Last summer, I gave up on hearing aids. I needed them, and tried those behind-the-ear ones, and didn’t like them, and then I got custom ear molds made so I could try completely-in-the-canal ones (CICs), but they too were a complete failure because my ear canals are so small.
I wrote about my coming to grips with needing hearing aids here:
And my experimentation with the behind-the-ear ones here:
Hearing Aids and My Favorite Martian.
And the sad ending of my journey when the CICs didn’t fit, here:
My Hearing Aid Journey Is Over
Since then, I have kept my ears open (sorry) for any new developments in the hearing aid world.
Then last fall, I got an oversized postcard in the mail from Verizon (my carrier) advertising that right there, in certain Verizon stores, I could try out Eargos— tiny, in-the-canal, practically invisible— hearing aids.
I had heard about Eargos before and had even done some research on them.
I was intrigued by their size. But I didn’t follow up because I didn’t want to order them only to find they didn’t fit.
But if I could just go to a Verizon store and try them? Yes. I wanted to do that.
So last month, a few weeks before Christmas, G and I went to the Verizon store in Rochester, NY, which is the closest Verizon store to me that had them.
We made a weekend out of it: put the dogs in the kennel, booked a hotel, and before hitting up the Verizon Store—which is housed in my favorite mall, the Eastview—I did some serious credit card damage at Athleta.
We had a great time, Eargos or no.
The Verizon store had a little Eargo kiosk, but the guy who asked me if I needed help confessed he didn’t know anything about them because they were so new.
Fortunately, I didn’t need his help; I just needed to put them in my ears and see if they fit.
Here’s what they looked like:
Here, for comparison, is what the Starkey CICs looked like:
I was so happy with how invisible they were. I ordered them when I got home.
Although they sell them in Verizon, you can’t put their cost on your Verizon bill or get a pair there. You have to go directly through Eargo.
I supposedly hit a Black Friday Sale, and they were $2450.00. The Starkey’s would have cost over $6000.00.
Eargos don’t have Bluetooth, though. Apparently, it’s Bluetooth that makes hearing aids swell in size and cost.
But for a mere $2450, I could have that hearing augmentation I was missing while I waited for the technology to catch up.
Now that I’ve been wearing them for over a month, here’s what I think:
- Cost. The cost is a third of regular hearing aids.
- Size. They are really small and discreet, though, for me, they still don’t fit the way they should. If you have normal to large ears, they’ll fit fine.
- Good customer service. When you buy them, you’re set up with a “Welcome Call” with an audiologist who will answer your questions. I had quite a few questions, and she was helpful and even adjusted mine over the phone. This improved my sound quality quite a bit.
- No Bluetooth. This might have been a deal breaker for me, but now I understand the Bluetooth jacks the price and the size.
- The fit. They are small but still not small enough for my ear canals. That pull string extends beyond my ear and catches on my hair, and I have had to rescue them before they fell out. When I told the audiologist, she said those strings shouldn’t extend out that far, and if they do, it means the Eargos don’t fit properly. They need to make a “child size” version, or ones for people with small ears.
- The sound quality, while good, is not as good as the Phonak behind-the-ear ones I road-tested for a month last summer.
- The App doesn’t allow for enough fine-tuning. The Phonak app was much more robust.
Overall, I think I would give them a B-minus.
I like them, but I don’t love them. I’m still waiting for technology to catch up.
What’s your experience with hearing aids? Do you like yours? Let me know if you do and why. I feel the hearing aid industry will explode in the next few years, and I am keeping my Eargo-enhanced ears open for any news and developments.
One thought on “I Got Eargo Hearing Aids And Here’s What I Think”
Kath, Denny here. I tried to post a long reply to your hearing aid post. It wouldn’t let me and the post disappeared. So, I do have a story to tell you. I’d like to talk if possible. Please try me tomorrow (570-404-7153).
Sent from my iPad