Best Places to Buy OTC Hearing Aids

November 25, 2022
Written by
Leslie Balderas

The Food and Drug Administration announced that a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids will be available in drugstores and beyond. OTC hearing aids are designed for individuals with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss and can be purchased without a medical evaluation by a physician or programming by a hearing healthcare professional.

Soundwave

Soundwave Hearing is a United States OTC hearing aid company based in Oak Brook Illinois.  The Soundwave Sontro are the first “Dr. Cliff AuD Approved” OTC hearing aids.  The feature a Receiver in Canal design and when paired with their otoTune smartphone app, you can take an in-situ hearing test through your Sontro OTC hearing aids and customize your audio settings.

Jabra

The Jabra enhance plus OTC hearing aids are perhaps the sleekest looking OTC hearing aids on the market, because they look like a very small earbud.  Jabra is owned by GN who also owns the prescription hearing aid manufacturer, ReSound.  This means that they have access to hearing aid technology from one of only a few hearing aid manufacturers.  They also give you access to a number of “Certified Jabra Enhance Centers” & ReSound dealer locations across the United States for Support.  Customizations are limited with this device, but they are rechargeable and stream audio from an iPhone.  Sorry Android users, they are not compatible for streaming yet.

Best Buy

Best Buy will be the largest retail location for Counter Hearing Aids.  With Brands like Jabra, Eargo, Sony, & Lexie, Best Buy and BestBuy.com will give consumers a variety of options and an easy way to return products if they don’t meet your expectations. Don’t expect Best Buy employees to have a lot of knowledge about the different products and capabilities, so do your research before heading to the store.

Sony

Sony has partnered with Widex and Signia to release a Completely-in-Canal OTC model called CRE-C10 that uses a size 10 battery without Bluetooth streaming, and an Earbud style OTC called the CRE-E10 that is rechargeable with Bluetooth Streaming.  These products look nearly identical to the Signia Silk and Signia Active hearing aids.  They just have more confusing names.  They will both be customizable through an app. The These products will be sold on Sony.com and inside retail stores like Best Buy and possibly others.

Nuheara

The Nuheara IQ Buds2 Max are another earbud style OTC hearing aid.  Rechargeable and armed with Bluetooth streaming capabilities, they may be a good option for those who do not want to wear a device that looks like a hearing aid. Their programming is based on a NAL-NL2 hearing loss prescription and they are customizable through their app.

Eargo

Eargo has been around for a while, and their current Eargo 6 OTC hearing aid is identical to their Eargo 6 before the OTC regulations.  Eargo is the only rechargeable, invisible in canal OTC hearing aid on the market currently.  They are a little on the pricey side at just under $3,000 for the pair, compared to around $1,000 for most other OTC hearing aids on the market.  Especially considering they do not have Bluetooth streaming capabilities.  You can purchase these direct through Eargo.com or inside some Verizon & Best Buy locations.

Lexie Hearing

Lexie Hearing, part of the HearX group from South Africa, has sold their Lexie Lumen  hearing aids for a few years.  However, they instantly became a major player in the OTC hearing aid market after acquiring the Bose Sound Control hearing aid technology and rebranding it the Lexie B-1.  They will be releasing the Lexie B-2 hearing aids that are powered by Bose and are now rechargeable.  Sorry, they still don’t stream Bluetooth Audio.  The Lexie B-2 will be available at LexieHearing.com and Best Buy Locations, while the Lexie Lumen hearing aids will likely be available on their website and local pharmacies.

CVS & Walgreens

CVS & Walgreens will offer several brands of OTC hearing aids inside of their retail locations and on their website.  Expect the options to change regularly until they identify which brands sell the best.  It is expected that the devices sold at these pharmacy chains will be on the lower end of the price/quality spectrum.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 (not an OTC Hearing Aid)

While not technically not an OTC hearing aid, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 definitely have the ability to address a mild to moderate hearing loss with their Transparency feature.  As long as you have an up to date iPhone, you can take advantage of its hearing aid feature. You can either take a hearing test with the Mimi Hearing App, or upload your audiogram in to the Health Section of the Phone to customize your audio settings.  The only downfall is the short battery life when amplifying sound of only 3-4 hours. Since the FDA is not likely to stop Apple from selling their AirPods Pro 2, because they don’t call it an OTC hearing aid, you might as well give them a shot.  You can purchase these devices on Apple’s website or at any of their retail locations.

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