With so many new hearing aids on the market, it’s only natural that people in the area call us to ask about the differences between buying certain brands of hearing aids online rather than buying the brands we offer from us.
We understand. Sometimes our budget dictates all our decisions. But we all like to make our decisions based on good information, too, so that is what we hope to lay out for you here.
Comparisons to Consider
Here at the Hearing Center MCC, we offer the following:
Our primary commitment, regardless of the treatment option or device selected, is to provide continuous follow-up care, build your confidence, and deliver the highest standard of hearing healthcare you can expect to find in the Pensacola community.
- Qualified audiologists – We have six audiologists and three ENT specialists available and partnerships with staff and resources at the Medical Center Clinic. Lively has qualified audiologists and audiology assistants.
- No-obligation initial consultation – with an audiologist at The Hearing Center or an audiology assistant or audiologist at Lively.
- Comprehensive hearing assessment – Take an in-person hearing assessment with us that could include:
- Physical observation – for wax buildup, inflammation, growths, or eardrum damage
- Pure-tone diagnostic assessment – transmitting different tones and frequencies through headphones.
- Speech testing – identifying your speech reception threshold and word understanding ability in quiet and noise
- Tympanometry testing – a puff of air to assess fluid on the ear, perforated eardrum, and more
- Acoustic reflex tests – evaluating how the middle ear reacts to sounds
An online hearing test with Lively will not necessarily test your hearing properly, and it cannot perform most of the tests above.
- In-person, local care – from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. Unavailable with Lively as all their services are online.
- Locally owned and operated – supporting local businesses. Not so with Lively.
- Virtual appointments – Communicate directly with your hearing care provider on your cell phone, computer, or tablet with tele-audiology. Also available with Lively.
- Online reviews – We have a 5/5 rating on Google and a 4.6/5 on Facebook. Lively doesn’t seem to have a Google rating, but they have a rating of 4.4/5 on retirementliving.com and a 4/5 on innerbody.com.
Hearing aid choices
- Rechargeable options – one choice available from both Lively and multiple options from The Hearing Center.
- Choice of different levels of technology – We offer many types of hearing aids. Lively only have one choice available for either their rechargeable or battery-powered hearing aid. The Hearing Center at Medical Center Clinic has access to the most advanced hearing aid technology available from brand name manufacturers such as Widex, Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Signia, Starkey, and many more.
- Direct stereo streaming – Lively aids require an accessory to stream music on most Android devices. A wider choice from The Hearing Center means they have hearing aids that are streaming compatible with most phones.
- In-person fitting – part of our hearing care service. Not available with Lively.
Hearing aid support
- Tele-audiology hearing aid service – troubleshooting advice, remote programing assistance, and questions answered for the lifetime of the hearing aids during business hours.
Lively offers three years of hearing support with an audiology assistant or audiologist via video conference, and they offer business, evening, and weekend support.
- Follow-up care – for the lifetime of the hearing aids with a Hearing Center audiologist. Lively offers three years of follow-up care with an audiologist.
- Regular hearing aid maintenance by a specialist – not automatic with Lively. Adjustments must be asked for.
- Comprehensive annual reprograming – not automatic with Lively. Adjustments must be asked for.
- Curbside and walk-in hearing aid service – Unavailable with Lively. Since 2012, our Premium Care Program includes walk-ins at any time, during which we provide cleaning, preventative maintenance, batteries, and/or other supplies for most hearing aids, for the life of your hearing aids, at no extra charge. Our curbside service is available to those who call in advance.
- Fully managed insurance benefits – The Hearing Center works with your insurance company on your behalf while Lively has no claims department, so you must submit any Lively claims for reimbursement yourself.
- Repair warranty – Lively and The Hearing Center offers a 3-year repair warranty.
- Loss and damage warranty – Lively and The Hearing Center offer a 3-year warranty. Lively will replace your hearing aids for a $195 deductible if they are damaged. The Hearing Center will replace your hearing aids for a $300 deductible per hearing aid.
- Free trial period – With Lively, you must pay upfront and wait for a refund if you return them. The Hearing Center offers a free, two-week trial before purchase.
- Money-back guarantee – Lively offers a 100-day money-back guarantee, and The Hearing Center has a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Payment plans available – Depending on the credit score, Lively says $0 down is possible and has a three-year, 0 – 29% APR payment plan available.
The Hearing Center offers an 18-month, no-interest plan through Wells Fargo. They also offer a discount for cash in full, and if couples need hearing aids together, they give a 10% discount. Overall, we are very willing to work with people repayment setups.
- Price – As of this writing, Lively hearing aids cost $1,850 to $2,400 per pair with additional costs for accessories such as directional mics or TV streamers. The Hearing Center hearing aids cost $1,700 – $7,100 per pair. We also have a trade-in program that gives a credit toward new hearing aids.
- Buying one hearing aid – It can take a phone conversation with Lively to buy just one. It’s easy to buy just one hearing aid with The Hearing Center.
In the long run, whether you end up choosing to go with The Hearing Center MCC or Lively for your hearing aids purchase, we congratulate you on your decision to look after your hearing health.
Each option will either fit with your decision-making checklist, or it won’t, and you are the one to choose what’s best for you. Either way, we hope we have given you enough information to help you feel you can make an informed decision.
If you have any questions about anything to do with your hearing, hearing aids, or hearing assessments, please contact us. As always, we look forward to talking with you about anything you’d like to do to enrich your hearing journey.