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The 12 best hearing aids of 2024

From state-of-the-art tech to high-quality sound, we’ve highlighted the best of the best when it comes to hearing aids.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Jessica Hinson

Written by

Taylor Hartley

Updated:

May 10, 2024

Woman with glasses and wearing a hearing aid smiling at the camera. Woman with glasses and wearing a hearing aid smiling at the camera.

The 3 key takeaways

  • The best hearing aids are always going to fit your personal needs – That means that prescription hearing aids will always work best, though perhaps budget-friendly options are what you’re looking for.
  • When it comes to over-the-counter hearing aids, no one beats Jabra – Our audiologists agree that the Jabra Enhance Select 100 is the best OTC hearing aid on the market, since it’s a rebranded ReSound hearing aid.
  • A hearing test is always best – Whether you’re shopping online or visiting an audiologist, be sure to get either a virtual or in-person hearing test to truly discover what’s best for you.

According to a recent study, many older adults struggle to purchase and use hearing aids because of the negative societal stigma. However, we know that treating hearing loss with either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription devices often reduces depression, increases motivation, and allows users to better interact with the world around them.

With the FDA’s work to improve access to OTC hearing aids, there are many options available, and it can be hard to decide on the device that’s right for you. We’ve collaborated with the audiologists on our review board to provide you with the best OTC and prescription hearing aids on the market today.

Whether you’re struggling with mild to moderate hearing loss and looking to purchase OTC hearing aids, or have a prescription from a licensed provider and want to find your perfect match, our list provides a comprehensive overview of the best hearing aids of 2024.

The best over-the-counter hearing aids

The best prescription hearing aids

Brand Type Price Battery type Bluetooth capabilities Warranty Financing
Jabra Enhance Select 100 OTC $1,495 to $1,695 Rechargeable Yes 100-day risk-free trial, 1-year warranty Yes
Sony CRE-E10 OTC $1,299.99 Rechargeable For iOS only 1-year warranty 3rd-party financing
Lexie B2 Plus OTC $999 Rechargeable No 45-day risk-free trial, 1-year warranty Yes
Lucid fio  OTC $999.99 Rechargeable Yes 1-year warranty Yes
Sontro OTC $849.00 Replaceable No 45-day risk-free trial, 1-year warranty 3rd-party financing
GoHearing Go Prime OTC $299 Rechargeable No 45-day risk-free trial, 1-year warranty 3rd-party financing
Signia Pure Charge&Go AX Rx $2,500 – $6,000/pair Rechargeable Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider
Phonak Lyric Rx Annual subscription: $3,000-$6,000/pair Unique Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider
Oticon Own Rx $1,500-
$4,000/pair
Some models Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider
Starkey Genesis AI Rx $2,000-
$6,000/pair
Rechargeable Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider
ReSound Omnia 9 Rx $4,598/pair Rechargeable Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider
Widex Moment Rx $1,500-
$2,500/ear
Rechargeable Yes Depends on provider Depends on insurance and provider

 

Our top over-the-counter picks

Best overall: Jabra Enhance Select 100

Why we picked Jabra Enhance Select 100

The best-selling offering in Jabra Enhance’s “Select” lineup delivers rich, natural sound at an affordable price point. The Jabra Enhance Select 100 is not as advanced as other models in the series, like the Jabra Enhance Select 300, but it’s built using the same medical-grade technology.

One-of-a-kind features like Impulse Noise Reduction make speech clearer and reduce background noise. Specialized programs like “Music Mode” allow for a 360-degree listening experience that’s just as great for streaming music as it is for meetings and group discussions.

The Select 100 is stored and transported in a portable charging case that holds three full charges for a reliable power supply that you can use throughout the day. A three-hour charge yields 24 hours of sound, while a one-hour charge yields 15 hours. Users can adjust their hearing aid settings on the Jabra Enhance Select mobile app and stream calls and music from their smartphones that sounds just as good as any wireless earbuds out there.

Touting prescription-grade tech specs and top-rated customer support, it’s easy to see why the Jabra Enhance Select 100 is one of the company’s best-selling devices. It’s also our audiologists’ top pick for OTC hearing aids in 2024.

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What we like

  • Available online. Because Jabra Enhance devices are all over the counter, you can order the Select 100 from the comfort of your own home. Schedule a video appointment with a company specialist if you have more questions, or take the online hearing test on the Jabra Enhance website to see which device might be best for your unique hearing loss needs.
  • Tinnitus masking. Jabra Enhance hearing aids are some of the only over-the-counter hearing aids on the market with a specialized tinnitus module built into them. Some users report trouble accessing this module, but you should be able to switch it on with your audiologist’s help.
  • Long-term follow-up care. Jabra is famous for having some of the best support in the industry, partnering with hearing care specialists around the country to give customers quality assistance in person, online, and over the phone. Every Jabra Enhance hearing aid has three years of personalized hearing care and remote adjustments with a licensed audiologist.
  • Easy financing options. The company allows patients to choose 12 or 36-month financing options to help break up the cost of hearing aids, with 0% APR available on 12 and 18-month options. Financing for the Jabra Enhance Select 110 Basic package starts at $49 per month, while the premium package starts at $55 per month.

What we don’t like

  • Not suitable for severe or profound hearing loss. Like most over-the-counter hearing aids, Jabra Enhance devices aren’t recommended for severe and profound cases of hearing loss. Speak to an audiologist about prescription hearing aids if you think you may need advanced hearing assistance.
  • Not compatible with all devices. The Select 100 supports wireless calls and audio streaming on all Apple devices and Androids running OS version 9.0 or later. Still, users with older Android devices will need to purchase the Phone Clip+ accessory for an additional $199 to use the Bluetooth features to their full potential.
  • Only available in behind-the-ear styles. Our doctors noted the Select 100 is currently only available in BTE style, which may not be for patients who have difficulty keeping BTE devices on properly or anyone whose hearing loss necessitates an in-the-ear (ITE) design.
  • Requires some tech savvy. Older users may not be comfortable using a smartphone for their remote care needs, and may find a learning curve when it comes to using Jabra devices.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Jessica Hinson, AuD likes that Jabra Enhance hearing aids are developed by ReSound for a look and feel similar to a true prescription. She recommends the Select 100 to anyone with mild to moderate hearing loss who struggles to understand speech in quiet and low-noise environments.

Dr. Danielle Morgan, AuD also points to ReSound technology and customer support as Jabra Enhance top features, adding that they’re a lower-cost choice you can trust since certified audiologists can sell and program them. Dr. Morgan is also a fan of Jabra’s lengthy 100-day trial period across all hearing aid models.

Dr. Ruth Reisman,AuD agrees that Jabra Enhance makes higher quality direct-to-consumer hearing aids thanks to the rebranded ReSound tech, and she likes that they come in a variety of colors to accommodate patient preferences. Dr. Reisman also points out that Jabra offers the only fully virtual hearing aid with assistive listening devices.

Best app and user experience: Lexie B2 Plus

Why we picked Lexie B2 Plus

Like the Jabra Enhance Select 100, the Lexie B2 Plus OTC hearing aid incorporates directional microphones, background noise reduction, and feedback management to offer quality sound at a fairly affordable price.

In fact, the Lexie B2 Plus, powered by Bose, offers users programmed preset “Environment Settings” so they can adjust their hearing aid to fit their different listening needs, rather than constantly fine-tuning their devices.

Best for those struggling with mild to moderate cases of sensorineural hearing loss, the Lexie B2 Plus comes with a slick, easy-to-use app that makes it accessible even for those wary of advanced technology.

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What we like

  • Backed by Bose. You won’t have to worry about poor sound quality when you go with the Lexie B2 Plus. Developed by a team of audiologists, engineers, and Bose scientists, Lexie hearing aids are packed with features that work to bring you a natural sound.
  • Affordable. The Lexie B2 Plus is one of the more affordable hearing aids on the market, starting at just $999 for a pair. The company also offers a subscription plan that allows you to pay in monthly installments for up to 24 months.
  • Flexible tuning options. Lexie’s user-friendly smartphone app allows users to even out the sound between both hearing aids with Balance controls, or switch between “Front” and “Everywhere” modes to help you focus on where sounds are coming from.
  • Plenty of online support. The Lexie app and website both offer a wealth of information regarding maintenance and use. The comprehensive guides should be able to answer your questions, or you can reach out to their customer service team.

What we don’t like

  • Lexie B2 Plus hearing aids do not stream music or take calls. While you can connect your Lexie B2 Plus to your smartphone to self-tune the device, it doesn’t support direct audio streaming or hands-free phone calls.
  • Relatively short battery life. We like that the Lexie B2 Plus comes with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, but a single three-hour charge only gives you 18 hours of continuous use — substantially less than the battery life of other models on this list.
  • No guarantee of professional support. While Lexie does a good job of offering ample online customer support through their sales team, you may not be able to speak to an actual audiologist about your particular hearing loss needs.
  • Limited color options. The Lexie B2 Plus is only available in light gray, which seriously limits those with different hair or skin tones from enjoying a more discreet appearance.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Ruth Reisman likes the Lexie B2s as an over-the-counter rechargeable option that doesn’t have too many technological bells and whistles. She says this makes them more accessible for those who don’t want to deal with complicated technology.

Dr. Jessica Hinson praises Lexie as an affordable option for patients with mild hearing loss who struggle in quiet environments or in low noise. She likes that the devices are backed by Bose and that they were created in tandem with engineers and audiologists alike.

Dr. Danielle Morgan also likes that Lexie hearing aids were originally researched and designed by audiologists and that they offer remote support seven days a week. She still recommends a diagnostic hearing evaluation before purchasing, just to make sure you don’t need something a bit more powerful.

Best for all-day comfort: Sony CRE-E10

Why we picked Sony CRE-E10

With Bluetooth streaming to iOS devices and pristine customer reviews that rave about the all-day comfort of the Sony CRE-E10s, we knew we had to include them as part of our best OTC hearing aids list.

The Sony CRE-E10s come equipped with both rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth compatibility. Users with an iPhone will be able to stream music directly to their CRE-E10s, a capability that isn’t often seen in OTC devices. What’s more, the fit is similar to that of Sony earbuds, which should give curious shoppers an idea of what to expect when it comes to comfort level.

What we like about the Sony CRE-E10

  • Comfort, comfort, comfort. There’s a reason we selected the CRE-E10s as the most comfortable OTC options. Across various customer review platforms, the number one positive when it comes to Sony CRE-E10s is that they’re perfect for all-day wear, given that they’re so comfortable.
  • They allow for Bluetooth streaming. If you have an iPhone, you will be able to connect your CRE-E10s and stream music to your devices the same way you would be able to stream music to Sony earbuds.
  • The devices are rechargeable. Unlike the CRE-C10, the CRE-E10s are rechargeable—combine this with the Bluetooth streaming capabilities, and you’ll find you have more convenient features than you’d get with most other OTC devices.
  • You can easily customize your settings using the smartphone app. Like the Lexie app, Sony’s smartphone app is user-friendly, making it easier to customize the CRE-E10’s settings.

What we don’t like about the Sony CRE-E10

  • They do not stream to Android phones. While the CRE-E10s offer Bluetooth streaming to iOS devices, people with Android phones will not be able to stream music or phone calls directly to their devices.
  • You cannot customize them to fit a hearing test. This is one of the major downsides to all OTC devices. Audiologists will not be able to program the hearing aid to match the results of a hearing test, meaning it may not meet all of your hearing deficits.
  • Not great for those with dexterity issues. The CRE-E10s are quite small, which means they may be difficult to adjust or to remove those with poor dexterity.
  • Some users complain of occlusion. This means that sometimes, users perceive their own voice to be louder than it actually is, which may warp the sound or cause some discomfort.

What our audiologists say about Sony OTC hearing aids

Dr. Reisman says that Sony is a trusted brand that partnered with one of WS Audiology’s brands, Signia, to provide OTC devices that offer discreet solutions to eligible patients.

Dr. Hinson says Sony hearing aids are simple and can work well for people with mild hearing loss or difficulty in quiet listening situations. However, she does not recommend these devices for those with poor dexterity or those with small ear canals, as they will likely have problems with keeping the aids in their ears.

Best invisible OTC hearing aid: Lucid fio

Why we picked Lucid fio

While the Lucid Engage and the Lucid Engage rechargeable are also decent OTC options, we selected the fio as our best invisible hearing aid. These devices charge within a short-two hour time frame, and, for those looking for a discreet option, they fit snugly and comfortably in the ear. Great for those with low-pitch hearing loss, users can select from four preset programs to adjust based on their listening situation or hearing needs: the mild program helps those who struggle with understanding speech, the moderate program offers more volume support, the mild bass boost program boosts low frequency sounds such as vowels, and the max program offers bass boost with maximum volume.

If you’re looking for Bluetooth compatibility, though, you won’t find it with the fio. The Lucid Engage, the Lucid Enlite, and the Lucid Enrich are other Lucid Hearing options with Bluetooth compatibility, but they are not as discreet as the fio.

What we like about the fio

  • The Lucid app is easy to use. Many customers report that the Lucid Hearing app is useful when it comes to adjusting volume and settings, making for an easier listening experience.
  • The fio is designed for all-day comfort. Most fio users report that they can wear their fio devices all day long without discomfort or frustration, similar to the Sony CRE-E10s.
  • They’re easy to customize for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. The Lucid Hearing app makes it easy to jump between programs and adjust the volume for different listening environments.
  • They come with a portable charging case. The case charges in a short two-hour time frame and allows for up to 16 hours of use.

What we don’t like about the fio

  • They are not Bluetooth compatible. While the fio offers plenty of power and connects to the Lucid Hearing app, you cannot stream music or other media to the hearing aids.
  • They’re not great for those with dexterity issues. This will be true for most in-the-ear devices, as their size makes them difficult to adjust or handle with stiff or trembling fingers.
  • More expensive than other Lucid Hearing options. The Lucid Engage and Lucid Engage Rechargeable don’t offer the same kind of discreet appearance as the fio, but you will be able to stream music and take calls over Bluetooth with these more affordable behind-the-ear models.
  • Some report inconsistent sound quality. While some customers rave about the sound quality offered by the fio, others say they have experienced quality that is great one day and spotty the next.

What our audiologists say about Lucid Hearing devices

Dr. Hinson says that Lucid has a device for most users with mild to moderate hearing loss. She says the fio is particularly well-suited for those with low-pitch hearing loss, provided the fit is secure. She does warn that those with small ear canals may not have success with the fio.

Dr. Reisman says that Lucid Hearing devices work well for those looking for hearing aids at an affordable price point. She also says that users have the opportunity to go to a partnered audiologist to get in-person support and a complete hearing test.

Dr. Morgan says that the Lucid Hearing Engage devices offer a better option for patients with mild hearing loss.

Best for beginners: Sontro

Why we picked Sontro

Sontro only sells one over-the-counter hearing aid, but the model boasts a simple design that’s ultra-compact with a receiver wire that’s nearly invisible. All a user has to do to set up the device is connect it to the accompanying mobile app. While our audiologists wouldn’t recommend it as a “forever” hearing aid, for those looking for their first hearing aid or struggling with mild hearing loss, it may be a good fit.

What we like about Sontro

  • Discreet BTE design. Sontro’s behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is smaller and less noticeable than most other BTE models, which tend to be a little bulkier.
  • Sweat-resistant. The Sontro’s durable build and receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) placement make it a good choice for active wearers.
  • Easily adjustable through the otoTUNE app. Patients can use the Sontro’s accompanying smartphone app to take an online hearing test and customize their hearing aid settings to match their degree of hearing loss.
  • Affordable. Sontro OTC hearing aids are competitively priced at $999 per pair, significantly cheaper than most prescription Bluetooth hearing aids.

What we don’t like about Sontro

  • No streaming available. Unlike offerings from other OTC brands like Jabra Enhance and Lexie, the Sontro hearing aid doesn’t support direct streaming or hands-free phone calls.
  • No rechargeable option. The Sontro hearing aid is only available with disposable batteries, which you’ll need to replace every 5 to 7 days, and, if you have poor dexterity, switching the batteries out may be difficult.
  • Feedback issues. While the Sontro delivers solid sound quality in quiet, low background noise environments, users have complained of unwanted feedback and excessive background noise at higher volumes.
  • Limited colors. Sontro hearing aids are only available in gray or beige.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Hinson wouldn’t say that Sontro is her first choice, but she thinks it could work as a decent short-term solution while users search for a hearing aid that works best for them. She does appreciate that the brand has partnered with an aural rehabilitation program, offering one month of free therapy to Sontro users.

Dr. Reisman says that Sontro hearing aids make for a simple, easy selection process.

Most affordable: Go Hearing GoPrime

Go Prime Hearing Aids

Why we picked Go Hearing GoPrime

Boasting a rechargeable option at less than $300, Go Hearing offers some of the most affordable devices on the market. For those looking to enhance their hearing, but trying not to break the bank, these can be a great, discreet option.

At the price, don’t expect all the fancy tech you might get with a Jabra Enhance Select 200 or even a Sony, but do expect a rechargeable option that is easy to use.

What we like about the Go Prime OTC device

  • The devices are affordable. At $299, these are some of the most affordable devices on the market. For those who are price conscious above all else, these devices will be a perfect fit.
  • The devices are rechargeable. Don’t just save money on your initial purchase but also cut down on battery expenses. The Go Prime hearing aids are completely rechargeable.
  • They’re easy to use. Because they’re not as technologically advanced, Go Prime hearing aids are easy to use, especially for those who don’t like all the tech-heavy bluster.
  • Their customer service is a class act. Many customers say they have a lot of success with customer service. They’re available Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, by phone and email.

What we don’t like about the Go Prime OTC device

  • They are not Bluetooth compatible. Obviously, a lower price means sacrificing a few features. You will not be able to stream music or phone calls with these devices.
  • It’s not easy to adjust them. You have to remove them from your ears and manually adjust the devices in order to match your listening environment – again, a limiting factor for those with poor dexterity.
  • They are only available in black. This means that they won’t completely blend with some skin tones, but, given their small size, they’re still discreet.
  • They are not ideal for sloping losses. These are not particularly useful for those with more complex hearing loss needs. In fact, one of our audiologists, Dr. Reisman, says she would only recommend these for those with mild, lower frequency losses.

What our audiologists say about Go Hearing OTC devices

Dr. Hinson says Go Hearing devices might be a decent fit for those with low-frequency (low pitch) hearing loss who are looking to improve their hearing in quiet listening situations. The Go Prime devices have a push button on the faceplate for the user to toggle between three pre-set programs. This allows the user to have some control over device function without the need for a smartphone.

Dr. Reisman likes that they’re an easy-to-use, cosmetically appealing device and says they will work well for those with mild to moderate flat hearing loss.

Our top prescription picks

Our audiologists’ pick: Signia Pure Charge&Go AX

Why we picked Signia Pure Charge&Go AX

When we asked our audiologists to review Signia’s product portfolio, all of them came back with a resounding, “Signia is one of my favorite brands on the market.” All three of them also suggested the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX for a variety of categories, including Bluetooth connectivity, advanced features, and discreet behind-the-ear style. With such glowing reviews from all of our hearing specialists, we knew the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX had to be on our list of best prescription brands.

Note that there are different versions of the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX, with the Pure Charge&Go 1AX as the least advanced and most affordable to the Pure Charge&Go 7 AX, the most advanced — and most expensive.

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What we like about the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX

  • Provides high-quality, natural sound. Customers and audiologists rave about Signia’s sound quality. Compared to other hearing aids, many Signia users report quality sound that mimics the natural hearing process, making for a more pleasant listening experience.
  • Comes equipped with telecoil options. Enjoy live theater and movies again with telecoil options that allow you to connect to non-Bluetooth systems, making it easier to experience the world around you.
  • Designed for comfort. Given how lightweight the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX is, our audiologists say it makes for a comfortable fit. However, if you’re looking for an even more comfortable option, check out the Signia Styletto AX, still part of the same Signia AX family.
  • Available as a CROS system. Those with single-sided deafness can purchase the receiver-in-ear CROS model.

What we didn’t like about the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX

  • Only behind-the-ear models available. The Signia Pure Charge&Go AX is only available as a receiver-in-the-ear (RIE). However, Signia offers in-the-ear (ITE) models, such as the Signia Insio Charge&Go AX, the Signia Silk X, and the Signia Active Pro, which may be more discreet.
  • Pricey. This will be a con we list for all prescription hearing devices. One of the biggest complaints throughout the hearing loss community is the giant price tag – Signia Pure Charge&Go AX devices run about $4,400/pair on ZipHearing.
  • Requires internet connectivity to receive assistance in the app. If you live in an area where internet is spotty or where bandwidth becomes a problem, it may be difficult to connect to the app and request assistance.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Danielle Morgan says, “Signia is a leading hearing aid manufacturer that offers the latest technology in a wide variety of styles. They make products that improve quality of life and help users better access the world around them through sound.” She notes that many Signia hearing aids are Bluetooth compatible and have different compatible accessories. Their app is simple and user-friendly but also allows users to play around with different ways to customize their experience.

Dr. Jessica Hinson notes, “Signia is a great brand for those looking for a small, yet effective, device with an optional user friendly app. It is actually my favorite app on the market. Most of their devices come in rechargeable and replaceable battery models.” She also notes that they have options for those with single-sided deafness (called CROS or BiCROS hearing aids). Their sound quality isn’t too tinny, and their background noise reduction is comparable to other top-tier hearing aid manufacturers. She also says that she loves the color options, and notes the rose gold is her favorite.

Dr. Ruth Reisman says, “Signia is one of my favorite brands of hearing aids. In addition to their innovative styles like the Styletto, the Actives, and the Silks, they offer the most tools for the hearing impaired, including two options of tinnitus treatment, own voice processing, a mask-wearing booster, and a microphone directionality manager.”

Best invisible hearing aid: Phonak Lyric

Why we picked Phonak Lyric

Recommended by several of our audiologists as a top IIC device, the Phonak Lyric has a lot to offer hearing loss patients who want an entirely discreet option they won’t have to charge every single night.

This Phonak device is placed inside the ear by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist, and then the Lyric can be worn for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for several months at a time. It’s designed to be sweat and water-resistant, meaning you can shower, exercise, and do all of the things you love without having to worry about the device at all.

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What we like about the Phonak Lyric

  • It sits completely in the canal. The Phonak Lyric is placed inside the ear canal, next to the eardrum, by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist. This guarantees 100% invisibility.
  • You will not need rechargeable OR replaceable batteries. Lyric devices are built to stay charged and last for months at a time. When it’s time to get a new device, you will schedule a visit with your provider. Replacements typically take ten minutes.
  • They reduce tinnitus and help users sleep better. Lyric customers have reported a dramatic reduction in their tinnitus, and, since the annoyance has gone away, many have said they’re getting a better night’s sleep.

What we don’t like about the Phonak Lyric

  • Only made for people with mild hearing loss. You will pay a prescription price for a device that, while prescription-powerful, costs far more than an over-the-counter device. If this is your first time purchasing a hearing aid, you may choose to go the more affordable route first.
  • You pay for a subscription. Rather than being able to pay off an admittedly expensive prescription premium, the Phonak Lyric uses a subscription system to both pay for your current devices and cover replacement devices. This monthly price can add up quickly, especially if you haven’t budgeted for it.
  • It will demand more regular visits to the audiologist. While this is not necessarily a downside, your time is precious. Consider the fact that you will need to get your Lyric replaced every few months.

What our audiologists say

One of our audiologists, Dr. Hinson, uses a Phonak Audeo Lumity 90 herself and praises the brand for its comfort and its impressive background noise and feedback reduction. She can’t speak to the Phonak Lyric, given she hasn’t used it herself, but she does speak highly of the brand’s features and overall integrity.

Doctors Reisman and Morgan say that Phonak is a reliable brand that they have prescribed to their patients many times, and that their comfort and reliability speak for themselves.

Best custom hearing aid: Oticon Own

Why we picked Oticon Own

The Oticon brand of hearing aids boasts a reliable, ever-improving portfolio made specifically with the user in mind.

Designed with an onboard Deep Neural Network, the Oticon Own is the only in-the-ear hearing aid that offers up to 12 million real life sounds to better mimic the world around you and provide a more natural listening experience.

Oticon Own devices can be custom fit to your ear’s specific anatomy, making for a comfortable, personalized fit.

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What we like about the Oticon Own

  • Custom made and available in five colors. Tailored to the specific shape of the user’s ear, the Oticon Own promises all day comfort, and, since they’re available in five different colors, they blend in pretty well.
  • Discreet styles made for all levels of hearing loss. Many of the invisible styles from other prescription brands don’t offer the power necessary to treat severe to profound hearing loss. Oticon Own devices treat all types of hearing loss.
  • Stream calls, music, and sounds from your TV. The Oticon Own offers direct streaming to certain iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and, with Oticon’s TV adapter, you can also stream sound directly from your television.
  • BrainHearing technology provides a natural hearing experience. This unique technology provides the brain with more sound, helping to restore the brain’s access to sound and reduce cognitive decline, social isolation, and depression.

What we don’t like about the Oticon Own

  • Not all Oticon Own styles are Bluetooth enabled. The invisible-in-the-canal and the completely-in-the-canal styles do not come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. Those looking to stream music and take calls will need to purchase the in-the-canal, in-the-ear half-shell, or in-the-ear full-shell styles.
  • As always, the expense. As a prescription hearing aid, a lot is wrapped up in obtaining Oticon Own devices. After your initial assessment, you will need to get fitted for the hearing aid, pay for each device, and cover the costs of your provider visits.
  • They are not rechargeable. In addition to paying more for the device itself, you will also need to purchase replaceable batteries on a fairly regular basis to keep your devices charged.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Jessica Hinson says, “Oticon is a great option when considering new hearing aids. They are known for their natural sound quality, and the newest technology is improving on common hearing aid complaints, such as wind noise and noise created when you touch the hearing aid microphones. The behind-the ear aids come in 8 trendy colors to match most hair colors, and the in-the-ear devices come in 5 colors to closely match most skin tones.” However, she would note that the lack of rechargeable batteries makes her less inclined to recommend this as a first choice.

Dr. Danielle Morgan says, “Oticon is a trusted hearing aid manufacturer that makes hearing aids for both children and adults. They have a large portfolio with products that can fit anything from mild to severe hearing loss. Oticon is constantly improving and making products that are reliable and user-friendly. They put a lot of research and development into their products, and it definitely shows. As a provider, I rarely see complaints regarding Oticon products.”

Dr. Ruth Reisman adds, “Oticon is a highly advanced medical grade hearing aid. Most patients are highly successful with these devices with all the flexibility and options that advanced hearing aids have to offer.”

Most advanced features: Starkey Genesis AI

starkey genesis ai

Why we picked Starkey Genesis AI

Starkey’s Evolv AI hearing aids, updated to Starkey Genesis AI, are some of the most advanced prescription models on the market today, available in five different technology levels including Economy 1000, Basic 1200, Select 1600, Advanced 2000, and Premium 2400. Artificial intelligence automatically tailors speech amplification and noise reduction to practically any noise setting, while the accompanying Thrive Hearing Control app is full of extra features including personal reminders and social engagement tracking.

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What we like

  • Unmatched AI technology. Starkey was the first company to integrate artificial intelligence into their hearing aids back in 2018, and they’ve only improved upon its functionality in the years since. The models that make up the company’s Evolv AI line boast new AI-powered features like Edge Mode, which allows the hearing aid to analyze the wearer’s listening environment and automatically adjust its settings for optimal sound quality all the time.
  • Fall detection. Another new feature in the Evolv AI lineup, fall detection will automatically notify a pre-selected emergency contact whenever the wearer falls to ensure their safety and well-being.
  • Great customization options. Starkey’s early history as an earmold lab shines through in their custom hearing aids, which can be tailored to comfortably fit any patient, including those with small or narrow ear canals.
  • Wide array of styles. With a total of 14 available styles to choose from, including behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible in-the-canal (IIC), Evolv AI hearing aids are suitable for several different budgets and degrees of hearing loss.

What we don’t like

  • May not support direct streaming on some Android phones. Starkey Evolv AI hearing aids can stream to over 35 different Android devices — but that still leaves a lot of devices that won’t support direct streaming with them.
  • Learning curve. While Starkey’s high-tech hearing aids are undeniably changing the industry as a whole, some older users may have a harder time making sense of all the new features, even at the most basic Economy 1000 level. However, the Starkey Thrive app gives you the option to switch into “Basic” mode to disable all the advanced features and facilitate a simpler user experience.
  • Potential for overcorrection. While Evolv AI’s automatic adjustments can make for a seamless listening experience as the user moves between different noise environments, some users have reported occasional adjustment errors that result in a less comfortable listening experience, rather than a more comfortable one.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Morgan says Starkey is a tried and true hearing aid manufacturer and that they make a variety of hearing aids that suit most hearing aid users. They are especially well-known for producing excellent custom hearing aids, even for ears with more difficult anatomy.

Dr. Hinson says that Starkey hearing aids focus on clarity of speech and maintain good background noise reduction. Dr. Reisman notes that for tech-savvy users, the Thrive app allows for many amazing features such as Fall Alert, Reminders, Activity and Engagement tracking, and even a Translator. She says that when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, Starkey is the way to go.

Dr. Hinson adds this fun fact: Starkey is the only American-made hearing aid device.

Best for background noise: ReSound Omnia 9

Why we picked ReSound Omnia 9

The ReSound Omnia 9 is heralded by customers and audiologists alike as a comfortable device supreme at reducing background noise. That means they’re ideal for people who enjoy or may work in louder environments.

As a premium-level ReSound hearing aid, the Omnia 9 scans the environment and makes changes automatically without the user having to fiddle with the device or make manual changes. Users who are not as tech-savvy may really enjoy it, since they don’t have to use the app to make adjustments.

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What we like about the ReSound Omnia 9

  • Better hearing in noise. The Omnia 9 was specifically designed to reduce background noise. In fact, many reviews call it the best in background noise management.
  • Wide choice of styles to fit your preferences. The ReSound Omnia 9 is available in a variety of models, from behind-the-ear (BTE) to in-the-ear (ITE) to in-the-canal (ITC) styles.
  • All-around directionality. The ReSound Omnia 9 operates with directional microphones that adjust based on your listening environment, providing a more natural listening experience.
  • Supreme comfort. ReSound claims that ReSound Omnia 9 users will forget they’re wearing hearing aids. While this will largely depend on the user, they were designed to be lightweight and made for all-day wear.

What we don’t like about the ReSound Omnia 9

  • Of course, the expense. Like all prescription hearing aids, the ReSound Omnia 9 is pricey, coming in on ZipHearing at $4,598 a pair.
  • They may need replacing in 5 years. And, at nearly $5,000 a pair, that’s $1,000 a year you may need to set aside for new hearing aids.
  • Requires in-person care. Like with other prescription brands, you won’t be able to purchase the ReSound Omnia 9 outright. First, you will need a hearing test and a visit with an audiologist.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Jessica Hinson says, “the Omnia hearing aids are specifically designed to perform better in background noise and complex listening situations. With rechargeable options for behind-the-ear and in-the-ear styles, you’ll be sure to find something that’s equally comfortable and effective. There are three technology levels to fit your budget, each offering different features to improve the clarity of speech and create a more natural hearing experience.”

Dr. Ruth Reisman adds that, “ReSound has some great tools for the hearing-impaired, including state-of-the-art devices, accessories, and smartphone apps.” She also likes that “they provide remote care via the Assist Live app, a tinnitus relief app, and a 360-degree surround sound.”

Best for musicians: Widex Moment

Why we picked Widex Moment

Widex Moment hearing aids deliver pure, natural sounds that make them fan favorites among audiophiles. Boasting the widest frequency response range on the market, a higher maximum input level than other prescription models, and an unparalleled processing time of just 0.5 milliseconds, Widex users are guaranteed to hear each sound in rich high definition the moment it occurs.

What we like

  • Ambient pass-through. Widex Moment users can program their hearing aids to allow a customizable amount of external noise to pass through from their surrounding environment while they’re streaming music — an especially helpful feature when performing tasks that require spatial awareness like running or cycling.
  • A tinnitus management powerhouse. Widex hearing aid users can stream soothing sounds to their hearing aids through the Widex Zen tinnitus management app to help distract them from unwanted ringing and whistling.
  • Easy-to-use mobile app. The Widex Moment apps gives users a high degree of control over their listening experience, enabling them to manually emphasize or diminish sounds like background noise.
    AI-enabled. These hearing aids are equipped with an artificial intelligence program called SoundSense Learn that recommends optimal listening levels based on the user’s current surroundings.

What we don’t like

  • Issues with Bluetooth connectivity. Some users have trouble getting their Widex Moment hearing aids to successfully pair with their smartphones, particularly when they change locations.
  • Battery significantly impacted by streaming. Just a few hours of streaming can drastically reduce the Widex Moment’s battery life, with some users reporting a drop to just 8 hours from the maximum 40 hours of standard use.
  • Many models aren’t rechargeable. Of the eight models that make up the Widex Moment line, only two are available with rechargeable batteries.
  • Unresponsive customer service. While Widex has a live chat up on their site that patients can use to ask questions during standard business hours (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST), some users have complained that the company’s customer service department is less responsive than those of other prescription hearing aid brands.

What our audiologists say

Dr. Hinson recommends Widex Moment devices for music listeners or those who struggle with tinnitus. She says they have expanded their portfolio to offer listeners even more options, such as custom ITE models.

Dr. Reisman says that Widex devices are a great option for patients who need a hearing device that both amplifies sounds in a sophisticated manner and treats tinnitus with a peaceful zen feature. She says Widex also has the shortest processing times on the market, making them ideal for patients that wear a bone conduction or cochlear implant in the opposite ear.

Dr. Morgan praises their ability to produce clear, natural sounds and have many different styles to fit a variety of patient needs.

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Frequently asked questions

Do more expensive hearing aids work better?

More affordable hearing aids typically mean less active processors, which can prove difficult for those with more severe hearing loss. In fact, over-the-counter hearing aids are not recommended for those with severe to profound hearing loss.

How much does a single hearing aid cost?

Most OTC hearing aids are sold in pairs, but a single prescription hearing aid costs, on average, between $1,000 and $3,500, depending on the features and technology that come with the devices.

Are behind-the-ear hearing aids better than in-the-ear hearing aids?

As long as your hearing aid is programmed to match the deficits demonstrated in your hearing assessment, this largely depends on your preference. If you want a more discreet option, go with in-the-ear devices. However, behind-the-ear hearing aids work just as well and come in a variety of colors to match skin and hair tones.

Does Medicare cover hearing aids?

Medicare on its own does not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids. However, some Medicare Advantage Plans offer additional benefits that cover hearing care costs.