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Top 5 Hearing Aids of 2019

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Top 5 Hearing Aids of 2019

Is it worth upgrading your hearing aids yet? It depends on what you buy. 2019 has brought some significant advances in hearing aid technology, other hearing aid makes have barely improved in years. Here is a breakdown so we can help you know which is which.

Winner - Oticon Opn S1

For 2017 and 2018, the predecessor of this aid, the Oticon Opn1 was considered by many to be the best hearing aid on the market. In March 2019 they brought out the next generation, the Oticon Opn S1. It's even better.

Improvements over the original Opn1

  • Better hearing in background noise.
  • More natural sound, easier to pick up speech.
  • Feedback canceller is amazing, completely stops feedback.
  • Decent integrated rechargeable battery

Any reasons not to buy?

  • No custom in-ear options. (however, the original Opn1 does have)
  • Rechargeable option is expensive

In our opinion Oticon's Opn S1 gives you one of the most powerful platforms on the market.  With an upgrade OpenSound Navigator and its impressive processing speed – we predict this hearing aid will be hard to beat.

£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

5 year warranty included.  Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.

Oticon OpnS Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

5 year warranty included.  Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.

Oticon OpnS Full Range

Second place - Starkey Livio i2400 AI

Starkey win second place for pure innovation and for providing great product support and improvements since the Livio launched. The Livio AI is the only hearing aid to feature a variety of other sensors and functions from foreign language translators to heart rate monitors. As of November 2019 they have added more Bluetooth options for Android smartphone users.

So, what's good?

  • Big improvement over the previous Starkey IQ range.
  • As with the winner, the OpnS1 the sound quality and background noise reduction are excellent, if not quite as good as the Oticon.
  • Good customer care, repairs to hearing aids are normally turned around very quickly.

Why not to buy?  The AI model is a lot more expensive, make sure you will get good use out of the extra features.

£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

Rechargeable version is an additional £100 per aid.

Starkey Livio Full Range

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC

Rechargeable version is an additional £100 per aid.

Starkey Livio Full Range

Third place - Signia Silk 7nx

The Signia Silk is a "modular CIC", meaning a completely in the canal hearing aid, very hard to see on most people. It does not need to be custom made to the shape of the ear and does not block the ear canal in the same way either. The beauty of this hearing aid is really down to the great design which allows those who require an open fitting to still wear a CIC. You might have been told that you can't wear an in-ear hearing aid. The good news here is that you might be able to wear this one.

So, what's good?

  • Same great quality processing as you get in the behind the ear Signia 7Nx hearing aids.
  • They have a CROS system. People with this type of hearing loss cannot usually get discreet in-ear aids.
  • Comfortable and open fitting CIC

Why not to buy?  This hearing aid isn't suitable for everybody, please contact us as we would need to check your ear canal shape.

£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range

In the Ear
Fitting Styles: IIC

5 Year Warranty Included

Signia Insio / Silk Nx Full Range

Notable runner up - Widex Evoke 440 Passion

Nobody wants style over substance, but style over features that you don't need? That seems like a fair trade. The Widex Evoke 440 is a great aid and the main form factor, the "Fusion2" has all of the features, Bluetooth, machine learning, rechargeable option. However if you don't need these then the much smaller "Passion" shape is a good pick.

So, what's good?

  • Smallest RIC on the market
  • Arguable the most attractive RIC on the market.
  • Has most of the features of the Evoke 440 range including a very natural sound quality.

Why not to buy?  If you want Bluetooth and don't like changing the battery every four days (on average).

£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range

Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC  

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.

Widex Evoke Full Range

Notable runner up - Phonak Marvel M90 2.0

The Phonak Marvel M90 has been a popular aid since they first launched in 2018, however there have always been missing features that have caused consternation. Now they have essentially re-launched the Marvel as Marvel 2.0 and added these missing features in.

So, what's good?

  • All original Marvel aids can be upgraded for free, simply take it to your audiologist and they will do a "firmware upgrade" which will change it to the Marvel 2.0.
  • They can now be paired to two Bluetooth devices which fixes the problem of having to re-pair the aids every time you wanted to use a second device.
  • They now have Roger compatibility - Roger is a system of accessories mainly aimed at those with severe losses.

Why not to buy?

Core processing has still not been improved. Same processing and noise reduction systems that they have been using since 2015 mean that for people with high requirements Phonak have been eclipsed by better aids with more current technology.

£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair
Tech Rating:
£1595
per aid
£2695
per pair

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.

Phonak Marvel Full Range

 

Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE

5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.

Phonak Marvel Full Range

3 Best Hearing Aids Under 1.2K

Bernafon Zerena 1

This hearing aid has a Channelfree system, which means it is the best core technology for this price point.

Starkey Muse IQ i1000

This hearing aid is old technology now, but still good value for a basic aid.

Unitron Tempus 500

Another hearing aid with old technology and therefore set at a reduced price, but far better than the older North 500.  The main difference between this and the new Discover range is only the rechargeable battery. 

Written by Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA).

In Depth Summary

Oticon Opn S1

Before this model’s release the Opn1 was quite an unrivalled example of innovative hearing aid technology.  Opn S1 is simply more powerful, more flexible and – well – even better.  With an improved Velox S platform it takes the “open sound experience to the next level” that mirrors normal hearing. 

What else makes this hearing aid so good?  It is successful in analysing the changes in your environment at an impressive 56,000 per second.  Then there's the OpenSound Optimiser which gives you up to 6 more decibels of gain without feedback and up to 30% more speech cues.  That’s better than your brain! 

In our opinion Oticon's Opn S1 gives you one of the most powerful platforms on the market.  With an upgraded OpenSound Navigator and its impressive processing speed – we predict this hearing aid will be hard to beat.

The Oticon Opn S Range:

  • Opn S1
  • Opn S2
  • Opn S3

Starkey Livio i2400 AI

As we know hearing is tricky to replicate.  We experience a rainbow of sound every single day from all sources and directions.  We absorb layers of this sound constantly and when we have hearing loss the focus on those layers is cloudy.

Livio AI has an innovative solution, called Hearing Reality - your ear's answer to virtual reality.  With high speed and definition computer processing, you can gain from focus and natural hearing.

But, the real plug here is the hearing aid's artificial intelligence and integrated sensors that welcomes the start of a hearing revolution.  The world's first hearing aid with AI is able to not only deliver outstanding sound, but tracks the wearers mental and physical health too.

Widex Evoke 440 Passion

What makes this model stand out is the fact that it learns and is inspired by you every day.  The quality of your hearing experience evolves organically in real-time. Widex also refined the wearer experience with Evoke.  Giving you uncomplicated control of your hearing aids.  In simple terms, your hearing aids will develop a deeper understanding of your lifestyle as you use them.  So, today's experience will be even better tomorrow.

Once you see past all the technology and intelligence of Evoke, it is aesthetically pleasing - the real reason why this model is on our 2019 list.  With its new stylish shape, it is probably the most attractive and smallest RIC on the market.  The only negatives here is the lack of Bluetooth and Machine Learning.  That being said, a far better example of technology than its predecessors Belong and Unique.

The Widex Evoke Range:

  • Widex Evoke 440
  • Widex Evoke 330
  • Widex Evoke 220
  • Widex Evoke 110

Signia Silk 7Nx

The beauty of this hearing aid is really down to the great design which allows those who require an open fitting to still wear a CIC. You might have been told that you can't wear an ITE hearing aid. The good news here is you might be able to wear this one.

People love this hearing aid for its practicality.  You can simply walk out with it.  Due to the flexible nature of Silk's silicone sleeves there is no tailoring needed.  No waiting and no adjustments - just a fast and discrete hearing solution.

The Signia Silk Range:

  • Silk 7Nx
  • Silk 5Nx
  • Silk 3Nx

Phonak Marvel M90

We've mentioned this hearing aid as since they were launched in 2018 they have been very popular amongst our patients. They seem to tick a lot of boxes for most like being reliable, practical and offering Android users direct streaming to their hearing aids without additional Bluetooth accessories. They are pleasing on the eye, have a great rechargeable version (new for 2019) and are pretty simple to use.

Phonak have also improved their Marvel range slightly this year  They added a new rechargeable RIC and BTE design that can be connected to a mould or slim tube.  But, the main change probably was the Roger accessories compatibility which patients did miss in this range.  This new technology refurbishment was called the Marvel 2.0. 

Another positive to the Marvel 2.0 is that even if you bought the older model a year before - you can still get your hearing aids updated.  All patients need to do is visit their audiologist and they can implement the new software.  With no need to buy the new and improved model you can walk away with an advanced Marvel 2.0 instrument. 

The Phonak Marvel Range:

  • Marvel M90
  • Marvel M70
  • Marvel M50
  • Marvel M30

Below are all the hearing aids mentioned in this article

Oticon Opn S 1

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£3295
per pair
View
Signia Logo

Signia Silk 7Nx

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2695
per pair
View

Starkey Livio 2400 AI

Tech rating:
£1895
per aid
£3495
per pair
View
Widex Logo

Widex Evoke 440

Tech rating:
£1695
per aid
£2895
per pair
View
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