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Saturday, January 29th
Hearing Direct got its start in 2010, providing pre-programmed hearing aids in the British hearing aid marketplace. The company sells hearing aids in the US as well, but it definitely maintains its UK origins (as you'll see with some of the British English spelling throughout the online store).
4 hearing aid designs to choose from
There are four hearing aid styles to choose from with Hearing Direct (not exactly as many as we would expect from a company that bills itself as "the world's largest online hearing experts" , but okay): three in-ear designs and one traditional over-the-ear model. One design, the HD 230 Mid-range One-Size-Fits-All, was sold out during our most recent visit to the Hearing Direct site (but, for what it's worth, it was priced at $349 per ear and had an average of 4 out of 5 stars over 100+ reviews, in case it's back in stock when you shop here).
No high-tech features even on the most expensive models
The highest-end hearing aids sold by Hearing Direct are the HD 395, "premium, almost invisible in-the-ear" . Priced at $499 each or $899/pair, this equipment is made in the USA, programmable to your audiogram, and uses size 10 batteries that last 4-5 days. Its standard setting is best for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss but it has an extended range to help those with more severe hearing loss. There are four hearing settings controlled by a multi-function button on the hearing aid itself: no smartphone app needed (or possible!) here.
Mediocre ratings on lowest-priced design
On the opposite end of the scale, you'll find the HD 211 with a "comfortable, open-fit design" that "delivers a balanced, natural sound" . This is the basic over-the-ear hearing aid style you expect with traditional hearing aids. It is also USA-made and uses size 10 batteries. You'll pay $299 for one or $499 for the pair. Shoppers haven't loved the HD 211: there were only 15 reviews on the Hearing Direct site, and they had a slightly-above-average rating of just 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Long wait for delivery
It's worth pointing out that all hearing aids sold through Hearing Direct will be shipped from a UK-based warehouse (even though the equipment is made in the USA!). That means you should expect a delivery timeframe of 10-17 business days: this isn't the place to buy hearing aids if you're in a hurry!
30-day return window
That may also impact returns. Hearing Direct says that you have 30 days to send back products for a replacement or full refund - but that's from the date it was shipped, not the day it was delivered. If your hearing aids take 3+ weeks to arrive (i.e. 17 business days), that would mean you'd have very little time to put them to the test before deciding if you want a refund. But, it may not be quite that harsh: the return policy specific to hearing aids says that you'll have 30 days from when they were received by you, not from when they sent them out. The good news is that you don't have to send them directly to the UK: Hearing Direct provides a USA handling address for returns, and they take care of getting them back across the pond.
For what you'll spend at Hearing Direct, you could probably get more features with a different retailer. At the $899 price point, most hearing aids come with fairly advanced sound technology and smartphone app controls that let you really customize your settings - but not here. Combine that with the longer shipping timeframes and some lackluster customer reviews, and it's easy to see why Hearing Direct earns a "good not great" ranking.
If you're asking that question, chances are good that you're noticing that sounds just aren't as clear as they used to be. Maybe you've even been putting it off for a while already, not wanting to admit that conversations in crowded rooms, dialogues on your favorite TV shows, or phone calls have gotten harder to follow.
You're not alone: according to the National Institutes of Health, around 15% of Americans aged 18+ have some trouble hearing - and that skyrockets in the older age brackets (50% of people 75 and older have disabling hearing loss).
Many people avoid looking for hearing aids because of the cost. They see quotes of $1,500 to $3,000 per device and think that there's no way they can afford it. And, for many of us, that's true - but it's not the end of the story. Why? There are numerous over-the-counter (so to speak) options that cost much, much less: even under $200/pair.
Of course, if you're looking for higher-end technology like smartphone-app customization or multiple sound environment settings, you'll probably pay closer to $1,000-$2,000 for the set - but it's still a more budget-friendly option than you might have expected.
Now that you're feeling encouraged about shopping for your hearing aids online, what should you look for? Here are several aspects to keep in mind that can help you figure out where to get your devices:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top online retailers of hearing aids. We're confident that this information will help you find the best equipment for your needs, so that you can enjoy conversations, music, and just day-to-day life without any difficulties.
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