The Eargo NEO hearing amplifier promises to be a revolution in the hearing amplifier space. In a nutshell, Eargo has bridged the gap between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers. Although there are some differences between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers, the end result for most people is the same. With the Eargo NEO, you can buy a hearing amplifier (skipping the prescription) with hearing aid amenities. You get lifetime support, remote adjustments, great sound quality and amazing engineering quality.
Yes, the Eargo NEO is more expensive than many other hearing amplifiers, but it’s still cheaper than most hearing aids. The question of course is whether the Eargo NEO is worth all that money. Are these hearing amplifiers overpriced or do they truly offer that much more than their competition?
In this review for the Eargo NEO hearing amplifier, I’ll answer these questions. We’ll look at the key features of these devices, find out how well they work in practice, and discuss any downsides you may experience from wearing the NEO amplifiers on a daily basis. All my findings are summarized in a 30-second visual review, that can be found at the bottom of this page.
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Key features of the Eargo NEO Hearing Amplifier
The first key feature for these Eargo hearing amplifiers is that they’re remarkably small. This is due in part to the model type: completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing amplifiers are always smaller compared to other model types of hearing amplifiers.
While most smaller hearing amplifiers have a shared downside, the Eargo NEO has a clever way to escape it. Small hearing amplifiers have small buttons, making it harder to operate them. Most CIC models don’t have any listening programs or volume settings precisely for that reason. Not only does the Eargo NEO hearing amplifier offer those features, it is very easy to operate. By double-tapping your ear, you change the listening mode.
Another way to modify the device is through the lifetime support of licensed hearing professionals. By contacting Eargo, these professionals can remotely adjust your hearing amplifiers through a Bluetooth connection. Not only does this offer you hearing-aid quality adjustments, it even saves you a trip to a specialist – two awesome birds with one stone.
Lastly, these hearing amplifiers are fully rechargeable. They’re designed to be charged overnight. To do so, simply pop them in the case and let them charge while you sleep. This doesn’t just save you money on batteries, but also many trips at inconvenient times.
Fun fact: the Eargo NEO is listed in our post with the five best rechargeable hearing amplifiers.
Who is this hearing amplifier for?
The Eargo NEO is designed for people with high-frequency hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is common with old age. The severity of the hearing loss increases over time, and the Eargo can combat the first few stages of hearing loss, up to moderate to severe hearing loss.
There are more hearing amplifiers that can tackle moderate to severe hearing loss. None of them, however, have the complete package that the NEO offers. Coupled with its hefty price tag, the Eargo NEO is a device for people who want the very best and can afford it.
How well does the Eargo NEO Hearing Amplifier work?
The Eargo is specifically designed to focus on high-frequency sounds. A patented silicon-based design allows you to hear lower-frequency tones naturally, while amplifying high-frequency sounds. This results in a more natural listening experience.
The sound itself is of great quality and clarity. Because the Eargo NEO is pretty new (mid-2019), the technology allows you to hear crisp sounds in a more natural way than in other hearing devices. While you may (and should) expect great sound quality from a $2,000 pair of hearing amplifiers, it’s good to see you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, Eargo makes sure you are introduced to your hearing amplifiers in the best way. They let you know what to expect, how to modify your listening experience, and offer lifetime support. This includes the telehealth service, which allows you to get professional help from the comfort of your home.
What’s not to like about the Eargo NEO Hearing Amplifier?
So far it seems as if the Eargo deserves an epic poem for all its achievements. And this hearing amplifier truly shines in many different ways. That being said, there is a considerable drawback to getting the NEO. While the price is high, it is justified in the extra service, extra sound quality, and the impressive design. The problem arises when your Eargo NEO stops working.
Although you get lifetime support, the factory warranty only lasts a year. If you happen to need a replacement amplifier after that year, they will cost you around $400 per device ($800 a pair). While the Eargo NEO is definitely worth every penny of the $400, you could buy nearly any other hearing amplifier for that amount and have money left over. That underlines the idea that the Eargo NEO hearing amplifier is for people with a larger budget – people who can also afford the $400 replacements.
Another minor drawback is that the Eargo devices are rather high maintenance. While it’s good to regularly clean your hearing amplifiers, these CIC amplifiers need it just a little more. A daily two minute cleaning will prevent many problems down the road.
Hearing amplifiers that are good alternatives
It’s pretty hard to find an alternative for the NEO. It really offers a lot that other devices simply can’t offer, unless you’re looking into hearing aids proper. That being said, there are two hearing amplifiers that are also top-shelf quality in their own regard. They don’t come with lifetime support, remote help, and they’re not as sleek, but they’re still good alternatives.
The Otofonix Encore is the cream of the crop when it comes to regular hearing amplifiers. It was king of the hill before the Eargo NEO arrived. It boasts dual microphones, a great sound quality, a telecoil function, and comes from a reputable company.
With the ZVOX VB-20, you get very similar features. This model, too, has dual microphones, great sound quality, and a great company behind it. The telecoil feature is missing, but it does have a bluetooth app that helps you control and modify your listening experience. You can buy four or five pairs of these for the price of one pair of Eargo NEOs (prices fluctuate).
For a full list of alternatives, don’t forget to look at our rankings of all hearing amplifiers.
Should you buy the Eargo NEO Hearing Amplifier?
If you have the budget, you definitely should. The Eargo NEO gives you nearly everything a hearing aid has to offer for the price of a really expensive hearing amplifier. Technically, they are the best hearing amplifiers you could possibly buy. The lifetime support and remote help, as well as the overall customer experience, are all worth the money. You could even argue that when you can afford the Eargo NEO, it shouldn’t be an insurmountable problem that the replacements are annoyingly expensive.
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