Best/worst hearing aid brands?

I am curious to know what people on this forum think of different hearing aid brands. Which is your favorite(s) and why? Which should be avoided and why? I look forward to hearing your opinions.

I think different people want different things from their HAs (besides hearing of course) such as performance in certain situations, so that might be hard to answer. Plus the very same HA can either be perfect or …not depending on the skill and experience of your audi, or the work you put into self programming.

I didn’t know what is the different about Hearing Aids? hearing aids

I like Phonak for their better sounds.

I would first divide digital hearing aids into two basic classes: those with outrageous prices and those with just high prices.

Of those with just high prices (e.g., $1K per aid), I separate them into those that can be adjusted by the owner and those that can’t. (Of course, they have to have a respected audio processing algorithm (e.g., ADRO, WDRC…).)

This filter leads me to and as good sources for high quality hearing aids at reasonable prices.

For the most part I think all of them are pretty decent. I have tried several brands and each sound different. That pretty much separates the crowd on what “they” think is the best aid.

I also think we all hear differently so that is another reason some prefer some brands.

For example…My father n law wears Phonak’s CIC’s and has had nothing but problems with one of them. He complains about the quality of the sound and product. But really he needs to be wearing BTE’s for his hearing loss so his opinion has more to do with his pride than anything.

For me I have Siemens Pure 500’s. I have nothing but great things to say about them. I think the main reason I have had such success with my Pure’s is my Audi. She talks with me about what I want and I even help her program my aids. I am lucky because we can tweak them and try things to see how it really effects my aids.

If I had the money I would probably have several different brands for different reasons. The Phonak’s I have tried seem to have a warmer tone to them vs Siemens.

Very true … I tried the Pure 500’s and found them too tinny, hollow sounding to my ears and likes. My boss loves them, which is what got me to trial them. I then trialed the Phonak Audeo - YES IX’s, and found them much warmer sounding, more bass, more pleasant to my ears. They are expensive at $6,000 for the pair, including the remote and iCom add-ons … but I find them worth it as I can hear better than ever.

One major point … whatever you get, treat them properly. They are sensitive electronic equipment being placed in an environment that is most dangerous for electronics … heat and moisture. Every night, they should be kept in an active drying unit, one that circulates warm air though them to dry them out. And they MUST be cleaned each and every night of ear wax and moisture before being placed in the dryer. Just a quick brushing or wiping off will do, and will keep them working much longer. My previous Phonak CIC’s kept breaking down after 2 years and I was cussing them out. Then my at the time dispenser suggested the Dry and Store … which I was not happy about. I figured sure, he’d make a quick buck off of me for this $100 device. They did not break down again after I started using this device, placing them in it every night. By the way, I am a computer techie and have nothing to do with the hearing aid business. I just wear them after 20 years in aerospace before switching to computers.

I agree on treating like you spent a bunch of money on them…My family wears aids and so does my wife’s father. My family uses the Dry & Store and they hardly ever have problems. My father n law just drops his anyware for the evening and he is always having problems.

There really isn’t “good” and “bad” brands or models in hearing aids. Mostly it has to do with what works for you and what your audiologist feels comfortable in programming. Generally there are the “top 6” manufacturers. These are the ones doing the most research and who have the most cutting edge technology:


And there is everyone else

Then you have technology level. Each manufacturer is typically going to have 3-4 levels of tech.

entry level

even the basic aids are good and will get the job done, but they won’t do it as well or as natural sounding as the premium aids. That does not mean everyone needs premium aids. Your lifestyle and budget are going to dictate what level of technology you need. If the person fitting your hearing aids is less willing to work with you because you choose a lower level of technology–you need to find a new professional. Your audiologists goal shoudl be to find out what your hearing needs are and then help you find the right technology for you regardless of the end price you pay

I have issues with that list because I think

  1. America Hears ADRO technology IS cutting edge and they should be on that list

  2. Money does not automatically equal quality, as we have seen from MANY discussions of actual users here on this site.

Thanks for all of the responses. I understand that the best hearing aid may be different for each person, but it seems that out of the major brands, Siemens and Phonak are the most popular on this board.

audiosmalls, I see that you are a fairly large dispenser of hearing aids. Do you carry all of the major brands? Which brands do most of your customers choose?

The only problem with that is that ADRO technology is from August 2006, so it is not quite cutting edge any more. And the lower prices are due to less personal service and additional charges for service after a one year period, and a more basic aid without cutting edge features.

You may be right. They are already garnering a sizeable chunk of the market with their existing technology that still outstrips some of the others, with a little update or two they will be front runners.

We do carry all the brands. My favorite by far is Phonak. I like some of the newer Starkey products. Oticon is always good. Siemens is hit or miss depending on the type of loss. We are not real big on Widex or Resound, but Resound has a new one that I like alot called Be.

I would say top brands are

Siemens, Oticon, Phonak, perhaps GN resound

value brands
Unitron, Bernafon, Rexton or Interton…

Siemens, Starkey, and Phonak are very large manufacturers with a full staff of research scientists, engineers and production/manufacturing professionals with the latest production machines. Just look at the Build Quality of these brands as compared to most of the smaller mfgs. (Build Quality=construction quality a trade term.) Look at the case and the feel and fit of the switches, buttons, battery door.

Based on what I’ve heard from a couple of dispensers, many of the smaller mfg’s are so strapped for cash most of the time that their products reflect this problem. They survive by offering the dispensers extra discounts to push their products.

That being said, some of the smaller brands still manage to have successful models. Try them all…buy what looks and sounds good to you. Ed

I agree with Ed. Sometimes you can still get a good aid from a smaller manufacturer they just aren’t as consistent and not always up to the latetst technology and research

OK, please identify a newer audio processing standard that has been shown to outclass ADRO. I would like to read the independent reviews/tests that prove it. Please provide links.

Don’t take this personal, but…

“It’s quite obvious you know nothing about Starkey. :confused: Until you do, don’t leave them out of your list.” :slight_smile:

Shi-Ku Chishiki

I’m happy to voice an opinion.

For mine, Phonak and Oticon are the clear performers in the high end segment.

I like Bernafon in the low-mid end…specs don’t read that well but their aids just “work”.