Our Top Picks: Hearing Aids Reviews
Our goal is to create an intuitive guide that motivates newcomers and seasoned hearing aid users to visit a hearing care professional and purchase their own hearing aids. To do this, we spent over 100 hours of research, studied more than 80 sources, and vetted 21 companies to find the best hearing aids for a variety of needs and lifestyles.
We didnt evaluate hearing aids on their technology levels or programmable features, for these vary too much between companies and hearing aids. Instead, we focused on hearing aid models and their built-in features. Hearing aids can be expensive, so we also checked the price range of each device, and we weighed on battery life and warranties, as these can help you save money in the long run. Finally, if a company had direct customer support, we checked its reliability through online reviews.
The products reviewed on this list werent personally tested by ConsumersAdvocate.org, as hearing aid needs and device listening experiences vary greatly from person to person. Therefore, we researched each hearing aid company, their devices, and read online reviews, as well as customer reviews that assessed the factors stated above.
Why we didnt recommend hearing aids for children
Direct-to-consumer hearing aids
Are Starkey Hearing Aids Covered By Insurance
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover hearing tests if theyre related to getting hearing aids, says Glick. And Medicare does not cover the costs of hearing aids. Many insurance companies dont, either, adds Glick. With that said, Medicare Advantage plans may cover some of the costs associated with hearing aids. Contact your insurance company to check what coverage they offer. Its also worth checking to see if funds in a health savings account or flexible savings account can be used to cover the cost.
Customer Reviews For Starkey Hearing Aids
I very much like my new hearing aids. They are comfortable and the charging station is much better than changing batteries. I particularly like being able to hear better in lectures and performances. The technician is well accustomed to making adjustments for maximum benefit of the aids. It has been a good experience.
RADIE A, VERIFIED CUSTOMER
The Bluetooth feature is beyond frustrating. I have to be on the phone a lot for my job and the hearing aids constantly disconnect from one ear or the other, causing me to reconnect manually or forget this device and re-pair them. Oftentimes, even when they are connected, there is crackling and distortion so that I cant understand what is being said. I have taken them back to the audiologist, but they cant determine the problem either.
CJ, VERIFIED CUSTOMER
Better than my last pair, but still not sufficient especially in an auditorium setting with a speaker! Also not always sufficient in a conversational setting. Good with TV.
JANET W, VERIFIED CUSTOMER REVIEW
Don’t Miss: Can An Audiologist Clean Your Ears
Starkey Livio 2400 Hearing Aid Review
*Note that the Starkey Livio 2400 hearing aids come in a rechargeable RIC and rechargeable custom CIC form factor as well.
The Starkey Livio 2400 hearing aid is the best technology offered by Starkey within the Livio family. The Livio 2400 technology level delivers Premium performance by FitHearing standards.
Premium hearing aids will provide the most filters and programs, making these devices ideal for those with active lifestyles. The additional processing channels in the Livio 2400 will deliver quality sound in any environment, including busy social gatherings, outdoor activities, restaurants and concerts. If you enjoy noisy outings such as these, the Starkey Livio 2400 may be the hearing aid for you.
Livio 2400 hearing aids feature two different form factor options, namely the traditional Receiver-in-canal or Behind-the-ear . Both the RIC and BTE styles fit comfortably behind the ear, with the Behind-the-ear offering more power than the traditional Receiver-in-canal. These hearing aids are made-for-smartphones so you can stream calls, music, and other audio directly through your hearing aids.
Livio 2400 hearing aids utilize either a size 312 battery, which requires replacing every week, or a size 13 that will extend battery life by a few days.
For additional questions and information about Starkey Livio 2400 hearing aids, you may find more specific details on Starkeys website.
Hearing Aid Service Programming And Repairs
At Countryside Hearing Aids we have all the tools necessary to clean, service, and tune up your hearing instruments. Digital Hearing Aid programming is our specialty and with decades of hearing aid experience, our results are exemplary.
Minor repairs to your hearing aids and earmolds may be completed on the same day, although in certain circumstances you may need to leave your hearing aids with us. Repairs, which cannot be carried out on the premises, will be sent back to the manufacturer and returned to the center within 5 to 10 business days.
Also Check: Is Ear Infection A Sign Of Covid
The Livio And Livio Ai
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 smartphones 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 users 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. Livios Adaptive Car Mode automatically reduces driving sounds, and phone calls stream directly to the wearers hearing aid via Bluetooth. The Livio and Livio AI also feature Amazon Alexa connectivity.
Starkey Hearing Aid Apps
The Thrive app can be downloaded at no charge from the app store on your smartphone and connected to Starkey hearing aids. Through this app, users can access the following features:
- Physical activity tracking. Track steps, exercise minutes and how many times you stand from a seated position in a day.
- Social engagement tracking. Check how many hours you actually wear your hearing aids and how often you engage with others in conversation while wearing them.
- Fall detection. The hearing aids can detect if the user falls, sending a text to their top three trusted contacts listed in the app.
- Medication reminders. Set the Thrive app to send audible reminders through your hearing aids when its time to take medications or drink another glass of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Thrive Care is another free app provided by Starkey, which allows users to share all of the above information in real time with a family member or caregiver.
Don’t Miss: Where Is Ear Wax Secreted From
Which Hearing Aid Brand Is Superior: Oticon Or Starkey
In the Netherlands, 26 hearing aid brands are available, each having its pros and cons. Not every hearing care professional will sell every brand, either as a result of a supplier agreement or because of a personal preference. Many Dutch chains sell two brands. And as the preferred brand changes every year, you can never be sure that the same brand will be available when you wish to replace your hearing aid. Online Hoortoestel and most independent hearing care professionals are not restricted to a limited range, but offer a choice of nearly all hearing aid brands. In this blog, we will be comparing two brands: Oticon, from Denmark, and Starkey, from the United States.
Sound is highly subjective: one persons idea of great sound may sound terrible to somebody else. Thats why we recommend indicating in advance if you are overly sensitive to certain sounds or perhaps a great music lover. That way, your hearing care professional will be able to provide you with advice that matches your preferences. The timbres of Starkey and Oticon hearing aids are similar: the sound is on the light side and has a touch of sharpness. As a result, users of these hearing aids experience a crisp sound, the sharpness making speech stand out well, especially in a noisy environment. Should the hearing aid provide sound that is too sharp, your hearing care professional can adjust this to a level that is comfortable to you.
Which Hearing Aid Is Best For Me
Finding the best hearing aid to fit your needs often requires the help of an expert who can conduct a hearing test and ask questions related to your hearing loss. You also need to consider the nature and degree of your hearing loss, lifestyle habits, occupation, environments you frequent, and what you want out of a hearing aid.
After working with a doctor or a hearing expert like an audiologist, you should have a better idea of your needs. Then, its time to identify a list of hearing aids that match your degree of hearing loss and your budget. And dont forget about the fit and feel of a hearing aid. Most experts say the best hearing aid is one you will wear regularly.
Read Also: How Do You Get Rid Of An Ear Infection Fast
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.
Starkeys 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.
Starkeys 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 Starkeys 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.
What Matters When Using Hearing Aids
Price aside, Costcos Kirkland brand and Oticon got high marks for sound clarity, while the other brands we rated received average scores.
All but one brand received high marks for ease of changing or charging their battery , and all received average to high marks for reliability and visibility to others. But for battery life, Audibel, Bernafon, Lucid, and Unitron fared less well than the others we rated.
The Kirkland, Phillips, and Oticon brands received high marks for some of the situations in which people commonly use hearing aids: while listening to the TV or radio and talking on a cell phone.
All brands received average scores for use when talking in small groups. And all got low marks when used for one-on-one conversations in noisy places, and in loud social settings generally.
If youre trying to decide which features you may want in hearing aids, CR members also reported on what they consider some of the most important ones.
Smartphone capabilities were the most frequently chosen feature among our members in the hearing aid brand ratings sample. This was followed by rechargeable batteries, wireless connectivity to other devices, automatic switching/adjustment to level of noise in the room, and digital noise reduction.
Also Check: What Does The Ok Sign Mean In Sign Language
Benefits Of Hearing Aids
Only one in five people who would benefit from a hearing aid uses one, according to the Hearing Loss Association of AmericaHearing Loss Facts and Statistics. Hearing Loss Association of America. Accessed 4/27/2022. . Cost, confusion about and access to hearing care, and gradual hearing loss going unrecognized are all reasons for this underutilization. Vanity also plays a role, though hearing aids continue to become smaller and sleeker.
Having hearing loss is like youre backing out 10 feet from a conversation, says John Coverstone, an audiologist in New Brighton, Minnesota, and host of the AudiologyTalk podcast. People feel more isolated, he says.
Studies link trouble hearing with serious health consequences. Untreated hearing loss increases your risk of anxiety, depression, social isolation, falls and cognitive decline, research shows.
Proper hearing aids can greatly improve hearing and, consequently, health, studies find. For example, wearing hearing aids appears to reduce the excess risk of dementia from hearing loss, according to a 2020 report in The LancetLivingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. 2020 396:413-346. .
How Rechargeable Hearing Aids Work
Get em charged up!
Before you can use your rechargeable hearing aids – you guessed it – you have to charge them!
Any rechargeable hearing aid you buy will come with a proprietary charger that was made by the manufacturer of your hearing aids.
Your hearing aids will be fully charged in 3-5 hours, depending on brand of your hearing aids.
Enjoy a full days use
Your fully charged hearing aids will last between 16-30 hours before theyll need to be charged up again.
When they do need to be charged, theyll play a tune letting you know your battery is dying. In many cases, you can also check the battery life of the hearing aids via a smartphone app.
If you expect to wear your hearing aids longer than 16 hours a day, we recommend choosing a hearing aid brand that offers mobile chargers and mobile power packs, which provide a quick way to charge your hearing aids when youre on the go- without the need to even plug the charger in.
Rinse & repeat!
At the end of your day, just set the hearing aids back in their charger so theyre ready for use the next day.
Most people do this before bed. Dont worry about over-charging them. After theyre fully charged, theyll stop charging, and sitting in the charger wont hurt the hearing aids.
Finally, keep an eye on the warranty of your hearing aids. Towards the end of your warranty period, we recommend getting your hearing aids sent back to the manufacturer , so you can get a new rechargeable battery put in the hearing aids.
Read Also: How To Sign Language Merry Christmas
Starkey Customer Service And Satisfaction
You will work directly with your hearing professional or audiologist for most customer service and support issues related to your Starkey hearing aids. The Starkey site features a support page with numerous troubleshooting articles and how-to videos. Additionally, the Thrive Control and Thrive Care apps allow you to schedule virtual consultations with your doctor so they can remotely adjust your hearing aids. Existing Starkey hearing aid customers can call 866-637-9243 for technical support.
All About Rechargeable Hearing Aids
A recent survey by Consumer Reports indicated that 53% of hearing aid wearers consider rechargeability to be one of the most important features when they buy hearing aids.
With the average hearing aid wearer needing to change their batteries 120 times a year, not to mention the environmental impact of disposable batteries, the demand for rechargeable batteries shouldnt come as a surprise.
In the last few years, rechargeable hearing aids have massively grown in popularity, and before you buy your next hearing aids, make sure you understand why
Don’t Miss: Are You Okay In Sign Language
Have Hearing Loss And Had Over The Ear
Have hearing loss and had over the ear hearing aids could. Not wear sunglasses. Had to change. Tubes and batteries then I saw. Rechargeable hearing aids there a life saver there more then. Just a hearing. Devices there. Much more. My. Co workers. Are like wow you can do all that I just simply say yup it’s like I won the big one. Thanks
Reply from Starkey Hearing Aids
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re so glad that your new hearing aids are helping you connect with and navigate the world in new ways.
How We Research And Review Hearing Aids
We only recommend hearing devices that we think will have a positive impact for our readers, so we began our testing process by reviewing hearing aid research. We also consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts to better understand the research, the needs of people with hearing loss, and the hearing aid brands and models on the market. We read thousands of reviews on trusted third-party sites such as Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to understand customers experiences and where they think hearing aids are falling short. Next, we conducted a survey to discover what people love about their hearing aids, what features they use, and what their biggest challenges are. We focused on brands that:
- Are widely available
Read Also: What Is Bad In Sign Language
What Are The Starkey Hearing Aid Models & Features
As a significant international hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey is frequently releasing and updating its hearing aid models. Below are some of the most popular Starkey hearing aid models as of writing:
Starkey Livio AI
Starkey calls this model the worlds first Healthable hearing aid. In addition to Bluetooth functionality and rechargeability, the Livio AI hearing aid technology includes health and fitness tracking features.
Starkey Livio Edge AI
The company claims that the Livio Edge AI is the worlds first custom rechargeable hearing aid to deliver next-generation sound quality performance. The Livio Edge AI contains additional AI-enhanced features compared with the Livio AI, as we discuss in the next section.
The SoundLens Synergy is a small, near-invisible device that packs in wind, noise, feedback management, wireless connectivity, and tinnitus relief features.
Picasso is Starkeys custom in-the-ear hearing aid line, personalized to fit securely within your ear, essentially becoming an invisible hearing aid while providing excellent sound quality.