Update: the best hearing aids 2022 edition is now available.
It’s an exciting time for hearing aids and hearing amplifiers. With the introduction of direct-to-customer hearing aids, the expected arrival of over-the-counter hearing aids and the technological advances in hearing amplifiers, the list of best hearing aids of 2021 looks a lot different than last year’s.
Simply put, the best (freely available) hearing aids have gotten a lot better, and a bit more expensive. Last year’s winner would have cost around $300 for a pair of hearing aids, whereas this year’s top pick is well over twice as much – but absolutely worth it. There’s more to choose from, the options are much better, and the gap between these available hearing aids and prescription hearing aids is excitingly narrow.
As a disclaimer: I’m using the term hearing aids as the informal name. Below, you’ll find no prescription hearing aids, but only personal hearing amplifiers and direct-to-customer hearing aids (hence the title ‘cheap hearing aids’). To the FDA, these are different types of hearing devices. To you, there is not that much of a difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers.
Just like last year, I believe the best hearing aid simply depends on your needs. That’s why I’ve listed five different categories (where hearing aids can win their ‘earwards’), where each category gets their own top pick. For even more detailed and personalized information on which hearing aids fit you best, take my quiz or send me an email. Now, let’s move on to the 2021 ‘earwards’ for best hearing aids in the following categories:
- Best value for money hearing aid
- Best hearing aid – editor’s pick
- Best budget hearing aid
- Best overall hearing aid
Another disclaimer: any links pointing to other websites might be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission when you decide to buy something after clicking the link. This doesn’t affect the price or my review.
Best value for money hearing aid: Neosonic MX-RIC
The best hearing aid of 2021 is the Neosonic MX-RIC. Whereas last year’s winner was a carefully balanced model that took price, features, and sound quality into consideration, there aren’t really any compromises with the Neosonic MX-RIC (although there are some exciting features missing).
The MX-RIC is the first seriously water-resistant model generally available, gives you a pair of rechargeable hearing aids with great sound quality, and dual microphones. On top of that, the Neosonic brand has a good reputation, and the model comes with a one year warranty and a 45-day trial period.
Read the full review for the Neosonic MX-RIC here.
Best hearing aid – editor’s pick: Neosonic B10
The Neosonic B10 is one of my favorite hearing aids. I like the traveling case that allows you to recharge your hearing aids without needing a cord or a USB port, it boasts an impressive 6 channels and 12 bands, and offers an incredible 50 dB peak gain, without compromising the sound quality.
Now, that doesn’t mean the Neosonic B10 is the world’s greatest hearing aid, but it has an impressive list of features that’s worth mentioning again. That impressive list of features combined with the price tag of under $300 makes the Neosonic B10 my top choice for this category.
Read the review for the Neosonic B10 here.
Best budget hearing aid for 2021: Banglijian BLJ-707
The Banglijian BLJ-707 also has a special place on this website. With this model, Banglijian shows you can still buy a pair of hearing amplifiers for under $200. For this price, you’re compromising on some extra features, but not as many as you may think.
The sound quality is up to date, the rechargeable case allows you to recharge your hearing aids up to five times, and rivals the key feature of the ZVOX VB25 and the Neosonic B10 (see above). Yes, these last models are better and have more to offer, but the Banglijian BLJ-707 gives you by far the most hearing per dollar.
Fun fact: its predecessor the Banglijian BLJ-109 won last year’s earward.
Read the full review for the Banglijian BLJ-707 here.
Best overall hearing aids: Otofonix Groove
The Otofonix Groove is an exciting model hearing aid. It follows the trend of offering a pair of rechargeable hearing aids with some extra features, but it also combines some of those features. You set up these hearing aids with your smartphone, allowing them to adjust to your personal hearing issues (up to moderate hearing loss). These hearing aids are also a size smaller than the previous generation, without giving up some of the unique benefits of a BTE hearing aid.
Now, all these features come at a price. With the price tag of nearly $ 1,000 (at this time), it’s not only the technological gap between prescription hearing aids and these freely available hearing aids. That makes these hearing aids technically the best (hence this ‘earward’, but not as exciting for everyone.
Read the full review for the Otofonix Groove here.
Aside from these best hearing aids in 2021, there are some other models worth a look:
- The ZVOX VB25 is the follow-up for the very popular ZVOX VB20. With the VB25, you get a traveling case, a pair of rechargeable batteries, and the cheapest model with a telecoil. If the Neosonic B10 is a Toyota Corolla, this is a Lexus with all fancy upgrades – and American-made.
- The Otofonix Helix 2021 is a neat upgrade from the previous version. This smaller edition gives you a pair of rechargeable hearing aids with premium sound quality from a reputable company for less than $600.
- The Banglijian Ziv-201 is still one of the favorites. It’s a baseline model, but it delivers without bells and whistles.
Lastly, let me give you some further reading material. Over 2020, these articles were most popular and will give you a better insight into finding the best hearing aids: