Hearing aids – small digital communication devices worn near or around a person’s ear – are one of the most common ways that people battle hearing loss. Today, as people live longer and as modern life necessitates the use of loud electronic devices more often, the need for hearing aids is growing. While there are many types of hearing aids, and many causes of hearing loss, the purpose of a hearing aid is always the same: to amplify sound and improve the wearer’s quality of life. Hearing aids can vary in placement, features and pricing.

Top 10 Most Reviewed Hearing Aids

Miracle-Ear has equipped its customers with hearing aids for more than 65 years. The company currently has a network of over 1,200 locations nationwide, and they offer hearing aids with a three-year warranty.
Zounds Hearing was created by an engineer who has a hearing-impaired daughter. The company, which is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, offers four different hearing aids, in addition to various accessories.
Beltone was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1940. Today, the hearing aid company has 1,500 locations in 27 different countries, and it provides hearing aids and services primarily to customers aged 50 and older.
ReSound is a hearing aid company that was founded in 1943. The innovative hearing aids made by ReSound rely on smart technology, including device connectivity and apps, to help people hear better.
Embrace Hearing provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German engineered hearing aids directly to you for about 1/3 of the price of local retailers. They provide custom programming, free shipping & 24/7 customer service.
Phonak International was founded in 1947. The company, which is headquartered in Switzerland, offers both pediatric and adult hearing solutions through an extensive network of international distributors.
Oticon is a hearing aid company that has been in business for more than 104 years. Founded in Denmark, the company now offers a wide range of hearing aids for customers of all ages across the globe.
Starkey Hearing Technologies focuses on innovative products and was first to introduce nanotechnology to hearing aids. As the only privately held American-owned hearing aid company, they maintain a global network.
Widex focuses on creating wireless and discrete hearing aids for both adults and children. The innovative hearing aid company is headquartered in Denmark and has dealers across the United States.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers offer the latest in hearing aid technology and open-fit design, with easy-to-use and value priced hearing aids. After a free hearing test, customers can choose from a wide selection of styles.

Shelley Webb is a registered nurse, geriatric care manager and freelance writer who concentrates on the subjects of eldercare and health.

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What features matter most?

Fit

One of the most important considerations is the way a hearing aid fits on a person’s ear.  The fit of a hearing aid not only affects the way it feels, but also how it works. Different fits are better for different types of hearing difficulties.

  • Behind-the-ear aids: Behind-the-ear aids are plastic and rest behind a wearer’s ear. They are often used for children because they are easy to wear on different ear types and easy to clean.
  • On-the-ear aids: These are a smaller version of the behind-the-ear aids that sit behind the wearer’s ear with increased comfort and less visibility.
  • In-the-ear aids: In-the-ear aids are plastic and sit completely in the outer part of a wearer’s ear.
  • In-the-canal aids: In-the-canal aids sit completely in a wearer’s ear canal, meaning they offer the least amount of visibility and excellent listening advantages.

Noise reduction

Though hearing aids are meant to amplify sound, including unnecessary background noise can be confusing for wearers. Thus, an important feature of many hearing aids is that they have the ability to reduce background sounds.

  • Directional microphone: The directional microphone prioritizes noise that comes in from the sides and back are unimportant, and amplifies the sound from the front.
  • Multiple channels: In order to reduce unavoidable ambient noise like the whirring of fans or humming of machines, many hearing aids are equipped with multiple channels. Several channels that pick up ambient sound are reduced, while other channels that amplify speech or voice sounds are prioritized.
  • Wind noise manager: Because wind can create a lot of noise for someone wearing a hearing aid, many devices are equipped with electronic features that are able to reduce extra sound created by blowing wind.

Feedback reduction

Electronic interference can cause hearing aids to emit an unpleasant high-pitched whistling sound. To avoid feedback, many hearing aids are now equipped with technology to reduce such problems.

  • Feedback reduction technology: While the fit or shape of a hearing aid can help control feedback, there is now special technology that can help reduce feedback as well. This technology requires a calibration test and then is able to detect and reduce feedback once it starts.
  • Proper fitting: Feedback in hearing aids can happen when sounds leak back to the hearing aid’s microphone. The tighter a hearing aid fits, the less likely it is to produce feedback.

Speech enhancement

In addition to reducing background noise, many hearing aids are outfitted with technology that helps them enhance speech. This technology can help people hear others’ voices and the noises they are actually intending to listen to.

  • Directional microphone: In addition to reducing noise from the sides and the back of a listener, the directional microphone increases the sound of noise right in front of a wearer.
  • Wide dynamic range compression: This feature helps increase softer sounds more than louder sounds, so that listeners can hear voices and soft conversations, which are often lower in volume that unnecessary background or atmospheric noise.

Programmability

People who wear hearing aids wear them in many environments. Accordingly, some hearing aids have the ability to adjust their settings to suit a particular setting. These settings allow wearers to store volume levels and frequency adjustments for specific situations.

  • Button operated: Some hearing aids have a button on them that they can press to switch between memories when they switch locations.
  • Remote control operated: Many hearing aids allow wearers to switch between pre-set memories by using a remote control to shift programs when they change locations
  • Computer chip operated: Some hearing aids are equipped with the technology to sense a change in location and switch programs based on the sounds in the new space.

Telephone compatibility

Electronic interference from telephone conversations can cause problems with hearing aids. Some aids have special technology to reduce feedback and increase sound while wearers are talking on the phone.

  • Telecoil: Many hearing aids have a telecoil, which transmits sound information from the telephone via magnetic signal rather than acoustic signal, reducing feedback.

What are different types of hearing aids?

Digital programmable

Digital programmable hearing aids use digitized sound processing to turn sound waves into digital signals. They also have the technology to distinguish noise from speech. Because they are programmable, digital programmable hearing aids can switch between settings as your environment changes.

Conventional analog

Conventional analog hearing aids work by making sound waves louder. They are not able to distinguish between speech and noise. These hearing aids have become much less popular as digital hearing aids have developed.

Programmable analog

Analog hearing aids that are programmable contain a microchip. This chip allows listeners to create a program from different listening environments and then switch between programs depending on the environment.

Who's it for?

Aging listeners

It is common for many people to lose their hearing as they age. Hearing aids allow people to hear well even as their physical ability to hear declines over time.

Children born with hearing difficulties

Some children are born without full hearing capabilities. Hearing aids designed for babies and children allow them to grow up hearing sounds even if they naturally lack the full physical capability.

People with progressive hearing loss

Many people experience hearing loss in their life, due to accidents, diseases or congenital degeneration. Hearing aids can help people of all ages continue to hear despite physical challenges.

Company reviews

  • Zounds Hearing Aids

    Zounds was developed by Sam Thomasson, an engineer and medical device developer who had a hearing-impaired daughter. Zounds’ focus is to create a hearing aid for today’s world, which works well with cell phones, car communication systems and video phones. Zounds Hearing Aids are available throughout nearly all of the contiguous United States.

    • Best for People with progressive hearing loss and aging listeners.
  • Miracle-Ear Hearing Aids

    Miracle-Ear is one of the oldest and most trusted hearing aid companies out there. The company has been in operation for over 65 years, and the brand is well-respected across the world. Miracle Ear has over 1,200 locations, which makes it easy to purchase their hearing aids and have them serviced.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • Beltone Hearing Aids

    Beltone is one of America’s oldest hearing aid companies, founded in Chicago in 1940. The company sells hearing aids worldwide, and its target market is patients 50 years old and above.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • ReSound Hearing Aids

    ReSound has been around since 1943. Headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark, ReSound hearing aids are sold in more than 80 countries, and are one of the largest suppliers of hearing aids in the world.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • Embrace Hearing

    Embrace Hearing offers consumers a discreet, affordable and customized hearing aid that can help with any amount of hearing loss, including severe hearing loss. The company is based in the U.S. and they ship their German technology hearing aids anywhere in the world.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • Oticon Hearing Aids

    Oticon was founded in 1904 by a man who wanted to help his hearing-impaired wife. The company has American headquarters in New Jersey and has long been at the forefront of hearing and auditory research.

    • Best for Aging listeners, people with progressive hearing loss and children born with hearing difficulties.
  • Widex Hearing Aids

    Widex is a hearing aid company based in Denmark. This forward-thinking company has invented some of the most successful hearing aids.

    • Best for Aging listeners, people with progressive hearing loss and children born with hearing difficulties.
  • Rexton Hearing Aids

    Rexton has been creating hearing aids for more than 50 years, and the company has a great selection of products.

    • Best for Aging listeners, people with progressive hearing loss and children born with hearing difficulties.
  • Unitron Hearing Aids

    Unitron is a global company that designs and manufacturers hearing instruments that has been in business over 50 years. With 20 international offices and 50 international partners, Unitron is a truly global company.

    • Best for Aging listeners, people with hearing loss and children with hearing difficulties.
  • Phonak Hearing Aids

    Phonak is an international hearing aid company with locations and sales partners in more than 100 countries. Founded In 1947, Phonak has been considered one of the leaders in hearing aid technology for decades.

    • Best for Aging listeners, people with progressive hearing loss and children born with hearing difficulties.
  • HearingPlanet

    HearingPlanet helps customers with hearing loss understand their options prior to purchasing hearing aids. They provide consultations and hearing aids at 1,600 clinics throughout the United States.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • Costco Hearing Aids

    Costco Hearing Aids is a division of the large membership-based wholesale store, Costco Wholesale. The company offers hearing tests, checkups, and hearing aids for purchase.

    • Best for Consumers who need a hearing aid, consumers who already wear hearing aids, and consumers who are worried about their hearing.
  • MD Hearing Aid

    MD Hearing Aid was started by an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor, Sreekant Cherukuri, in Chicago, IL. Dr. Cherukuri’s idea was to create the highest-quality hearing aid at the lowest possible price so no patient loses the opportunity to improve his or her quality of life by using a hearing aid. The MD Hearing Aid line amplifies sounds associated with the human voice and decreases sounds associated with noise.

    • Best for Aging listeners and people with progressive hearing loss.
  • Sam's Club Hearing Aids

    As one of the world's largest price clubs, Sam's Club offers a range of specialty services to its customers. They include health services like hearing aids, vision centers and a pharmacy for customer convenience.

    • Best for Seniors and consumers who are hard of hearing.
  • Siemens Hearing Aids

    Siemens Hearing Aids makes and distributes a wide range of instruments for people who have tinnitus or hearing loss. The company has been instrumental in developing comfortable devices that make use of the latest medical, computer and communication technologies.

    • Best for Adults and children who have suffered hearing loss and patients with tinnitus.
  • Starkey Hearing Aids

    Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies believes every person has the right to hear the world around them, which is why they make a donation to the Starkey Hearing Foundation with every purchase made. To date, they have helped donate over 1 million hearing aids globally. Starkey Hearing Technologies is an American-owned company that partners with customers, manufacturers and facilities around the world to bring innovation that allows people to hear better.

    • Best for People with progressive hearing loss,, aging listeners and those with active lifestyles.

11 – 17 Most Reviewed Hearing Aids

MDHearing Aid, founded by a board-certified otolaryngologist, is focused on creating high-quality, doctor-designed hearing aids at an affordable price point. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois.
Unitron is a hearing aid company that was founded in 1964. Headquartered in Waterloo, Canada, the company now has 20 international offices, and it designs and manufactures hearing aids for customers of all ages.
Siemens Hearing Aids is the United States division of Sivantos Group, a Singaporean company that provides hearing instruments and services to people in more than 120 countries. Siemens was founded in 1878.
Binson's is a company that specializes in medical equipment and supplies. The company has a hearing department, which offers free hearing screenings, worker's compensation evaluations, hearing aid fittings, and more.
Sam's Club Hearing Aids are available with the latest technology. Hearing tests are performed for free, and a range of hearing aid styles are available for purchase. Batteries and accessories are also available at low prices.
Rexton has been making hearing aids for more than 50 years. The hearing aid company, which is owned by Siemens, has created eight unique types of hearing aids, in addition to a plethora of accessories.
HearingPlanet is a hearing aid company that was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee. HearingPlanet currently has more than 1,600 clinic locations across the United States.