Which Hearing Aid Manufacturer Makes the Best Hearing Aids?
This question depends a lot on who is asking, so let’s start with the basics.
While there are many small hearing-aid manufacturers, there are six major companies, commonly known to hearing-care professionals as “the big six”: Phonak, GN Resound, Oticon, Widex, Starkey and Signia (formerly known as Siemens). Some of these aids are rebranded for different retail stores, and with a new hearing aid introduced almost every week, the choices can be overwhelming.
When trying to narrow down your options, the first question is usually “Who makes the best hearing aids?”
To answer this, let’s compare and contrast the big-six manufacturers.
So, what similarities do the big-six manufacturers share? They all produce digital hearing aids ranging from behind-the-ear to custom in-the-ear styles, and they can all be programmed by an audiologist to meet your hearing loss prescription. Many of their digital features are also very similar. This is usually where the similarities end.
How do they differ from each other? That’s what makes “Who makes the best hearing aids?” so hard to answer. If you want hearing aids that connect to your iPhone, there are only certain manufacturers who make iPhone-compatible hearing aids. If you have single-sided deafness and want speech sent from your bad ear to your good ear, you would need a CROS device, which are only made by a few manufacturers.
If you have a cochlear implant and want wireless connectivity from your CI processor to your hearing aid, you would need either a Phonak or a GN Resound hearing aid. If you are environmentally conscious, you may want a rechargeable-hearing-aid option offered by Signia and possibly a few others with aftermarket rechargeable options. If you have worn a Phonak hearing aid for 10 years, you may not like the sound quality of a Starkey hearing aid.
So, who makes the best hearing aids? If you’re thinking we’ve been talking around the answer, then you’re correct – because there is no clear-cut answer.
In reality, the best hearing aid is often determined by your specific needs and hearing loss.
There is no single company that makes the “best” hearing aids. Anyone who tells you otherwise is doing you a disservice. If your hearing-care provider offers only one brand of hearing aid, make sure you do your homework on that hearing aid company before purchasing your devices from them. Each company makes many different types of hearing aids based on levels of technology and features.
Think of purchasing a car. Each car manufacturer makes many different classes and models of cars. There is no single car manufacturer who makes the best cars. The answer depends on the type of car you wish to purchase. The same is true for a hearing aid.
If, even after evaluating the manufacturers’ similarities and differences, you’re still struggling to make a decision, there’s good news: The brand of a hearing aid is often not what determines the success of the patient anyway. Rather, the determinant of success if usually the professional recommending and fitting the hearing aids. More vital than selection of manufacturer, a patient with hearing loss needs to select the most highly capable hearing-care provider.
If you experience hearing loss or wish to learn more about management of hearing loss, please contact Arizona Hearing Center for an appointment. Contact us by phone at 602.313.1243 or by email at [email protected]
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