Widex vs. Starkey

Considering these 2 brands for either “in the ear” or “completely in the ear.”

Can anyone weigh in with their experiences with either?

Many thanks!

Have worn Starkey previously, they were fine hearing aids. It is my humble opinion that almost ANY brand of hearing aid does a great job today. The technologies between companies is commonly licensed and available for any company wishing to purchase it. The compelling differences would be the price and the competency of the hearing aid sales person.

I do the personal programming thing at this point and am very happy with my choice.

Thanks for the response.

The local hearing aid company selling Starkey has no audiologists on site, but they DO offer a payment plan. The ENT office/Hearing Aid Center that offers Widex does not have a payment plan, but an audiologist goes over it all with you and she is pretty knowledgeable.

Tough call. Both do offer trial periods when you can test them out.

Er, no it isn’t. That’s one thing that I can tell you for certain, manufacturers are hugely secretive about their proprietary processes. That’s not to say that companies don’t reverse engineer what the competition are doing, but there are some quite different standards in what different products can do.

You’re absolutely right about the competency of the Dispenser/Audiologist though.


I used to love Widex, and have dispensed dozens of Widex systems over the years. But I was recently rather shocked to see they are lagging horribly behind the other mainstream brands (Siemens, Starkey, ReSound, Oticon, Phonak) for background noise suppression, directionality and feedback management.

So in my head I have kind of downgraded their products a little.

I just saw a patient in fact who had been to see a Widex dealer audiologist. The audiologist in question gave him a brochure that was LIGHT on facts, showed him a model, but never let him listen to anything. He listened to the Starkey Wi product and promptly spent $1000 more than he said he planned to, because he hadn’t heard that well in years. In fact as he spoke to his wife, he was grinning like a recent lottery winner and didn’t want to take them off. It’s always nice from a professional point of view when you get that positive reaction, many HoH folks don’t because they have ignored the problem too long and it is much harder to get an instant improvement of that significance, but it is certainly nice when you do!

In my opinion there are some aids that can come close to Starkey sound quality, but I am increasingly doubtful that Widex is one of them. So my vote is with Starkey, and a brand other than Miracle Ear or Widex as an alternative.

And objectivity leaves the room again…

Hearing2011 - why don’t you speak to another audiologist who offers both models and ask them which to choose. This way they will be more likely to be impartial and not try and sell you the hearing aid which benefits them.

…slamming the door behind it…

It’s so dependent on your hearing loss…but in my opinion Widex was frightfully expensive for what it was, and Starkey seemed “tinny.” That being said…Starkey seems more popular here on this forum, and I could have had a programmer without enough expertise to give the Starkey aids I was testing enough bass.

I’ve heard enough good things from other hearing aid users to give Starkey another shot…mostly because of their SoundLens model. Widex sounded fine to me, but for some reason tends to run like a grand or two more than the other major brands in my neck of the woods.

I love Bill Austin’s AKA ZCT’s post it is as much wrong and misleading as it is biased!!..

Widex (Clear Series), Oticon(Agil Series) and Phonak(Ambra) and Starkey (Wii) are all decent products…

Good luck with your choice

Thanks for all the great feedback. I tested a Starkey model that was very quickly adjusted to my audiogram results (an over the ear kind) and yes, it definitely sounded tinny. To be fair though, it was a very quick adjustment. I have heard good things about the SoundLens.

The main concern for me is money, in addition to effectiveness. The ENT I usually go to does not offer a payment plan for Widex. The Hearing Aid Consultants that offer Starkey DO have a payment plan, but they do not offer Widex.

I guess I can try both and see what’s better? Each has money back guarantees.

Has to be him or his clone: doesn’t it.

I’m not sure where he gets his stuff from, but the Clears paired with the TV Dex give one of the best packages out there at the moment. Sound is superb with imperceptible delay.