Nearly 29 million adults in the United States could benefit from wearing hearing aids, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Choosing the right hearing aid, however, can be a major challenge. You should pick the most appropriate device to suit your needs. Your hearing aid should be comfortable, easy to use, and discreet. You also need to cater to your budget.
ListenClear is a company that specializes in hearing aids for people with different hearing loss issues and sells them directly to the consumer. There are no hearing tests. Or fitting appointments. Or trips to see a specialist.
But are these hearing aids worth the hype? Or is there a better product on the market?
Here is a review of ListenClear and an alternative you should know about.
Established in 2011 and based in Savannah, Georgia, ListenClear provides customers with various hearing aid solutions. The company says its devices have high-definition audio, which creates a clear, focused sound.
ListenClear’s main selling point is the cost of its hearing aids.
“Combining years of expertise in audiology and sound engineering, ListenClear Hearing Aids provide customers with an affordable hearing solution at a fraction of the cost of other leading devices,” says the company.
“Our hearing experts are dedicated to creating high-quality hearing devices without the high price tag often found elsewhere.”
ListenClear sells four hearing aid devices — the Pro, Shadow, Premier 50, and Premier 70.
The Premier 50 and Premier 70 models provide you with wireless control, which means you can adjust the settings via an iPhone or iPad. As a result, you can reduce noise and feedback without any buttons on the hearing aid.
You can order all four of ListenClear’s hearing aids as a single or double set.
Most of the ListenClear models (the Pro, Premiere 50, and Premiere 70) are Receiver-In-The Canal (RIC) hearing aids. RIC hearing aids place the receiver (speaker) of the hearing aid into the ear canal instead of behind the ear (as in Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids).
The benefit to the RIC design is that some people feel it results in a superior sound quality by having the receiver close to the eardrum. However, by having the receiver in the ear canal, it is also being exposed to wax and moisture on a daily basis. This can lead to the breakdown of the receiver which will need to be replaced for the hearing aid to function. RIC aids can be difficult to fit, especially with dexterity issues, and must be placed in precisely in the ear canal in order to hear well.
Let’s take a closer look at the four models:
The Pro is an entry model, also the cheapest of the four models. It comes with an Easy-Click tip in size 8. However, you get seven extra sizes of tips so you can customize your device based on your requirements. The Pro has one microphone and one program. A volume button allows you to change to volume to five different preset levels. A two-month supply of batteries, user manual, and quick start guide come with this model.
The Pro costs $1,199.76 for one ear and $1,919.76 for both ears.
The Shadow has a significantly different design from the Pro model. It fits inside the ear canal so it is less noticeable. It has one program and 4 different volume settings. You can change the volume by pushing a button on the hearing aid. The Shadow has 6 different tips to choose from. It also comes with eight size 10 batteries, a user manual, a quick start guide, and a carrying case.
The Shadow costs $1,874.88 for one ear and $2,999.70 for both ears.
Small and lightweight, the Premier 50 lets you control 13 volume settings from an app. There are four listening environment programs, and there’s a free remote control included. You can also use an iPhone app to change programs and volume. Choose from three speaker wire lengths and eight tip designs. The Premier 50 can also work with the ListenClear TV Streamer which can stream TV signals directly into the hearing aids. The ListenClear TV Streamer can be purchased separately.
The Premier costs $1,499.76 for one ear and $2,399.76 for both ears.
Available in three colors, the Premier 70 is ListenClear’s most advanced (and expensive) model. There are six listening environment programs, a free remote control, and the opportunity to control 13 volume settings from an iPhone app. Choose from three speaker wire lengths and eight tip designs. The Premier 70 can also work with the ListenClear TV Streamer which can be purchased separately.
The Premier 70 costs $1,874.88 for one ear and $2,999.70 for both ears.
ListenClear prices depend on the model. At the time we published this review, the Pro model (the cheapest model) costs $1,199.76 for one ear and $1,919.76 for both ears. The Premier 70 (the most advanced model) costs $1,874.88 for one ear and $2,999.70 for both ears.
ListenClear prices can be cheaper than purchasing hearing aids from some other companies or through a doctor. The average price of a single hearing aid in the U.S. is $2,300, according to one report. The Pro costs nearly half of this.
You could also spread the cost of your hearing aid over time with ListenClear’s EasyPay program, too.
As of 2019, ListenClear offers a 30-day free trial on new devices, which provides you with peace of mind. If you want to return your hearing aids within the free trial period, ListenClear will provide you with a paid shipping label, so you won’t pay any mailing costs.
There are two different warranty options:
Medicare will not cover the cost of your ListenClear hearing aid. However, medicare supplement insurance plans might. Contact your provider to find out for sure.
ListenClear has a few customer service options so users can rectify problems.
The company’s telephone support line is only open Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), which means you can’t talk to a customer representative if you have a problem in the evening or weekend. This might be a major problem for people who are unable to use their devices during these times. Still, this telephone service could be beneficial for people who require help adjusting the settings on their device without having to send hearing aids back in the mail.
Customers can also leave a message on the ListenClear website, where a customer rep will respond to their query via email or telephone. We couldn’t find any information about how long this process takes.
MDHearingAid also specializes in affordable hearing aids that require no fitting appointments or visits to a specialist’s office. Their devices are tested by audiologists, registered with the FDA, and come with a 45-day risk-free trial and 100% money-back guarantee.
MDHearingAid models eliminate the complexity of using a RIC style. Their Behind-the-Ear (BTE) style with thin, clear tubing is easy to fit, clean and maintain.
Like ListenClear, MDHearingAid offers four different models with warranty options. However, MDHearingAid products range from $199 to $799 per ear, making them more affordable than even ListenClear’s cheapest option ($1199 for one ear). We think MDHearingAid’s most premium model, the LifeEar CORE, offers more functionality than any of ListenClear’s four models. Here’s why…
The LifeEar CORE is a Bluetooth-enabled smart hearing aid which connects to your smartphone or tablet so you can customize your device to suit your hearing needs. Just order your hearing aid, download the LifeEar CORE app (available on both the iOS App store for Apple products and on the Google play store for Android devices), and adjust your aid to meet your requirements. It’s that simple. You can also take a quick personalization profile and your smartphone or tablet programs the hearing aid based on your results. Trained specialists are available to carry out remote fitting.
We love that you can customize your hearing experience through the app and enhance the sounds you want to hear (and cancel out the ones you don’t.) This also means you don’t need to purchase a new hearing aid if your hearing changes in the future. Plus, with an adaptive program, the LifeEar CORE adjusts to your listening environment so you don’t have to mess around with different buttons.
Open and closed ComfortTIPs, two styles of tubing, a cleaning tool, user manual, carrying case, and batteries are all included with this item.
The LifeEar CORE is also less expensive than ListenClear’s Pro model, with prices costing just $799 for one ear and $1199 for both ears. Shipping is faster than ListenClear, too, and just takes 3-5 days.
MDHearingAid also offers telephone support six days a week (Monday through Saturday) and 24-hour email support, so you can contact a customer representative at any time of the day or night.
If you suffer from hearing loss, purchasing a new hearing aid is a big life decision — and one that can take a toll on your finances. You need to be sure you choose a hearing aid company that offers excellent customer service and value-for-money. ListenClear hearing aids come in four different models, and there are different customer support options and warranty options. There is also a free 30-day trial.
MDHearingAid also offers four different models with customer support, warranty options and a trial period, but at a more affordable price. Their LifeEar CORE device lets you optimize your hearing experience for your specific hearing and control your hearing aid from Android devices, as well as iOS devices.
Interested in starting a 45-day, risk-free trial? Check out the LifeEar CORE for yourself.