One of the things we love to talk about is how great hearing aid technology is today. There are some amazing companies out there right now, and they all make great hearing aids! We love Oticon, Phonak, Starkey, GN Resound, Siemens, Hansaton, and Sonic Innovations. Each of those brands are doing really great things with hearing aids. But, we would say that right now, the “big 4” in this industry are Oticion, Phonak, Starkey, and GN Resound. These 4 companies are really exceptional, and each of them has something that they excel in. Now, we have a decided shop preference for Oticion here, and I’ll explain why below, but here is a quick rundown of the current ways that each of them are making great strides in hearing aid technology.
Right now, Phonak is doing a couple great things. First, they have introduced a hearing aid that can connect directly (without any type of streamer or other secondary device) to any phone that has bluetooth. Now, this may not seem like all that great a deal, but no other company has something like this right now. They have really excelled at connectivity. Of course not every one needs this feature, but more and more, this is something people are looking for, and Phonak is leading the charge in this endeavor.
The second thing, although not quite as important, is a design feature of Phonak’s ITEs (in the ear hearing aids). They have come out with a Titanium hearing aid. It’s pretty incredible! You can literally step on it, drop it, or otherwise be cruel to it, and it won’t break. It is really made out of Titanium. This feature isn’t something that’s for everyone, but there are people who have types of work where damaging a hearing aid is a real risk, and this is a big deal to them!
Speaking of ITEs, Starkey just does an incredible job right now with ITE aids. Whenever someone has a need or preference for this type of hearing aids (ITE, ITC, IIC, etc…), we almost always recommend Starkey. Making custom hearing aids is a science that’s different from making BTEs (behind the ear), and Starkey just seems to consistently deliver a better fit, and does a better job of minimizing potential for feedback. It’s not that other companies don’t do a good job, but we really think that Starkey is leading the way in this particular aspect of hearing aid technology.
Now when it comes to cutting edge technology, GN Resound is a cut above. They have come out with technology for remotely programming hearing aids, and even for programming the hearing aids yourself! Their app for smartphones has the ability to have programming sent remotely from your H.I.S. or audiologist to your phone, and then you download it, and it reprograms your hearing aids! It’s incredible! And not only that, but in that same app, you can actually make adjustments to your hearing aids all by yourself. Now, that can potentially be problematic if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, but with the help of a specialist, and some practice, it could be a really nice thing for some people to be able to make adjustments on the fly, as your circumstances change.
Last, but certainly not least, is our “in house” favorite. See, here’s the thing, all of these other companies are making fantastic hearing aids, and each of them has something that they excel at. To be sure, if you were to purchase the top of the line from any of these companies, you’d have a hearing aid that would help you hear better, and consequently, live better. But, when it comes to helping people hear better, we think that Oticon just does that best. Yes, those other features are important for many people, but what matters most in hearing aid technology is how that tech helps you hear. And for that, time and time again, Oticon has delivered absolutely amazing results! Their “OPN” platform has just revolutionized the way people approach the problem of hearing loss, and because of that, it’s become an industry wide standard. If you were to purchase an OPN1 then you would, in our opinion, be getting the best possible help for hearing loss out there today. And so, because of that, although we sell all these brands, and love them, and think they offer great benefits to people, we still look to Oticon as our “go to”, because the most important thing about hearing aid tech, is how well you hear.
Hopefully this is a helpful guide to some of the most amazing technology out there in the hearing aid world today. If you have any further questions, give us a call!