Eargo, a manufacturer of direct-to-consumer hearing aids, it started in 2015. Eargo is a relatively new company in the hearing aid market, but it has established itself as an innovator in tiny hearing aid technology.
Eargo was founded by a ear, nose and throat surgeon -- Florent Michel . The company's goal is to develop discreet, functional, rechargeable hearing aids that can be purchased online without the need for a visit to a clinic.
Eargo claims that they are affordable. However, their prices range from $1450 to $2,950 per set. This is more in line to the prices you will find at an audiologist when custom-fitting hearing aids.
The question is, are Eargo hearing aids expensive when there are more affordable and better quality options?
This guide will cover Eargo's hearing aid technology and styles. We also include some customer reviews to give you a full picture of the brand. We'll also compare Eargo with its main direct-to-consumer competitor AcoSound.
Eargo Design and Technology Features
Eargo's hearing aid technology approach is based on "discreetness". All three models (Eargo 6, Neo HiFi and Max) can be seen in the ear.
Eargo's visual appeal is dominated by three features:
- Black in Colour: Eargos come in a black color to match the natural shadow in the ear canal. Eargos are therefore less obvious.
- "Fishing Lure” Design: Eargo designers took inspiration from a fishing lure. Eargo's most distinctive feature is the "prickly silicone ear insert. Eargo calls it either "Flexi Fibres" or "Flexi palms", depending on which device model. This design suspends your hearing aid in the middle of the ear canal, without creating an airtight seal. It allows the ears to breathe and prevents your voice from sounding weird as you speak.
- Pull-Cord to Remove: There will be a clear pull-cord that allows you to easily remove the device from your ear.
These design elements make Eargo stand out from invisible-in-the ear models from other manufacturers. They are also well-thought-out improvements which (1) make the hearing device less visible; (2) reduce the problem with own-voice distortion; (3) make it easier to take off.
Profiles of Eargo Sound Amplification:
Eargo uses a simple, one-size fits all approach to sound amplifying. You can't adjust Eargo hearing aids beyond simple adjustments to the bass and treble. You can adjust Eargo program settings to suit your hearing loss profile.
Eargos do not allow you to adjust your hearing aid settings. Instead, there are four preset "sound amplifying programs" that you can choose from. These amplification programs can be used to control volume, which means that each program increases the volume slightly. After you have decided which volume settings you want to use, you can remove the programs that you don't need.
Eargo support remotely installs alternative sound profiles to replace the ones you have deleted from your amplifying programs. These sound profiles include:
- Feedback reduction setting This setting reduces high-pitched squealing sounds. Eargo's feedback reduction method could decrease the volume of sound amplified by the hearing aid.
- Flat Response Setting: Hearing aids that amplify all sound frequencies equally typically have a flat response.
- Background noise removal setting: This allows you to reduce background noise and focus on your voice in noisy environments.
- Mute: This disables the hearing aid amplifier.
To cycle through the sound amplifying profiles with your hearing aids, you must tap your ear. Although this may sound great, some users find it tedious to tap the side of their ear every time they want to change a setting.
Eargo hearing aids can only be used by people with mild-to-severe hearing loss due to their limited customization capabilities. Eargo hearing aids do not suit people with severe hearing loss.
Eargo Smartphone Application:
Eargo hearing aids include a smartphone app. This app provides access to frequently asked questions and how-to videos as well as user guides and a shop to buy parts and accessories. You can also remove up to three sound amplification profiles (up to four) from your hearing aids. This makes it easier to use the hearing aids with fewer profiles. You can also call Eargo customer service from the app to make remote adjustments to hearing aids.
Eargo customer service cannot adjust your hearing loss profile to make fine-tuning adjustments. They will simply replace your sound profiles that have been deleted with the ones listed in the last section.
The Eargo app lacks some of the same features as other hearing aid apps.
- The app cannot be connected to while your hearing aids are in. Only the charging station will allow the app to connect to your hearing aids.
- You can't use this app to change settings while wearing or using your hearing aids.
- You can not stream sound from your phone or any other device to Eargo hearing aids.
Eargo Rechargeable Batteries:
All Eargo hearing aids models can be recharged. Eargo claims that a single charge of a battery lasts 16 hours. Eargo hearing aids include a portable charging bag that can charge your aids for up five days. Eargo 6 is up to two days.
Eargo Models & Pricing
Eargo offers three models on its website. All three models are "invisible-in-the-ear" hearing aids, which means they insert completely in the ear canal. These hearing aids are available online, so users don't need to visit a hearing clinic or audiologist to order them.
Here's a quick overview of each model.
Eargo's entry level hearing aid, the Max, is called this. Eargo claims that the Max has "advanced sounds quality and noise reduction for greater gain and volume."
The battery charging points of the base-level Eargo model are more susceptible to clogging with ear wax because they have sharper angles. It is essential to clean the battery connections regularly and do so with care.
Flexi Fibers are silicon components that fix your hearing aid in your ear and allow base sounds and voice sounds to enter. The Flexi Fibers may not be as comfortable as the Neo's Flexi Palms. You also get four sound profiles, which are volume settings that allow you to adjust the volume at four levels.
The Eargo Max is available for $1450.00 per couple.
Eargo Neo HiFi:
Eargo Neo HiFi, the most advanced hearing aid in terms of sound technology, is what Eargo currently sells. The Eargo Neo hiFi provides "surround sound" to satisfy even the most discerning audiophiles, according to the manufacturer.
Eargo claims the Neo HiFi has the best noise reduction and feedback cancelling tech. It also boasts additional stable gain. Eargo Neo's HiFi features the same smooth-finish design, making it easier to clean and prevent ear wax buildup from damaging rechargeable battery contacts. The HiFi also has "Flexi palms," which are more comfortable than "Flexi Fibers" and allow base and own-voice sounds in.
The Eargo Neo HiFi is available for $1950 per couple.
Eargo 6 is the newest hearing aids based on Eargo 5, it claims it features its natural sound, it will adjust the sound automatically to optimize the soundscape as your move between environments.
It's size is smaller than Eargo's previous models. You can use their mobile app to have some personalization at fingertips. This is the core functions of Eargo 6, you can control what you would like to hear.
The Eargo 6 is available for $2950 per couple.
Eergo customer reviews
We searched the internet to find out what Eargo customers thought about Eargo hearing instruments. These are the most compelling customer experiences that we came across:
Critical User Reviews
"Some days this works better than other days. The app has three options 1. Adjust volume. 2. Adjust background noise. 3. Select a program. Let's discuss these options. 1. Adjust volume. Increase volume. Each time you click the plus key, you hear a tone... But the hearing aid really doesn't get louder no matter how many times you click the plus key. 2. Let's try a background noise filter adjustment. Start with none. This, I guess, blocks nothing. OK now I'm clicking LOW. The Eargos sound the same. Let's try HIGH. This should remove a lot of background noise. Actually, it did nothing. I still hear background noise in the exact same volume as I did with the filter turned OFF. So that function works just about as good as the Volume section - which doesn't work. So there's one more option. 3. programs. It's now set to normal. Let's try the MASK program. I hear "mask" in my ear. I'm listening to TV testing this and I hear no difference between NORMAL and the MASK programs.. I also hear outside noise as clearly as the TV. Remember we have the Eargos on HIGH filter. When you hear competing sounds all at the same volume, it surely confuses your ears." - Amazon user
"I had hoped that this would be a good alternative to the expensive hearing aids. They DO increase the volume of what's around me-to some extent. And they are helpful. But. The openings for sound input are prone to clogging (not the dance!). And although I follow the daily maintenance directions, invariably I get clogs that just don't clear. Which leads me to "vigorously" brushing the microphone side of the device to clear any debris...which leads to the removal thread flexing back and forth...which leads to it breaking and requiring replacement. Thankfully the warranty replacement itself is quick and easy, but I wish I'd saved my money and got the good stuff." -
Positive user reviews
"Although my brain was adjusting to my hearing loss and I wasn't that aware of it, it was annoying to everyone around me. Now that I’ve gotten the Eargo devices, an amazing amount of sound is back and it has been exciting to hear it. My first episode was when I was putting the hearing aids in, adjusting them, studying my manual, and going over everything. Then I walked outside and there was this huge oak tree in my front yard. For a second, at the top of the tree, the wind was rustling the leaves and I could hear it clearly. It was amazing because I hadn’t noticed it before I used Eargo. It was one of those, “Aha,” moments and it was really cool…"
"I am very pleased with my purchase of Eargo hearing aids. They are in the ear and are true hearing devices not just amplifiers. I am most pleased with the hearing professionals. No need to travel to an office for an adjustment. Just request a call and set up a meeting. I sing on the praise team at my church. I was having trouble hearing the tenor part in our songs. My hearing professional sent me a configuration to use. It was sent to my phone and I updated my Eargo’s when I placed them in the charger. So easy! wonderful not having to take half a day with a scheduled office visit. Using the music configuration I now can hear the tenor part and staying on pitch is a breeze compared to before wearing Eargos. Thank you Eargo!"
An Affordable Eargo Alternative: AcoSound
Acosound is also a direct-to-customer hearing aids brand. the AcoSound team was particularly interested in seeing how Eargo and AcoSound compare.
Similarities between AcoSound and Eargo:
Here are the things that Eargo and AcoSound share in common:
- FDA-Registered: Both AcoSound & Eargo are FDA registered hearing aids. They are medical-grade aids that are designed to treat hearing loss conditions.
- Hearing aids can be purchased online without a visit to a hearing specialist. Both manufacturers let you order hearing aids online and have a specialist help you set them up by phone.
- Compatible with Smartphone App: Both manufacturers offer hearing aid models that are compatible with smartphones.
Differences Between Eargo vs. AcoSound
Here's what we found makes AcoSound and Eargo different:
AcoSound self fitting hearing aids are a series of hearing aids that can be self-fit based on your hearing test results. Even if you live somewhere remote or, due to physical or transportation limitations, you have a hard time accessing a hearing clinic. As long as you have a smartphone with internet connections, you can even have a hearing test completed through your smartphone via the free AcoSound APP.
AcoSound's self-fitting hearing aids offer a large range of options! It doesn't matter what degree of hearing loss you have, the AcoSound self-fitting hearing aids will fit almost all.
In-the-Ear vs. Behind-the-Ear:
Eargo hearing aids are all "in-the ear", meaning that the whole hearing aid is inserted into your ear canal. While this is great for their "invisibility", it also exposes Eargo hearing aids - including the sensitive microphone ports and battery charging point - to moisture and earwax. Eargos need to be cleaned regularly in order to ensure their proper functioning. If the microphone ports become plugged with wax, you will need to send them in for repair.
AcoSound hearing aids also have "behind the-ear", meaning that the receiver and digital components are protected from moisture and earwax. It's simple to clean and replace the tubing, even if it gets clogged with wax. You don't even need to hire a technician to repair replacement tubing or tips.
This last category is very important. The price range for Eargo hearing aids is $1450 to 2,950 per pair. It is possible to go to a hearing clinic to purchase a pair of hearing aids custom-fitted to your hearing loss profile. This price range is comparable to buying one pair at home. Eargo's "tiny tech", and "invisibility," may be a selling point for hearing loss patients. It's important to remember why you are buying hearing aids: You want the best treatment possible for your hearing loss!
AcoSound is a much more affordable option. You get more hearing loss treatment, precise volume control, microphone directionality and microphone environment adjustments, as well as a customized and personalized volume control. AcoSound's self-fitting hearing aids start at $698 per set. AcouSound's most advanced model, the AcouSound Remote, is also affordable at less than $1,000 per pair