Audicus also sells RIC and CIC models. You can get any of these in a variety of colors, allowing you to decide how stylish or discreet you want to be.
Audicus also offers some convenient customer care features that MDHearingAid doesn’t. For example, it offers a monthly, rental-style membership allowing you to try out its hearing aids before purchase, as well as an Audicus Care membership which automatically ships replacement supplies to you every three months. Audicus’ warranty also lasts up to a year, making MDHearingAid’s 90-day warranty look rather scanty.
The newest entry in the market, Bose’s SoundControl hearing aids debuted in May 2021. At only $850, these Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids stack up credibly against MDHearingAid’s CORE, with a lower price tag. However, Bose’s “FDA-cleared” hearing aids are only recommended for mild to moderate hearing loss, meaning that MDHearingAid covers a slightly wider spectrum of people with hearing loss.
Eargo, reviewed here, is the outlier in the online hearing aid market for selling hearing aids that fit entirely inside the ear. Its ITE devices kind of look like the flies you used on your latest fishing trip, with tiny silicone airs that help them stay inside your ear. These rechargeable hearing aids are much less visible than the MDHearing BTEs, but they do carry a heftier price tag (starting at $1500). For that price, you get the hearing aids and essential accessories, along with a customer service line similar to the one offered by MDHearingAid. Eargo does offer a free one-year warranty, compared to MDHearingAid’s 90-day one.
Unlike MDHearingAid, Lively doesn’t make its own products; it resells hearing aids made by ReSound. But as we note in our review, it does offer convenient online ordering with an attractive service bundle not offered by MDHearingAid. For one price–$1450 or $2000, depending on whether you choose a rechargeable model or not–you can purchase hearing aids as well as a three-year protection plan that includes follow-up appointments with a licensed audiologist. The plan also protects your hearing aids against loss and theft, things not covered by MDHearingAid’s basic warranty.
Again, these prices are higher than MDHearingAid’s, but you do get more technological features. Both hearing aid models allow you to customize your experience with a smartphone app and are enabled for direct stereo streaming to all Apple devices and some Android ones. And, of course, who doesn’t love being able to choose your color?
Otofonix, reviewed here, is MDHearingAid’s most direct competitor for its low-cost direct-to-consumer system. Both companies only offer non-customizable BTEs, so style-wise their hearing aids are pretty similar, and they offer similar customer service systems. Both companies also target a similar audience in terms of hearing needs. Like MDHearingAid’s, Otofonix’s devices shouldn’t be used to address severe or profound hearing loss.
In some cases, Otofonix’s devices match up extremely well with MDHearingAid’s. For instance, the Otofonix Elite is $50 cheaper than MDHearingAid’s AIR and offers very similar features.
Some of Otofonix’s devices have features not offered by MDHearingAid. The Groove ($955), for instance, is both Bluetooth-enabled and rechargeable, as well as cheaper than the non-rechargeable MDHearingAid CORE. The Otofonix Helix and the Encore also offer a telecoil, allowing you to patch easily into your phone audio or public audio systems. Currently, none of MDHearingAid’s devices have this feature.
As we note in our review, some people report that the audio quality of Otofonix is rather metallic. We haven’t heard this complaint about MDHearingAid.
Should I buy a pair of hearing aids or just one?
If you have any hearing loss at all in both ears, you are better off buying the pair – even if your hearing loss in one ear is mild. Having one ear that hears much better than the other can stress the parts of your brain that process sound. Without similarly strong hearing in both ears, your brain will have to process the same sounds but at different volume and clarity, making for a less optimal overall experience. So unless your hearing in your other ear is perfect, we would advise buying the pair.
Do MDHearingAid’s devices work for most people?
With three hearing aids total in its line of products, some people wonder if MDHearingAid will be able to suit their needs. From the standpoint of hearing quality, MDHearingAid pre-programs its hearing aids to provide good hearing quality for the majority of people with mild to moderate hearing loss. MDHearingAid’s products will not work for everyone, which is part of the reason why the company offers a 45-day trial period with a money-back guarantee. When it comes to physical comfort, the company enables customization in the sense that its hearing aids can be used with tubes, tips, and ear domes of varying sizes. For most ears, these devices will fit nicely. Customization is kept to a minimum, which is one reason why MDHearingAid can control the entire process from manufacturing to sale and keep prices low.
Do I need a prescription or diagnosis before buying?
Technically you don’t need this; you can sign a waiver exempting you from this requirement. However, MDHearingAid, the FDA, and we here at Innerbody Research believe you should always see an audiologist to learn about your hearing loss prior to buying hearing aids. Hearing loss may be accompanied by other symptoms or conditions that make it wise to visit an audiologist or suitably specialized doctor.
If I have tinnitus (ear ringing), will hearing aids solve my problem?
Hearing aids alone are not a cure for tinnitus, but they can help mask the ringing so that it isn’t so bothersome. Tinnitus is most commonly caused by exposure to very loud noises that irreparably damage the cells of the cochlea that are sensitive to sound. With a good pair of hearing aids, you may not notice your ear ringing at all. If you have severe tinnitus, however, you should consult an audiologist and may require a larger investment in hearing devices with advanced technology specifically to mask the ringing.
Our team at Innerbody Research spent over 55 hours assessing and comparing the products and services of MDHearingAid and its competitors. We evaluated the entire customer experience, from ordering and using the devices to troubleshooting with the company and seeking a full refund. We also reached out to the customer service team with questions people like you are likely to ask.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about living healthier lifestyles. Our testing team purchases, tests, and compares a wide range of telehealth services, home tests, and other health-related products. We then write reviews and guides that inform you about the entire experience so you know what to expect. Our articles are also thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.