If you are on the hunt for ultra-affordable hearing aids, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the brand Audien. Their website boasts over 300K customer reviews, and they get features on some top review sites for their affordable offering.
But is Audien any good? In this review, I’m taking a closer look. We’ll dig into the company, unbox the product, and review other customer reactions.
Let’s get into it!
Who Is Audien
Arthur Garber founded Audien after a search for hearing aids for his grandmother. He was shocked at the high hearing aid ticket price and set out to create something more affordable. There’s little doubt that he achieved that mission since Audien’s products range from $99 to $249 per pair compared to the $4,500 national average.
Arthur and his team grew the company quickly by highlighting Audien devices side-by-side with $5,000 professional hearing aids. Many customers and industry pros felt the claims went too far, and eventually the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau recommended that Audien stop the comparisons without providing evidence.
Ultimately Audien toned down the direct comparisons, but the brand continues to sell its affordable products with big claims of quality and benefit.
Is Audien Legitimate?
On the one hand, Audien offers a product for 5% of the national average price, and that seems like a win. On the other hand, Audien hasn’t made serious investments in audiologists or hearing aid customization features. Their products are far from advanced, and their marketing claims often overstate the reality of what they can deliver.
Ultimately, Audien products don’t compare with premium devices, but thousands of customers report positive experiences in simple listening situations and appreciate the lower price tag. Many customers also give 1-star ratings and complain about the quality.
You can see both sides of the story on TrustPilot here.
Audien offers two product lines (EV and Atom). For this review, I tried Atom Pro. Pro is the most recent addition to the range and the most popular.
Here’s a quick rundown of the products Audien offers at the time of this writing:
Audien Atom Pro - $249
A rechargeable in-the-ear device with Audien’s most advanced sound processing and feedback reduction.
- Portable recharge case
- Smallest size of the range
- Enhanced feedback cancelation
- 24 hour battery life
Audien Atom $99
Rechargeable in-the-ear with fewer features and a lower price.
- 20 hour battery life
- Rechargeable but charger must be plugged in
- Less feedback cancelation
- Slightly larger that Atom Pro
Atom EV1 and EV3 Vs. Audien Atom
Audien sells two older product models under the names EV1 and EV3. It’s not entirely clear how Atom differs from the EV line, but the new Atom appears to be smaller with a slightly longer charge time.
Unboxing Atom Pro
Audien Atom Pro comes in a nicely designed box with expected accessories like a recharge cord (uses HDMI mini), a cleaning brush and a wax-guard kit.
Rechargeable Carry Case
The hearing aids themselves are housed in a compact charging case which carries additional charges and does not need to be plugged into the wall during charging sessions (this is one of the benefits of Atom Pro vs Atom).
The Atom Pro hearing aids themselves are not invisible but they do fit in the ear canal. See Atom Pro compared to AirPods and Sony's CRE-C10 in the image below.
You'll notice that Atom Pro isn't huge in my ear canal but also not invisible by any stretch.
Customization and Adjustment
I ran some test on Atom Pro through my Ahead Simulations test mannequin to gauge sound quality and played with the volume.
It's worth noting that Atom Pro does not use an app or buttons to change programs or volume. You'll use the included tool (a small screwdriver-like device to change the volume).
Atom Pro is self described as one-size-fits-all. That means you'll get the same sound regardless of your hearing loss
How Was The Sound Quality?
I wanted these devices to deliver because I like the price point, but sadly they weren't great.
At the right volume, Audien Pro might help in a 1-1 conversation or boost audio from the TV, but I found these devices hard to wear through an entire conversation.
I'm a fan of Audien's focus on reduced prices. There's lots of room to bring down the national average and create products for a wider range of budgets. It looks like some Audien customers are happy with their product but it's not my first choice among budget options.
Here are some budget-friendly alternatives:
AirPods Pro for $249 - great headphones with impressive hearing aid features
MDHearing for $399 - customized, budget option
Sony CRE-C10 $999 - strong invisible-style hearing aid from a leading brand
Jabra Enhance Select - best overall value with professional programming
That's it for now!
I hope you've enjoyed this review. If you have questions, have tried Audien and want to share your experience or just want to say hello shoot us a note at [email protected].