If you have a TV, and chances are you do, you’ve probably seen the NANO hearing aids before. Few hearing aid companies buy as many commercials as this company. To me, that means it’s time for a better look at the NANO CIC hearing aids. Let’s see if they’re all that they promise to be.
Looking past the TV commercials, we’ll take a critical look at the NANO CIC hearing aids. First, I’ll highlight some key features for this model, then discuss how it works aside from those highlights. Before giving you a final buying recommendation, I’ll give you some alternative models that might be worth looking at.
If you’re not much of a reader, I always put a 30-second visual summary at the bottom of each review. You can find the NANO CIC review in bullet points at the bottom of this page, or see all those 30-second reviews at the overview page.
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The first important feature for the NANO CIC is its configuration. Being a CIC-model, these hearing aids are placed in your ear canal. This means they’re less conspicuous than traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids, but usually also come with fewer features. The same is true for the NANO CIC, which doesn’t offer advanced features.
A second key feature is that this NANO model is rechargeable. Again, this tracks with the industry standard for this type of hearing aid and the price point. You pop the aids themselves in a rechargeable travel case, and this case in turn charges the devices. Every charge gives you 16 hours of usage.
Who is this hearing aid for?
The NANO presents itself as an affordable alternative for prescription hearing aids. That’s a bit optimistic, as we’ve seen in other hearing aids around this price point, and as we’ll see below in more detail. Nevertheless, the NANO CIC targets people who can’t afford bona fide hearing aids.
How well does the Nano CIC work?
Like similar models, the NANO CIC has a limited range of features. Some of that is due to price, but CIC models generally have fewer features than the traditional BTE hearing aids. It lacks different listening programs, for example, which means it’s not as advanced as BTE models – not even BTE models in the same price range.
When it comes to other expectations, the Nano ticks most boxes. You get a 45-day money back period, a one year warranty, and free shipping. The company offers phone support, a payment plan, and an optional plan for an extra warranty.
What’s not to like about the Nano CIC?
The Nano CIC is an analog model. This means it doesn’t have the digital processing chip that has become commonplace in most hearing aids – even over the counter hearing aids like the Nano. There is a version with such a digital processing chip, which costs $100 more.
I’ve started this review for the Nano CIC with a comment about their TV advertisements. And while there’s nothing wrong with advertising hearing aids, Nano does take it too far. It’s currently being sued by the state of Vermont for providing misleading information, such as claiming results for people with hearing loss past moderate hearing loss – which would be untrue.
Now, I don’t take much stock in customer reviews (and here’s why), but when a company is sued for misleading information, I pay attention. Aside from strong marketing claims, other allegations include marketing to customers under 18, and problems with the return policy Nano uses. Customers who try to use the 45-day money back guarantee are instead offered a discount for future purchases. They’re not told that this forfeits their rights for the return they were promised.
Speaking of customer service, Nano offers an elite bundle that gives you extra coverage. That’s normal. This elite bundle includes no extended warranty, a 30% deductible and “free troubleshooting help over the phone as many times as you like during our business hours”. Those are terrible terms to begin with, but you shouldn’t need an ‘elite bundle’ to get free troubleshooting help as many times as you’d like.
Alternatives for the Nano CIC
The most obvious alternative for the Nano CIC is the MDhearing NEO. The devices share a similar setup, similar features, and even a similar price. Because the MDhearing NEO has a digital chip and a slightly better battery life, it’s the better device of the two.
If you’re simply looking for the best hearing aid under $300, I’d recommend considering the Neosonic B10. The B10 is a great budget hearing aid, but comes with more features than the Nano. Nano itself also offers other models, like the Nano Digital CIC, which offers better sound quality for an additional $100.
Should you buy the Nano CIC?
No. Stay away from these hearing aids. You can buy the MDHearing NEO for the same price and get the digital audio quality, a better battery life, and great US-based customer service. That’s really all the reasons you need. It’s like buying a boxy black and white TV without a remote instead of the usual flat screen for the same price – but without the nostalgia.
Frequently asked questions about the Nano CIC
The Nano CIC is available for $299 a pair.
Yes, qualified customers can use the payment installments offered through a third party.
You can buy an elite care bundle for $99, but you really shouldn’t. It doesn’t give you anything extra, but replaces your Nano hearing aids if they get stolen. Nobody will try to steal these, and if they get stolen, you won’t want new ones.
Yes, you can find the Nano X2 review here, and more reviews are coming.