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.