Beltone Achieve hearing aids.
Beltone is a leading global hearing aid brand with a strong retail presence in North America through 1,500 hearing care centers. The company is part of the Denmark-based GN Hearing Group, one of the world’s top-5 hearing aid manufacturers that includes brands like ReSound, Jabra, and e-gaming giant Steelseries. Beltone benefits from the parent company’s global reach and history of hearing aid innovation, including leadership in Made-for-iPhone hearing aids and other advances in hearing technology.
Beltone's broad product line serves people with all levels of hearing loss. Although prices vary depending on style, model, technology level, and even the individual practice, prescription hearing aid prices typically range from $2,300-$7000, and you can get the Jabra Enhance Plus over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid for $799.
The company recently relocated from Glenview, Ill, closer to where its founders Sam and Faye Posen opened its first hearing aid store in downtown Chicago's "Loop" and then Beltone in 1940. Now integrated into one headquarters building on Randolf Street is Beltone, the GN Hearing US Research & Development team, and sister-company SteelSeries. GN Hearing North America has been led for many years by President Scott Davis, and in 2023 Davis was appointed to head up the global hearing aid business for GN.
Beltone Serene and Beltone Achieve are the brand's newest hearing aids, with both using an advanced chip platform that delivers exceptional speech-in-noise performance, as well as Made-for-iPhone and Android ASHA audio streaming via Bluetooth. The rechargeable models allow for an impressive 30 hours of use on one charge without audio streaming or 12 hours with continual streaming. These hearing aids also boast the "gold standard" in water and moisture protection with IP68 ratings.
Beltone’s HearMax™ app for smartphones and smartwatches is highly rated for a hearing aid app and makes it easy to adjust your hearing aids, with numerous convenient features, including a "Find My Hearing Aid" function and remote support.
Beltone has stayed at the cutting edge of new hearing aid technologies with its Serene platform which was introduced in September 2023. Beltone Serene builds on the company's previous technologies—including Achieve, Imagine, and Rely hearing aids—to bring natural sound, exceptional speech understanding in noise, and all-day comfort in a discreet design. It offers hands-free calling and tap controls compatible Apple iOS and Android™ devices, plus Serene uses the first hearing aid chip that gives users access to the new Auracast broadcasting technology.
Launched only a year earlier than Serene in August 2022, the Achieve platform employs a similar chipset that is especially “made for hearing in noise.” Compared with previous technologies, it provides improved moisture and dust protection, improvements in miniaturization, streaming audio quality, and rechargeability, as well as the unique “M&RIE” option and remote care.
Achieve hearing aids come in all styles, including tiny in-ear custom models, whereas the new Serene line is currently available only in Receiver-in-Ear (RIE, also known as “Receiver-in-Canal” or RIC) styles.
- Beamforming directionality – Beltone uses a binaural connection to create a stronger, more focused beam for sounds in front of the listener. Compared to traditional directionality it provides a significant improvement for listening in noisy places like restaurants, bars, or family gatherings. The Serene and Achieve lines also utilize a steering system that can narrow the directional response while utilizing faster processing.
- Small but powerful – The Serene microRIE is Beltone’s smallest-ever rechargeable RIE hearing aid—25% smaller than its standard models—but still offers a full day of battery life.
- Hands-free phone calls and tap controls – With Beltone Serene you can take hands-free calls (for compatible phones) by simply double-tapping on the device or your ear.
- M&RIE – The “Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear” places a third microphone inside your ear canal for more natural sound pickup. Beltone says this technology improves sound localization, wind noise reduction, and sound quality ratings.
- High-bandwidth audio streaming – The extended bandwidth of the chip platforms in Serene, Achieve, and Imagine hearing aids provides high sound quality when streaming music or phone calls directly from Apple and Android devices, or with 2.4 GHz audio streamed through Beltone wireless accessories.
- Rechargeable batteries – Beltone touts the long life of its rechargeable lithium-ion battery options in Serene and Achieve hearing aids. The company says a single 3-hour charge provides 30 hours of power.
- Remote care – Beltone’s two-way, remote care service allows wearers to share feedback about their real-time listening experiences via its HearMax app. And hearing care professionals can provide programming updates, counseling, and other services remotely, saving time for both professionals and users.
- IP68 ingress protection – Achieve products are classified as “dust resistant” and may be “immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.” (But we don't recommend trying this!)
- Miniaturization – In August 2019, Beltone introduced the industry’s first completely-in-the-canal (CIC) Made-for-iPhone hearing aids with the ability to stream music, calls, and more, straight from a phone. The company continues to offer top-of-the-line discreet devices with its Achieve and Imagine CICs.
- OTC option – Many Beltone offices now offer the Jabra Enhance Plus OTC hearing aid, along with the option of Belcare+ which includes initial set-up, service, and support for the lifetime of the device (more details below).
In addition to wireless audio streaming from iPhones, Beltone’s Serene, Achieve, and Rely hearing aids feature wireless “Made-for-Android” streaming. Beltone’s parent, GN Hearing, has a technology partnership with Google to enable Bluetooth LE (low energy) streaming from Google’s Pixel Android phones. The hearing aids use the ASHA protocol (Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids) that GN Hearing developed with Google.
The Beltone HearMax smartphone app lets you change program settings, adjust volume, check battery status, and change speech focus. Remote counseling and hearing aid adjustment is also possible through the app (more on this below).
Beltone Achieve RIE and charger.
1,500 Beltone hearing centers
Beltone sells its products through its own retail stores, most of which are run by independent owners who are members of the Beltone franchise. It is among the largest U.S. hearing aid retailers and is approximately the same size as its closest like-rival, Miracle Ear, with about 1,500 Beltone-branded locations in North America. Through its stores, Beltone offers financing plans and warranty options of up to 48 months, including full loss and damage coverage and lifetime care.
With any prescription hearing aid purchase, Beltone offers Belcare, a set of services that includes:
- A 30-day trial period with a full refund if you decide not to keep the hearing aids
- Annual free hearing consultations to assess your hearing loss and determine whether your hearing aids are still a good fit or need to be adjusted
- 1-year warranty and loss/stolen/damage coverage
- If your hearing test indicates a measurable increase in your sensorineural hearing loss within 2 years of your original purchase, Beltone will provide you with a more powerful aid at no charge
- Service at other Beltone offices if you're traveling or vacationing and need help
There is one downside: Beltone hearing aids are locked, meaning only Beltone-certified professionals can adjust the hearing aids. It should be noted several other large hearing aid networks, including Miracle Ear, Audigy, Audibel, and Sam's Club, also lock their hearing aids. We're not a fan of this corporate policy because it reduces consumers' options for post-purchase services; however, Beltone's very large number of offices does make this less of an issue.
And the company has many happy customers. In 2022, Beltone reported a Net Promoter Score average of 76 (NPS has a scoring range of -100 to 100), which is considered "excellent" by NPS standards. Additionally, Beltone was ranked #1 on Newsweek’s list of America’s Best Customer Service 2023 in the hearing care category after also being awarded “Best in Hearing Care” on its Best Retailer’s 2022 list.
Beltone "Great Start" hearing aid orientation program
In 2023, Beltone launched its Great Start Program, a 6-step 30-day orientation tutorial that shows you how to take full advantage of all the features of your hearing aids. It includes tips for getting started with and knowing how to work your hearing aids, using the HearMax app, cleaning and maintenance, maximizing your hearing experience, and how to take advantage of remote care and Belcare.
If you complete all 6 learning sessions, you'll receive a $25 gift card that can be used for any purchase in the Shop.Beltone.com online store. “Our 30-day email/text program supports patients through the adjustment process by starting with the basics and gradually introducing the more advanced features of our hearing aids, and it sends timely tips and tricks that gently nudge patients to use and enjoy their restored sense of hearing,” says Beltone VP of marketing Dan McCoy.
Beltone hearing aid models
Beltone sells premium hearing aids programmed by a state-licensed hearing aid specialist or audiologist based on the results of your hearing test. The company has a broad range of hearing aid models addressing all levels of hearing loss. They come in multiple form factors, with Made-for-iPhone and Android ASHA capabilities, along with a family of wireless accessories.
Beltone SereneFlagship hearing aid technology
Introduced in September 2023, Beltone Serene takes all the advanced hearing-in-noise technology you get from the company's successful Achieve hearing aid platform and adds new tap controls, hands-free phone calling, wireless features, and noise reduction strategies—plus a discreet wearing option.
Beltone Serene microRIE (Receiver-in-Canal) hearing aid.
Beltone Serene offers a range of advanced benefits to individuals with mild to profound hearing loss, providing natural sound, exceptional speech understanding, and all-day comfort in a discreet design. It is also applicable for people with one-sided (unilateral) hearing loss or deafness, providing a CROS transmitter that routes sound from the poorer ear to the better ear to ensure all-around audibility.
The company's tiniest-ever rechargeable behind-the-ear style hearing aid, the Serene microRIE, is 25% smaller than its previous RIE models. Additionally, Serene employs the first-ever chip platform capable of receiving Auracast™ broadcast technology. Once Auracast is rolled out, it will enable users to stream sound in public settings directly to their hearing aids, such as at airports, stadiums, and restaurants—making Serene a future-proof choice in this respect.
The hearing aids also provide easy hands-free phone and video calls for compatible iOS and Android™ devices, so you just simply double-tap your ear or the hearing aid to take calls and stay connected on the go.
Because this is a brand-new hearing aid product line, Serene is currently available only in the rechargeable microRIE and two battery-powered (size 312 and 13) RIE models. The aids come in 8 different colors and are all IP68 rated —the "gold standard" for moisture and debris ingress protection.
Beltone AchievePrevious flagship hearing aid technology
Beltone Achieve mini-Reciever-in-Ear (RIE) hearing aid.
Beltone Achieve was launched in August 2022 with a unique approach to sound processing, providing a 360-degree awareness of the surrounding environment. Unlike most hearing aids which focus on sounds in front, these devices utilize surround-sound technology to capture sounds from all directions, enabling wearers to stay connected to their surroundings, even in noisy environments, while delivering a natural and immersive hearing experience for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
A winner of the CES 2023 Innovation Award, Achieve boasts impressive speech-in-noise capabilities with a 150% improvement in speech understanding in loud environments compared to the company’s most recent technologies. The hearing aids are also engineered to provide a more natural perception of the wearer's own voice, minimizing distractions during conversations. Seamless Bluetooth connectivity to wireless devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones, allows for clear phone calls and streaming (plus hands-free communication for iOS devices). And with the rechargeable models, you can expect up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge, all-day comfort, and weather and sweatproof assurance with a rating of IP68.
Originally released in a rechargeable Receiver-In-Ear (RIE) model, the product family was expanded in February 2023 so it now includes a miniRIE rechargeable model, as well as a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) rechargeable, a custom In-the-Ear (ITE) rechargeable, and a Completely-in-Canal (CIC) with a Size 10 battery.
Beltone Achieve custom hearing aids.
Beltone RelyPremium experience at an affordable price
Rely is the latest budget-friendly hearing aid family from Beltone. Rely delivers proven hearing technology, industry-leading rechargeability, great wireless connectivity, and at-home hearing care support. Rely is considered by Beltone to be a great option if you are just getting started with hearing aids or want to upgrade to an advanced solution at an affordable price.
Like Amaze, Beltone Rely allows direct streaming of calls, music, and other audio from iOS and Android devices. Battery use is minimized using the latest Bluetooth® Low Energy streaming protocols, MFI for iOS and ASHA for Android.
Beltone Boost UltraPremium power hearing aids
Released in 2020, Boost Ultra provides a modern technology solution for those with severe-to-profound hearing loss. Battery-efficient audio streaming and an improved chipset mean Boost Ultra lasts 20% longer than the previous generation Boost Max hearing aids.
Boost Ultra work seamlessly with the new HearMax smartphone app for iPhone and Android.
Jabra Enhance PlusOver-the-counter solution...with option for pro assistance
In October 2022, select Beltone offices started carrying the Jabra Enhance Plus OTC hearing aid. As one of HearingTracker's Top-10 rated OTC hearing aids, this FDA-cleared device is a potential solution for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, combining true wireless earbud and advanced hearing technology into a small, comfortable design resembling high-tech consumer earbuds. The devices allow for individualized hearing enhancement during conversations, along with hands-free calling and music streaming for iOS devices.
Jabra Enhance Plus is available from participating Beltone offices for $799 (FSA and HSA eligible), where you can also get a free hearing test. Although you can get this device from many places—ranging from Best Buy to Amazon—if you buy it from Beltone, you'll get a free, accurate, professionally administered hearing test. You can also opt for the Belcare+ package. This includes unlimited follow-up care and service for the lifetime of the device, discounts on care and cleaning supplies, and a 1-year extension on the manufacturer warranty. (You can also go it alone using its relatively simple app and set-up process.)
Beltone ImaginePredecessor of Achieve
The Beltone Imagine product line.
Imagine is the predecessor of Achieve and was essentially an upgraded version of its now-discontinued Amaze product line. Like Amaze, Imagine offers wireless audio streaming for iOS and Android devices (via MFi and ASHA), hands-free calling, and remote programming support. But, Imagine offers a number of key upgrades, like binaural beamforming directionality (“Ultra Focus”) and microphone and receiver in the ear (“M&RIE”) technology that places a third microphone right on the ear (in addition to the two on the body of the hearing aid). Beltone claims that this "innovative" new technology eliminates "unnatural sound" and delivers "superior sound quality."
HearMax smartphone app
HearMax is Beltone’s most highly integrated smartphone control app. It connects Achieve, Imagine, Amaze, Trust, Rely, Boost Ultra, and Boost Max hearing aids to your iPhone, Apple Watch or Android phone to provide a range of control functions. You can also control your hearing aids from an Apple Watch and use the “Find My Hearing Aid” feature to locate misplaced or lost hearing aids.
Beltone HearMax Smartphone App
The HearMax app lets you adjust your hearing aids based on your environment. You can tap the Sound Enhancer button on the main screen and reduce background or wind noise. Or if you want to focus on a person talking in front of you, the Speech Focus setting isolates and enhances the conversation.
The HearMax app also incorporates the new "Check My Fit" feature, a handy tool that helps ensure your hearing aids are properly placed on and in the ear.
For support from your hearing care professional between scheduled appointments, you can access the Beltone Remote Care service. Send a request through the app, and your hearing care professional can make programming changes in the fitting software. Those new settings can then be sent to you electronically. You will receive notification in the HearMax App on your smartphone, and then you can download the new settings into the hearing aids via the 2.4 GHz wireless connection.
Hearing aid accessories
Beltone Direct Line wireless accessories include remote microphones and audio streaming devices to make it easier to watch television, follow conversation at a distance or talk on the phone.
Available for Beltone Serene hearing aids, this accessory, as its name implies, is a receiver that converts signals from our TV into Auracast broadcast audio and streams it directly to your hearing aids. It's the first hearing aid-compatible TV streamer to support Auracast and is designed for easy setup and use. What's also cool is that this streamer will one day double as an Auracast transmitter, meaning you will able to broadcast music, video, or podcast audio to any other Auracast-enabled audio device (in practical terms, this may be some time in the future, but we still think it's cool!).
Beltone myPAL Micro and Pro
The Beltone myPAL Micro and myPAL Pro are small portable microphones that you can hand over to the person you want to hear. Small enough to clip to the listener’s shirt collar, they capture the speech in noisy environments and streams it directly into your hearing aids.
The myPAL microphones have a wireless range of up to 80 feet (with a clear line of sight), they have directional microphones to isolate the speaker’s voice, there is on board volume control with a muting button, and they have a 10-hour battery life. The myPAL Pro has the same features as the myPAL Micro but also offers an automatic “table mode” setting to pick up multiple voices around a conference table. It also has a telecoil setting and Direct Audio Input (DAI) capability.
Beltone TV Link 2
The Beltone Direct Line TV Link 2 connects directly to most audio devices, including TVs, stereos, and computers, wirelessly transmitting the audio directly to your hearing aids. No neckloop or intermediate streaming accessory is necessary.
TV Link 2 lets you adjust the TV volume to the level right for you, without changing what others hear. You can also dampen background room noise. It works with both digital and analog audio inputs, accepts Dolby Digital-encoded audio inputs, and has a range of at least 23 feet with a clear line of sight.
Beltone Remote Control
Beltone’s Remote Control and Remote Control 2 provide push-button management of multiple hearing aid functions. Remote Control is designed with large, tactile buttons that enable you to adjust the volume of your hearing aids and change programs without looking.
Remote Control 2 lets you adjust the volume in one or both hearing aids, change programs, or easily switch between sound streamed from your TV, phone, myPAL remote microphone or PC. You can adjust the balance between the streaming audio and the external sounds around you. And an easy-to-reach LCD display shows programs, volume and battery level at a glance.
Beltone Phone Link 2
Beltone’s Phone Link 2 makes the phone ring directly in your hearing aids. And dual microphones with a speech reduction feature allow you to speak hands-free, even when your phone is put away in a pocket or a handbag. You can also use it to stream music or podcasts directly from your phone.
The Phone Link 2 also serves as a remote control to adjust hearing aid volume or change your programs whether or not you are on the phone. Mute and program buttons control basic hearing aid functionalities. And with the Beltone SmartRemote app, the Phone Link 2 can turn an iPhone or Android smartphone into a discreet, full-functioning remote control.
Tinnitus treatment solutions
Beltone’s Tinnitus Calmer app is a sound therapy app that offers a combination of masking sounds and relaxing exercises that can help provide relief from the ringing, humming, and other noises in your head caused by tinnitus. Available to the general public, the app doesn’t require a Beltone hearing aid and can be streamed to headphones or hearing aids from iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices.
Beltone’s tinnitus management apps let you choose from the selection of sounds from within the app’s library or upload your own sounds. You can balance the sounds between your right and left ears or turn on the timer so you can fall asleep to soothing sounds.
In contrast, the Tinnitus Breaker Pro (TBP) module is a professionally administered hearing aid program available in some Beltone hearing aids that generates sounds—ranging from continuous or fluctuating noise to nature-inspired sounds—designed to temporarily relieve tinnitus symptoms or “ringing in the ears.” Your hearing care professional can customize it based on your specific tinnitus frequency and needs. The initial set-up is done by the professional in the office and subsequent adjustments are possible through telecare (if the office offers this service) to match therapeutic goals.
Legacy Beltone Products
Beltone Amaze hearing aids were released alongside Boost Ultra in 2018, and the product family offered integrated quality sound processing, connectivity, and rechargeability. Designed for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss, Amaze provided premium sound quality, MFi wireless connectivity, ASHA connectivity with Google Pixel Android phones, 2.4 GHz streaming, Bluetooth audio streaming via the Beltone PhoneLink 2 wireless accessory, smartphone app control, and remote programming support. The Amaze family included CIC, ITE, ITC, microphone-in-the-helix (MIH), and RIC styles. Beltone reports this was the first hearing aid to deliver a CIC MFi hearing aid with the ability to stream music, calls, and more, straight from a phone.
Beltone Trust hearing aids were introduced in May 2017. In addition to premium sound processing, the hearing aids featured Beltone’s 5th generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology for audio streaming from remote mics via Beltone accessories. They were available hearing aid styles, they are suitable for mild-to-severe hearing loss.
The Beltone Trust family was also among the first in the industry to provide remote care by connecting customers with their hearing care providers via smartphone. Wearers were able to share feedback about difficulty hearing in the moment via the Beltone HearMax app, rather than trying to remember how to describe issues later during an adjustment visit. And hearing care professionals had the freedom to offer follow-up services remotely.
Beltone Boost Max hearing aids were introduced in August 2017 to bring the benefits of the Beltone Trust family to people with severe-to-profound hearing loss. The behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids were based on GN Hearing’s 5th generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology and 3rd generation binaural directionality. They helped hearing aid users with severe-to-profound hearing loss experience improved sound quality and speech clarity in challenging listening environments.
Beltone Legend hearing aids came in March 2015. In addition to receiving audio directly from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without additional adapters, the Legend hearing aids work with the Beltone HearPlus app to adjust settings to match your listening environment.
Beltone First Made-for-iPhone hearing aids were introduced in February 2014 at the same time ReSound, a GN sister brand, introduced the ReSound LiNX iPhone hearing aids. The hearing aids made a splash with the media, as they were first to open up the world of wireless smartphone connectivity – unimpeded by an accessory streamer – to hearing aid users.
While Beltone continues to support their legacy products, they are no longer being actively sold and marketed.
David Copithorne is a longtime hearing-loss blogger and regular contributor at Hearing Tracker. In 2002, he suffered a sudden and severe hearing impairment. Since then, he has dedicated himself to sharing the valuable information he has learned along his journey.