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Hearing loss affects millions of older adults- 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74 and almost half of those over age 75 live with impaired hearing, according to the National Institute on Aging. Because hearing loss is such a normal part of aging, many people don’t understand how risky it can be to allow deafness to go untreated. Not being able to enjoy one’s normal activities, like taking in a movie, talking with friends, or even being able to hear timers and appliances in the home, essentially cuts a person off from their own life. Studies have increasingly shown that the isolation that conditions like unaided hearing loss often leads to further problems, including both physical and mental health challenges.

Many seniors who do not treat their hearing loss fail to do so simply because they believe they cannot afford a pair of hearing aids. The costs involved can be daunting, from audiologist appointments, to fittings, to hearing aid and accessory purchases. Other seniors may neglect their hearing care because they feel behind the curve where modern technologies are concerned, or are hesitant to admit they’re experiencing hearing loss.

With this guide, our goal is to demonstrate what a broad variety of price ranges and high-quality hearing aid styles are currently available, even for people on extremely limited budgets and those who are not technologically inclined. By handling hearing impairment when it occurs, seniors become better equipped to age in place and avoid some health risks associated with untreated hearing loss.

Below, you’ll find our top ten hearing aid brands for 2021, with a total of 28 hearing aids reviewed. Our selected devices run the gamut from extremely low-cost hearing aids to devices featuring the latest, high-end technologies.

At a Glance: The 10 Best Hearing Aids

Overview of the Top Recommended Hearing Aids

Overview of the Top Recommended Hearing Aids
Hear.com
  • Starts at $2,900 or $100 a month per pair
  • Wireless Rechargeability
  • Bluetooth Enabled for All Smartphones
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Audicus
  • Starting at $998 for Two Ears
  • On-Demand Audiologist Care
  • Low Monthly Payment Options
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lexie
  • Starts at $49/Month for One Pair
  • Adaptive Noise Reduction
  • On-Demand Remote Care
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Eargo
  • Starting at $1,500 for Two Ears
  • Rechargeable & Virtually Invisible
  • Audio Personalization
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lively
  • Starts at $1,850 per pair
  • Programmed remotely by an Audiologist
  • Three year warranty and loss and damage coverage policy
See Packages → Read Our Review →
MDHearingAid
  • Starting at $799 for Two Ears
  • Bluetooth Enabled Options
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Phonak
  • Multiple custom-fit options
  • Provides a completely invisible device
  • One-year limited, international warranty
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Signia
  • Broad range of options to customize the look of their devices
  • Provides uncommonly sleek and small hearing aid housings
  • Signia's patented programming delivers multiple special features
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Widex
  • Specializes in technologically-advanced hearing aids
  • Provides industry-leading sound adjustment and personalization tools
  • Works with apps that allow users to personalize their hearing aids
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Starkey
  • Provides assistive features that particularly benefit the elderly
  • Current models come with a live telehealth feature
  • Includes features like fall detection , light-based hearing technology and Amazon Alexa connectivity
See Packages → Read Our Review →

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids

Finding the best hearing aid brands becomes a simpler process when you apply a few fundamental principles to your search. The devices that made our list of the best hearing aids of 2021 all have compelling features that demonstrate what modern hearing care can accomplish. Below, you’ll learn about some of the qualities that we looked for to compile our list. 

  • Individualized Adjustment: We have largely excluded hearing aids that are not audiologist-tuned for the individual, or which do not at least offer versatile, user-programmable sound settings. We have also worked to exclude brands that are ‘locked’ so that buyers can only have their hearing aids adjusted through that specific brand’s audiologist locations.
  • Sound Quality: We have included devices that have directional microphones, noise reduction, wind reduction, and feedback reduction, and some that provide more high-tech features, like specialized processing of the wearer’s own voice and in-ear memory prompts.
  • Modern Features and Designs: Most of the brands and models recommended below offer features like Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone application controls, telehealth capabilities, and intuitive adjustment. We’ve also included a broad range of fit styles, including new ‘invisible-in-canal’ designs.
  • Value: We have done our best to include a consistent range of prices and feature sets for people with any severity of hearing loss. 

The 10 Best Hearing Aid Brands of 2021

Hear.com Review

Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Founded in 2012, Hear.com was one of the first companies to take a digital approach to hearing care. Today, Hear.com offers one of the most comprehensive online hearing aid services. It works with a network of over 3,000 partner audiologists and hearing instrument specialists located throughout the United States to provide resources about hearing loss and hear care, and to conduct consultations and hearing tests. Hear.com helps its customers along every step of the way in the hearing aid purchase process, providing educational information and connecting them with local providers for hearing tests and to find the right hearing aids. 

Hear.com carries devices from the top hearing aid manufacturers on its online marketplace. It focuses on hearing aids with the latest technology, including a wide selection of rechargeable hearing aids. 

One of these modern, rechargeable hearing aids is the Hear.com Horizon. This Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid was designed for active people, and its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 19 hours on a single charge. Horizon hearing aids also come with a small, portable charging case, that provides a full charge in 3-4 hours and can charge the devices three times on a single charge, making it perfect for active adults with an on-the-go lifestyle. If a device from another manufacturer is better suited for you, you’ll still have plenty of rechargeable hearing aid options to choose from on Hear.com’s marketplace. 

Features


Horizon


Fit Type


RIC


Battery Size


Lithium-ion Rechargeable


Rechargeable


Yes, wireless charging


Bluetooth Enabled


Yes, direct Bluetooth streaming


Directional Microphone


Yes


Noise Reduction


Yes


Feedback Reduction


Yes


Digital Sound Processing


Yes


Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments


Yes


Physical Volume Button


No; App-controlled


Pricing


Starting at $2,900 or $100/mo


The Horizon

The founders of Hear.com worked with engineers from top hearing aid manufacturer Signia to develop the Horizon hearing aids, a first-of-its-kind device specifically designed for active adults. The nearly-invisible hearing aid is receiver-in-canal style and has a very small and slim behind-the-ear component connected to the earbud with a tiny, translucent cable. The sleek hearing aid resembles many common Bluetooth devices on the market today and is suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

Hear.com horizon hearing aids in portable charging case

Though small in size, Horizon hearing aids use advanced technology and have premium features including Bluetooth connectivity for direct streaming, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with up to 19 hours of runtime, and dynamic sound processing. Horizon hearing aids easily connect to a Smartphone app where wearers can adjust their devices for complete control of their sound. Additionally, the hearing aids use a unique algorithm that focuses on speech for enhanced sound clarity even in loud spaces. 

All Horizon hearing aids come with an included portable charging case that provides a full charge in just 3-4 hours for all-day, on-the-go wear. Hear.com typically uses a financing payment model with monthly payments; the Horizon hearing aids start at $100 per month, or a one-time price of $2,900.  Like with all hearing aids purchased through Hear.com, Horizon users will have a 45-day risk-free trial period to try the hearing aids in a variety of different situations before committing financially. 

Audicus Hearing Aids Review

Best for Low-Cost Bluetooth Hearing Aids

Audicus is an online company offering some of the most affordable digital and Bluetooth hearing aids available. What makes Audicus a top hearing aid provider is that its offerings rise above comparable low-cost products with advanced features at an undeniably affordable price. 

Audicus is able to offer such competitive base prices by offering a-la-carte upgrades and by selling its hearing aids online, directly to consumers via Audicus.com. However, Audicus aids are not ‘one size fits all’ like those offered by so many other direct-to-consumer brands. Audicus allows users to take its free online hearing test or upload their audiogram results to the website when they purchase, then has a team of audiologists program each hearing aid to suit the buyer’s hearing loss profile. In addition to these online options, Audicus has clinics around the U.S., with its flagship clinic located in the Denver, CO area. Prospective customers can visit these stores for a free hearing assessment and to experience Audicus’ 5-star support in-person. 

Even at their lowest prices, several Audicus models are fully digital, directional, noise suppressing and Bluetooth compatible. The Wave device is completely Bluetooth enabled for direct streaming, even at its base price without any optional upgrades. All of these things make the overall value of Audicus hearing aids hard to beat.

Features


The Dia II 


The Clara 


The Aura 


The Wave


The Spirit


Fit Type


BTE


RIC


CIC


RIC


RIC


Rechargeable


No


Yes (optional upgrade)


No


Yes (optional upgrade)


Yes


Battery Size


312


312


10


312


Rechargeable lithium-ion


Bluetooth Enabled


No


Yes (with added accessories)


No


Yes (direct Bluetooth streaming)


Yes (direct Bluetooth streaming)


Directional Microphone


Yes


Yes


No


Yes


Yes


Noise Reduction


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Feedback Reduction


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Telecoil


Yes


No


No


No


No

Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Physical Volume Button


Yes


Yes


No


Yes


Yes


Pricing (single ear/both ears)


$499/$998


$699/$1,398


$699/$1,398


$899/$1,798


$1,399/$2,798

Audicus also offers a one-of-a-kind hearing aid membership for a low monthly cost that provides new hearing aids every 18 months, all the supplies you’ll need shipped to your door regularly, and insurance is included in case you damage or lose the hearing aids. Pricing starts at $39/month and a one-time fee of $100 – you can cancel anytime by returning the hearing aids.

The Dia II

The Dia II was temporarily discontinued, but Audicus brought it back ‘by popular demand’ as it has remained its most popular offering. Buyers seem to appreciate the unusually low price for a fully digital hearing aid (the price was lowered even further after the device’s reintroduction) that delivers all the modern features consumers have come to rely on, including custom pre-programming by audiologists. This is a behind-the-ear hearing device that is available in three colors. The Dia II features 56 decibels of gain, directional microphones, and eight user-programmed channels.

This device is suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. It holds up to 140 hours of battery life and retails at $998 for a set of two.

The Clara

Clara is a small receiver-in-canal device and one of Audicus’ premier models, offering up to 57 decibels of gain. Unlike this brand’s other model, the Dia II, the Clara hearing aid can be upgraded for enhanced clarity ($100), which increases the available number of user-programmable channels. This model is also available with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery at an additional $400. 

The Clara retails at a base price of $1,398 for a set of two and is available in the buyer’s choice of four colors. It is suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

The Aura

Audicus’ newest offering is The Aura, a completely-in-canal (CIC) device that’s nearly invisible. Featuring a discreet “micro-design,” these small devices sit comfortably in the wearer’s ear canal so no part of the device is visible outside of the ear, making it a great option for those looking for a discreet device. The Aura uses a compact, size 10 battery for longer-lasting power than other CIC aids. And since there are no buttons on the product, users can control the volume by cupping their ear- no need to pair with an app for sound control. 

The Aura is available in two colors and may be purchased individually or as a hearing aid set. A single Aura device retails for $699 and a pair costs $1,398. 

The Wave

The Wave, is a nearly invisible RIC hearing aid that features advanced capabilities, such as direct Bluetooth streaming. Users can connect their smartphone to their Wave to directly make calls, listen to music, and more, directly through their Wave. This device also features an impressive 12 processing channels and an optional rechargeable battery.

The Wave retails at a base price of $1,798 for a pair and is available in four colors. The rechargeable upgrade costs an additional $300.

The Spirit

Audicus’ newest device is the Spirit, a receiver-in-canal hearing aid offering the company’s most advanced technology. Released in 2021, the Spirit comes standard with three premium features: direct Bluetooth streaming, a rechargeable battery, and remote adjustments from an Audiologist. Using the Audicus Hearing Remote smartphone app (available for both iOs and Android devices), wearers can request sound adjustments to their device from the comfort of their own homes. This unlimited, on-demand Audiologist service gives wearers complete control over their sound experience. 

The Spirit also features two directional microphones, ten different volume settings, and auto-adjust capabilities. One Spirit hearing aid costs $1,399, and a pair retails for $2,798 on the Audicus website

Current Promotion

Get $300 off a pair of rechargeable Wave hearing aids with code SUMMER300. Learn more here.

Lexie Hearing Aids Review

Best Rewards Program

Lexie is an industry newcomer that offers a premium hearing aid at the extremely competitive price of $799 per pair. Founded by the experienced hearX group, Lexie was created to make high-quality hearing care more accessible. The Lexie hearing aid leverages smart technology to offer sought-after features like on-demand remote care and adaptive noise reduction at an affordable price, so users don’t have to compromise on features for affordability. 

In addition to its industry-beating price, Lexie’s suite of extra features helps set it apart from other companies. Its rewards program, Lexie Rewards, guides and supports customers from the moment they start using their Lexie Lumen. This unique program encourages users to wear their aids regularly and learn more about their devices during the crucial first weeks of wear. Users are incentivized to meet their goals with award points that can later be used as a discount on their subscription or in-app purchases. Users access the rewards program through the Lexie Hearing mobile app, which has many additional features for users to take advantage of as well. 

The Lexie Lumen hearing aid is sold direct to consumers from Lexie and costs $799 for a pair. Users may also pay for their devices on a subscription basis at a rate of $49 a month for 24 months. Both payment plans include access to Lexie Rewards, remote care, and the mobile app.

Features


Lumen


Fit Type


BTE


Battery Size


312


Rechargeable


No


Bluetooth Enabled


Yes


Directional Microphone


Yes


Noise Reduction


Yes


Feedback Reduction


Yes


Digital Sound Processing


Yes


Processing Channels


6


Telecoil


Yes


Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments


Yes


Physical Volume Button


Yes


Physical Program Switch


Yes


The Lumen

lexie hearing aids

Lexie currently offers one hearing aid model, the Lumen. The device is equipped with dual microphones for directional hearing and noise reduction, and six different processing channels that auto-adjust to changing environments. The Lumen also has a telecoil for extra clear hearing in environments like churches, theaters, and other buildings with induction loop systems. 

Lexie devices are delivered bundled with a handful of accessories, including up to 6-weeks worth of replacement hearing aid batteries, a soft carrying case, and nearly-invisible slim tubes in different sizes for behind-the-ear comfort. All users receive free access to the Lexie Hearing mobile app, the Lexie Care on-demand remote care program, and Lexie Rewards. 

Eargo Hearing Aids Review

Best for Inner Ear Comfort

Eargo offers some of the least visible completely-in-canal hearing aids available, and unlike the majority of other hearing aid brands, all four Eargo models are rechargeable. But what makes this brand unique is its approach to inner-ear comfort and sound amplification.

Featuring soft silicone earpieces that are suspended within the ear canal rather than plugging it, Eargo hearing aids give users with mild to moderate hearing loss a far more breathable option than ever before. Eargo’s Flexi earpieces fit deep inside the ear, hiding the hearing aid from view, and they leave plenty of room for bass-heavy sounds to travel into the wearer’s eardrum unamplified while only high-treble sounds are picked up and aided by the device. The result is natural sound and unrivaled comfort.

Eargo hearing aids are sold directly to consumers via the company’s website, Eargo.com. Though these hearing aids are not pre-programmed using individuals’ audiogram results, Eargo offers a capable and user-friendly app through which users can program their devices and reach Eargo hearing specialists.

Features


Max 


Neo


Neo HiFi


Eargo 5


Cost Per Pair


$1,500


$2,000


$2,500


$2,950


Fit Type


CIC


CIC


CIC


CIC


Rechargeable


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Bluetooth Streaming


No


No


No


No


Audio Personalization


No


Yes


Yes


Yes


Active Noise Cancellation


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Dynamic Feedback Reduction


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes

Max

TheMax, with its rechargeable batteries and advanced sound quality, provides users who have mild to moderate hearing loss with industry-best comfort thanks to its Flexi Fiber earpieces. The Max provides four sound programs, and rather than beeping when program changes are made, users hear more specific prompts spoken in a friendly voice.

Eargo Max hearing aids retail at $1,500 for a set of two and come with ten extra Flexi Fiber earpieces.

Neo

Eargo’s Neo was fully redesigned to feature improved build quality and an even more discreet form factor. This model delivers Eargo’s great noise suppression capabilities and stable gain, as well as sound wave personalization through the Eargo app. The most noticeably different feature of the Neo is its updated Flexi earpieces, which sit more lightly in the ear canal than Eargo’s other models thanks to their innovative, flower-like design.

A set of Eargo Neo hearing aids retails at $2,000 and comes with six medium-sized Flexi Palm earpiece replacements.

Neo HiFi

eargo neo HiFi hearing aid and charging case

Neo HiFi hearing aids were designed to provide an even clearer hearing experience than Eargo’s other devices. The Neo HiFi features enhanced noise and feedback reduction and amplifies mid and high frequencies for a natural sound. The earbuds are Eargo’s new Flexi TetraPalm design which have an extra layer of flexis for wearers’ comfort. Like other Eargo models, the Neo HiFi is a CIC device and nearly invisible. 

A pair of Neo HiFi aids costs $2,500 and includes a charger, six extra Flexi TetraPalms in three different sizes, a wax guard, cleaning brush, USB plug and USB-C cable. 

Eargo 5

The Eargo 5, the company’s newest model, is the most technologically advanced of Eargo’s offerings. Like Eargo’s other models, the Eargo 5 sits completely in the ear canal and is rechargeable with a lithium-ion battery. The most notable new feature is Sound Match, which enables remote, at-home tunings for the best sound quality without having to visit an audiologist’s office for adjustments. Other improvements include new Petal ear tips for easier maintenance, and contactless charging that can complete a full charge in 4 hours. 

These hearing aids cost $2,950 per pair, with financing available for as low as $123/month for 24 months. The price includes a two-year warranty, wireless charger, access to a mobile app and telecare, and more.

Lively Hearing Aids Review

Best Customer Experience

Lively is a direct-to-consumer brand offering a hearing aid equipped with some of the best technology at a lower cost than many of its competitors. By primarily operating as an online company- there is only one brick and mortar location, in Manhattan- Lively is able to keep costs lower than the industry average while still providing a top-of-the-line product. Its hearing aids are designed to be user-friendly and come with a 3-year loss and damage coverage free of charge. 

What really sets Lively apart from other companies in the industry, however, is the customer experience. The entire process, from the initial hearing assessment to ongoing adjustments, can all be completed from the comfort of users’ homes. Lively contracts with a network of professional audiologists to provide remote assessments, assistance, and adjustments for its customers. Each pair of hearing aids are programmed specifically for each user’s ears based on their remote hearing assessment, and the aids can continue to be adjusted as often as needed, since three years of follow-up care with audiologists is included with all Lively purchases. Using the Lively mobile app, customers can even contact audiologists for remote, on-demand adjustments to their hearing aid when they enter a new environment or just need a bit of a tune-up. 

The Lively hearing aid is Bluetooth enabled and can easily be paired with both iOS and Android devices. Sold only directly from Lively, a pair of Lively hearing aid costs $1,850 for the battery-powered model or $2,400 for the rechargeable option. Customers may also opt for a monthly payment plan, which starts as low as $60 a month.

Features


The Lively


Fit Type


Behind the Ear


Battery Size


312 or Rechargeable


Bluetooth Enabled


Yes


Directional Microphone


Yes


Noise Reduction


Yes


Feedback Reduction


Yes


Digital Sound Processing


Yes


Processing Channels


12


Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments


Yes


Physical Volume Button


Yes


Physical Program Switch


Push-button; App


Pricing


$1,850-$2,400 per pair


The Lively

The Lively hearing aid is currently the only model available from the company, but it comes in two different varieties- one rechargeable version and one standard 312-battery powered device. Lively aids are always sold as a pair and bundled with 3 years of follow-up care with an audiologist and a 3-year loss and damage coverage policy. All users also have free access to the Lively mobile app, where they can contact audiologists for on-demand assistance and make immediate adjustments to their aids for the ideal hearing experience in any environment. 

pair of white lively hearing aids

The Lively is equipped with 12 warp channels and gain channels for a very high resolution and a high degree of adjustability. It also has noise-blocking technology to cancel out background noise and white noise, though the hearing aids can also be manually adjusted by the user or remotely by an audiologist. The behind-the-ear component of the Lively measures about one inch long and is available in seven colors intended to match users’ hair for a nearly invisible device. 

MDHearingAid Review

Best for Low-Cost Digital Hearing Aids

MDHearingAid is the most affordable brand on our list, offering some of the best tech at the lowest prices. MDHearingAid currently offers three digital models at economic prices.

This brand offers shoppers individualized recommendations from a licensed audiologist who can interpret audiogram test results. Though MDHearingAid devices are not pre-programmed for the individual, the company notes that about 80 percent of hearing loss cases result in the same basic type of loss pattern. To ensure that its customers can find their best hearing results, this direct-to-consumer retailer offers a no-obligation, money-back guarantee within the user’s first 45 days from the date of purchasing their hearing aid. 

Features


The Air


The Volt+


The Core


Fit Type


BTE


BTE


BTE


Battery Size


13


Rechargeable


312


Rechargeable


No


Yes


No


Bluetooth Enabled


No


No


Yes


Directional Microphone


No


Yes


Yes


Noise Reduction


Yes


Yes


Yes


Feedback Reduction


Yes


Yes


Yes


Digital Sound Processing


Yes


Yes


Yes


Processing Channels


4


4


4


Telecoil


Yes


No


No


Auto Adjusts to Changing Environments


No


No


Yes


Physical Volume Button


Yes


Yes


Yes


Physical Program Switch


Dial


Dial


Push-button; Smartphone App


Pricing (single aid/both ears)


$399/$799


$599/$1,199


$799/$1,599


The Air

The Air is MDHearingAid’s most affordable product and also its bestseller. This digital device is a virtually invisible behind-the-ear model and is MDHearingAid’s only aid that comes with a telecoil. The Air provides noise and feedback reduction, though it does not feature directional mics or automatic adjustment.

The Air’s high-quality sound production is suitable for even noisy environments, and its batteries can keep going for up to 26 days. This model retails at $799 per pair, and buyers of two hearing aids receive free replacement batteries.

The Volt+

mdhearingaid volt+ hearing aids in charging case

The Volt+ is MDHearingAid’s rechargeable model, providing 24-30 hours of power from a single charge. The water-resistant device features advanced feedback cancellation technology and two directional microphones for enhanced sound quality. Like other hearing aids from the company, The Volt+ is designed with ComfortTips for inner ear comfort and fits 80% of people even without audiologist programming.

A pair of Volt+ hearing aids costs $1,199, and individual aids for single ears can be purchased for $599 per ear. 

The Core

MDHearingAid’s Core device offers arguably the most advanced tech of any MDHearingAid device, including the Volt. The Core stands out from other offerings due to its Bluetooth compatibility which allows users to connect with a smartphone app to adjust the aid’s settings for a customized hearing experience. The Core is on par with the Volt in terms of noise cancellation and feedback reduction, both providing crisp and clear sound. 

A single Core hearing aid costs $799, and a pair can be purchased for $1,599. 

Phonak Hearing Aids Review

Best for Group and Classroom Conversations

Phonak was founded in Switzerland in 1947, and today continues to aspire to a mix of Swiss craftsmanship and Silicon Valley technologies. Under ownership by hearing care giant Sonova, the Phonak brand is manufactured by Sonova’s German hearing aid engineering firm, Hansaton, which also manufactures Phonak’s sister brand, Audicus.

Phonak is a prolific brand offering seven different hearing aid models in a broad range of fit styles, including multiple custom-fit options. What sets Phonak apart is its wide selection of hearing aid accessories that make sound more accessible in challenging environments, such as at a distance and/or in conversation with multiple parties. This brand is ideal for classroom environments and also provides a completely invisible device — the Lyric — which doesn’t need to be removed until the hearing aid’s batteries require changing after months of use.

FeaturesAudéo MarvelAudéo ParadiseLyricVirto B
Fit TypeRICRICCIC — 100% InvisibleCustom
Battery Size/Life312: 312
312T: 312
13T: 13
R: Built-In
RT: Built-In
P-R: Built-in rechargeable
P-RT: Built-in rechargeable
P-312: 312
P-13T: 13
UnlistedVaries based on model; 10, 13, or 312
RechargeableSome modelsSome modelsNo — Device Must Be Replaced Once Battery Is Drained (after several months)No
Bluetooth EnabledYesYesNoNo
TelecoilSome modelsSome modelsNoYes
Physical ButtonYesYesNoYes

Audéo Marvel

phonak hearing aid

The Audéo Marvel line of devices offers an RIC (receiver-in-canal) fit style and support Phonak’s AutoSense OS 3.0, which is the brand’s enhanced operating system. Audéo Marvel is Phonak’s premier lineup of devices and includes two rechargeable options as well as direct Bluetooth streaming which can auto-adjust to changing sound input. Unlike many hearing aid brands, Phonak’s Audéo Marvel devices connect directly with any enabled device without the need for added accessories.

With Audéo Marvel’s exceptional sound quality and Phonak’s Binaural VoiceStream technology, Audéo Marvel hearing aids are suitable for users with mild to profound hearing loss and in any level of surrounding noise. These models come in the buyer’s choice of nine neutral colors.

Audéo Paradise

The Phonak Audéo Paradise builds upon the Audéo Marvel, making several key improvements to the device. The Paradise features a new operating system, AutoSense 4.0., which has built-in artificial intelligence technology to automatically recognize and adjust to match different hearing environments. The Audéo Paradise also benefits from improved Bluetooth connectivity, the addition of acoustic motion sensors, and a new feature called “air tap” control, which lets wearers control their hearing aids with just a tap motion to the ear (similar to how users can control Apple AirPods). 

The RIC-style Audéo Paradise is available with rechargeable lithium ion batteries, a 312 zinc air battery, or a 13 zinc air battery. It is also available with and without a telecoil. Buyers have their choice of seven different colors. 

Lyric

Phonak’s Lyric is one of the very few completely invisible hearing aids currently on the market. It features an unusual design, made of a very soft material that fits so snugly in the ear canal that it must be inserted by a hearing care specialist. The Lyric can stay in a user’s ear until the batteries need changing after months of continuous use. Lyric wearers can shower as normal while wearing the device, though total submersion, such as while swimming, is discouraged.

Lyric does not need to be removed by the user, but a special removal tool is included in the cost of purchase. However, the Lyric is not made to be reinserted after removal. This device is best suited for users who have mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Virto B

The Virto B hearing aid series from Phonak consists of six custom-fitted models, each offering 70 decibels of gain. These devices are nearly invisible in the wearer’s ear and provide maximum comfort for long-term wear. Like the Marvel hearing aids reviewed above, Virto B devices come with Phonak’s AutoSense 3.0 operating system as well as a two-decibel directionality improvement thanks to Virto B’s biometric calibration capability.

Virto B hearing aids are 3-D printed to fit the user’s ear canal and are available for any level of hearing loss. Shoppers can select their choice of four faceplate colors and six shell colors.

Read our in-depth review on Phonak Read Review

Get a quote for Phonak Hearing Aids See Pricing

Signia Hearing Aids Review

Best for High-End Design

Signia is one of the most tech-forward and fashion-conscious hearing aid manufacturers of 2021. Under ownership by Sivantos alongside other top brands, like Widex, Signia has become one of the top three hearwear brands in the world.

Signia’s new Nx line of hearing aids offers people with mild to profound hearing loss a broad range of options to customize the look of their devices, both during and after purchase. Signia provides uncommonly sleek and small hearing aid housings which include brushed metal finishes and wider color selections than other brands offer. Signia’s patented programming also delivers multiple special features that bring an enviable quality of sound and noise management to this brand’s users.

To complement its high-quality and attractive range of devices, Signia has developed a system to help clients find the best hearing aid and the best fit for them. Through a network of authorized dealers, Signia can individualize the shopping, fitting and adjustment process for consumers, and also provides a streamlined telehealth app, TeleCare 3.0, to provide live remote tuning for most troubleshooting and adjustment needs.

Though Signia devices can cost about $1,349 to $1,800 per ear, consumers with more modest budgets may find that Signia’s previous line, the Primax Star series, could be more affordable.

FeaturesStylettoPure NxInsio Nx
Fit TypeSLIM-RIC10: RIC
312: RIC
13: RIC
Charge & Go: RIC
ITE, ITC, CIC or IIC
Battery Size/LifeBuilt-In Li-ION Power Cell10:10
312: 312
13:13
Charge & Go: Built-In Li-ION Power Cell
ITE: 312
ITC: 312
CIC: 10
IIC: 10
Rechargeable BatteryYesCharge & Go Model: YesITE: No
ITC: No
CIC: No
IIC: No
Bluetooth (Wireless) EnabledStyletto Connect Model: Yes10: Unlisted
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: No
IIC: No
Directional MicrophoneYes10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: No
Wind ReductionYes10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
Noise ReductionYes10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
BiCROS FittingNo10: Unlisted
312: Yes
13: No
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes
Push-Button Volume ControlNo10: No
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Optional
IIC: No
TelecoilNo10: No
312: No
13: Optional
Charge & Go: No
ITE: Unlisted
ITC: Unlisted
CIC: Unlisted
IIC: Unlisted
Auto Adjusts to Changing EnvironmentsYes10: Yes
312: Yes
13: Yes
Charge & Go: Yes
ITE: Yes
ITC: Yes
CIC: Yes
IIC: Yes

Styletto Nx

Styletto Nx is Signia’s top-of-the-line option that looks just like a sleek Bluetooth earpiece. Suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, this SLIM receiver-in-canal hearing aid sits more discreetly behind the ear than the vast majority of BTE and RIC hearing aids currently available.

The Styletto Nx is a rechargeable hearing aid and ships with a small charging case that fits easily inside a pocket or purse. This device also comes in an alternate version, the Styletto Connect, which does not require the purchase of additional accessories to connect wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Styletto hearing aids come in two-tone, brushed metal finishes, and if you get tired of the colors you initially choose, new housings are available from Signia and can be changed out at home. This hearing aid comes in three technology levels- 7x, 5x and 3x- which determine how advanced the feature set will be.

Pure Nx

The Pure Nx line of devices from Signia includes four receiver-in-canal options, including one Charge&Go rechargeable model. For hearing loss sufferers with mild to profound impairment, the Pure line offers BiCROS fittings, Bluetooth compatibility and industry-leading noise reduction and directionality.

signia hearing aid

The Pure Nx line’s two most feature rich options, the Pure 312 Nx and the Pure Charge&Go Nx, are equipped with Signia Xperience, a new technology that uses motion sensors to streamline the hearing aid’s ability to adapt directionally and in changing sound environments. The most discreet offering in the Pure Nx lineup, the Pure 10 Nx is one of the smallest RIC devices available, and the Pure 13 Nx is a great option for users who desire longer battery life and advanced features. Both provide better own voice processing so that the user’s voice sounds more natural to them.

Insio Nx

Insio Nx is a line of four fit styles, and options for people with any level of hearing loss. Insio models are available in ITE, CIC, IIC and ITC styles, though only the ITE and ITC styles are Bluetooth compatible. Insio Nx users enjoy OneMic directionality, CROS or BiCROS fittings, and advanced noise management while in motion.

Read our in-depth review on Signia Read Review

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Widex Hearing Aids Review

Best for Artificial Intelligence Features

Widex is one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced hearing aid brands, and since merging with hearing care provider Sivantos, has become part of one of the largest businesses in the world. This brand specializes in technologically-advanced hearing aids, but Widex also provides industry-leading sound adjustment and personalization tools, providing audiologist assistance in person and advanced app features at home.

Widex’s EVOKE line of hearing aids comes in a broad variety of fit styles, colors, and feature sets, so we have selected two of these devices which we believe represent the variety of the EVOKE line. Each of these devices is equipped with machine learning capabilities that other brands have not yet incorporated into their user technologies — a feature which Widex has named SoundSense. EVOKE hearing aids leverage artificial intelligence to gradually learn about the user’s most frequented kinds of sound environments and preferences.

Widex now also offers a MOMENT line of hearing aids, which offer new technology for a natural sound as well as other exciting features. Beyond the AI integration of EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aids, both lines also provide a comprehensive range of technology packages. Each EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aid is available in a variety of feature levels, though all are fully directional and come with sophisticated noise reduction capabilities.

FeaturesCICFusionMOMENT
Fit TypeCICRIC/RITERIC/RITE
Battery Size10312Rechargeable, 312, 10
Noise ReductionYesYesYes
TelecoilYesYesSome models
Programmable Push-ButtonYesYesYes
Microphone OpeningsYesNoNo

The EVOKE CIC

The EVOKE CIC is a completely-in-canal device that sits discreetly within the ear canal, best for users with minimal to severe hearing loss. Though small, the CIC is just as advanced as the other EVOKE models listed here. It contains a patented Fluid Sound Controller that processes sound faster and more clearly than previous Widex series, as well as the Widex SoundSense machine learning program.

The EVOKE CIC offers up to five user-programmable channels and is compatible with DEX assistive listening devices. This model is available in three neutral tones and can be purchased in four feature levels.

EVOKE Fusion

The EVOKE Fusion is a small RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aid that is suitable for people with mild to profound hearing loss. Like other EVOKE series devices, it comes equipped with Widex’s machine learning software, SoundSense. The Fusion is available in the consumer’s choice of four feature sets, from the 110 level, which lacks features like Smartwind Manager and Speech Enhancer RT, to the 440 level, which comes with the complete range of EVOKE series enhancements.

The Fusion comes in a range of ten colors and provides up to five user-programmable channels.

MOMENT

Widex’s MOMENT series implements a new technology for natural-sounding hearing. While most hearing aids have delayed processing times that interfere with the natural sound and can create echoes, Widex has significantly sped up these processing times so wearers hear sounds the “moment” that it happens. MOMENT hearing aids currently have the fastest processing time in the industry. 

The MOMENT line includes a variety of different fit options including CIC and receiver-in-the-ear, and up to 13 color options for some hearing aid styles. 

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Starkey Hearing Aids Review

Best for Assistive Features

Starkey is an American-owned-and-operated brand that, since 1964, has developed some of the most technologically advanced hearing aids available. While other high-tech hearing aid manufacturers have focused on using AI and machine learning to advance the clarity of sound that their models offer, Starkey has taken this trend a few steps further, providing assistive features that particularly benefit the elderly.

Starkey’s current models come with a live telehealth feature that connects users to a licensed audiologist who can tune hearing aids remotely. The models covered below also include features like fall detection, light-based hearing technology and Amazon Alexa connectivity. Pricing for Starkey hearing aids is available through a network of authorized dealers, and interested consumers can schedule an appointment with the dealer nearest them right through Starkey.com.

FeaturesLivio AIPicasso
Fit TypeRIC, micro RIC or BTEITE,
ITC,
CIC,
IIC
Battery Size/LifeRIC R: Built-in
RIC: 312
micro RIC: 312
BTE: 13
CIC: 312 or 10
ITC: 312
ITE: 13
IIC: 10
RechargeableRIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: No
Available in some models
TelecoilRIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: Yes
No
Physical Buttons or DialsRIC R: Yes
RIC: Yes
micro RIC: Yes
BTE: Yes
No

The Livio AI

Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aid is one of the most advanced hearing care devices available. As the Livio AI is Starkey’s feature model, it comes packed with its best proprietary features for sound and noise management. This model now features three times more digital processing power than previous models, and gain adjustments can be made automatically on any processing channel that is not already maxed out. Users also have the benefit of a variety of tailor-made programs, such as Livio’s Adaptive Car Mode that automatically reduces road noise.

starkey hearing aid

Once a user sets up their sound and assistive feature preferences in Starkey’s Thrive Hearing Control app, Livio AI devices become incredibly adaptive to the user’s needs. This device can provide audible memory cues and fall detection alerts that are sent to the user’s choice of emergency contact, as well as live transcription of conversations onto the user’s smartphone. Transcribed text can even be saved and sent to contacts as a text or email.

Livio AI is available in three fit styles: Receiver-in-canal (RIC), micro-RIC, and behind-the-ear (BTE), and is suitable for those with mild to profound hearing loss. The RIC version is available with a rechargeable battery.

Picasso

Starkey’s Picasso line allows wearers to obtain a completely-customized hearing aid. With four different styles to choose from (ITE, ITC, CIC, and IIC), essentially any person can find a Picasso fit that works for them. In addition to comfort, Picasso hearing aids offer feedback cancellation, customizable tinnitus relief, and three different technology levels to suit a range of lifestyles. 

Picasso hearing aids are also fully compatible with Starkey’s SurfLink accessories, which offer a range of features for a better listening experience. Using the accessories, Picasso wearers can stream television, music and phone calls directly through their hearing aid, adjust the aid with a mobile app, and more. 

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The Cost of Hearing Aids

Hearing aid costs can vary dramatically depending on the type of device, its basic and premium features, and the manufacturer. As demonstrated in our list of the Ten Best Hearing Aids, some hearing aids can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars, while other, more advanced models may cost upwards of $2,000. Below, we cover three key things you should consider before purchasing a hearing aid to ensure you choose a suitable device for your needs and budget. 

Access to Professional Care and Assistance

While in the past you would have to work with an audiologist to obtain a hearing aid, modern companies offer a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model. Today, you can easily buy hearing aids online without any input from an audiologist. However, that doesn’t mean you should

Though most DTC hearing aids offer online hearing tests and some form of customized programming, be aware that it’s not the same level of personalization and care you would experience working with a hearing care professional. For those with mild-moderate hearing loss, these DTC devices are often sufficient and in general, they’re much less expensive. But for those with more advanced hearing loss or other audiology-related concerns, it may make more sense to work with an audiologist to get your hearing aid (though be aware that the cost will likely be much higher). 

Some companies that we’ve covered above, like Lively, connect customers virtually with audiologists who can offer advice, review your hearing tests, and help you adjust your hearing aids to suit your individual needs. If you’re hoping to keep costs low but want personal assistance from a hearing care professional, look into a company that offers this virtual audiology service.

Payment Structures

Understanding the impact of the various payment structures used by different companies can be confusing. Some hearing aid companies maintain a basic pricing structure, while others use a subscription model. Furthermore, some companies offer bundles of accessories and cleaning materials, free add-on devices, or device protection plans. 

Before making a purchase, be sure to read the fine print about what is and is not included in your purchase price or monthly cost. If choosing to buy hearing aids on a payment plan, check if there is any interest charged over time. If you choose a subscription model, make sure to check if there are any long-term contracts. One of the main appeals of a subscription plan is that you can try a device without a significant financial commitment. Accidentally signing on for a multi-year contract may defeat your purpose of choosing this payment style. 

Long-Term Costs

In most cases, you’ll need to put some money into your hearing aid over time; the total cost goes beyond your initial purchase price. You’ll undoubtedly need to buy cleaning materials if you want to keep your device operating in top shape, and you never know when you may need a repair. Below we outline the three main things to consider when thinking about long-term costs. Factoring these things into your decision may cost you more money upfront, but can save you money in the long run. 

  • Bundled Plans: Some hearing aids are sold as a bundle with accessories, cleaning supplies, or technology upgrades like a rechargeable battery. If you find that one company offers a bundle with extras you feel you’ll really use or that will benefit you, it may be worth spending a bit more initially to save money on these extras in the future. 
  • Device Protection: Most hearing aid companies offer a device protection plan, either included in a monthly cost or for a small monthly fee. In most cases, it’s worth your while to sign up for the protection plan to prevent large replacement or repair fees in the event your device breaks or is damaged. Furthermore, if you’re clumsy, forgetful, or simply tend to need replacement electronics frequently, you may choose to spend a bit more upfront for a hearing aid with device protection included in the cost. 
  • Warranties: Unlike device protection plans, which are offered by the company selling the device, warranties are typically determined by the manufacturer. Not only do warranties cover different lengths of time, but they can have completely different terms. Spend some time checking the warranties of your top choices of hearing aids. If there is a significant imbalance (i.e., one offers an extra year of coverage), it may influence which option makes the most long-term sense for you. 

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid

An elderly woman wearing a hearing aid

Step 1: Get a Hearing Test

Traditionally, your first step on the path to a hearing aid purchase should always be to see a licensed hearing specialist. However, in-person testing is not always possible, especially right now during COVID-19. Just like many people are turning to telehealth appointments, you can also take a free online hearing test instead of visiting an audiologist in-person. 

Online hearing tests can play a valuable role in determining your need for a hearing aid, but you won’t get as precise information as you would from a hearing test with an audiologist. If you do undergo a hearing test using an audiogram, the audiologist can provide highly detailed reports of what types of sounds, pitches, ranges, etc. that you most struggle with. This information will make finding the best hearing aid for you a more exact process and can give you a more specific price range.

Audiologists can also make recommendations for hearing aid brands, models, and fit styles. Keep in mind that audiology practices may have a few brands that they sell or endorse in particular, but once you have the opportunity, don’t be afraid to ask about the brands or devices that interest you personally.

Step 2: Think Beyond Hearing Aid Cost

After your audiologist provides a deeper look into your hearing loss profile, it may be tempting to keep things simple by shopping based only on cost and your audiogram results. However, you will also need to consider the kinds of activities wherein you’ll be relying on your hearing aids. Think about what types of sound environments you frequent most often.

The cost of hearing aids varies based in part on how well they can filter out peripheral noise. If you don’t often find yourself in noisy restaurants or music venues, you may wish to purchase a low-cost model that is best suited to calm, quiet environments, such as peaceful one-on-one conversations or TV watching at home. While you’re at it, also consider whether you would benefit from Bluetooth connectivity that could stream sound directly from a television or radio to your hearing aids. Another thing to look out for is a free trial period, which can be especially useful when buying hearing aids online. 

Step 3: Determine What Accessories You May Need

Most companies sell accessories like remotes and streamers that can make programming and using your aids more convenient. However, buying accessories for various purposes can easily make your hearing aid far more expensive. For that reason, it’s best to start the shopping process by considering your specific accessory needs. The following are some of the most common accessories offered by hearing aid brands.

Streaming Accessories

Many of the devices covered here feature Made for iPhone functionality, so Apple device users often spend less on accessories as these devices stream directly to Apple devices. However, if your phone runs on OS (Android) and you’d like the freedom to connect to other devices, such as your TV or car stereo, most brands will most likely require you to purchase a separately sold accessory. Bluetooth streamers can connect a hearing aid either wirelessly or with the use of a wired adapter to a broad range of external devices, and users will no longer need to excessively crank the volume of their TV or radio. Bluetooth streamers and adapters can cost hundreds, but they can make the balance of sound in your listening environment more level and clear.

Remote Controls

It’s common for brands to offer physical remotes in a variety of styles, so if you’re not confident using a cell phone app for sound programming and other functions, or if you just want a backup remote, a physical remote control is a smart purchase. Not all hearing aids come with physical buttons to change the volume or the sound program which adapts your aids to different sound environments, so with some models, physical remotes are even more important.

Microphones

For conversations in noisy areas or where the speaker and listener are at a distance from one another, an external microphone can be extremely handy. These come in multiple configurations, including as a mic that clips onto the speaker’s shirt, a table-top model or a small device that can be easily held and passed around during multi-party conversations. Mics are ideal in classroom environments too as some can accommodate group conversations at distances of up to about 60 feet.

Step 4: Try a Variety of Styles

Your audiologist can help you find the most comfortable and appropriate fit style for you, whether you’re more comfortable with a device that sits mostly behind your ear or a more discreet option that sits fully within your ear canal. The look of a hearing aid is important to most people, but the feel of the device is also highly important as hearing aids are meant to be worn long-term. 

The most commonly found hearing aid fit styles are BTE (behind-the-ear), RIC (receiver-in-canal), and CIC (completely-in-canal). Some of the brands listed above also offer a custom-molded earpiece for which audiologists must fit the individual customer. If you find that most of the fit styles you try seem uncomfortable, consider a custom fitting.

Step 5: Anticipate Additional Costs

When you buy hearing aids, there are often additional costs beyond the initial purchase. And, anticipating the total cost involved in purchasing hearing aids can be tricky. Costs are dependent on needed accessories, warranty coverage, added fees, and brand-specific incidentals. When you’ve narrowed your search down to a few select brands, research the provider’s website or ask an audiologist about the following cost-related concerns.

  • Is there a money-back guarantee during a risk-free trial period?
  • Does the warranty cover lost, stolen or damaged devices?
  • How much do replacement batteries or earpieces cost?
  • Are fittings and/or servicing for adjustments included in the purchase price?
  • How much do accessories for Bluetooth streaming cost?

Frequently Asked Questions

Image of senior hearing patient during consultation.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids cost an average of approximately $2,500 in the United States. Many of the hearing aids listed on our list cost less because they’re from online brands. Hearing aids purchased through an Audiologists’ office are typically more expensive, but you’ll get personal attention from a hearing expert, which can be invaluable for some people. In other cases, it makes sense to buy a more affordable hearing aid online.

What does it mean when hearing aids are “locked”?

Many hearing aid brands come from the manufacturer ‘locked’, meaning they can only be serviced and adjusted by proprietary dealer locations. Brands like Miracle-Ear, Audibel, and Beltone can only be adjusted in stores that bear that brand’s name over the front door. Often, these brands are also ‘vanity brands’, which means that they are made and/or designed by a company that specializes in manufacturing generic hearing aids for various unaffiliated brands. For hearing aid users who may travel or otherwise find themselves out of range of their device manufacturer’s audiology locations, owning a locked hearing aid can be more trouble than it’s worth.

How much should I pay for a hearing aid?

Hearing aids can range in cost by hundreds, or sometimes, thousands, of dollars, and how much you pay for a hearing aid depends on your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle. More advanced features like smartphone connectivity and direct Bluetooth streaming raise the price, but if those aren’t important to you, you’ll likely save hundreds of dollars. Additionally, more severe hearing loss typically requires more advanced devices and the care of an audiologist, while mild hearing loss can sometimes be rectified with a basic hearing aid ordered online. 

Why are directional microphones important?

Directional microphones shift their focus toward the direction from which they process the most sound, making voices clearer and reducing unwanted background noise. They rely on software that tells a hearing aid where the closest speaker to the aided listener is located. Lower-cost digital hearing aids may not provide directionality. This significantly reduces a hearing aid’s ability to reduce noise and amplify the right sounds.

Can people who have profound hearing loss use hearing aids?

Yes, people who have profound hearing loss can use hearing aids (but will need to work with an audiologist) and may also be good candidates for cochlear implants. Additionally, those who have single-sided deafness can use CROS and BiCROS hearing aids. These devices receive sound through one hearing aid but process that sound to manufacture the sensation of hearing in both ears. Sound signals are then sent to the unaidable ear where a specialized hearing aid is worn. Read more about how CROS and BiCROS hearing aids work in this article from Starkey.

Read more hearing aid reviews and learn the answers to frequently asked questions in our articles below:

Citations 

1. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults 
2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/presbycusis
3. https://healthjournalism.org/blog/2017/03/social-isolation-loneliness-negatively-affect-health-for-seniors/
4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/head-neck/patient-education/resisting-help 
5. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/hearing-loss-health-risks.html

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