If you’ve had to shop for hearing aids, you know how expensive they can be.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at MDHearingAid, a convenient and affordable online option for buying hearing aids.
I’ve recently researched the pricing and process of buying hearing aids from MDHearingAid to get an idea of what you can expect. Then, I ordered a pair of hearing aids from the company and asked my grandfather, who usually wears Costco hearing aids, to try them out and see how they compare.
What To Know Before Your First MDHearingAid Purchase
MDHearingAid is an online hearing aid store that allows customers to test their hearing at home and then order hearing aids online. By eliminating overhead costs and offering hearing aids directly to the consumer, MDHearingAid says it’s able to sell its devices for a significantly lower cost.
Of course, buying a hearing aid online is a completely different process from buying one in a store. Before you place an order, here are five things to know:
- What Hearing Aids Are Available at MDHearingAid?
- How Much Do Hearing Aids at MDHearingAid Cost?
- MDHearingAid vs. Costco: Our Experience
- How It Works
- Return Policy and Warranty Information
- Final Thoughts: Pros and Cons
Below, you’ll find detailed information including how much you can expect to pay, the types of hearing aids you can expect to see and how the process works for your first order.
What Hearing Aids Are Available at MDHearingAid?
MDHearingAid currently offers four different hearing aid models: MDHearingAid PRO, MDHearingAid AIR, MDHearingAid VOLT+ and MDHearingAid CORE. All of MDHearingAid’s models fit behind the ear.
Below, I’ve included a few key details about each device. You can click on the name of each mode for additional information about what to expect when you get the device and to read customer reviews. You can also find a detailed feature comparison between the models on MDHearingAid’s website.
The most affordable of MDHearingAid’s models, the PRO has two audio settings. The “flat loss” option is for people who have difficulty hearing at all frequencies. The “sloping loss” option is for high-frequency hearing loss.
According to the website, the PRO is designed to block surrounding noises for better clarity. This makes it good for watching TV, having conversations and talking on the phone.
According to MDHearingAid, the AIR is the company’s best-selling model. It includes improved noise reduction and additional features that the PRO doesn’t have.
The AIR model also includes feedback cancellation technology to prevent whistling. In addition to watching TV, having conversations and talking on the phone, the AIR is also recommended for noisy environments.
For more information about the AIR model and to see how its features compare to other models available at MDHearingAid, visit the website.
A more advanced model, the VOLT+ works with rechargeable batteries. According to the website, a single charge provides over 24 hours of clear hearing. A recharging case comes with the device, and the company says the case provides up to three full charges without needing to be plugged in.
The VOLT+ is water-resistant and includes two directional microphones. The microphones work together to block out background noise while focusing on the sounds that you want to hear. Plus, the water-resistant coating protects the hearing aid, and it can withstand water up to three feet deep for 30 minutes.
With all of the advanced features included in the VOLT+, it’s designed for an active lifestyle and traveling in addition to noisy environments. To learn more about this model, visit MDHearingAid’s website.
The priciest model available, the MDHearingAid CORE is a “smart” hearing aid that is designed to adapt to your environment. It can also be customized with MDHearingAid’s app for iOS and Android devices using Bluetooth technology.
According to the website, the app is simple enough that anyone can use it. With the app, you can customize your hearing experience. This feature allows you to adjust your hearing aid as your hearing changes over time. It adapts to your environment automatically by switching between four audio settings. It also includes two directional microphones for smart noise reduction in addition to feedback cancellation technology.
If you’re interested in a customizable hearing aid with more features, you can learn more about the CORE model online.
How Much Do Hearing Aids at MDHearingAid Cost?
Compared to brick-and-mortar hearing aid centers, you’ll find that MDHearingAid offers some of the lowest prices available. Plus, unlike many competitors, you’ll find all of MDHearingAid’s prices listed online.
When I checked out MDHearingAid, there was a “Bigger than BOGO” sale that included two hearing aids for the price of one on two of the three available models. (The PRO model was sold out at the time of writing.) The CORE model was also on sale: Buy one get one 75% off. Based on the prices in April 2021, you can expect to pay $200 to $500 for a hearing aid at MDHearingAid.
Non-sale prices ranged from $200 to $799.99 each. I don’t know how often MDHearingAid offers discounts and/or sales, but it may be worth monitoring the site for a while to see if there’s some kind of offer — especially if you need a pair of hearing aids as opposed to a single device.
Here are the prices for all of the hearing aid models at MDHearingAid in April 2021:
To put this into perspective, Costco’s hearing aids start at $749 per device while Miracle-Ear hearing aids range from $1,000 to $4,000 each. That means you could get a good price at MDHearingAid.
“Knowing where to shop is so important,” says money expert Clark Howard on hearing aids. “You’re not going to get a worse hearing aid; you’re only going to get the difference in price.”
Other than the cost of the hearing aid, you won’t have any additional charges. You can use the company’s optional free online hearing test to determine if you need a hearing aid and you can download the free app if you purchase the CORE model. Faster shipping options are also available for an additional charge, but standard shipping is free.
MDHearingAid vs. Costco: Our Experience
While I was researching MDHearingAid, Team Clark decided to order a pair of the company’s most affordable model, the PRO. I asked my grandfather to try the hearing aids out for us. In the past, he’s worn over a dozen different hearing aid brands and says he prefers Costco’s over all the others he’s tried. When I asked him how the MDHearingAid devices compared, here were his thoughts:
“Costco’s hearing aids are way better than these,” he said of the PRO devices. “But I’ve got another set of hearing aids that cost $3,000, and the MDHearingAid Pro is every bit as good as them.”
The hearing aids he wears from Costco are made by Phonak, and the hearing aids he feels are comparable to MDHearingAid are made by Widex. Both hearing aid brands score a 74 on Consumer Reports.
When I asked him why he prefers Costco’s hearing aids, he said, “To start with, Costco’s service is unreal. These hearing aids come with filters, rubber tips, batteries … I’ve had them for two years and I’ve never bought anything except the hearing aids. They furnish everything you need.”
He also compared the process of buying hearings in-store to ordering a device online.
“At Costco, they give you a hearing test, like an eye exam, to see what you need. These [the MDHearingAid PRO devices] just amplify,” he said. “If you go to a dollar store and buy glasses without having your eyes tested … to me that’s basically the same thing as not having your ears tested. That’s my opinion.”
When I asked him what his final opinion was of the MDHearingAid PRO, he said: “I wouldn’t have been happy with them, to tell you the truth.”
After our conversation wrapped up, my dad tried on the MDHearingAid PROs just for fun. He knows he has hearing problems but had never tried hearing aids before. After testing them out for about an hour, he liked them enough that he decided he’s going to start wearing them in situations where his hearing is starting to be a problem. “You can hear a lot better with them,” he said. “I mean a lot better.”
After this experience, here was my takeaway: If you’re really hard of hearing and already have quality hearing aids that you love, you probably won’t be satisfied by replacing them with the MDHearingAid PRO. Still, if you just need some help with hearing better in some situations, these affordable hearing aids could be the perfect solution.
How the Process Works
Ordering hearing aids from MDHearingAid is a simple and straightforward process. You don’t have to have a professional audiogram from a doctor, and you don’t have to take any specific hearing test to decide which device you want to order. Still, if you’re wondering whether or not you need a hearing aid, you can take an optional free online hearing test.
To get started, visit the website and click “Online Hearing Test” at the top of the page. When you’re in a quiet place and have headphones nearby, you can click “I’m in a quiet room” to begin. You’ll want to turn your device’s volume all the way up for the best results.
From there, you can follow prompts to complete the hearing test. It takes less than 10 minutes and consists of 12 steps. During each step, you’ll use the on-screen graphic to click through various volumes and choose the softest one that you can hear. At the end of the test, you’ll be told whether your hearing level is healthy or if you have hearing loss that’s mild, moderate, severe or profound.
When you’re ready to order a hearing aid, I recommend visiting MDHearingAid’s comparison page first. There, you can directly compare all of the models’ features as well as specifications and pricing. Once you’ve decided on a hearing aid, you can click “View Details” or scroll over “Hearing Aids” and click on the device for more information.
You can choose whether you want a single hearing aid or a pair before adding the hearing aid(s) to your cart. Then, you can click “Proceed to checkout,” and make your purchase. Standard shipping is free.
You can also buy MDHearingAid devices on Amazon for the same price if you’d rather go through the popular online retailer.
Return Policy and Warranty Information
If you receive a device that you aren’t happy with, you’ll have 45 days to return it for a refund. Additionally, your hearing aid is covered against defects in materials and workmanship for 90 days from the time you receive it in the mail.
According to the FAQ section, you can purchase an “MDShield Protection Plan” for additional protection from all types of accidental damage. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a way to add this plan during checkout. Instead, you’ll have to contact Customer Service to get this additional coverage.
Even after your warranty expires, you can send your hearing aid to MDHearingAid for repair. You’ll have to contact Customer Service to get a quote for the repair; it won’t be free. A customer service representative can also walk you through the process of sending your device in.
Final Thoughts: Pros and Cons
Overall, MDHearingAid could be a great place to order hearing aids. You’ll find some of the lowest prices available, and you won’t have to make an appointment or visit a hearing aid center to get your hearing tested.
Based on my research, here are a few major pros and cons of buying hearing aids at MDHearingAid:
|Low Cost: If you’re buying a pair of hearing aids, you can expect to pay between $200-$300 per device if you can catch them on sale. Even the company’s more advanced smart model was $500 to $800 at the time of writing.||Selection: MDHearingAid currently offers only four different hearing aid models, and at the time of writing, one of those models was sold out. Additionally, they’re all the same behind-the-ear style.|
|Transparent Pricing: In addition to a good price on the hearing aid itself, shipping is free and you won’t have to pay for a hearing test. In fact, what you see online is what you’ll pay!||Service: If you order your hearing aid online, you won’t be visiting a qualified medical professional in person to discuss the best options for you. If this is important to you, visiting a brick-and-mortar hearing aid center may be a better choice.|
|Payment Options: You can set up a monthly payment schedule for your hearing aid(s) when you check out.||Free Services: While you will have unlimited technical support, you won’t find free repairs, cleanings, follow-ups or hearing tests at this online store.|
While you’ll be making some sacrifices by ordering your hearing aids online, you’ll also be saving money. But if free services and in-person professional help are priorities for you, you may be happier making your purchase from a hearing aid center like Costco.
Have you purchased hearing aids from MDHearingAid? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!