The Bad and the Ugly
These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a type of business that hasn’t been revolutionized from the ever-growing demand to purchase products online. From cars, to mattresses, to pre-prepared meals, to zombie apocalypse survival kits (no really, we’re serious), buying online often offers better savings and more convenience. So it’s probably not too surprising that this trend has made its way to the hearing aid industry over the past few years. But buying a big-ticket item isn’t always easy. You’ll want to do research and navigate through technical jargon before landing on the right solution for you.
We want to make things easy. We’re proud to be a pioneering hearing aid brand that sells directly to consumers online (also over the phone) and we’re quite fond of our beautifully designed Eargo devices, too (call us biased). But regardless of whether our hearing aids are the right solution for you, we’d like to offer some helpful tips for buying hearing aids online.
What are hearing amplifiers and what makes them different than conventional hearing aids like Eargo? There are plenty of these low-cost options out there that frequently disguise themselves as hearing aids, but there are a few main factors that distinguish them:
The Bad and the Ugly
There are currently a handful of companies that offer medical-grade hearing aids online in the US, and the hearing aids they sell are FDA-registered. When buying one of these hearing aids online, you’re likely to save some money compared to buying from your local hearing aid dispenser. You can also get various form factors (behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, etc) that help correct hearing loss, including more severe or less common types of hearing loss.
Hearing aids sold by online retailers here in the US are most often bought from one of the few large hearing aid manufacturers and resold to you. They don’t control the design or technology in the products they sell.
Eargo is the only hearing aid company in the US that designs, manufactures and sells its product directly to consumers online (with more than 20 patents in the US; and an international portfolio to boot!). We fully control the design of our product, and we have a keen focus on improving some of the main issues people have with hearing aids on the market today.
Our philosophy is that hearing aids should be easy to try, easy to buy and easy to use. Eargo hearing aids are rechargeable, invisible devices with a unique open fit form factor intended for mild to severe high-frequency hearing losses. That includes hearing loss from noise exposure or natural aging. This is by far the most common form of hearing loss, and sadly the least treated – not if we have anything to say about it!
1) Make sure any hearing aid you’re thinking of buying is suitable for your hearing loss. If you aren’t sure and have questions, any retailer should provide a way for you to easily find out and should have licensed professionals to answer any audiological questions.
In our case, we have a team of Personal Hearing Guides who specialize in helping clients determine whether Eargo would benefit them. As much as we’d like clients to use our device, if it’s not right for you, we’ll be the first ones to point you in the direction of hearing aids better suited to your needs.
2) It’s pretty rare that someone experiencing hearing loss can just pop a hearing aid in and call it a day. There’s generally a period of after-purchase support and care, when a new hearing aid user adjusts to the new sounds they’re hearing. And of course, given their everyday wear-and-tear, hearing aids often need servicing or repairs at some point.
Each new Eargo client is assigned a fully-licensed Personal Hearing Professional to help ensure they know how to use their new hearing aids and what to expect during the adjustment period. We also offer ongoing service and support for repairs and replacing devices if needed.
3) A general tip that applies to any of the more considered purchases you make online is to do some research on the company before you buy. In addition to user reviews online, you’ll often find news or other media coverage that will give you more (or sometimes less) confidence in completing your purchase.
We’re proud to be one of the fastest growing hearing aid companies in the country, with tens of thousands of users (and growing more every day). We’re supported by leading investors in Silicon Valley and beyond, and we’ve been gathering a lot of great praise regarding our award-winning devices (also here, and here… here too).
If you’d like to explore whether Eargo is right for you, please call 1 (800) 903-6883 to speak with a Personal Hearing Guide or hearing professional. And should you decide to buy, either over the phone or at our online store, your new ears will arrive in days and your online searching will be over. At least, until your next purchase.
*As of 4/22/19: Eargo systems come with 45 day easy returns and are subject to a $99 handling fee. Eargo will not withhold a handling fee for the following states: California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.