Unitron is a leading brand of the Sonova Group, the world's largest manufacturer of hearing aids. Other brands under the Sonova umbrella include Phonak and Lyric hearing aids and even a private-label brand for United Healthcare, called “Relate.”
Originally founded in 1964 as the first Canadian hearing aid manufacturer, it has its headquarters in the Waterloo region of Canada with U.S. headquarters in Minnesota. The company operates in more than 70 countries worldwide and has a major presence in the North American and European markets.
2021: Unitron Moxi Blu
2019: Unitron Discover
2017: Unitron Tempus
2015: Unitron N Moxi, Unitron Stride
2013: Unitron Moxi Kiss
2012: Unitron Max 20, Unitron Quantum 6, Unitron Quantum E, Unitron Quantum Pro
2011: Unitron Moxi
Unitron technology overview
Unitron makes premium and entry-level hearing aids for all levels of hearing losses, programmed by an audiologist or other hearing care professional (HCP) based on the results of a hearing test. The brand has drawn on its parent company's R&D leadership to help deliver high-performance hearing aids—especially products offering universal wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
There are many exceptional and unique qualities of Unitron hearing aids; however, if we had to name three, these would be our top picks for the brand:
- Wireless streaming: Unitron hearing aids offer exceptional connectivity options for both iOS and Android smartphones and customization via the Unitron Remote Plus app
- Speech in noise processing: Vivante and Blu brands offer an array of directional microphone and automatic sound processing strategies to help you hear better in noise, especially in the higher-technology tiers, as well as a full line of accessories
- FLEX:TRIAL and FLEX:UPGRADE: Enables wearers to try out different technology tiers of the hearing aids prior to purchasing, and also upgrade the devices later as desired
Unitron markets four different technology platforms and produces several different styles of hearing aids and technology tiers underpinning those platforms. To better help you understand Unitron’s product naming structure here’s a quick guide.
Four Technology Platforms
- Vivante™ (2023)
- Blu (2021)
- Discover Next (2020)
- Tempus™ (2017)
Four Hearing Aid Styles
- Moxi™ Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)
- Stride™ Behind-The-Ear (BTE) (power)
- Max™ UP BTE (ultra-power in Tempus platform)
- Insera™ custom In-the-Ear (ITE)
While Unitron does rely on its parent company for product development, it also maintains considerable brand independence and differentiation of its products. Likewise, its services provide unique offerings, such as its FLEX:TRIAL which enables prospective wearers to try out their hearing aids prior to purchasing, and FLEX:UPGRADE, which allows for technology upgrades after purchase (more about this below).
Unitron hearing aid prices
Unitron hearing aids range in price from $1,642 to $4,003 per device, depending on the model. Popular models include the Tempus, Discover, and Moxi Blu.
|Unitron Moxi Blu 9||$4,003|
|Unitron Moxi Blu 7||$3,777|
|Unitron Moxi Blu 5||$2,847|
|Unitron Moxi Blu 3||$1,696|
|Unitron Discover 9||$3,328|
|Unitron Discover 7||$2,929|
|Unitron Discover 5||$2,698|
|Unitron Discover 3||$1,977|
|Unitron Tempus T Pro||$3,832|
|Unitron Tempus T 800||$3,285|
|Unitron Tempus T 700||$2,737|
|Unitron Tempus T 600||$2,190|
|Unitron Tempus T 500||$1,642|
About Our Pricing Data
Average retail prices are calculated based on data from HearingTracker’s advertising platform. Consumers save an average of $661 per device on Unitron hearing aids when using Hearing Tracker’s hearing aid discounts platform.
Unitron key features
Unitron’s products offer a variety of features across the company’s product portfolio. Features will vary by technology platform and the technology tier within that platform, but let’s take a look at some of the notable features of Unitron products.
Wireless audio streaming
Unitron and its Sonova-owned sister company, Phonak, both offer true Bluetooth hearing aids. They were the first manufacturers to provide a universal wireless solution that can stream stereo audio directly to and from any of the millions of standard Bluetooth-enabled audio devices in the world today. In addition, their hearing aids allow the wearer to enjoy hands-free calling from compatible phones as the hearing aids act as wireless headsets.
Unitron and Phonak Bluetooth compatibility includes Andriod™ phones, which currently account for approximately 71% of the global smartphone market and 42% of the U.S. market. While most hearing aid manufacturers now have some level of Android compatibility, several do not support the hands-free calling option. You'll find that most manufacturers have a hands-free option for many compatible iPhones®.
Unitron’s newest Bluetooth hearing aids on the Vivante and Blu platforms allow for 2 active connections and pairing for up to 8 different devices. The company also offers several other Bluetooth hearing aid models at different technology and power levels. These include Moxi Receiver-In-Canal (RIC), Stride Behind-The-Ear (BTE), and some Insera custom products.
New to the Vivante platform, HyperFocus aligns the hearing aid's directional microphones to a narrow beam in front of the listener in high noise situations. The intent is to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and the listener's ability to hear speech in challenging noise situations. HyperFocus will automatically engage in the new "conversation in loud noise" automatic listening program for the level 9 technology tier (highest level). However, it is also available in the level 7 technology tier but must be accessed manually by the wearer. "Conversation in loud noise" is also a new feature of Vivante allowing for an 8th environmental classification category in the level 9 products. When you step down in technology tiers, and usually price, you are limited to 6, 4 or even just 2 distinct listening environments.
Why is this important? The answer is, it may not be if you are in rather limited listening situations. However, if you lead an active lifestyle and find yourself in varying and challenging listening situations, the more advanced the technology levels may provide you improved listening performance. Keep in mind that this depends on many factors including the level of any noise, your degree and type of hearing loss, the room's acoustics, to name a few.
360 Conversation in Car
Also new to the Vivante platform, this listening program allows the wearer to manually switch to a program specifically designed to better hear conversation in the car, regardless of where people are sitting. This may be especially helpful for wearers who need to hear passengers in the back seat. Note that 360 conversation in car is only available in the level 9 premium product tier and you must be wearing 2 hearing aids (binaural fitting).
A sound processing strategy which is intended to boost speech regardless of the direction. In other words, if speech is coming from the front or side of the listener or even from behind, the hearing aid will amplify the speech while simultaneously diminishing noise you don't want to hear. AutoFocus 360 is available in the Vivante and Blu instruments but only in the highest technology tier (9). This processing strategy takes advantage of the wireless connection between the binaural hearing aids (both ears fit with hearing aids), analyzing input across the 4 microphones to adjust directionality and noise reduction in challenging environments. The goal of this feature is to improve speech understanding and listening comfort in noisy listening situations.
First made available in the Unitron Blu products, tap control allows you to start/stop streaming, accept or reject phone calls, and even access digital mobile assistants such as Siri by double-tapping the top of your ear. The feature can be enabled by your hearing care provider within the programming software or by you in the Remote Plus smartphone app. The tap feature is somewhat unique as most manufacturers require you to start/stop streaming from the connected audio device.
Unitron offers lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids in three of their technology platforms including Vivante, Blu, and Discover Next. The company says a single, complete charge offers 24 hours of use, and for those who like to stream audio/media, 8 hours of audio/media streaming will allow for a total battery life of 16 hours on a single, full charge. A full charge takes just 3 hours, and 1.5 hours of charging gets you an 80% battery charge.
Different chargers are available depending on the style and platform of the hearing aid. For example, the new Vivante Moxi V-R and V-RT utilize a redesigned charging case which now incorporates magnets to help guide the hearing aids into the proper charging position. Unitron does not make available a portable charger. However, a portable power-pack is available for the Moxi style products which allows you to charge the hearing aids without a power outlet.
Rechargeable products are not offered in the custom product lines, but are available from other manufacturers.
Often people who suffer from tinnitus will see relief of their symptoms simply by wearing appropriately fit hearing aids. However, some people may still experience bothersome tinnitus even when wearing hearing aids. Across all of their platforms and all of their technology levels, Unitron offers the ability for your HCP to add additional masking/therapy noise to your personalized amplification. Not all manufacturers provide this feature in their hearing aids.
The recently added Unitron Vivante Moxi V-312 Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) battery-powered and Stride V-PR Behind-the-Ear (BTE) rechargeable hearing aids.
Unitron Vivante hearing aids: Connectivity and Personalization
In 2021, Unitron introduced its Blu hearing aid line (see below), utilizing the Sonova PRISM™ (Processing Real-time Intelligent Sound Management) chipset with its Integra OS signal processing. Now, building on that platform are the new Vivante hearing aids, which were released in April 2023, and are designed to fit any level of hearing loss from mild to profound.
Unitron Vivante Styles
The Vivante hearing aid is offered in 4 different RIC options and one BTE. At this time, no custom products are available under the Vivante technology umbrella. Three of the RIC designs utilize rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and one has a 312 disposable-battery option. Let's take a closer look at the hearing aids available with Vivante technology:
- Moxi V-R = their smallest rechargeable RIC on the platform, includes multi-function button
- Moxi V-RT = small rechargeable RIC with multi-function button and built-in telecoil
- Moxi V-RS = unique and stylish slim design in a rechargeable RIC, includes multi-function button
- Moxi V-312 = RIC essentially identical to Moxi V-R, except it uses a size 312 disposable battery
- Stride V-PR = A small rechargeable BTE that looks and functions similarly to the Moxi V-R
Vivante VR and VR-T hearing aids with a more traditional design and charger.
Different options are available for the Vivante products depending on your needs. For example, if you prefer a very slim and stylish RIC, you likely will want to look at the V-RS, which is made for the left and right ears, specifically. It is available in 3 different color options and 4 different technology tiers. The Moxi V-R and V-RT are small RICs but in a more traditional design. The V-312 is a traditional design with the advantages/trade-offs of a disposable battery, and the Stride V-PR is a BTE that can give your provider additional fitting options.
They are available in 6 different color options and also have a choice of technology levels. That is, depending on your lifestyle and listening needs, the product is offered in several technology tiers.
The highest tier, Vivante 9, is considered premium technology and will incorporate all features. You can step down in technology (and price) as needed with the available 7 (advanced), 5 (standard) and 3 (essential) levels. Keep in mind that you won't have access to all features such as HyperFocus in the lowest tiers. The good news is Unitron offers their FLEX system which allows you to try different levels of technology and even upgrade to the next technology level should your listening wants or needs change. More on that later in this article.
Vivante V-RS hearing aids with slim design and charger.
Soft Speech Lift
Like the Blu product, Vivante also incorporates Soft Speech Lift. This feature, available in the 9, 7 and 5 technology tiers, will add gain (volume) of up to 4 dB to soft speech in quieter listening environments (below 55 dB SPL). People with hearing loss often miss soft speech cues such as consonants. Many consonants (e.g, the /sh/ and /s/ sounds) are not only high frequency sounds where many people experience hearing loss, but are also low in intensity.
Automatic environmental adjustments
Amplification can help you hear these missed cues but can also amplify other sounds you don’t want to hear. This is why noise reduction, directional microphones, and other algorithms like Soft Speech Lift and AutoFocus 360 are all aligned according to your current listening environment. It’s also why it’s important for the hearing aid to have an accurate environmental classification system, which Unitron continues to perfect via their machine learning and improved chipset capabilities.
For example, you typically don’t want directional microphones or noise reduction algorithms to engage in quiet environments—in these cases you want to hear everything around you, especially speech. However, if you’re in a noisy restaurant, you want both noise reduction and directional microphones to engage without you having to think about it; you want them to be dynamic and do all the work. That is, as you move around, they should adjust accordingly and they can make adjustments independently in each ear. Many modern hearing aids, including those from Unitron, can accomplish this quite well, allowing for better hearing in a wide range of listening environments. Unitron products will classify up to 8 different listening environments with the new Vivante (level 9).
Personalized noise handling
However, no two listeners are ever the same. For example, some hearing impaired listeners have a very low tolerance for noise, while others prefer to hear more background sounds. Unitron’s Vivante and Blu offer new additional personalization via the Remote Plus app.
Within the automatic program, you can choose to change not just volume or low/high frequencies, but also select to improve comfort or clarity within that program. When choosing “Comfort” or “Clarity” within the app, programming changes are made behind the scenes. For example, if you choose “Comfort'', there is a slight reduction in volume and the strength of speech enhancement is minimized.
You can also choose to increase/reduce the noise reduction and even adjust settings for the directional microphones. These changes/preferences can be reviewed by your hearing care professional on your next visit and help further fine tune your hearing aids as needed.
Wireless streaming and hands-free calling
Connectivity to smartphones and other devices in your home is now considered a “must-have” feature within hearing aids. How that connectivity is achieved varies across hearing aid manufacturers, which means that the functionality will also vary. For example, Phonak and Unitron were the first hearing aid manufacturers to make available hands-free calling with Bluetooth compatible phones.
Recently, other manufacturers have also added this convenience feature. What this means is that you are no longer tied to your phone for calls. That is, your hearing aids can act as a wireless headset, picking up your voice when speaking to the person on the other line. Some manufacturers still require that you speak into the phone in order for your voice to be heard by the caller. The hands-free calling is a very attractive convenience feature for many people.
Another feature somewhat unique in the industry is the ability to start/stop streaming of audio with a tap of the hearing aids. Most manufacturers require that you start/stop streaming on the audio device itself. This too is a convenience feature and is blurring the lines between wireless headsets and sophisticated hearing aids.
However, some people may find that the tap control is tricky to operate and may choose to simply use their audio device to start/stop audio.
Unitron Blu hearing aids
Blu hearing aids were originally introduced in 2021 and are based upon the same chipset as the new Vivante product line. As such, they have many of the same features as Vivante, but there are some key differences.
Unitron Blu hearing aids.
For example, as mentioned above, Vivante introduced expanded features such as the new 8th environment classification, the 360 conversation in car feature, a new slim RIC design, and a new magnetic charger for the Moxi V-R and Moxi RT. At the same time, both the Vivante and Blu offer excellent connectivity options and customization via the Unitron Remote Plus app.
However, Blu does have some advantages over the current Vivante product line. Mainly, you can get the Blu technology in a wider choice of hearing aids; it is available in custom products, non-rechargeable options, as well as power hearing aids for more severe hearing losses.
Unitron Blu Styles
The Blu hearing aid is offered in 6 different BTE/RIC styles, including 2 power hearing aids, and 3 different in-the-ear (ITE) styles:
- Moxi B-R = their smallest lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid
- Moxi B-RT = their smallest rechargeable RIC with a telecoil
- Moxi B-312 = their smallest RIC utilizing a standard disposable battery (size 312)
- Stride B-UP = their new thinner power BTE with a disposable battery (675)
- Stride B-PR = their new thinner power BTE with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- Insera B-312 = their ITE with a 312 battery, pushbutton controls and Bluetooth
- Insera B-312 NW O = same as above except it swaps out Bluetooth for a telecoil
- Insera B-10 NW O = their completely-in-canal (CIC) aid with size 10 battery, pushbutton control, and telecoil (no Bluetooth)
Be sure to discuss your options with your HCP to find out which technology best suits your needs.
Unitron Discover Next hearing aids
Unitron Discover Next hearing aids, introduced in 2020, include 3 different Moxi RIC hearing aids, a Stride power BTE, and 3 Insera custom styles. Both the Moxi and Stride BTEs have rechargeable choices, but the custom styles use conventional hearing aid batteries only. Discover Next hearing aids also provide connectivity options, including universal Bluetooth streaming of phone calls, and digital media from mobile devices to both ears, hands-free.
Discover hearing aids offer many of the same features of the Blu platform including the connectivity and rechargeable hearing aid options mentioned above, but also noise reduction, environmental classification, and soft speech lift to name a few.
Unitron Discover Next
Also included in Discover Next is Unitron's SoundCore processing software which identifies and classifies seven distinct acoustic environments. They include quiet settings, extremely noisy environments too loud for easy conversation, conversations in small, medium and large groups, and music.
However, some of Unitron’s newest technology features are absent, notably AutoFocus360, the tap control, and the ability to pair to more than 2 devices. Remember that Vivante and Blu can connect to 2 devices and pair up to 8 devices, while Discover Next products are limited to pairing only 2 devices and having an active connection with just one.
Discover Next products are offered in custom products as well as RIC and traditional BTE styles.
Vivante, Blu and Discover Next hearing aids are all compatible with their latest smartphone app, Remote Plus, allowing you to not only control simple adjustments like volume via the app but also allowing you to personalize your hearing experience.
Discover Next Styles
Discover Next technology is available in a variety of styles and power levels including:
- Moxi Fit = Small RIC with standard 312 battery
- Moxi Move R = Small RIC with rechargeable battery
- Moxi Jump RT = Small RIC with rechargeable battery and telecoil
- Stride PR = Power BTE with rechargeable battery
- Insera = Custom products available in Invisible-In-Canal (IIC), Completely-in-Canal (CIC), canal and In-the-Ear (ITE) styles.
Note that Bluetooth connectivity is offered in all of the Discover Next BTEs and RICs, but is available in only one of the custom products (Insera W 312).
Both Moxi and Stride products are available in your choice of 8 different colors. The custom Insera products are available in 4 different color options.
You also have a choice of 4 technology levels which are labeled: 9 (for premium), 7 (advanced), 5 (standard), and 3 (essential). Keep in mind as you step down in technology tiers you will also lose features, such as number of programmable channels and number of classification environments among others. However, the cost of the instruments also declines with technology tiers, and Unitron offers the advantage of the FLEX:UPGRADE program (see below for details).
Unitron legacy hearing aids
Because Unitron hearing aids can last for many years, we list below a couple older models that are still widely in circulation but are no longer widely available.
Tempus hearing aids
Originally introduced in 2017, Unitron's Tempus family of hearing aids has been phased out as of May 31, 2023. One exception remains and that is the Tempus Insera In-the-Ear (ITE) custom product with a 13 battery. Tempus was considered entry-level technology and provided a lower price point for consumers. However, the Tempus line is now replaced with the Discover Next products which still offer affordable options but with improved technology over the Tempus line.
Note that all accessories for the Tempus line have also been discontinued.
Moxi Now hearing aids
At the time of its introduction in 2013, Moxi Now was considered the smallest wireless RIC hearing aid on the market compared to other products in its class.
The FLEX experience for trying and upgrading technology
Unitron has long been known for its innovative "try-before-you-buy" FLEX:TRIAL experience that gives an easy introduction to the sometimes disorienting world of hearing aids. FLEX:TRIAL allows your hearing care provider (HCP) to program off-the-shelf hearing aids to different technology levels that you then try at home. Your HCP can see how you rate your listening in different home environments, and then help you decide if a higher or lower level of technology is desirable. This gives you a chance to see how advanced features may benefit you in your real-world situations prior to purchase. The FLEX:TRIAL is usually completed free of charge; however, not all providers offer this service.
FLEX:UPGRADE allows for a technology-level upgrade after you have purchased your hearing aids. With many manufacturers, once you have decided to purchase a hearing aid and you’re outside of any trial period, you are tied to that decision. That is, you can’t usually upgrade without purchasing a different hearing aid. FLEX:UPGRADE allows you to upgrade to a higher level of technology if you find that your listening needs change or that you aren’t hearing quite as well as you had hoped. This upgrade is usually done within 12 to 18 months after your purchase of the hearing aid and will be accompanied by an upgrade fee. Keep in mind that these are feature and technology upgrades (not changes to receiver strengths or accessory changes), and they are designed to provide a higher level of feature performance within the hearing aids.
Accessories and apps
Unitron offers numerous accessories, and its parent company Sonova is arguably the world leader in terms of supplying auxiliary devices that will enhance the performance of your hearing aids. However, availability will depend on the technology platform and options chosen.
Unitron's wireless streaming accessories provide comprehensive smartphone and Bluetooth hearing aid connectivity. Unitron makes available a remote microphone, TV streamer, and remote-control devices. The Remote Plus app is also available for both iOS and Android phones at no charge. The Remote Plus app enables wireless control of volume, program settings, personalization, and management of Bluetooth accessories.
One of the most common complaints of people with hearing loss is that they can’t hear in noisy environments. As such, hearing aid manufacturers have added directional microphones, noise reduction, and other features within their hearing aids to improve speech understanding in noise. However, a hearing impaired ear—even with the best hearing aid—cannot function like a normal-hearing ear in a noisy situation. It’s also true that people with normal hearing often have difficulty hearing speech in a very noisy environment. One of the best ways to improve speech understanding in noise is to increase what is called the “signal-to-noise ratio”. Simply put: make the signal you want to hear louder than the noisy environment.
While directional microphones on hearing aids can help improve the signal-to-noise ratio, remote microphones take it to a much higher level. For example, in a noisy restaurant or classroom, if the person to whom you are speaking is wearing a microphone (or it’s placed on the table in front of them), their speech will be picked up more readily than the ambient noise.
The result is that remote microphones make the speech significantly louder than the environment, allowing for better speech discrimination. Unitron, like its sister company Phonak, offer a remote microphone option called the partner mic. In addition, Phonak Roger wireless accessories may also work with some Unitron products. For more information on those devices see the Accessories section and discuss options with your HCP.
Many new Unitron hearing aids are compatible with Phonak's Roger wireless accessories.
Remote Plus smartphone app
Unitron's smartphone app lets you share in-the-moment impressions of your hearing instrument performance with your hearing care provider, who can use the information to improve your program settings. The apps also let you adjust volume and program settings on your hearing aids.
Available for both Apple and Android devices, the Remote Plus App is compatible with Vivante, Blu and Discover Next products. It allows for simple adjustments such as volume and program changes but also allows feature adjustments but will vary by the platform. For example, you can adjust “comfort” and “clarity”, rate your satisfaction with the hearing aids and even access remote care from your hearing care provider.
Charging stations for lithium-ion batteries
Unitron provides easy-to-use charging stations for the lithium-ion batteries in its rechargeable hearing aids. Which charger you need will depend on your hearing aid style (RIC or BTE). There is also an optional optional secondary power pack to provide additional overnight charges even when you don't have access to a power outlet.
Unitron sells the TV connector accessory as an option for most of it's wireless hearing aids. The device allows for streaming of stereo audio from your TV, laptops, and other devices directly to your hearing aids, making listening to TV much easier and more enjoyable. It also allows you to watch/listen at your preferred volume without disturbing others.
Remote Control and IIC Remote
These remotes allow for simple control of volume and program change in a small but easy to use remote. The Remote Control is ideal for those who have difficulty manipulating small buttons on the hearing aids or for those who prefer discreet changes to their hearing aids.
The IIC Remote is required to change volume and programs for the IIC custom hearing aid. Remember that IIC hearing aids fit completely in the canal, meaning that the size and location won't allow for on-board controls. The IIC Remote is only compatible with IIC hearing aids.
Unitron provides a wide array of products and technology similar to their sister company, Phonak. Both companies have led in wireless connectivity options, as well as offering treatment options such as tinnitus maskers and remote microphones.
Unitron offers the extra benefit of the FLEX program allowing you time to choose different levels of technology or changing over time to accommodate changing listening requirements. Unitron products are often priced at a lower cost point compared to Phonak products despite offering many of the same features. Please discuss which products and brands are most appropriate for your hearing loss and listening needs with your HCP to ensure your best outcomes.
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 Granite State University and as a consultant.