What are the Best OTC Hearing Aids?

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
What are the Best OTC Hearing Aids?

OTC hearing aids are very effective in helping those with mild to moderate hearing loss regain their hearing. But with the OTC hearing aid market growing and many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are the right choice. In this article, you’ll learn several key features to look for to ensure you select the best OTC hearing aids for you.

Specific Features of the Best OTC Hearing Aids

If you're looking to purchase OTC hearing aids, make sure the ones you choose have these features:


First and foremost, the OTC hearing aids you choose should be affordable. After all, of the most significant benefits of OTC hearing aids, is they reduce financial barriers that are commonly associated with prescription hearing aids. There are several high-quality options available online that are priced under $600, so there’s no longer a need to spend thousands of dollars.

Nearly Invisible

Hearing aid technology and design have significantly advanced in the last few years, allowing for smaller and more discreet designs. Two popular designs include Behind-the-Ear (BTE) OTC hearing aids, which sit behind the ear, and Completely-in-Canal (CIC) OTC hearing aids, which fit entirely inside the ear canal. Both are far less noticeable than traditional hearing aid styles.

FDA Registered, Class I

OTC hearing aids that are FDA Registered, Class I means they are real hearing aids, are considered a medical device and are generally safe to use when compared to higher-classified hearing aid devices. Other classifications might contain risks such as excessive amplification of sound or the development of tinnitus (a ringing sensation in the ears).

FDA Registered, Class I OTC hearing aids ultimately provide users with less risk of harming the ears and therefore an overall safer experience.

Background Noise Reduction Technology

Background noise reduction technology can be a key component for OTC hearing aids to reduce background noise and therefore, make it possible for individuals to hear more clearly.

Adjustable Volume

There should be multiple settings for you to adjust the volume to the best volume for your needs.

Customizable Ear Tips

OTC hearing aids aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all, which is why it’s important to look for ones that contain customizable ear tips. By having multiple dome sizes to choose from, you are more likely to find a fit that is comfortable for your ears.


OTC hearing aids that use a portable charging base (rather than batteries) make them extremely convenient. At the end of each day, you can place the hearing aids on their charging dock and leave them to charge overnight. This eliminates the hassle of needing to purchase and replace disposable batteries, saving you time and money.

Warranty and Protection Plan Options

By choosing OTC hearing aids that offer a protection plan or warranty option, you’ll get financial protection, extended coverage, and enhanced support. These plans often cover things such as accidental damage and loss/theft and ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your hearing aids for an extended period of time.

Easy to Use

Last but not least, OTC hearing aids should be intuitive and straightforward for every user. For example, Nano OTC hearing aids can be turned on with the simple push of a button. Then all you need to do is place them in your ears and adjust the volume as needed. While it might feel strange for your ears and brain when first wearing hearing aids, this feeling typically subsides after several days.

The exact fit of your Nano OTC hearing aids will depend on which type you purchase.

With the Nano CIC Digital Recharge OTC Hearing Aids and the Nano CIC Recharge OTC Hearing Aids, the ear domes should be placed far enough into the ear canal so that the hearing aid is flush with the outside of your ear.

With the Nano X2 Recharge OTC Hearing Aids and Nano Sigma Plus Bluetooth OTC Hearing Aids, the ear domes should be placed fully into the ear canal, with the device placed behind the ear.

OTC hearing aid

What are the Requirements to Buy OTC Hearing Aids?

The only requirement to purchase an OTC hearing aid is that you are 18 years old or older. Unlike a prescription hearing aid, there is no hearing test required or medical exam needed, and therefore not necessary to visit a doctor to purchase them.

OTC hearing aids are designed for those with mild hearing loss to moderate hearing loss. This can include symptoms such as difficulty hearing conversations with loud backgrounds, feeling tired from listening, difficulty hearing someone on the phone, and regularly needing to increase the volume on the TV.

OTC hearing aids are not intended for those with severe hearing loss, which can include difficulty hearing conversations even in quiet environments and being unable to hear loud noises. If you think you might have severe hearing loss or significant issues with your hearing health, you should consider consulting with a hearing specialist or your primary care doctor. They’ll be able to provide you with specific guidance and support based on your needs and might suggest various tests (including an online hearing test).

The above features are all important when shopping for the best OTC hearing aid. By researching reputable OTC hearing aid manufacturers and following the above guidelines, you can find affordable, effective, high-quality solutions to address your hearing loss.

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