Most Affordable

MDHearing Review

Prices, Sound Recordings, Models
Blake Cadwell
Blake Cadwell

Blake Cadwell is a hearing aid wearer and co-founder at Soundly. He regularly tests and reviews hearing technology to share his experience with Soundly’s readers. Blake's research and perspectives have been featured in the The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, AARP and FastCompany.

Updated
January 24, 2024
Methodology
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Soundly is an independently owned hearing health research tool. Our reviews are conducted by hearing aid wearers and audiologists. We physically review the leading hearing aids on the market for sound quality, comfort, durability, and more. Our review process starts with hands-on unboxing and days, weeks, or months of wear. We also record live sound demos using a calibrated binaural microphone (read more here). We experiment with backend fitting software for prescription products and use test box measures to measure prescriptive accuracy and flexibility. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Read more about our story here.

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Affordable
Behind the Ear
OTC
Rechargeable

Background 

MDHearing is a Chicago-based hearing brand with more than one million devices under its belt. In 2023, NFL star Joe Namath became a spokesperson for the brand. MDHearing was founded by an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) who became frustrated when some of his patients could not afford hearing aids. MDHearing's founder connected with a factory that would sell simple hearing aids to him at lower prices, and, in-turn, he sold those devices to his patients and others directly online. 

The brand has always stayed within that initial mission. Today MDHearing sells products for less than $300 for a pair. MDHearing devices are very simple (no Bluetooth or advanced algorithms), but they are a good place for many folks to get started. 

What Makes MDHearing Special 

The most apparent advantage of MDHearing products is the price. The best hearing aids on the market are notoriously expensive, and while the cost is worth it for some, it prices others out of the market. MDHearing keeps their devices very simple (and inexpensive to make) and passes on those savings to the end user. 

Another important MDHearing differentiator is the ease of use. MDHearing's most popular products do not use a smartphone app or allow for programming. Users simply need to charge the devices and press the buttons onboard the device for volume changes and program changes. On one hand, this lack of customization is a downside and can prevent ultimate comfort and performance. On the other hand, it keeps things very simple and inexpensive. 

Our Take 

It's reasonably clear that MDHearing has fewer features and customization options than super-devices like ReSound NEXIA or Signia PureCharge&Go. But given the massive price gap, we think of MDHearing in a completely different category. Compared to other $300 products like Audien or Nano, MDHearing is currently our favorite on the market. 

We like that the company has been around for a long time, employs audiologists, and has 1M+ devices in circulation. We've tested MDHearing's customer service and return policies and find them fair and reasonable. 

If money is no object, MDHearing is not our top choice on the market, but if you only have a few hundred dollars to spend, this brand belongs on your shortlist. 

Pros πŸ‘
  • Affordable
    ‍
  • Easy to set up
    ‍
  • Established company‍
  • Rechargeable

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Cons πŸ‘Ž
  • Entry level sound processing
    ‍
  • Some feedback while putting the product on
    ‍
  • No personalization to your hearing loss (only preset programs)
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Soundly Scorecard
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Hearing Loss Level πŸ”Š
Mild - Moderate
  • MDHearing offers OTC products appropriate for mild-moderate hearing loss levels
  • If you have more significant hearing loss you might consider local or Telehealth care. Read more about prescription Vs. OTC hearing aids here
Care Type πŸ₯
Over-The-Counter
  • Available for purchase online
  • Does not require a prescription from a doctor
  • MDHearing offers limited options for customization
Sound Quality πŸ”Š
Average in Background Noise
  • MDHearing is less effective than leading prescription devices in background noise (although significantly more affordable)
Comfort 🦻
Somewhat Comfortable For All-Day Wear
  • Comfortable thin-tube is great for all day wear
  • We suggest that you change the eartips on this product for additional comfort
  • MDHearing's in-ear devices are slightly less comfortable due to "occlusion" (boominess of your voice)
Style  πŸ’«
Behind The Ear, In The Ear - Non Molded
  • MDHearing offers both behind-the-ear and in-the-ear devices
  • Devices are slightly larger than other OTC options
  • Available in only beige
Battery πŸ”‹
Rechargeable Only
  • MDHearing has built-in rechargeable batteries that last up to 20 hours on a single charge
  • MDHearing hearing aids come with a recharge case that carries additional portable charge
Connection πŸ“‘
Bluetooth Not Available
  • MDHearing devices do not allow Bluetooth streaming or app controls
Dexterity Level 🀏
Average
  • MDHearing's behind-the-ear options are reasonably easy to handle but do require the wearer to place the hearing aid behind their ear and insert the receiver into the ear (consistent across all behind-the-ear styles)
  • MDHearing devices are rechargeable and do not require battery changes
Waterproof Level πŸ’¦
N/A
  • MDHearing devices are not advertised as waterproof. Avoid moisture if possible
App features πŸ“±
Does Note Have An App
  • MDHearing devices use onboard buttons to change programs and volume
Pricing and Process
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MDHearing devices can be purchased online here. Prices range from $300 - $500 depending on model. Customers can opt to add a repair warranty for $9.99 per month. Products are shipped to your home and very straightforward to set up. No doctors visits or telehealth services are included with MDHearing devices.

How to Choose a Style
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MDHearing has a range of models available. We've included a full chart of features below. For most users, we recommend Air or Volt for the most comfort and advanced sound quality. Some customers may prefer NEO or NEO XS for the in-ear form factor. See the product lineup here.

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Full Review

Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell

MDHearing is a leading budget brand in the U.S. While the brand flies a bit under the radar, we frequently get questions about MDHearing, so I ordered the top-selling MDHearing products to give them a try. In this review I'll share my experience and thoughts on everything from sound quality to build quality and comfort. 

Let's get into it! 

Unboxing my MDHearing aids.

Available MDHearing Models

MDhearing currently offers three main products: Neo, Air, and Volt. The most significant difference between the products is their form factor. Neo fits inside the ear, while Volt and Air sit behind the ear with a thin tube that sends sound into the ear canal. 

MDHearing nearly always shows significant discounts on their site, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $400 for a pair of devices from the brand. Shoppers can checkout online through a reasonably straightforward process. 

MDhearing website comparison page.

Here's a rundown of available products. 

Air Neo Volt
Style Behind The Ear In The Ear Behind The Ear
Sound Processing Advanced Basic Most Advanced
Programs 4 Environment Settings 1 Environment Settings 4 Environment Settings
Volume Control Volume button Volume button Volume dial
Battery Rechargeable Rechargeable Rechargeable
Approximate Battery Life Full charge = 12-16 hours Full charge = 17 hours Full charge = 20 hours
Dimensions 1.125” x 0.25” x 0.5” Diameter 0.5” x Length 0.875” 1.25” x 0.25” x 0.5”
Price Per Pair $297 $297 $397

MDHearing Unboxing

MDHearing aid styles compared.

MDHearing products come in a compact box with a few supplies, a user manual, and a pair of hearing aids inside their charger. I put the devices on the charger for an hour or so before putting the devices in my ears. 

Air and Volt

The behind-the-ear MDHearing products offer a volume dial or rocker switch to adjust volume and programs. Both of the behind-the-ear devices offer four pre-set programs. The dial or switch turns up the volume, and a longer press on the button changes the program. 

  • The Quiet program is recommended for watching TV or spending time in your quiet home with low conversation. 
  • The Social program optimizes clarity of voice without significant background noise suppression. 
  • Noisy and restaurant modes both optimize for background noise reduction.  

NEO

Neo has a single button onboard. Each click of the control raises the volume by three decibels. Once you reach the top volume, you'll hear a long beep, and then the volume will return to the lowest setting before going up again. Each ear operates independently. 

MDHearing does not have a programming app or customization process, so the hearing aids are set to match standard hearing loss configurations and won't be specific to your loss. This is common among sub $500 products on the market, while $1,000-$5,000 products offer apps or doctor support to customize the sound to your loss.

Sound Quality and experience 

Wearing MDHearing in a loud background noise environment.

I think of sound quality in a few different categories. 

Clarity of Speech 

The most important thing any hearing aid should do is clarify speech and enhance my ability to interact with people around me. On this front, MDHearing gets passing marks for the price. The devices are not as effective as custom-programmed hearing aids, but they certainly amplify speech frequencies and manage ambient background noise. 

I found that MDHearing did a nice job of clearly amplifying speech in reasonably quiet settings but didn't do as well when I was in a loud restaurant.

Comfort

Another factor is comfort. If devices aren't comfortable, I'm unlikely to wear them and, therefore, less likely to benefit. In my experience, behind- the-ear versions of MDHearing aids are more comfortable for all-day wear since they limit occlusion (boominess of your voice). 

Another aspect of comfort is the product's ability to manage feedback and loud sounds. On this front, I'd give passing marks to the Air and Volt models. I did find that Neo was more susceptible to feedback (squealing). Neo also struggled in the face of sudden loud sounds like a dish dropping. 

Tip: When you pull Air or Volt out of their charger, I recommend turning the volume down before placing the product in your ears. This will help prevent feedback during the process of putting the devices on. 

MDHearing aids in their chargers.

Overall Thoughts

There are no two ways around it: MDHearing devices are affordable and basic. If I put up a chart comparing MDHearing to my prescription hearing aids, MDHearing would fall behind pretty quickly, but those prescription products are also thousands of dollars for a pair.

If you are looking for a pair of hearing aids with simple features and reasonable performance at a sub-$300 price point, MDHearing is my top choice. If you are open to spending closer to $1,000, I'd recommend Lexie B2 Powered by Bose

MDHearing offers free product returns for 45 days, like most reputable hearing brands. That allows you to try the product and decide if it suits your needs. 

I hope you've found this review helpful. If you have questions or thoughts, you can contact us at [email protected].

Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell
Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff
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