Page Reviewed / Updated - January 07, 2020
|Hours of Research||Companies Considered||Companies Selected||Hearing Aids Reviewed|
According to a study from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 20% or 48 million Americans suffer from some level of hearing loss. This percentage increases with age, with one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 suffering from hearing loss and one-half of people over the age of 75 being affected.
Hearing loss can make it difficult to have conversations, complete normal interactions, enjoy music and other media, and even pose a safety hazard if one is unable to hear warnings and alarms. Hearing aids can help remedy this problem by amplifying sounds. But with so many companies and models available, shopping for the right one can be overwhelming.
We’ve curated this guide profiling the best hearing aid companies and their products. You’ll find details about product features, pricing, warranties, accessories, customer service, and how to buy. As you shop for your new hearing aids, this information can help you decide which company is able to provide the features you need in the style you want.
When it comes to understanding the world around you, sounds can’t simply be louder. They need to be processed and sent through the speaker for clarity. The best hearing aids on the market feature cutting edge technology that minimizes background noise and allows the user to hone in on what they actually want to hear.
While being able to clearly hear the world around you is the single most important feature of hearing aids, other features available on the market make them even more convenient to use. Features like Bluetooth capability, app control, and on-the-fly adjustments can greatly enhance the user experience.
Hearing aids are expensive. According to a 2015 report, the average price for a single hearing aid is $2,300. And with many insurance plans choosing not to cover the cost, seniors may struggle to find a way to make hearing aids affordable, with many opting not to buy them at all. So, we sought out hearing aids that provide the best value for consumers.
Hearing aids are a big purchase, and for many people, getting used to them can be quite an adjustment. After the initial setup, users will likely have questions about features, adjustments, warranties, and repairs, so it’s important to be able to get in touch with someone who can help. That’s why we took a close look at customer service practices for each company.
For a quick overview of our results on the top 10 hearing aids for 2020, take a look at the table below.
|Company||Styles Available||Price Range||Hearing Loss||Available Online?|
|Widex||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$750 - $3,000*||Mild - Severe||No|
|Eargo||In-the-canal||$1,650 - $2,750||Slight - Moderate||Yes|
|Resound||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,200 - $3,000*||Mild - Profound||No|
|ListenClear||Receiver-in-canal, In-the-ear||$1,199.76 - $1,874.88||Mild - Moderate||Yes|
|Phonak||In-ear, Receiver-in-canal, Behind-the-ear||$1,500 - $3,000*||Mild - Profound||No|
|Embrace Hearing||In-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$699 - $1,349||Mild - Profound||Yes|
|Miracle-Ear||Behind-the-ear, In-the-canal||$1,000 to $5,000*||Mild - Profound||No|
|Oticon||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,500 - $3,000*||Mild - Profound||No|
|Starkey||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$1,500 - $3,100*||Mild - Severe||No|
|ZipHearing||Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear, In-the-canal, Receiver-in-canal||$999 - $2,499||Mild - Profound||Yes|
In some cases, hearing aid companies may only sell their hearing aids through authorized audiologists and audiology centers. Because of this, exact pricing can be difficult to determine and will vary with the location purchased. An asterisk beside a price indicates that the company does not provide any pricing on its website or over the phone, and the price range is determined from third party sources.
Best for tech-savvy users
Founded in 1956, Widex has long been regarded as one of the best hearing aid companies in the world. As a brand with a track record of being on the cutting edge of technology, Widex hearing aids offer features that allow for a totally customizable user experience with unparalleled sound quality.
Equipped with technology that can differentiate between conversations and ambient noise, users hear more of what they want while background sounds like wind and traffic are minimized. Some models, such as the Evoke, are even capable of learning user preferences when users provide feedback in the accompanying app, which personalizes the sound.
The company offers many different models for different levels of hearing loss and the user’s preferred style, ranging from behind the ear, in-ear, and in-the-canal. All models are water-resistant and feature rechargeable battery options. This wide array of options means there's truly a Widex hearing aid to meet everyone's needs.
Widex currently offers three main models of hearing aids, the EVOKE, UNIQUE, and BEYOND. The Evoke model is considered to be the world's first “smart” hearing aid and users benefit from advanced machine learning technology. For example, it can understand that different genres of music should be processed differently for optimal sound quality. Beyond is made with the smartphone user in mind, allowing them to control every aspect of their experience in the app and stream audio directly from the phone with the touch of a button. And, the Unique is made to process a broad range of sound with minimal background noise. These models are all available in several different sub-models, such as the Fusion2, CIC, and Fashion Power, each of which offers slightly different features to fit the user’s needs.
The table below highlights three of the company’s most popular submodels of hearing aids.
|Hearing loss||Mild - Profound||Mild - Severe||Mild - Severe|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In addition to hearing aids, Widex offers several accessories and apps that integrate with its hearing aids to improve the user experience. These accessories allow users to stream audio directly from the radio, a TV, or a smartphone with the built-in microphone off so they can hear media clearly and without any background noise.
Users are able to try any model of Widex hearing aids with a no-obligation, free trial. Because Widex only sells its hearing aids through audiologists and not directly to customers, the pricing of each model can differ significantly. Depending on the model, sub-model, and the location where it’s purchased, users can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $3,000 for their hearing aids.
Best for those seeking discreet hearing aids
For customers in search of a nearly invisible hearing aid, Eargo offers discreet in-the-canal options. All of its products are designed to be sleek, stylish, and comfortable, minimizing the discomfort and embarrassment that so many seniors feel when wearing their hearing aids. The nearly invisible style is accomplished by the soft silicone design that allows them to sit comfortably in place in the ear canal. The company’s Flexi Palms, silicone flanges, keep the hearing aid comfortably in place while still remaining breathable. And all of the hearing aids are shipped ready-to-use, so there are no difficult or time-consuming setup steps.
Each one of the hearing aids has four different sound profiles available. These profiles are preset for various levels of hearing loss, so users can pick the option that sounds best to them. To change the profile, users only need to tap on their ear. And, the Eargo hearing aids will remember the user’s preferred profile, so there’s no need to reselect it after each use.
While customers can purchase their Eargo hearing aids directly from the company, they’ll always have access to hearing professionals who can help with any questions or concerns that might arise.
Eargo currently offers three different hearing aid models: EargoNeo, EargoMax, and EargoPlus. All of its hearing aids are rechargeable, allowing users to use them all day and recharge their batteries overnight. The included hearing aid case also serves as the charging port for each model. When fully charged, the case can power hearing aids for about a week.
The EargoPlus is designed for those with slight hearing loss who are using a hearing aid for the first time. The EargoMax offers improved amplification as well as feedback reduction, and active noise cancellation for those with slight to moderate hearing loss. And the EargoNeo, designed for users with moderate hearing loss, is able to connect to the Eargo app for a customizable user experience. All of the hearing aids come as pairs, and there are currently no products for those with severe hearing loss.
|Hearing loss||Slight||Mild - Moderate||Moderate|
|Sound control with app||No||No||Yes|
Eargo has worked to make its products affordable, selling directly to customers with no middleman and offering payment plans for each of their hearing aids. These payment plans can be as low as $80/per month and end up costing about half of the average price. Customers who wish to purchase their hearing aids directly from Eargo can do so on the company website with free shipping. Eargo does offer potential customers a free trial.
Best app connectivity
As a long-time industry leader, ReSound has long been regarded as one of the best hearing aid companies on the market. As the first company to create made-for-iPhone hearing aids, it is constantly at the forefront of new technology and innovations that make hearing aids better for users.
All ReSound hearing aids are equipped with technology to enhance the overall user experience. Its latest models are equipped with cutting-edge sound processing software that utilizes 20 percent less energy to stream media and also allows for advanced speech processing to enhance the user's ability to understand what they’re hearing.
It also features a unique iSolate Nanotech coating on its products. This thin protective coating is on every component of its hearing aids and protects them from sweat, water, and other sources of moisture to minimize the risk of them failing.
ReSound hearing aids are programmed specifically for each user by an audiologist - meaning each hearing aid is professionally tuned to give the user the best possible experience. Models are available for every level of hearing loss and in a variety of styles to suit each user's needs and preferences. Rechargeable battery options and app connectivity also makes it easy for users to integrate the hearing aids into their life.
There are three different models of ReSound hearing aids available: LiNX Quattro, LiNX 3D, and ENZO 3D. The LiNX Quattro is designed for balanced sound, capable of easily picking up a conversation no matter which direction it’s coming from. The LiNX 3D is the company’s most technologically advanced option, and recreates the natural performance of the ear with its Spatial Sense technology. These hearing aids can also be used as wireless headphones that pair with any Android or iPhone, making it easy to hear phone calls or media. The ENZO 3D is considered the smallest hearing aid available on the market for users with severe to profound hearing loss and has been shown to provide 60 percent better speech understanding in noise.
|LiNX Quattro||LiNX 3D||ENZO 3D|
|Hearing loss||Mild - Severe||Mild - Severe||Severe - Profound|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In addition to its line of hearing aids, ReSound also offers various accessories to help users hear the world around them. The Unite Phone Clip+ allows users to stream phone calls from their smartphones, Unite TV Streamer 2 enables audio streaming from TVs, stereos, and computers, while the Micro Mic remote microphone streams audio directly to the hearing aid from up to 80 feet away. Remote controls allow users to make quick adjustments, and a comprehensive app has tools to help users manage their tinnitus.
Because ReSound hearing aids are only sold through the company’s network of audiologists and licensed distributors, the pricing for each model can vary. ReSound does not list any pricing information on its website and instead encourages customers to get in touch with a seller near them. Based on the information available from second-party websites, pricing can range from $1,200 - $3,000 depending on the model, submodel, and location.
Best online-only brand
While a newcomer to the industry compared to some of the other companies on our list, ListenClear has made a name for itself by providing consumers with powerful hearing aids at an affordable price. Combined with its warranties and cleaning services to keep all hearing aids running smoothly and efficiently, ListenClear provides some of the best value products on the market.
The company also offers outstanding customer service, allowing users to call in for help with making adjustments to the hearing aids at home so that they can avoid sending them in for service as much as possible.
One thing that truly sets ListenClear apart from other online-only retailers is its custom programming. While other online sellers send out hearing aids with minimal customization, ListenClear provides customers with the opportunity to submit an audiogram from their audiologist for a personally tuned product.
ListenClear currently offers three models of hearing aids. The ListenClear Pro Hearing Aid is created for users with mild to moderately severe hearing loss and is a customizable product that customers can use right out of the box with no audiologist appointment necessary. While similar to the Pro, the Premier model is capable of assisting users with severe hearing loss and comes with a remote control, allowing users to further customize and fine-tune their experience. The Shadow model is virtually invisible as it sits inside the ear canal and is appropriate for users with mild to moderate hearing loss. All models are available individually to accommodate users with single-sided deafness as well as in pairs.
|Hearing loss||Mild - moderate||Mild - Moderate||Mild - moderate|
|Color Options?||Variety||Variety||Black, Clear|
|Sound control with app||No||No||No|
All of ListenClear’s hearing aids come with a one-year warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials at no additional charge. Customers can upgrade to the Universal warranty which covers any damage to the hearing aids as well as if they’re lost or stolen. While the Universal warranty does cost an additional $5-$10 per month and a $75 charge for each claim, it’s a great value for anyone worried about losing their investment.
While its hearing aids are not rechargeable, ListenClear does offer a monthly battery shipment program for qualified customers at no additional charge.
ListenClear offers a 30-day risk-free trial for potential customers who want to test out a hearing aid before committing to the purchase, removing a lot of the fear people have about purchasing a hearing aid online. When it does come time to make a purchase, the company offers a variety of payment plans to make its products more affordable. A small discount is also available for those that choose to purchase online with their credit card.
Best hearing aid for music lovers
Phonak, a brand of Sonova Holding AG, is an industry leader in hearing aids as well as cochlear implants. The company has developed innovative technology that has improved the lives of users and made industry-leading advances.
Most notably, its AutoSense OS has been named the best hearing aid software for high-quality music listening because of its ability to analyze sound levels every 0.4 seconds and make adjustments based on the environment. This software has more than 200 settings, giving users the ability to focus on a single audio source even in noisy environments, minimize ambient noise, and amplify conversations. Phonak also makes the AutoSense Sky OS specifically for younger users.
With over 20 different hearing aids available, Phonak makes a model for virtually every need and style preference. Its most notable product is the Lyric, which is the world's only 100% invisible hearing aid. Utilizing the natural anatomy of the ear to provide a clear and rich sound, users can wear their Lyric hearing aid for months at a time without taking it out to shower or exercise. A more traditional offering, the Audéo Marvel, is a rechargeable hearing aid with connectivity to any Bluetooth enabled device. And the Bolero Marvel is a behind-the-ear option also providing advanced Bluetooth device compatibility.
|Lyric||Audéo Marvel||Bolero Marvel|
|Hearing loss||Mild - Severe||Mild - Profound||Mild - Severe|
|Sound control with app||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rechargeable||No - Subscription Service||Yes||Yes|
Phonak uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for the majority of its hearing aids which are widely considered to be the fastest charging and longest lasting hearing aid batteries available. It only takes 3 hours to get a full charge, and a mere 30 seconds of charging can power the hearing aids for up to 6 hours.
There are a wide variety of accessories available to enhance the user experience. The myPhonak app serves as a remote control that allows users to adjust volume and settings while also providing quick answers to frequently asked questions. Roger microphones are available to enhance speech understanding from a distance and stream audio directly to the hearing aid. A range of other accessories like the Roger Pen and the Roger Table Mic are aimed to enhance group conversations.
Phonak only sells its products through professional audiologists and audiology centers, so prices vary. The company does not list any pricing information on their website, but the average price is between $1,500 - $3,000 depending on location, model, and features selected.
Best customer support
Embrace Hearing sells its products directly to customers through its website. Every hearing aid is customized specifically for the customer when they upload or fax a copy of their hearing test. Based on test results, the professional team is able to make a recommendation about which of their products is the best.
The company offers unlimited customer support to anyone that purchases its hearing aids. Help is always available to customers 24/7 through phone, email, and the website. It also has an extensive collection of helpful materials right on its website including an in-depth FAQ and a library of helpful videos.
The affordable pricing along with the personalization makes Embrace Hearing one of the best brands on the market for customers who need an affordable option but also want a professional and customized experience.
Embrace offers three different models of hearing aids. The H-series model has the receiver-in-canal and is made for a range of hearing loss from mild to severe. The C-series fits entirely in the canal and is controlled by a smartphone app and also includes a Tinnitus Manager. The S-series is another receiver-in-canal model that is designed for all levels of hearing loss and also includes the Tinnitus Manager feature. This model also features the option for Speechbeam technology, software that is capable of emulating 360-degree hearing.
|Hearing loss||Mild – Moderate||Mild - Profound||Mild - Profound|
|Bluetooth/Wireless||With remote||With remote||Yes|
|Sound control with app||Yes||No||Yes|
|Price||$949 - $1,249||$699 - $1,249||$799 - $1,349|
All three models come equipped with a range of standard features intended to create an excellent user experience. These features include Bluetooth connectivity, wind block technology, wax guards to protect the hearing aids, programmable bands for different environments, and directional microphones.
Embrace also sells several accessories to accompany the hearing aids. A TV volume streamer allows users to stream audio from their TV directly to their hearing aids so they can amplify sound without affecting others around them. Customers who want to use this feature will also need to purchase Embrace Hearing’s Premium Remote which allows users to control their hearing aids and connect to any Bluetooth enabled devices, such as a computer or smartphone.
Like other companies that sell hearing aids directly to consumers, the cost of Embrace Hearing’s models is somewhat lower than the average. The price ranges from $699 to $1,349 per hearing aid and all purchases ship free. There are 2 payment plans available for customers who can not pay in full, ranging from 6 to 24 month periods. There is a 45-day risk-free trial period on all hearing aids - if a user doesn’t like it they can return it for a full refund.
Best rechargeable options
Miracle-Ear has been a well-known manufacturer of hearing aids since 1948 and continues to uphold its reputation today by making quality hearing aids with modern conveniences.
All of Miracle-Ear’s newest hearing aids feature GENIUS 3.0 Technology. GENIUS is able to provide users with clear, natural sound in nearly any environment with real-time sound processing. Direct wireless streaming allows users to connect with an array of devices and clearly hear conversations, music, and other media. And all GENIUS hearing aids have a built-in power cell, totally eliminating the need to worry about batteries. Users can get up to 5 hours of power with just a 30-minute charge and 24 hours of power with a full charge.
This technology is also designed to process music to provide users with an outstanding listening experience. Speech-isolation is able to target speech and amplify it over other sounds, and tinnitus control is available in the majority of Miracle-Ear’s products.
Miracle-Ear offers a variety of hearing aids to suit various levels of hearing loss and to accommodate different style preferences. Its newest product, the iRHYTHM, is a sleek and fashionable model that fits behind the ear. In addition to its modern appearance, it features a built-in power source, Bluetooth connectivity, and a portable charging case. The Mirage IIC is a custom-built digital hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal. It’s one of the smallest hearing aids on the market that offers Bluetooth connectivity. The Rechargeable Direct Streaming BTE is a behind-the-ear, fully rechargeable option that offers a fully customizable listening experience and direct streaming.
|iRHYTHM||Mirage IIC||Rechargeable Direct Streaming BTE|
|Hearing loss||Mild - Profound||Mild - Moderate||Mild - Profound|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Three different apps allow users to easily connect their hearing aids with their Bluetooth enabled smartphones to make adjustments, receive data on daily use statistics, find maintenance information, stream media, and control the volume. Accessories like the TV Streamer and the Bluetooth transmitter are able to connect the hearing aids with non-Bluetooth devices like computers and TVs so users can pair them with nearly any audio source.
Miracle-Ear does not list the pricing of its products on its website because customers must visit an authorized audiologist or audiology center to make a purchase, and the cost of a single hearing aid can range from $1,000 to $5,000. It does offer a 30-day trial period for customers to test the hearing aids with no obligation. Many Miracle-Ear retailers offer financing plans to help customers afford them. The Miracle-Ear Foundation is also available to help those who are unable to afford hearing aids.
Best natural sound
With its first hearing aid being developed in 1914, Oticon is a historically dependable brand that has adopted modern technology to bring users clear, comfortable hearing aids. Oticon prides itself on being an industry rule-breaker, developing technology that brings users better quality sound and new, innovative features.
After years of research, it developed the Velox technology platform which features BrainHearing technology. This technology features fast processing technology able to follow the ever-changing soundscapes around a user for natural sound in real-time. The Speech Guard and Speech Rescue technologies recognize speech and amplify it over other background noises so users can better follow and understand conversations in any environment.
And with the majority of Oticon hearing aids featuring Bluetooth technology, users have the ability to connect to nearly any smart device for audio streaming. Connecting directly to media sources not only allows users to hear the audio clearly, but it allows them to do so without affecting anyone else who might be in the immediate area.
Oticon offers a number of different hearing aids for various levels of hearing loss and for different style preferences. The Oticon Xceed is labeled the world’s most powerful hearing aid, featuring BrainHearing technology for users with severe to profound hearing loss. The Oticon CROS is an innovative option designed specifically for users with single-sided deafness. And the Oticon Opn S utilizes the advanced Velox S platform to enhance speech understanding.
|Oticon Xceed||Oticon CROS||Oticon Opn S|
|Hearing loss||Severe - Profound||Mild - Severe||Mild - Profound|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
A range of accessories is available to help users make the most of their hearing aids, especially when it comes to streaming audio. The Connect Clip microphone allows users to stream audio from a distance while also serving as a hands-free headset for phone calls. The StreamerPro and the TV adapter both allow users to stream audio directly to their hearing aids from media sources over Bluetooth. And the On App enables users to control their hearing aids directly from their smartphones and access helpful resources.
Because Oticon only offers its hearing aids through authorized audiologists, the pricing on different models will vary by location. The average price for a single Oticon hearing aid ranges from $1,500 - $3,000 depending on model and features. The company does offer a trial period and many retailers have financing plans available to help make them more affordable.
Best AI integration
Starkey is an American hearing aid company that has been a leading developer of new technology for more than 40 years. It was the first to develop a custom digital invisible hearing aid and was among the first to include Bluetooth connectivity in its products.
Its products include an array of technology to help users better hear and understand the world around them. A nano-coating protects its products from moisture and naturally occurring oils in the ear, making them last longer and require fewer cleanings. The digital feedback reduction feature means that users hear more of what they want to hear, and less unnatural sound. Directional microphones work to recreate a more natural sound and also allow the user to hear what's going on around them without turning their head in the direction of the sound.
Starkey has also been on the cutting edge of tinnitus masking technology. This technology helps users mask the ringing sound in their ears with white noise.
Starkey also has several subsidiary brands of hearing aids to its name, including Microtech, All American Hearing, and NuEar.
Starkey's marquee product is the Livio AI. Called the world’s first multi-purpose Healthable hearing aid, it features integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to bring users clear sound and the ability to track a user's health. The hearing aid even features sensors that can detect falls and daily activity. The Z-Series is a more traditional hearing aid with a greater focus on comfort, but with all the newest technology to keep users connected. And the Picasso line of hearing aids is custom built to be discreet and nearly invisible in the user’s ear.
The table below provides a quick look at these three popular options.
|Livio AI||Z Series||Picasso|
|Hearing loss||Mild - Severe||Mild - Severe||Mild - Severe|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes (Receiver-In-Canal option only)||Yes|
For those who aren’t quite ready for a full-time hearing aid, but still need some assistance hearing in certain environments, Starkey also offers a personal amplification device. This amplifier is particularly useful for people who need their sound amplified from a particular source, like a TV or a single speaker, rather than in a noisy room or large group conversation.
Because Starkey only offers its hearing aids through authorized audiologists and hearing centers, hearing aid prices vary and the company does not disclose any pricing information on its own website. Depending on factors like location, model, and submodel, prices can range between $1,500 - $3,100. Many retailers offer financing options and various discounts to help make hearing aids more affordable for customers.
Starkey itself donates a pair of hearing aids for every pair purchased to its Starkey Hearing Foundation. In combination with various organizations throughout the world, it works to bring hearing aids to people with limited resources around the globe.
Best savings on big brands
ZipHearing is not a hearing aid manufacturer - it is a provider of discount hearing aids with local providers throughout the country. All of the hearing aids it sells are new and provided by the manufacturer with original documents, warranties, and serial numbers. The hearing aids are never refurbished, used, or damaged in any way.
Customers call the ZipHearing call center and are referred to their local provider where they’ll schedule an appointment and get a full consultation. When the customer decides they want to make a purchase, the local provider submits the order directly to ZipHearing. ZipHearing then contacts the customer for payment before ordering the hearing aids directly from the manufacturer and shipping them to the local provider. The local provider will do custom fittings and adjustments to ensure that the hearing aids are ready for use. Initial fittings and adjustments are included in the price of the hearing aid, and customers are able to come back for multiple sessions until the hearing aids are working as expected.
After the trial period, customers can get 3 additional follow-up appointments at no additional charge. Any additional appointments with the local provider cost between $35 - $65.
Customers are also provided with a 1-year supply of Rayovac batteries at no additional cost.
ZipHearing offers hearing aids from a wide variety of top brands, including several that made our list such as Starkey, Phonak, Widex, ReSound, and Oticon. It understands that users want the latest technology at an affordable price, so it has put an emphasis on offering hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity and made-for-iPhone features.
Because ZipHearing provides hearing aids directly from the manufacturer, its product offerings are subject to change at any time. The table below provides a quick look at three of the best hearing aids currently offered on its website.
|Starkey Livio||Oticon Opn S||Audéo Marvel|
|Hearing loss||Mild - Severe||Mild - Profound||Mild - Profound|
|Sound control with app||Yes||Yes||Yes|
There is a 45-day risk-free trial period. During this time frame, customers can make unlimited appointments with their local provider for additional adjustments. If they decide they aren’t happy with their purchase, they’ll receive a full refund.
In addition to the fittings, all purchases include the original manufacturer warranty, which varies by hearing aid.
The cost of hearing aids from ZipHearing does not include hearing tests, custom earmolds, or any additional accessories.
With so many different hearing aids available, it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for when you begin shopping. While the perfect hearing aid will look a bit different to every buyer depending on individual needs and preferences, keeping the following steps in mind can help you narrow down your search.
Before you purchase a hearing aid, you should visit a licensed audiologist who can conduct a full hearing test. These tests determine if you can hear certain frequencies and the softest sound you’re able to hear in each ear. Based on the results of your test, the audiologist will be able to make a recommendation about what type of hearing aid is best for your level of hearing loss.
The single most important factor when buying a hearing aid is to ensure that it’s a fit for your level of hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss but purchase a hearing aid that’s intended for users with only mild hearing loss, it won’t be serving its intended purpose.
As with any major purchase, it’s important to determine your price range before you begin shopping so you can narrow down your options and avoid wasting time on products that are out of budget. The price of hearing aids varies widely and depends on factors like brand, model, extra features, and the provider.
After you’ve determined the type of hearing aid you need and your budget, most of the features you find in hearing aids are based on user preference. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you shop.
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles including behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and receiver-in-canal. While many people prefer in-the-canal and in-the-ear options because of their discreet appearance, they can be harder to adjust and are much easier to lose because of their small size. While hearing aids that fit behind the ear may be more noticeable, they’re typically easier to adjust, maintain, and keep track of.
Many manufacturers also make their hearing aids in a variety of colors. This usually includes natural tones to blend in with the wearer’s skin and hair color as well as bright, bold statement colors. While colors don’t impact the sound quality, choosing a color that you’re comfortable with will help you be less self-conscious about your hearing aid.
With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, many hearing aid manufacturers are integrating wireless technology into their products. This allows users to pair their hearing aids with their phones, laptop, or other Bluetooth enabled devices. Many hearing aids with this technology can be adjusted and controlled from an app on an iPhone or Android. It can also allow users to stream audio from a device, making it easier to listen to music, watch TV, and make phone calls.
While this technology is incredibly convenient for anyone that uses a smart device, it does increase the base price of the hearing aid. If you’re not someone who plans to stream audio from your phone to your hearing aid, you might want to pass on this feature to save some money for down the line.
Many hearing aid companies have also developed accessories to improve the overall user experience and make certain situations easier for those with hearing loss. Some typical accessories include:
These, and other accessories, can certainly make listening to certain audio sources easier, but they aren’t a necessity for many customers. If you watch a lot of TV in a space with other people, a streamer might be a great idea. But if you don’t typically watch TV or you watch it alone, it wouldn’t be a necessary addition. While these accessories may seem like a great idea, it’s always wise to think about whether or not you need them before you make the purchase. You can always add them on later if you think it will enhance your experience with your hearing aids.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, ask the company important questions about anything you’re still unsure of. Some important information to have before you make your final decisions should include:
Hearing aids are small amplification devices to help people with hearing loss better hear the world around them. They are composed of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Many hearing aids are now capable of honing in on conversations and minimizing unwanted background noise so that users can hear more or what they need to hear.
The best way to find out if a hearing aid is right for you is to discuss your hearing concerns with your primary care physician. He or she will be able to run a basic hearing test in the office. Based on your results, you’ll likely be referred to an audiologist who can run a more extensive set of hearing tests. Hearing tests typically take about an hour and will also include a discussion about your health and lifestyle. If the results of your tests indicate that you would benefit from a hearing aid, the audiologist will discuss your options and make personalized recommendations about the type of products that will benefit you the most.
Most insurance plans don't cover hearing aids, though some plans do. Check with your health insurance provider to find out what your plan covers. Even if your health insurance does not cover the cost, help may still be available through Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid. There are also many charities and local organizations that are able to help seniors pay for hearing aids. Many hearing aid companies offer financing plans that can also make hearing aids more accessible for those who can’t afford one lump payment.
While all hearing aids work to serve the same purpose, they each have their own features and characteristics that can make them a better fit for certain individuals. With the number of options available on the market, you can customize everything from the style, color, wireless connectivity, and battery options to find one that fits your lifestyle. It’s certainly worth taking the time to compare brands and models to find a hearing aid that’s perfect for your needs and preferences.
Every person is different, so there’s no way to know exactly how long it will take you to get used to your hearing aid. If you have severe hearing loss and waited a long time before getting a hearing aid, it will likely take your brain longer to adjust than if you only have mild hearing loss and treated it right away. The best thing you can do to ensure a quick adjustment period is to follow your doctor’s instructions and use the hearing aids as recommended.