Starkey Hearing Aids
Models, Features, Prices, and Reviews
07 August 2019
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.
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.
- It 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’s IQ sound processing system makes it easier for hearing-aid wearers to understand speech in noisy environments.
- And 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 in the Starkey Livio AI hearing aid alerts medical responders if the you take a spill.
In addition to iPhone compatibility, Starkey offers wireless accessories that stream audio from Android phones and Bluetooth devices.
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.
Livio and Livio AI
Starkey Livio and Livio AI hearing aids are the flagship models in Starkey Hearing's family products. They are Made-For-iPhone hearing aids that are successors to Starkey's Halo iQ family of hearing aids. The top technology version of the Livio family, Livio AI, features sensor-based accelerometers and artificial-intelligence software that can detect falls and monitor real-time health information. Livio AI made the list on Dr Cliff’s top hearing aids of 2019.
Livio App Control
The Thrive Hearing Control smartphone app works with Livio AI to perform wellness tracking, activity tracking, brain health tracking, and language translation functions. All versions of 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.
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Starkey Halo hearing aids — Starkey’s previous flagship Made For iPhone product family — feature advanced sound processing, noise reduction, and directional microphones for better understanding of speech in challenging listening environments. The Made-for-iPhone functionality provides wireless streaming of audio and phone calls from iOS devices, and Starkey TruLink 2.4 GHz wireless enables (with accessory purchase) wireless audio streaming from Android phones and external microphones. And geotagged GPS memories in your smartphone tell your hearing aids to automatically switch program modes when they detect you are in tagged locations such as "home," or "work."
Muse and Muse IQ
Starkey Muse and Muse IQ hearing aids come in multiple styles including in-the-canal (ITC), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), and behind-the-ear (BTE). The family provides advanced sound processing and includes a rechargeable RIC solution that enables all-day hearing on an overnight charge. The Muse hearing aids are also compatible with Starkey's 2.4 GHz streaming accessories that provide wireless connectivity with external microphones and the TV.
SoundLens Synergy and Picasso invisible hearing aids
Starkey SoundLens Synergy and Picasso hearing aids are invisible in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids that use size 10 hearing aid batteries. They are also 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.
Starkey Z Series hearing aids come in form factors ranging from behind-the-ear (BTE), to receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), to in-the-ear (ITE) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC). They help new hearing-aid wearers adjust to new sounds gradually by automatically adjusting them over time. They feature frequency shifting to replicate high-frequency sounds at lower frequencies that can be heard more easily. And they provide a full range of connectivity options utilizing Starkey's 2.4 GHz streaming accessories.
Starkey legacy hearing aid models
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. The Starkey Xino RIC 10 is a receiver in-the ear hearing aid that has a telecoil and uses size 10 hearing aid batteries. The Starkey 3 Series is a family of hearing aids that comes in multiple form factors and with five technology levels.
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 App works with Livio AI hearing aids to make phone calls and control program settings on the hearing aids. The Thrive app also lets you view and manage the health information that Livio AI monitors and stores for you, providing daily feedback from your Thrive Wellness Score.
Smartphone app that works with Livio AI hearing aids lets you make phone calls, control program settings, and view and manage health information collected by the hearing aids.
Compatible hearing aids
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 Livio 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.
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 Livio and Livio AI hearing aids.
Trulink remote controller and app
With the TruLink 2.4 GHz wireless platform, you can use your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch to stream audio to your Starkey’s Halo iQ hearing aids. You can also control volume and program settings.
If you prefer a handheld accessory, Starkey also offers TruLink Remote to adjust your Halo iQ hearing aids. Small enough to fit into your shirt pocket, it lets you control memory and volume adjustments, mute your hearing aids, or toggle several other special features without having to use the smartphone.
Surflink accessories are used to connect any Bluetooth-ready mobile device 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 can be worn by a conversation partner to aid one-on-one conversations or settings with multiple speakers.
SurfLink Media 2, streams audio in stereo from TVs and MP3 players directly to your hearing aids. Surflink Remote is a hand-held pushbutton controller for hearing aid volume and other functions. And SurfLink Mobile 2, a cell phone transmitter, assistive listening device, media streamer and hearing aid remote all rolled into one.
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.
Check out these recent reviews for Starkey-brand hearing aids. Click on the model name to see more reviews!
The aids seem to have problems with the electronics. They have been sent back to the provider twice in two years, the last time they were completely replaced. I have no issue with the customer service, that has been just fine. My issue is with the problems that have caused me to work with customer service to begin with. It has also been very difficult to arrive at proper settings for my hearing loss, even though it is only moderate.
When I bought these about 2-1/2 years ago, I wanted the best and latest technology with great local and vendor support. Support-wise, met all my expectations. I really like the audio streaming in both ears when using my iPhone for calls or listened to media channels. Not so much for music though, would rather listen to music w/o streaming and go the traditional way like I did before hearing aids. Some tones sound a bit off from the songs I remember, though - probably me and not the hearing aids causing that. One thing I still struggle with is understanding someone's voice in the office when they are only a few feet from me. Usually females, but some soft-spoken males are tough to understand, too. When I adjust the program to hear them, it helps. But then it picks up the office "white noise" more, so I revert back to the "normal" setting. My audiologist is great and tries to reprogram them when I get time and she's available to help me. I wish these could be programmed remotely - not so. Will have to spend more $$$ to upgrade, I guess.
Given my level of hearing loss, almost anything would be a vast improvement over my natural hearing. They do have a much better T-coil then anything I have had before. The surflink mobile 2 works very well as a remote and being able to stream phone or music directly to my hearing aids helps a lot, but Bluetooth connections are kind of hit or miss. Just to note, the repair that was needed seemed to be due to sweat damage to the microphones, at least that was our best guess. Starkey replaced the aid under warranty at no cost.