Hearing is a crucial sense, but one that is simple to ignore. Many Aussies have different hearing loss, which has dramatically impacted their lives. This has encouraged many scientists to look for the best solution for hearing challenges.
Despite the remarkable technological advancements in recent years, hearing aids serve as the primary treatment for hearing loss. There are a variety of brands and designs, giving users a wide range of options to pick from.
Unfortunately, hearing loss is not a problem that you can solve with a universal-size solution. So, hearing aids must be customised to suit each individual’s needs. Most recent studies have established that about 37% of participants greatly benefited from and their life quality improved; 20% that they had a hearing aid sooner.
This post will focus on the best-rated hearing aids available for all Aussies with hearing challenges. We’ll focus on the brands’ effectiveness, comfort and fit, style, value for the money, and overall satisfaction.
Best-Rated Hearing Aids
The following hearing aid manufacturers received the highest consumer ratings in Australia.
Starkey emerged as the top choice for most Aussies, taking the top spot with five stars across the board and for overall satisfaction. Phonak and Bernafon came second and third, respectively, with four-star ratings.
The remaining brands had at least moderate ratings for overall satisfaction. Also, Phonak is the only brand to get a perfect score in every area and wowed customers with its look and elegance.
Starkey’s Livio series offers the best solution for maintaining an active lifestyle. It bridges the gap between consumer technology and healthcare. It’s often referred to as “health able.”
These Starkey hearing aids combine integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to keep users healthy and make using a hearing aid relatively easy and pleasant.
The hearing aids connect to the Starkey Thrive app, which allows you to switch to Mask Mode, transcribe, send reminders, assess the level of physical activity, and compute the “brain score.”
This device uses the time you spend actively listening and your social engagements to achieve these functions. The Starkey brand offers a couple of models, including Livio, Livio AI, and Livio Edge AI.
Starkey offers the best hearing aids to people experiencing either bilateral or single-sided hearing loss. The hearing aid’s rechargeability is another option. They offer different styles of hearing aids, including BTE (behind-the-ear), RIC (receiver-in-canal), ITE (in-the-ear), and ITC (in-the-canal).
Also, Starkey offers free online hearing tests on its website. You should also schedule an in-person assessment when you can, but it won’t be the same as having checked by a hearing specialist or audiologist.
- Starkey received five-star ratings for effectiveness, use, comfort and fit, look and style, cost-effectiveness, and general contentment, and it was the best-rated hearing-aid product.
The Bernafon Zerena range of hearing aids is designed to make communication a breeze, even in an environment where background noise can make it difficult to concentrate during communications. This product can offer a full day of use and stream sound from numerous audio devices on a single charge.
Like Bernafon’s Zerena line, Viron and Alpha hearing aid models are great for those with medium to severe hearing loss. Bernafon’s Viron series has several styles, including RITE (receiver-in-the-ear), BTE (behind-the-ear), ITE (in-the-ear), CIC (completely-in-canal), ITC (in-the-canal), and IIC (invisible-in-canal) models.
You may also manage Bernafon hearing aids by adding the Bernafon EasyControl-A app to your smartphone. This enables you to change listening programs, identify your hearing aids, control the volume, and check the battery life.
Bernafon enables its users to take a hearing test online on its website. However, you should use the result as a reference and seek expert assistance for a complete analysis.
- All ratings for Bernafon remained at a consistent four stars, including those for overall satisfaction, efficacy, comfort and fit, and value for money.
Phonak’s Skyline of hearing aids offers the most acceptable hearing devices among teens and children. Therefore, as a parent, it’d be worthwhile to look into these options for your young ones. It provides solutions for young children, toddlers, teenagers, school-age kids, and kids who may require cochlear implants.
The brand’s Roger series offers microphones for school students to help them stream multimedia presentations and listen to lessons. The firm also offers the Phonak Marvel line, designed for teenagers. The Marvel line allows users to pair their hearing aid with Android, iOS, and Bluetooth-enabled devices.
This line-up allows users to create their colour combination with different exciting, vibrant tones when most manufacturers stick to skin-tone colours.
Phonak provides an exceptional alternative for grownups with the Invisible Lyric hearing aid. It is supposed to be 100% invisible and may be worn constantly, including during exercise, a shower, and sleep. It is designed to sit within the ear.
However, the Lyric must be returned for a replacement at the end of each subscription period and can only be purchased with an annual subscription (which covers replacement and service). You can visit their site to get a wealth of information on hearing loss, as well as a variety of Phonak applications and an online hearing test.
- Phonak received five stars for its aesthetic appeal and sense of style, as well as four stars overall and in most other categories. It received three stars for being a good bargain.
Oticon is also a good option if you’re searching for hearing aids for kids, mainly because it offers a wide range of support services. If the child is under 18, they may take advantage of complimentary hearing aid care kits, repairs within 48 hours, attractively discounted extended warranties, and SafeLine retention cords. Additionally, there are resources for parents, teachers, teenagers, and children.
The Opn Play line from Oticon is the best option for kids of all ages and has a 360° soundscape to help them comprehend noises from all angles. Most models are water-resistant, hypoallergenic, strong enough to tolerate kids’ busy lives, dust-resistant, and devoid of 200 potentially dangerous elements. Also, children with severe to profound hearing loss might benefit from Oticon’s Xceed Play hearing aids.
Alternatives include various ITE (in-the-ear), and BTE ( behind-the-ear) hearing aids for adults, with choices to accommodate hearing loss from average to severe. Most devices include a telecoil, loop systems, audio streaming and networking. There are several rechargeable alternatives as well.
- Oticon received four stars for efficiency before receiving three stars for overall satisfaction, value for the money, and the remaining categories.
ReSound understands that each person’s hearing is unique, and they attempt to make customised sound quality. With the most recent One collection, which makes use of M&RIE, this is especially evident.
According to your unique ear shape, this method collects sound using a microphone and receiver-in-ear (RIE) design; you’ll hear the sound as you usually would but more magnified and clearly.
ReSound offers different services on its website to assist its users. You can hear examples of how specific scenarios, such as eating in a restaurant or strolling in a windy environment, may sound with a ReSound One hearing aid instead of a hearing aid without M&RIE on the website.
ReSound’s ENZO Q line guarantees no squealing or whistling sounds for persons with severe hearing loss. The company asserts that background noise is not eliminated to improve speech understanding. ReSound Key and ReSound LiNX Quattro are also excellent hearing aid versions from the company.
You may also use ReSound’s live support feature to make video calls to a hearing care specialist for assistance. You can also test your hearing aids at home with a hearing care specialist, who can customise your hearing aids to your preferences.
- ReSound received ratings of four stars for its simplicity of use, comfort and fit, and aesthetic appeal. It received three stars for overall satisfaction, efficacy, and value for the money.
Signia company guarantees that its product does more than simply eliminate all background noise to enhance speech comprehension. The company currently makes hearing aids that use AX (Augment Xperience), which employs two different processors.
This will enable you to appreciate background sounds (i.e., nature) without becoming distracted while focusing on a specific sound, such as a discussion with your friend. The Pure Charge&Go versions from Signia include this functionality.
With various versions resembling fashionable wireless headphones, Signia is also moving away from the same skin-tone hue that many customers are frequently restricted to. The ActivePro is one illustration. It has sound sensors that adapt to all acoustic situations, enhance speech intelligibility, and let you hear better from any angle and circumstance.
The hearing aids can also connect to Bluetooth devices. These include a pocket-sized charging case that can power the device for up to 26 hours on a single charge.
The Motion X hearing aids from Signia are another comparable alternative for persons with busy and active lives. They are advertised as having a flexible behind-the-ear (BTE) fit and promising 61 hours of usage on a charge.
The Signia Assistant, which users may access through the Signia app, is now compatible with many Signia hearing aids. It is said to use artificial intelligence while providing customer service and learn your preferences, such as those for sound quality, to deliver progressively customised solutions. Signia Active, Styletto, Silk X, Pure, and Motion X are a few different collections.
- For simplicity of use, Signia gave the results four stars and the rest of the findings, including total satisfaction, three stars.
Other Hearing Aid Brands
There are more possibilities worth keeping an eye out for, in addition to the brands highlighted in this year’s ratings. Here are a few other brands you might wish to take into account:
- Advanced Hearing Solutions
- Power One
- Sonic Innovations
Progressive Hearing Solutions
In operation for 25 years, Advanced Hearing Solutions is a small, family-run firm in Bathurst. It is renowned for offering the greatest selection of assistive hearing devices, including BTE, CIC, RIC, ITE, and IIC models. They specialise in testing the hearing of people of all ages, including children and adults.
Furthermore, this business pledges to offer various assessment services, such as pre-and after-operative testing before implant tests, work cover and employability hearing exams, and other evaluation services.
The brand also offers training in hearing rehabilitation for these groups of people to educate nursing home employees and medical students about hearing health.
BTE and RIC hearing aids, as well as specially designed for assistive listening devices and hearing aids, are allegedly sold by Advanced Hearing Solutions, which claims to deal with a variety of different hearing aid manufacturers.
7. Power One
German business Power One specialises in batteries for hearing aids.
Some of the advantages of Power One’s product, according to the company, include:
- Every battery is checked before it leaves the factory.
- Quick activation.
- PTFE film technology.
- Anti-corrosion capabilities, and
- Long shelf life.
Additionally, Power One offers the following products::
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Cochlear implant batteries
- Zinc Air Wireless batteries
- Battery rechargeables
Rexton, founded in 1955, is a Signia corporate affiliate. Under its three primary categories of hearing aids — Motion Core, My Core, and Tru Core, they promise to provide ten distinct types of hearing aids. You can buy accessories such as batteries and chargers through their website and obtain an online hearing test.
The following are Rexton hearing aid categories::
- Motion Core: incorporates rechargeable batteries, better situational hearing, and motion sensor technologies.
- My Core: offers direct iPhone streaming, processing of binaural signals, and a My Speech feature that lets you hear your voice naturally.
- True Core: enables you to listen in noisy surroundings and contains Music Enhancer and Voice Ranger technologies to help you hear in both music and conversation, respectively
9. Sonic Innovations
The global company Sonic Innovations provides hearing aids. It’s a part of the Demant Group, a Danish healthcare organisation focusing on health care for hearing. The brand deals in a wide variety of diagnostic and audiological tools.
They provide three types of hearing aids: SoundDNA, Extend, and SVP platforms. A variety of goods intended for various elements of hearing are available in each area. Most of their items have wireless connectivity and intelligent features for device synchronising.
The hearing aids from Sonic Innovations include:
- Extend Platform: The Extend platform features the best technology that aids in better speech processing, thus helping you hear clearly.
- SoundDNA Platform: helps you hear the conversation and other life sounds with less feedback.
- The SVP (Speech Variable Processing Platform): this tool is designed to help people with a range of speech and hearing loss, access, and other sounds
Various Styles of Hearing Aids
The best hearing aid varies on several factors, such as the device’s size, features, fit preferences, and whether it is digital or analogue. Your inner and outer ear shapes, lifestyle, eyesight, hearing loss kind and severity, and other factors are all considered.
The following are a few types of hearing available aids:
- Behind-the-ear: A device outfitted behind the ear transmits sound to an earpiece, either a soft dome that fits into the ear canal or a custom-made ear mould via a tube.
- Receiver-in-ear: It is outfitted behind the ear and is comparable to a BTE, although it is smaller and lacks a receiver in the primary compartment. Instead, a tube linked to a soft dome and placed within the ear houses the receive.
- In-the-ear: Customised to the individual’s unique ear size and shape. Typically, it is the most significant style of bespoke hearing aid.
- Completely-in-canal: A tiny gadget primarily concealed in the ear canal.
- In-the-canal: Outfitted behind the external bottom ear.
- Invisible-in-canal: the minor bespoke hearing aid that fits deeply within the ear canal.
- RIC: The receiver is outfitted behind the ear, and a short line runs from it to a soft dome inside the ear canal.
- Slim RIC: This lies behind the ear and is comparable to the RIC.
- IF (Instant fit): These versions do not require bespoke fabrication and are outfitted in the ear canal.
The majority of respondents to the poll (54%), tiny behind-the-ear hearing aids, and entirely in-canal (2%), respectively, bought behind-the-ear devices.
How Much Does a Hearing Aid Cost?
The cost of an average hearing aid can range from $1,000 to $8,000. However, the prices will broadly vary depending on the size, features, fit, and whether it is an analogue or digital device.
Due to more advanced features like automatic alteration settings, digital hearing aids are often more costly than analog ones. The average cost of current hearing aid for those who responded to our study was $1,743.
Does the Australian Medicare Cover Hearing Aids Costs?
Currently, Australian Medicare does not provide coverage for hearing aids. However, particular health insurance supplemental policies may cover some of the expenses.
The Aussie Government Hearing Programs provide qualified citizens with free hearing equipment and specialised hearing services, including hearing evaluations. The program also offers other types of assistance, such as guidance and maintenance and repair (fees payable).
The following individuals may be considered eligible for the free hearing services:
- Holders of pensioner concession cards
- People who have been recommended by the Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card program for disability employment services
- White Card holders from the Department of Veterans Affairs (specific conditions)
- Australian Defense Force personnel
If you are not qualified but still want assistance, a hearing aid bank may be able to provide you with a hearing aid fitting at a discounted cost. Nevertheless, before applying, please read all the material on the Au Government Hearing Program website and utilise the qualification checker.
What Hearing Aid is Best for My Case?
According to many polls, Starkey hearing aids are the best overall, but if you care about how your hearing aid looks, Phonak customers were happy, giving them maximum ratings for beauty and style.
Because hearing loss may impact many individuals in a wide range of ways and severity levels, a brand or model will not likely be effective for everyone. Because of this, it’s wise to consider which features allure you.
There’s no purpose in settling for features that you won’t utilise. Before making a buying selection, get professional guidance on your required characteristics, and ensure you check with your neighbourhood otolaryngologist.
Hearing aids might better your life, but they also represent a significant financial commitment. The cost of a gadget regarded as a “run of the mill” might easily reach hundreds of dollars depending on the brand and model. According to our poll, Australian customers who purchased hearing aid during the previous five years paid, on average, $1,742.
Nine percent said they wished they had spent much cash on a better hearing aid, while 15 percent thought they overpaid! Therefore, before making a purchase, you should consider what you need and desire from your current hearing aids and consider the advice of professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Advisable To Buy Hearing Aids from an Audiologist?
Yes, you should buy your hearing accessories from an audiologist. Although purchasing hearing aids from an audiologist’s office is often more expensive, you will receive individualised care from a hearing specialist, which may be helpful for some people.
In some circumstances, purchasing a hearing aid online at a lower cost makes sense. What does “locked” signify concerning hearing aids?
What Are the Best Hearing Aids for 2022?
Starkey is widely regarded as the best hearing aid. But this is not definite for everyone as everybody has unique hearing needs.
Other brands like Signia have also been applauded for incorporating the most cutting-edge technology and style in their hearing devices. Signia has risen to become one of the top three hearing-aid brands in the world while being owned by Sivantos, along with other prestigious companies like Widex.
Are Costco Hearing Aids as Good as Others?
Yes, according to most reviews, Costco hearing aids are excellent, especially considering their low cost. One of the most well-liked hearing aids on the market is made by Kirkland, a private label trademark of Costco. Most hearing aid manufacturers don’t let you return the item for a refund, but Kirkland does.
Which Hearing Aid Is Best for Old Age?
Behind-the-ear (BTE) is the best hearing aid option for seniors with severe hearing loss. They can also consider canal- or in-the-ear and open-fit styles. The earmold, specifically designed to suit the ear canal, is connected to the hearing aid’s tiny tube, which hooks over the top and lies behind the ear.
Should I Shop Around for Hearing Aid?
Yes, you can search for the best options for hearing aids. It may be wise to compare options after receiving the results of an audiogram or hearing test. Don’t be afraid to evaluate possibilities from nearby shops, several audiologists’ offices, and internet merchants. An intelligent location to start your research is right here.
How Do I Choose a Hearing Aid Provider?
You can use reviews are the most effective approach to locating a hearing expert. Take advantage of websites like EarQ.com, where evaluations by former patients are frequently available. You may peruse evaluations of EarQ service providers and decide which one, in your opinion, best suits your requirements and way of life.