Choosing a hearing aid can feel a little daunting, but with the right independent advice, you can discover which technology, style and brand of aid will deliver the most comfortable, natural sound for you.
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Hearing Aid?
- Your Hearing Health Requirements
- Your Lifestyle, Routine and Listening Environments
- The Technologies & Features You Need
- Style/Type of Hearing Aid
Your Hearing Health Requirements
Broadly, there are four different levels of hearing loss that you can experience; mild, moderate, severe and profound. With the right hearing aid, you can still enjoy conversations with the people around you and listening to the things you love, living your life to the fullest. It’s important to ensure that your hearing aid can deliver the level of hearing correction you need
Your Lifestyle, Routine and Listening Environments
No two people are the same, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. When selecting your hearing aid, you need to consider your routine, listening environments that you regularly find yourself in and whether or not you need to invest in advanced features such as environment classification and reverb reduction — essential if you’re often in crowded, busy environments and find yourself struggling to hear the conversations you’re having.
The Technologies & Features You Need
There have been fantastic advances in hearing aid technology over the past twenty years, and most brands now offer aids with fewer features at a more affordable price, as well as aids with more features and faster processing power, at a higher cost. Check that the aid you’re purchasing has the features you need at a basic minimum, and the features you’d like while remaining affordable. The most popular hearing aid features are:
Adaptive Noise Reduction
This feature helps to eliminate background noise from several directions so that you can enjoy clearer, more comfortable sound even in busy areas like cafes and restaurants.
Enhanced Speech Perception
Most modern hearing aids have the technology to isolate speech in your close vicinity and enhance the sound so that you can enjoy clear conversations in public places without having to ask your companions to repeat themselves.
Personalised Listening Experiences
Some premium hearing aids allow you to personalise your listening experience so that you can tune into natural sounds and speech, dynamically manage noise and adjust the settings to your liking.
Bluetooth Sound Streaming
Many modern hearing aids make it easy to stream music, movies and TV shows from a Bluetooth-enabled device like your smartphone or laptop, directly to the aid itself.
Smartphone App for Easier Controls
Many hearing aids can connect to your smartphone and are easily controlled via a smartphone app which can be downloaded from your mobile app store.
Reverb Reduction Technology
Aids with this feature make noise-heavy environments more comfortable by managing reverberating signals.
Binaural Environment Classification
This feature allows your aid to collect information about your acoustic environment, providing you with a seamless hearing experience anywhere.
The price of a set of two hearing aids varies depending on the style, technology and features. Broadly, prices start at around £400 per pair and can increase into the thousands depending on the model you choose. Take a look at our hearing aid prices page for more information.
Hearing aids are now available in various sizes, styles and designs to suit differing needs. When choosing a style or type of hearing aid you should consider the shape and size of your ear canal, how comfortable an ‘in the ear’ aid would be and how important reducing the visibility of your aid is to you.
Available styles and types of hearing aid:
- Completely in the Canal (CIC)
Designed to fit inside the ear canal, suitable for adults with mild-moderate hearing loss – the least visible type of hearing aid.
- In the Canal (ITC)
These aids fit partially in the ear canal and can assist with mild-severe hearing loss. Far less visible than most other hearing aids and easier to manage if you have dexterity issues.
- In the Ear (ITE)
Full shell aids that fit most of the outer ear, or half-shell aids that fit the lower part of the outer ear. Custom-made to fit the unique shape of your ear – suitable for mild-severe hearing loss.
- Receiver in the Canal (RIC) or Receiver in the Ear (RITE)
Very discreet, sits comfortably in the canal without the feeling of fullness. A small aid is hidden behind the ear’s natural shape and connects to the receiver via a very thin tube.
- Open Fit
Provides more air circulation and won’t obstruct the ear canal. Suitable for adults with mild-moderate hearing loss.
There are many different hearing aid brands available, each offering a unique range of features at a range of price points. It is well worth comparing models from each brand before settling on the right aid for you, so that you don’t miss out on an option that would suit you even better.
A well-known Swiss hearing aid manufacturer with over seventy years of experience producing high-quality aids at affordable prices. This brand has a unique and patented ChannelFree processing system that allows for more comfortable and smooth speech perception. The newest model, Bernafon Zerena.
The first hearing aid brand to offer direct stereo streaming from an iPhone, GN ReSound incorporates the latest technology in their hearing aids and have won a CES Innovation Award, plus a Golden Lobe Award, for their aid technology. The new GN ReSound Linx Quattro is faster, lasts for longer between charges and comes with an induction charger and charge-carrier case, for up to three full charge cycles and easy travelling.
Oticon Hearing Aids
Famous for its groundbreaking Oticon Opn™ technology, Oticon hearing aids are the first to provide consistent 360° sound, by analysing the whole soundscape so that you can enjoy clear conversations and sharp sounds minus the background noise. The latest models include smart technology that connects your hearing aid to your home network, so you can control your hearing aid easily with your smartphone and smart devices.
Phonak Hearing Aids
Phonak aids are incredibly compact and thin, yet very powerful. The AutoSense operating system™ allows your aid to detect up to 9 different hearing situations so that you can hear as effectively as possible. The latest model, Phonak Marvel, is designed to provide natural sound and seamless connectivity with any Bluetooth enabled device.
Signia Hearing Aids from Sivantos (Formerly Siemens)
Signia hearing aids work with the touchControl app to make managing and personalising your hearing experience easy. You can change your hearing program, adjust the volume of your device and stream music or phone conversations directly from your iOS or Android device. The latest model, Signia Styletto, is stylish and powerful with three contemporary colour combinations and a brand new charging system that allows four days of use.
Starkey Hearing Aids
Starkey manufactures next-generation hearing aids that provide style, clarity and comfort as well as a high-quality listening experience. The latest model, Starkey Livio AI, boasts high-definition audio for an optimum hearing experience in every situation.
Unitron Hearing Aids
This award-winning Canadian hearing aid manufacturer provides cutting-edge hearing solutions for mild-severe hearing loss. Unitron aids can connect seamlessly to your smart TV, smartphone and other connected devices. The Unitron TV Connector and Remote Plus App allow you to control your media and manage your hearing experience. The latest models, Unitron Stride and Moxi, feature SoundCore technology for the most realistic sound ever.
Widex Hearing Aids
Denmark-based Widex provides the groundbreaking Widex Beyond™ series of hearing aids that provide exceptional sound and multiple ways to connect your aid to your Apple iPhone, smart TV or Bluetooth-enabled device. The latest model, Widex Evoke, provides a clean, steady stream of sound thanks to its unique chip-set design, independent channel separation and minimal delay filters – you’ll always receive a quality sound, no matter the environment.
Ready to Choose a Hearing Aid?
Let one of our fully-qualified and truly impartial audiologists transform your hearing and transform your life. We will recommend the right hearing aid based on your individual needs, budget and lifestyle. Contact Transform Hearing to book your free at-home or in-clinic hearing test and find the right solution for you.