Hearing loss can make life much more challenging. Keeping up with conversations, following along with a movie or sports games, hearing the phone ring, or even enjoying the sounds of nature can all become daunting tasks when you’re struggling with hearing loss.
That’s why the hearing aids that you choose make all the difference in your daily life. You shouldn’t have to struggle to hear on the phone, at noisy restaurants, family gatherings, or even concert venues.
Finding the right hearing aid in today’s market can be tough. There are so many companies advertising all the bells and whistles that it can be a bit overwhelming.
So we’re going to tell you what you should be looking for in your next set of hearing aids and review some of the best out there to help you make an educated decision.
What to Look for When Purchasing Hearing Aids
There’s much more to think about these days when purchasing hearing aids. With technological advances came a greater variety of features capable of fitting a wide range of listening circumstances. With all the new and improved choices out there now, it can be difficult to make the right decision.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during your search:
You may not need a state-of-the-art hearing aid to get the job done, but you do need to have programmability. After all, it’s the primary difference between a personal amplifier and a hearing aid.
Your hearing aid should be programmed to enhance sounds specific to your hearing loss. Otherwise, all sound will be amplified in the same manner, which won’t do you any favors.
From behind the ear to the inner ear canal, hearing aids come in all different shapes and sizes.
The extent of your hearing loss may limit the styles you can choose from. Of course, you want something functional in both appearance and performance that will fit into your daily activities.
The main reason that people invest in hearing aids is to hear and understand others’ speech. This is where directional microphones come in.
Hearing aids with directionality are built with two or more microphones positioned at certain distances from each other. This provides a contrast in arrival time of sound to each individual microphone, which dictates the reaction to those sounds.
This way, your hearing aids can target the sound source that is closest to you, such as the person speaking to you.
Minimization of Background Noise
Background noise along with feedback suppression is typically built into all the digital hearing aids. However, it’s still something you want to double-check when making your decision.
Hearings aids have microprocessors that are capable of distinguishing between high-frequency sounds, such as speech, and low-frequency sounds, like background noise. The microprocessors should be able to intensify the high-frequency sounds while suppressing the low-frequency sounds.
Telecoils are small copper coils built into the hearing aids.
They make it possible for you to talk on the phone without feedback. They also make it possible to connect to hearing loop systems. For example, if your local cinema has a hearing loop system, the sound will be transmitted directly to your hearing aid.
We live in a digital world where we’re always connected. If you own a smartphone, you’ll want to make sure your hearing aids are compatible with it. This way you can stream your music and telephone calls directly to your hearing aids for greater sound quality.
You’ll also be able to use your smartphone as a remote for your hearing aids, where you can control the volume and other settings.
Battery Life and Options
Hearing aid batteries are important. You don’t want your hearing aids to stop working in the middle of something important. You want to make sure yours can last at least 24 hours, giving you a whole day’s worth of usage.
The batteries should be easy to locate and replace. Of course, replaceable batteries can get expensive. A better option would be to find hearing aids with rechargeable batteries.
Most rechargeable hearing aid batteries can take up to seven hours or more to get a full charge, which is convenient since you can charge them while you sleep.
The Best Hearing Aids on the Market
As mentioned before, you want to find a hearing aid that suits you and your daily activities. There are a lot of them on the market today, so, keeping in mind the above points, we’ve created a list of the top hearing aid brands for you to choose from:
Widex is a family-owned company founded in Denmark in 1956, and they’re one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers. They have a reputation for providing high-quality sounds, with an emphasis on high-frequency sounds that are most important, like one-on-one conversations. Their hearing aids effectively block out wind noise and other external noises.
As the first company to bring you inner-ear hearing aids, Widex has consistently been a leader in innovation for the industry. Their latest product, the Widex Evoke, is the world’s first “smart” hearing aid. As you adjust your settings, the Evoke “learns,” remembering your settings in different environments, so it can later adjust itself for a better listening experience.
Key features: remote control settings, real-time directional technology, rechargeable batteries.
Sivantos Ltd. is also the producer of Signia, Rexon, and Siemens hearing aids. They’re one of the world’s largest producers of hearing aids in the world, with one in every four hearing aid purchases falling under their umbrella.
Their most recent hearing aid, the Signia Stylette is not only stylish but filled with smart technology. They come with advanced features including television streaming, battery life of up to four days, and their patented OVP (Own Voice Processing) for high-quality sound.
Key features: long battery life, smart streaming, Dynamic soundscape processing, OVP, acoustic motion sensors.
With over 70 years of experience and customers in more than 100 countries, Phonak has been on a mission to help the hearing impaired live without limits.
The Phonak Audéo Marvel is their most recent product, and it was also the winner of the CES 2019 Innovation Awards, in the Accessibility category. The Audéo Marvel is the first universal BlueTooth hearing aid capable of supporting stereo streaming from multiple smart devices.
On top of being compatible with both iOS and Android devices, all Phonak hearing aids are built with an operating system that can automatically adapt to the user’s surroundings.
Key features: Stereo BlueTooth streaming, compatible with any phone, rechargeable batteries, speech to text application.
Founded in 1964, Starkey is an American-owned company accredited with creating the first custom digital invisible hearing aid as well as the first in-canal hearing aid. They were also the first company to produce an iPhone app and the first to use both digital and nano-technology.
Their Muse iQ technology was made to help you hear in a wide range of challenging situations, and their Acuity™ Immersion Directionality can improve speech audibility in the most difficult hearing situations. They also come with high-performance wireless streaming capability that will keep you connected to all of your devices, TV, and music.
Key features: Hearing and activity tracking, smartphone and device compatibility, patented technology for challenging hearing situations, rechargeable batteries.
Unitron is a Canadian hearing solutions manufacturer owned by the same group (Sonova) that produces Phonak hearing aids. Unitron has been in Phonak’s shadows for quite some time, but are finally inching their way into the spotlight.
Unitron produces both behind-the-ear and in-ear hearing aids. Their Moxi Now is the world’s smallest wireless Receive-in-Ear (RIC) hearing aid, which allows for an invisible style. The Moxi Now was also the winner of the 2017 Red Dot award in the “best of the best” category.
All of Unitron’s hearing aids are made with their patented Sound Nav 3.0 technology which blends an infinite mix of sound situations to deliver optimum hearing. They’re also made to work seamlessly with any phone and smart device.
Key features: SoundCore and SpeechPro patented technologies, binaural spatial processing, rechargeable batteries.
Your Life, Your Ears
Remember, it’s important to choose your hearing aids based on your lifestyle. It’s best to work with a specialist that can help you choose the right hearing aids for you.
We don’t want you to have to live in a world without sound, that’s why our highly experienced hearing specialists are here to work with you and help guide you in this great decision. Book an appointment with us today.