With any type of product these days, all kinds of brands are vying for your wallet. Despite the fact that they’re health products, hearing aids are no exception.
So to make your choice easier, we’ll be looking at each of the “Big Six” hearing aid manufacturers, and breaking down features and noteworthy elements that might make your decision less stressful.
In this article, we’ll be looking at Phonak hearing aids. The brand is owned by Sonova, a parent company that oversees numerous hearing aid brands. Phonak, however, is its most lucrative and popular brand.
Generally speaking, hearing aid companies can be fairly protective of their own statistics and information, but we’ve done our best to dig deep. We’ll try to be as comprehensive as possible, but the best way to hear all about these hearing aids is face to face with a professional. To learn more about Phonak hearing aids, book a free consultation with a hearing healthcare professional near you.
Major Phonak models
Phonak offers a wide range of models, which can be found here. We’ve picked some of the brand’s more popular or remarkable models to look at. A few things to note:
- Any prices discussed here are based on a single hearing aid, not a pair
- Your hearing healthcare provider may add on additional charges (like retunings and follow-ups) when you’re purchasing a hearing aid
- We’re looking at the top of the line model of each of these hearing aids. This is always the best version, and therefore the most expensive. You might decide you want a less sophisticated model, in which case you’d be paying significantly less
- Each hearing aid listed here has many models that are released as hearing aid technology advances. Our information refers to the most recently released model as of July 2019
Phonak is definitely in the upper half of the cost range when it comes to the world of hearing aids. Keep that in mind when reading through the cons of each hearing aid listed here, as there could be an additional con labelled “expensive” in every table.
Phonak Audéo Marvel 90
Pros Cons Great sound quality Battery life is a bit short (~16 hours) Rechargeable – no fiddly batteries Bluetooth capabilities
What’s the cost?
The Audéo Marvel 90 will run you around $2,800.
The word “marvel” has been thrown around a lot in the past few years of pop culture. Much like Marvel’s Avengers, Phonak’s Audéo Marvel is a unification of all of Phonak’s best tech and features. This includes a rechargeable lithium battery, bluetooth connectivity, and top-of-the-line adaptive sound quality, supplied by the company’s AutoSense system.
As far as consumer reviews go, Phonak is killing it, raking in five star ratings across the board. The rare criticisms come in the form of concerns about the pricing and battery life. The Audéo Marvel is Phonak’s cream of the crop, running about $2,800, which is definitely one of the steeper costs in the hearing aid world. And while 16 hours of battery life would serve a normal day perfectly fine, this can be a bit inconvenient in the case of a long flight, or another instance where you could be on the move for more than 16 hours. Otherwise, reception has been marvelous.
Phonak Naída B90
|Amazing sound quality||Bare-bones|
What’s the cost?
The Naída B90 will run you around $3,000.
The Naída vs the Marvel boils down to quantity over quality. The Naída doesn’t boast many features outside of the essentials for a hearing aid, but what it does, it does well. It’s a salt-of-the-earth hearing aid – doing its job, and not much else.
Unlike the Marvel, the Naída’s features all tie back to the quality of sound that it offers. Phonak’s page highlights various ways that the Naída can enhance your hearing, such as a better range of high frequencies, better speech comprehension, and better sound retention over long distances.
As far as pricing goes, you can expect this to run you slightly more than a Marvel hearing aid, in the $3,000 ballpark. Even without the features packaged with the Marvel aid, the Naída is so advanced in terms of sound quality that the higher price makes sense.
|No batteries||No additional features|
|Great sound quality|
What’s the cost?
The Lyric charges a subscription fee of approximately $160 per month.
Lyric hearing aids boast the title of “the world’s first invisible hearing aid.” A Lyric hearing aid is placed deep within the ear canal, meaning it cannot be seen from the outside. Due to this near-surgical placement, removing the hearing aid for charging would be a major roadblock in anyone’s day. That’s why you can wear a Lyric hearing aid for months at a time, even in the shower. However, while it is water resistant, it’s not waterproof – this limits any potential water-based activities, especially since it can’t be removed.
The Lyric consistently scores highly in customer reviews, with people praising its sound quality and ease of use. Its independence is its most commonly cited positive, as being able to be active without having to worry about your hearing aid falling out is a massive plus. However, on the features side, it is somewhat lacking – although since you can’t interact with it, there isn’t a realistic way it could boast many features.
Lyric hearing aids are also somewhat unique in that they operate on a subscription basis. This subscription seems to “depend on where you live,” but average figures we’ve found across the internet seem to suggest a monthly rate of $160. That means you’d be spending $1,920 in a year, which is very steep for a hearing aid. This is because the Lyric’s design is something of a double-edged sword.
Despite its undoubtedly impressive battery life, the placement of the Lyric means that when a battery does need replacing, an appointment will need to be made for a professional replacement. This will be required once every three months or so. However, if a newer model is released, your subscription will cover the replacement, which is certainly a nice plus.
How to buy Phonak hearing aids
After reading our breakdown, you may be persuaded to look into buying a hearing aid. If that is the case, make sure you go through the correct channels. Buying a hearing aid online is not the way to go, as discussed in our article “9 Reasons Not to Buy a Hearing Aid Online.”
If you’re interested in looking further into getting a hearing aid, the best course of action would be to book a free consultation with your nearest hearing healthcare professional. You can use our form to easily arrange an appointment.