Updated: February 11, 2017
Is brand-name important to you? Do you have brand loyalty?
For some products you purchase, you may be loyal to a certain brand without even realizing it. Perhaps you always buy the same brand of peanut butter, or the same brand of paper towels.
Why is it that you purchase that particular brand-name item?
It may be because that is what you have always used, it is what your parents purchased, or you think it is the best choice.
Every single item we purchase has a brand behind it, even the generic brands. This is true for our food, household items, and even medical devices.
In the world of hearing aids, it is no different. There are a lot of brands out there, with companies behind them trying to promote their brand as “the best”.
When it comes to purchasing a hearing device, the brand name is a more important decision than it is when purchasing your paper towels. After all, this device is going to be used for daily communication, and that’s a big deal!
Unless you have spoken to a friend or family member about their own personal preference in hearing aid brand, you likely have no idea which to buy.
We will break down the most reputable brands of hearing aids to choose from.
But, what makes them reputable?
The reputation of hearing aid companies comes from 4 key areas:
- The investment they make in research and development to produce quality and innovative products for better sound quality, fit, and function.
- The training and customer service they provide to the hearing healthcare professionals recommending their products.
- The impact of their marketing to portray the culture, philosophy, and mission of the company.
- The history of the company.
The 6 Most Reputable Hearing Aid Brands
ReSound is a company founded in 1943 with it’s headquarters in Denmark. They are owned by the GN ReSound Group.
ReSound is credited for creating a new sound processing system with wide dynamic range compression (WDRC). They were also the first major hearing aid company to introduce the open-fit hearing device, which is still widely popular today.
Recently, they were one of the first two hearing aid companies to release a made for iPhone hearing device.
In 2016 GN ReSound lost their contract with Costco as the supplier for their Kirkland Signature hearing aids which they held since 2013. Sivantos is now the Kirkland Signature 7.0 hearing aid supplier (see information on Sivantos below).
Founded in Denmark in 1904 by Hans Demant to help his wife Camilla who had a hearing impairment herself. Oticon was later run by his son William Demant and is still owned by the William Demant Holding Group today.
Oticon’s current philosophy is “People First”.
Oticon is credited for creating the world’s first digital hearing hearing instrument, the Digifocus.
Today, they focus on personalizing the fitting for each wearer for a more natural and effortless listening experience, which they call BrainHearing technology.
Recently they are known for the Opn hearing aid the industry’s first dual-wireless and internet-connected hearing aid.
Their mission of “Life is On” means they aim to help people with hearing loss to interact freely, communicate with confidence, and live without limit. Phonak was founded in 1947 in Zurich. They are currently owned by the Sonova Holding AG company.
Phonak is a leader in the development of hearing solutions for children, specifically in-classroom radio FM technology and the Roger Pen.
Recently they are known for their lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, the Audeo B-R, and their CROS hearing aids.
Phonak also owns Lyric, the extended-wear hearing aid.
(Note: Signia was formerly Siemens, which is now 1 of Sivantos’ brands. Read more about that here.)
Sivantos Group’s roots start in the Siemens company which was founded in 1878 by Werner von Siemens after he developed a telephone for people with hearing loss to better understand conversation on the phone.
In 1959 Siemens developed the first behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing device, the Siemens Auriculette.
They are most well-known for releasing the first digital hearing aid with two microphones (directional microphones), the first wireless hearing aid, and more recently the first waterproof digital hearing aid.
In January 2015 Siemens was sold to the Sivantos Group. In January 2016 Sivantos Group introduced its new hearing aid brand: Signia.
Sivantos Group is still the owner of the Siemens brand, as well as Audio Service, Rexton, and A&M Hearing.
Their philosophy “Hearing is our concern” began in 1967 with founder William F. Austin. Starkey has a strong commitment to philanthropy, donating to the Starkey Hearing Foundation every time a Starkey hearing aid is purchased. Through this foundation, they have given away over 1 million hearing aids to people around the world.
Starkey is the only american-owned and operated hearing aid provider, located in Minnesota.
Starkey is credited for creating the industry’s first in-canal hearing aid, as well as the first custom digital invisible hearing aid.
Most recently, they were one of the first two companies to release a Made for iPhone hearing aid, the Halo.
In addition, the Microtech, NuEar, and Audibel brand hearing aids are a subsidiary of Starkey.
Headquarted in Denmark, Widex boasts an entirely CO2-neutral building. They are a family-owned company founded in 1956.
They are known for their groundbreaking computer modelling and laser technology custom earpieces (CAMISHA shells), as well as having the first fully digital in-the-ear hearing aid.
How to choose
When making a choice to purchase hearing aids, it will come down to your own personal preference, as well as the preference of your hearing healthcare provider.
Your hearing healthcare provider is likely much more knowledgeable of the different hearing aid brands than you are, and will develop certain preferences in brands over time. These preferences are based on
- The technology capabilities of the product.
- The dependability of the product and customer service team
- The service and repair experience with the product.
It is important to listen to your hearing healthcare professional’s recommendations. Your individual needs will help to determine which of these hearing aid brands may be recommended for you.
While choosing a hearing aid brand is a more important decision than choosing your paper towel brand, in the end, the hearing aid is only as good as the person who is fitting it.
Regardless of the hearing aid’s brand, your best hearing will always come from having a trusting partnership between you and your hearing healthcare provider.