I grew up on Walmart groceries and Faded Glory t-shirts. Walmart was a family staple, and we were there at least once a week.
150M customers walk through Walmart's doors each week, and 90% of Americans are within 10 miles of a Walmart.
That's why I'm thrilled that Walmart (along with other retailers) now sells hearing aids over the counter.
Why is Walmart carrying hearing aids now?
Until recently, hearing aids were classified as prescription devices. Finally, on October 17th, the FDA formalized a new class of OTC hearing aids. These products must meet specific quality standards and come from more reputable companies.
In this guide, I'll explain what we know about Walmart's over-the-counter hearing aid offering and the OTC hearing aid brands available at America's #1 big box store.
Let's get into it.
Who will benefit from over-the-counter hearing aids at Walmart?
- OTC hearing aids are appropriate for people who want lower-cost products that they can program at home without the help of an audiologist.
- OTC hearing aids are best for those with mild-moderate hearing loss. Take a free hearing screener here if you aren't sure where you stand.
- In general, OTC hearing aids offer fewer premium features and fine-tuning options than prescription devices but also significantly lower prices.
Where to find OTC hearing aids inside your local Walmart store?
Walmart has made distinguishing lower-quality PSAPS from OTC hearing aids pretty simple. OTC hearing aids are located in the vision center in most Walmart locations.
I'm a big fan of this choice because it will help customers distinguish quality products from existing amplifiers that are less suitable for most people with hearing loss.
Walmart has not shared its training process for vision center staff, and it doesn't appear that vision centers will perform hearing tests or other audiological care.
Don't expect the Walmart vision center staff to have overnight expertise in hearing health, but you can expect a basic level of product knowledge.
Walmart did announce that the locations with Health Centers will offer hearing tests and help rule out red flags related to shoppers' hearing loss. Currently, Walmart Health Centers are only available in 30 locations, but the brand plans to expand that footprint over time.
Which over-the-counter hearing aid brands are available at Walmart?
At the time of this writing, Walmart carries a few brands of OTC hearing aids from early OTC leaders. Each brand offers a few different models. Here's a quick overview:
Let's take a closer look at each of Walmart's OTC partner brands.
First up, Go Hearing
Go offers two in-the-ear styles which are rechargeable but offer lower-tier sound-quality and no Bluetooth streaming.
Go Ultra is my favorite product from the line. Ultra doesn't let you fully customize your hearing aids to match your loss but there are some presets that get close to many common hearing loss types and Go Ultra allows Bluetooth streaming. You can read my full review of Go Ultra here.
Maybe most importantly, the behind-the-ear style is much more comfortable for all-day wear.
Go is appropriate for simple situational use, like sitting in front of the TV or having conversations in quiet environments. If you need a hearing aid that you can wear all day or in dynamic situations, you'll probably want to step up to the next level of technology.
Find Go OTC hearing aids at Walmart or shop Go directly online.
Next up, Lexie Powered by Bose
Bose hearing aids are one of my favorite OTC products on the market. You can choose between B1 with disposable batteries for $849 and B2 with rechargeable batteries for $999. B2 comes with Bluetooth streaming capabilities for iPhone users.
What sets Bose apart is that you can customize the hearing aids with thousands of combinations using the simple Lexie Hearing app interface. While traditional products require an audiologist to update your hearing aid program, the Lexie app puts that control in your hands (and smartphone).
Bose formed a strategic partnership with Lexie Hearing in the summer of 2022. As a part of that partnership, Lexie now handles all follow-up care for Bose products. Each pair of Bose Hearing aids comes with lifetime care from a Lexie Hearing expert.
Bose is an excellent option if you want solid entry-level hearing aids with enough intelligence to handle background noise.
Find Bose OTC hearing aids at Walmart or shop Bose directly online.
Moving On To Lucid Hearing
Lucid is a trusted name in hearing health and audio in general. They have a 10+ year partnership with Sam's Club and make good quality hearing aids. Lucid's budget-range of products is available at Walmart and on Walmart.com.
I personally recommend Lucid Engage because the device can be customized to match your specific hearing loss with a smartphone app. Enrich and Enrich Pro have less features and customization options but also come at a lower price. Read my full review of Lucid hearing aids here.
Find Lucid hearing aids at Walmart or shop Lucid hearing aids (including rechargeable options) online at Lucid's site.
Finally, Hearing Assist
Hearing assist is a lesser known player in the OTC space but offers a pair of feature-rich products with several customization options.
The biggest difference between the two Hearing Assist products at Walmart is the form factor.
Hearing Assist Control sits behind the ear while Hearing Assist Connect looks like a pair of AirPods. Both styles offer rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth connection and a combination of preset and app-based customizations.
Find Hearing Assist at Walmart or on Hearing Assist's site.
What's the return policy and warranty for Walmart OTC hearing aids?
- Walmart offers free 60-day returns on all OTC hearing aid products.
- Walmart OTC hearing aids also come with a 12-month parts and labor warranty.
Are Walmart OTC hearing aids good?
The OTC hearing aids at Walmart don't have some of the premium features available at a local audiologist, but they are of a reputable quality and come from a well respected company.
Here, you can compare all available over-the-counter hearing aids in our regularly updated guide to the best OTC hearing aids.
Have you tried the OTC hearing aids at Walmart? I’d love to hear from you, so send me an email at [email protected].