Best Hearing Aid Brands in 2019
A Review of Top Brands and Models
Updated 04 October 2019
The world of hearing healthcare can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands, and so many different retail outlets to choose from. Have you ever heard the following questions?
- Which hearing aid brands are the best?
- What are the best hearing aids for 2019?
- How do I choose the best hearing aid?
- How much do hearing aids cost?
- Which hearing aid brands do audiologists prefer?
- How are all the hearing aid manufacturers, brands, and retail outlets related?
Which hearing aid brands are the best?
This is a very difficult question as there is currently no objective way to assess the quality of one hearing aid over another. However, many audiologists accept that the quality of hearing aids coming from the “Big Five” hearing aid manufacturers is high standard, and that you generally can’t go wrong by sticking with the industry’s top brands.
The industry’s top brands
Five companies currently command more than 80% of the global market for hearing aids. So who are the so-called “Big Five” hearing aid companies, what makes them so special, and what products do they produce?
Widex is one of the world’s most popular hearing aid brands. Known for its advanced hearing aid technology, Widex was founded more than 60 years ago in Denmark by the Tøpholm and Westermann families. Widex brand hearing aids specialize in innovative ways to deliver the best possible sound quality and performance in real-life situations, like noise … read more
Phonak is the world’s largest hearing aid brand. Founded in 1947 in Zurich, Phonak quickly emerged as a leading developer of early electronic hearing aids. In 1985, after acquiring multiple additional hearing aid brands, it took on the name Phonak Holding AG and subsequently moved its headquarters to Stäfa, Switzerland. In 2007, the holding company renamed itself … read more.
Signia is one of the largest hearing aid brands in the world. Signia hearing aids are manufactured by WS Audiology, the same parent company that manufactures Widex and Miracle Ear hearing aids. Prior to being purchased by Sivantos in 2015, and merged into WS Audiology in 2019, Signia hearing aids were manufactured under the Siemens brand name … read more.
Oticon is the flagship brand of Demant A/S of Denmark, the world's second largest hearing aid manufacturer. Founded in 1904 by Hans Demant, whose wife had hearing loss, Oticon has a long history of innovation in hearing aids. In 2016, with the introduction of its Made-for-iPhone Opn hearing aids, Oticon delivered what it called the first wireless "internet-connected hearing aids" along with advances in sound processing for better hearing … read more.
ReSound is the flagship brand of GN Hearing, the world's fourth largest manufacturer of premium hearing aids. GN Group currently has more than 5,500 employees and sells its hearing aids through a global network of hearing professionals in more than 100 countries worldwide … read more.
Starkey hearing aids are the flagship brand of Starkey Hearing Technologies, one of the world's top hearing aid manufacturers. Headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Starkey is the only US company among the "Big Five," a group of companies that collectively control more than 80 percent of the global market for hearing aids … read more.
Unitron is a leading brand of the Sonova Group, the world's largest manufacturer of hearing aids. Based in Canada with a U.S. headquarters in Minnesota, Unitron operates in more than 70 countries around the world and has a major presence in North American and European markets … Read more
What are the best hearing aids for 2019?
Dr Cliff, AuD rings in the new year with his top 7 hearing aids picks for 2019. Keep in mind that you may or may not be a candidate for the hearing aids he discusses in the video. Consult a professional to determine your eligibility for any of the devices discussed!
Top Hearing Aid Models - Dr Cliff’s Picks
In 2018, we saw some amazing new technology hit the market, with more technological advancements already in the works for 2019. All of these new devices were designed to provide better sound quality and better speech understanding in background noise, so let’s focus more on the specific features that set these devices apart from the competition.
The Marvel is the closest thing that you will find to an all-In-one device, because it basically does everything. It is the only device to stream Bluetooth audio directly from Android AND iOS devices (no accessory required). And, the new AutoSense 3.0 allows the hearing aid to make better adjustments on its own without the user having to make manual adjustments.
The Marvels are also Roger-Ready. This means that your hearing care provider can do a firmware update to make the already-installed internal Roger Receiver active so you can use any of the great Phonak Roger FM accessories. And, later this year, Phonak will release telecoil versions of the Marvel in 312, 13, and rechargeable battery models.
The Quattro replaces the LiNX 3D line of devices. Along with its long-lasting lithium ion rechargeable batteries, it will also have the capability of streaming from Android devices, not just iOS devices. It also has the best smartphone app in the industry. It allows you to make all kinds of adjustments to your program settings and even allows you to receive remote adjustments from your hearing care professional.
Oticon’s next generation Opn hearing aids feature dramatically improved feedback cancelling along with a new OpenSound Booster in the Oticon On App. Users will be able to use their iPhone or Android smartphones to boost hearing support in their hearing aids when they feel they need it.
OPN Sound Navigator allows you to hear speech from different directions while still suppressing background noise. This is different than the traditional directional-microphone strategy for improving speech in background noise. Combine this feature with decreased listening effort and good reported sound quality, and the Oticon OPN S is one of the best hearing aids that money can buy.
Our top pick from the new Oticon Opn S family is the miniRITE-R version, which features Made-For-iPhone connectivity, lithium-ion rechargeability, and a telecoil for better hearing on landlines and telecoil-looped gathering places
Note: Dr Cliff recommended the previous generation Oticon Opn in his video, but we’ve updated this section to reflect the recently released technology.
The Virto B-Titanium is the only Invisible In Canal (IIC) hearing aid to make the list. As the name suggests, it is made out of Titanium so it can be 30% thinner and smaller than an acrylic hearing aid. Not only is it extremely discrete, it is the best performing IIC hearing aid on the market. It does require a deep ear mold impression, and is not suited for extremely severe cases of hearing loss.
This hearing aid has Artificial Intelligence right in the name. This is because it uses on-board sensors to track both body movement and social interaction. It is designed to help you become more physically and socially active, which we know can improve health outcomes. It is packed with a bunch of features such as fall detection and real-time language translation. It now also has the capability of working with remote accessories such as a TV streamer and remote microphone, which can improve your listening experience even more.
Evoke made the list because of its use of machine learning technology. Evoke can learn your preferences by allowing you to make A/B comparisons in real listening environments. Tell the Evoke app if you prefer Sound A or Sound B, and your feedback is used to personalize the sound of the Evoke hearing aids. This leads to improved sound quality and greater listening comfort across a variety of listening environments.
In addition, Evoke is able to automatically adjust to a variety of challenging listening environments and applies two different compression strategies to improve speech clarity in noisy listening situations.
Moxi all made the list thanks to FLEX:UPGRADE. The Flex Upgrade lets you purchase a lower level of technology and upgrade it to a higher level of technology at a later date. You keep the same physical devices, you just have the technology inside of the devices upgraded. This way you can upgrade to new technology when you need it (and when you can afford it), even if it is years down the road.
In my opinion, those are the best hearing aids of 2019. Which one is right for you? This depends on your wants and needs, and how familiar your hearing care provider is with each type.
No matter how great a hearing aid is, it will not perform its best unless you’ve had real ear measurement performed on them. If you don’t know what real ear measurement is, I highly recommend you check out my REM video because it is the only way to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed correctly to your hearing loss prescription.
Which hearing aid brands do audiologists prefer?
We surveyed hundreds of audiologists (most recently in May 2019) to find out which hearing aid brands are the best on the following metrics:
- Best sound quality
- Best battery life
- Best value for money
- Best reliability
- Best connectivity
- Best rechargeability
- Best aesthetics
- Best ease of fit
- Best ease of use
- Best product support
Survey results reflect the attitudes of audiologists, who may or may not be familiar with all hearing aid brands. For better or worse, each audiologist has their brand preferences, and our survey results reflect those preferences. Take the results with a grain of salt. Infrequently selected brands not included in the charts below.
How do I choose the best hearing aid?
Before trying to pick your own hearing aid, watch this video from our partner Doctor Cliff, AuD. You might be surprised by how complicated the process is.
Don’t have time to watch the video?
Here are Cliff’s notes 😉 on what to consider when purchasing a hearing aid. Keep in mind that your hearing professional should be helping you understand the options:
- Your hearing loss severity - You need a hearing aid that is capable of providing adequate amplification. If you have a severe or profound hearing loss, you’ll need a device that can produce higher sound levels.
- Your ability to hear speech in noise - Speech in noise testing should be performed at every hearing evaluation. If you perform well on the test with amplification, hearing aids are likely to help you in noisy environments.
- Brand accessibility - Certain brands may not be accessible in your area. This may limit your options.
- Important features - Your hearing professional should get to know your listening needs and goals and suggest hearing aid features that can give you the most satisfaction and benefit.
- Your lifestyle - More advanced hearing aids are geared towards meeting the needs of those with the most active lifestyles. If you find yourself in more complex listening environments you should consider purchasing higher technology.
- Best practices - Does your hearing care provider follow best practices? If you aren’t receiving real ear measurement testing, you probably won’t get the most out of your hearing aids, even if they are top-of-the-line!
Looking to understand the available hearing aid features? Check out Hearing Tracker’s hearing aid matching engine.
How much do hearing aids cost?
We recently conducted a survey – with the help of the Hearing Loss Association of America – to learn more about the cost of hearing aids in the United States. Our survey showed that the overall average price paid for a single hearing aid was $2372. For a breakdown of hearing aid prices by brand, please read more on our page about the cost of hearing aids.
Looking to pay for hearing aids with healthcare insurance? Medical insurance coverage is available for some consumers.
How are all the hearing aid manufacturers, brands, and retail outlets related?
How are all the hearing aid brands related? Which retail outlets are owned by hearing aid manufacturers? Who really manufactures that hearing aid brand? To provide a very quick (and visual) answer to each of these questions, we have put together the following Hearing Technology Industry Map:
Click on the image above for a larger version of the map.
How did we make this infographic? We used information available on the web, including investor reports, but also received a number of tips from industry insiders. Please let us know if you see any inaccuracies and feel free to use the commenting system at the bottom of this page to suggest corrections and updates!
Disclaimer: The brand map depicted in the image above reflect our best educated guesses as to associations between companies, brands, etc. Linkages do not always indicate full ownership of brand x by company y. Any corrections may be suggested using the inline commenting system or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.