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Audicus Hearing Aids Review 2022: Costs and Features

Nov 03, 2022

By Chrissy Holm
Reviewed by Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, Senior Director for NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging
Fact Checked

Key Takeaways

  • Hearing aids from Audicus range from $998–$3,398 per pair.
  • The company offers three different hearing aid styles: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), and in-the-canal (ITC).
  • Audicus has a free online hearing test and a mobile app.

Having rechargeable batteries, digital noise reduction, and Bluetooth were among the top choices for features in a hearing aid, according to our Reviews Team’s hearing aid survey. Audicus, a 10-year-old hearing aid company, offers those features in its Wave, Spirit, and Omni models—and offers three other high-quality hearing aids, as well.

In this review, our Reviews Team will break down the details of the six models, discuss the mobile app and customer support options, and explain ways to save money, such as using Medicare for hearing health

Why trust our expert review?

5,300
Hours of research
12
Experts consulted
1
Surveys deployed

Our Reviews Team recommends products and services we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent more than 5,000 hours conducting in-depth research on hearing aid devices to give you the most accurate hearing aid review. To make these selections, we:

  • Consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts
  • Mystery shopped 18 brands
  • Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
  • Tested various models of hearing aids
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read thousands of verified customer reviews

Read more about our hearing aid review methodology.

Pros and cons of Audicus hearing aids

Pros 45-day risk-free trial Most models made for mild to severe hearing loss Free online hearing test Some models connect to Bluetooth and the Hearing Remote app Rechargeable options for several models Three styles to choose from
Cons Limited one-year warranty In-person options limited to four locations (New York City, Denver, and two in Chicago)

Table 1 Comparison of Audicus hearing aids models, as of October 2022

Dia II

Aura

Clara

Wave

Spirit

Omni

Price per pair

$998

$1,398

$1,498

$1,898

$2,798

$3,398

Type of hearing aid

BTE

ITC

RIC

RIC

RIC

RIC

Type of hearing loss

Mild to moderate

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to severe

Mild to severe

Mild to severe

Mild to severe

Battery type

Disposable

Disposable

Disposable

Rechargeable

Rechargeable

Rechargeable

Bluetooth capability

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Customization

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Water resistant

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Telecoil

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Directional microphone

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Noise reduction

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Processing channels

10

8

10

12

14

16

Audicus model reviews

Audicus Dia II hearing aids

Dia II

  • Price per pair: $998
  • Dimensions: 0.46 inches x 0.30 inches x 1.18 inches (depth x width x height)
  • Weight: 0.04 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to moderate
  • Battery type: Disposable
  • Bluetooth capability: No

The Dia II is the least expensive hearing aid model from Audicus. It’s only offered with disposable 312 batteries, which last from 7–10 days. When our Reviews Team tested this model, they noted opening the compartment to change the battery does not require excessive force, but it may be harder to open if the hearing aid user has dexterity issues.

The Dia II comes in three colors (most of the other models have four options), and has 10 processing channels, the second smallest amount of the other Audicus models. Processing channels are pre-set filters that allow the hearing aid to divide incoming sound for processing more accurately. In general, the more channels, the more precise the hearing aid can be customized to the user. The Dia II has a button on the side to select different processing channels.

A potential downside of this device is that it doesn’t connect to the mobile app. Having access to the app can make it easier to make adjustments for different listening situations, such as at a restaurant or outdoors. 

Audicus Aura hearing aids

Aura

  • Price per pair: $1,398
  • Dimensions: 0.7” D x 0.3” W x 0.4” H
  • Weight: 0.03 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: In-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to moderately severe
  • Battery type: Disposable
  • Bluetooth capability: No

The Aura is the only in-the-canal (ITC) model Audicus offers for those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. It comes with disposable batteries, similar to the Dia II. But since the Aura batteries are smaller (size 10 versus size 312), they need to be replaced more frequently; every 5–7 days compared to 7–10 days for the larger batteries. For those with dexterity issues, having to change small and often hard-to-handle batteries every 5–7 days could be a significant challenge.

When our Reviews Team tested the Aura, they noted some difficulty with inserting and removing the battery from the hearing aid, owing to the small size of the battery compartment and the battery itself.

The Aura is the lightest of the six models, but has only eight processing channels, the smallest amount of the Audicus models. It also only comes in two color options: two beige hearing aids, or red and blue hearing aids (red for the right ear and blue for the left). While those colors stand out, a benefit of the Aura is that it’s small enough to be mostly in your ear. If discreet hearing aids are a top concern for you, the Aura may be a good option.

Audicus Clara hearing aids

Clara

  • Price per pair: $1,498
  • Dimensions: 0.4” D x 0.28” W x 1.0” H
  • Weight: 0.04 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to severe
  • Battery type: Disposable
  • Bluetooth capability: No

The Clara is the midway price point of the Audicus hearing aid models. It comes with a pack of disposable 312 batteries, and offers the option of connecting to Bluetooth.  When our Reviews Team tested the length of time it takes to change the disposable batteries in the Clara, it took an average of 46.32 seconds to do both batteries. Having easy and quick-to-change batteries can save a lot of time and energy. If you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of changing disposable batteries, the Clara may not be a good fit.

The Clara is designed to help those with mild to severe hearing loss, a slightly wider range than the Dia II and Aura. 

If streaming is important to you, the Clara connects to the Bluetooth remote control and dock for streaming from your smartphone, television, or computer to your hearing aids. The remote can also be used to adjust the volume settings for your hearing aids. It costs an extra $349, but if this feature is important to you and the cost fits within your budget, the Bluetooth hearing aids remote might make Clara the right selection for you.

Audicus Wave hearing aids

Wave

  • Price per pair: $1,898
  • Dimensions: 0.48” D x 0.34” W x 1.2” H
  • Weight: 0.04 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to severe
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes

A step up from Clara is the rechargeable Audicus Wave. It costs $400 more than Clara and has slightly larger dimensions, but it has Bluetooth compatibility built in and the option of including the Audicus Plus membership plan.

For a monthly cost starting at $99, the plan offers an unlimited warranty, compared to the 1-year warranty of the Dia II, Aura, and Clara. The plan also includes loss and damage insurance, and free cleaning supplies—potentially saving you a lot of money.

The Wave has 12 processing channels, two more channels than the Dia II, but 2–4 less than the more advanced Spirit and Omni models. While two channels is a small difference, it could mean fewer options for fine-tuning and customizing your hearing aids. 

If having a more precise listening experience is important, you might consider a different model with more processing channels. If price is a higher concern for you, the Wave could still be a great selection for an advanced hearing aid.

Audicus Spirit hearing aids

Spirit

  • Price per pair: $2,798
  • Dimensions: 0.48” D x 0.34” W x 1.2” H
  • Weight: 0.04 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to severe
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes

The Spirit is a rechargeable hearing aid that’s similar to the Wave, but with a slight upgrade of 14 channels—two more than the Wave. It has two directional microphones, like the Wave and Omni, helping to amplify sounds coming from in front of you to help you hear and communicate better in conversations.

The Spirit has built-in Bluetooth connectivity for streaming and connecting to the Audicus mobile app, allowing Audicus hearing aid specialists to connect and make remote adjustments to your hearing aids through the Hearing Remote app. If you prefer to adjust them on your own, the app also allows you to take the experience into your own hands and make adjustments, such as volume control, noise reduction, or changing your hearing aid program for a specific listening environment—for example, watching television versus listening to conversations in a restaurant. 

Audicus Omni hearing aids

Omni

  • Price per pair: $3,398
  • Dimensions: 0.48” D x 0.34” W x 1.2” H
  • Weight: 0.04 ounces
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to severe
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes

The Omni is the most advanced and expensive rechargeable hearing aid Audicus offers. The Omni is similar to the Wave and Spirit in size, style (RIC), type (mild to severe hearing loss), and features (Bluetooth streaming).

Where the Omni is more advanced than the other models is in its options for listening environments and number of processing channels. The Omni has six listening environments compared to the four the Spirit has. It also has 16 processing channels, two more channels than the Spirit and four more than the Wave.

When our Reviews Team tested the Omni, it took only one try and approximately two minutes to connect to Bluetooth. They noted the process for connecting was very intuitive, and hands-free calling was automatically connected. With the hands-free calling feature, you can accept calls from your smartphone directly through your hearing aids, with just a tap to the multifunction button on the hearing aid. The button is easy to locate while wearing the hearing aids.

If you want a hearing aid that has advanced features and is easy to set up, the Omni could be a good choice for you.

How much do Audicus hearing aids cost?

Audicus hearing aids cost $998–$3,398 per pair. The price varies on a few factors, such as the style: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), and in-the-canal (ITC). It also depends on advanced technology. For example, Bluetooth capability is only available in the Wave, Spirit, and Omni, which are the higher priced models.

“In many listening situations, users may not be able to tell the differences between high-end technology and a more economic option,” said Lindsey Jorgensen, AuD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Dakota

How to save money on Audicus hearing aids

One way to save money on Audicus hearing aids is to opt in to the Audicus Plus monthly membership plan. With the plan, you get a new hearing aid replacement every 18 months, an unlimited warranty and unlimited cleaning supplies, and loss and damage insurance are included. Membership costs $89 per month.

You can also check with your local Lions Clubs1, area agency on aging2, or other charitable foundations, like the Hearing Aid Project.3 If you have Medicare Advantage, your plan might offer hearing aid coverage.4 Check with your insurance provider for more information.

And according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), hearing aids and batteries are considered medical expenses, so you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to cover those costs.5

For veterans or active duty military personnel, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs covers medical services, such as audiology.6 Finally, review NCOA’s Benefits CheckUp for more benefits in your area.

Customer service and payment options

You can reach Audicus customer support by email, phone, or chat.

  • Phone: 855-971-0451, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Sunday
  • Email: help@audicus.com
  • Chat: On the lower-right hand corner of the website, available 24/7

When our Reviews Team used the chat feature, Isabel was supportive and answered all our questions within five minutes (see Figure 1).


Figure 1 Audicus online support chat

Audicus online support chat

Audicus has a customer support center on its website, where you can access frequently asked questions (FAQ), video tutorials, product manuals, supplies and services, and returns and reprogrammings. The FAQ is easy to read and broken down by hearing aid model and other common hearing aid questions.

When purchasing Audicus hearing aids, you can select overnight delivery ($60), standard shipping ($4), or free shipping. You can pay with all major credit cards or PayPal.

Audicus Hearing Aids online hearing test

To help you determine your level of hearing loss, Audicus offers a free online hearing test. To take the test, you’ll be required to submit your gender, age, email, and phone number. The fields for name and ZIP code are optional.

The first part of the test prompts you to make sure you’re in a quiet environment, your headphones are plugged into your computer, and your computer volume is set to 50% (see Figure 2). Then, the test program will play a tone to test the earbuds and ensure they’re working properly.

Figure 2 Member of our Reviews Team testing Audicus online hearing test

Audicus online hearing test

Next, different sound volumes will be played into each ear, with instructions to tap the spacebar when you hear the tone, and the “Not Heard” button when you cannot hear the tone (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 Audicus online hearing test

Audicus online hearing test

The test takes about five minutes to complete. After taking the test, you’ll receive a series of questions, such as the following: 

  • Have you worn hearing aids?
  • How likely are you to buy hearing aids in the next few months?
  • What kind of health insurance do you have?

Once you finish answering the questions, a link to your results will be emailed to you (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 Audicus hearing test results

Audicus hearing test results

Convenience is a big benefit of an online hearing test, and online hearing tests “may help to identify the presence and degree of hearing loss,” according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.7

A drawback of online hearing tests is that they don’t diagnose the cause of your hearing loss, which may be easily treatable, like earwax blockage, or a sign of something more serious. Hearing professionals recommend you see a specialist for an in-person hearing test to determine the cause.

Audicus hearing aids mobile app

Audicus offers a mobile app that connects with the Wave, Spirit, and Omni models. It’s not available for the Dia, Clara, and Aura. The app is on the Apple Store and Google Play, and it allows you to make several adjustments to your hearing aids.

Here are a handful of ways to adjust your Audicus hearing aids using the app:

  • Control volume, reduce noise, and enhance speech
  • Change programs according your activity, such as watching television or listening to conversations in a restaurant
  • Receive remote adjustments from your hearing aid professional
  • Adjust the tinnitus masker (if applicable)
  • Check battery charge status

What to look for in the best hearing aids

“Hearing aids come in different styles and technology levels,” said Sarah Lundstrom, AuD, an ABA Certified fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and a member of the Florida Academy of Audiology. Determining which hearing aid is best for you, she said, will “depend on your personal preferences, your lifestyle, hearing needs, and the features you want or need.” 

You should also consider your budget, type of hearing loss, and the style you prefer. 

Budget

If you’re on a budget and looking for inexpensive hearing aids, check out our selections of the most affordable hearing aids. Audicus won “Best Budget-Friendly Bluetooth” for offering Bluetooth hearing aids at a fraction of the price that other advanced hearing aids sell for in our Reviews Team’s best hearing aids review.

Type of hearing loss

For adults 18 and older, if you have mild to moderate hearing loss, you might be a good candidate for purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids such as Audicus hearing aids. If you have severe to profound hearing loss, a Phonak hearing aid might be a better option for you. And for those with tinnitus, our Reviews Team named the Widex Moment “Best for Tinnitus” in the best hearing aids review.

Style

If you prefer a discreet hearing aid and have mild to moderate hearing loss, you might want to consider an invisible, completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid style from Eargo. If you have more than moderate hearing loss, want a few more features, and don’t mind a bigger, more visible hearing aid, Jabra Enhance (previously known as Lively) hearing aids could be the option for you.

For more information about the different types and styles of hearing aids, and other things to consider, check out our hearing aids buyer’s guide.

Table 2 Comparison of Audicus vs. other brands, as of October 2022

Audicus

Audien

Eargo

Lively

MDHearing

Price per pair

$998–$3,398

$99–$249

$1,450–$2,950

$1,195–$1,995

$798–$1,598

Type of hearing aids

BTE, ITC, RIC

ITC

CIC

RIC

BTE

Types of hearing loss

Mild to severe

Mild to moderate

Mild to moderate

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to severe

Audicus hearing aid customer reviews

On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Audicus has an A+ rating and a customer review rating of 3.08 out of 5, based on 13 customer reviews.8

In our Reviews Team’s hearing aids survey, the biggest challenge of Audicus hearing aids was that they were uncomfortable to wear, which is not an uncommon struggle of hearing aid users in general. 

I’ve struggled with my hearing loss for years and finally decided to address it. [I] went locally initially and they were trying to charge me 8k for a pair of hearing aids! My brother recommended Audicus and they were offering the same pair for just over 3k. I purchased [them] and the entire process was great. Everyone was super helpful and the hearing aids work great. I’d say if support is something that is important to you, Audicus is the way to go.

— GERTRUDE, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (BBB.ORG)

Having done thorough research, I find Audicus is still the low-cost, high-quality leader in digitally adjustable hearing aids. They’ve always been quickly responsive when I’ve emailed or called. I’m about to order a new aid from Audicus right now!

— BARBARA, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (BBB.ORG)

“While I have no complaints about the hearing aid itself, I am frustrated with the support. There is a very high pressure sales team, but it is almost impossible to get in touch with anyone that actually is in CUSTOMER SUPPORT, not sales.”

— ANOUCK, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (BBB.ORG)

Bottom line

Audicus offers six different types of hearing aids that support people with mild to severe hearing loss. Prices range from $998–$3,398 per pair, and some have advanced technology, including Bluetooth and rechargeable batteries.

Audicus could be a good choice if you’re looking for a budget hearing aid with advanced technology, and you prefer the convenience of buying a hearing aid online. If you’d prefer a less advanced, basic hearing aid, another option might be better for you, such as Eargo.

Frequently asked questions

Have questions about this review? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.

Sources

  1. Lionsclubs.org. Lions Clubs. Found on the internet at https://www.lionsclubs.org/en/explore-our-clubs/eyeglasses-and-hearing-aids-recycling
  2. Eldercare.acl.gov. Area agencies on aging. Found on the internet at https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/AAA.aspx
  3. Hearing Aid Donations. Hearing Aid Project. Found on the internet at https://hearingaiddonations.org/
  4. Medicare.gov. Medicare Advantage. Found on the internet at https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-medicare-health-plans-cover/medicare-advantage-plans-cover-all-medicare-services
  5. IRS. Publication 502. Found on the internet at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
  6. VA.gov. Veteran Health Benefits. Found on the internet at https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/
  7. Mosley C, et al. Jornal of the American Academy of Audiology. Reliability of the Home Hearing Test. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710072/
  8. Better Business Bureau. Audicus. Found on the internet at https://www.bbb.org/us/ny/new-york/profile/hearing-assistive-devices/audicus-inc-0121-148665/customer-reviews
  9. FDA.gov. FDA-Registered Medical Devices. Found on the internet at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/consumers-medical-devices/are-there-fda-registered-or-fda-certified-medical-devices-how-do-i-know-what-fda-approved
  10. FDA.gov. FDA Approval. Found on the internet at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/approvals-fda-regulated-products/about-fda-product-approval

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