The Eargo Max hearing aids are this company’s base model. I hesitate to call it the cheap model, because its price of nearly $1,500 still makes it three times as much as the best hearing aid for the money in 2022. Eargo takes a special place in the hearing aid market between the more expensive prescription hearing aids and all the other non-prescription hearing aids I review on this site. Nevertheless, Eargo hearing aids have always delivered on their promise.
In this review for the Eargo Max, let’s find out if the same is true for their base model. It lacks some of the nice extras that their flagship model (the Eargo 6) offers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good model in its own right. Below, you’ll discover just how good it proves to be. We’ll discuss pros, cons, and alternatives before I give you a buying recommendation.
As always, you can find a 30-second review for the Eargo Max at the bottom of this post. To see how it compares to other models, have a look at the 30-second review page where every hearing aid is ranked.
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The first key feature of the Eargo Max is that it’s a CIC model: completely in canal. The easiest way to describe it, is to see it as a gadget James Bond might wear. However, instead of overhearing sinister plots to take over the world, the Eargo Max will let you hear conversations with your loved ones (and lets hope those conversations are different). This tiny device disappears completely in your ear.
Another key feature is the rechargeable case. As we’ve seen in other models, too, this rechargeable case in turn charges the hearing aids. This makes it easier to travel with the Max, and gives you 16 hours of use – charging the devices overnight will give you a full day of use.
Who is this hearing aid for?
The Eargo Max is pretty powerful, but seems to aim at first-time hearing aid buyers. These people usually have mild to moderate hearing loss. The design for the Eargo Max further tries to appeal to a new market, as the CIC models are nearly invisible. When it comes to service, price, and extras, Eargo as a brand is aimed at customers willing to spend a little more to get a little more, too.
One way the Max distinguishes itself from competitors is that you don’t need to set up the devices. There’s little more to it than putting them in your ears. People who are intimidated by the smartphone functionalities of other models but don’t want to compromise on quality might prefer the Eargo Max.
How well does the Eargo Max work?
You can switch the listening programs by tapping on your ear, and that’s all the control the Max gives you. The sound quality is excellent, but the lack of customization means you sometimes fall in between programs. More complex models will give you a better user experience in more complex situations (such as restaurants), but the sound depth is great.
Other than that, the Max is easy to operate. Changing the listening program (which is the only thing you can do) takes a double tap on your ear. You charge the devices by popping them into the case at night, which gives you 16 hours of usage.
What’s not to like about the Eargo Max?
I often describe Eargo as the Ferrari of hearing aids. Yes, they’re expensive, but you get a lot more for your money. I can’t say the same about the Eargo Max. The sound quality simply doesn’t warrant the higher price, and you’re stuck with the four different listening programs that Eargo has put together. While that’s common practice, for this money you should get more hearing aids. Even if they’re not self-fitting, they should be adjustable beyond simply selecting a program.
On top of that, the sound quality simply isn’t “Ferrari”. Again, it’s good, but it’s not that much better than great models that cost less than half. I understand the Eargo Max is a basic model and perhaps exists to make the rest shine, but that would mean you’re paying $1,500 to make the Eargo 6 look amazing.
Alternatives for the Eargo Max
As the Eargo Max is the base model for this company, there’s a risk of just listing alternatives that are more expensive and feature fancier versions. We’ll get there, but first, let me introduce some other models. The Neosonic MX Smart and Otofonix Groove are both better than the Eargo Max, but cost about half. Sounds great (and it is), but for someone looking for a true alternative, these BTE models might not be invisible enough.
In that case, you are resigned to the other Eargo models, such as the Eargo 6, its flagship model, the Eargo 5 (which is priced poorly to make the newer 6 look better) or the Eargo Neo. All of these are more expensive, but effectively tackle the problems the Eargo Max has.
In short, you can pick better value for money and a whole different model, or step up a price category (which means about a $1,000 increase in price).
Should you buy the Eargo Max?
Only if you’re set on the model type and the base quality. You can get CIC hearing aids for much less, but you’ll compromise so much on quality that you’re looking at a very different device. If you’re flexible in what your hearing aids will look like, the alternatives I’ve listed above give you better quality for less money. With that in mind, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the Eargo Max.
The Eargo Max is currently $1,450 on Amazon, but prices can change daily.
A single charge lasts around 16 hours.