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Lively Hearing Aids Review: Costs and Features

Jul 22, 2022

By Chrissy Holm
Medically Reviewed by Brad Ingrao, AuD
Reviewed by Kathleen CameronBSPharm, MPH, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging
Fact Checked

Affiliate Disclosure
This content and its featured products and services were independently reviewed by a third-party, credentialed Reviews Team. If you make a purchase using the links included, our partners may earn a commission. NCOA, however, does not receive a commission for purchases.
Lively Editor's Pick
  • Free online hearing test
  • No in-person consultation necessary
  • Audiologist support for three years
  • Money-back guarantee for 100 days
  • Transparent and easy to find pricing online
  • The cost of Lively hearing aids ranges from $1,195–$1,995 per pair, depending on the model.
  • Lively offers one style of hearing aid, receiver-in-canal (RIC), designed for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
  • An in-person hearing consultation isn’t required for purchase, and Lively offers access to online audiologist support for up to three years.

Being able to access health care independently has become increasingly important for many people in the U.S., and Lively, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) hearing aid brand, is one of the companies making a difference in the hearing industry by offering all of its hearing aid support online and through mobile technology.

If you’re experiencing mild to moderately severe hearing loss and feel you’re a good candidate for a DTC hearing aid, Lively is a reliable brand to consider. 

To help you find the best hearing aid on the market for your needs, we looked into how much Lively hearing aids cost, whether insurance covers Lively hearing aids, and what the Lively hearing aids warranty covers. 

This Lively hearing aids review dives into the answers to these questions and more, so you can determine if Lively is a good hearing aid for you.

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 aids review methodology.

Why Lively is one of our top picks

Lively is one of our Reviews Team’s top picks for the best hearing aids for several reasons. 

First, Lively offers DTC hearing aids, with no requirement to see a doctor or audiologist for a fitting. This can potentially save you time and money since you’re not obligated to visit an audiologist clinic. DTC hearing aids are usually more affordable than prescribed hearing aids, are pre-programmed and ready to be used out of the box, and can be self-fitted and adjusted by the user at home.2 

Second, Lively has ongoing access to a team of professionals, including licensed hearing aid specialists and audiologists, for up to three years after purchase. Because the support is available only online, if you prefer to see a hearing professional in-person, then Lively hearing aids may not be for you.

And finally, Lively earned “Editor’s Pick” on our Reviews Team’s best hearing aids of 2022 review due to the company’s combination of quality, powerful hearing aids, and a commitment to ongoing customer service. All this together makes Lively one of the best hearing aid brands on the market.

Pros and cons of Lively hearing aids

Pros Free online hearing test No in-person consultation necessary Audiologist support for three years Money-back guarantee for 100 days Transparent and easy-to-find pricing online
Cons Not designed for severe to profound hearing loss Only one style of hearing aid (receiver-in-canal) Limited amount of models Can only be used with a smartphone or tablet

Table 1 Comparison of Lively hearing aids models, as of June 2022

Lively 2 Lite

Lively 2 Plus

Lively 2 Pro

Cost per pair

$1,195

$1,595

$1,995

Type of Hearing Aid

RIC

RIC

RIC

Type of Hearing Loss

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to moderately severe

Battery Type

Disposable

Rechargeable

Rechargeable

Bluetooth Capability

Yes

Yes

Yes

Customization

Yes

Yes

Yes

Water resistant

No

No

No

Telecoil

No

No

No

Directional microphone

Yes

Yes

Yes

Noise reduction

Yes

Yes

Yes

Processing channels

Yes

Yes

Yes

Reviews of Lively hearing aid models

  Lively 2 Lite

Lively 2 Lite

  • Cost per pair: $1,195
  • Dimensions: 0.99 inches x 0.57 inches (height x width)
  • Weight: 1 gram (without battery)
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to moderately severe
  • Battery type: Disposable
  • Bluetooth compatible: Yes

The Lively 2 Lite is the lightest, smallest, and least expensive model of Lively hearing aids. Unlike the other models, which use rechargeable batteries, the Lively 2 Lite uses disposable zinc-air batteries. The batteries need to be replaced every 3–10 days, but Lively includes a one-year supply with your purchase. 

Disposable batteries may be a dealbreaker for some. In our Reviews Team’s survey of hearing aid users, the majority of respondents ranked rechargeable batteries as the second-most valuable feature in hearing aids, right behind digital noise reduction. Many people prefer the convenience of rechargeable batteries with some experiencing challenges replacing the batteries due to arthritis or other concerns related to hand dexterity.

Like all Lively hearing aids, the Lively 2 Lite is compatible with Bluetooth, meaning you can use it to stream calls and music from your mobile device to your hearing aids.

Lively 2 Plus

Lively 2 Plus

  • Cost per pair: $1,595
  • Dimensions: 1.06″ H x 0.55″ W
  • Weight: 2.5 g
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to moderately severe
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth compatible: Yes

The Lively 2 Plus weighs more than the Lively 2 Lite, but it has additional advanced features, including rechargeable batteries. 

The portable charging case powers the batteries for 30 hours of sound after a three-hour charge. If you only have time for a one-hour charge, the charging case has a one-hour quick-charge option that will power the batteries for 15 hours.  

Another feature the Lively 2 Plus has that the Lite doesn’t is Music Mode, which improves the sound quality of live music, such as in concert halls.

If you want some advanced features without a much higher price tag, the Lively 2 Plus may be a good fit.

Lively 2 Pro

Lively 2 Pro

  • Cost per pair: $1,995
  • Dimensions: 1.28″ H x 0.51″ W
  • Weight: 2.6 g
  • Type of hearing aid: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of hearing loss: Mild to moderately severe
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth compatible: Yes

The Lively 2 Pro is the company’s largest, heaviest, and most advanced model. 

It’s available in eight colors—compared to the five colors the other models offer. The Lively 2 Pro is unique in that it’s the only model with hands-free phone calls for iPhone users built in, similar to answering with bluetooth-connected earbuds. If you are not an iPhone user, or use an iPhone older than the iPhone 11, Lively offers the Phone Clip+ hands-free accessory, which can be paired with most older iPhones and Android phones. 

The Lively 2 Pro also has binaural directionality—smart, optimized microphones that amplify specific sounds, so you can interpret speech more naturally. This feature helps to improve social communication in difficult listening situations, such as in noisy environments like restaurants and parks.

With the most advanced features of any Lively hearing aid comes a higher price tag. But if advanced features are the most important factor for you, the Lively 2 Pro could be a good choice.

History of Lively

Lively was founded in 2018 by Adam Karp, Elad Kolet, and Nicole Cadoret. In 2021, GN Hearing, a world-leading ear, sound, and video technology company, acquired Lively. 

Following the company’s acquisition, Adam Karp, CEO of Lively, said, “Being part of GN will accelerate our growth and ability to achieve our vision to empower everyone to reach their full hearing potential.”3

According to the GN Hearing website, Lively has maintained a Net Promoter Score, or NPS, above 60. NPS measures customer experience and predicts business growth.4

NPS ranges from -100 to 100, and the higher the number, the better. If 60 seems to be a low customer satisfaction score, compare other examples of NPS for Fortune 500 companies: 79 for Costco, 47 for Apple, and 25 for Walgreens.5

Purchasing Lively hearing aids

The following section breaks down how to purchase Lively hearing aids, how much they cost, if insurance covers them, and how to save money.

How and where do I purchase Lively hearing aids?

You can purchase Lively hearing aids online through the company’s website. Lively accepts all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) and PayPal. The company also offers monthly financing options.

How much do Lively hearing aids cost?

Lively hearing aids cost $1,195–$1,995, depending on the model you choose. The company also offers finance options, ranging from $39 per month to $65 per month.

In our Reviews Team survey of hearing aid users, 23% of Lively users reported their hearing aids were expensive, compared to 9% of Audicus users and more than 41% of Starkey users.

Does insurance cover hearing aids?

Most insurance plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids, though you may be eligible for other options, such as Medicare Advantage, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or Health Savings Account (HSA). Many veterans and military personnel are eligible for hearing aids at a free or reduced cost through the VA.

  • While Medicare Part A and Part B6 don’t cover hearing aids, Medicare Advantage7 (also known as Medicare C) may offer some coverage. Check with your insurance provider to verify your coverage. 
  • If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), the cost of hearing aids, batteries, repairs, and maintenance are considered medical expenses.8
  • If you’re a veteran or military personnel, you may be eligible for hearing aid assistance or complete coverage through the VA. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA will also cover medical services such as audiology for those who are eligible.9 Check with your assigned VA provider to verify your coverage.

How can I save money on hearing aids?

To save money on hearing aids, check with charitable foundations that help those who cannot afford hearing aids, such as the Hearing Aid Project, Miracle-Ear Foundations, or local Lions Clubs.

Another option to look into is your local area agency on aging to see what it can do to offer support.10 Finally, visit our Benefits CheckUp to learn more about benefits that may be available in your area.

Lively hearing aids warranty

Lively offers a three-year warranty on its hearing aids, which includes coverage for repair, loss, and damage. For the charging cases, Lively offers a warranty that includes three years of repair and one year for loss and damage. The TV Streamer, MultiMic, and Phone Clip+ accessories come with a one-year warranty.

Lively online hearing test

Lively offers an online hearing test to help you to gauge your level of hearing loss.

You will need a pair of headphones and a quiet environment to take the test. The test begins with questions about your hearing, such as “How would you rate your overall hearing ability without hearing aids?” and “Where do you have the most trouble hearing?” 

You’ll then be guided through different types of tones, with instructions to click the volume number until you can barely hear the tone, and again, until the tone is at a louder but comfortable volume. After taking the test, you’ll be asked to enter your first name, email address, and phone number to access your results.

Keep in mind an online hearing test is not diagnostic, like a professional in-person hearing exam with an audiologist, meaning an online test cannot diagnose the cause of your hearing loss.

Pros and cons of online hearing tests

Lindsey Jorgensen, AuD, PhD, and associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Dakota, explained the pros and cons of online hearing tests: “One of the biggest pros is that online hearing tests are done from the comfort of your own home. They can give you an idea if you need to seek help from an audiologist. But on the other hand, online hearing tests are not calibrated and may not be very accurate. If there is anything going on around you, it may interfere with the test and can make it unreliable.”

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, during an in-person consultation, an audiologist discusses your medical history, hearing issues, and then looks inside your ears to determine whether you suffer from hearing loss, the severity, and your best treatment options.11 “Make sure you see a reputable doctor with an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) calibrated sound booth who follows best practices,” said Sarah Lundstrom, AuD, board certified in audiology at the Florida Academy of Audiology and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.

Lundstrom also explained some of the pros and cons of an in-person consultation. “In-person consultations are completed by an audiologist trained to give accurate results. They are a part of your medical record and you can request a copy to take home with you. The drawback with that is you will likely have to make an appointment, wait for the appointment, and travel to the location for the exam.”

If you’re interested in finding an audiologist near you, visit the American Academy of Audiology. And if you’ve already seen an audiologist and received a diagnosis, Lively has an option for uploading your audiogram to the site to be used for pre-programming your hearing aids.

Lively app and accessories

The Lively smartphone app allows users to control their hearing aid settings, make hands-free calls, and connect with the Lively audiology team for follow-up care for up to three years.

Lively offers four accessories: a TV Streamer, MultiMic, Phone Clip+, and the Lively 2 Plus Charging Case. All Lively accessories include a 100-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty (excluding the charging case, which offers a three-year warranty).

  • TV Streamer: For $299, you can purchase the TV Streamer, which streams TV audio straight to your hearing aids, similar to wireless headphones. You can stream up to 22 feet away. To adjust TV volume and background noise, you use the Lively app on your smartphone.
  • MultiMic: For $275, you can purchase the MultiMic, a portable microphone that streams other sounds into your hearing aids, helping you to focus on the sounds you want to hear during difficult listening situations, such as a noisy restaurant. This accessory works from up to 82 feet away from the source and has a built-in telecoil that connects you to sound systems for large events, such as conferences, concerts, and places of worship.
  • Phone Clip+: For $199, you can purchase the Phone Clip+, which connects via bluetooth to most Android smartphones and older model iPhones, allowing you to stream calls and music to your hearing aids. This accessory clips to your clothing and doubles as a remote control for adjusting your hearing aid volume, answering calls, and muting the microphone.
  • Lively 2 Plus Charging Case: For $250, you can purchase an extra case to recharge your Lively 2 Plus hearing aids. A charging case is included with the purchase of Lively 2 hearing aids, but some people may find it useful to have an additional case to have more freedom while away from home. The charging case will power your hearing aid batteries for 30 hours after a three-hour charge, 15 hours after a one-hour charge, or 2.5 hours after a 10-minute charge. Since the case itself also needs to be charged, with two cases you’d have an additional source of power while one of the cases is charging.

How do you customize Lively hearing aids?

You can customize your Lively hearing aids in one of three ways:

  1. The Lively smartphone app
  2. The Lively online audiology team
  3. The Phone Clip+ accessory

Your hearing aids will be delivered to you pre-programmed for your specific hearing loss, based on your online hearing test or on the audiogram you provided to Lively. After you have unboxed your hearing aids, you can set up a virtual, online video call with a licensed hearing aid specialist or audiologist on the Lively audiology support team. Your hearing specialist will help you to customize and fine-tune your new hearing aids. You have access to this support for three years.

You can also use the Lively smartphone app to customize and adjust your hearing aid settings—on your own or with the assistance of a Lively hearing specialist.

Lively hearing aids have four preset programs: all-around, restaurant, outdoors, or music, which can be used with or without the MultiMic. The app also has “quick actions” settings you can use to filter out noise or focus on specific speech, allowing for a better listening experience.

The Lively Phone Clip+ bluetooth accessory is made for connecting older iPhone and Android phones to Lively hearing aids. Its main purpose is to clip onto your clothing and stream phone calls and music from your phone or tablet straight to your hearing aids, but you can also use the Phone Clip+ to manually adjust your hearing aid volume, mute the microphone, or change what you’re listening to. 

Customer service and satisfaction

You can reach the Lively customer support several different ways:

For self-help, Lively has an FAQ section and a Quick Start Guide on the website that walks you through the basics of connecting your hearing aids to the Lively app, so you can adjust your hearing aid settings and charge your device.

Table 2 Lively vs. other brands comparison, as of June 2022

Lively

Eargo

Phonak

MDHearing

Cost per pair

$1,195–$1,995

$1,450–$2,950

$2,400–$7,000

$798–$1,899

Type of

hearing aids

RIC

CIC

BTE, RIC, ITE, ITC

BTE

Types of

hearing loss

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to moderate

Mild to profound

Mild to severe

What to consider before buying hearing aids

When you’re looking to buy hearing aids, consider the following questions:

  • What is your budget? For example, in our Reviews Team’s best hearing aids review, we picked Audicus for “Best Budget-Friendly Bluetooth.” For more budget-friendly options, see our review of the top affordable hearing aids.
  • What type of hearing loss do you have (e.g., single-sided, profound, mild, etc.)? The Phonak Naída Paradise P-UP was “Best for Severe Hearing Loss.”
  • Do you like simple or advanced technology? If you like advanced technology, our Reviews Team chose Oticon Opn S for “Most Advanced Smart Features.”
  • Do you prefer rechargeable or disposable batteries? Our Reviews Team picked the ReSound One as the “Best Rechargeable” hearing aid.
  • Do you have tinnitus or struggle with ringing in your ears? If you answered yes, the Widex Moment might be the best option for you. Our Reviews Team rated it “Best for Tinnitus.”

Lively hearing aid customer reviews

Lively reviews indicate Lively customers are satisfied with their purchase. 

Lively has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an average customer rating of 4.33 out of 5, based on 12 total reviews.12 And in our Reviews Team’s survey of hearing aid users, more than 35% of Lively respondents said their hearing aids helped them hear better in conversations with small groups of five people or less.

But our survey also uncovered that more than 29% of Lively respondents said their hearing aids didn’t have enough features, such as advanced sound customization that more expensive hearing aids usually offer

“After having tested eight other hearing aids from eight other companies, Lively is by far head over heels the very best. I have never dealt with a customer service department which has placed me as number one. They are the most cooperative, knowledgeable people I have ever dealt with.”

— EDWARD S., VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM BBB.ORG)

“These [hearing aids] are much better than my old ones. With the [Lively] app you can adjust [the hearing aids] the way you like it with several choices. The volume is also controlled by a button on each hearing aid. An android phone won’t work on Bluetooth streaming, but works with the app for adjustments. Great customer service.”

— THOMAS S., VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM BBB.ORG)

Bottom line

Lively offers three receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids designed for mild to moderately severe hearing loss. These hearing aids are Bluetooth compatible, weigh less than 3 grams, and cost less than $2,000, about half the price of the average hearing aid.

Lively hearing aids may be the right choice for you if:

  • You’re looking for a high-quality and affordable hearing aid with many features
  • You have mild to moderately severe hearing loss
  • You want virtual support from a hearing aid specialist or audiologist

Lively hearing aids may not be the right choice for you if:

  • You want a variety of hearing aid options besides receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • You want features such as telecoil (unless you purchase the MultiMic telecoil equipped accessory for $275) and water-resistant hearing aids 
  • You want in-person hearing consultations

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Sources

  1. NCOA. A Call to Action to Improve Cultural Relevance and Accessibility. Found on the internet at https://www.ncoa.org/article/a-call-to-action-to-improve-cultural-relevance-and-accessibility-evidence-based-health-promotion-programs-among-american-indian-alaska-native-and-native-hawaiian-communities
  2. Trends in Hearing. Direct-to-Consumer Hearing Devices: Capabilities, Costs, and Cosmetics. Found on the internet at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2331216519858301 
  3. GN Group. GN Hearing acquires New York based Lively. Found on the internet at https://www.gn.com/newsroom/news/2021/december/gn-hearing-acquires-new-york-based-lively
  4. Netpromoter.com. What Is Net Promoter? Found on the internet at https://www.netpromoter.com/know/
  5. Customer.guru. Net Promoter Score Benchmarks for Fortune 500 Companies. Found on the internet at https://customer.guru/net-promoter-score/fortune-500
  6. Medicare.gov. Hearing aids. Found on the internet at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/hearing-aids
  7. Medicare.gov. Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services. Found on the internet at https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-medicare-health-plans-cover/medicare-advantage-plans-cover-all-medicare-services
  8. IRS. Publication 502. Found on the internet at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
  9. Va.gov. About VA health benefits. Found on the internet at https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/
  10. Eldercare.alc.gov. Area Agencies on Aging. Found on the internet at https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/AAA.aspx
  11. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Hearing Evaluation. Found on the internet at https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/hearing-evaluation/
  12. Better Business Bureau. Lively. Found on the internet at https://www.bbb.org/us/ny/new-york/profile/hearing-assistive-devices/lively-0121-185553
  13. GN Group. The GN Group. Found on the internet at https://www.gn.com/About/GN-Group
  14. White House. FDA Takes Action to Deliver Lower-Cost, Innovative Hearing Aids to Millions More Americans. Found on the internet at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2016/12/07/fda-takes-action-deliver-lower-cost-innovative-hearing-aids-millions-more-americans

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