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Wednesday, May 18th
WiderSound is an online-only retailer of hearing aids. They offer both rechargeable and battery-powered devices in a handful of styles, all priced under $400/pair.
Low prices on hearing aids
There are a few models to choose from here. For example, you can get the C100 - CIC in both rechargeable and battery-powered styles, and they're available by the pair or for just one ear. Oddly enough, the left ear rechargeable was sold out when we visited the WiderSound site for this review. These hearing aids are priced at $129.99-$194.99 for the pair, or $69.99-$79.99 for one. They're recommended for people with all degrees of hearing loss, have smart noise reduction capabilities, and fit completely in the ear.
Over-the-ear styles also available
If you prefer a behind the ear style, consider the R80. Priced at $299 for the pair, these hearing aids have 4 channels and 12 bands, frequencies for noise reduction and watching television, and are designed to fit all ear sizes.
2 years' warranty, free shipping
While the WiderSound site doesn't explain their warranty coverage in any detail, they claim to offer a 2-year protection package. Also, you'll get free shipping here - both domestic and international.
Terrible reputation - even under new management
All of that sounds pretty good so far, right? (Pun intended.) Low prices, several hearing aid styles to choose from, all with a 30-day refund policy and better-than-average warranties: that should all add up to a rockstar rating for this company. But no. WiderSound falls flat when it comes to reputation. At the time of our most recent visit to the Better Business Bureau's listing for this company, they had a disappointing "D" rating. While we can overlook the complaints filed before WiderSound came under new management, what's the excuse for the most recent one - that has gone unanswered for months? If you're taking over a business that has a history of failing to respond to complaints and you continue to do the same, don't be surprised when the BBB still gives you a bad grade! (Maybe the fact that the "Reviews" page on the WiderSound site was completely blank should have been our first sign?)
We tried reaching out to WiderSound at the toll-free number listed on their website, but all we got was a generic voicemail: no mention of the company name or any other specifics. Stranger still, that phone number also tracked to another hearing aid company, a dental marketing service, and even a fleet service listed on a workers' union site!
Don't shop here for hearing aids
You guessed it: WiderSound gets our lowest possible rating. There's just no reason to use this company for your hearing aids when you can get affordable, high-quality equipment from so many other reputable businesses. You'll have a better customer experience with any of the more reliable retailers in our review.
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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