Choosing the right hearing aid brand

It depends on your hearing loss and what you want from a hearing aid besides good hearing. Make a list and decide what hearing aid fit your life needs and wants. Then match the list to the hearing aids your audiologist gives you. That where I would start. There are a lot of choices good luck with your choice.

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@jim_lewis Thanks for education, really appreciated. When I mentioned “edge”, I actually meant that my Apple devices are more or less latest what is available now. I understand that the industry may see technology breakthrough relatively soon with the standard provided major brands will jump the train immediately. I am hesitating if I should wait or order now what is available and plan upgrade in several years (nobody talked about “lifelong” purchase).

My hesitation between three brands is just due to the lack of previous experience with any of them. I am interested to hear about strategy of trying them if audiologist can order only one at a time and fitting process may take time. I need to make the decision to stay with the device or switch to something else during 45 days. I am looking for advice how to understand more or less quickly if device is working for me. I understand it might be very subjective but still would be interested to get some clues.

I think best approach is to purchase/trial with the intent of it working. If it does everything you want, stick with it. If not, talk to audiologist and share your concerns. They can either come up with a recommendation or tell you you’re being unrealistic.


I am using Resound aids and have been quite satisfied with them. The only issue I have with Resound is the fact Resound doesn’t have complete connectivity / control with Android phones, only iPhones. Any aids I purchase in the future will probably be from a manufacturer more current and cognizant of their customer’s needs. I am forced to purchase auxiliary accessories to gain the user features (with my Android phones) that are enjoyed (as is) by iPhone users.

I used “lifetime” in quotes as a bit of sarcasm as you basically said that you wanted to get more HA than you really needed now in the expectation that would stand you in good stead quite a while into the future (like the decades old idea “buying more personal computer than you really need”). In my reply, I just wanted to suggest that some changes were known to be coming along that might quickly give you buyer’s remorse on not having waited just a few months, possibly, to see what develops. When you use a word in quotes, it tends to mean that you are riffing on its true meaning, which is what my intention was.

@jim_lewis No worried, I got your sarcasm :). On a serious note, I do try to buy things that may exceed my requirements now if I can extrapolate that my requirements will grow soon. For example, I installed the solar panels with production slightly more than I need now but I know that the panels output will decrease over the years. Here is the same: based on my hearing tests I had with a difference of 2 years, I do see some decline (mild, but noticeable), and again extrapolating can predict that for 3-4 years timespan I may need some adjustments. I am afraid that during trial during max 45 days I will not be able to try all sound environments I can find myself (including during current restrictions). So options for high granular tuning might be useful (hopefully, I will not need UP models). Also, I saw on this forum a suggestion to buy the highest model I can afford. Am I wrong?

I have had all three in my trail periods at different times and they are all good hearing aids. Phonak, Oticon, and Resound are all good. Phonak Paradise is really nice due to its Bluetooth and ability to have two Bluetooth connect devices at the same time. Up to 8 paired. It also has the ability to have truly hands free calling. Oticon more is great for it opn format and AI setup. Resound I can’t say much about them Had them for a short time. There was a lot of reason for the Resound not working out. Having gone through this process of picking a hearing I try to keep in mind on how is the device helping me or in this case you to hear in the settings You use it in? All the bells and whistles are of no use if the device doesn’t help you hear better in your everyday situations. Due to my hearing loss and needs I choose a different set after trying these. It did a better job to improve my hearing in the settings where I use it. The paradise was a very close second to what I choose. It had great sound and programming ability through the app. I could modify the program and save them as needed to share with my Audiologist to improve the overall program. As for oticon loved them for there opn concept but it was too much for me to filter out and figure out what was being said. Resound just didn’t work from the start for me. I hope this helps you out and good luck.

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Some audis recommend the premium model hearing aids. Other audis suggest a mid-level hearing aid paired with an assistive listening device. They feel that combination can provide superior performance, especially in difficult listening environments. It depends on the hearing loss and personal preference. Our brains have astounding plasticity to adjust to hearing aids. It’s the same with cochlear implants, which may sound mechanical at first. Later, users report hearing sounds that seem more normal. I can’t comment on bluetooth, since I use an assistive listening device to couple my hearing aids to other devices. But one thing I found useful was a volume adjustment on the hearing aids. Many aids have a rocker switch that controls volume up or down. That may be useful when switching between devices. You would need to try it to know for sure. Good luck with your decision, all those aids are good and there isn’t a bad choice. There are just preferences, such as having an aid that can compensate for increasing loss as you mentioned you might want.


I have Resound Linx 3D custom hearing aids and they are great. I have had Starkey in the past but chose Resound for the direct to iPhone streaming in custom HA. I think sound quality and speech comprehension should be first on the list and then iphone connectivity, streaming, etc should be next on the list. What good is a HA that can stream audio well but give you poor speech comprehension. The reality is the the top HA manufacturers(Phonak, Resound, Oticon, Widex, Signia,Starkey, etc) make good HA’s. It is a matter of getting the one that will optimize your remaining hearing along with the chosen bells and whistles. And as many have said on this forum, a good Audi is key to success to wearing HA. If your Audi suggests trying Resound first that is OK. The Resound Quattro and Resound one is the latest technology from Resound.


In reading through this forum and the discussions about different brands, features, pricing, and all the other factors folks use, I’ve found that selection of brand falls to prior experience and brand loyalty. The one thing that stands out for me is the appearance that the “voice”, or particular quality of sound drives selections as much as, if not more, than features and capabilities.

It appears almost like that if selecting higher end speakers for audio. There are many brands that produce quality speakers, yet each retains their own distinctive quality that appeal to some (who stuck with that speaker brand) and those who find the same speakers harsh or tiring or just not enjoyable.

I believe the comparison is pretty fair in that in the cases of both HAs and stereo music, the original sounds may be manipulated, but ultimately the subjective voice of the HA drives individual selections. Which isn’t so out there as at the end of the day, both end up processing what was once analog sound into digital by electronics (old tube amplifiers to modern solid state hardware) and then back to analog so we can hear it. That makes the final step, the analog presentation of the sound/music kinda the same. Whether the speaker is in ear (all in ear or canal or receiver in canal( or BTE) it’s the “voice” of that speaker/ receiver we hear, and it falls to the manufacturer’s design philosophy that influences whether what we hear is acceptable and comfortable all day or a struggle to “like” what you have.

Sure, unlike stereo speaker the goal is not musical enjoyment but the ability to hear speech and daily sounds that matters. But I think maybe we overlook how that final analog receiver influences perceptions and clarity. I wonder what would happen if you could say swap the RIC from Phonak with one made by ReSound or Oticon(or the little receivers for the ITE models)? If the signals being sent are equal (same dsp driving the receivers) and within the tolerance required between receivers is even, how much if what we gain is receiver related vs processor relation.

I do not have the experience or knowledge to answer that stuff, and may well be barking up the wrong tree, but it’s hard to fathom how the receiver itself is not a significant factor in satisfaction in the sound quality. Maybe those far more knowledge here can either give insights in that area, or flush this post down the toilet.

I think you’re correct that a lot of people’s hearing aid preference is based on what “flavor” of sound they prefer. That’s why my typical advice if somebody has been happy with their old hearing aid is to stick with that brand unless trying to solve some specific issue.
You raise an interesting point–is that the processing (preamp and amp) or is it the receiver (speaker) My impression (and that’s all it is) is that the processing is more important. I don’t think receivers are very sophisticated. I think mainly consisting of an armature.

Pssst! @MDB: Raytheon makes a military-grade, balanced armature receiver with a low-signature kevlar membrane for most HAs.

[Price? … oh, that! About $9k. Each. You’re welcome.]

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Reminds me of some fiber optic carbon fiber “tin cans and string.” :smile:

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But making a quality balanced armature isn’t so easy. Some time ago, a pretty long time when I think about it, I bought a pair of IEMs from Etymotic. I can’t remember the model, but I used to wear it with a triple ear flange for noise isolation. It had wax guards that are pretty much the same as on a RIC (and which I was regularly replacing). They were known just for their ability to manufacture such a quality armature. The sound with music was amazing, no false coloring, neutral but not really clinical, did roll off at the bottom but with the sealed flanges it wasn’t a real issue.

They’re still in business and still known for their IEMs. At the time my one issue was if I did wear them out and waking there was cable noise. Otherwise it was a wonderful example of what could be made fir the form factor. They weren’t cheap but not outrageous, especially compared to what high end buds sell for these days.

I am a Costco KS10/Phonak user and am highly pleased with the product. I chose them after careful study. I also started down the path to try other brands thinking that something else might be better. Spent some time with the Philips/Oticon model and thought uh, maybe, what if, etc., Etc. In my case, I can see that this was going to produce an endless loop. I just decided to stay with my original/intuitive choice of the KS10. I’m happy, my audiologist is happy; life is good.
One thing that stands out with the KS10 is the Bluetooth capability. It works exceptionally well with streaming and phone calls from computer, phone, and tablet… even smart TV. I am a musician and personally do not like to use Bluetooth for music. This is where I switch to wired headphones which I wear with or without my hearing aids. I am able to do this with my moderate hearing loss.

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@alynwolf Thank you. I also came to conclusion that I will start with testing Phonak. As I don’t have previous experience, I rely on comparison of technical capabilities and people opinions (thank to this forum). I would prefer to go to Costco due to their generous policy for trial length but, unfortunately, Costco is not in-network for my insurance while even partial coverage is quite helpful.

As I am going to start testing the new aids and, without previous experience, I am looking for any suggestions if there are signs that the aids do not work for me (or insufficient) and I need to try something else.

I plan to start with testing simple technical capabilities like bluetooth connectivity, battery, comfort of wearing etc. But I am asking for tips for testing sound quality, speech recognition, noise handling etc. I understand it is based on personal feelings and very subjective, but asking if there is some methodology for optimal fitting process (hope, Audi will lead me, but want to ask the people too).

Sorry to burst your bubble, but nearly all hearing aid receivers are balanced armature and cost under $20 if you buy in bulk.

Etymotic didn’t make any of their receivers, they just specified the drive characteristics and bought them from Knowles, like everyone else.


I just bought a spare Oticon 85 dB receiver from eBay brand new in the box sealed for $20 shipping included (because mine for my OPN 1 went bad and I had to reach into my spare stock), so Um_bongo is right on the dot here about the cost. Even buying at full retail price (around $80) would be over paying for it.

Well, not to get bogged down, but Etymotic worked with Westone in development of their armatures. In fact, both are now owned by Lucid Audio, kinda integrating the two, although Westone still sells a number of IEMs under their own brand name. So yes, Etymotic does not build them in house, but have been designing them with Westone since their founding.

Just one of those things.

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