There are many different hearing aid manufacturers: Widex, Siemens, Oticon, Phonak, and Starkey, just to name a few. For the most part, the brand of hearing aid isn’t as important as the technology level chosen or the competency of your audiologist. Here is a a comparison of hearing aids and features.
|Mild to severe hearing loss||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Profound hearing loss||Yes||Not generally recommended||No||No||No|
|Basic to premium technology||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|CROSS for single-sided deafness||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Most flexible for changes in hearing||X|
|Most resistant to wind noise||X|
|Typically most durable||X|
Having said that, there are a few manufacturers that excel in different areas. For example, if you need waterproof hearing aids for swimming, Siemens has the only truly waterproof hearing aid on the market. If you want to change the batteries only once a year instead of every week, there are only two manufactures that offer this option. Below are a few options available that you may not have been aware of. Use your list of needs and see if these are important to you.
- Waterproof and dust-proof: you can actually swim underwater with them on
- Rechargeable batteries: change your batteries only about once a year
- One hand noise reduction: push a small button and both hearing aids change
- TV to Hearing Aid direct access: TV ears direct into your hearing aids
- Extended wear Hearing Aids: continuous use for months at a time
- Super power mini hearing aids: the smallest hearing aids with the most power
- Hunter’s hearing aids: ear protectors (hear your game and protect your ears)
“It’s best to write down the areas of your life that you are missing the most in and which areas are most important to you. Then go to your audiologist and compare the hearing aids that are best suited for you. If your audiologist only offers one brand of hearing aid from the ones listed above, I suggest getting another option. He or she may actually be owned by a hearing aid company, or may have an exclusive contract with one. You will not get an honest assessment of the hearing aid that’s best for you, but just the hearing aid that they can sell. This purchase is too important to your health and quality of life. Get a second opinion.