Otofonix Hearing Aid Reviews
Not technically a hearing aid, but they can still help you hear
In 2009, the FDA created a class of electronic devices called Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). These devices “are intended to amplify environmental sound for non-hearing impaired consumers.” The original products available in this class were very basic. However, over the years, the technical specs and developments of these products have made them true over-the-counter hearing aids.
I recently had the opportunity to review the Sona, the highest technology hearing aid from Otofonix. This company was founded by a retired Otolaryngologist (ENT) who wanted to provide more affordable options for people with hearing loss. In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about these devices, including costs, features, mobile apps, and how they stack up to the competition
What’s New With Otofonix: Otofonix is currently running a major sale on all of their devices. You can save up to 74 percent with this deal!
How Does Otofonix Compare?
Otofonix may not be the most well-known hearing aid brands, but it still offers competitive prices and products that are on par with most other OTC providers. However, if you are not impressed with what Otofonix has to offer or just want to see what else is out there, you still have plenty of other great options. Check out the best OTC hearing aids we have reviewed below.
Unboxing the Otofonix Devices
I was quite impressed with the overall build quality and packaging of Otofonix’s devices. The Sona fits into the slim tube behind-the-ear (BTE) category of hearing devices. This means that the electronics sit just behind the ear, and the amplified sound travels down a small, thin tube to a silicone “dome” in the ear canal. It’s important to note that Otofonix currently only offers BTE devices, so if you’re leaning towards an in-the-ear over-the-counter hearing aid, I’d recommend considering Eargo’s three in-the-ear devices. They are all small, discreet, and similar in price to Otofonix.
We’ll take a look at my unboxing experience with Otofonix below.
Quick Tip: To learn more about the different styles of hearing aids from behind-the-ear to in-the-canal, visit our 2023 hearing aid buyers guide.
|Unboxing the Otofonix Hearing Amplifier|
Pricing and Features for Otofonix Products
The Sona uses a #13 Zinc-Air battery and is comparable in size and build quality to most mid-level devices from leading hearing aid manufacturers. The Sona costs $1,490 per pair. For comparison, Otofonix prices fall right into the mid-tier price range for the market. There are a few cheaper options out there, including MDHearing, which offers BTE and in-ear models for just a few hundred dollars per pair. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, check out our MDHearing pricing guide.
Quick Tip: Check out our list of this year’s best hearing aids to compare Otofonix to other top options.
The Sona’s key features include Bluetooth compatibility, “adaptive” technology, and what they call customized hearing. These features will come in handy for seniors who want a device that can be controlled and adjusted from your phone.
After unboxing the devices, I installed the smartphone app and ran through the app-based hearing test, which is delivered through the hearing aids. I like this “in-situ” test because it takes the patient's ear canal acoustics into account when testing. If you have results from a recent standard audiogram, you can also input them into the app.
The app provides a nice interface to adjust volume and select between the four preset programs (Conversation, Restaurant, Traffic, and Outdoor). These programs are designed to address the needs of the average user as they move throughout their day. Below are screen captures I took while using the app. Overall, I found that the app was straightforward, and my test results were easy to interpret.
|Using the Otofonix App|
Overall, the Sona is best for those with mild or moderate hearing loss and users who want a BTE device with advanced OTC features.
In addition to the Sona, Otofonix offers the Groove ($1,590 per pair), the Helix ($1,390 per pair), the Encore ($790 per pair), the Elite ($790 per pair), and the Apex ($496 per pair). All models have directional microphones, noise reduction, and digital sound processors. The Encore and Helix models have a telecoil that allows users to access hearing loops and other inductance systems, making them best for those who enjoy events in venues like concerts or movies at the theater.
Warranty, Returns, and Customer Service
All Otofonix devices have a one-year warranty and a 45-day money-back return option. Hearing aids typically take some getting used to, so it’s nice to have the warranty and return window. This is pretty average for the industry; however, a few OTC providers offer more extensive coverage. For example, Jabra Enhance has a three-year warranty and 100-day free trial. You can check out our Jabra Enhance review to learn more.
The Otofonix website provides a comprehensive FAQ page and a nice collection of captioned videos that address potential customers' most common problems and questions. Users can purchase replacement domes, tubes, and batteries on their website as well.
Otofonix offers an additional one or two-year protection plan for $119 or $178 up front, respectively, covering damages, but I could not see any coverage for loss on their site. This may not be a deal-breaker, but is something to consider, especially if you’re known for misplacing your devices. No judgment here; we’ve all been there!
Final Thoughts on Otofonix
At the end of the day, Otofonix is worth a look, assuming you keep your expectations in line with what the product offers. I also see Otofonix as a great “gateway” device to give the right person a positive value experience with simple hearing improvement who will then “upgrade” to a more advanced hearing aid as they get back out into the world.
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