Starkey Hearing Aids
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.
William F. Austin founded Starkey Hearing in 1967, initially as a retail shop and repair service for hearing aids. The company soon began building its own hearing aids and gradually expanded sales worldwide. In the past decade, Starkey has invested heavily in research and development, delivering innovations in sound processing, wireless technologies, and miniaturization. Today, Starkey Hearing has more than 5,000 employees and operates in more than 100 countries.
2018: Starkey Livio
2017: Starkey Halo iQ
2016: Starkey SoundLens Synergy, Starkey Muse, Starkey Halo 2
2015: Starkey Z Series
2014: Starkey Halo
2013: Starkey 3 Series
2011: Starkey Xino
Starkey hearing aid technologies
Starkey makes premium hearing aids for all levels of hearing loss, programmed by an audiologist or other hearing health professional based on the results of your hearing test. In recent years, the company has established a position as a leading developer of emerging hearing aid technologies.
- Starkey was among the first to advance miniaturization technology to deliver "invisible hearing aids" that sit deep within the ear canal.
- Starkey was also an early entrant in the Made-for-iPhone hearing aid market with its Halo and Livio hearing aids.
- Starkey claims its artificial intelligence (AI) sound processing system, Starkey Sound™, makes it easier for hearing-aid wearers to understand speech in noisy environments.
- In 2018, Starkey introduced what it called the "first hearing aid with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence”; for example, a sensor-based fall-detection feature alerts medical responders if the you take a spill.
- In 2020, Starkey began selling their integrated sensor technology in a rechargeable custom-fitted form factor, and launched a table microphone for improved hearing in groups.
- In 2021, Starkey launched Evolv AI, its latest flagship hearing aid family, which offers health sensors, fall alerts, telehealth capabilities, and hands-free phone calls on iPhone.
In addition to iPhone compatibilities, Starkey added native audio streaming for select Android smartphones in early 2020.
Starkey hearing aid prices
Starkey hearing aids range in price from $1,327 to $4,379 per device, depending on the model. Popular models include the Livio and Evolv AI.
About Our Pricing Data
Average retail prices are calculated based on data from HearingTracker’s advertising platform. Consumers save an average of $835 per device on Starkey hearing aids when using Hearing Tracker’s hearing aid discounts platform.
Starkey hearing aid models
Starkey provides a broad line of hearing aids for all forms of hearing loss. Multiple levels of technology and features accommodate users' individual needs. Its model styles include custom invisible in-the-ear (ITE) and receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids as well as powerful behind-the-ear (BTE) solutions.
Starkey Evolv AI
Evolv AI is the latest flagship hearing aid family from Starkey. The full-featured Evolv AI features direct audio streaming (iOS and Android), hands-free calling (iOS only), sensor-based accelerometers to detect falls and monitor real-time health information, and, and artificial-intelligence (AI) software that Starkey claims improves speech understanding in background noise.
Evolv AI is available in a wide range of form factors. Wireless connectivity is available in all but the very smallest hearing aid. The BTE and RIC options come in a variety of color options ranging from black, white, and silver to espresso, bronze, and champagne.
The full Starkey Evolv AI lineup.
Starkey Sound™ for clear speech
When Starkey launched Evolv AI, Chief Technology Officer Achin Bhowmik, said “Evolv AI hearing device will make 55 million adjustments - automatically”. Starkey Sound is a proprietary sound processing platform that monitors and adapts to your listening environment to optimize sound—Starkey claims that the system is “designed to automatically suppress background noise and designed to increase speech audibility and intelligibility with machine learning technology”.
Key features of Evolv AI
The following features are available in Evolv AI. A number of these features are also available in Livio and Livio AI (Starkey’s previous generation). Please consult the comparison chart below for a full breakdown features by product family.
- Starkey Sound™ - Evolv AI’s primary sound processing engine relies on machine learning to reduce background noise and enhance speech clarity.
- Hands-free calling - Evolv AI supports hands-free calling on iOS devices running iOS 15 or higher.
- Fall detection - Detects when you fall and sends an alert message to selected contacts.
- Edge Mode - Conducts an AI-based analysis of the environment and makes smart and immediate adjustments.
- Translate - Communicate with people who speak other languages via a translation tool in the Thrive app.
- Thrive Care App - The Thrive Care app lets hearing aid wearers share information like physical activity, hearing aid usage, social engagement and more, with pre-selected people.
- MultiFlex Tinnitus Pro - Creates a comforting and customizable sound stimulus that you and your hearing professional can fine-tune to soothe the unique, irritating sounds you hear.
- Find My Phone - Using your hearing aids and Thrive Assistant, you can now locate your lost or misplaced phone by having it ring.
- Transcribe - Conversations are transcribed into text that can be saved or shared.
- Body tracking - Tracks your daily steps, measures movement and monitors more vigorous physical activity.
- Brain tracking - Monitors the brain-health benefits of wearing hearing aids by tracking active listening.
- Tap controls - Enables you to easily stop or start audio streaming by simply tapping your ear twice.
- Voice commands - You can use voice commands and ask questions related to the Thrive Hearing app to control your hearing aids or set reminders.
Starkey Evolv AI expert review
HearingTracker recently reviews the Starkey Evolv AI. See what our audiologist Matthew Allsop has to say about their performance:
Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.
Charging Evolv AI
There are two charger types available for Evolv AI, the Standard Charger, and the Mini Turbo Charger. The Standard Charger is a portable plug-in charger that comes with Evolv AI RIC R and delivers three full charges on the go. The Mini Turbo Charger is a pocket-sized charger that is sold separately and delivers four charges on the go.
The Standard (left) and the Mini Turbo Chargers both provide on-the-go rechargeability.
Evolv AI Custom
Evolv AI Custom is a custom-fitted in-the-ear version of the Evolv AI. The Custom is rechargeable, and includes the same embedded sensors as the behind-the-ear model. Metal charging contacts, a push button, and microphone ports are seen on the exterior faceplate of the Custom. Edge mode is also available via a double-tap.
Livio Edge AI hearing aids
Livio is Starkey’s previous flagship product family, and the successor to Starkey's Halo iQ family of hearing aids. Livio is available in multiple behind-the-ear and in-the-ear form factors. Like Evolv AI, Livio Edge AI also supports direct audio streaming (iOS and Android) and has sensors, AI, and fall alerts. Livio AI made the list on Dr Cliff’s top hearing aids of 2021. Here’s his review:
Evolv AI vs Livio vs Livio AI vs Livio Edge AI
Evolv AI and Livio are available in multiple technology levels (named “1000”, “1200”, “1600”, “2000”, and “2400”) with “1000” being the lowest technology (cheapest) and “2400” being the highest technology (most expensive). While “AI” is included in all Evolv models, Starkey offers an optional AI feature upgrade for each Livio technology levels, yielding products like the “Livio 1000 AI” or “Livio 2000 AI”. At the very top level, the AI feature upgrade is referred to as “Edge AI”, so the absolute highest technology level available is the “Livio 2400 Edge AI”.
Confused yet? We were too! To help clear things up, we’ve created the following table, inspired by the work of Nathan Darby at Chenal Hearing in Little Rock, AR. We’ve updated it to include Evolv AI.
|Evolv AI||2400 + Edge Al||2000 + Al||1600 + Al||1200 + Al||1000 + Al|
|Custom - In the Ear||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Thrive Care App||✓||✓|
|Find My Phone||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Multiflex Tinnitus Pro||✓||✓|
|Live Sessions (TeleHear™)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Remote Adjustments (Asynchronous)||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
*available with iOS only
** Reminders may be added via in-app purchase $4.99/m
Feature descriptions courtesy Starkey.
* Most clinics charge more for the AI upgrade, but some may offer the upgrade at no cost.
Picasso invisible hearing aids
Picasso is an invisible in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aid that use size 10 hearing aid batteries. Picaso is compatible with Starkey's 2.4 GHz streaming accessories that provide wireless connectivity with external microphones and the TV. And feedback cancellation prevents annoying whistling. In terms of pricing, we suspect the prices are roughly in line with pricing for Starkey Livio.
Starkey tinnitus solutions
Starkey offers personalized tinnitus relief solutions with all its product models and technology levels. The company's Multiiflex Tinnitus Technology, adjustable via the Starkey TruLink smartphone app, generates tinnitus masking sounds that the user can customize to bring relief from ringing and other noises in the head. Starkey's tinnitus algorithm intelligently sets the tinnitus stimulus according to the patient's audiogram. And up to 24 bands of frequency adjustments enable the hearing-aid users to work with the audiologist to find the masking sound that works best.
Starkey hearing aid apps and accessories
Starkey provides a number of accessories that improve hearing aid performance in challenging listening environments, while watching TV, when on the phone, and in numerous other ways. To learn which accessories work with the hearing aids you wear, consult with your hearing healthcare provider.
Thrive remote care app
The Thrive Hearing Control smartphone app works with Evolv AI and Livio AI to perform wellness tracking, activity tracking, brain health tracking, and language translation functions. All versions of Evolv AI and Livio have access to a hearing aid finder function, iOS audio streaming for phone calls and multimedia audio, hearing-aid remote control, personalized listening programs, geo-tagged listening programs, audio notifications, an adaptive car mode, and accessories for wireless audio streaming from Bluetooth devices.
The Thrive app also activates the AI capabilities in the hearing aids. Among other things, it manages fall detection and alerts, enables voice-to-text transcription, automatically monitors hearing aid performance, translates words from 27 languages into English, allows the hearing care provider to make remote adjustments, and controls accessories.
Remote Microphone +
Remote Microphone + streams audio from a variety of sources to Evolv AI and Livio hearing aids. Among other things, it lets you use your hearing aids to connect directly to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
And the Mini Remote Microphone can be clipped to the clothing and makes it easy to hear a conversation partner from across the room.
In February, 2020, Starkey introduced the Table Microphone, which is designed “for group settings like meetings, family gatherings or noisy restaurant environments.”
The Table Microphone is placed on a table to improve hearing for speech in a group setting. It contains 8 built-in microphones and transmits sound via a 2.4Ghz wireless connection.
TV audio streamer
When plugged into either analog or digital outputs on the TV or other audio source, the streamer transmits audio directly to your Evolv AI and Livio hearing aids.
Legacy hearing aid models and accessories
Starkey continues to support earlier hearing-aid models based on previous generations of its sound-processing technology. Because these models still provide high-performance functionality, some audiologist may still sell them at lower price points than the latest models.
Starkey Muse and Muse IQ hearing aids came in multiple styles, including RIC, BTE, and ITC. The family provided advanced sound processing and included a rechargeable RIC solution. Muse hearing aids were also compatible with Starkey's 2.4 GHz streaming accessories.
Starkey Halo hearing aids featured advanced sound processing, noise reduction, and directional microphones. The Made-for-iPhone functionality provided wireless streaming of audio and phone calls from iOS devices, and Starkey TruLink 2.4 GHz wireless enabled (with accessory purchase) wireless audio streaming from Android phones and external microphones.
Starkey Z Series hearing aids came in form factors ranging BTE to CIC. They featured frequency shifting to replicate high-frequency sounds at lower frequencies and provided a full range of connectivity options utilizing Starkey's 2.4 GHz streaming accessories.
The Starkey Xino RIC 10 was a receiver in-the ear hearing aid that had a telecoil and used size 10 hearing aid batteries. The Starkey 3 Series was a family of hearing aids that came in multiple form factors and with five technology levels.
Trulink remote controller and app
With the TruLink 2.4 GHz wireless platform, you could use your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch to stream audio to your Starkey’s Halo iQ hearing aids. You could also control volume and program settings.
Starkey also offered the hand-held TruLink Remote to adjust Halo iQ hearing aids. It let you control memory and volume adjustments, mute your hearing aids, or toggle several other special features without having to use the smartphone.
Surflink accessories were used to connect Bluetooth-ready mobile devices to Starkey Muse, Soundlens and Z Series hearing aids, SurfLink streaming solutions include; SurfLink Mini Mobile for cell-phone calls; and SurfLink Remote Microphone 2, which could be worn by a conversation partner to aid one-on-one conversations or settings with multiple speakers.
SurfLink Media 2 streamed audio in stereo from TVs and MP3 players to your hearing aids. Surflink Remote was a hand-held push-button controller for hearing aid volume and other functions. And SurfLink Mobile 2 was a cell phone transmitter, assistive listening device, media streamer and hearing aid remote all rolled into one.