Lively Hearing Aids Review: Features, Pricing, and More

April 11, 2022 by David Tidmarsh

Lively Hearing Aids Review: Features, Pricing, and More

Hearing loss is one of the most common health issues in the United States—and also one of the most under-treated. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), just 30 percent of Americans over 70 who could benefit from wearing hearing aids have ever used them.

Cost and ease of access are two reasons why millions of Americans with hearing loss don’t wear hearing aids. In a White House study, the average cost of hearing aids was estimated at $2,300 apiece, or more than $4,600 per pair. What’s more, many Americans face barriers in the standard healthcare system. Traditionally, patients need to consult with a physician before they receive a hearing test .

The good news is that both issues of cost and accessibility are being tackled head-on by direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies. By cutting out the middleman, affordable hearing aid brands can more easily get these devices into customers’ hands. Notably, this is at just a fraction of the cost of traditional hearing aids, and without the need to visit a physician beforehand.

A number of direct-to-consumer hearing aid brands have sprung up in recent years, each one claiming to offer a superior product over the rest. One such brand is the hearing aid startup Lively. The Lively website claims to offer “advanced hearing aids and expert, convenient care” so that customers will be “hearing better in no time.”

But are Lively hearing aids actually worth it? Do Lively hearing aids deserve to compete with the top hearing aid brands, or do they fall short of the mark? We’ll answer these questions and more in this all-in-one Lively hearing aids guide, covering hearing aid products, cost, and user reviews.

What are Lively Hearing Aids?

In 2017, the United States passed a federal law making it easier for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to become available to the general public. Lively is one of the direct-to-consumer hearing aid companies established in the wake of this decision.

Lively is a hearing aid startup founded in 2019. The company has three co-founders: Adam Karp (also Lively CEO); Elad Kolet (a former solutions engineering manager at Facebook), and Nicole Cadoret (former vice president of design at Blink Health). Lively maintains an in-house team and advisory board consisting of multiple licensed audiologists, hearing aid dispensers, and audiology assistants.

The concept behind direct-to-consumer hearing aids is simple. First, customers take a hearing test online to determine their level of hearing loss. After their results are received and interpreted, customers have the freedom to select the hearing aid that best matches their needs and lifestyle. There’s no need to consult a physician or go to an in-person hearing clinic at any point in the process.

Importantly, the Lively hearing aid brand is sold exclusively online. Unlike other affordable hearing aid options, such as Costco hearing aids and Walmart hearing aids, Lively is not available in stores.

Lively hearing aids are manufactured by GN, which acquired Lively in December 2021. As one of the “big 5” hearing aid manufacturers, GN also provides hearing aid devices for the ReSound, Beltone, Interton, and Jabra hearing aid brands. This means that behind the scenes, Lively is yet another branch of a major hearing aid maker, this time selling its products in a direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel. As we’ll see later, this has certain disadvantages, such as higher prices compared to other D2C hearing aids.

Lively Hearing Aid Products

As of writing, Lively currently offers two hearing aid models: the Lively 2 Plus and the Lively 2 Lite.

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Image Source: listenlively.com

Lively 2 Plus

The Lively 2 Plus is a rechargeable receiver in canal (RIC) hearing aid. With an RIC model, the hearing aid body rests behind the ear, while the hearing aid receiver sits directly in the ear canal, linked by a wired tube. RIC hearing aids are slightly smaller and can reduce feedback issues. However, they have the disadvantage of wax and moisture buildup, potentially requiring the receiver to be replaced.

Key features of the Lively 2 Plus hearing aid include:

  • 30-hour battery life per 3-hour charge
  • Automatic voice recognition and prioritization
  • Personalized hearing aid settings based on your hearing test results
  • Advanced noise reduction and speech clarity features
  • Hearing aid settings adjustment through the Lively mobile app
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Lively 2 Lite

The Lively 2 Lite is a battery-powered receiver in canal (RIC) hearing aid. It also comes with a 1-year supply of hearing aid batteries.

Like the Plus model, the Lite comes with features such as voice recognition, personalization, Bluetooth connectivity, and the Lively mobile app. However, according to the Lively website, the Lite only comes with “speech clarity and noise reduction” features, making no mention of the “advanced” functionality present in the Plus model.

Lively Hearing Aid Accessories

In addition to the features of the hearing aid itself, Lively offers customer service guarantees such as:

  • A 100-day free trial with the option for a full refund.
  • A 3-year warranty and 3 years of protection from loss and damage.
  • On-demand virtual appointments (video calls) with a licensed audiologist.
  • Access to the Lively smartphone app for fine-tuning hearing aid settings.
  • No stocking, shipping, or return fees.

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Image Source: listenlively.com

Finally, Lively sells various hearing aid accessories through its website, such as:

  • A TV streamer that sends TV and other audio directly to your hearing aids.
  • The “MultiMic” portable microphone for streaming speech to your hearing aids during public conversations in loud environments.
  • A clip that streams phone calls and music to your hearing aids from Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Lively Hearing Aid Costs

We’ve discussed the various Lively hearing aid product offerings, but how much do Lively hearing aids cost? As of writing, here are the prices of Lively hearing aids:

  • The Lively 2 Plus costs $1,595 per pair if you pay upfront. The company also offers financing options through its “buy now, pay later” partner Bread. Customers can pay in installments ranging from 12 to 36 months. Lively claims that monthly fees can be as low as $52 per month, which would be a total of $52 x 36 = $1,872. The exact price will depend on the customer’s credit history, and rates may range from 0% to 29.99% APR.
  • The Lively 2 Lite costs $1,195 per pair if you pay upfront. If you pay in installments, Lively claims that monthly fees can be as low as $39 per month, which would be a total of $39 x 36 = $1,404.

Lively Hearing Aid Reviews

Lively hearing aids have several appealing features, and their costs are significantly lower than traditional hearing aids. But are Lively hearing aids worth it? Do these devices stand up to scrutiny in Lively hearing aid user reviews?

The senior living website RetirementLiving.com has given Lively 4.4 out of 5 stars in its Lively hearing aid review. User Robert E. of Springdale, Arkansas praises the device’s cost-effectiveness and ease of use:

I have had hearing aids for 4 years. I paid $4100 for my first pair at a local doctor's office… In my search, I found that Lively sells the exact same hearing aid that my wife has but for only $1649. So I decided to give them a try. Super pleased! They have been very professional and the hearing aids are working perfectly. I have had one Zoom meeting with an audiologist and have a second scheduled. During the first meeting, she made a slight adjustment and gave me a detailed description of what and how my new hearing aids work. I am particularly pleased with the app that allows me to adjust them. Great job at a very reasonable price.”

However, user Ken F. of Austin, Texas left a 1-star Lively hearing aid review. He complains about various technical issues with his devices:

In 2 years I’ve had to send my Lively (ReSound) hearing aid or aids back for repair 11 times. It’s been a nightmare each time trying to reprogram and connect to Bluetooth or pairing properly. (It takes 3 weeks to get them back.) When connected to Bluetooth, if you have to turn off an aid it knocks out your pairing and connection. Also, my family complains about hearing squealing coming out of my left hearing aid.”

Meanwhile, as of writing Lively hearing aids have an average customer rating of 4.11 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Most reviews are positive, but some customers complain about poor customer service or aggressive sales tactics.

MDHearing: The Best Alternative to Lively Hearing Aids?

Lively hearing aids have a number of advantages. Most importantly, they are more convenient and less expensive than traditional hearing aids. However, Lively hearing aids also come with several significant drawbacks:

  • Limited model selection. Lively only offers two hearing aid options, which are both receiver in ear (RIC) models. Other types of hearing aids have their own advantages. For example, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have a longer battery life and are more user-friendly. Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are smaller and more discreet.
  • Pair only. The Lively website only allows customers to purchase hearing aids in pairs. Users who only require a hearing aid for one ear will therefore pay twice as much as they need.
  • Higher costs. Lively hearing aids are cheaper than traditional devices. However, they are still more expensive than other direct-to-consumer hearing aid brands.

Given these disadvantages of Lively hearing aids, you might want to look elsewhere for another affordable hearing aid brand. That’s exactly where MDHearing comes in.

MDHearing is a direct-to-consumer hearing aid company that was founded by a Chicago ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor more than a decade ago. Since then, we have provided high-quality, FDA-registered devices to more than 500,000 Americans with hearing loss. Our hearing aids are available at a price point that’s significantly more affordable than other leading brands.

The benefits of MDHearing include:

  • Ease of access. Like Lively, MDHearing enables customers to cut out the middleman. Users can purchase hearing aids that are shipped directly to your door.
  • Strong reputation. MDHearing has a strong background in the medicine and science of hearing aids. We have been in business for a decade longer than Lively, and we were founded by an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor. Our advisory board consists of multiple licensed audiologists and hearing aid dispensers.
  • Diverse product range. MDHearing sells a diverse range of hearing aid models. These include the MDHearing AIR value hearing aid, the MDHearing VOLT rechargeable hearing aid, and the MDHearing VOLT MAX smart hearing aid. MDHearing models can support users with mild up to moderately-severe hearing loss. In addition, customers can purchase either a single hearing aid or a pair.
  • Lower prices. MDHearing prices are significantly less expensive than Lively hearing aids. Our hearing aid models start at $299 per pair, and our top-shelf model, the MDHearing VOLT MAX, costs less than $1,000 per pair.
  • Top-notch support. MDHearing has a U.S.-based customer support team with audiologists and hearing aid specialists. Our team of experts is available for telehealth appointments via phone, video chat, or email. We also offer a 45-day risk-free trial for all customers, with a full refund if you’re unsatisfied.

Ready to find out if MDHearing is right for you? Get started with our free 8-minute online hearing test and receive your results instantly. Once you’ve taken the test, our hearing professionals are available via phone and email to help you interpret your results and walk through your options.

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