Beltone Hearing Aids
Prices, reviews, models and more
The Beltone name is as close to a household name in the hearing aid industry as any brand is.
With over 1500 locations in the United States, Beltone is one of the industry’s undisputed leaders in name recognition.
But are Beltone hearing aids any good?
How about their prices?
Are their customers happy?
In this post we’ll touch on the above topics and more, and give you some things to think about before buying hearing aids from Beltone.
History of Beltone
Beltone’s story dates back to the 1930s, when founders Sam and Faye Posen were unsatisfied with the hearing aid technology at the time and wanted to create a better solution for a friend with hearing loss.
Their goal- develop a personalized and miniaturized hearing aid so their friend could hear the music of life come through “as clear as the tone of a bell”- hence the name Beltone.
In 1940, Beltone opened their first location in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Chicago-land based Beltone saw tremendous growth in the decades that followed, and today remains one of the industry’s most recognizable names, with products sold in over 40 countries.
Who makes Beltone hearing aids?
To oversimplify Beltone’s business- perhaps the easiest way to understand Beltone is as a network of hearing aid stores (franchises), which sell ReSound hearing aids under the Beltone brand.
Are Beltone hearing aids good?
A Beltone hearing aid is a private labeled ReSound hearing aid, and ReSound has an excellent worldwide reputation as a leader in hearing aid technology.
Most recently, ReSound has led the industry in Bluetooth hearing aid solutions.
Beltone and ReSound hearing aids are essentially the same products with different names.
Both hearing aid brands share the same physical housing, but sometimes there are slight differences between the hearing aid features and fitting-algorithms.
The relationship between Beltone and ReSound is similar to that of Miracle Ear (another nationwide chain of stores), and Signia (another leading manufacturer).
Most popular Beltone hearing aid model
As of August 2022, Beltone’s most popular hearing aid is the Beltone Imagine.
The Beltone Imagine is a receiver-in-canal (RIC) style hearing aid, that can be powered by either a rechargeable battery, or a size 13 or 312 disposable battery.
In the ReSound lineup, The Beltone Imagine is most similar to the ReSound One.
Both the Beltone Imagine and ReSound One are state of the art hearing aids that are suitable for a wide range of hearing losses.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the Beltone Imagine, is it’s innovative new receiver.
The receiver is the part of the hearing aid that goes into your ear canal, where the sound comes out.
You can also think of this as a "speaker."
With traditional hearing aids, there are (2) microphones (that capture sound), on the back of the hearing aid, and they then direct the sound down into the ear canal, via the receiver.
What's new about this receiver, is for the first time ever in the hearing aid industry, the speaker itself also has an (optional), microphone, which means there are a total of (3) microphones on the Beltone Imagine.
The primary benefit of adding this third microphone, is helping wearers localize the direction from which sound is coming.
To learn more about this new receiver, which Beltone calls "M&RIE" (microphone & receiver-in-ear), check out the video below.
Beltone hearing aid prices
Many Beltone locations are independently owned and operated by a franchisee, and pricing is not the same at each location.
Hearing aids from Beltone cost the same as other hearing aids on the market, which are priced based on technology level of the hearing aid.
As an average, you can expect Beltone prices to be as follows:
*Prices are per hearing aid, with local care included
As a reminder, Beltone hearing aid prices may vary from one location to the next, so prices you are quoted may be different than shown above.
Pros and cons of Beltone hearing aids
No retailer is perfect, and consumers are wise to research the pros and cons of buying Beltone hearing aids prior to buying.
- Lifetime service: Beltone offers free aftercare for their life of their hearing aids, at any of their over 1500 locations.
- Good technology: Because Beltone is owned by one of the most respected hearing aid manufacturers, you can rest assured that their technology is state of the art.
- Locked hearing aids: A “locked” hearing aid is a hearing aid that can only be programmed/adjusted by one clinic, in this case, a Beltone clinic. This limits your options if you are not happy with your local service provider and wish to be serviced elsewhere, as usually there is only one Beltone location in each community.
- You may pay extra for the brand name: Because Beltone franchisees are given exclusive access to their communities, and Beltone locations are usually located a good distance from each other, there is little-to-no pricing competition for a Beltone model between various locations.
- Limited selection (sometimes): Most Beltone hearing aid centers offer Beltone products exclusively, with no alternative brands available. This limited selection can be a bad thing when a customer has particular needs that can’t be met by a Beltone hearing aid.
Beltone hearing aid reviews
We know Beltone hearing aids are good.
What is up for debate, as is the case with any retailer, is how good each particular Beltone location is.
If you’re interested in buying Beltone hearing aids, the best thing you can do is search for reviews of your local Beltone hearing aid center.
Consumer Affairs rates Beltone a 4/5, as of October 2020, praising their wide selection, but noting that prices aren’t available online.
Retirement Living rates Beltone at 4.75/5 as of May 2020, highlighting Beltone’s lifetime service, but noting the potential for high costs.
Find a Beltone hearing aid center
Whether for sales or service, to find a Beltone hearing aid center near you, use this tool.
Before you buy a Beltone hearing aid, we recommend seeing how many Beltone hearing aid locations are near you, so in the event one store closes, you can receive service from another.
The potential for a store’s closure and subsequent lack of local service is a valid concern, so we recommend doing homework before making your purchase.
All in all, we think Beltone is a great option for many consumers and love their offering of lifetime service at any office, however, this may come at a high retail price.
Our best recommendation is to check the reviews for Beltone hearing aids in your community, and if intrigued, schedule a consultation with a hearing care professional so you can carefully weigh the price and quality of care at your local Beltone before making any decisions.
A question for you
Have you bought hearing aids from Beltone?
We’d love to hear how your experience has been with their hearing aids and your service provider, so please leave a comment!