Best Hearing Aid Brands in 2018
Top Hearing Aid Manufacturers
11 July 2018
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?
- How much do hearing aids from the major brands cost?
- How are all the hearing aid brands related?
- Which hearing aid companies own which retail outlets?
- Who really manufactures X brand of hearing aids?
Let’s take a stab at that first question, before moving onto a more comprehensive look at all the companies in the industry.
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 (more on hearing aid reviews). However, many audiologists accept that the quality of hearing aids coming from the “big six” hearing aid manufacturers is high standard, and that you generally can’t go wrong by sticking with the industry’s top brands. So who are the “big six” and where can you find more information about them?
It has come to our attention that Unitron, Sonova's second largest hearing aid brand, has a market share on par with Widex. As many audiologists know, Phonak and Unitron share many of the same sophisticated hardware and software features, with Unitron providing unique innovations like FLEX:UPGRADE™, which allows consumers to upgrade their hearing aids using the same physical units. For these reasons Hearing Tracker believes Unitron should be included in the Big Six (let's just call it the Big Seven).
How to Select 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.
How much do hearing aids from the major brands 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 hearing aid prices page.
Which Hearing Aid Brands Do Audiologists Prefer?
We surveyed hundreds of audiologists (September 2016, December 2016, and most recently in March 2017) to find out which hearing aid brands are the best on the following metrics:
- Value for money
- Sound quality
- Ease of fit
- Ease of use
- Support service
- Battery life
We also asked them about patient satisfaction with hearing aids with the following questions:
- How would you rate your patients' satisfaction with the following hearing aid brands?
- Which of the following brands has the most returns by patients?
Results for the survey can be found in the infographic below. If you are looking for our popular "Hearing Technology Industry Map" keep scrolling past the survey results.
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. All questions are property of UBS and cannot be replicated without consent.
The Rest of the Story
Let's get back to the three remaining questions. How are brands related? Which companies own retail outlets? Who really manufactures brand X? To provide a very quick (and visual) answer to each of these questions, we have put together the following Hearing Technology Industry Map:
Check out the image above for a larger version of the map.
We tried our hardest to make the interactive map easy to read, but if you have difficulty, please checkout the outline below (not updated as frequently). We used online information as well as information from a few industry insiders to put this list together, but please let us know if you see any inaccuracies and or additions. Feel free to use the commenting system at the bottom of this page!
Please note: The brand map depicted in the image above (and outline below) 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 email@example.com.