COVID-19 Update: With social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many seniors are struggling with loneliness and isolation. We’ve developed a list of products that caregivers or seniors can purchase to help older adults stay happy, healthy and connected, whether they are aging in place at home or in an assisted living community.

Best for Artificial Intelligence Features

Starkey is one of the world’s premier providers of customized and technologically advanced hearing solutions, and we believe it offers some of the best hearing aids on the market. American owned and operated since 1964, Starkey has grown to encompass other quality brands, including Audibel, MicroTech and NuEar. 

What makes this brand a leader in artificial intelligence integration is how Starkey has adapted their hearing aids to provide assistive features for the elderly and people with disabilities. Starkey’s premier models, which come in a range of prices and feature sets, are sophisticated enough to provide conveniences like fall detection, conversation transcription onto a smart device, and Amazon Alexa connectivity to help with things like appointment reminders and call streaming.

Below, you’ll find current Starkey hearing aid models as well as their best features and available technology levels. Retail prices are listed where available, but all prices mentioned here are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, so shoppers may find more competitive deals on Starkey models from their local authorized retailers.

Features


Livio AI


Livio


Muse iQ


Picasso


Halo iQ


SoundLens Synergy iQ


Fit Type


RIC, micro RIC or BTE


RIC, micro RIC or BTE


RIC, micro RIC, mini BTE, BTE, CIC, ITC or ITE


ITE, ITC, CIC or IIC


RIC


IIC


Battery Size


RIC R: Built-in
RIC: 312
micro RIC: 312
BTE: 13


RIC R: Built-in
RIC: 312
micro RIC: 312
BTE 13: 13


RIC R: Built-in
RIC: 312
micro RIC: 312
mini BTE: 312
BTE: 13
Power Plus BTE: 13
CIC: 312 or 10
ITC: 312
ITE: 13


ITE: 13
ITC: 312
CIC: 10 or 312
IIC: 10


RIC 13: 13
RIC 312: 312


10


Rechargeable


RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: No


RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE 13: No


RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: Yes
mini BTE: No
BTE: No
Power Plus BTE: No
CIC: No
ITC: No
ITE: No


No


No


No


Telecoil


RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE: Yes


RIC R: Yes
RIC: No
micro RIC: No
BTE 13: Yes


RIC R: Yes
RIC: Yes
micro RIC: Yes
mini BTE: Yes
BTE: Yes
Power Plus BTE: Yes
CIC: No
ITC: No
ITE: Optional


ITE: Optional
ITC: Optional
CIC: No
IIC: No


RIC 13: Yes
RIC 312: No


No


Physical Buttons or Dials


RIC R: Yes
RIC: Yes
micro RIC: Yes
BTE: Yes


RIC R: Yes
RIC 312: Yes
micro RIC 312: Yes
BTE 13: Yes


RIC R: Yes
RIC: Yes
micro RIC: Yes
mini BTE: Yes
BTE: Yes
Power Plus BTE: Yes
CIC: Optional
ITC: Optional
ITE: Optional


ITE: Optional
ITC: Optional
CIC: Optional
IIC: No


RIC 13: Yes
RIC 312: Yes


No


Starkey Hearing Aid Technology Levels

Starkey’s hearing aid models each come in a range of technology levels, with the higher levels representing increased capability, more features, higher pricing and clearer sound in more challenging noise environments. Technology levels determine whether a Starkey brand hearing aid will come with features like directional processing, tinnitus therapy and speech enhancement. 

FeaturesAI 2400
Premium
2400
Premium
2000
Advanced
1600
Select
1200
Low
1000
Basic

Spatial Speech Enhancement


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


No


No


Directional Processing


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Sound Manager


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Noise Control


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Feedback Management


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


CROS System


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


No


No


Tinnitus Technology


Yes


Yes


Yes


Yes


No


No


Channels/Bands


24


24


20


16


12


10


Starkey Hearing Aid Models

Starkey hearing aids are sold through a network of authorized retailers across the country. For this reason, finding accurate prices for Starkey hearing aids can be difficult without first requesting them from a local retailer. However, we have found pricing for some models from a Hawaiian hearing specialist called Ohana Hearing Care, which lists the MSRPs for some Starkey models reviewed below.

In cooperation with Starkey’s hearing specialists, Remote Programming provides real-time interaction with a hearing professional who can make hearing aid adjustments remotely. Many Starkey models feature a waterproof coating of nanoparticles, protecting all components from sweat and water damage. The following models also provide streaming from Bluetooth enabled devices, and select models support streaming with no additional accessories required.

The Livio and Livio AI

starkey livio hearing aid

With its Livio and Livio AI models, Starkey has taken hearing aid technologies to a new level. These hearing instruments were the first to feature embedded sensors and artificial intelligence, providing things like audible memory cues, fall detection, and sophisticated adaptability. 

Older adults who experience memory loss can also benefit from the Livio AI ‘transcribe’ feature that audibly transcribes conversations that appear on their smartphone’s screen. To help transcription users recall important appointments, health-sustaining activities and other information, there is also the option to save, message, copy, or email the transcribed text. 

Health-conscious seniors will even be able to monitor their health through wellness tracking. If the wearer happens to fall, the sensors in Livio AI hearing aids can detect the fall and send an alert message to a caregiver or any of the user’s selected contacts, eliminating the need for other medical alert services and devices. 

In addition to the aforementioned features, Livio AI and Livio models provide a great listening experience with three times more digital signal processing than previous models. Smart VC increases loudness by allowing gain adjustment in all channels that are not maxed out. Livio’s Adaptive Car Mode automatically reduces driving sounds, and phone calls stream directly to the wearer’s hearing aid(s) via Bluetooth. The Livio and Livio AI also feature Amazon Alexa connectivity.

Starkey’s Livio AI retails at an MSRP of $3,500 for a pair, and the Livio is available in a range of prices as it comes in all of Starkey’s available technology levels. The 2000 level Livio retails at $2,500 for a pair and the 2400 level Livio is listed at an MSRP of $3,000 a pair. Retailers may reduce prices at their discretion and prices may include fittings and/or other services.

Muse iQ

Muse iQ wireless models from Starkey are designed to ensure that users experience supreme, immersive sound, and this line also features a rechargeable option, the Muse iQ i2400 rechargeable (RIC-R). Muse hearing aids quickly adjust to the wearer’s surroundings so that, when in challenging sound environments, the Muse iQ increases listening clarity while noise is actively filtered out. Soft sounds become more audible while feedback cancellation eliminates buzzing and whistling. 

Muse hearing aids feature fully waterproof components which are treated with a Surface NanoShield protective coating, making this device more likely to last through the long summers of the South and desert regions. Consistent wireless performance is provided during streaming from a TV, phone or other Bluetooth compatible device thanks to the SurfLink 2 app, SurfLink Mini Mobile, and other SurfLink accessories.

The Muse iQ comes in Starkey’s various technology levels, with the highest-level device, the Muse iQ i2400 rechargeable (RIC-R), priced at an MSRP of $3,099 per pair. Retailers may reduce prices for the Muse iQ at their discretion and prices may include fittings and/or other services.

Picasso

Picasso custom hearing aids give users a one-of-a-kind design that molds to the individual’s ear anatomy, providing a comfortable fit and an earpiece that is tiny and discreet. Though small and nearly invisible, Picasso aids deliver great sound and performance. 

Picasso can be customized for any listening situation, and audio can be streamed directly to the hearing aid from a smartphone. Other features include advanced directionality, ear-to-ear communication, feedback elimination and optional tinnitus therapy. Picasso also has the ability to gradually learn to accommodate the habits of its user, enabling the hearing aid to easily adjust to your surroundings and hearing preferences.

The Picasso comes in all of Starkey’s available technology levels and four fit styles (ITE, ITC, CIC or IIC). The highest level of this device, the Picasso i2400, is priced at around $2,999 per pair. Retailers may reduce prices for the Picasso at their discretion and prices may include custom earpiece fittings and/or other services.

Halo iQ

The Halo iQ receiver-in-canal hearing aid is recommended for those with mild to severe hearing loss. When these Made-for-iPhone hearing aids are connected with the TruLink app, wearers will enjoy personalized control over sound adjustment features such as SoundSpace, Noise Manager, and volume, and Apple users require no additional accessories to stream directly from their device. 

Other features include the ability to answer incoming phone calls by simply touching a button to stream a conversation directly to the Halo iQ hearing aid, as well as to hear real-time notifications, interact with Siri, locate lost hearing aids and create up to 20 geotagged memories. 

Per-pair pricing for the Halo iQ is $1,999 for the i1600 technology level, $2,499 for the Halo iQ i2000, and $2,999 for the feature-packed i2400 technology level. Retailers may reduce these MSRPs (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing) at their discretion, and prices may include fittings and/or other services.

SoundLens Synergy iQ

SoundLens Synergy iQ custom hearing aids are Starkey’s most popular model. SoundLens is the brand’s smallest and most invisible instrument and is custom molded after purchase to fit invisibly in the user’s ear canal. But the key benefit of the SoundLens is that, unlike traditional hearing aids, it uses light-based technology to deliver sound directly to the wearer’s eardrums. For users whose hearing loss profile and physical makeup make them good candidates for light-based aids, the SoundLens Synergy iQ is at the top of the market with an impressive feature set

Although small, the SoundLens Synergy iQ is fully wireless, comfortable and loaded with advanced features that provide immersive listening and pristine sound. Some of this model’s most powerful features include ear-to-ear phone streaming, seamless sound environment transitions, distortion-free listening, feedback cancellation and customizable tinnitus relief. To make this model even more discreet, wearers will be able to choose from a variety of skin tone colors.   

Pricing for the SoundLens Synergy iQ is available from your local authorized retailers, and prices may include custom fitting and other services at the retailer’s discretion.

Warranties on Starkey Hearing Aids

Starkey provides a worry-free warranty that covers its hearing aids and most of its accessories. Coverage includes protection against parts failure, damage, and loss. If the instruments are lost, stolen, or suffer total destruction, consumers will receive a one-time replacement that may require a processing fee. However, repairs can be made for both internal component failure and external damage to Starkey hearing aids. 

Wearers with hearing aids that are lost, damaged or need repairs must take their instruments to their local hearing care professional. Protection Plans and the length of warranty periods depend in part on the retailer from whom the device was purchased.

Apps for Starkey Hearing Aids

Thrive Hearing Control

Thrive makes the process of adjusting to new hearing aids easier with the Thrive Assistant, Hearing Care Anywhere, and Self Check features. If the wearer has a premium model, he or she can use Thrive Assistant to troubleshoot issues that may arise with their hearing aid(s) or hearing aid accessories. 

Hearing Care Anywhere also lets the wearer connect with their audiologist or other hearing care professional to let them know what minor issues they are having with their hearing aid. Then the professional can make adjustments remotely, which saves the wearer an office visit. Wearers can even perform a diagnostic test on their hearing aids with the Self Check feature.

Starkey Livio AI wearers can use this app to monitor body activity, translate up to 27 different languages, and very soon, they will be able to use this app to view their heart rate.

Finally, Thrive Hearing Control also lets users answer phone calls and stream the conversation to their hearing instruments, and listen to TV, music, and other media in their hearing aid. Users can also create custom geotagged memories, adjust volume levels, switch memories, read and save conversations captured on smartphones and find lost hearing aids.

This app is currently only compatible with the Starkey Livio AI and Starkey Livio. 

TruLink Hearing Control

Starkey users can download this app to enhance their listening experience. Features include audio streaming, the ability to adjust sound settings based on the current environment, the ability to save up to 20 sound settings, use an iPhone as a microphone, locate lost hearing aids, gain control of device memory, volume/mute, and other features. TruLink is easy to use and connects to Apple devices and some Android phones.

Starkey Hearing Aid Accessories

Hearing Aid Streamers

The SurfLink Media 2 wireless TV streamer transmits audio from televisions or other electronic audio devices directly to Starkey hearing aids. It’s simple to use, has excellent sound quality and is compatible with analog and digital input sources.

SurfLink Media 2 is classified as Starkey Hearing Technologies’ ‘ultimate media streaming solution’. No pairing of devices is required to stream audio from televisions, cable boxes, computers and other electronics directly to hearing aids. Just plug the streamer into the TV or stereo and it’s ready to use. Furthermore, multiple Starkey hearing aid wearers can stream audio to their hearing devices simultaneously, each at a volume level that is comfortable for them, and without audio delay.

Microphones

Starkey Hearing Technologies offers three microphones: the Remote Microphone+, the Mini Remote Microphone, and the SurfLink Remote Microphone 2. All three are rechargeable, work with Starkey Hearing Technologies’ hearing aids and can be used to hear one-on-one conversations more clearly in noisy environments. To get the best results, the hearing aid user should let the speaker clip the microphone to his or her clothing or use the optional lanyard to wear around their neck. Once the speaker has the mic, it will transfer the speaker’s voice directly to the hearing-impaired individual’s hearing aid.

Any of these microphones will also stream audio directly to Starkey hearing aids from compatible devices, and the wearer is able to adjust their mic’s volume. When the clip for the Remote Microphone+ or SurfLink Microphone is placed in a horizontal position, wearers are able to hear multiple speakers in quiet environments.

Hearing Aid Remote Controls

Starkey hearing aid wearers can use a remote to control their hearing aids. The remotes work with or without a smartphone and can be paired to work with a single hearing aid or a set of two. The remotes have ear selection switches to control whether adjustments affect one or both ears. The TruLink remote will work with or without a smartphone and is compatible with the Starkey Halo iQ. 

Starkey’s regular wireless remote lets users control the volume, mute or unmute sounds, cycle through available memories, start and stop audio streaming, reduce noise with the Comfort Boost button and turn tinnitus therapy on or off. 

Starkey’s basic SurfLink remote only offers the ability to adjust the volume and mute or unmute sound. In order to take advantage of all the features that Starkey’s regular wireless remote can offer, wearers will need an advanced model. The basic TruLink remote features volume control and an ear selection switch. The advanced TruLink remote offers the same features as the basic, in addition to mute and unmute, the ability to create and cycle through multiple memories, turn Tinnitus Stimulus on or off and control noise reduction with Comfort Boost.

SurfLink Mini Mobile

This adapter comes with the SurfLink Remote Microphone 2. Once it is plugged into the bottom of the microphone, users are able to stream calls from a Bluetooth-ready mobile phone directly to their wireless hearing aids. Sound from one-on-one conversations as well as from other Bluetooth compatible audio devices is transmitted directly to the wearer’s hearing aids. Both the adapter and microphone are rechargeable.

SurfLink Mobile 2

SurfLink Mobile 2 works as a hands-free device, media streamer and remote control. When paired with Starkey hearing aids, wearers can have a hands-free cell phone or landline conversation, relax to music, hear one-on-one or group conversations and adjust the settings of their hearing aids. The SurfLink Mobile 2 also features built-in directional and Omni microphones.

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