The Linner Nova hearing aid by Linner Life has a long list of promises that don’t all make sense. The Linner Nova is touted as the ‘antibacteria hearing aid’ – a statement that didn’t compute at first. Then there’s the longer list of accomplishments: great noise filtering, water resistant hearing aids, dual microphones and futuristic features.
It’s a lot to promise for a hearing aid under $300. So let’s dial down the marketing excitement and take a thorough look at the Linner Nova. Is this hearing aid as good as it thinks? Are there any downsides? And if so, what alternatives are available?
We’ll answer all these questions below, and then some. If you’re not much of a reader, feel free to skip ahead to the visual 30-second summary at the end of this post.
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The Linner Nova hearing aids look like a set of normal wireless earbuds, like Apple’s AirPods. Linner calls this a discreet appearance, but I always feel it just looks like you’re listening to music. Either way, the configuration is very much unlike the typical hearing aid, which can be a plus or a downside depending on your preferences.
Like most other comparable models, the Linner Nova comes in a charging travel case. Charging this case allows you to recharge your hearing aids a few times. What’s even fancier is that the case has a built-in UV-C lamp, which sanitizes your hearing aids on the go.
A second key feature for the Nova is that it connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth, allowing you to change sound settings and stream sound from your phone. This allows you to listen to music or take calls straight from your hearing aid.
Lastly, there’s a neat little gadget that the Linner Nova comes with. A special connect puck allows you to plug this extension into your TV and hear the audio straight from your hearing aids. It’s a great alternative to blasting the TV volume, and gives you better sound than picking up the environment sound coming from the TV.
Who is this hearing aid for?
I feel the Linner Nova is aimed at a younger crowd than the typical hearing aid. First of all, the Nova is designed like the typical hearing buds that connect to your phone. Second, it offers features that focus on listening to music. On top of those two characteristics, the price also sets this Linner hearing aid apart from the competition.
How well does the Linner Nova work?
Aside from the key features that distinguish the Nova from its competitors, there’s the usual list of bells and whistles: dual microphones, noise filtering technology, feedback suppression, and four sound modes to choose from. All these are standard in over the counter hearing aids, but it’s important that they’re all there.
Battery-wise the Linner Nova impresses, too. You can use a wireless charger (not included) to charge the case, which is a neat feature. Charging for 6 hours gives you 40 hours of usage time, although I’m willing to wager that number drops down quickly when you’re streaming a lot.
Customer service is average. The Nova comes with a 30-day return window, which is less than the 45 days I like to see, and a one-year warranty, which is the industry average.
What’s not to like about the Linner Nova?
I’m not a fan of the website. And not just from an aesthetic perspective. Some of the information is unclear at first, and the reviews make no sense. One of the prominent reviews mentions that they’ve been a wearer for 10 years, although the company hasn’t been around for about seven years (and they didn’t sell hearing aids then).
Alternatives for the Linner Nova
The configuration of the Linner Nova means that there are a few real alternatives. First of all, there’s the cheaper Linner Lite. In the same price range as the Nova, there’s the BT Pods and BT Omni. These devices look roughly the same and share about the same characteristics. All these models allow streaming audio from your smartphone to your hearing aids. The BT Pods are the only ones that don’t also allow you to customize sound from your phone.
In a drastically different price range, there’s the fancy Olive SmartEar Plus. These hearing aids are quite some levels above the Linner Nova in about every aspect, but also cost about three times as much. For an entirely different model that allows streaming audio to your hearing aids, you can try the Lucid Hearing Engage, available as a rechargeable model or one with conventional batteries. Lastly, there’s the Sony CRE-C10, which offers a similar experience to these two, but has a better battery life.
Should you buy the Linner Nova?
If you’re deciding between the BT Pods, the BT Omni or this model, I’d pick the Linner Nova. It’s a good deal for a pair of hearing aids with some fancy features. At the same time, it has some shortcomings. The customer service and supporting company isn’t on the same level as the more reputable companies listed on this website, but if you’d rather have a good deal than a great customer experience, that might be worth it. At the same time, the Linner Nova is no bona fide alternative for the $500+ hearing aids on this website – even if it offers a feature they don’t have.
Frequently asked questions about the Linner Nova
The Linner Nova is $299 before tax. There’s a 10% military discount.
Yes, there is a monthly payment plan subject to approval. You can also use your HSA or FSA to pay for the Linner Nova.
The Linner Nova comes in a UV cleaning charging case. The Linner Connect, a gadget that allows you to connect the hearing aids directly to your TV, is also included in the full package.