A few weeks ago, Lexie added Bluetooth streaming capabilities to their popular Lexie B2 Powered by Bose product.
Now Lexie's parent company, hearX is back with more news. This time for budget shoppers.
Lexie's hearing aids are cheaper than the national average, but at $999, their flagship product is still a bit pricey.
That's where Go Ultra comes in. hearX's new Go Ultra is a behind-the-ear-style hearing aid with four pre-set programs, Bluetooth streaming capabilities, and rechargeable batteries. Significantly, Go Ultra will sell for half the price of Lexie's B2 product at $499 a pair.
Is this hearing aid worth it? I was fortunate to get my hands on a pair of the new hearing Go Ultra aids, and in this review, I'll take you through what I learned.
- Go Ultra comes with rechargeable batteries and allows 20 hours of battery life per charge (without streaming)
- Go Ultra allows Bluetooth streaming to iPhone and Android devices
- Go Ultra does not allow customization to your specific hearing loss. Instead, the device has four pre-set programs (more on this later).
- Go Ultra does not have a smartphone app. All adjustments are made through buttons on the back of the device.
- Every device comes with a 45-day free return period and a 1-year warranty.
- Go Ultra will go on sale this week at GoHearing.com alongside a lower-priced (and lower tech) in-the-ear device called Go Prime (read that review here).
Unboxing Go Ultra
Go Ultra hearing aids come in a nicely designed box with a compact recharge case that could easily fit in a bag or purse. The package includes your hearing aids, an instruction manual, and several different tube lengths and dome tips.
The devices did not come with any initial charge, so my first step was to plug them into the wall for a while. Some quick charging facts:
- The hearing aids and charging case each take around 3 hours to recharge fully
- The recharging case carries three additional charges for on-the-go use (no cord needed)
- Go Ultra hearing aids get 20 hours of battery life with no Bluetooth connection, 10 hours with a connected Bluetooth device, and just 2-3 hours while streaming music or calls.
After a charge session, I was ready to get my hearing aids connected to Bluetooth and play with the programs.
Go Ultra does not have an app and does not use a special protocol like Apple's MFI or Android's ASHA, so the pairing process was as simple as connecting any new pair of headphones. Here was the process on my iPhone:
Go to settings > open the Bluetooth section > find Go Ultra > click connect > done!
I could instantly stream music through my hearing aids. Remember that streaming and Bluetooth connection drain your battery quickly so you'll want to disconnect your device after each session.
Unlike Bose or other leading hearing aids, Go Ultra does not offer customized programs for your specific hearing loss. Instead, the devices come with four pre-sets:
- Normal setting - Amplifies all sounds
- High-frequency setting - Best for those with high-frequency hearing loss (take our test here if you aren't sure what loss you have)
- Low-frequency - Best for those with low-frequency hearing loss (take our test here if you aren't sure what loss you have)
- General amplification - Adds more gain to sounds. This program is best for music listening
Switch between these programs using the "B" button on the hearing aid device. Press for three seconds until you 1, 2, 3, or 4 beeps. The number of beeps indicates the corresponding program.
Go Ultra has two buttons on each device. Here is a quick rundown of what each button does.
- A 3-second press turns the hearing aids on and off
- A quick press and release increases the volume
- A 3-second press changes programs
- A quick press and release decrease the volume
- A quick press and release accepts or ends phone calls
Quirks and Features
Power buttons manage each side individually.
You'll need to turn up your right and left hearing aid one at a time and keep track of where you are to keep them balanced.
Streaming is not responsive to the program.
I'm verifying this fact with the brand, but it appears that streaming sound uses a general program vs. adopting one of the programs within the hearing aid, like high-frequency or low-frequency etc. This might make phone calls difficult to hear for people with high-frequency loss. For reference, most Bluetooth hearing aids keep their customizations while streaming to overcome your hearing loss during a phone call. Your best option with Go Ultra is to turn up the volume (which is clear and loud).
When you choose to stream music or a call, your hearing aids will automatically stop amplifying the outside world.
I like this feature because it prevents competing sounds from your environment and phone calls.
When reviewing a pair of hearing aids for sound quality, I'm looking for a couple of things. Do they help me understand speech in tough environments? Does the sound feel natural and comfortable?
On both counts, I'll give Go Ultra a passing score.
The devices do not manage background noise as well as many other products on the market, and the quality feels more "digital" than super-devices like Phonak Lumity or a top OTC device like Lexie B2 Powered by Bose.
Still, Go Ultra gets some serious points for bringing the price point down to just $499 and packing in premium-style features like streaming and rechargeable batteries.
Go Ultra is worth a look if you are on a tight budget, have mild-moderate hearing loss, and need a device for simple listening situations like TV-watching.
If you plan to push your hearing aids further or want a more comfortable experience, I suggest splurging on Lexie B2.
Go Ultra is the only OTC hearing aid at its price point with both rechargeable batteries and streaming. I don't love that Go Ultra doesn't customize to your hearing loss, but tradeoffs must be made to achieve a sub- $ 500 price point.
If you are in the market for a hearing aid under $500, Go Ultra and competitor MDHearing are the best products available.
I hope you've found this review helpful! If you have questions or thoughts, we'd love to hear from you at [email protected].