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What are the top hearing aid brands?

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 14th May 2020 in: Latest News, Articles
Hearing Aid Brands Explained

Hearing Aid Brands

What are the best hearing aid brands?

We understand how challenging it can be to find a hearing aid especially if you've never worn a hearing aid or even if you have and are looking to upgrade.  Before you embark on this journey it is important for you to spend some time researching hearing loss, your local audiologist, hearing care services, the different hearing aids available and familiarising yourself with the hearing aid brands in the industry.  But, what are the best hearing aid brands?  What is their history?  Let's take a look...

Comparison of hearing aid brands

In this article, we focus on the main hearing aid brands in the audiology industry, a little bit about their history, the technology they provide and how they compare to each other.  You may be wondering why researching hearing aid brands are an important part of your hearing loss journey and hearing aid process.  The simple answer to this is that each hearing aid brand displays technical innovation in different ways.  What one hearing aid brand has to offer in terms of technology, style, hearing experience, connectivity and features - might not include the right hearing aid for you and your hearing loss.

When researching hearing aids - looking at both the hearing aid brand and the devices they offer is crucial to narrowing down the list of potential hearing solutions.  However, after your hearing test, your audiologist will look at your results from your audiogram and advise what hearing aids will benefit you the most.  This will be determined by the level of hearing loss, amplification needed, your lifestyle, expectations, connectivity required and what features you might need.

List of hearing aid brands

At a glance, here are the hearing aid brands in the industry:

  • Phonak
  • Oticon
  • Resound
  • Widex
  • Signia (formerly known as Siemens)
  • Bernafon
  • Starkey
  • Unitron
  • Audio Service


Hearing aid brand Phonak

This hearing aid brand was founded in Switzerland in 1947 and belongs to the Sonova Group, who also own Unitron.  Another interesting fact - Sonova also owns the majority shareholding of Boots Hearingcare.  Currently, Phonak are the biggest manufacturers of hearing aids worldwide.

Phonak's company mission has always been to create hearing devices that improve the quality of life and reduce the limitations of hearing loss.  Phonak pride themselves in offering innovation, a variety of models, style and advanced hearing aids for children.  Therefore, offering a choice of makes, models for all ages, all levels of hearing loss and individual preferences.

Phonak are also the first hearing aid brand to launch the world's first Bluetooth streaming hearing aid from any Bluetooth device directly without the need for a go-between streamer accessory.  Previously, it was only iPhone users that could access this connectivity.  Praise was given to Phonak for this, as over 80% of the world own Android smartphones.  Therefore, those with hearing loss who had an Android phone missed out on this beneficial connectivity.

Phonak's main hearing aid technology features:

  • Binaural Voicestream:  Bi-directional audio streaming in real-time.  Allowing hearing aid wearers to concentrate on one voice.  Ensuring less noise and improved speech understanding in challenging environments.
  • AutoSense OS:  Assists environment transitions - Adjusting volume, programme and noise reduction according to your soundscape.
  • SoundRecover:  Receiving and reducing the frequency of high-frequency sounds.  This is particularly beneficial to those with a high level of hearing loss, as older hearing aid models couldn't help sound clarity even when the volume was turned up on the devices.

Phonak's hearing aid technology levels

The hearing aid technology levels are named 90, 70, 50 and 30.  The higher the number, the higher the technology level and the more expensive.

Understanding Phonak models

Each model in the Phonak ranges has different names.  These are Nano (invisible in the ear), Virto (in the ear), Audeo (tiny behind the ear), Bolero (behind the ear) and Naida (the power behind the ear).

Interesting Phonak facts:

  1. Roughly 3 Phonak hearing aids are fitted every minute.
  2. Phonak is represented in over 100 countries.
  3. They have over 45 years of pediatric experience.
  4. They collaborate with 20,000 audiology professionals in all their research projects.

Phonak's top hearing aid models

  1. Phonak Marvel M90
  2. Phonak Virto Black M90 
  3. Phonak Virto B-Titanium 90
  4. Phonak Virto M-Titanium 90

Hearing aid brand Oticon

This hearing aid brand is owned by Danish company Demant A/S - who also own Bernafon and hearing aid retailer Hidden HearingOticon is one of the world's leaders in hearing aid innovation and was founded in 1904 by one man's dedication to improving his wife's hearing loss.  Ever since then their motto has always been 'people first'.

Their most praised hearing aid would be the Opn S - which builds on the already brilliant model, the Opn.

Oticon's main hearing aid technology features:

  • Velox Processing Platform:  Providing 50x faster data processing that's needed to make sense of changing conversations in public places.  Balancing voice sources and taking away the noise between the words you want to focus on.
  • BrainHearing Technology:  360 degree sound scanning that improves how the brain processes the sound you hear in real-time.  Therefore, helping the ear to send healthier sounds to the brain.
  • Oticon ON App:  Allows connectivity with the 'internet of things' with your hearing aids and your light, alarm and thermostat controls.

Oticon hearing aid technology levels

The technical specification for each range is labelled as 1, 2 and 3 - with 1 being the highest level.

Oticon's top hearing aid models

  1. Oticon OpnS 1
  2. Oticon Opn 1

Hearing aid brand Resound

This Danish hearing aid brand is part of the GN Group (Great Nordic) who used to trade as GN Resound.  They were the original innovators of the first open fitting hearing aids and 'made for iPhone' hearing aids.  Resound have consistently lead the industry in terms of technology, which is mainly due to them having over 147 years experience in the audiology world.  Their main focus continues to bring consumers a natural and realistic experience, along with the connectivity that is expected in this modern, fast-paced world.

Resound's main hearing aid technology features:

  • Binaural Directionality III:  An ear-to-ear connection that ensures a better-balanced sound for the device wearer.
  • Tinnitus Technology:  A large percentage of those with hearing loss have some degree of tinnitus.  Resound tend to include a collection of tinnitus sounds - helping to manage symptoms.
  • Resound Assist:  This enables you to adjust your hearing aid settings and receive updates using your Smart 3D app on your smartphone.

Resound's hearing aid technology levels

This hearing aid brand has six technology levels.  These being 9, 7, 5, 4, 3 and 2.  The higher the number the greater the technology.

Resound's top hearing aid models

Hearing aid brand Widex

Widex are a Danish hearing aid brand founded in 1956 by Christian Topholm and Erik Westermann, as a family business.  In 2019 they merged with Sivantos and together they are known as WS Audiology.  However, they still remain separate, as both manufacturers have different philosophies and offer unique products to consumers.

They remain one of the industry's leaders in hearing aid innovation and now manufacture hearing aids in over 100 countries.  Widex's main focus is providing those with hearing loss the ability to differentiate between background noise and conversation easily, in all challenging environments.  

Interesting facts about Widex

  • In 1995 they created the first digital ITE hearing aid.
  • In 2008 they launched the smallest RIC hearing aid.
  • In 2010 they launched the first hearing aid specifically designed for babies.
  • In 2018 they designed the first hearing aid that used machine learning.

Widex's main hearing aid technology features

  • Machine Learning:  Enabling you to access a form of artificial intelligence that analyses information and experience of common environments.  Therefore, the hearing aids make improvements to how you hear sound in various hearing situations, which is based on the adjustments you have made in the past.
  • Fluid Sound Analyser:  Gain from automatic adjustments in response to challenging soundscapes.  Such things as distinguishing between speech and surrounding sound more fluidly.
  • Z-Power Rechargeability:  Widex uses the largest energy capacity of 312 batteries.  These perform 20% better than other rechargeable versions.

Widex's hearing aid technology levels

Widex label their hearing aid technology levels as 440, 330, 220 and 110.  440 being the highest technical specification.

Widex's top hearing aid models


Hearing aid brand Signia

Signia's hearing aid brand legacy started as Siemens in 1978 by Werner Von Siemens.  He designed an enhanced telephone receiver for people who have hearing loss to better understand conversations on the phone.  

Siemens was purchased by the Sivanto Group in 2015 and chose to rebrand Siemen's as Signia.  Before this, Siemens was renowned for making average hearing aids, but now with this collaboration - they are creating better hearing aids and more advanced technology for their consumers.

Signia's main hearing aid technology features

  • Own Voice Processing (OVP):  Enabling the wearer to reproduce the most natural-sounding own voice when hearing aids are worn.
  • TwinPhone:  The hearing aids will stream phone conversations in both ears allowing for a better hearing experience when using the phone.
  • HD Music:  An advanced technology that adapts your hearing aid's configurations in different musical soundscapes.

Signia's hearing aid technology levels

Signia's technology levels in all their ranges are named 7, 5 and 3 - 7 being the greater technology.

Signia's top hearing aid models

  1. Signia Xperience 7X
  2. Signia Styletto Connect 7Nx
  3. Signia Silk 7Nx

Hearing aid brand Bernafon

Bernafon was founded by Hans Gfeller in Switzerland in 1946.  This hearing aid brand is currently sold in 70 countries worldwide and is a part of the Demant Group - who also own hearing aid brands Oticon and Sonic.  Their hearing devices are famous for providing natural sound to the wearer without great expense.

Bernafon Viron

Bernafon's main hearing aid technology features

  • DECS:  This technology ensures that the wearer always hears better.  Changing listening settings and giving more control to the wearer quicker and easier than ever before.
  • Dynamic Feedback Canceller:  Their fastest ever feedback cancellation technology.
  • ChannelFree:  Gives the wearer full use of audio signals without the need for numerous channels.  Resulting in a seamless and natural sound every time.

Bernafon's hearing aid technology levels

9, 7, 5, 3 and 1 - the higher the number the greater the technical specification.

Bernafon's top hearing aid models

  1. Bernafon Viron 9
  2. Bernafon Zerena 9

Hearing aid brand Starkey

This hearing aid brand is the only American one, as three out of the six big come from Denmark - their HQ is based in Minnesota, USA.  They are also privately owned by the Texan billionaire, Bill Austin.  In recent years, Starkey has established themselves as one of the hearing aid brands that have shown great innovation in both technology and design. 

The story of Starkey began in 1963 when Harold Starkey first opened his workshop before Bill Austin bought the brand in 1967.  They are also famous for their charitable work - establishing their Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1984 to support those with hearing loss and providing over 1 million people around the world with hearing aids.

Starkey Livio Edge AI

Starkey's main hearing aid technology features

  • Hearing Reality:  Their Livio AI hearing aid range was the first to include Hearing Reality.  Your ear's answer to virtual reality and ultimate control.  Hearing Reality uses ultra-fast speed and definition processing software.  This software can contain, separate and support the wearer's soundscape by concentrating the multiple layers of sound for a more natural hearing experience.
  • Thrive Hearing App:  When used with Starkey's Livio AI the Thrive app gives wearers more control over their hearing aids.  You can collect, store your health data and access a great range of services with your smartphone.
  • Multiflex Technology:  This feature is beneficial to those who suffer from tinnitus, as it supports and helps you manage conversations in front of you.

Starkey's hearing aid technology levels

1000, 1200, 1600, 2000 and 2400 being the highest specification.

Starkey's top hearing aid models

  1. Starkey Livio Edge AI 2400
  2. Starkey Livio AI 2400

Hearing aid brand Unitron

This hearing aid brand founded in 1964, is owned by the Swiss company - Sonova and based in Canada's 'Silicone Valley' in Ontario.  Sonova also owns Phonak and the majority shareholding of Boots Hearingcare.  In effect, Unitron is the cheaper alternative to Phonak hearing aids, as they are a part of the same company.  Very similar to Volkswagen and Audi.  Unitron has always worked closely with health professionals and academics to better understand what hearing experience consumers want and need. 

Interesting Unitron facts:

  1. Unitron won a Red Dot design award in 2017 for one for the smallest ever wireless receiver-in-canal hearing aid, the Moxi Now. 
  2. In 1980 they became the world's leader in behind-the-ear devices (BTE) for those who suffered from severe to profound hearing loss.
  3. These Canadian hearing aids can be found in over 70 countries in the world.

Unitron Discover

Unitron's main hearing aid technology features

  • Flex Upgrade:  If your hearing needs change over the course of your hearing aid you can upgrade to a greater technology instead of purchasing a new hearing device for a small fee.
  • Log it All:  Using real-world data from your common soundscape you can now show your audiologist your hearing experience in various environments.  They can then adapt your hearing aid settings to suit these needs so that all your hearing environments are more comfortable and clear.

Unitron's hearing aid technology levels

800, 700, 600, 500 and 9, 7, 5 and 3.  The higher the number, the greater the technology.

Unitron's top hearing aid models

  1. Unitron Discover 9
  2. Unitron Tempus 9 / Tempus Pro

Hearing aid brand Audio Service

Founded in 1977, the Lohne-based hearing aid brand's focused has always been to service orientation and provide innovation to its consumers.  Audio Service was also the first hearing aid brand to produce custom hearing in Germany.

Audio Service Mood

Hearing aid brands and prices

Phonak hearing aids start from £695 | View Pricelist

Oticon hearing aids start from £625 | View Pricelist

Resound hearing aids start from £495 | View Pricelist

Widex hearing aids start from £345 | View Pricelist

Signia hearing aids start from £695 | View Pricelist

Bernafon hearing aids start from £445 | View Pricelist

Starkey hearing aids start from £695 | View Pricelist

Unitron hearing aids start from £595 | View Pricelist

Audio Service hearing aids - Please call for pricelist free on 0800 567 7621

Ratings on hearing aid brands

We always publish our hearing aid prices of all our hearing aid brands we offer.  You can also see what rating each hearing aid has been awarded for reference, which you might find useful.  View our full hearing aid price list here.

Reviews on hearing aid brands

You can find some of the latest reviews on hearing aid brands and products within our customer reviews here.


Read Next:  Hearing Aid Types

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Hearing Aid Advisor
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