Guide to the best hearing aid brands.
Siemens Hearing Aids
Now one of the world’s most renowned hearing aid manufacturers, Siemens began 165 years ago with its first instrument, a telegraph with a receiver and transmitter fashioned out of a cigar box. From these humble beginnings, Siemens now offers a hearing aid that outperforms normal hearing in challenging situations (based on two independent studies). The Binax hearing aid, Gold Winner of the 2015 Edison Award, draws inspiration from healthy hearing systems, simulates the experience of binaural hearing (of two ears). With directionality, spatial configurator, and a wind screen feature, the Binax is customizable to fit 90% of hearing aid wearers, and treats degrees of hearing loss that vary from mild to profound. Additional features include tinnitus therapy, as well as wireless technology to link up to personal electronic devices.
Oticon Hearing Aids
In line with Oticon’s company mission, “People first,” the latest line of hearing aids from Oticon puts the brain first. Inspired by the science that it is the brain which hears – not the ears – Oticon has produced BrainHearing technology, powered by the Inium platform. This remarkable new technology offers four key features that assist the brain in hearing: Speech Guard E, Spatial Sound, You Matic, and Free Focus. Speech Guard E improves speech recognition, while Spatial Sound situates the wearer within the context of their environment with sounds. The You Matic feature allows wearers to personalize the settings to meet their specific hearing needs, and Free Focus is an automatic zoom feature that hones in on specific sounds. Oticon hearing aids treat mild to profound hearing loss, offer tinnitus therapy, and come in pediatric styles for children and teenagers as well.
ReSound Hearing Aids
Linx2, the latest line of hearing aids from Danish manufacturer ReSound, boast powerful and technologically advanced smart hearing features in a streamlined, discreet package. Utilizing ReSound’s tried and true features, Surround Sound, Spatial Sense, and Binaural Directionality, the Linx2 family of hearing instruments is now iPhone ready, with connectivity to apps for more accessibility. With this wireless hearing aid, wearers can FaceTime with friends and family, the sounds of the conversation delivered directly to their ears. The ReSound app offers a geo-tagging option, for wearers to save settings in specific locations, which will automatically adjust hearing aid volume and settings the next time they are in that space. With a range of styles, from in-the-ear to behind-the-ear, ReSound hearing aids are versatile for different degrees of hearing loss.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex is known in professional hearing communities for its high quality of sound, known as the signature “Widex sound.” Widex hearing aids open up wearers a full spectrum of sound, with clarity from the lightness of a whisper to cross-conversations in crowded spaces. Widex’s new line of hearing aids, the Dream, features the Widex sound, along with a host of new features. The Dream gives wearers a “true-to-life” sound that is appreciated by long-time wearers of hearing aids, as well as newcomers, and improves speech recognition in noisier settings (wearers report a 21% increase on speech perception in noise). The Dream benefits musicians and music lovers as well, with its flexible ability to handle the intricacies and fluctuations of tones in music. With a strong battery life and discreet design, Widex Dream hearing aids are available in-the-ear or behind-the-ear styles, both now so small they are nearly impossible to spot. Widex also offers specially designed single-ear hearing aids, as well as tinnitus therapy.
Unitron Hearing Aids
For the past 51 years, the Canada-based Unitron has manufactured hearing aids that are distributed to 45 countries worldwide. Unitron hearing aids are tested both in the lab and in the field, with research and feedback provided by audiologists. Unitron hearing aids are offered in discreet behind-the-ear and in-the-ear options, both of which offer the option of connecting wirelessly to your personal electronic devices. Depending on the level of performance you require, Unitron offers a host of program features that include zoom-in speech focus in difficult situations, feedback management, automatic music detection, suppression of sharp or shocking loud noises, phone calls wirelessly delivered to both ears, automatic adjustments between different environments based on previous personal preferences, and many more. With long battery life and a powerful processor, Unitron hearing aids treat diverse degrees of hearing loss.
Starkey Hearing Aids
Starkey’s Halo hearing aid, Silver Award winner of the 2015 Edison Award, is a powerful Made for iPhone device designed for ease of use and advanced accessibility. The Halo comes with a TruLink app, which allows wearers to wirelessly control programming on their hearing aids with an app on their iPhone. The geo-tagging function allows wearers to personalize their settings depending on the location they’re in, which will automatically switch modes the next time they enter specific spaces, allowing for a seamless listening experience. Phone calls are streamed wirelessly to the Halo, as well as music and other media. In terms of sound, the Halo has improved high-frequency audibility, which allows wearers to better register high-frequency sounds such as the voices of women and children. Along with heightened personalization options, the Starkey Halo is coated in HydraShield, which repels water and better protects the device.
Phonak Hearing Aids
Within the past year, Phonak launched a new processing platform called Venture, which features double the processing power of their previous platform, and uses 30% less power, ensuring longer battery life and confidence in the wearer. The Venture platform is available in the Audeo V hearing aid, as well as the newer Bolero V. Both hearing aids are focused on providing seamless listening experiences in a variety of different environments, with programs tailored as Speech in Car and Speech in Noise, and a specific Music Program setting. These hearing aids also offer accessibility to personal electronic devices via Bluetooth connection, as well as a wireless remote to control volume and program features, thus eliminating manual interaction with the hearing aid. Phonak hearing aids are water and dust resistant, and come in a variety of wearing styles, from in-the-ear to behind-the-ear to receiver-in-canal, to treat mild to profound degrees of hearing loss.
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