5 Best Bluetooth Hearing Aids of 2022
Updated for December, 2021
Bluetooth hearing aids provide the same benefits as traditional hearing aids with enhanced audio streaming, helping people with hearing loss enjoy clearer sound.
How do you decide which is the best Bluetooth hearing aid for you? We’ve researched a wide variety of brands and models to find the top hearing aids with Bluetooth technology for various needs. Read on to see which models earned a spot in our list.
Why Trust Our Expert Review?
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 5,000 hours conducting in-depth research on hearing aids. Throughout this process, we did the following:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with independent audiologists
- Consulted with geriatric care experts
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
- Tested various models of hearing aids
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read thousands of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
|Lively||MDHearingAid CORE||Starkey Livio Edge AI||Oticon More||Audicus Wave|
|Cost (per pair)||$1,450–$2,000||$1,599.99||$2,596–$7,116||$2,500–$7,000||$1,798–$2,398|
|Type of Hearing Aid||Behind-the-ear||Behind-the-ear||Receiver-in-canal, behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, in-the-canal||Receiver-in-canal||Receiver-in-canal|
|Type of Hearing Loss||Mild to moderately severe||Mild to moderately severe||Mild to profound||Mild to moderate||Mild to severe|
|Rechargeable?||Yes, or traditional battery||No||Yes, or traditional battery||Yes, or traditional battery||Yes, or traditional battery|
|Trial Period||100 days||45 days||30 days||Varies by dealer||45 days|
|Warranty||3 years||90 days||3 years||Varies by dealer||1 year|
|Financing||Available through Bread||Available through Affirm||Available through dealer||Available through dealer||Available through Affirm or monthly lease|
- Cost: $1,450–$2,000/pair
- Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderately severe
Lively creates some of the most affordable high-end Bluetooth hearing aids. At $2,000/pair for rechargeable hearing aids and $1,400/pair for traditional battery hearing aids, Lively is an excellent choice for budget shoppers wanting direct audio streaming.
You can connect directly to most Apple and Android devices and can purchase the TV Streamer accessory to connect to your computer, stereo, TV, or other audio devices. And, if you go with the rechargeable model, one charge yields 30 hours of sound, which is longer than most other brands (with average charging times of around 24 hours).
Lively has a direct-to-consumer model, so you do everything remotely. To get started, you’ll submit a recent audiogram or take an online hearing test. Experts at Lively use your results to program new hearing aids, which you should receive in just a few business days. Once they arrive, you’ll have a video call with a hearing specialist for fitting and for help learning how to use and maintain your Lively hearing aids.
Lively’s trial period and warranty are much longer than most of its competitors. You have 100 days to try out your hearing aids risk-free, and then three years of warranty coverage for defects, loss, and damage. Most hearing aid brands charge a monthly fee for warranties that cover hearing aid loss.
See our full Lively Hearing Aid Review.
- Cost: $1,599.99/pair
- Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderately severe
MDHearingAid is one of the most affordable hearing aid companies, but don’t expect many frills. The CORE hearing aid is Bluetooth-compatible, allowing you to personalize your hearing aids within the MDHearing app for tablets and smartphones. When you receive your hearing aids, you create a personal profile for each ear. You can then use the app to adjust the volume, select different environment settings, and monitor battery life.
However, unlike most Bluetooth hearing aids, you can’t stream audio to the CORE. This means that the Bluetooth capabilities of the CORE are only for remote hearing aid control and personalization, not for accepting phone calls, listening to music, or connecting directly to your stereo or television. So, if you want a more advanced hearing aid, MDHeadingAid may not be the right pick. There’s also no rechargeable option.
Additionally, MDHearingAid products don’t come with a very extensive warranty. You have 90-day coverage for defects, but if you want longer coverage for damage protection, you’ll need to pay $14.99/month for the MDShield Protection Plan. Although the warranty isn’t generous, the 45-day risk-free trial is, and you receive lifetime support. Plus, the CORE hearing aids are often steeply discounted, making them a great deal.
- Cost: $2,596–$7,116/pair (MSRP)
- Type of Hearing Aid: Receiver-in-canal, behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, or in-the-canal
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
The Starkey Livio Edge AI uses artificial intelligence to bring unique features to anyone looking for a cutting-edge hearing aid. These features include automatic language translation, fall detection, phone locator, advanced tinnitus relief, mask mode, and activity tracking. The Livio Edge AI automatically adapts to different environments and saves geotag memories for places you frequently visit, like a coffee shop or office.
The Starkey Livio Edge AI comes with two apps, one designed for the user and the other for caregivers. The Thrive Hearing Control app allows you to adjust your settings and volume, schedule medication and appointment reminders, and work with an expert to make remote adjustments. And, if you want help from a caregiver or family member, the Thrive Care app gives your approved contact access to things like your hearing aid usage and activity level.
With four technology levels and various hearing aid styles, the Livio Edge AI works for people with mild to profound hearing loss. There are both traditional and rechargeable battery versions, with the rechargeable hearing aids lasting up to 24 hours per charge. The custom rechargeable models are one of the only custom hearing aids with rechargeable batteries.
Starkey doesn’t sell its products directly, so you’ll need to visit a hearing aid center that carries Starkey products. And with such advanced technology and options that suit most adults, these hearing aids are on the more expensive side. The exact price varies depending upon your level of hearing loss and where you buy your hearing aids.
- Cost: $2,500–$7,000/pair
- Type of Hearing Aid: Receiver-in-canal
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate
The Oticon More is an advanced custom hearing aid with Tinnitus SoundSupportTM, a technology that provides customizable and discrete tinnitus relief with many soothing sounds to choose from to cover up and distract from the ringing. You may alternatively play music, podcasts, audiobooks, or other streaming audio from your phone.
Oticon’s proprietary BrainHearing technology helps improve speech understanding. By training a chip to 12 million real-life sounds, Oticon created a hearing aid that supports the way our brains process sound. And to further improve conversational hearing, Oticon added a microphone to the ConnectClip that you can give to others when you visit. You can also use the ConnectClip on your laptop for enhanced audio streaming.
Another unique feature of Oticon More hearing aids is that they can pair with other smart devices via the Oticon On app. So if you have things like a smart doorbell or washing machine, you can receive an alert when someone comes to the door or when your clothes are ready. The same app can notify you when your hearing aid batteries are low.
Oticon doesn’t sell its hearing aids directly, so you must contact an authorized Oticon hearing clinic if you want to try the More hearing aids. The third-party retailer sets the price, warranty, and trial period, so these vary depending upon where you buy your Oticon hearing aids.
- Cost: $1,798–$2,398/pair
- Type of Hearing Aid: Receiver-in-canal
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to severe
Audicus is a direct-to-consumer brand that offers a unique monthly membership option. Rather than pay upfront for your hearing aids or use financing to buy them, the Audicus membership is an all-inclusive hearing aid rental program. When you opt for the monthly plan with Audicus Wave Bluetooth hearing aids, you pay $59/hearing aid per month for traditional batteries or $69/hearing aid for rechargeable batteries.
After a $100 set-up fee, you receive your Wave hearing aids with Audicus Protect and Care plans. With Care, Audicus mails you everything you need to care for your hearing aids, including batteries, earwax guards, domes, wipes, and more. And Protect covers repairs, cleaning services, and one loss replacement every 24 months. Additionally, with this plan, you receive a new pair of hearing aids every 18 months.
What we love about the monthly subscription plan is that you can cancel at any time, allowing you to try out hearing aids for a longer period with little financial risk. The plan saves you money by bundling everything together, although you pay less if you buy your hearing aids upfront and don’t add the Care or Protect coverage. Whether you choose to try the monthly plan or pay outright, Audicus offers a 45-day risk-free trial.
What Are Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity offer the benefits of normal hearing aids but with the added perk of direct audio streaming. When paired with other Bluetooth-capable devices like your phone, vehicle, computer, or television, you receive sound from your hearing aids, reducing problems with background noise and feedback.
Another benefit of Bluetooth hearing aids is that you can control them through an app on your smartphone or tablet. Features of hearing aid apps vary from one company to another but often include:
- Online hearing tests that program custom settings
- Access to hearing experts to tweak hearing aids
- Memory or setting features for places you frequently go
- Remote control of your hearing aids
How Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Work?
Bluetooth is a form of wireless technology that uses radio waves so that two devices—such as a cellphone and headphones—can communicate with one another. With Bluetooth, you can use your phone as a remote control for your television, take a call from your car, or create a wireless surround sound system that works for watching TV or playing music.
Bluetooth hearing aids have built-in Bluetooth technology that connects with a smartphone, tablet, or streamer. This connection allows you to take calls directly from your hearing aids and listen to other audio from your phone. You may even stream sound from your TV, computer, and audio player directly to your hearing aids (with additional accessories).
For more on using technology to enhance your everyday life, visit our Technology page.
How Much Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Cost?
Bluetooth hearing aids cost around $1,000–$7,500 per pair. Online brands that sell directly to you are typically on the lower end of this spectrum. In contrast, leading brands that are only available through third-party hearing professionals are usually on the pricier side.
Generally, the least expensive models have fewer features than those that cost more. And the more severe your hearing loss, the more your hearing aids are likely to cost.
Benefits of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
Bluetooth hearing aids offer a variety of benefits that vary by company and model. Here are some things you can do with Bluetooth hearing aids that you can’t do with normal hearing aids.
- Take phone or video calls: You can accept calls directly to your hearing aids when connected to your smartphone, allowing you to hear more clearly than when holding the phone up to your ear.
- Remote hearing aid control: Using a smartphone app, you can adjust the volume, change your settings, or even locate your hearing aids.
- Update hearing aids at home: Many Bluetooth hearing aid companies provide remote tests and programming if you feel like your hearing has changed. You may work with an audiologist or take a hearing test through the app and have quicker hearing aid updates.
- Listen to music or TV: Stream audio directly to your hearing aids so you can hear music and television more clearly.
- Use a mic for enhanced speech clarity: With a Bluetooth mic that you can put on a table or hand to a friend, you can more clearly hear speech by having it fed to your hearing aids.
Alternatives to Bluetooth Hearing Aids
Many hearing aids have telecoil technology, also known as a T-coil, a form of wireless technology that’s been around for decades. With the T-coil, sound feeds directly to your hearing aids in public venues with a loop system—including many churches, movie theaters, and auditoriums. You can also use T-coil settings to hear more clearly on cellphone and landline phone calls and on your TV when using a transmitter and neck loop.
Compared to Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, those with T-coils are usually more affordable. Plus, T-coils are better suited for public venues than Bluetooth hearing aids. But Bluetooth technology makes listening to streaming audio from your smartphone or TV simple, and some companies are slowly moving away from T-coils and toward Bluetooth wireless capabilities.
The good news? There are hearing aids equipped with both Bluetooth and T-coils. If you’re not sure which you should choose (or if you should opt for both), speak with a hearing professional. The right choice depends upon your level of hearing loss, budget, and lifestyle.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Bluetooth Hearing Aid
Bluetooth hearing aids come with advanced tech and streaming capabilities. But they’re usually pricier, making it essential to find the best fit so you don’t have to buy a second pair after only a year or two. Here’s what you need to consider when deciding between Bluetooth hearing aid brands and models.
Buying In Person vs. Online
Direct-to-consumer companies like Lively, Audicus, and MDHearingAid are typically more affordable than in-person brands like Oticon and Starkey. By cutting out third-party retailer costs, online brands can pass some of the savings onto customers.
According to audiologist Brad Ingrao, an expert at SeniorLiving.org, “There are 17 million older adults in the U.S. with hearing loss, but not using hearing aids. The biggest reason: cost!” By providing a high-end product at a fraction of the price, online companies allow more people to afford hearing aids who couldn’t afford normally do so.
“Nonetheless, face-to-face evaluation with an audiologist improves the opportunity for the best hearing aid fit, as well as an accurate diagnosis,” explains Jim Dan, MD, a geriatric clinical advisor and member of the Senior Helpers Board of Directors.
For individuals with severe or profound hearing loss or those whose hearing loss may be due to an underlying medical condition, an in-person audiologist appointment is important for proper treatment and optimized hearing aids.
Consider the Features
Another differentiating factor between brands? “There is a dizzying array of rapidly evolving features in Bluetooth technology,” says Dr. Dan. “The traditional brands are at the forefront and these brands are available only through audiologists.”
So if you want the most advanced hearing aids, you may need to shop in person and consider the leading brands, including Oticon and Starkey. These companies offer unique features like fall detection, compatibility with smart home devices, and automatic language translation.
But know that the more advanced a hearing aid, the more expensive it’s going to be. So, if you simply want a hearing aid that you can program remotely, make adjustments to on your phone, or easily accept calls from your smartphone, more affordable brands like Lively may deliver what you need at a lower price point.
We recommend speaking with a brand representative or visiting your audiologist to be sure that you understand what a hearing aid model does and doesn’t offer. For instance, MDHearingAid’s CORE is Bluetooth-compatible but doesn’t facilitate audio streaming. And don’t be afraid to take advantage of the risk-free trial periods that come with most Bluetooth hearing aids.
How We Made Our Picks
We determined our top picks based on the following criteria:
- Audiologist care
- Customer satisfaction
- Special features
- Comfort and fit
Bluetooth hearing aids boast technology that wirelessly connects your hearing aids to other Bluetooth devices, but that’s where the similarity between devices ends. While all of these hearing aids connect to an app, other features—including audio streaming, hearing loss suitability, price, and more—vary, making various brands and models better for different individuals.
If you’re on a tight budget and simply want an app that makes it easy to control your hearing aids from wherever you are, you may want to go with MDHearingAid Core. You can’t stream calls or music from your smartphone or connect to your TV, but with frequent sales, you could pay just $1,000/pair.
One step up are the direct-to-consumer brands Lively and Audicus. Lively offers competitive prices for hearing aids that connect to your Apple or Android phone for sound and call streaming. In addition, its trial period and warranty are longer than most brands, and it offers a warranty that covers hearing aid loss. Audicus has similar Bluetooth streaming capabilities, but a unique monthly lease plan includes everything you could need for a reasonable monthly fee.
However, if you want something more advanced, you should consider Oticon More or Starkey Livio Edge AI. These leading brands are only available through third-party hearing professionals, so you’ll need to take an in-person hearing test. Although they’re more expensive, the in-person experience is better for fit, and these brands lead the way in technological innovations.
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