When you search for “hearing aids” on Amazon.com, a range of devices show up. Unfortunately, most of these devices are not real hearing aids. They are “sound amplifiers” that look like hearing aids, but they don’t target the specific sound frequencies related to your hearing loss. That being said, there are a handful of legitimate hearing aids on Amazon.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to tell the difference between the legitimate, FDA-registered hearing aids and cheap personal sound amplifier (PSAP) devices on Amazon.com. We’ll also review the best FDA-registered hearing aids on Amazon, so you can make the most appropriate choice for your needs.
Use these links to navigate the guide:
- Are Amazon Hearing Aids Real Hearing Aids?
- How to Identify Cheap Sound Amplifiers on Amazon
- Examples of Sound Amplifiers on Amazon
- Review of Amazon’s Best-Selling Hearing Aids
While the majority of the devices on Amazon.com are just sound amplifiers, you will find some legitimate, FDA-registered hearing aids mixed into the search results. For example, you can find real hearing aids from the following manufacturers: MDHearingAid, Eargo, and Hearing Assist. These FDA-registered hearing aid manufacturers offer effective, medical-grade hearing loss treatment.
In addition to these brands, you’ll find a lot of inexpensive PSAPs (personal sound amplifiers) on Amazon that aren’t actually designed to treat hearing loss. These devices simply magnify all of the sound frequencies equally, which makes for an uncomfortable—often unintelligible—listening experience. These sound amplifiers are particularly ineffective when there is background noise or multiple individuals talking at once.
In the next section, we’ll show you how to tell the quality devices from the cheap ones. If you’d like to know more about the differences between sound amplifier devices and legitimate hearing aids, you might want to read these articles:
- Cheap Hearing Aids vs. Affordable Hearing Aids: What’s the Difference?
- Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplifiers: Know the Difference
Sound amplifiers look similar to quality hearing aids on the outside. They have similar casings, shapes, and colors. The difference is that sound amplifiers are not intended to help with hearing loss. They are intended to assist natural hearing. This means the technology inside them is a lot less expensive. Sound amplifiers typically range in price between $40 to $150 per ear. The low price tag is tempting for budget-conscious hearing loss patients, but don’t be fooled. Sound amplifiers are not an effective hearing care solution and are unlikely to provide you with the hearing help you need.
In fact, there are a lot of unethical sound amplifier sellers that use deceptive phrasing in their product descriptions. These unethical sellers will try to make you believe they are selling real hearing aids when they are really selling PSAPs (personal sound amplifiers). Identifying these deceptive Amazon sellers is easy when you look for the following:
- Check for the word “amplifier”: Manufacturers and retailers cannot lawfully call their devices “hearing aids” unless they meet specific FDA requirements. When devices fail to meet FDA hearing aid requirements, manufacturers have to refer to them as amplifiers, sound amplifiers, hearing amplifiers, personal sound amplifiers, or PSAPs. When you see the word “amplifier” in the product description, it’s probably not a legitimate hearing aid.
- Check for deceptive phrasing: Unscrupulous Amazon sellers trick customers with product descriptions that say “hearing aid amplifier” or “hearing amplifier aids.” Sometimes they fraudulently call their devices “hearing aids” even though they don’t meet FDA requirements. If the name of the device manufacturer isn’t familiar—and especially if the price is too good to be true—don’t let the word “hearing aid” fool you into buying an inexpensive device.
- Check for “FDA-registered”: Only purchase hearing aids that are “FDA-registered.” Even if the listing says “FDA-registered,” don’t trust unknown manufacturers. Look up the manufacturer’s website online and search for proof that the FDA registration is up-to-date and accurate. If you can’t find the FDA-registration online, contact the manufacturer and ask for the FDA listing number. Any legitimate manufacturer will be able to provide it.
- Check the customer reviews: Reading the reviews of previous Amazon customers is another way to spot deceptive sellers. If you notice a theme of dissatisfied customers, a good rule of thumb is to choose another seller.
- Check the price: If the device costs less than $150 per aid, we can virtually guarantee you’re not dealing with a legitimate hearing aid. Also, it’s important to remember that just because a device is expensive doesn’t mean it’s a quality product.
All MDHearingAid products are medical-grade, FDA-registered hearing aids. Our most affordable model is the FDA-registered MDHearingAid AIR, currently priced at $399 a pair.
The following devices are not real hearing aids on Amazon. However, we found them by searching “hearing aids” on site. Notice that the word “amplifier” is featured in all of the product descriptions. These products do not offer medical-grade hearing loss treatment and we do not recommend them:
The following brands on Amazon sell PSAPs and hearing amplifiers. These brands do not manufacture FDA-registered hearing aids, and we cannot recommend their products to treat hearing loss:
What Support Services Does the Hearing Aid Manufacturer Provide?
After determining whether your Amazon hearing aid is “real” or not, you should also look into the level of support and services the manufacturer provides. At the time of this writing, MDHearingAid is the only affordable hearing aid manufacturer on Amazon that offers personalized audiological advice and in-depth customer service.
Here are some of the audiological and customer services that MDHearingAid provides:
- A free online hearing test
- A free phone consultation with a licensed audiologist to discuss the hearing test results.
- Lifetime access to phone-based guidance so you can set up your hearing aids after receiving them and resolve any problems that might arise.
- A U.S.-based customer service team trained by Dr. Sandra Porps, Au.D., our head of audiology.
- If you have the results from a professional audiogram and purchase the MDHearingAid CORE, the MDHearingAid team will remotely adjust your hearing aid according to the audiogram.
PSAP manufacturers on Amazon like Brefonak, R&L, Maihear, MEDca, and others do not offer any of these services. It appears the only PSAP seller on Amazon that offers lifetime U.S.-based customer support is Otofonix, however, it’s unknown whether their support staff are actually in-house. Even the legitimate, FDA-registered hearing aid makers on Amazon—like Hearing Assist and Eargo—do not provide all of the support features that MDHearingAid does. For example, Hearing Assist outsources their customer support tasks to another company, they do not have an audiologist you can speak with, and they do not have audiologist-trained support staff.
Here’s a comparison of the audiological support and customer service offered by different hearing aid brands:
|Price range||$399-$999 per pair||$499-$899 per pair||$1850-$2950 per pair||$190-$745 per pair||$100-$140 per pair||$80-$140 per pair||$350-$40 per pair|
|Legitimate FDA-registered hearing aid||✔||✔||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|Online hearing test||✔||❌||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|Models with smartphone app-based hearing test and automatic adjustments||✔||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|Audiologist consultation available||✔||❌||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|Customer support||In-house||Out-sourced||In-house||Unknown||No support||No support||No support|
|Lifetime U.S.-based phone support||✔||✔||✔||✔||❌||❌||❌|
|Remote, custom adjustments based on audiogram||✔||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌||❌|
PSAP manufacturers usually consist of a few employees who outsource everything—including the design, manufacture, and shipping of their products. If they provide any customer support at all, they don’t have any audiologists on staff, and they usually outsource their support to another company. Moreover, these companies don’t provide an online hearing test—nor do they provide setup assistance from hearing professionals.
In contrast, MDHearingAid is a real company. MDHearingAid directly employs its engineers, hearing aid professionals, audiologist-trained customer support team, and the rest of its staff.
Although more expensive direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies—like Eargo—do offer a higher level of service, they still don’t offer the same level of services that MDHearingAid provides, and their products cost thousands of dollars more. Additionally, we can’t find any active listings for Eargo or comparable brands on Amazon at this time.
We scoured Amazon.com to find FDA-registered hearing brands. The only brands with current listings on the website are Hearing Assist and MDHearingAid. You’ll recognize Hearing Assist from their TV commercials, where a father talks about the joys of hearing his son say “I love you.” You’ll recognize MDHearingAid from being featured in the news as a revolutionary manufacturer of high-quality, highly-affordable FDA-registered hearing aids.
Both Hearing Assist and MDHearingAid are direct-to-consumer hearing aid manufacturers. This means you can order their products and start treating your hearing loss from home—without visiting a doctor’s office or hearing clinic. This is particularly helpful during pandemic situations when social distancing measures are advised. That being said, it’s important to remember what we mentioned above. MDHearingAid is the only affordable manufacturer on Amazon that offers free audiological and in-depth customer support services with all of its products.
Let’s take a look at the individual products that Hearing Assist and MDHearingAid sell on Amazon.
Hearing Assist sells quality, FDA-registered hearing aids—and you should definitely consider their devices over the many sound amplifiers on Amazon. Here are Hearing Assist’s two most popular models on Amazon:
Typically priced at $498.88 per pair on Amazon.com, the FDA-registered Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE (behind-the-ear) Air Conduction Hearing Aid fits most patients with mild to moderate hearing loss. The design features a single On-Off button and a volume dial. The button also lets you cycle through four sound environment settings: TV, outdoor, noisy and quiet. These are the only settings for the device.
Here’s what you get with the Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE:
- Two FDA-registered hearing aids: This pair of BTE hearing aids satisfy FDA hearing aid requirements.
- Rechargeable batteries: These hearing aids feature rechargeable batteries and an easy-to-use charging station. A single charge lasts approximately 20 hours.
- Digital hearing aid technology: These digital hearing aids include feedback reduction technology to reduce whistling noises and four sound environment settings.
- Directional microphones: The latest Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE Air Conduction hearing aids include directional microphones for more targeted listening.
- Money-back satisfaction guarantee: Hearing Assist products come with a 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
The Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE has received both good and bad reviews on Amazon.com with an average rating of 3.3-Stars out of 5-Stars. The most common complaints relate to feedback, “squealing,” and “echo” noises that require customers to return their aids. Customers also complain that the volume dial is too small for people who lack finger dexterity. Here’s what users are saying about the product:
Difficult for the elderly. This product has a tiny volume dial and a preset on/off button. Bought for an 85 year lady, but will be returning because the volume control dial is just too small and impossible for her to control. I even had trouble with it. it may be fine for some, but just something to consider when purchasing for elderly. Shipping was fast. Price is great. Just not for everyone.” – Tom Horsman, July 2019
This is not a quality product. This product cannot compete with "real" hearing aids – at best it is only suitable for mild amplification for persons with mild hearing loss. The product provides too much amplification of lower frequencies, to the point where it drowns out the mid-range frequencies associated with the human voice. There is no way to tune the frequencies being amplified – this results in voices (female voices more so than lower pitched male voices) being blurred and indistinct. Turning the volume up to attempt to distinguish voices results in an echo chamber effect. The volume controls are very loose and constantly change setting at the slightest touch of the aid. Further, I could not recharge one of the aids after only 2 days of use – it would not connect to the charging station.” – Harriet S. Meyers, June 2019
Awesome stuff!! Bought these for my husband who has tried many brands of hearing aids. Right out of the box he could hear clearly and said that I was talking too loud ;-) where before we had to have the volume on the TV on a 50, now we have it on 18. Thank you Hearing Assist for such a wonderful product.” – Frankie Jones, November 2018
Our thoughts on the Hearing Assist ReCharge Air Conduction BTE Hearing Aid: Hearing Assist frequently advertises their products on television, and this contributes to the popularity of the hearing aids on sites like Amazon.com. We definitely recommend this hearing aid over any sound amplifier product on Amazon. However, you may want to consider the customer reviews carefully and do your own research before selecting this product. Consider if you want to take a hearing test first, and have an Audiologist do a live consultation with you, as Hearing Assist does not offer these services.
The “Hearing Assist ReCharge Behind the Ear Bluetooth Hearing Aid” offers the same technology and rechargeability as the “Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE” above. The difference is that they removed the button and volume dial. As a result, you can’t adjust and control this “Bluetooth” model without a smartphone. Typically priced at $599.98 on Amazon.com, this hearing aid fits patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
An interesting feature of the Hearing Assist ReCharge Bluetooth BTE is its ability to connect with the Hearing Assist app on your smartphone. The Hearing Assist app includes a “Hearing Check” feature that walks you through an informal hearing check. After completing the hearing check, the app automatically adjusts the settings on your hearing aids to match your hearing check results.
Before purchasing the Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE Bluetooth, customers need to be aware of two potential problems:
- You CANNOT adjust your hearing aids without a smartphone: The only way you can control the settings on this hearing aid is through the Hearing Assist app. This device does not have a physical volume control dial, and it does not have a physical button for cycling through the sound environment settings. This is problematic for people who don’t own or aren’t good with smartphones. It’s also problematic when your smartphone battery dies because you lose control of the hearing aid. The MDHearingAid CORE that we review below connects to a smartphone app too, but the MDHearingAid CORE has physical buttons so you can control the hearing aid without a smartphone (see the next section).
- Cannot customize sound settings according to an official audiogram: The HearingAssist app automatically adjusts your hearing aids based on the hearing check results. However, you cannot customize or fine-tune the sound settings to reflect your unique hearing test results from a doctor. By comparison, the MDHearingAid CORE allows the MDHearingAid’s team of hearing aid professionals to remotely adjust your hearing aid settings via the internet. In fact, MDHearingAid can tune your settings to precisely reflect the hearing test results from your doctor.
Amazon.com shoppers have given the Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE Bluetooth Hearing Aid a mix of unsettlingly bad and very good reviews. With an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 Stars, here’s what users say about the device:
The whole experience from beginning to end never did feel quite right. This would not connect to my Bluetooth on my smartphone. I tried everything, I called the hotline. They're just a bunch of programmed kids reading out of the manual. Absolutely no help at all. To be honest I don't think they have this Bluetooth technology down yet. The website is really poorly done, and it feels like really old technology. Chances are I just got a bad set, but chances are you will too. They'll make you pay for the return, which you will not see for weeks. I don't have anything to say about the product other than the fact it just doesn't work.” – The Dude, August 2019
I wasn’t satisfied and sent them back. Thought they were hard to set up. And once they were set up I didn't care for the way they worked. But I was able to send them back. And that's a good thing. – Amazon Customer, December 2019
I have moderate hearing loss of upper range tones and couldn’t hear my granddaughters. I had an audio test and these hearing aids found the same results. The smartphone app is easy to use and they work great. So far I would say, outstanding value and quality.” – Plaintalk, May 2020
Our thoughts on the Hearing Assist ReCharge Behind the Ear Bluetooth Hearing Aid: This is a quality hearing aid product, but shoppers need to know they cannot control the hearing aid without a smartphone, so if your battery dies, you can’t adjust the volume or sound environment settings. For the same reasons, this hearing aid is not a good choice for those who are not good with technology and have trouble using a smartphone. Finally, this hearing aid doesn’t allow you to customize the settings based on your unique hearing loss profile. Make sure to read between the lines in the customer reviews and do your own research before selecting this product.
MDHearingAid products are high-quality, high-tech, and highly-affordable FDA-registered hearing aids. MDHearingAid also sells the most advanced hearing aid technology on Amazon.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the most complete and current MDHearingAid offerings are available directly from the online store at MDHearingAid.com. For this reason, all of our MDHearingAid links go directly to the official MDHearingAid website instead of Amazon.
Currently priced at $599.99 per pair on Amazon.com, the MDHearingAid VOLT (UPC:854430003823) is an FDA-registered, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid that offers similar hearing aid technology to the Hearing Assist models above. This high-quality and highly-durable hearing aid was designed for patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss and can fit 94% of patients with hearing loss conditions.
The MDHearingAid VOLT offers four sound environment settings (quiet, social, noisy, restaurant) for clear listening in a variety of situations. Changing the sound environment settings is simple with an easy-to-press button on the device. There is also a volume dial that allows you to fine-tune your sound amplification levels.
Here are the features you get with the MDHearingAid VOLT:
- Two FDA-registered hearing aids: Receive two FDA-registered hearing aids that meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's strict hearing aid requirements.
- Rechargeable batteries: The MDHearingAid VOLT includes rechargeable batteries that offer between 18 and 22 hours of listening, and an easy-to-use charging station. (The newer VOLT+ on the MDHearingAid website offers 24+ hours of crystal-clear listening and a portable charging case that provides three full charges before plugging it in).
- Doctor designed for medical-grade treatment: The VOLT was created by a board-certified ear-nose-and-throat surgeon and a team of engineers and audiologists. This hearing aid can assist 94% of Americans with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss.
- Advanced digital hearing aid technology: The VOLT features advanced digital hearing aid technology to clarify the most important sounds and voices—including four sound environment settings (quiet, social, noisy, and restaurant). Other features include noise reduction technology that makes it easier to listen to voices in noisy environments, and feedback reduction technology to minimize high-pitched whistling sounds.
- Directional microphones: Each VOLT hearing aid includes two directional microphones for clearer, more targeted listening to conversations in noisy environments.
- Small, discreet size: The VOLT is smaller than the above-described Hearing Assist models. The VOLT is 1.25 inches in size while the Hearing Assist models are 1.5 inches in size.
- Crisp, clear hearing for music, TV, and phone: The MDHearingAid VOLT offers a crisp, clear hearing experience while listening to music, watching television, or talking on the phone.
- Money-back guarantee: MDHearingAid products come with a 45-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- World-class customer support: MDHearingAid has been helping Americans with hearing loss for more than a decade. All MDHearingAid products feature lifetime phone support from our team of US-based hearing aid specialists.
*Please note that all of the above links for VOLT refer to the more advanced MDHearingAid VOLT+ model available on the MDHearingAid website. While offering the same features as the original VOLT (found on Amazon), the VOLT+ includes better waterproofing, longer battery life, and a portable charging case.
The MDHearingAid VOLT has received excellent customer reviews on Amazon.com. The average rating is 4 out of 5-stars. Here’s what Amazon customers say about the product:
Could not be happier. I am 83 years old and have worn hearing aids for the last 25 to 30 years. Having spent years in the service and retired from a major airport, I have severe hearing loss. The price of each pair in the past was always $5,000.00-plus to replace, and around $1,000.00 to send in for the factory to repair. When my last pair finally stopped, I once again had the hearing test and upon hearing the price for new ones, I started checking the internet. Bottom line is I read all about the MDHearingAid and decided to try their 45-day free trial. Needless to say, I couldn't be happier. I purchased the VOLT Hearing Aids (No batteries to buy), also a first. I would give them a 10 on the rating if I could. Their customer service has been wonderful.” – Ray McCarthy, May 2020
I can hear now from my right ear. My level in my right ear is 74% so I needed help hearing. I went to one of those big hearing stores and they wanted $8000. for a pair of hearing aids so I reached into my pocket and pulled out $57.00 well I don't have $8000. So I looked up MDHearingAid Volt Hearing Aids saw the reviews, said ok I will try it and I am very very happy I did no more asking, what did you say! Love them. Hearing aids are the best thing I have done for myself.” – Antonette Zachman, June 2020
Easy to use. I have been wearing hearing aids for over thirty years. I got tired of all the trips to the office and the increasing prices. I am now wearing the Volt and am very happy with it. I previously owned the Air. It needed repair and I decided to switch to the Volt because it is rechargeable. My batteries always went dead at the most inconvenient times. I also like the different settings. I will admit that none of the MD ear tips worked for me. I found the small ones that I needed on eBay. They are made by Phonax and are perfect for me. I had used them with the expensive aids that I had worn previously. I recommend the VOLT.” – Marge, April 2020
Our thoughts on the MDHearingAid VOLT and VOLT+: The MDHearingAid VOLT was purposefully designed to be one of the highest-quality, affordable hearing aids on the market, and it offers several advantages over the Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE Hearing Aid (above). The VOLT is ¼ of an inch smaller than the Hearing Assist ReCharge BTE. Amazon user reviews for the VOLT are also more favorable than they are for the Hearing Assist model. Also, when you purchase the VOLT+ model on the MDHearingAid website, you benefit from better waterproofing, over 24 hours of battery life, and a portable charging case that delivers three charges without plugging it in.
Currently priced at only $999.99 a pair on Amazon.com, the MDHearingAid CORE was designed to fit patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. Featuring the high-tech MDHearing app, the CORE is by far the most advanced hearing aid available on Amazon.com. Although the CORE is not a rechargeable hearing aid, it offers cutting-edge hearing aid features and technology that aren’t available in any of the Amazon hearing aids we have reviewed so far.
Here are the MDHearingAid CORE’s most impressive capabilities:
- Automatically adjusts to the current sound environment: The CORE monitors your sound environment and automatically adjusts its settings for the best listening experience depending on the sound conditions around you. This means that you don’t have to manually select a new sound environment setting throughout the day.
- Advanced smartphone app and hearing test: The MDHearing app that comes with the CORE offers controls that allow you to manually adjust your sound environment settings, and fine-tune more advanced sound settings such as frequency settings and noise reduction. The CORE’s MDHearing app also walks you through a hearing check and automatically adjusts the hearing aid using the NAL NL 2 prescriptive fitting formula to reflect your results. This feature is similar to the Hearing Assist Bluetooth model above.
- Custom hearing aid tuning and remote tuning from the MDHearingAid team: If you have the results from a professional audiogram test, you can send the results to MDHearingAid. The MDHearingAid team will remotely fine-tune your hearing aids according to your professional audiogram results.
- Adjust volume and sound environment settings without a smartphone: The CORE does not require a smartphone to adjust the volume and sound environment settings. Once you set up your hearing aids, you don’t need to use your smartphone again. This is great when your smartphone battery dies, or if you have trouble using smartphones and other tech equipment.
The MDHearingAid CORE hasn’t been reviewed on Amazon yet, but here’s what users are saying about the product on MDHearingAid.com:
I'm a music teacher and musician and have been wearing hearing aids for 17 years. My biggest concern has always been functioning in a classroom with loud noises. Every time I upgraded into the next big thing, it worked great in every environment except the classroom. The people who I bought them from always tried to adjust what I was hearing to sitting in a quiet office. With the MDHearingAids, the frequencies are set based on what I actually hear, then balanced for a couple of different environments, then I control the rest. Even though I've worn hearing aids for quite a while, it has still taken time to get adjusted to what setting to use in what environments. The difference now is that I have control over all of that and don't need to make an office visit to have the adjustments made. The quality of the sound is excellent. Caring for them is easy. I'm looking forward to stepping into the classroom with them to HEAR them perform.” – Tom C., July 2020
I am very pleased with them!! I had another pair from another manufacturer and returned due to poor sound quality that cost $5,000+. Yours [MDHearingAid Hearing Aids] are better. – Steven W., April 2020
I'm very happy with my CORE hearing aids. I have worn hearing aids for years and they work better than my last, much more expensive, pair.” – Aileen, October 2018
Which Amazon Hearing Aids Do We Prefer?
After thoroughly reviewing all of the Amazon hearing aid options—and ruling out the cheap PSAPs and sound amplifier products—we believe that your best choices are the MDHearingAid products that we reviewed above. Although we are more than a little bit biased—since we are MDHearingAid—we can assure you that our products are some of the highest-quality, FDA-registered hearing aids available online. MDHearingAid products also offer the most important technological features to assist patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. Finally, MDHearingAid is a real company that offers responsive, lifetime U.S.-based customer support, consultations with a real audiologist, audiologist-trained support staff, and other services you’ll love!
Best of all, when you select the MDHearingAid CORE and send MDHearingAid your professional audiogram results, the MDHearingAid team will remotely fine-tune your hearing aids according to audiologist-approved standards—and you never have to leave the house!
Feel free to try out MDHearingAid products risk-free. If you’re not satisfied with your MDHearingAid experience, return your hearing aids within 45 days for a complete refund.
Want to see if MDHearingAid hearing aids will work for you? Take our quick and easy online hearing test and get your results instantly.
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