When only six companies hold a large majority of the hearing aid market, pressure for advancement can be low, leading to slow innovation. But when a fresh face enters the arena, they can bring with them a whole host of ideas.
Eargo is one such fresh face, breaking the mold and shaking up the industry. This breaking and shaking comes in the form of its three hearing aid models: Eargo Max, Eargo Neo, and Eargo Neo Hi-Fi.
We’ll be going over these three models in-depth, looking at pricing, features, and customer feedback. They do have some differences, as you’d expect, but here are some overall pros and cons for all three models:
|Invisible||Fitting isn’t personalized|
|Over 50% cheaper than most other hearing aids, but good quality||Not covered by insurance|
|Rechargeable and convenient|
Rather than repeating ourselves three times in each section, here we’ll go over each of the features that all three models boast.
Firstly, while not a feature of the hearing aids themselves, Eargo’s website has still earned plenty of praise. An easy-to-use website is an underrated element of an experience with a company, and Eargo knocks it out of the park, whether on mobile or desktop. The ease of navigation, smooth imagery, and use of space are all conducive to a great user experience.
Their easy-to-use website is demonstrative of the entire Eargo journey, as the home delivery, access to a network of Eargo experts, and lack of appointments means that your experience will be stress-free.
Now, onto the hearing aids. Each pair comes with a small disc-shaped case, which charges your device. Simply charge the case at the beginning of the week, and it should hold enough power to charge your hearing aids until Sunday. The charging case is also a handy place to store your Eargos when not in use.
Eargo has a highly acclaimed lifetime support system, with easily accessible “Personal Hearing Professionals” ready to help you with your product whenever you need it.
Eargo hearing aids also come with a cleaning brush, a wax guard, charging equipment, and replacement Flexis—the flexible white attachments that suspend the devices in your ears. Less tangible add-ons include an easy 45-day return policy and a 12-month warranty.
What Makes Eargo Different From Other Hearing Aids?
The patented medical-grade flexi fibers, modeled from the feathers of a fishing fly, suspend Eargo in the ear canal, allowing for the potential of improved comfort and breathability.
The suspended fibers also allow low frequency sounds to enter the ear canal naturally, while the high frequency sounds are amplified for improved speech clarity with a natural sound quality.
This could make Eargo the first successful “invisible” open-fit hearing aid solution.
While there are some rechargeable hearing aids on the market, they sacrifice size for rechargability, making those who want a discreet hearing solution turn away. Eargo is unique in that it offers both a small, virtually invisible device, that is also rechargeable.
How Eargo Works
All Eargo hearing aids are bought online. You choose between two size options: Size 12 or 15, which are both ready to wear right out of the box.
You can choose whether you want standard programming (includes 4 sound profiles) or custom programming based on your audiogram. Custom programming is an additional $500.
Once you receive your Eargo devices in the mail, you will be given instructions on how to clean your ears and insert the devices. Programming of the devices is done prior to shipping.
Eargo comes with a 60-Day money-back guarantee and a 12-month limited repair warranty. Eargo cannot get wet and must be removed for showering or swimming. The Eargo charge is said to last for one day and should be removed and charged nightly.
Eargo Max: Sound Boost
The first step on the ladder of the Eargo hierarchy, the Eargo Max, offers advanced sound quality and noise reduction. The Max used to be the next step up from Eargo’s first product, the Eargo Plus, but that has since been discontinued, making the Max their most basic product.
- Four sound profiles that you can cycle through with a simple tap of the ear
- Hearing assistance that amplifies speech while also reducing background noise
- Practical invisibility – Eargo Plus hearing aids are suspended in the ear canal by silicone fibers, meaning they’re barely felt and are out of sight
There are a couple of particularly huge benefits that come as a result of the hearing aid being suspended by silicone fibers. Firstly, hearing aids are made to amplify high- and medium-frequency sounds, such as “f,” “s,” and “th” sounds.
While traditional hearing aids accomplish this, most do it while blocking your ear, meaning lower frequency sounds can struggle to reach your inner ear. Eargo’s Flexi Fibers suspend the devices in your ears without plugging them, allowing natural sounds to enter your ear to create a good balance of sound.
Secondly, it just feels better. Discomfort is a huge reason for people losing interest in their conventional hearing aids. In research we conducted (with 2,019 respondents), 6% of people put away their hearing aids for good after not feeling comfortable using them. Having the hearing aid suspended allows for more air circulation in the ear canal – an often overlooked, but rather important element of a hearing aid.
The Eargo Max is listed at $1,850, or monthly payments of $86.
It’s also worth mentioning that this model was listed as one of TIME’s best inventions of 2018.
Eargo Neo: Sound Revival
The next step in the Eargo hierarchy, the Neo boasts better audio fidelity, better noise reduction, and better everything else. The biggest visible difference is the silicon Flexis, which are now called “Tetrapalms.” Instead of the thicker silicon fibers, these look more like tiny flower petals. It’s also the smallest and sleekest of the three devices.
The biggest benefit of the Eargo Neo is customizable sound profiles, where the user can perfectly craft their hearing aid’s range and frequency through an app.
These come in at $2,350, or monthly payments of $109.
Eargo Neo Hi-Fi
Currently at the peak of Eargo’s product range, the Neo Hi-Fi is the most premium product on offer. As technology has advanced, sound quality has increased to levels that Eargo claims are “better than nature intended.”
There isn’t much else differentiating the Hi-Fi from the regular Neo listed on their site, so all we can assume is that the quality of the product is just that much better. The Tetrapalms are now coloured black, if that does anything for you.
These come in at $2,650, or monthly payments of $123.
What do people say?
Enough of the specs – what do actual customers think? The Eargo website boasts some impressive Google reviews, but if you think there might be any kind of bias there, we can look elsewhere.
Firstly, we have some glowing news pieces from respected publications like Forbes and Wired. Some more specialized hearing aid-based websites, like Hearing Aid Know and Retirement Living, have also given their two cents. All four of these publications have only great things to say, with only the smallest negligible qualms.
All in all
Eargo prides itself on five main features: invisibility, comfort, natural sound, support, and portable rechargeability. There are visible and impressive efforts toward all five of these goals, and – while everyone’s experience will vary – it’s hard to deny that they succeed in every one of them.
It’s worth poking around Eargo’s website to see if the company’s hearing aids look like the kind of product for you.