9.6 Excellent
Bluetooth connectivity
Excellent customer service
Three models to choose from
9.6 Excellent

More than 40 million people in the United States have difficulty hearing, but only about 16 percent of those between the ages of 20–69 actually use hearing aids. Living with untreated hearing loss increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and social isolation, so overcoming the barriers that prevent hearing aid use can lead to improved mental health. Studies suggest that high prices, uncomfortable designs, and stigma surrounding hearing aids may be why people don’t want to wear them.

To address the issue of stigma, over-the-counter hearing aid company Eargo designed a tiny device that sits completely in the ear canal, making it virtually invisible to onlookers. If you’re one of the 89 percent of people who don’t want to publicly acknowledge their hearing loss, an Eargo hearing aid could be right for you. 

Eargo currently sells three hearing aids that share the same design but feature increasingly advanced technology. We tested these models to compare their performance, comfort, and ease of use to other over-the-counter (OTC) and traditional hearing aids. 

Below, we’ll explain our findings and outline the differences between each model so you can decide if an Eargo hearing aid is right for you.

Which Eargo hearing aid is right for you?

  • Eargo 7: Most advanced features.
  • Eargo 6: Best blend of features and price.
  • Eargo 5: Most affordable.
  • Eargo SE: Best hearing customizations for less.  
  • LINK by Eargo: Most affordable hearing aid with Bluetooth streaming. 

Why HelpGuide cares about hearing loss

of research
7500+   hours
of research
hand-tested
27   devices
hand-tested
interviewed
26   real people
interviewed
consulted
17   experts
consulted

Hearing and mental health are closely related. In fact, people with hearing loss tend to experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, and social isolation, which can result in loneliness and frustration, according to research

Hearing loss is also a risk factor for developing dementia, with recent research showing how using hearing aids can slow cognitive decline in older adults and reduce the risk of dementia.

The impact of hearing loss on physical and mental health is far-reaching. This is why at HelpGuide, we’ve made it our mission to give every person access to the best information about hearing aids, so we can also help get quality products into the hands of people who need them.

There is no doubt that using hearing aids can significantly improve mental health for those with hearing loss. Addressing hearing loss early can prevent or minimize its negative impact on mental health.

Peter Byrom, owner of Peter Byrom Audiology in Sheffield, England

Our Handbook Team hand-tests every hearing aid brand we review, so we can feel confident recommending the best products for our readers. We consult with audiologists, researchers, and industry leaders in hearing health, as well as mental health experts, to vet our choices and help us better understand the nuances of how hearing health impacts physical and mental health.

We also put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes by mystery shopping brands and walking through the set-up process, just like new customers. Additionally, we interview real people with hearing loss and survey hearing aid users.

By compiling our testing data, interview and survey results, and insights from hearing care providers, we formulate a strongly informed perspective that we’re sharing with you here.

HelpGuide Handbook for Eargo Hearing Aids

If you only learn five things about Eargo hearing aids, this is what you need to know:

Eargo Hearing Aids
It’s one of the few OTC brands with AI for automatic mode adjustments. It’s one of the few OTC brands with AI for automatic mode adjustments.
Tap on your ear to manually adjust programs. Tap on your ear to manually adjust programs.
Fits completely in the ear canal, making it virtually invisible. Fits completely in the ear canal, making it virtually invisible.
In-app hearing screener helps personalize settings. In-app hearing screener helps personalize settings.
No Bluetooth streaming or telecoil. No Bluetooth streaming or telecoil.

Our testing experience

When the FDA approved OTC hearing aids in October 2022, the OTC hearing aid market experienced rapid growth with an influx of new companies. While this improves accessibility and helps drive down prices, it also muddies the waters. How do you know which products are trustworthy? 

After surveying the market, interviewing hearing health experts, and speaking to real hearing aid users, we curated a list of 21 OTC models to test from nine brands: Audien, Audicus, Eargo, Go Hearing, Jabra Enhance, Lexie, Lucid, MDHearing, and Sony. We chose these brands because they have positive reputations and represent a range of prices, styles, and features. 

We also tested prescription models from Oticon, Phonak, and Starkey to experience the difference between OTC and Rx (prescription) hearing aids firsthand.

The process looked like this:

Our Hearing Aid Testing Process
1
Purchase hearing aids as mystery shoppers. Purchase hearing aids as mystery shoppers.
2
Set up and adjust hearing aids. Set up and adjust hearing aids.
3
Wear hearing aids and adjust volume. Wear hearing aids and adjust volume.
4
Evaluate sound quality, comfort, and ease of use. Evaluate sound quality, comfort, and ease of use.
5
Charge them or remove and replace the batteries. Charge them or remove and replace the batteries.
6
Remove and reinstall the domes and wax guards. Remove and reinstall the domes and wax guards.
7
Clean hearing aid with provided tools and instructions. Clean hearing aid with provided tools and instructions.
8
Test all features, including Bluetooth streaming. Test all features, including Bluetooth streaming.
9
Download app and test features. Download app and test features.

Our testers tried multiple devices and answered 25 questions about each. We used these answers to look for outstanding performers and to compare models within each brand.

From our tester

“The Eargo 5, 6, and 7 are the same size and shape, which fits firmly in the ear and felt a little uncomfortable until I switched to the open petal tips.”

We also completed onboarding calls with brand audiologists and talked with customer service representatives over the phone and through chat modules to accurately replicate the buying process and evaluate post-purchase support options.

Finally, we wrapped up our testing by interviewing independent audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, mental health experts, and hearing aid users to get additional perspective on OTC hearing aids.

The case for OTC hearing aids is particularly compelling. Being able to reach a wider population by increasing accessibility, simplifying the ease of fitting, and reducing the cost barriers . . . opens the gateway to an array of possibilities [previously inaccessible] due to exorbitant costs and lack of insurance coverage.

Shelley Singh, a board-certified audiologist

Learn more about our hearing aid review methodology.

Pros and cons of Eargo hearing aids

What we like about Eargo

  • Self-fitting.
  • Free fit kit.
  • Small design.
  • 16-hour battery life.
  • Customizable modes.
  • Adjusts through app or ear tap.
  • Automatic mode adjustments (Eargo 6 and 7).
  • Lifetime audiology support through email, chat, and video calls.

What we don’t like about Eargo

  • No telecoil.
  • No low battery warnings.
  • No directional microphones.
  • Monthly maintenance can get pricey.
  • Tapping the ear doesn’t change programs in both hearing aids simultaneously.

Eargo hearing aids reviews

Eargo 7
Eargo 7
Price: $2,950.
Degree of hearing loss: Mild to moderate.
Battery type: Rechargeable.
Warranty: Two years.
Standout feature: AI for improved speech comprehension.
Eargo 7

Our verdict

The Eargo 7 is a small, comfortable hearing aid offering advanced artificial intelligence features at an OTC price.

Pros and cons

Pros Sound Adjust+ with Clarity Mode. Waterproof (IPX7 rating). Sweat-resistant. Cons No Bluetooth streaming.

Additional information

The Eargo 7 features technology called Sound Adjust+ with Clarity Mode. According to Eargo customer service, this artificial intelligence (AI) allows the Eargo 7 to analyze a noisy environment and choose to either reduce background noise and emphasize speech to improve comprehension or lower overall volume to improve comfort.

These adjustments happen in a split second so you don’t miss out on important sounds while manually adjusting your hearing aids. The Eargo 7 is one of the few OTC hearing aids with this type of AI, but its capabilities are limited. “The smaller, in-ear devices do not have certain technologies, like directional microphones, which can be beneficial when communicating in background noise,” says Gina Angley, owner of Nashville’s Hearing & Communication Center in Tennessee.

The small size and in-ear design also means Eargo hearing aids don’t have buttons to press. Instead, you quickly tap twice on the outside of your ear. An accelerometer inside the hearing aid senses these taps and changes between one of four modes, which you can customize in the Eargo app. The hearing aid will announce the new mode number if you’re successful. Our testers found it easy to switch modes using this method, but you do have to tap each ear individually.

From our tester

“It’s nice that you can tap on your ear to change programs, but I thought it was a little odd or confusing that you can’t also change volume that way.”

In terms of sound quality, our testers noted a tinny, echoing sound in Eargo hearing aids that hasn’t been present in other devices we’ve tested. An audiologist from Eargo told us it’s common for people without hearing loss to experience feedback like this when wearing hearing aids. While it’s unlikely you’ll hear these distracting sounds, you can return the hearing aids within 45 days for a full refund if they don’t meet your needs.

Even though Eargo devices technically connect to Bluetooth, they don’t stream audio. The hearing aids use Bluetooth to connect to the app for remote adjustments only. Check out our recommended Bluetooth hearing aids if that’s a deal-breaker.

What our testers say: “The initial hearing screening for self-fitting takes about 15 minutes, but then the devices are programmed to your type of hearing loss. You can still make a ton of changes in the Eargo app as needed, which is nice.”

Eargo 6
Eargo 6
Price: $2,250.
Degree of hearing loss: Mild to moderate.
Battery type: Rechargeable.
Warranty: One year.
Standout feature: AI for automatic program changes.
Eargo 6

Our verdict

The Eargo 6 is a good choice if you want the convenience of hands-free automatic mode adjustments without paying top dollar.

Pros and cons

Pros Water-resistant (IPX7 rating). Automatic mode adjustments. Cons Shorter warranty than the Eargo 7. Not sweat-resistant.

Additional information

The Eargo 6 is nearly identical to the Eargo 7 but costs $700 less. It has less advanced noise reduction technology compared to the Eargo 7, isn’t sweat-resistant, and has a one-year warranty instead of the two-year warranty available with the Eargo 7.

If you’re rarely in noisy environments and aren’t concerned about sweat resistance, there’s no reason to spend extra money on the Eargo 7 when the Eargo 6 offers the brand’s core tech—automatic sound program adjustments, customizable app settings, and self-fitting through an app-based hearing test.

The Eargo 6 features the same completely-in-canal (CIC) design as the Eargo 7, which keeps these hearing aids out of sight and eliminates the bulky behind-the-ear (BTE) casing that can get in the way of glasses, ball caps, and face masks. Our testers say all Eargo hearing aids feel comfortable to wear, but it takes a while to find the right dome (or petal, as Eargo calls them) for maximum comfort.

According to our survey

According to our survey of 1,200 hearing aid users, people who use Eargo under the age of 45 were most likely to say they chose hearing aids based on comfort rather than how much the devices improved their hearing.

It also takes some finagling to push them far enough into the ear canal to make them virtually invisible. The user manual gives some guidance on pulling various parts of your ear to straighten the canal and ease insertion. If you’re nervous about buying an Eargo hearing aid without knowing if it’ll be comfortable to wear, you can request a free “fit kit.” You’ll receive deactivated hearing aids and several petals to help you find a comfortable fit.

Illustration of Eargo open and closed petal domes

What our testers say: “The Eargo is comfortable, and I think it gives less of a plugged-up feeling than many other completely-in-canal or in-the-ear devices. The small size makes it harder to get in and out of my ears, though.”

Eargo 5
Eargo 5
Price: $1,650.
Degree of hearing loss: Mild to moderate.
Battery type: Rechargeable.
Warranty: One year.
Standout feature: Affordable program customization.
Eargo 5

Our verdict

Although it lacks the AI found in the Eargo 6 and 7 models, the Eargo 5 is highly customizable and offers the same nearly invisible design for a lower price.

Pros and cons

Pros Same discreet design as Eargo 6 and Eargo 7. Most affordable Eargo model. Cons Not water-resistant. Not sweat-resistant. No automatic mode adjustments. Shorter warranty than the Eargo 7. No audible confirmation when switching between programs.

Additional information

The Eargo 5 is ideal for people who want a completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid and don’t mind trading premium features for a lower price. The main drawback of the Eargo 5 is that it doesn’t offer automatic mode adjustments like the Eargo 6 and 7 models. You’ll need to double-tap your ear or use the smartphone app to switch programs when your sound environment changes.

But the app’s functionality remains the same for the Eargo 5. The app automatically personalizes the baseline settings on the right and left hearing aids after walking you through a brief hearing test. You can then make additional adjustments to each mode by changing the volume or bass and treble settings.

What our testers say: “The Eargo charging case is small and easy to put in your pocket. Its magnetic ports are fairly strong, but they didn’t seem as powerful as the ones in the Jabra Enhance and Lexie chargers.”

Eargo SE
Eargo SE
Price: $1,650.
Degree of hearing loss: Mild to moderate.
Battery type: Rechargeable.
Warranty: One year.
Standout feature: Customizable device settings to your individual hearing needs.
Eargo SE

Our verdict

The Eargo SE is a good choice if you want signature essentials and customizable hearing settings for less than you’d pay for the Eargo 6 or 7. 

Pros and cons

Pros 4 customizable settings. Rechargeable. Cons Shorter warranty than Eargo 7.

Additional information

Eargo SE is a completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid designed to integrate into your lifestyle while providing exceptional sound quality and comfort. The Eargo SE is a simplified yet effective solution for individuals seeking discreet hearing assistance without compromising performance.

One of the standout features of the Eargo SE is its versatility in catering to individual hearing needs. With Sound Match, Eargo’s self-fitting technology available via the mobile app, you can customize your devices to achieve optimal sound clarity and comfort. You can also opt for one of the four preset sound modes, providing flexibility to suit different listening environments and preferences.

LINK by Eargo
LINK by Eargo
Price: $799.
Degree of hearing loss: Mild to moderate.
Battery type: Rechargeable.
Warranty: One year.
Standout feature: Bluetooth phone and music streaming.
LINK by Eargo

Our verdict

LINK by Eargo is a good choice if you want a Bluetooth hearing aid for less. 

Pros and cons

Pros Bluetooth 5.3 music/phone streaming. Low profile earbud. Cons Fewer features than Eargo 6, 7, and SE. Shorter warranty than Eargo 7.

Additional information

One of the most impressive features of LINK by Eargo is its integration of Bluetooth 5.3 technology for less than other hearing devices. This allows you to seamlessly stream calls or music directly to your hearing aids, greatly enhancing your overall listening experience.

LINK by Eargo also boasts an innovative earbud design, making it a discreet option for all-day wear.

LINK by Eargo is a cost-effective option with fewer features than Eargo 6 and 7. It offers four distinct hearing aid modes for optimal sound customization based on individual preferences and environmental demands but does not integrate AI like Eargo 7. 

 

Key features of Eargo hearing aids

Standard features

Here are the standard features you can expect from Eargo hearing aids:

Standard Features of Eargo Hearing Aids
Rechargeable batteries that last up to 16 hours. Rechargeable batteries that last up to 16 hours.
Self-fitting through an app-based hearing test. Self-fitting through an app-based hearing test.
Completely-in-canal design. Completely-in-canal design.
Portable charger provides one full wireless charge. Portable charger provides one full wireless charge.

Model-dependent features

  • Water-resistant (IPX7 rating) vs. not water-resistant.
  • Sweat-resistant vs. no sweat resistance.
  • Automatic vs. manual mode adjustments.
  • Sounds to confirm mode changes vs. no confirmation sounds.
  • Two-year vs. one-year warranty.

How much do Eargo hearing aids cost?

Eargo hearing aids cost $799–$2,950. The the average cost of OTC hearing aids hovers around $1,600. Here are some additional cost features of Eargo hearing aids:

  • Shipping is free.
  • Military members get a 20 percent discount.
  • First responders and medical professionals get a 10 percent discount.
  • Financing is available through Bread Pay™.

Eargo recommends changing the microphone caps, wax guards, and petals every month to ensure proper sound quality and comfort. If you follow this recommended schedule, expect to pay $80 every three months and another $25 every eight months for necessary supplies.

How to use the Eargo app

When you open the Eargo app, you’ll automatically see the Volume screen. Here you can adjust the volume on each individual hearing aid or change both at the same time. There’s also a mute button.

Tapping Noise Filter at the top of the screen brings you to the background noise reduction menu. These changes always affect both hearing aids. High indicates a high level of noise reduction, whereas Low reduces background noise the least. You also have the option to turn off the background noise filter.

According to our survey

According to our survey, 43 percent of Eargo users say they use the mobile app often and it’s helpful and intuitive to use. Only the Jabra Enhance and Lexie apps scored higher.

Next, tap Programs. The Eargo hearing aids will cycle through the four programs you see on this main screen when you tap the side of your ear. You can easily swap out the active programs by following these steps:

  1. On the Programs screen, tap Edit
  2. Select the program you want to remove. 
  3. Tap Change program
  4. Choose the program you want to add.

Here are the programs available in Eargo hearing aids:

  • Normal.
  • Restaurant.
  • Meeting.
  • TV.
  • Phone.
  • Music.
  • Mask (Eargo 6 and Eargo 7).
  • Four customizable slots.

You can adjust treble and bass tones within each program, but most of the tuning is automatically done for you based on your Sound Match hearing test results. You take this hearing test on the app when setting up your Eargo hearing aids and can retake it at any time.

From our tester

I couldn’t get the Eargo app to connect to the hearing aids to do the Sound Match test. A remote Eargo audiologist helped me get everything working and walked me through the features.

The Eargo app also lets you set maintenance reminders, view helpful resources, call customer support, or connect with hearing professionals.

Our final verdict

All five Eargo hearing aids accomplish what the brand set out to do: Make OTC hearing loss management virtually invisible. The devices’ tiny size presents a challenge, though, since there’s limited space for technology. That said, we think Eargo has done a good job focusing on the essentials, like rechargeable batteries and app connectivity.

Frequently asked questions

Your Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) may cover the cost of hearing aids like Eargo, but Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not. Talk to your Medicare Part C provider to find out if your plan covers the cost of hearing aids like Eargo.

Eargo says its hearing aids last about three years before needing to be replaced.

Yes, LINK by Eargo has Bluetooth 5.3 music and phone streaming and an earbud-style design. 

Yes, you can sleep while wearing Eargo hearing aids as long as you find it comfortable to do so. However, the 16-hour battery life in Eargo devices is just enough to get you through the day. Many people recharge them at night for best results.

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