| Published on 07/01/2020 | Updated on 21/07/2020
2019 brought us a whole year of innovative hearing aid technology and many ‘world first’s’ to the industry, but what else did 2019 bring to the hearing aid industry?
We saw the increase of acknowledging the profoundly deaf with super and ultra-power aids, with the launch of Bernafon’s Leox and Oticon’s Xceed. Promoting the positive message that power aid users are also wanting to benefit from great features and technology. It also introduced power aid users to 360-degree sound, OpenSound Navigator and True Environment Processing.
Starkey launched their Livio AI, a ‘healthable’ hearing aid built with artificial intelligence and Oticon were praised for their OPN S model – offering an even better alternative to their already successful Opn. We were also quite impressed with the arrival of Signia’s Styletto Connect, which targeted the eradication of stigma and attitudes towards hearing aids with its super stylish design and jamming it with great technology.
2019 seemed to rise to demands and got us all excited about the future of hearing solutions again. It truly felt the year that made the industry evolve into one that is more inclusive and, more importantly, one that listened and responded to the consumer’s wants and needs.
What should we be expecting from 2020? In all honesty, we've only seen a handful of new launches, which have raised the bar in many categories. It will interesting to see what else is in the bag for the rest of the year. However, what it does show is that this year is showing promise.
There is talk of a more successful Bluetooth technology, which may be the advance needed that will deal with some of the complaints surrounding Bluetooth within hearing aids. Plus – if the rumours are true – then it may be the digital answer to telecoils and loop systems. Connecting hearing and Bluetooth devices to PA systems instantly and seamlessly.
2020 is already bringing in some extraordinary hearing aid technology - but what makes our top list for 2019 and 2020? Below is Hearing Aid UK's Top 5 Hearing Aids of 2019 / 2020 to inspire you. Watch this space for updates!
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.
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.
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.
Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC
5 year warranty included. Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.Oticon OpnS Full Range
Starkey wins 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 all smartphone users, especially Android.
Why not to buy? The AI model is a lot more expensive, make sure you will get good use out of the extra features.
Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, RIC, ITE, ITC
Edge model / rechargeable version is an additional £100 per aidStarkey Livio Full Range
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.
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.
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.
Why not to buy? If you want Bluetooth and don't like changing the battery every four days (on average).
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
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.
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.
Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITE
5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.Phonak Marvel Full Range
This hearing aid has a Channelfree system, which means it is the best core technology for this price point.
This hearing aid is old technology now, but still good value for basic aid.
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.
What to expect for 2020? - Read this article
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.
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 of 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.
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 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.
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.
Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.