Audicus Hearing Aid Reviews

Originally launched in 2011, New York, NY based Audicus is one of the most widely recognized online hearing aid retailers in the industry.

With the average price of a single hearing aid ranging from $1600 – $2000, Audicus fills a need in the market by offering high quality hearing aids at greatly reduced prices.

What is Audicus’s secret sauce, and how are they able to offer hearing aids at such low prices?

The answer lies in their distribution model.

How hearing aids are traditionally distributed

For as long as hearing aids have been widely and commercially available, hearing aid manufacturers have wholesaled hearing aids directly to hearing healthcare providers, who in turn retail the hearing aids to their customers (patients).

This distribution method gives hearing aid manufacturers the confidence that their products are being dispensed by licensed and trained professionals, and that the end user will have access to ongoing (local) support for their hearing aids.

This is still the most popular distribution method, and is endorsed by consumer protection agencies such as the FDA and FTC.

How Audicus distributes hearing aids

Taken straight from Audicus’s website:

“We cut out the middlemen by partnering with top-tier, independent manufacturers in Germany and the US and delivering directly to you.”

The “middleman” in this case, is the local hearing healthcare provider who is traditionally tasked with:

  • Sizing the hearing aids, ensuring an appropriate physical fit
  • Programming the hearing aids to a unique hearing profile
  • Verifying the output of the hearing aids
  • Counseling the patient on adjusting to hearing aids
  • Providing local maintenance, handling warranty and repairs
  • Re-testing hearing and reprogramming hearing aids as needed

These tasks are not insignificant and a hearing aid wearer’s satisfaction with their with hearing aids is largely attributed to the above services.

Audicus aims to streamline the distribution process and reduce the price of hearing aids by foregoing some of the above services, or offering remote service.

Audicus’s process is simple

  1. Get a hearing test from a local hearing provider or take one of their free online tests.
  2. Send the results to Audicus, or use the results of your online test.
  3. Audicus will remotely program and mail the hearing aids to you.

It’s this simple and relatively uninvolved process which allows Audicus to retail hearing aids for (presumably) only hundreds of dollars above their acquisition cost.

For the patient, the savings over traditional retail prices are significant, but is there more than meets the eye?

Maybe.

What are the problems with this direct-to-consumer tistribution method?

Audicus and other direct-to-consumer online retailers would have you believe that ordering and being fit with hearing aids is as simple as any other online purchase.

They’ve employed smart marketing campaigns and have a simple, clear message- “cut out the middleman and save thousands.”

For price-conscious consumers who may have previously been quoted much higher prices locally, this is an appealing message.

Though this message is sometimes technically accurate, the “middleman” plays a much more significant role than Audicus and similar retailers would have consumers believe.

In addition, the trade-offs which consumers make in foregoing that local service is of course not something that is conveyed by retailers.

It is important that first-time hearing aid wearers are aware of the challenges of being fit with hearing aids remotely, and some of the sacrifices they are making.

To help illustrate these points, and help you weigh the pros and cons of buying hearing aids online, we made this brief video:

Does Audicus sell good hearing aids?

Absolutely!

Audicus hearing aids are built by German hearing aid manufacturer Hansaton.

Hansaton has been in business for over 50 years, and in 2015 was acquired by Sonova, which also owns the Phonak and Unitron brands- both of which are considered top-tier manufacturers in the hearing aid industry.

Since all the brands under the Sonova umbrella share technology, it is safe to say that Audicus-branded Hansaton hearing aids are excellent quality.

Are there affordable (local) alternatives to Audicus?

Sometimes.

Audicus sells their premium Clara model for $699- which is an extremely competitive price.

Your best bet at finding a product at that price point would be through a Costco hearing aid center.

If there isn’t a Costco near you, it’s worth making calls to a few hearing aid centers nearby and asking for their best prices.

There are usually a few hearing aid centers within a reasonable drive that offer hearing aids at around $1000 each, and sometimes less.

While in the end you may pay a few hundred dollars more, you will have the benefit of local service, which should be worth the expense.

Is Audicus a good fit for some people?

Yes.

Though, we’d recommend not purchasing from a direct-to-consumer retailer unless you have previously worn hearing aids and understand all that is involved in the proper fitting and maintenance of hearing aids.

If you are an experienced hearing aid wearer with no affordable options locally- absolutely give them a shot.

Conclusion

As you’ll see in the comments section below, you could do a lot worse than Audicus! That’s something I can’t say for many online retailers.

With only 30% of the hard of hearing population in the US actually using hearing aids, I commend any company that can help increase adoption rates.

Of course, coming from the hearing health care industry, and personally working with thousands of patients, I have a bias regarding the way hearing aids should be distributed.

However, at the end of the day, the goal is to get more people hearing better, and I believe that consumers deserve choices and should be able to vote with their wallets.

Jeff is a California licensed hearing aid dispenser and the President of ZipHearing- one of the largest discount hearing aid suppliers in the United States. Jeff lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and 2 young daughters. You can learn more about hearing aids and watch Jeff on ZipHearing's Youtube channel.

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55 Comments

    Ken Todack

    Reply
    at 12:38 pm

    I have been using Costco Signature 6.0 brand hearing aids the last few years. I had to have special ear plugs because of the shape and depth of my ear canals at extra cost, but that would be true for any brand. They work OK but frequently I don’t wear them because I have to change the tiny batteries every three days or so and I have tremors in my hand and finger movements, a hassle if I’m in a hurry to go some were. Like a mobile phone all hearing aids should be rechargeable so they are always ready every morning.

    Customizing the hearing aids for your hearing loss is pretty simple for the audiologist just needs to run a program that allows them to adjust the amplification in each frequency band to correct for loss in that same frequency. The technician just adjusts each problem frequency until the whole band is indicating no loss or very little loss. Most of us have loss in the higher frequency bands and are the bands the audiologist boost up in your new aids. This is pretty simple technology but some companies make it sound like brain surgery. Also every hearing aid should be controllable from a mobile phone

    I have been using Costco Signature 6.0 brand hearing aids the last few years. I had to have special ear plugs because of the shape and depth of my ear canals at extra cost, but that would be true for any brand. They work OK but frequently I don’t wear them because I have to change the tiny batteries every three days or so and I have tremors in my hand and finger movements, a hassle if I’m in a hurry to go some were. Like a mobile phone all hearing aids should be rechargeable so they are always ready every morning.

    Customizing the hearing aids for your hearing loss is pretty simple for the audiologist just needs to run a program that allows them to adjust the amplification in each frequency band to correct for loss in that same frequency. The technician just adjusts each problem frequency until the whole band is indicating no loss or very little loss. Most of us have loss in the higher frequency bands and are the bands the audiologist boost up in your new aids. This is pretty simple technology but some companies make it sound like brain surgery. Also every hearing aid should be controllable from a mobile phone

    Robert Walshe

    Reply
    at 10:41 am

    I have had three sets of aids. The first, from my audiologist were $7000 and only lasted a couple of years. For set two, I bought 6 month-old Oticons on Ebay ($800) and paid my Audioligist 1500 to program and service for three years. My hearing got worse (family genetic problem) so I bought a pair of Starkey Muse (I am a musician) on Ebay for 1500 and just paid my audiologist 2000 for three years of service = about $3000 total. The only problem is the audiologist wants some type of new fee every three years! I am a vet, but not a combat veteran, so have not tried the VA yet.
    Robert in Ruidoso, NM

    I have had three sets of aids. The first, from my audiologist were $7000 and only lasted a couple of years. For set two, I bought 6 month-old Oticons on Ebay ($800) and paid my Audioligist 1500 to program and service for three years. My hearing got worse (family genetic problem) so I bought a pair of Starkey Muse (I am a musician) on Ebay for 1500 and just paid my audiologist 2000 for three years of service = about $3000 total. The only problem is the audiologist wants some type of new fee every three years! I am a vet, but not a combat veteran, so have not tried the VA yet.
    Robert in Ruidoso, NM

    David Simon

    Reply
    at 2:52 pm

    Fitting?? Adjustment??? What are you talking about? I just take them out of the box, choose the best ear size rubber end, and stick ’em in my ears! They work FINE. I don’t need ‘adjusting’ or fitting. You have a vested interest, I understand. But the online revolution has happened and you are way late to the party. I was quoted $7000 for a pair; I got the best Audicus aids for $1600. You can keep your fitting and adjustments!

    Fitting?? Adjustment??? What are you talking about? I just take them out of the box, choose the best ear size rubber end, and stick ’em in my ears! They work FINE. I don’t need ‘adjusting’ or fitting. You have a vested interest, I understand. But the online revolution has happened and you are way late to the party. I was quoted $7000 for a pair; I got the best Audicus aids for $1600. You can keep your fitting and adjustments!

    JD

    Reply
    at 11:40 am

    Wow, I have to say hearing aids are a lot cheaper here in Atlantic Canada! On average $1200-$2000 (base to mid level) per ear with all services in office covered for the lifetime of the hearing aid. Only charge would be if it had to go away for repair when out of warranty. I can’t believe people are quoted $6000-$10,000! That’s insane!

    Wow, I have to say hearing aids are a lot cheaper here in Atlantic Canada! On average $1200-$2000 (base to mid level) per ear with all services in office covered for the lifetime of the hearing aid. Only charge would be if it had to go away for repair when out of warranty. I can’t believe people are quoted $6000-$10,000! That’s insane!

    Jake

    Reply
    at 10:31 am

    I bought a DIA II from Audicus back in January of 2018. I took the on line test with a pair of high end earphones and am very happy with it. But my hearing does vary throughout the day and it took awhile to get acclimated to it. Even though the author has some valid points, I don’t think it’s worth it to pay such high prices for traditional hearing aids. I would suggest that before committing to the the high priced ones, try out Audicus first and then decide if it’s right for you or not.

    I bought a DIA II from Audicus back in January of 2018. I took the on line test with a pair of high end earphones and am very happy with it. But my hearing does vary throughout the day and it took awhile to get acclimated to it. Even though the author has some valid points, I don’t think it’s worth it to pay such high prices for traditional hearing aids. I would suggest that before committing to the the high priced ones, try out Audicus first and then decide if it’s right for you or not.

    Ralph A Panagrosso

    Reply
    at 6:57 am

    I ordered a set of Audicus hearing aids in Jan 2018. I took the hearing test 3 times and spent #1,178.00 for the hearing aids. Plus I have to purchase batteries, cleaning accessories and replacement domes (way over priced!) I wore them for 4 months and they were not performing as I expected. I stopped wearing them because for that price, I thought I would get a nice performing hearing aid. They are terrible! I did find out that I qualified for a set of ReSound LiNX 3D set thru the V.A. I had a real audiologist test me and I couldn’t believe the results. Yes, they are very expensive and I had the benefit of the V.A. to help me, but they are a world of difference. Bottom line: You get what you pay for. And “ALL” the supplies and batteries are free.

    I ordered a set of Audicus hearing aids in Jan 2018. I took the hearing test 3 times and spent #1,178.00 for the hearing aids. Plus I have to purchase batteries, cleaning accessories and replacement domes (way over priced!) I wore them for 4 months and they were not performing as I expected. I stopped wearing them because for that price, I thought I would get a nice performing hearing aid. They are terrible! I did find out that I qualified for a set of ReSound LiNX 3D set thru the V.A. I had a real audiologist test me and I couldn’t believe the results. Yes, they are very expensive and I had the benefit of the V.A. to help me, but they are a world of difference. Bottom line: You get what you pay for. And “ALL” the supplies and batteries are free.

    Susan

    Reply
    at 4:19 pm

    I am 60 years old and have been wearing hearing aids since I was 20 years old. I have had several pairs and my current pair was purchased in 2014 for $5,800. Tomorrow I will going for the “update”. I never thought of purchasing online. From my experience I have come to a few conclusions; first and foremost, the majority of the hearing impaired people I know, do not own hearing aid dryers! Very few audiologist suggest them because they can double the life of your hearing aids. If you don’t have one…do yourself a favor and get one.
    My hearing aids have progressively become more technical. I use main setting, phone setting (I don’t bother to change), a setting that filters out background noise (great for restaurants) and extra volume (lectures). My hearing loss is significant and I don’t see the for need more than four channels. I understand those who like having bluetooth for phone and tv, however, when you have bluetooth your hearing aids are paired to work together. You can’t downgrade this technology. So if there is a problem with one hearing aid, your second isn’t working effectively. In other words you would need to purchase new hearing aidS.
    While I definitely appreciate those four channels, I must admit that having a pair of hearing aids where you can just adjust the volume and they work independently, would be sufficient for me. I have always been able to distinguish the improvements with each new hearing aid, but I don’t think they are necessary. I think a lot of people are sucked into believing more is better.
    While I can afford the cost of “top of the line” hearing aids, I will no longer pay for them. I think the retail industry profit margins are way out of line. A large portion of their target market (the elderly) is the same as it was forty years ago when I started wearing hearing aids, yet their profit margins have increased to the point that the elderly feel they can’t afford them. I am willing to give Audicus a try. If you are wearing a behind the ear hearing aid with the receiver in your canal (RIC) and you have a hearing test (I would go local for this), why wouldn’t you try Audicus? Most of my previous hearing aids needed molds and those needed adjustments because of the occlution effect, which made my voice sound like I was inside a barrel. However, aside from feedback, a squeaking noise…WHAT NEEDS ADJUSTMENT.

    I am 60 years old and have been wearing hearing aids since I was 20 years old. I have had several pairs and my current pair was purchased in 2014 for $5,800. Tomorrow I will going for the “update”. I never thought of purchasing online. From my experience I have come to a few conclusions; first and foremost, the majority of the hearing impaired people I know, do not own hearing aid dryers! Very few audiologist suggest them because they can double the life of your hearing aids. If you don’t have one…do yourself a favor and get one.
    My hearing aids have progressively become more technical. I use main setting, phone setting (I don’t bother to change), a setting that filters out background noise (great for restaurants) and extra volume (lectures). My hearing loss is significant and I don’t see the for need more than four channels. I understand those who like having bluetooth for phone and tv, however, when you have bluetooth your hearing aids are paired to work together. You can’t downgrade this technology. So if there is a problem with one hearing aid, your second isn’t working effectively. In other words you would need to purchase new hearing aidS.
    While I definitely appreciate those four channels, I must admit that having a pair of hearing aids where you can just adjust the volume and they work independently, would be sufficient for me. I have always been able to distinguish the improvements with each new hearing aid, but I don’t think they are necessary. I think a lot of people are sucked into believing more is better.
    While I can afford the cost of “top of the line” hearing aids, I will no longer pay for them. I think the retail industry profit margins are way out of line. A large portion of their target market (the elderly) is the same as it was forty years ago when I started wearing hearing aids, yet their profit margins have increased to the point that the elderly feel they can’t afford them. I am willing to give Audicus a try. If you are wearing a behind the ear hearing aid with the receiver in your canal (RIC) and you have a hearing test (I would go local for this), why wouldn’t you try Audicus? Most of my previous hearing aids needed molds and those needed adjustments because of the occlution effect, which made my voice sound like I was inside a barrel. However, aside from feedback, a squeaking noise…WHAT NEEDS ADJUSTMENT.

      Ross Haber

      Reply
      at 7:34 am

      I have had three sets of hearing aids. The first were in the ear aids (Siemans) and they cost $ 5,800 for the pair. I never could adjust to them and after about 2 years I gave up. Then I bought a pair of inexpensive hearing aids as stop gap (Nanos–pure junk). Finally I bought the Audicus Wave last November at approximately $ 1700 for the pair. These hearing aids are wonderful, they work well, the blue tooth is phenomenal. My only regret is that bought the battery operated ones instead of the rechargeable. I average about three days between battery changes (not sure if that is good or bad). Anyway, I recommend these.

      I have had three sets of hearing aids. The first were in the ear aids (Siemans) and they cost $ 5,800 for the pair. I never could adjust to them and after about 2 years I gave up. Then I bought a pair of inexpensive hearing aids as stop gap (Nanos–pure junk). Finally I bought the Audicus Wave last November at approximately $ 1700 for the pair. These hearing aids are wonderful, they work well, the blue tooth is phenomenal. My only regret is that bought the battery operated ones instead of the rechargeable. I average about three days between battery changes (not sure if that is good or bad). Anyway, I recommend these.

    Gabriel Manea

    Reply
    at 7:57 am

    Hi! Came across this yesterday and sent my hearing test in and received a call back earlier today. The caller ID the call came from had a 313 area code which is Detroit, MI and I asked if they are local but was told they are in New York so, first alert, FAKE CALLER ID to make you think you are being called from a local company! Then talking to them, I was told that they are re-selling ?Hampoton? (not sure that is the name!) hearing aids made in Germany that many others sell for a higher price, so, they ARE NOT the manufacturer as the website led me to believe, they are just a hearing aide store like a myriad others! Very disgusted with these type of marketing techniques. The hearing aide market looks to me is a huge scam, full of misrepresentations, misinformation, lack of information and half truths.

    Hi! Came across this yesterday and sent my hearing test in and received a call back earlier today. The caller ID the call came from had a 313 area code which is Detroit, MI and I asked if they are local but was told they are in New York so, first alert, FAKE CALLER ID to make you think you are being called from a local company! Then talking to them, I was told that they are re-selling ?Hampoton? (not sure that is the name!) hearing aids made in Germany that many others sell for a higher price, so, they ARE NOT the manufacturer as the website led me to believe, they are just a hearing aide store like a myriad others! Very disgusted with these type of marketing techniques. The hearing aide market looks to me is a huge scam, full of misrepresentations, misinformation, lack of information and half truths.

    Perry White

    Reply
    at 7:56 pm

    Audicus offers an online hearing test. It seems similar to tests I took at UCD Audiology department. Seemed ok. Ten hours after taking the test, the results are still being calculated. Is it a real test or just a scam to hook a customer.

    Audicus offers an online hearing test. It seems similar to tests I took at UCD Audiology department. Seemed ok. Ten hours after taking the test, the results are still being calculated. Is it a real test or just a scam to hook a customer.

    Mona Horwitz

    Reply
    at 7:03 am

    Altho I was not able to use these hearing I must say this company seems to be very reputable .i returned them and within a couple of days they refunded my money. No questions asked!

    Altho I was not able to use these hearing I must say this company seems to be very reputable .i returned them and within a couple of days they refunded my money. No questions asked!

    dave

    Reply
    at 4:44 pm

    Just out of interest, I am a long time user of hearing aid technology. I have now had: 1) a pair of ‘in the canal’ aids that cost me $5000 many years ago and can longer be used with my loss profile 2) a pair of behind the ear $7000 aids that I was told 5 years ago were so technologically behind the times that I threw them away and now 3) a $9000 pair that are almost useless for the same reasons as #2 and are ready to be trashed. (I asked if I could donate them to a worthy recipient, send them to Nepal or something and nobody was interested….will advertise myself now!) I should note that costs quoted are $NZ.
    I and my son are about to order Audicus as we are coming to the USA and save on our local import taxes and freight. With the present exchange rates we will pay approx NZ$2800 each pair for the most advanced set with bluetooth etc. I have been quoted just over NZ$10,000 for the equivalent (1 x pair). I have already been told that all of our local clinics are now owned by subsidiaries of the major hearing aid manufacturers so locally I am only being directed /recommended to specific brands depending on the ultimate owner of that particular clinic.
    I am a businessman and this type of activity is called monopolisation, market manipulation, deception, price gouging or any other description depending on your mood. One reason Audicus began was due to their early research into the extremely low adoption rates for hearing technology directly attributable to cost.
    So here I go…….I can fly to the USA, pay for, pick up my aids, send them back multiple times for retuning AND have a holiday for the same price as the aids being hawked to me here.
    This is just plain wrong.

    Just out of interest, I am a long time user of hearing aid technology. I have now had: 1) a pair of ‘in the canal’ aids that cost me $5000 many years ago and can longer be used with my loss profile 2) a pair of behind the ear $7000 aids that I was told 5 years ago were so technologically behind the times that I threw them away and now 3) a $9000 pair that are almost useless for the same reasons as #2 and are ready to be trashed. (I asked if I could donate them to a worthy recipient, send them to Nepal or something and nobody was interested….will advertise myself now!) I should note that costs quoted are $NZ.
    I and my son are about to order Audicus as we are coming to the USA and save on our local import taxes and freight. With the present exchange rates we will pay approx NZ$2800 each pair for the most advanced set with bluetooth etc. I have been quoted just over NZ$10,000 for the equivalent (1 x pair). I have already been told that all of our local clinics are now owned by subsidiaries of the major hearing aid manufacturers so locally I am only being directed /recommended to specific brands depending on the ultimate owner of that particular clinic.
    I am a businessman and this type of activity is called monopolisation, market manipulation, deception, price gouging or any other description depending on your mood. One reason Audicus began was due to their early research into the extremely low adoption rates for hearing technology directly attributable to cost.
    So here I go…….I can fly to the USA, pay for, pick up my aids, send them back multiple times for retuning AND have a holiday for the same price as the aids being hawked to me here.
    This is just plain wrong.

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