Despite all the recent press about over-the-counter hearing aids, around 90% of hearing aid wearers still get their devices from a local audiologist.
If you spend much time on this site, you will see many online alternatives, but local face-face care is still hard to beat.
The problem for many hearing aid wearers (myself included) is that finding a local audiologist comes with some challenges.
A few of the things that make it hard:
- Not all audiologists are familiar with all brands. If you know that you want Widex (for example), you'll have to call around and double-check that the local professional has Widex experience.
- If you walk into a local clinic without a brand in mind, you'll almost certainly walk out with the "house" brand. That's because most hearing professionals have specific deals or financing from particular manufacturers. That's not always bad, but it's not the most intuitive way to shop.
- The other issue is pricing. Most local audiologists offer consultations for free (some charge for a hearing test), but final prices vary widely. Two offices on the same street could provide the same product and service for thousands of dollars less or more. This system is fine for those who aren't pricing sensitive, but the lack of upfront information is frustrating for anyone looking to save.
It's these challenges that make ZipHearing a beneficial service.
When you work with ZipHearing you see a price upfront (usually 30% below the national average due to Zip's negotiating power).
ZipHearing also does the legwork to find a qualified provider to program the product you are interested in (i.e. a Widex pro for Widex product).
The ZipHearing service is simple, but with 10,000+ customers and counting, ZipHearing maintains 97% 5-star ratings on TrustPilot.
In this review, I'll explain how ZipHearing works, the brands they carry, and some pros and cons of using their service.
Who's Behind ZipHearing
ZipHearing is led by a second-generation hearing professional. Founder Jeff Hall got a close-up view of the hearing health space through his father's successful audiology practice, and he took those learnings to create ZipHearing.
ZipHearing now has over 600 clinics in its network and has served over 10,000 nationwide customers since 2014.
ZipHearing is an authorized retailer with the six largest hearing aid manufacturers globally. That means the company must uphold quality standards from some of the biggest hearing companies in the world.
Are They Legitimate
In short, yes. ZipHearing sells products for 25%-35% lower than national averages, so it would be fair to ask how they pull that off.
The answer is pretty simple. With more than 10,000 customers and counting, ZipHearing has more leverage than an individual customer. They work with each of their 600+ clinics to guarantee upfront pricing, and local clinics are more than happy to welcome new patients.
How Does the Process Work
- You'll start by calling ZipHearing or filling out a form to receive a call. On the initial phone call, ZipHearing will give you the name of a local clinic that matches your needs and will honor the fixed price. From there, you'll set up an appointment with your local clinic.
- On the day of your appointment, you will show up at the local clinic like any other walk-in patient. The audiologist will test your hearing and confirm your final product selection. Remember, the price is set upfront, so you don't have to worry about sticker shock.
- You haven't committed to anything at this point. If you choose not to work with the provider, you can move on and try something else.
- The clinic will place your order if you are ready to get hearing aids.
- A few days later, you will return for a fitting where the hearing aids will be custom programmed to match your hearing loss. The professional will also take time with you to set up a Bluetooth connection and ensure the product fits correctly on your ear.
- At the end of that appointment, you and the hearing professional will call ZipHearing together and make a payment over the phone.
- You have 45 days to return your hearing aids for any reason at no additional cost.
Pros and Cons
There's a lot to like about ZipHearing. That's why we refer many of our readers to their services but working with ZipHearing has some tradeoffs.
- You get pricing upfront.
- ZipHearing is well respected and vetted by 10,000+ customers.
- ZipHearing has clinic partners in almost every zip code in the U.S.
- You get one year of free follow-up care with every purchase.
- ZipHearing isn't the cheapest option online. It is around 30% lower than the national average, but some other companies offer the same products for even less. The tradeoff is that most lower-priced options don't provide local care, and the companies that offer these products aren't well established.
- Most ZipHearing providers charge for a hearing test. The cost is nominal compared to savings, but you'll need to plan for around $130 to cover the professional's time on your first visit.
- ZipHearing does not offer Lyric hearing aids at this time.
- ZipHearing does not offer OTC products like Eargo, Jabra, or Bose.
Whether you are trying to save on traditional hearing brands or don't want to deal with the hassle of finding a local audiologist who knows how to program your preferred hearing brand, we think ZipHearing is an excellent option.
Imagine buying a car, but instead of haggling in the office, you send someone ahead of you to the dealership to pre-negotiate the rate, establish your warranty and vet the seller for quality.
That's essentially what ZipHearing does for hearing aid wearers.