If you or a loved one has hearing loss due to aging, injury, noise exposure or disease, chances are hearing aids will help. The device you choose should be comfortable, simple to use and improve your hearing. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best hearing aids in Baltimore so it’s easier to listen, communicate and participate in daily activities.
Benefits of hearing aids for kids, seniors and adults
More than 1.2 million Marylanders are deaf or hard of hearing, according to the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Hearing loss is most common among older males, but it can affect people of all ages and genders.
Many people with hearing loss experience improvement wearing hearing aids. These electronic, battery-powered devices use a microphone, amplifier and speaker to send louder sounds to the user’s ear, making it easier to hear.
Hearing aids in Baltimore have many benefits for kids, seniors and adults. They include:
Better physical, mental and cognitive health
Reduced tinnitus symptoms
What types of hearing aids are available in Baltimore?
Hearing aids on the market today are digital rather than analog, allowing them to do complex processing and deliver sound that is based on the user’s needs and environment.
Hearing aid styles
Behind the ear (BTE)
Rests behind the ear with a tube connecting to an earmold or earpiece
Works for all degrees of hearing loss; good for children
Most noticeable type of hearing aid
Like BTE, except smaller behind the ear and a thinner tube; variations include open fit, receiver in the ear and receiver in canal
Less visible than BTE; less plugged-up sensation in ear
Earwax can interfere with speaker
In the ear (ITE)
Custom-fit in outer part of ear
Available with high number of features; easy to handle
Wind noise; earwax can interfere with speaker
In the canal (ITC)
Custom-fit partly in ear canal
Second-least visible type of aid; more features than CIC
Smaller battery and fewer features than ITE
Completely in the canal (CIC)
Custom-fit entirely in ear canal
Most discreet type of aid
Low number of features; less amplification power than other aids
Hearing aids are not the same as hearing amplifiers, also called personal sound amplifiers. Although hearing amplifiers are less expensive than hearing aids, you should not use these devices as a substitute for hearing aids. Hearing amplifiers can make hearing loss worse for those who are hard of hearing, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
How to choose a hearing aid in Baltimore
There are many factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid in Baltimore. These include:
Your degree of hearing loss (e.g., mild, moderate, severe, profound)
Recommendation from a hearing care professional
Comfort and fit
Warranty coverage and length
Included services (e.g., annual hearing test, adjustments)
As hearing aid technology has advanced, so have feature options. Popular hearing aid features include:
Multiple frequency channels
Direct audio input
Getting a hearing aid test and fitting
A hearing aid test and fitting is the process of diagnosing hearing loss and, if appropriate, selecting a hearing aid. Under state law, audiologists, hearing aid dispensers and medical doctors are allowed to fit hearing aids in Baltimore.
During testing and fitting, your hearing care professional will evaluate your hearing loss and determine if hearing aids will help. The professional will help you choose a hearing aid, program it and show you how to use it and take care of it.
During testing and fitting, get answers to these questions:
What type of hearing loss do I have, and how severe is it?
Do you recommend wearing one or two hearing aids?
What brands/models do you recommend and why?
What features are right for my lifestyle?
What is included in the price of the hearing aid?
What can I expect when I first starting wearing the hearing aid?
Whom do I contact if there are problems?
In Maryland, hearing aid purchasers have at least 30 days to try hearing aids. If you aren’t satisfied for any reason after purchasing a hearing aid in Baltimore and you return the device within 30 days, you are entitled to a full refund, less a percentage for services. Read your contract carefully before purchasing, as refunds can exclude as much as 20 percent of the sales price.
How much do hearing aids cost in Baltimore?
Hearing aids in Baltimore generally cost $1,000 - $4,000. The price usually includes the testing and fitting, a warranty lasting one to three years and services like annual hearing tests, cleanings and adjustments.
Fully insured health plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and nonprofit health services in Maryland are not required to cover hearing aids for adults but are required to provide some coverage for hearing aids for children up to 18. Self-insured health plans may have no coverage for adults or children. Check your individual plan to find out if you have hearing benefits.
Hearing aid sellers often have financing options. The State of Maryland has a list of hearing aid financial assistance resources.
Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
Medicare doesn’t cover hearing exams or hearing aids. Some Medicare Advantage plans may include hearing benefits.
Children and adults with Medicaid in Maryland have hearing aids coverage.
Eargo makes comfortable, natural-sounding, rechargeable hearing aids for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. Customers don’t need to see an audiologist before calling or ordering and get a 45-day trial period. Eargo users love how their hearing aids are almost invisible and say their hearing has improved significantly.
Miracle-Ear has over 70 years of experience in the hearing aid industry. Devices come with leading digital technology, a three-year warranty and lifetime checks, adjustments, repairs and annual hearing tests. Customers in Baltimore say their Miracle-Ear hearing aids have made their lives better and recommend them to others.
Zounds’ four hearing aid models come with features including unmatched sound quality, rechargeable batteries, noise cancellation and remote control. Customers can pay with monthly financing and get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Reviewers say Zounds aids are easy to use and dependable.
Beltone has been helping people hear better for almost 80 years. The company offers seven different models, each of which includes a one-year warranty, two-year protection for change in hearing loss and lifetime service. Customers give five-star reviews for the professional and personalized service at Beltone’s three Baltimore-area locations.
ReSound Hearing Aids
ReSound’s hearing aids, apps and wireless accessories improve hearing in all sorts of environments and situations. Baltimore customers can contact ReSound for help finding a hearing care professional. Many reviewers are happy with their hearing aids from ReSound, but some have needed repairs or replacements.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids, sells its devices in over 100 countries. Baltimore residents can request a no-obligation trial of Widex products, including EVOKE, marketed as the “world’s first truly smart hearing aid.” Widex gets mixed reviews for customer satisfaction.