Best nano type hearing aids for 2021: A buyers’ guide
How do consumers choose the right hearing aid with so many options on the market?
With the multiple brands, styles and features offered on the market today, choosing the right hearing aids can be an overwhelming task. Read this breakdown of the best selling and highly rated hearing aids available in the US today. See what consumer data and reviews revealed about the most popular devices on the market.
Hearing Loss: What Is It And How Is It Caused?
The main symptom experienced is the inability to hear some (or all) sounds. To categorise your type of hearing loss, Audiologists will assess where and/or what part of your auditory system is damaged. There are 3 basic types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss
- Sensori-neural hearing loss
- Mixed hearing loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Sounds are unable to get through the outer to middle ear. Often softs sounds are consequently difficult to hear and louder sounds may be muffled.
Sensor-neutral Hearing Loss
Higher-pitched tones may sound muffled. Additionally, it is possible that picking out words (in a situation with background noise) will be difficult.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Lastly, this is a combination of conductive and sensori-neural hearing loss. The issue or damage may lie within your outer or middle ear and in your inner ear.
What Can Cause Your Hearing To Weaken?
Although most Americans over the age of 65 have experienced some level of hearing loss, age is not the only factor. Chronic exposure to loud noises may also damage your hearing. A buildup of wax can cause hearing loss (although this generally can be remedied easily). In certain situations some medications can affect your hearing.
Although, currently, there is no cure for restoring hearing loss, there are solutions to help. Options such as surgery (if applicable) and lip-reading are the choices some opt for. On the other hand, the road most travelled (and for a good reason) is to invest in hearing aids.
Hearing Aids: What They Are And How Do They Work?
These small yet powerful devices have been transforming the hearing of millions. It is important to remember that hearing aids will not restore your hearing, but by amplifying soft sounds around you, may assist in making sounds easier to hear. The devices typically consist of three parts: the microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Sounds are received from the microphone. These sound waves are then converted to electric signals and sent to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals which are sent to the ear through the speaker (resulting in improved hearing).
Multiple Hearing Aid Styles
CIC (Completely in the Canal) or Mini CIC
This device is molded to fit the inside of your ear canal. This style is particularly well-suited for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Is the smallest and least visible type.
- Less likely to pick up wind noise.
- Uses very small batteries (which have a shorter lifespan) which may be troublesome.
- Possesses no additional features such as volume control.
- Susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
This device model is molded to fit only partly in your ear canal.
- This device is less visible than other larger models.
- May be difficult to adjust due to its small size.
- Susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
This device hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. There is a tube which connects the device to a custom earpiece that fits in your ear canal.
- Suitable for all ages and degrees of hearing loss.
- New designs are small, sleek and hardly visible.
- Can amplify sounds louder than most other devices.
- May pick up more wind noise than other styles.
ITE devices can be custom-made in two difficult styles: One that fills the majority of the bowl-shaped area of your ear (full shell) and one that only fills half of the shell (half shell). This model is suitable for those with hearing loss that is mild or severe.
- Has the ability to adjust volume.
- Can be easier to handle.
- Contains a larger battery which results in a longer lifespan.
- This model is also susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
- May pick up more wind noises than other models.
- Is more visible in your ear than smaller devices.
RIC / RITE
The Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) and Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) styles are similar to a Behind-the-Ear hearing aid. This is because both models have their speakers or receivers in the ear canal.
- Small in size and therefore less visible.
- Susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
These hearing aids contain a thin tube to keep the ear canal open. Therefore, low-frequency sounds can enter the ear canal more easily and louder sounds are amplified.
- Less visible
- Does not plug up your ear as seen in some other smaller devices.
- May be difficult to adjust and handle due to small size.
Hearing Aid Features
What to look for? To help make your decision-making process easier, you have to decide on which features rank highly on your list. Certain features to consider may include:
- Noise reduction (reducing background noise to prevent muffling).
- Rechargeable batteries (this can eradicate the need to change batteries regularly).
- Remote controls (this is useful for adjusting your hearing aids without touching the devices).
Note: There are more features offered by certain models. For example, NANO offers a model, NANO Sigma, that can be controlled via an application – making controlling your device settings easy and discrete.
3 Tips: How To Be More Comfortable While Adjusting To Your New Hearing Aids
Here are some things to keep in mind during the adjustment period:
- Give yourself time to get used to your new devices. The sooner you start amplifying sounds with your hearing aids, you will feel more comfortable using them.
- Practice using your hearing aids in different environments. You will get accustomed to adjusting to new and your regular environments.
- Support from family, friends and those around you will help make the adjustment period easier as you do not begin this journey alone.
The hearing aid brands:
Nano hearing aid reviews, according to an in-depth analysis of the market,reveals all the brands consumers love most. Remember that the FTC guidelines on buying hearing aids are there should you get lost between all the options or discover a brand that seems questionable. At least 5 brands seem impressive upon closer analysis. We will seek to highlight several below:
NANO Hearing Aids
NANO is a company built on an inspirational story. Wanting to make family dinners easier to hear for his grandmother, Nano’s young founder became determined to develop hearing aids that would achieve just that. Additionally, it was essential that the products be made affordable (and consequently more accessible). This personal passion project has become a national success, with its products being praised for their comfortability, affordability and quality. NANO hearing aid client reviews clearly indicate this is an American favourite.
About NANO Hearing Aids
NANO’s mission was clear: To provide near invisible, affordable devices which are built with the latest hearing aid technology (and that fit comfortably in the ear). Since launching in 2017, NANO Hearing Aids has sky-rocketed to be the top-seller on the market in the US today.
NANO Hearing Aids Products
By offering unique products optimised with an array of features, NANO provides an ideal solution for all. Currently, there are a number of Nano Hearing Aids products on the market. Nano focuses on offering high quality products. Below we discuss the top four of NANO’s available products:
This comes with a rechargeable battery. There is a maximum of 16 hours of battery life per charge (depending on length and frequency of use). Conveniently, this model contains a low battery warning to avoid your getting stuck with a dead battery. It’s fast-charging feature will come in handy as it only takes 3 hours to charge the battery fully. Feedback cancellation technologies have been implemented to lessen feedback noise and high-frequency whistling. Sound environment settings have been included with all Nano products. This is a particularly useful feature. This is a BTE (behind-the-ear) model to offer users discretion. A directional microphone has been built into this particular device. Included are two microphones. This is a single microphone to achieve directivity. This pair also makes use of adaptive technology which is known to improve the hearing quality of many users. This feature bridges the gap between the user and the sound’s source. It’s easy up and down volume buttons have been praised by users for its user-friendliness. A suitable choice for a first-time hearing aid wearer.
Although the battery is not rechargeable, the A13 battery in this model lasts an average of 6 to 14 days (depending on use). Out of all of NANO’s products, this is the only one that comes with a wireless application control feature. Thanks to its simple design and layout, users do not need to be the most tech-savvy people in the world. You are able to control and adapt settings to your taste easily by controlling your hearing aids on your chosen device.
The Sigma Wireless features a background noise reduction add-on to improve the quality of sound. On the application, users are able to control the volume, adjust specific frequencies and even take a hearing test. Feedback cancellation technologies have been implemented to lessen feedback noise and high-frequency whistling which can be extremely harsh on the ears. With its sound environment settings, NANO devices are able to pick up the environment sounds easily and block out intruding sounds. This particular model has been praised by users for its comfortability. An excellent choice for the modern day hearing aid wearer.
This device also has a battery that is not rechargeable. However, the 312 battery it does have lasts an average of 5 days. The X2.0 Digital has a background noise reduction feature. This will take the sound quality to the next level. This particular model is built containing a powerful chip technology designed here in the USA. On top of this, it contains two directional microphones per device as opposed to competitor products only containing one (primarily). With the NANO X2.0 Digital, users are able to choose from four choices of settings of different frequencies. With this combination of features, users are able to improve their hearing immensely.
This comes with a rechargeable battery and gives you 16 hours of battery life per charge.The RX2000 Rechargeable features a background noise reduction add-on to better overall sound quality by filtering out intruding and irrelevant background noises. This has been complimented for being a comfortable BTE (behind-the-ear) model. With this digital hearing aid, a microphone will pick up sounds (switched to digital signals which are then interpreted by the computer chip in the hearing aid) to ultimately convert it into acoustic sound. Users are provided with an easy access and easy to use on/off button for increased user-friendliness. On top of this, this device also includes easy to use volume and environment adjustment buttons (making transitions smooth and effortless). The digital sound processor suppresses noise without entirely blocking out speech which is an excellent feature in crowded conversations.
NANO Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
It should be noted that a trial period of 21 days with your new NANO devices is recommended by the brand. This is to allow for satisfactory adjustment and settling of the devices. Medical studies prove that your brain takes approximately 3 weeks to adjust your hearing sense to new hearing aids. However, should you wish to return your devices, you may do so within 45 days of receiving the purchase to be eligible for a full refund. Costs for each model are:
- X2 Rechargeable: $797 per pair.
- Sigma Wireless: $797 per pair.
- 0 Digital: $697 per pair.
- RX2000 Rechargeable: $397 per pair.
As part of NANO’s mission, devices are low-priced and affordable. This is the reason behind NANO products not being covered by insurance.
Where to Find NANO Hearing Aids
You can place an order for your chosen pair of NANO Hearing Aids online via their website. Conveniently, NANO offers features such as order and shipping tracking once an order has been placed to keep you informed of where your devices are every step of the way. Certain devices are also available for purchase on eBay. Alternatively, you can go to their physical stores when you are in Arizona or Idaho to make your purchase.
Phonak Hearing Aids
Phonak Hearing Aids is founded on a simple mission: To create hearing solutions that change people’s lives which allow them to thrive socially and emotionally. Phonak is offering solutions to those around the globe in over 100 countries. With over 70 years of experience, Phonak provides trusted solutions to its customers.
About Phonak Hearing Aids
Phonak hearing aids are devices that go beyond amplifying small sounds. Similar to its competitors such as NANO, hearing aids can emphasise sounds coming from a specific direction, cut out noises that disrupt clear sound and compress frequencies to make them audible to the wearer once again. Phonak customers are able to find hearing aids specifically for their needs as products are developed in categories such as: first time users, children/teenagers, single-sided hearing and Tinnitus.
Phonak Hearing Aids Products
Here is an overview of some of Phonak’s latest hearing aids. By examining the product’s attributes such as features offered, size, model and more, deciding which product to purchase will be a less confusing task.
Phonak Audéo™ Paradise
Advanced features such as voice assistant at the touch of a tap is available to users. These hearing aids are able to connect to devices such as TV, and smartphones, making entertainment more enjoyable for hearing aid wearers. Users are able to personalize their noise-cancelling settings. This particular model has been praised by users for its excellent speech clarity and understanding. Sounds are crisp and clear. The devices have direct connectivity to IOS and Android devices. Batteries can be either rechargeable or disposable depending on the version. This model is suitable for those with mild to profound hearing loss.
Having been praised for the device looking like, “Regular wireless earbuds,” this device is in demand for its clarity of sound and connectability. Users can enjoy improved speech understanding. Listening is made less tiresome and strenuous. On top of this, Virto™ Marvel devices are able to connect to IOS, Android and Bluetooth devices. This makes reading, watching TV, listening to a podcast and even calling someone readily available to users. Each device is custom-made to provide wearers with discretion and comfortability.
The ideal solution for children with a degree of hearing loss. The Sky™ Marvel device offers crisp, rich sounds to help children improve their learning and development. Due to this device’s specific OS, wearers will be well-prepared for situations like noisy classrooms and outdoor playgrounds (which children see on a daily basis). Additionally, this device connects directly to smartphones and other Bluetooth® enabled devices. Consequently, children are able to enjoy TV, music and games much more with this new feature. A convenient feature is the rechargeable battery built in. This allows for up to 10 hours of use (suitable for children). Phonak has often commented that this model is built to be “Child proof” due to its robustness. It is also designed for maximum comfort as it is a BTE (behind-the-ear) design to enable the wearer to live an active, busy life with ease. A fun element is that this device is available in a variety of colors from bright yellow to traditional nudes.
This device is ideal for those with mild to severe hearing loss. Users hear clear, rich sounds from the moment they are worn. For user-convenience, you are able to connect your hearing aids to IOS, Android and Bluetooth devices. This enhances your experiences when watching TV, listening to music or a podcast and more. With its rechargeable battery, users are able to charge their devices quickly and enjoy a full day of use.
Virto ™ M-Titanium
This individual device is known for being extremely discreet when worn. It is Phonak’s smallest hearing aid to date. A convenient feature is the sound quality and adaptability offered by this product. It automatically adapts to every sound environment, eradicating the need to manually adjust them yourself. A stand out feature is that it is custom made (and built out of titanium). This makes the hearing aids light to wear but strong and durable in its build. It is suitable for those with mild to severe hearing loss. Users are given the option for an integrated push button to allow users to change the volume and other certain settings.
As this device is placed directly in your ear canal (ITC / in-the-canal), it is 100% invisible to others – offering you maximum discretion. Lyric™ is praised for its clear and natural sounds heard when worn. This is because it uses the natural anatomy of the ear to amplify sounds in your environment. Built with the latest technology, this device is able to withstand the conditions of the ear canal, allowing the user to wear them for months at a time (without even taking them out).
Phonak Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
The prices of the Phonak hearing aids vary accordingly. Prices are established by hearing healthcare providers based on the products and services they offer (which customers are expected to contact to learn the prices). In terms of your insurance covering the cost of the hearing aids, this will depend on your individual package and provider.
Phonak offers users a one year limited international warranty starting from the date of purchase. The warranty covers manufacturing and material defects in the devices, but not accessories such as tubes and batteries. It is essential for proof of purchase to be shown in order for the warranty to be valid. For a local warranty, the company suggests asking the hearing care professional where you purchased your hearing aid about the warranty’s terms.
It should be noted that the warranty will not cover instances of mishandling the product, exposing it to damaging chemicals and other specified user-guilty instances.
Where to Find Phonak Hearing Aids
You can purchase Phonak Hearing Aid products online on sites such as the Hear Store, Online Hearing and Ear Mall. All offer easy and safe online transactions, the ability to track your order and more.
ReSound Hearing Aids
Since its beginning in 1943, ReSound Hearing Aids have been improving the hearing and quality of life for its users. ReSound Hearing Aids utilise Smart Hearing technology to provide high quality products to customers. The company is part of The GN Group (the global leader in intelligent audio solutions) and it lives up to this standard by developing products designed for crisp sound and comfortability. With a variety of hearing aids and applications offered, users are able to adapt to different environments effortlessly.
About ReSound Hearing Aids
The mission of ReSound Hearing Aids is to provide its users with a ‘natural hearing experience.’ The company wants its users to hear different sounds easily, follow crowded conversations and be able to fully immerse themselves in the situation to improve their social and emotional well-being.
ReSound Hearing Aids Products
There is no shortage of options when it comes to ReSound hearing aids. Customers are able to choose from hearing aids that are: digital, bluetooth, invisible, rechargeable, customised and suitable for Tinnitus. Let us examine examples of devices offered:
This digital hearing aid uses your ear’s unique shape to allow wearers of the hearing aid to hear all the natural sounds in their environment. Thanks to its feature, Activate Ultra Focus, users are able to focus more clearly on one-on-ones even in crowded and loud environments. With ReSound Assist Live video, you can seek assistance from your health care professional to help you with any and all things relating to your ReSound hearing aids. With its microphone & receiver-in-ear design, sounds are clear and full. Additionally, this device enables better speech understanding in a windy situation. This device can connect to other devices in your home such as your TV (as well as IOS and Android devices).
ReSound LiNX Quattro™
Due to the fact that this device is able to pick up sounds from all directions, users will never miss out on anything. Sound quality is clear and rich. Low and high-pitched sounds are fuller and more natural. Due to its small size, this device offers its users discretion. ReSound LiNX Quattro provides a full spectrum of Bluetooth Low Energy streaming from iOS and Android™ devices to both ears to create a crisp quality, stereo-like experience for its users.
With ReSound Smart 3D application, users are put in direct control of their settings in a channel that is discreet, effective and reliable. This receiver-in-ear model is suitable for all degrees of hearing loss. ReSound LiNX Quattro offers high performance with reduced power consumption due to its high speed and large memory capacity. Due to its custom-made fit, this particular device is comfortable. Your custom hearing molds will be made by a professional for the devices to fit your unique ears perfectly.
Tip: Should you be an active person who wears glasses, this device can be made as an ITC (in-the-canal) model making it ideal for your lifestyle.
ReSound LiNX 3D
With features such as surround sound, users will be able to hear 360 degrees of sound. The methods in which the hearing aids process sounds make speech seem clearer, more understandable and more vibrant in sound. On top of this, The ReSound Smart 3D application allows its users to control their hearing aid settings from their mobile devices in a more private and unnoticeable manner. Another useful feature is the device’s ability to stream calls from your iPhone directly to your hearing aids. Never struggle to hear someone on the other side of the line again.
Users are able to connect the ReSound LiNX 3D to other devices such as TVs to level up your movie-watching experience. Avoid constantly purchasing batteries with this device’s rechargeable battery. Due to its coating in iSolate nanotech, your hearing aids will be protected from water, dust and ear wax which makes them durable and long-lasting for years to come.
ReSound ENZO Q
Statistics show that approximately 80% of people with tinnitus (a ringing/buzzing/clicking in the ear) also have some degree of hearing loss. It should be noted that tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, but the perceived sound can be distracting from other sounds in your environment. By using a hearing aid, you are able to hear the other sounds around you. This will remove the focus from the tinnitus ringing and subsequently improve your hearing.
It is suitable for people with severe to profound hearing loss. You are able to personalize your sound settings for your devices. Sounds and speech are focused and not cut out. This device detects your environments and automatically adjusts volume and noise settings to the optimal level. As with all ReSound hearing aids, you are able to connect your hearing aids to other devices enhancing your online and tech experiences immensely. A useful feature offered by this device is geotagging. Set your volume and frequency settings to a certain setting at regular places you attend to make adapting to your changing environments quick and easy.
ReSound Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
The prices of the hearing aids offered differ. The cost depends on a number of factors. These include items such as style, if it includes any high-tech features, service and maintenance as well as your country’s healthcare system. Users are expected to contact their insurance provider to confirm whether or not their chosen hearing aids are eligible for cover. Once a ReSound hearing aid has been purchased, customers are provided with 1- 4 years of warranty depending on the model.
The typical lifespan of hearing aids is around 5 years. Therefore, it may be worthwhile investigating an extended warranty.
Where to Find ReSound Hearing Aids
Certain models are available for purchase on eBay. Making the order and delivery process quick and familiar. ReSound Hearing Aid products are available across the globe online and in store thanks to a large distribution network. Customers are able to access where to purchase their ReSound hearing aids by selecting their residing continent on the company’s website.
About Signia Hearing Aids
Signia Hearing Aids started in 2016 from its parent company, the Sivantos Group, which is a hearing aids manufacturer. The Sivantos Group was initially under the Siemens Company until 2015 when it became an independent company, which then merged in 2019 with Widex to form WSAudiology.
Signia dates all the way back to 1878 when Werner von Siemens, a German electrical engineer, built a telephone with a horseshoe magnet that amplified voice signals, thereby improving voice quality. From these inventions the Esha-Phonophor was discovered, the first device with the aim of improving hearing loss – in 1913 the product was launched and became the starting point of the production of hearing aids for the Siemens company.
Signia Hearing Aids Products
Signia Hearing Aids have over 20 different hearing aids devices available within different models and categories, these are as follows: Lithium-ion Rechargeability, Signia Xperience, Styletto, Signia Nx, and the Primax range. These also come in a variety of styles, including ITE (in-the-ear), RIC (receiver-in-the-canal), and BTE (behind-the-ear).
The Lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids offer users the ability to use their devices for longer periods of time, it has a longer lifetime with a shorter charge time. There are five devices available that carry the lithium-ion batteries:
- Styletto X
- Pure Charge&Go X
- Styletto Connect
- Pure Charge&Go Nx
- Motion Charge&Go Nx
Within the Signia Xperience range are the following devices:
- Styletto X
- Pure Charge&Go X
- Pure 312 X
- Silk X
- CROS X
The Xperience hearing aids have a wide range of capabilities and features, these are as follows:
Smartphone Connectivity: It is able to connect to smartphones to stream audio or receive phone calls – users can also download the Signia App to control their device and make necessary adjustments. The App includes features from three different Signia Apps (touchControl, myControl, myHearing), which facilitates for all the user’s hearing needs, as well as TeleCare that offers remote services and tools for hearing aid practitioners to engage with patients.
OVP (Own Voice Processing) and Dynamic Soundscape: With OVP (Own Voice Processing) and Dynamic Soundscape processing users can have a personalized sound experience and be able to distinguish their voices from other surrounding voices, and with acoustic-motion sensors users can measure various sounds from the environment, including their own movements.
Tinnitus Support: Tinnitus support provides white noise sounds to keep tinnitus at bay.
HD e2e Binaural Link: this allows a full audio exchange between both hearing devices, as well as dual processing between the user’s voice and the environment.
Pure 312 X
This device is one of the newer hearing aids from Signia, it has a receiver-in-canal style that aims to be as discreet as possible for the user wearing it and as clear in audio feedback from the surrounding environment. It includes all the above-mentioned features, as well as Bluetooth connectivity that allows for wireless streaming of audio, phone calls or television. There are also various colours to choose from that can match different skin tones.
Pure Charge&Go X
Available in different colors to match any skin tone, and fully enabled with all the smartphone and Bluetooth connectivity features. The Charge&Go X is designed to be charged in a small charger; users can eliminate the need for batteries. It includes a miniReceiver 2.0, which comes in four lengths and the power levels S, M, P, and HP.
The Styletto models come with two different devices, namely, the Styletto Connect and Styletto. While both come with all the Signia features, these have a slim receiver-in-canal style with a more professional and stylish design focus for users who are ‘on-the-go’.
The Signia Nx is an older model range and some have been replaced by the Xperience models, however the Motion Nx and Insio Nx have not been replaced yet. These two devices also come with the custom and personalized features from Signia including connectivity features like Bluetooth and the Signia smartphone App.
The Insio Nx are very small in-the-ear devices, designed to fit in the ear very discreetly. They come in a range of five different colors that match different skin tones, as well as a Waxguard feature to protect it from earwax with various Waxguard options. The Exchangeable windscreen protects the hearing device from wind or other external environmental elements and the small vent allows airflow to the ear.
Motion 13 Nx
This device is a larger behind-the-ear (BTE) style, and comes with a battery door that can be exchanged with one that fits a T-Coil. It also offers various fitting and handling options for users to customize according to their hearing needs, additionally, it facilitates mild to severe hearing loss.
Signia Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
Signia Hearing Aids are priced from $1000 to $3000, and a pair can range from between $3000 to $5000, however, consumers can find varying degrees of prices depending on the provider that sells them.
Users can also take a hearing test online or start a Signia trial to decide if it’s the right fit for them, all they need to do is fill in a form with their contact details and a Signia provider will be in touch with them. Users can contact their hearing aid providers for more information about a warranty – some offer a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty with extension options, additionally, they also offer free hearing aid repair services under the warranty period, but customers can still use the Signia International Repair Service for any devices out of their warranty period.
Signia Hearing Aids are also IP68-rated, which is an international rating that deems the device resistant to withstand dust, dirt, and water submersion of up to 1.5 metres for thirty minutes.
Where to Find Signia Hearing Aids
Users can find a Signia practice located closest to them by searching on their website, additionally they can be contacted via email. Signia also provides extensive video and written content resources about using and cleaning hearing aids.
Starkey Hearing Aids
About Starkey Hearing Aids
Starkey Hearing Aids is an American-owned and operated hearing aid manufacturer with a global reach. The company originated from the founder and principal owner, Bill Austen, who started his own company servicing and repairing hearing aids in the 1960s, and moved on to purchase Starkey Laboratories in 1970, a manufacturer of ear molds for his company at the time; the two companies merged to become Starkey Hearing Aids.
Starkey Hearing Aids Products
Starkey Hearing Aids have a range of different hearing aid models to choose from with various features and styles that are suited to different needs. Below is an overview of the three latest Starkey Hearing Aid models available.
Livio Edge AI Hearing Aid
The Livio Edge AI hearing aid is integrated with artificial intelligence and hearing sensors that process sounds with a tap that instantly adjusts the environment. It has various features that assist with sound enhancement, namely, it excludes buzzing and whistling sounds and it amplifies speech especially in noisy environments.
Livio Edge AI uses different wireless technologies like Bluetooth and some Smartphones, to stream sounds from a TV or other audio sources. There are microphones suited to different settings, including a mini-remote microphone that clips onto a partner’s clothing to improve one-on-one conversations and a table microphone with eight built-in microphones that stream the sound from the primary speaker if there is more than one person in a conversation. It comes with a remote to mute sounds, control volume, as well as turn various features on or off.
There are two available Apps with Livio Edge AI, namely, Thrive and Thrive Care, which works simultaneously. Thrive is suited to users who want to personalize their hearing aids, for example adjusting volume, streaming music, or changing any other settings. Thrive Care allows users to share any personal information with pre-selected people, this can range from hearing aid usage to physical activity
Livio Edge AI motivates users to be more involved with their health and well-being with Body Tracking, which tracks steps and movement, and Brain Tracking, which tracks hearing aid use and connection with others in order to encourage social engagement.
Additional features included with Livio Edge AI are, namely, fall detection capabilities, which alert chosen contacts, speech translation, various in-ear or on-screen reminders, automatic detection when users put their hearing aids in and take them out, rechargeable batteries, and the Thrive Assistant, which can be used to customize the hearing aid and use voice commands.
Livio Edge AI Hearing Aid Styles
The Livio Edge AI is available in four hearing styles:
- In-the-Canal (ITC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
Livio AI Hearing Aid
The Livio AI is similar to the Livio Edge AI with integrated artificial intelligence and hearing sensors, however, it does not share all the advanced features. These hearing aids also include multi-purpose features, for example, Healthable Technology that includes the Body and Brain Trackers, which tracks movement, number of daily steps, and any other physical activity, as well as tracking active listening, which is said to have brain health benefits.
Other performance features included in Livio AI are:
- Customizable memories and geolocations, for example, shops or cafes.
- Streaming phone calls, television, or music.
- Saving battery power by automatically turning on or off when hearing aids are put in the ear and taken out.
- Remote control, which allows users to change various settings like volume or memory/mode.
- Adaptive Care Mode, which eliminates the sounds that come when driving a car.
The Intelligent Assistant features that come with the Thrive App include the following:
- Thrive Assistant: answers questions users ask it, for example, ‘How do I adjust the volume?’.
- Translation: users can speak to others in different languages.
- Transcription: conversations can be transcribed to text on the user’s smartphone, and can be saved or shared.
- Siri Integration: enables texts and emails to be read to a user’s hearing aid device.
- Tap Control: users can stop or start audio streaming by tapping their ear twice.
- Self Check: users can analyze the performance of their hearing aid’s system.
- Find My Hearing Aids: allows users to track their hearing aids if they are misplaced, it provides a location and timestamp for more details.
- Hearing Care Anywhere: allows users to contact a hearing aid specialist to request any adjustments to their hearing aids.
- Reminders: users can also set reminders for various tasks or appointments.
Livio AI Hearing Aid Styles
The Livio AI is available in four hearing styles:
- In-the-Canal (ITC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
Picasso Hearing Aid
Picasso is a custom hearing aid that is compatible with Starkey Hearing Aids SurfLink products, which is a range of accessories that enhance media connectivity, various device streaming and wireless options, as well as device control settings, these include the following:
- SurfLink Mobile 2
- SurfLink Mini Mobile
- SurfLink Media 2
- SurfLink Remote
- SurfLink Remote Microphone 2
Other features included with the Picasso Hearing Aids are over 10 different sound adaptations and feedback management, for example, eliminating noises like buzzing or whistling, Tinnitus relief technology, and custom fits to individual ear sizes.
Picasso Hearing Aid Styles
The Picasso is available in four hearing styles:
- Invisible (IIC)
- Completely-in-Canal (CIC)
- In-the-Canal (ITC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
Starkey Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
The latest Starkey Hearing Aids come with a 30-Day Risk-Free Trial, and protection plans in the form of a Worry-Free Warranty that covers against loss, damages, or failure. Starkey Hearing Aid prices range between $1000 to $3000, however, users with private health insurance, Medicare, health savings plans, or Veteran status may be partially or fully covered for any hearing aid products or tests.
Where to Find Starkey Hearing Aids
All Starkey Hearing Aids can be found throughout the United States at various stores or clinic providers. These can be located via the Starkey website under the ‘Find a Provider’ option, which will indicate a map where users can search for their nearest store locations. Users can also contact a professional on a number provided on the website, or schedule an appointment.
Oticon Hearing Aids
About Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon Hearing Aids is a subsidiary brand of the Demant Group, which was founded in 1904 by Hans Demant, who helped his wife use her first hearing aid. The company specializes in the development, manufacturing, and supplying of hearing products and equipment.
Oticon Hearing Aids is a manufacturer of hearing aids that aims to provide a full range of hearing aid products and accessories suited to the needs of the users. Oticon is an international retailer; they have around 80 independent distributors and their products are sold through various companies that are located in around 20 countries.
Oticon Hearing Aids Products
There are over 8 Oticon Hearing Aid models on offer, in turn, each model has different styles and colors available. Styles are behind-the-ear (BTE) for a more discreet appearance, or in-the-ear (ITE) to appear more invisible. The hearing aids also suit different types of hearing loss that ranges from single-sided deafness, mild-to-severe, and severe-to-profound.
Oticon Opn S
The Oticon Opn S comes in four different styles, namely, miniRITE R, miniRITE, miniRITE T, and BTE PP, these are also all available in a variation of colors that suit different skin tones. These hearing aids assist users with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
A behind-the-ear style, it comes as rechargeable and is compatible with an iPhone, it has a push button that adjusts volume control and listening programs.
A behind-the-ear style and is made for use on an iPhone, it has a push button that adjusts volume control and listening programs.
A behind-the-ear style and is made for use on an iPhone, it has a push button that adjusts volume control and listening programs. It also includes a telecoil with looping systems that enhance sounds in public environments like churches or theatres.
A behind-the-ear style, however, the BTE PP is more robust in style as the speaker is in a protective casing behind the ear. This hearing aid is also made for use on an iPhone, and it has a push button that adjusts volume control and listening programs. It also includes a telecoil with looping systems that enhance sounds in public environments like churches or theatres.
The Oticon Xceed comes in two different styles (sharing many similar features) namely, Oticon Xceed SP and Oticon Xceed UP.
Oticon Xceed SP
A behind-the-ear style, the Xceed SP (Super Power) is suitable for severe-to-profound hearing loss. It has buttons to adjust volume and other sound controls, as well as 2.4 GHz wireless functions compatible with iPhones and FM. This hearing aid comes with an IP68 certification, which deems it resistant to dust and water. The SP comes with a 13-battery size.
Oticon Xceed UP
The Xceed UP (Ultra Power) is a behind-the-ear style, it is suitable for severe-to-profound hearing loss. It has buttons to adjust volume and other sound controls, as well as 2.4 GHz wireless functions compatible with iPhones and FM. This hearing aid comes with an IP68 certification, which deems it resistant to dust and water. The UP differs from the SP in that its battery size is a 675-battery, which gives it 80 to 250 hours of battery life, where the SP yields 75 to 115 hours.
The Oticon CROS, with 312-battery size, is designed for single-sided deafness, it pairs with an Oticon Hearing Aid, which makes it a Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) amplification system.
The CROS transmitter, placed in the ear with minimal hearing, will pick up sounds in the environment, and a receiving hearing aid, placed in the other ear, will pick up the sounds via NFMI (Near-Field Magnetic Induction) – Oticon’s TwinLink technology enables the connection between the transmitter and receiving hearing aid.
The Oticon CROS uses the OpenSound Navigator, which is able to pick up, adjust, and remove noises and sounds from the environment, it then transmits the sounds to the hearing aid. With a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth connection, users are able to listen to music and watch TV, as well as hear speaking in their environment.
Oticon Hearing Aids are compatible with smart devices like iPhones and Androids, and users can connect their devices via Bluetooth and access the Oticon ON App, which provides various settings like volume adjustments and tinnitus relief sounds. Included is the Genie 2 Fitting software that enables users to customize their hearing aids to suit their hearing needs, various features included are Personalization, which keeps track of the users listening environments, and any previous amplification experiences, as well as how users process various sounds or noises. It includes sound-demos that assist users when they go through the initial set-up process. Acoustics is a tool that assists the user to couple acoustics to their ears, which includes tubing, vent, and the earpiece. With Audiometric Data users can track and update audiometric parameters to have a suitable gain, this is applicable for children and adults, lastly, the Fitting tool allows users to adjust any audio features related to suitable fitting and gain (gain is related to the level of amplification in a hearing aid and refers to how a hearing aid increases a low level signal to a high level).
Oticon Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
Oticon Hearing Aids have different prices, and depending on the model, they can range between $1000 to $5000, however it is advised that users visit their nearest hearing aid clinic or store to find the exact price for the hearing aid that suits them, included in this will be all the necessary support and information regarding available warranties.
Where to Find Oticon Hearing Aids
Users can locate a hearing aid store or clinic near them by entering their address in the search bar provided on the Oticon website, this will direct them to various Oticon hearing aid providers across the United States. Oticon Hearing Aids do not provide the sales of hearings aids online or via mail order, they advise customers to visit their nearest store.
Costco Hearing Aids
About Costco Hearing Aids
Costco is one of the largest retailers in the US, providing a wide variety of products. After seeing the opportunity to make hearing aids more affordable for consumers, Costco has also become a private provider of hearing aids and accessories. Audiologists or hearing aid professionals are available for customers who are looking for hearing aids or accessories, as well as assistance for hearing aids tests, cleaning, and follow-up appointments.
Costco Hearing Aids Products
Costco offers a variety of hearing aid brands, namely the ReSound, Phonak, Philips, and Rexton models, however, the Kirkland Signature is their popular house brand (named after the brands headquarters in Kirkland, Washington). Although Costco is a leading retailer of hearing aids, they partner with companies like GN ReSound, Sivantos, and Sonova to manufacture them.
Costco’s Hearing Aids come in different styles to suit various levels of hearing loss:
- For mild to moderate hearing loss there are hearing aids that fit in the ear canal with a small part of it out the ear and completely in the canal that fits in the entire ear.
- For mild to moderately severe hearing loss there are Open Fit devices that are worn behind the ear where a thin tube connects to the ear.
- For mild to profound hearing loss devices are attached to custom-fitted ear molds and worn behind the ear.
- For mild to severe hearing loss there are custom-molded in the ear devices that fill out most of the outer ear and Bluetooth Capable devices that are worn behind the ear, also with a thin tube that connects to the ear to enable natural sounds.
Kirkland Signature 9.0
The latest Kirkland Signature 9.0 comes in a variety of colours to suit different skin tones, as well as a variety of features that assist with ease of use, connectivity, and performance. One of the primary features is Bluetooth connectivity, users can stream audio or watch television from any Bluetooth-enabled device, as well as receive incoming calls with the press of a button on the hearing aid device.
With the Easy Line Remote Smartphone App, downloadable from the App Store or Google Play, users can adjust the volume on their hearing aids (left or right done separately). They can change the programming manually and other settings to customize the functionality. There are three manual programs and nine automatic programs available on the hearing device, as well as 20 fine-tuning channels and 4 receiver power levels.
It comes with binaural signal processing, where there is wireless ear-to-ear coordination between the two hearing aids in each ear. Additionally, with directional microphones that have binaural beamforming users can better understand speech when they are in noisier surroundings.
There are various features not included in the Kirkland 9.0, namely that it is not rechargeable like other hearing aids, it does come with a telecoil attachment that will enable users to hear more customized sounds. There are no tinnitus features available, as well as no remote programmability, which requires users to visit the hearing aid specialist to program the hearing aid.
Additional features of the Kirkland 9.0 are, namely, a travel pouch and hard cover case, a cleaning cloth and brush for users to clean their hearing aids, and 10 zinc air batteries.
Rexton Hearing Aids from Costco
The Rexton Adore hearing aid brand has four different models available, namely, the Adore Styline, Adore LI, Adore iX, and Adore Custom, these range between $1,200 to $1,400. These include Bluetooth connectivity and various wireless accessories, included is Made-for-iPhone connectivity and My Voice technology, which processes the user’s voice differently to incoming speech from others.
Additional features of the Rexton models are, namely, rechargeable functions including an overnight charger, the Rexton Smart Transmitter 2.4 allowing users to stream television wirelessly, the Rexton Smart Mic, which allow users hands-free streaming of audio or phone calls, and lastly the Rexton Smart Key, which is a remote control that users can carry around with them to program their hearing aids.
Users can also use their smartphones as remote controls to adjust volume settings or various program settings. There are two Apps available to download, namely, the Rexton Connexx Smart Direct App and the Connexx Smart Remote App, these also allow users to control any other devices that they connect with via Bluetooth.
Costco Hearing Aids Costs and Warranties
Costco’s Kirkland Signature 9.0 is priced at $1,499.99 per pair, additionally, Costco offers a 3 Year Warranty coverage, which is a standard feature upon purchase, this also covers any repairs or replacements if needed. Included is a 2 Year Loss and Damage Warranty, with no deductible – this will replace one hearing aid per ear within the warranty period if so needed.
Other offerings provided are free product demonstrations, hearing tests, follow-up appointments that span the hearing aid’s lifetime, hearing aid cleaning, check-ups, as well as programming adjustments. When a customer’s hearing aid is ready to use it will also be programmed, using real-ear measurement, specifically to their hearing loss needs.
This model is best suited to users who are looking for more cost-effective hearing aid devices as they are slightly below the cost of more advanced hearing aids that are available from clinics.
Where to Find Costco Hearing Aids
Costco Hearing Aids can be found at any Costco Wholesale store, customers can also search for a specific location on the Costco website. However, before customers visit the store they can fill in a Member Intake form that includes their Medical History, Hearing History, Hearing Needs Assessment, Medical Considerations for Hearing Aid Fitting, and other personal details, as well as a Member Journal that keeps a record of follow-up appointments and the progression of their hearing. The journal also provides information and tips about using hearing aids and what to expect from them. Customers can make a phone call to Costco’s Hearing Aid department to schedule a hearing test to determine what hearing aid will be best.
How to Avoid Scams When Buying Hearing Aids
Purchasing a hearing aid takes time, as it requires a process of reviewing which product will best suit a user’s hearing loss needs, the price of a hearing aid is also a contributing factor to the decision-making process – costs can reach into thousands of dollars, and this includes what style the hearing aid is and if it comes with added features.
In addition to the decision-making process, purchasing a hearing aid is not the same as purchasing any item from a store, there are guidelines and regulations that need to be covered before any purchase can be made. The hearing aid industry is regulated by two governing bodies, namely, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates the manufacturing and selling of hearing aids, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which regulates inaccurate information and malpractices through sales or advertising.
Hearing Aids Scams
Before purchasing a hearing aid there needs to be due diligence in choosing where it is bought, how it is packaged, and what the price is. Many who suffer from hearing loss are vulnerable targets and have a higher chance of being scammed. There are common scams to be aware of before buying a hearing aid, namely, sales pressure, mail-orders, and short trial periods.
Avoid Sales Pressure
When a customer consults with a hearing aid sales professional about purchasing a hearing aid the first consideration to be aware of is if they seem too rushed to get the sale through and if they sell a hearing aid product at a very low price. A legitimate sales professional will spend time with the customer and assist with all the aspects that are required when fitting, testing, and buying a hearing aid.
Customers can also make sure that the sales professional has all the necessary paperwork as per FDA requirements, this includes instruction brochures about hearing aid use and care, where consumers can repair and maintain their hearing aids, and related laws to sales and warranties, which might be state specific. A good indicator that it is not a potential scam is if the salesperson conveys a considerate and patient demeanour and answers all the customer’s questions and queries.
Avoid Mail Orders
All ear sizes and hearing loss needs are different, and consumers need to be aware of online advertisements that try to sell hearing aids. Some states prohibit mail orders as these do not comply with the standard rules and guidelines when purchasing hearing aids. As per the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) regulations, hearing aid sales professionals need a written statement from a licensed physician that the customer, or patient, has been medically evaluated to be able to use a hearing aid (within 6 months).
Other drawbacks from online orders are that they come without the necessary fitting, adjustment and testing procedures done with a hearing aid professional in store, which can often range over several consultations. Additionally, customers won’t receive any guidance or advice that comes from an in-person visit.
Avoid Short Trial Periods
Hearing aid trial periods are important for consumers to fully test the product before they consider buying it, this includes testing the features and making adjustments to the sounds and functions. Trial periods are required to be around 30 to 60 days by most states, although some hearing aid specialists adhere to these requirements when some states do not require it. When buying hearing aid devices customers need to check the length of the trial period and avoid all purchases that offer trial periods for less than 30 days.
Guidelines on Buying a Hearing Aid: What to Look Out For
While awareness of potential scams is important, knowledge of what to look out for in terms of regulations and procedures is equally important. Knowing what a Purchase Agreement needs to contain will avoid any dishonest procedures.
The Federal Trade Commision (FTA) stipulates that any hearing aid contract, or Purchase Agreement, needs to include the following information.
The trial period needs to fall between 30 to 60 days, which is required by most states, and not regulated by the federal government. When considering a hearing aid purchase the user can specify regulations specific to their state.
It’s also important that the refund policy stipulates how much of the costs will be refunded when the hearing aid is returned within the trial period, this needs to be included in the purchase agreement.
There are various considerations to take into account concerning warranties, these include the following:
- What is the timeframe of the warranty?
- Can the warranty be extended?
- Are maintenance and repairs covered?
- Is the warranty fulfilled by the manufacturer or by the licensed hearing health care practitioner, or authorized seller?
- Are there any implied warranties?
Users need to ensure specification of available loaner hearing aids in the event that their hearing aid needs repairs or servicing.
Full Price Disclaimer
The full price disclaimer will ensure that there is a record of everything that is included for the specified price – users can form a list that included all the items, namely, the hearing aid devices, accessories, any services that include fittings, maintenance, follow-up appointments, and any other necessary additions. Additionally, customers need to keep a record of any verbal quotes and guarantees made by any hearing aid sales professional.
Before purchasing a hearing aid, consumers will benefit from looking for a trustworthy hearing aid provider; they can ask their doctor or an audiologist for advice, friends and family may have referrals, and online reviews of various hearing aid sales professionals or retailers will give more clarity of choice. Furthermore, consumers can search for the specific hearing aid device name or company online (usually companies have extensive websites) or they can consult with state license or certification boards for any records of unsatisfactory services or products. Consumers can safeguard themselves by making a checklist of any questions to ask their hearing aid provider once they have chosen their desired product.
The hearing aid brands presented above, namely, NANO, Phonak, ReSound, Signia, Starkey, Oticon, and Costco Hearing Aids all have their individual features and specified models that are suited to the most common forms of hearing loss, namely, age-related, exposure to loud noises, or other causes. All the above hearing aids also come with a wide range of accessories and capabilities that takes a user’s hearing to the next level. Hearing aid devices have become more than just a small piece of plastic to put it one’s ear, it is now able to connect to a user’s smart device through wireless functions like Bluetooth, as well as various downloadable apps, which allow users to adjust not just volume, but programming options that tailor the device to the user’s specific hearing loss needs.
Most of these hearing aid devices share many similarities and offer reasonable packages that come at affordable prices, including placing the needs of the customer first by adhering to state regulations pertaining to how it’s sold and administered, however the NANO hearing aid brand stands out among its customers as a favourite.
According to reviews, it’s not only the younger generation, but also the senior generation, that thoroughly enjoy using NANO hearing aids, with a myriad of hearing aid options out there one would wonder what NANO has to offer. Many customers find that NANO hearing aids are easy to use because of the simplicity of the set up procedure, which can often be a complex process especially if users are not familiar with hearing aid devices and its related technologies. Additionally, adjusting a hearing aid device to the surrounding environment and controlling volume settings is easy to do with a NANO hearing device.
Although many hearing aid companies have an online presence via a website where customers can view different models available or make appointments for a visit, the NANO hearing aid website is easy to use and navigate, it allows users to clearly find the information they are looking for, there are numerous reviews with positive customer service feedback.
The hearing aid market is worth billions of dollars, and many users are thwarted by the costly prices, especially if they do not have medical insurance to cover it. Prices range between $1000 to $5000. When considering NANO hearing aids, they offer various Buy 1 Get 1 Free sales offers, additionally, when other companies doubled their prices, NANO kept their prices the same, while maintaining their quality (as per a customer review).
When it comes to purchasing a hearing aid device everyone’s needs will be as different as their ear sizes, and customers will never be at a loss when finding a hearing aid that suits all their needs. There will always be hearing aid providers available to contact and schedule appointments with, however, it’s choosing a provider that will have an all-in-one product offer that consists of good quality, affordable prices, and ease of use, which is why NANO hearing aids are considered a favorite among many.
Story by Virginia Sagal