For millions of people with loss of hearing, hearing aids can be a tremendous improvement to their quality of life—so why don’t more people have them.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that only 30 percent of adults 70 and over who have loss of sound and could benefit from hearing aids have ever used them. What’s more, this figure declines to just 16 percent for adults between 20 and 69 years of age.
One of the biggest reasons why more people don’t use hearing aids: the cost. High-quality hearing aids from traditional hearing aid manufacturers can cost as much as $1,000 to $5,000 and up—and that’s just the price of a single hearing aid, not the pair.
Some hearing aid companies claim to offer affordable hearing aids at a fraction of these costs, but it can be hard to separate the quality products from the scams when you’re not a hearing aid expert.
If you’ve been looking to buy hearing aids online, you may have come across MDHearingAid, a hearing aid solutions provider that offers inexpensive hearing aids by cutting out the middleman and selling directly to the user.
The company is proud to control the entire manufacturing process. They are even doing final assembly in the USA. According to the founder Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, the PRO model is “the lowest-priced FDA-registered hearing aid in the United States.”
At this point, you should be putting on your “savvy consumer” hat and asking: is MDHearingAid a reputable company? And what do real customer reviews have to say?
We’ve done the work for you and compiled everything you need to know. Below, we’ll discuss MDHearingAid reviews, models and pricing, the pros and cons of their hearing aids, and more.
The Pros & Cons of MDHearingAid
With all that said, what are the pros and cons of MDHearingAid models?
The Pros of MDHearingAids
- Affordable hearing aids: By offering a direct-to-consumer business model, MDHearingAid products are very affordable, with a high quality sound-to-price ratio. Many reviewers remark that their models offer the same performance as more expensive options, at a fraction of the price.
- Wide variety of products: With four different models to choose from at different price points, from rechargeable hearing aids to Bluetooth technology, They have options to suit most customers’ taste and budget.
- Feature-rich: Customers who spend a little more on the CORE model enjoy advanced features such as a self-adjusting smartphone app, Bluetooth functionality, feedback cancellation, and two directional microphones for smart noise reduction.
- Low-risk: The generous 45-day risk-free return policy means that there’s little harm in trying the devices out for yourself. What’s more, the company’s MDShield protection plan means that you can protect your investment from accidental damage for just dollars every month.
- High reputation: Unlike some other hearing aid companies, MDHearingAid was founded by a board-certified otolaryngologist (ears, nose, and throat doctor). The company’s headquarters, factory, and customer service are all located in the United States.
The Cons of MDHearingAid
- Self-directed service: They lower prices by cutting out the middleman and giving customers more control over their healthcare. This can be great if you know exactly what you want, or if you’re comfortable consulting with an audiologist online. If you want more personalized service, however, you’ll have to look elsewhere—but know that you’ll likely pay more for it.
- No live chat: Unlike some of the other hearing aid companies, live chat is your preferred method of customer support, be aware that it’s not available. However, you can contact customer support via email 24/7 as well as phone support during business hours Monday through Friday.
- BTE hearing aids: Behind-the-ear hearing aids have several advantages such as more comfort, greater sound amplification, and a longer battery life. However, because they only offer BTE products, you’ll need to choose another provider if you want to have a custom hearing aid or different style (such as in-the-ear or receiver-in-canal hearing aids) which are much less visable.
MDHearingAid: The Bottom Line
By adopting a direct-to-consumer business model, MDHearingAid has become a strong option for customers who want to buy low-cost hearing aids online, with FDA-approved devices that will fit most users at a fraction of the cost.
How is MDHearingAid Different from Traditional Pair of Hearing Aids?
Traditionally, individuals with hearing loss who are in the market for hearing aids need to go through a entire process which involves multiple businesses to buy a licensed hearing instrument.
(The first step is a checkup with your primary care practitioner and/or licensed audiologists (hearing doctors) to assess your level of hearing loss . The audiologist then referers customers to a hearing center where they purchase the appropriate hearing aid models. Unfortunately the customer pays a significant markup in order to cover the facility’s costs.
People often need to return to the center if they need assistance or if you they want to have the audiologists adjust the device’s settings. This whole process often costs the customer a lot more money, often between $2,500 and $5,000 dollars.
Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri streamlined process takes a different approach to most hearing aid companies, using a DTC (direct-to-consumer) or online hearing aid business model that empowers people who want to make their own healthcare decisions and bu.
Instead of going through middlemen such as hearing centers and retailers, MD Hearing Aid sells high-quality, medical-grade hearing devices directly to customers. This helps the company provide product at a significant discount when compared with traditional alternatives.
By simplifying the design and purchasing process, MD Hearing Aid claims that its products can improve the hearing experience for 94 percent of Americans with hearing loss. Of course, the company always recommends that you consult an audiologist or other healthcare provider if you have questions about, or problems with, your hearing aids.
To help with the online hearing device purchasing process, hearingaidmd.com offers a free, 8-minute online hearing test designed by professional audio engineers to check people with hearing issues and determine whether hearing aids are right for you.
MDHearingAid Behind the Ear Models
MDHearingAid.com offers several different hearing aid models to fit the needs of individuals with verying degrees of hearing impairment. All of hearing aid styles are behind-the-ear (BTE), which are the most common type of hearing aid sold today.
These are not the invisible hearing aid type as the bulk of a BTE device sits visable behind the ear, with a small plastic tube connecting to a custom earpiece that sits inside the ear canal.
MDHearingAid PRO - Analog Model
The PRO is the company’s basic, low-cost hearing aid option for those with common hearing loss, with more than 75,000 satisfied customers to date. According to the company, the PRO’s two hearing profile settings, flat loss and sloping loss, are enough to help 80 percent of customers with common hearing loss.
The “flat loss” option is designed for users with reduced hearing across all frequencies, while the “sloping loss” option is for users with reduced hearing only at higher frequencies.
As an analog hearing aid and there for lacks any digital sound processing. The PRO works best in quieter environments without much background noise, such as in-person and phone conversations.
The PRO can block sounds such as traffic and electronic hums, but is less suitable for large gatherings in public settings and sporting events. It is not recommended for people with moderate hearing loss. A single PRO device weighs 0.8 ounces and has dimensions of 1.38 x 0.25 x 0.50 inches.
Bottom line: The MDHearingAid PRO is best suited for users who want to buy hearing aids on a budget for day-to-day conversations. They are not suited well noisy environments as they do not have the noise reduction features of the other products in their lineup.
The AIR is the company’s best-selling hearing aid products, representing the next step up technologically from the PRO model. Unlike the PRO, the AIR is a digital hearing aid, which means that it’s better at reducing background noises and also includes features such as the feedback cancellation option (whistling).
With four different audio settings to match your environment—including “quiet,” “social,” and “noisy environments”—the AIR is good for users with an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The AIR weighs the same as the PRO at 0.8 ounces but has a smaller frame, with dimensions of 1.00 x 0.25 x 0.50 inches.
The Air does require size 13 batteries which should last the customer roughly 20 to 40 days. The batteries can be purchased through the website. If you are looking a looking for a rechargeable model then look no further than the Volt.
Bottom line: The AIR has a higher price point than the PRO, but allows users with hearing loss to operate in a wider variety of environments, including noisy ones.
MDHearingAid VOLT+ Product Specs
The VOLT+ is the company’s rechargeable hearing aid offering. Rechargeable devices are becoming increasingly popular, as users grow tired of disposable hearing aid batteries that have a maximum lifetime of 1 to 2 weeks.
Another benefit of rechargeable hearing aids: they won’t suddenly die on you when you’re out and about without having another battery on hand. You may pay a little more upfront for the Volt plus but you will save not having to purchase batteries for the life of the product.
According to MD Hearing Aid, the VOLT+’s battery will last up to 24 hours; the device comes with a charging case that offers up to 3 full charges without needing to be plugged in.
The VOLT+ includes familiar digital technology features from the AIR, such as advanced noise reduction and four audio settings; additional features include a water-resistant (IP57) coating and two directional microphones for better noise reduction for those with moderate hearing loss in noisy environments.
Bottom line: The VOLT+ is ideal for users who want a high-quality yet still affordable rechargeable hearing aid.
MDHearingAid CORE with Advanced Noise Reduction
Last but certainly not least, the CORE (formerly known as the LifeEar CORE) is the company’s top-shelf “smart” Bluetooth hearing aid for those with moderate to severe hearing loss or those who want great performance when it comes to handling loud noises and other annoying background noises.
This is accomplished with 2 directional microphones which allows the feedback cancellation technology to allow you to focus on the sounds you want, like hearing the person talking at the coffee shop and not all the background noises.
Easy to Use Smartphone App - Control your Audio Settings on the Go
Using the custom-built Core hearing aids smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, users can personalize their audio settings according to their environmental settings.
Are you in a Noisy setting or a quite public setting? There is a audio setting for that!—You can even fine-tune single hearing aids into a pair with a push button.
The company calls the app “an audiologist in your pocket”: it can automatically and adaptively shift between the device’s four audio settings depending on your environment settings.
The feedback cancellation feature also helps customers to ovoid the dreaded whistle sounds. In reviews users often comment that the smarthphone app helps with dexterity issues.
The CORE hearing aids Bluetooth functionality also dramatically increases the device’s utility and performance.
By connecting to electronics such as TVs, radios, speakers, and smartphones over a Bluetooth connection, the CORE can stream audio directly into your ear without passing through the air, resulting in better sound quality.
Although the CORE does share features such as water-resistance and dual directional microphones, note that it does not have rechargeable battery.
Often times MD Hearing Aid offers 1 year supply of batteries for free when making a qualifying purchase. the VOLT+ is the only rechargeable offering from the company.
Bottom line: For users who are less budget-conscious, the CORE is the company’s top-of-the-line, feature-packed (yet still affordable) hearing aid model.
What Product Accessories Are Available?
For the best experience, a variety of accessories can be purchased from the website, including:
- Hearing aid tubing, domes, and tips to improve fit in your ears
- Disposable batteries (for the PRO, AIR, and CORE)
- ReCharger case (for the VOLT+)
- Storage cases
- Ultraviolet clean & dry boxes
- Cleaning tools and dehumidifiers
How Much Does MDHearingAid Cost? Prices for 2021
Thus far, we’ve discussed the four MDHearingAid models: PRO, AIR, VOLT+, and CORE previously Lifeear Core. These MDHearingAid models and features are all very well and good—but how much does MDHearingAid devices cost, exactly?
As of writing, below are the most up-to-date Hearing Aid price list:
The PRO is the company’s budget-friendly hearing aid option. A single hearing aid costs $199.99, or $399.98 for the pair. Payment plans for the pair are as low as $33.33 per month.
The AIR is the company’s entry-level digital hearing aid. A single hearing aid costs $399.99, or $799.99 for the pair. Payment plans for the pair are as low as $66.67 per month.
Rechargeable devices come at an additional expense: a single hearing aid costs $599.99, or $1199.99 for the pair. Payment plans for the pair are as low as $100.00 per month.
A single hearing aid costs $799.99, or $1599.99 for the pair. Payment plans for the pair are as low as $133.33 per month.
- Includes app for smartphones
- All Models can be purchased with monthly payment plans.
- Protections are available with prices ranging from $9.999 - $14.99
- All products qualify for 45-day trial period with Money back guarantee.
- Prices Are not for a pair of hearing aids unless specifically stated.
What’s more, these prices are “what you see is what you get,” because MDHearingAid offers free shipping for all of its products.
For an even steeper discount, note that MDHearingAid might be offering several deals and sales throughout the year, such as during Black Friday and the holiday season—so if you’re looking for deals like buy one, get one free; keep your eyes peeled.
MDHearingAid, Returns, Warranty and Protection Plans
Affordable hearing aids are great—but are they made to last? The average lifespan of a hearing aid is roughly 3 to 7 years, so you want to go with a company that has a reputation for durability. Consumers buying online should make sure that your choice of provider can help you service any issues that crop up.
The MDHearingAid warranty lasts for 90 days and offers a free repair or replacement for all products with defects in parts, materials, and/or workmanship.
Beyond this 90-day period, MDHearingAid offers the MDShield protection plan, which covers all defects, malfunctions, and accidental damage at no charge to the customer. (Note that you’ll still have to pay for postage and processing, and that the plan doesn’t cover loss, theft, or unauthorized repairs.)
The protection plans are subscription-based, and you can cancel at any time.
Risk Free Trial Period - Money Back Guarantee
Since clinical studies show that it can take a few weeks for many people's brain to adjust to the devices, MD recommends a minimum of a 21 day trial period. Just to make sure you have plenty of time to make sure users are completely satisfied they allow a generous 45-day trial.
Not satisfied with the quality of your MDHearingAid product? The company offers a 45-day risk-free trial with a 100% money-back guarantee, minus the costs of shipping, handling, and restocking.
Customer Service Information
This is where MDHearingAid really shines. If you encounter a problem with your aid at any time, you will be speaking with with an experienced hearing instrument specialist located in Chicago and Detroit.
All customer support options are based in the USA. For this reason phone support is not available for customers on national holidays.
Potential customers can also get buying advice from an in-house licensed audiologists based on the results of their free hearing test.
MDHearingAid Reviews - How do they Sound?
Thus far, we’ve talked about how the direct to consumer business model works and the different models and prices. But what do real people have to say about their hearing aids in real customer reviews?
RetirementLiving - MDHearingAid Review
The website RetirementLiving.com offers its own MDHearingAid review that gives the company an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, further breaking down into the following categories:
- Ease of purchase: 5 stars
- Warranty: 4 stars
- Price: 4.8 stars
- Customer service: 4.5 stars
The hearing aid review concludes:
MDHearingAid provides an affordable solution for most people. The company cuts costs by selling directly to the consumer and keeping manufacturing in-house. These hearing aids are the real deal and are not just sound amplifiers. MDHearingAid devices aren’t designed for severe hearing loss or small ears, but the company has hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers.
ConsumerAffairs MD Hearing Aid Reviews
On the review marketplace ConsumerAffairs, MDHearingAid has an average of 4.0 out of 5 stars, based on 86 ratings.
In one of the site’s “most helpful” reviews (based on other users’ feedback), MDHearingAid user Earl of Ohio gives the company 5 stars, writing:
I purchased a set of MdHearingAid models: AIR hearing aids from MDHearingAid about a year ago. I had some other hearing aid companies "name-brand" (expensive) hearing aids for years. I have high-range loss and am middle-aged. The AIRs performed better than the others I have had. They have held up well. The batteries last weeks, and I have had great support from customer service. I have several friends who paid for the name and found that the products work as well or better. Read reviews, but get some and try them—some reviewers are not fair in their expectations. This is a quality instrument and will help many IF they read and follow instructions and take time to acclimate (about a week). All I know is they work very well for me!
Another reviewer, Karen M. of Pennsylvania, gives MDHearingAid a positive 4-star review:
MDHearingAid products seemed to be the best deal. When I was out and about and wearing the device, it made a world of difference. When people talk low, I can hear them now and the background noise isn't like it used to be. It’s hard to get them to fit on right to get them comfortable. Some of the other companies had different-sized earplugs and MDHearingAids didn't. That could’ve made a big difference. Other than that, they work good for me and it has been an all-the-way good experience. If I'd have any problems, they followed up which I was very pleased with.
About the Chicago Based Company
The class='ent _company'>company was class='ent _company'>company founded in Chicago in 2009 by Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, a board-certified ENT doctor.
All of the devices are FDA-approved Class 1 medical devices that are assembled in an ISO-certified facility in Southfield, Michigan. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since May 2010, and currently has an A+ BBB rating.
Company Address: 150 N Michigan ave 400