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Beltone Achieve Hearing Aids

HearingTracker audiologists review the Beltone Achieve hearing aid features, model and style comparisons, prices, and more
Expert review by Abram Bailey, AuD
Beltone Achieve In Hand

Beltone Achieve Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) hearing aids.

Beltone Achieve hearing aids were launched in August 2022, offering advanced speech-in-noise capabilities, excellent sound quality, and an individualized fitting from a licensed hearing care professional. Beltone, one of the largest hearing aid networks in the United States, is owned by GN Group which also manufactures ReSound and Jabra hearing aids.

Achieve hearing aids offer 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 and even profound hearing loss.

A winner of the CES 2023 Innovation Award, Achieve boasts impressive speech-in-noise capabilities with a reported 150% improvement in speech understanding in loud environments compared to the company’s previous technologies. Achieve is now offered in a full range of styles—ranging from tiny in-ear to behind-the-ear models—and all are built to be durable and long-lasting, boasting an IP68 rating. That rating means the hearing aids carry the "gold standard" for both moisture and dust protection.

This article will provide more detail on what Achieve has to offer you.

What we like about Beltone Achieve hearing aids:

Full range of products to fit majority of hearing losses and lifestyles
Excellent sound quality and directional microphone system which is designed to preserve environmental sounds while improving speech understanding in noise
Manufactured by a global leader in hearing aids
Belcare™ support which includes on-the-road support from 1,500 offices nationwide
Hands-free calling from compatible Apple iOS smartphones and devices
Remote Care option
Highly rated smartphone app
Wide range of accessories available
Tinnitus features
Check My Fit feature

Product limitations

Price range is high, with similar competitive products and services available at lower cost points
No hands-free connectivity for Android products without an accessory
Bluetooth technology only supports one active connection
No CROS options for people with unilateral losses or single-sided deafness
No health and fitness tracking features
Hearing aids are "locked," meaning only hearing providers in the Beltone network can adjust them
Beltone Achieve Minirie Tennis 0223

Beltone Achieve fits a wide range of hearing losses with several different styles and models to match your lifestyle. In this photo, the woman in the foreground is wearing an Achieve miniRIE.

Key Technology

Beltone, a longstanding retail hearing aid company, was purchased by GN Group in 2000. And as mentioned above, GN also makes ReSound and Jabra hearing aids, as well as other smaller brands. This means that the brands share technologies.

In fact, the Achieve hearing aids are based upon the ReSound OMNIA hearing aid and offer similar high-end technology features, including noise reduction strategies, sophisticated directional microphones, and wireless features. OMNIA was rated as one of the best hearing aids of 2023 by the independent hearing aid testing lab HearAdvisor, so Achieve represents top-tier technology.

Here are a few of the standout elements of Beltone Achieve:

A new and improved directional microphone and noise reduction strategy is built to provide better hearing in noise (compared to older Beltone products) while preserving auditory spatial clues. The improvements include a new steering system with faster processing, a frequency-specific and more narrow directional response, and an improved ear-to-ear streaming system that helps ensure audibility and awareness of sounds around the listener.  There’s also a wearer-selectable control within the smart app for “Speech Focus” intended to narrow the directional response further. Achieve boasts impressive speech-in-noise capabilities with a 150% improvement in speech understanding in loud environments compared to the company’s legacy technologies.

M&RIE Technology

A unique feature found in Beltone Achieve is the Microphone & Receiver-in-Ear (M&RIE) receiver option which combines the two traditional hearing aid microphones with an extra third microphone that sits in the ear to collect sounds much like the natural ear.

Beltone M Rie

The M&RIE technology found in Beltone Achieve places a third microphone (the mic port at the bottom of the photo) that picks up sounds at the level of your ear canal, in addition to the two microphones located on the top of Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) hearing aid.

M&RIE was introduced to overcome some of the limitations of microphone placement on Behind-The-Ear (BTE) and Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) hearing aids. (Note: another name for RIEs is "Receiver-in-Canal" or RIC hearing aids).  With the natural ear, the sound is collected by the outer ear (pinna and canal) and naturally boosted slightly.  The outer ear also provides some additional benefit with localizing to sound—that is, knowing where the sound comes from in our environment. Finally, the outer ear also, to some extent, minimizes wind noise.

However, with RIC and BTE hearing aids placed on top and behind the ear, the microphones pick up sound in an unnatural location.  This means the natural boost we get from our ears isn’t there for these hearing aids. In addition, sound localization may not be as good and the microphones may be more prone to wind noise.

Of course, custom hearing instruments—especially those that fit deeper into the ear canal— have microphones that pick up sound in a more natural location. However, custom aids represent only a small part of the overall U.S. hearing aid market, with RIEs accounting for more than 80% of hearing aids sold.

Engineers have been aware of the microphone location issues for a long time and have devised features to help minimize the effects.  For example, most modern digital hearing aids have a wind noise algorithm that will reduce the annoyance of wind.  Also, there are microphone location corrections built-in to help mimic the natural response of the ear.  However, none of these improvements can completely imitate the natural response of the human ear and can’t be fine-tuned for individual-specific anatomy.

This is where the M&RIE can be helpful, as one of the microphones sits in a more natural position. ReSound (maker of Beltone products) reports via an internal study that M&RIE improved front-to-back localization by 10% and overall localization by 9% compared to an omnidirectional condition. These improvements were seen for individuals with mild hearing loss.  Whether or not those improvements exist for those with more significant hearing loss is not known.

It should be noted that adding a microphone to a receiver will naturally increase its size and, because the microphone is close to where sound is delivered to the ear, the M&RIE system may be more prone to feedback. Feedback is that annoying squeal or squelch sometimes heard with amplified systems.  As such, if you have small or narrow ear canals, your ear may be unable to accommodate the M&RIE receiver.  In addition, your degree of hearing loss may limit its use.  Your hearing care provider can help you determine if this technology is a good fit for you.

Check My Fit Feature

The Check My Fit Feature is a new feature available within the HearMAX™ app. This handy tool is available to help ensure your hearing aids are properly placed on and in the ear.  Placing hearing aids on the ear can be difficult for some people, especially new wearers.  It can be even more difficult for those with a reduced sense of touch in the fingers or for those who experience a tremor. Having the hearing aid only partially seated in the ear can lead to reduced audibility, discomfort, increased feedback, and may even cause you to lose the hearing aid.  The Check My Fit tool allows you to ensure your hearing aids are seated properly in the ear by comparing photos you take of each ear to those taken by your hearing provider.  It’s much like taking a selfie with your smartphone.

Resound Check My Fit App

The Check My Fit feature is particularly useful for first-time users who are looking for some quick assistance with how their hearing aid should be situated on the ear.

One study by the company found that the Check My Fit was easy to learn and use and that 70% of participants had better hearing aid insertions than those that didn’t use the tool. Of course, not everyone will have a smart phone or choose to download the app, but those that do choose to use the feature may find that it very helpful.  It may be especially beneficial for those that are new to hearing aids

Additional Technology/Features

In addition to the unique product features detailed above, Beltone Achieve hearing aids offer other advanced features that are increasingly common in top-of-the-line advanced hearing aids.

Connectivity

As with most modern hearing aids, Beltone Achieve offers Bluetooth and wireless connectivity to an array of compatible devices. For example, Achieve can connect to both Android™ and Apple® compatible products, providing direct audio streaming to both hearing aids. Achieve further offers hands-free calling with iPhone® and iPad® compatible products.

Beltone Achieve Minirie 0223

Unfortunately, a direct, hands-free calling option is not available for Android phones. However, you can still use the hearing aids for a phone call, holding the phone to your ear as you normally would. Alternatively, you can purchase an accessory, such as the Beltone Remote Control 2, if you require hands-free calling.

Another small drawback of the Beltone Achieve connectivity is that it allows for only one connection to be active at a time but will allow for up to 8 pairings. This is a disadvantage compared to some competitive brands, like Phonak, with products allowing up to two active connections. Having two active connections is advantageous, for example, when you have both a work phone and a personal phone. With two active connections, there’s no need to continually disconnect one to use the other. Obviously, this is only a drawback if you need or want to connect to multiple devices in your environment several times a day.

Finally, Achieve hearing aids can also be connected to other devices, such as laptops and tablets via Bluetooth. For a current list of products that Achieve or other Beltone products will connect with, please take a look at their compatibility website.

HearMax™ App

The free HearMax app can be downloaded to your smart phone and is available for both Apple and Android products. The app can be used as a simple remote to change programs and volume, and it can also be used to control your hearing aids’ directional response with the Speech Focus button (CrossLink Directionality for highest-end products), change tone such as bass and treble, monitor battery status, and more. There’s also a handy “Find My Hearing Aid” feature which, as the name suggests, can help you find your hearing aids should you misplace them.

Beltone Achieve Hearmax App

The Beltone HearMax app is handy for switching between the four programs, adjusting volume, controlling directional response and tone, and even locating your hearing aids when you've misplaced them.

For those with tinnitus (ringing in the ears), there is also the option to adjust your tinnitus sounds if your hearing provider has engaged this function for you within the hearing aid programming.  Called the “Tinnitus Breaker Pro,” this app feature allows you to change the volume level and frequency shaping of the tinnitus signal, as well as choose between white noise variations and a Nature Sound. Several manufacturers only allow for adjustment of overall volume for the tinnitus sounds; however, for people who have tinnitus that varies throughout the day, having the ability to adjust beyond simple volume can be helpful.

Additionally, a separate app called Tinnitus Calmer™ is available as a free download for both Apple and Android products. This separate app allows you to control a combination of sounds added to your hearing aids’ amplification to help minimize your tinnitus symptoms. The app can help you create a personalized therapy plan and includes exercises that focus your mind elsewhere and not on your tinnitus. It even provides access to guided meditations and breathing exercises.

Keep in mind that not all Beltone clinicians may feel comfortable treating your tinnitus symptoms, especially if you are experiencing a lot of distress regarding those symptoms. Consults with an audiologist and/or a behavioral therapist as well as a thorough medical evaluation may be warranted.

The HearMax hearing aid app provides additional functionality to request remote care from your hearing provider. This can be helpful if you live far from your Beltone office or just prefer to have minor adjustments made from the comfort of your home. Most hearing aid manufacturers now have similar remote care capabilities, as it quickly became a necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The option remains useful for simple adjustments and even firmware updates to your hearing aids.

However, there are no health and fitness tracking features within the HearMax app or in Achieve hearing aids. Some manufacturers, including Starkey and Phonak, allow for fitness tracking. For example, you can track your steps, or for some models even check your heart rate and set fitness goals. None of this is possible, at least currently, with the Beltone Achieve product.

The HearMax app is highly rated in both the Apple App Store and Google Play™ stores, with ratings of 4.7 and 4.6, respectively.  This is an excellent rating for a hearing aid app, as many competing apps hover in the 2-3 range (on a 5-point scale).  Users report that the app is easy to use and, generally, works well. However, as with many hearing aid apps, there are complaints of connectivity issues between the app and the hearing aids. Numerous updates to the app have been made (the most recent in October 2023) to help address this issue and support new products and features.

Available Models

Beltone Achieve offers a wide range of products to meet both your lifestyle needs and your degree of hearing loss. Each model is available in 3 different technology tiers, making them available to you at different price points. The hearing aids come in 8 different colors for the RIE products and 6 for the custom products to match your preferences and/or your hair and skin tones. All of the RIE or BTE style hearing aids, as well as the custom products with a push button or remote, are available with up to 4 different listening programs.

Let’s take a look at each available model in a bit more detail.

Beltone Achieve RIE and BTE models

Achieve comes in Receiver-In-Ear (RIE) and Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aid styles.

Beltone Achieve Ric Bte Chargers

Beltone Achieve Receiver-in-Ear (RIE) and Behind-the-Ear (BTE) styles and three charger options for rechargeable models.

  • miniRIE: Small RIE style hearing aid that fits behind the ear; rechargeable lithium-ion battery; push button; no telecoil
  • Rechargeable RIE (RIE 63 DRWC): RIE style hearing aid that fits behind the ear; rechargeable lithium-ion battery; push button; no telecoil
  • RIE w/ 312 Battery (RIE 63 DRW): RIE style hearing aid that fits behind the ear; standard, disposable size 312 battery; push button; no telecoil
  • RIE with Size 13 Battery (RIE 64 DRW): RIE style hearing aid that fits behind the ear; standard, disposable size 13 battery (larger than Size 312); multi-function button; telecoil
  • Standard Rechargeable BTE (IMP 76 DWC): Traditional BTE that fits behind the ear; rechargeable lithium-ion battery; standard earhook with earmold or slim tube with dome; push button; telecoil
  • Power Rechargeable BTE (IMP 86 DWC): Traditional BTE that fits behind the ear; rechargeable lithium-ion battery; standard earhook with earmold; push button and volume control; telecoil

Beltone Achieve custom hearing models

As their name implies, custom hearing aids are custom-made for your unique ear shape and are seated within the ear, rather than over the ear like RIE and BTE hearing aid styles. In general, custom hearing aids are smaller and more discreet than BTE-type styles. However, the smaller size can come with compromises: they can be more difficult to handle, have fewer/no controls, and can be easier to misplace or damage. In some cases, like the Achieve CIC, they also do not offer wireless capabilities.

Beltone Achieve Custom Cic Itc Ite

Beltone Achieve custom Completely-in-Canal (CIC), In-the-Canal (ITC), and In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aid models.

  • ITE/ITC DWC: Custom ITE with styling that mimics an earbud; rechargeable lithium-ion battery, push button
  • CIC-DWC: Custom CIC that hides in the ear canal; standard, disposable size 10A battery, no app controls or wireless technology

Here is a quick reference chart comparing the models and features of the above Beltone Achieve hearing aids:

Style and battery Model Fitting Controls Telecoil Degree of HL
MiniRIE RIE 62- DRWC Wire w/ dome or custom earmold Push button, app, or remote No Mild to Severe
Rechargeable RIE RIE 63-DRWC Wire w/ dome or custom earmold Push button, app, or remote No Mild to Profound
RIE w/ Size 312 battery RIE 63- DRW Wire w/ dome or custom earmold Push button, app, or remote No Mild to Profound
RIE w/ Size 13 battery RIE 64- DRW Wire w/ dome or custom earmold Multi-function button, app, or remote Yes Mild to Profound
Rechargeable BTE IMP 76-DWC Earhook or thin tube Push button, app, or remote Yes Mild to Profound
Rechargeable Power BTE IMP 86-DWC Earhook Push button & Volume control, app, or remote Yes Moderate to Profound
Rechargeable Custom ITE/ITC ITE/ITC-DWC Custom In-ear Push button, app, or remote No Mild to Severe
CIC w/ Size 10A battery CIC-DWC Custom in-ear None No Mild to Severe

Rechargeability and Standard Battery Options

Beltone Achieve is offered in multiple rechargeable models, including RIEs, BTEs, and custom products. Depending on the model of the hearing aid, multiple charger options may be available.

For example, the rechargeable custom products have only one charger available and it does not act as a battery pack. The 63/64 DRWC products, however, are available with 3 different chargers: a portable charger, a desktop charger, and a standard charger.

Beltone Achieve Ric And Charger

Beltone Achieve RIE and premium charger.

All of the chargers use a USB power supply and inductive charging. The desktop charger is intended to be stationary, while the premium charger is portable and acts as a battery pack, allowing for up to 3 charges without connecting to an outlet. Charging the internal battery within the premium charger will take about 3 hours. The standard charger may be more portable than the desktop charger but doesn’t act as a battery pack.

Standard Charger

Standard Charger

Charges device when connected to power outlet.

Functions

  • Battery Charger

Compatible Aids

Your rechargeable Achieve hearing aid can get up to 30 hours on a single charge, but this is variable depending on your hearing aid programming, how you use the hearing aid, and how much time you spend streaming. Keep in mind that streaming results in additional battery drain.

The more powerful rechargeable BTEs (IMP 76/86) will likely only provide up to 24 hours of use. Regardless of the style or the amplification power, you should easily get a full day’s use with your rechargeable hearing aids (12+ hours).

Standard, disposable hearing aid batteries are also available in several Achieve models. These hearing aids feature size 13, 312, or 10A (listed largest to smallest) zinc-air batteries. Note that the custom Achieve ITE and ITC are also rechargeable, making them a very nice option, especially for those with dexterity and/or vision issues. Regardless of the size of the disposable battery, these devices are all small and can be challenging for some to handle. Having a rechargeable custom option is a welcome feature not offered by all hearing aid manufacturers.

Belcare™ support and Beltone's hearing aid pricing

When you purchase hearing aids from Beltone they come with a care package called Belcare™. This package of support includes a free annual hearing test, remote care (if appropriate and available at the Beltone retail outlet), and a 2-year protection for changes in hearing loss. That is, should your hearing change significantly during the first 2 years after purchasing your hearing aids, Beltone will provide a new set of hearing aids to match your reduced hearing. Beltone will also inspect and clean your hearing aids for the life of the hearing aids. However, you should be aware that Beltone locks their hearing aid software, meaning you are limited to obtaining service only from a Beltone certified provider.

But should you need assistance away from home, Beltone has 1,500 retail outlets in North America that can help you with your hearing aids. This makes Beltone a good choice for people who have a second home or those who frequently travel. Additionally, the company further offers a toll-free Patient Care Phone Line should you have any questions about your hearing aids: 800-BELTONE (800-235-8663).

However, Beltone’s support comes at a cost. While the company does offer hearing aids at different price points, including the Jabra Enhance™ Plus over-the-counter (OTC) earbuds at $799 a pair, the majority of Beltone products will come at a cost premium. For example, the Achieve products will likely cost you in the range of $4,000-$7,000 a pair. The pricing will vary by your location, the level of technology you choose, the style of hearing aids, and the price set by the Beltone retail office.

For comparison, Costco sells a similar product, the Jabra Enhance Pro 10 miniRIE, which is rechargeable and standard with the charging case, for $1,599 a pair. From a hearing aid technology standpoint, these are relatively comparable products manufactured by the same company, GN Hearing.

Accessories

Beltone Achieve hearing aids are available with a wide choice of accessories to make the most of your hearing aid investment. These include TV streamers, remote microphones, and remote controls. Beltone also conveniently packages its accessories, which is a bundle of products based on your listening needs. Accessories can be bought separately or as a bundle, but all will come at an additional cost to your hearing aids.

Here’s a list of the accessories available for the Achieve hearing aids:

Beltone TV Link 2 – Connects to most TVs and allows for streaming of the TV signal directly to your hearing aids. TV streamers are very popular as they allow for a clean audio signal to be sent to your hearing aids which are set for your hearing loss. It also means you can listen to the TV at your preferred level and so can others in the room.

TV Link 2

TV Link 2

Wirelessly streams high-quality stereo sound from the TV to hearing aids using 2.4 GHz technology. Streams sound from other audio sources as well, including home stereos and PCs.

Beltone myPAL and myPAL Pro remote mics – These small remote microphones allow you to hear others in noisy rooms or at a distance (like a classroom). Simply give the person you want to hear the portable microphone and the devices will transmit their voice directly to your hearing aids. The myPAL Pro varies slightly in that it includes a tabletop function that will pick up speakers nearby. This is great for meetings or a group of people out to dinner.

myPAL Pro

myPAL Pro

Remote directional microphone with a clear line-of-sight range of up to 80 feet and 10-hour battery life. When set down horizontally, automatically switches to table mode to pick the voices of multiple speakers.

Functions

Beltone Remote Control and Remote Control 2 – Beltone Remote control is a very simple remote that has oversized and raised buttons to make changing programs and the volume of your hearing aids very simple. Great for those persons who have trouble using the button(s) on the hearing aids or the smartphone app. Beltone Remote Control 2 has more features, allowing you to change the volume of your hearing aids (one or both), change programs, and switch between different connected devices such as your myPAL remote mic, your PC, or your TV.

Remote Control

Remote Control

Small enough to fit in your pocket, large push buttons enable wireless volume control and switching of hearing aid programs.

Functions

  • Remote Control

Compatible Aids

Remote Control 2

Remote Control 2

Small enough to fit in your pocket, push-button control and an LED display enable wireless volume adjustment, switching of hearing aid programs, management of multiple audio streams from smartphone, TV, or computer, and other control functions.

Functions

  • Remote Control

Beltone Phone Link 2 – A useful accessory if you have a phone (or other device) that is not compatible with your Beltone hearing aids. It can act as an intermediary device to allow for streaming of audio to your hearing aids. It’s also used to make Android phones hands-free. Further, it can double as a remote control to adjust your hearing aids volume or change programs.

Beltone Phone Link 2

Beltone Phone Link 2

Small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, it wirelessly streams audio from your phone to your hearing aids. Also works with the Beltone SmartRemote App to control your hearing aids.

Functions

Our recommendation

At the time of this writing, Beltone Achieve is not Beltone's latest product offering, as in September 2023 the company released Beltone Serene™. Still, the Achieve line of products are very well-designed and sophisticated hearing aids, and the multiple technology levels make them available at different price points. For those who struggle to hear speech in noise and are in variable and challenging listening environments, this product should be a good fit for you.

Beltone also offers a wide array of accessories that provide additional functionality and the possibility of further improving hearing in noisy situations. In addition, Beltone, as a well-established retail chain, offers a network of retail stores as well as remote care and phone support for their products. This can be a big advantage if you wish to switch providers, frequently travel, or own a second home.

However, that support and technology come at a premium cost. As always, here at HearingTracker we highly recommend you discuss all your options with a hearing provider so you can choose the best technology for your individual needs.

Angela Flores

Doctor of Audiology

Angela Flores received her Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of South Alabama and completed her CFY at Mayo Clinic.  She received her AuD from Salus University in 2009.  She worked clinically with Mayo Clinic and the University of Florida Pediatric Program for over 8 years. Dr. Flores currently works as an adjunct professor for the University of New Hampshire and as a consultant.