Today, countless people around the world refer to electronic and digital hearing aids as “Nano hearing aids”. This is due to the popularity of an industry leader, Nano, that became synonymous with hearing aids. There are in fact several brands that produce and sell hearing aids globally, which ought to be distinguished from the Nano brand, as we will share below.
Before consumers can really choose the best hearing aids, it is good to understand what academic research says about the latest developments – and how brands are innovating to stay ahead. Below we will cover some of the most important research findings, along with details on some of the best hearing aid providers in the US. The US government (FTC) also issued guidelines to consumers in this regard.
- 1 Reviews of Nano Hearing Aids
- 2 Reviews of Costco Hearing Aids
- 3 Reviews of MD Hearing Aids
- 4 Avoiding hearing aid Scams
Starting with NANO hearing aids:
Nano started in 2017 and has become one of the leading online retailers for the hearing aid industry. One of their founders was inspired to start the company after experiencing the difficulty his grandmother had with her expensive hearing aids. The company aims to help millions of Americans struggling with hearing problems to be able to afford a great product at a fraction of the costs it is currently being sold as.
They have worked tirelessly with engineers to create a variety of hearing aids at affordable prices due to cutting out the middleman. They offer four different hearing aid options that should cover the needs of most Americans looking for a product to improve their quality of life. The company is so confident in their product that they provide a 45 day money back guarantee. For reviews from some of their happy customers. Today they rank consistently in the news among some of the most sought-after health gadgets in the US.
Reviews of Nano Hearing Aids
1. The new Nano SIGMA
The Nano SIGMA is one of the best selling hearing aids from Nano. It is a wireless hearing aid that can easily be controlled with a smartphone device. It pairs easily via bluetooth and comes with four different sound settings for:
● Conversations and all round sound
● Restaurants which provide more noise reduction
● Watching TV
The Nano SIGMA is also customizable in terms of its frequency settings and has easy volume control capabilities. These functions can also be automated by taking an easy hearing test which will adjust the settings to suit the users needs.
The locally manufactured chip used in the SIGMA is the same chip used my many Audiologists use, but at a fraction of the cost. The chip is called the “Audion 4” and is manufactured by Minnesota based company Intricon.
The great thing about this hearing aid is that it is small and compact making it nearly invisible behind the ear. It provides comfort and the fit can accommodate users that wear prescription glasses. Consumer reviews of NANO hearing aid devices are largely positive.
2. The Nano X2 Recharge
The Nano X2 is fully rechargeable and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. The device takes approximately 3 hours to recharge. This means that you will never have to buy batteries again which is a great cost saver. As with the SIGMA the design is compact which makes the device nearly invisible. It also comes with 4 earbud sizes to ensure that the user has the correct fit.
It has the same microchip technology as the SIGMA and has two directional microphones each. Most hearing aids, even some of the more expensive products only come with one microphone making this a great added feature. The X2 come with 4 sound settings:
● One-on-one conversations
● Watching TV
● Restaurants with extra noise reduction
● Outdoors with even more noise reduction
Additional features include a low battery warning system and the volume controls can easily be adjusted.
3. The Nano X2
Taking into consideration the affordable price, the Nano X2 is one of the most powerful hearing aids on the market. This device has advanced noise reduction capabilities meaning that even in the loudest environments it performs incredibly well.
It also comes with 4 sound features that enable you to select the right function for the environment you are in. Again the device has the standout feature 2 powerful directional microphones that makes hearing softer voices or subtle noises much easier to hear.
With the Nano X2, it is possible to become independent again and enjoy family gatherings and outings.
4. The Nano RX2000
As the entry level product from Nano, it still provides the user with a range of features as well as excellent value. The device is rechargeable saving a large amount of cash not having to purchase batteries. The device can be charged by using a USB cord and only takes 2 hours charging time which then provides up to 16 hours of battery life.
The noise reduction technology will enable the user to experience a better quality of hearing. The device allows for 2 sound features enabling the user to choose a setting depending on the environment.
Reviews of Costco Hearing Aids
1. Kirkland Signature 9.0
The Kirkland available at Costco comes with bluetooth capabilities. The device is also able to stream TV directly via Bluetooth, however it might be necessary to purchase an additional device if your TV is not compatible.
It is easy to use when connected to a smartphone and it is possible to answer a call by touching a button on the device. The volume can also be controlled via the smartphone. There are however some users who have struggled with the connection feature.
The hearing aid will automatically adjust the sound settings depending on the environment of the user. Many users find though that the sound is not consistent and also there are some concerns about the fit of the earbuds.
Looking at some of the customer service reviews, the company does not score well with customers who have tried to purchase, adjust or return items.
Reviews of MD Hearing Aids
1. The MDHearingAid Pro
This device comes with only two sound settings that are not customizable. This model also has some noise reduction capabilities, but it is not recommended for environments that are loud. Talking on the phone or watching TV is mostly what this device is used for.
Compared to other devices at this price point, it falls short in terms of performance.
2. The MDHearingAid Air
The Air has a lot better noise reduction capabilities than the Pro entry level model and should be able to function even in noisy environments. It comes with 4 sound settings that cover quiet, social and noisy environments.
The design is small and compact making it nearly invisible and their moulded earbuds should provide a comfortable fit.
Unfortunately this product is not rechargeable which means some additional costs having to purchase batteries.
3. MDHearingAid Volt
The Volt is a rechargeable device and comes with dual microphones. The hearing aid has advanced noise reduction capabilities utilising the dual microphone function for noise reduction and hearing capabilities.
The Vault’s feedback cancelling technology means no whistling sound when the user is active, hugging or putting on a hat. The volume can be easily controlled or the device has 4 sound settings depending on the environment. The device is good for active users, watching TV, Noisy environments or on-on-one conversations.
It unfortunately has no bluetooth capabilities.
4. MDHearingAid Core
The top of the range hearing aid connects to a smart device where settings can be personalized through the use of an app. The app is available on both IOS and Android devices.
The device can adapt to the environment automatically with 4 audio settings and also features 2 directional microphones. It enables the device to have smart noise reduction capabilities.
It caters for almost all environments as the users hearing settings can be customized. At this price point however, the Nano Sigma is a better option.
Avoiding hearing aid Scams
There are plenty of hearing aids on the market at different price points. It is important to take your time when shopping for the perfect product. Try to avoid vendors that do not offer a return policy or trial period. It should be easy to return the product if it is faulty or does not meet the standard required.
Many articles will also point out not to buy a hearing aid through an online seller. In many cases this may be true, but not in the case of Nano. They are the #1 online hearing aid seller and the reviews by their many satisfied customers are an indication of the excellent quality of their products.
Another scam to watch out for is pushy seller tactics. A legitimate seller will never push a client to buy a product. They will be patient, listen to the buyers requirements and recommend the best product. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Academic research on Hearing Aids
There have been many research papers done on hearing aids and the cost effectiveness thereof. One such paper is the “Opening the Market for Lower Cost Hearing Aids: Regulatory Change Can Improve the Health of Older Americans” by Jan Blustein MD, PhD, and Barbara E. Weinstein PhD.
According to their research, even though the cost of electronics have dropped significantly, many manufacturers have special agreements with private practitioners regarding pricing structures. This makes it very difficult for the consumer to be able to compare prices. The article further continues to state that the pricing tactics block the consumers choices and does not support innovation, competition or a choice selection for the consumer.
Looking at all the data and research, it is clear that the hearing aid market is overpriced in the private practise sector. Companies such as Nano, provide Americans with quality hearing aids at the fraction of the price as they do not have to navigate through a middle man.
This does not mean that the product can’t compete with the more expensive models. In fact, it makes hearing aids more accessible and affordable especially to the older community whom a large chunk are already living on a tight budget.