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MDHearing Aids Review 2022

Oct 26, 2022

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

Key Takeaways

  • MDHearing hearing aids range from $799.88–$1,899.98 per pair, but are often on sale starting at $299.98 per pair, depending on the hearing aid.
  • The company has an online hearing test, and free audiologist and hearing aid professional support.
  • MDHearing offers three behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids designed for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Having high quality and affordable hearing aids is crucial to many people, especially when many hearing aids cost an average of $4,600.1 Our Reviews Team mystery shopped MDHearing hearing aids to find out whether the company’s budget-friendly prices can go hand-in-hand with quality and durability.

Our Reviews Team subjected the behind-the-ear MDHearing VOLT MAX hearing aids to a number of hands-on tests. This included testing the device’s durability claims, in which our Reviews Team dropped the VOLT MAX 10 times from a height of 7 feet, 6 inches. After durability testing, there were no visible scratches or damage to the hearing aids.

Our Reviews Team also spent time reviewing the pros and cons of all three MDHearing models, tried the online hearing test, and broke down other important details, such as warranty, payments, customer service options, and trial period. Finding the best hearing aid can be a long process, and our hope is to help you narrow your search and identify whether MDHearing is right 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 will 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 MDHearing

Pros 45-day, risk-free trial and 100% money-back guarantee on all hearing aids Lifetime support from audiologists and hearing specialists at no extra cost Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids with no need for a hearing exam On sale often, starting at $299.89
Cons Not every model is rechargeable Limited to mild to moderately severe hearing loss

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

MDHearing AIR

MDHearing VOLT

MDHearing VOLT MAX

Cost per pair

$799.88

$1,199.98

$1,899.98

Type of hearing aid

BTE

BTE

BTE

Battery type

Disposable

Rechargeable

Rechargeable

Bluetooth capability

No

No

Yes

Water-resistant

No

No

No

Telecoil

Yes

No

No

MDHearing Reviews

MDHearing AIR

MDHearing AIR hearing aid

Pros Only MDHearing model with telecoil Weighs less than one pound
Cons Disposable batteries Doesn’t connect to app

Other Details

  • Cost per pair: $799.88
  • Hearing aid type: Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • Dimensions: 1 x 0.25 x 0.5 inches (height x width x length) 
  • Weight: 0.95 pounds

The MDHearing AIR is the only behind-the-ear hearing aid from MDHearing with telecoil technology. A telecoil, also known as a T-coil, lets your hearing aid connect to assistive listening systems (also known as ALS) in venues, such as movie theaters, houses of worship, and other public gathering places. If this feature is important to you, the AIR might be a good option.

One of the potential downsides to the AIR is that it uses disposable batteries. According to MDHearing, AIR batteries will last 21–26 days before needing replacement. If you’re looking for rechargeable hearing aids or hearing aids with Bluetooth compatibility, this model won’t be a good fit. 

The VOLT MAX and VOLT have rechargeable batteries, but their batteries last 15 and 20 hours, respectively, before needing to be recharged, so you’ll have to charge them every day, and you’ll be without your hearing aids while they charge. The upside to disposable hearing aid batteries: you’re only without your hearing aids for the time it takes to change the batteries. 

Some things to consider before deciding between rechargeable batteries versus disposable is how often you’ll need to recharge or change the batteries. For those with vision impairment or dexterity challenges like arthritis or Parkinson’s, changing a very small battery can be difficult. And because the AIR is not compatible with the MDHearing app, you can only adjust the volume manually using a dial on the actual hearing aid, which may present further issues for those with dexterity challenges.

The AIR is also slightly lighter than the VOLT and VOLT MAX, so if weight is an important factor for you, the MDHearing AIR could be the best option out of this list.

MDHearing VOLT

MDHearing VOLT hearing aids

Pros Dual directional microphones Rechargeable battery lasts 20 hours
Cons Doesn’t connect to the mobile app Can only adjust volume with dial

Other Details

  • Cost per pair: $1,199.98
  • Hearing aid type: BTE
  • Dimensions: 1.25” H x 0.25” W x 0.5” L
  • Weight: 1.1 pound

The MDHearing VOLT is a step up from the MDHearing AIR, with intelligent noise reduction and dual directional microphones that pick up and amplify the sounds in front of and behind you while lessening background sounds so you can hear conversations better. This ultimately leads to better communication and improved speech comprehension.

The VOLT is a rechargeable hearing aid with a 20-hour battery life before needing to be recharged. That’s better than the VOLT MAX, giving you five more hours of use.

The VOLT model is more expensive than the AIR by $400 (though still less than the VOLT MAX by $700), and it doesn’t connect to the MDHearing mobile app like the VOLT MAX. That means, like the AIR, you can only adjust the VOLT volume manually using a dial on the outside of the hearing aid. If price or app capability is important to you, you might want to consider one of the other MDHearing aid models instead.

MDHearing VOLT MAX

MDHearing VOLT Max hearing aids in case

Pros Only model compatible with the MDHearing app Customizable sound profile based on your hearing needs
Cons Battery lasts for 15 hours Most expensive model

Other Details

  • Cost per pair: $1,899.98
  • Hearing aid type: BTE
  • Dimensions: 1.375” H x 0.25” W x 0.6” L
  • Weight: 1.1 pound

The MDHearing VOLT MAX is the most expensive hearing aid from MDHearing, but it also has the most features. It is the only MDHearing hearing aid compatible with the MDHearing mobile app. Unlike the AIR and VOLT, which have only manual volume controls, you can control the volume for your VOLT MAX with both the volume dial on the hearing aid and the MDHearing mobile app, making it easier to change your settings discreetly while out with friends, or to allow caregivers the ability to assist you without removing the hearing aid. Using the app, you can create a customized sound profile based on your hearing needs.

A downside of the VOLT MAX is the battery life. It lasts five hours less than the VOLT before needing a recharge; 15 hours versus 20 hours, respectively. Its dimensions are also slightly larger, taking up more space behind the ear, which may be a deterrent to some.

But with its slightly larger size comes more advanced features than the VOLT, such as adaptive technology, which detects noises in the surrounding area and automatically adjusts.

If you want a Bluetooth hearing aid that connects to a mobile app and has more advanced features, the VOLT MAX could be a good option for you. If you prefer simplicity, another MDHearing hearing aid model, such as the AIR or VOLT, could be your best option.

How much do MDHearing aids cost?

MDHearing aids cost between $799.88–$1,899.98 per pair, but are often on sale starting at $299.98 per pair. 

With price being the second most important factor for the majority of respondents to our Reviews Team’s survey (behind only “easy to set up and use”), understanding what goes into the cost of hearing aids is key to determining which one will be best for you over the long run. Some hearing aids offer built-in technology like activity tracking for counting steps, Bluetooth connectivity for taking phone calls and streaming TV, or artificial intelligence that can detect falls.

“The cost of hearing aids is related to the level of technology, or in other words, how sophisticated the computer chip is on the inside of the device,” said Amy Sarow, a practicing doctor of audiology in Michigan.

Though MDHearing has Bluetooth connectivity, it is limited to the VOLT MAX, and it only connects to the MDHearing mobile app. It doesn’t allow for Bluetooth streaming with your TV, phone, or music. But the rechargeable technology in the VOLT MAX will save you money over time, since the recurring cost of disposable batteries increases the overall cost.

How to save money on MDHearing aids

MDHearing often offers sales on its hearing aids, ranging from $299–$699 per pair. When our Reviews Team asked an MDHearing support team member how often the company has sales, they weren’t able to give us much information, except to say, “We come up with different promotions from time to time.”

If you’re considering MDHearing, check back on the website often to try to catch them on sale.

In addition to sales, you can also use money from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to purchase hearing aids. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states the cost of hearing aids and batteries, repairs, and maintenance are considered medical expenses, which make them FSA- and HSA-eligible.2

If you’re a veteran or active duty military member, your VA benefits may cover medical services or hearing aid assistance.3 See the NCOA overview of veterans benefits you may be eligible for.

There may also be unknown benefits you’re eligible for. Visit our Benefits CheckUp to learn more about benefits in your area that may be available to you.

Does MDHearing accept insurance?

Most insurance plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids, but there are some services you may be eligible for, like those covered by Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C).4 Check with your provider to see what coverage is available.

MDHearing Aids online hearing test

Online hearing tests vs. in-person tests

Online tests can measure the degree of your hearing loss and help you find the right type of hearing aid for your hearing loss. An important note is that online tests cannot diagnose the cause of your hearing loss. Research has shown that only in-person hearing tests can provide an accurate diagnosis, but online hearing tests can still serve as a reliable alternative for gauging the level of your hearing loss, but not the cause.5

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), during an in-person consultation, an audiologist will look inside your ears to determine whether there is a physical cause for your hearing loss, the severity of your hearing loss, and your best treatment options.6 With an online hearing test, you must find a spot where you can keep your surrounding area as quiet as possible during the test, and your diagnosis is based on what can be found out using personal headphones, which can vary in quality.

Sarow noted that there are highly dependent factors for an online test, such as background noise, computer speakers, and more.

“Additionally, [online hearing tests] cannot determine whether hearing loss stems from the inner ear, or whether it may be due to ear infection or other cause (e.g., conductive or mixed hearing loss),” said Sarow.

MDHearing online hearing test

When a member of our Reviews Team used the MDHearing online hearing test (see Figure 1), it took approximately seven minutes.

To take the online hearing test, you first will have to enter your name and email. Then, a series of prompts will ask you to verify that you’re in a quiet room and your volume is set to 100%. Next, you’ll test the level of volume on your left and right ears. After this initial set-up, the online test will walk you through six different sound settings for each ear, ranging from low- to high-frequency sounds.

Figure 1 Member of our Reviews Team testing MDHearing online hearing test

Member of our Reviews Team testing MDHearing online hearing test

Once you complete all 12 tests (six per ear), it will generate your results. On the results page (see Figure 2), you’ll see what your level of hearing is for each of your ears, from healthy hearing to profound hearing loss.

Figure 2 Example results page for MDHearing online hearing test

Example results page for MDHearing online hearing test

The results page also interprets your type of hearing loss (see Figure 3). The drop-down “read more” selections are helpful for learning more about what each frequency means for your hearing, with examples of difficult hearing situations (e.g., loss of hearing in the low frequencies will result in struggling to understand men’s voices).

Figure 3 Interpreting your results from MDHearing online hearing test

Interpreting your results from MDHearing online hearing test

If you receive results outside of the healthy range, the results page will prompt you to connect with a hearing professional. You can schedule a free 40-minute appointment with an MDHearing professional (see Figure 4) by calling or texting 844-994-3270.

Figure 4 Image of consultation scheduling calendar

Image of consultation scheduling calendar

MDHearing aids mobile app

The MDHearing mobile app, available on Apple Store and Google Play, is currently only compatible with the VOLT MAX. The app allows you to connect to your hearing aids via Bluetooth to personalize your hearing aid settings, adjust the volume level, change to different listening environments (automatic, quiet, conversation, or restaurant), and request assistance from an MDHearing specialist to remotely adjust your hearing aids through the app.

If you notice issues, such as the volume is too soft, loud, or muffled, or if the background noise is too distracting, the app is a good tool for discreetly adjusting your hearing aids. If you want a hearing aid that has more advanced app capabilities, the downside of the MDHearing app is that you can’t use its Bluetooth technology to stream music, TV, or phone calls to the hearing aids.

Figure 5 Support section on MDHearing app

Support section on MDHearing app

MDHearing customer service

You can reach MDHearing customer service by phone, email, or chat.

A member of our Reviews Team contacted MDHearing support via the chat, and Sherryl L. was quick to respond. When she couldn’t find the answer to our question about the weight of the hearing aids, she asked for our name, email, and phone number to be contacted by a customer service representative. If you have a basic question, the support chat is helpful. If you have a difficult question, you’ll be rerouted to customer service via phone or email.

Figure 6 Example conversation for MDHearing chat

Example conversation for MDHearing chat

Our Reviews Team also tried to contact MDHearing customer service by email. We received an immediate automated response of “request received,” and a response to our question almost 24 hours later. Our question about the weight of the hearing aids was answered, but only at the end of a sales pitch template, and not in the detail we hoped for.

Shipping, payment, and financing options

To buy MDHearing hearing aids, visit the company website and select the model you’d like to purchase after you have completed the online hearing test and hearing consultation. Then, you’ll choose from the shipping options: first class, ground, 2nd day air, and next day air (see Figure 7).

Figure 7 Example of shipping costs for MDHearing aids

Example of shipping costs for MDHearing aids

MDHearing accepts Paypal and all major credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. 

You also have the option to finance your purchase with Affirm and make monthly payments over 3, 6, or 12 months. For example, if you pay the full list price of $799.88 for the MDHearing AIR, you can pay either $266.63 per month for three months, $133.31 for six months, or $66.66 for 12 months. 

Warranty and trial period

MDHearing warranty

MDHearing has a 90-day warranty covering defects in parts, materials, and workmanship. You can purchase a protection plan subscription, called MDShield, for an additional $9.99 per month. MDShield covers hearing aid repair for accidental damage, like water or pet damage, and defects or malfunctions past the 90-day warranty. It does not cover loss, theft, and unauthorized repairs. If MDHearing can’t fix your hearing aid, the company will send you a new device. MDShield can be canceled at any time by contacting customer support. 

In our Reviews Team’s survey, 38.89% of the respondents who use MDHearing had to get their hearing aids repaired at least once during the warranty period. Although a majority of users (61.11%) didn’t need the repair service, if having a backup plan is important to you, purchasing the protection plan can be a reassuring investment.

MDHearing trial period

MDHearing offers a 45-day, risk-free trial and a 100% money-back guarantee. The company recommends giving yourself 45 days to allow your ears to adjust to the feeling of the new hearing aids and your brain to readjust to the sounds. For some users who are used to hearing at a reduced volume, a return to normal hearing can be uncomfortably loud. 

If you aren’t satisfied after the trial, return the hearing aids by calling 1-800-918-3914 and asking for a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number

Table 2 MDHearing vs. other brands comparison, as of October 2022

MDHearing

Lively

Eargo

Phonak

Audien

Cost per pair

$799.88–
$1,899.98

$1,195–
$1,995

$1,450–
$2,950

$2,798–
$4,798

$99–$249

Type of hearing aids

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

Receiver-in-canal (RIC)

Completely-in-canal (CIC)

BTE, RIC, ITE, ITC

ITC

Types of hearing loss

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to moderately severe

Mild to moderate

Mild to profound

Mild to moderate

To learn more about the different types of hearing aids and the pros and cons associated with them, visit our hearing aids buyer’s guide.

Who is well suited for MDHearing hearing aids?

MDHearing hearing aids are suited for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. If you have severe or profound hearing loss, MDHearing is not for you. 

The ASHA classifies degrees of hearing loss, from severe to profound, by how many decibels (which measure sound levels) the sound has to be before you can hear it. If you’re having difficulty hearing sounds below 71–91+ decibels, you’re likely experiencing severe hearing loss.7 To better understand noise levels, the 3M Noise Navigator lists the decibel levels of hundreds of everyday sounds. For example, 80 decibels of sound is equal to a clock alarm or blender.8

Customer reviews of MDHearing aids

MDHearing currently has a B+ rating and 4.22 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but the company is no longer accredited with BBB due to MDHearing using incorrect information to promote its brand.

According to BBB, MDHearing stated it had an A+ rating as opposed to the accurate B+ rating.9 BBB has noted on its website that it contacted MDHearing to correct the information on its sales material, and that MDHearing responded but hadn’t addressed the issue as of June 2022.

MDHearing is on Trustpilot with an “average” rating and 2.8 out of 5 stars, based on only three reviews.10

I purchased the Volt+ hearing aids from MDHearing aids a couple of months ago. They worked fine but then one of them only worked in one program. I contacted them and they promptly sent me a replacement hearing aid, along with instructions to return the defective one [using] a prepaid label. The new hearing aid is working as advertised.

— BRIAN, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (BBB.ORG)

“The company was wonderful. Unfortunately, the hearing aids didn’t work for my mother.”

— MARYBETH, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (BBB.ORG)

I tried 4 other hearing aids and returned them all. I decided to try one more and choose MD Volt. I was pleased that I could hear the speakers at church. I find changing the ratio with four different selections is a great help. I wish it were a little smaller for when I wear my reading glasses.

— ARLENE, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW (BBB.ORG)

Bottom line

MDHearing offers three FDA-registered, behind-the-ear hearing aids designed to support mild to moderately severe hearing loss. If you’re looking for good quality hearing aids for less than $2,000, you might find MDHearing aids to be a great solution. If you have severe or profound hearing loss, or are looking for more advanced features—such as music and TV streaming—another hearing aid brand might be better for you.

Frequently asked questions

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

Sources

  1. Obama White House Archives. 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
  2. IRS. Publication 502. Found on the internet at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
  3. VA.gov. VA Benefits. Found on the internet at https://www.va.gov/health-care/about-va-health-benefits/
  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. The Hearing Journal. Benefits of Home Hearing Test. Found on the internet at https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2020/07000/benefits_of_a_home_hearing_test.9.aspx
  6. ASHA. Hearing Evaluation. Found on the internet at https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/hearing-evaluation/
  7. ASHA. Degree of Hearing Loss. Found on the internet at https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/degree-of-hearing-loss/
  8. 3M. Sound Levels. Found on the internet at https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/888553O/noise-navigator-sound-level-hearing-protection-database.pdf
  9. Better Business Bureau. MDHearingAid. Found on the internet at https://www.bbb.org/us/il/chicago/profile/hearing-assistive-devices/mdhearingaid-0654-88378112
  10. Trustpilot. MDHearingAid. Found on the internet at https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.mdhearingaid.com
  11. FDA. MDHearingAid Registration. Found on the internet at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRL/rl.cfm?lid=780528&lpcd=ESD

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