Over the past few years, Hearing Tracker has helped thousands of people find high-quality hearing help they need. Browse the latest hearing aid models from the world’s best hearing aid manufacturers. Read reviews from verified hearing aid customers, and narrow your search by brand or keyword. Before making your final decision, be sure to read our report on the cost of hearing aids, and don’t forget to consult a local hearing professional.
Top 10 Hearing Aids
About Hearing Aid Reviews
Hearing aid reviews are fundamentally different from reviews for most other consumer electronic products. The reason is that individual factors, such as the degree of hearing loss and speech recognition ability, can have a profound effect on one’s success and overall satisfaction with the hearing aids. To help illustrate the difference, let’s take a look at two example scenarios, one for general consumer electronics, and one for hearing aids.
Consumer Electronic Review Scenario
Bob and Steve both purchase a new pair of Sony headphones. Bob and Steve both have normal hearing and are on even ground when it comes to evaluating the sound quality of the headphones. Bob has a slightly bigger head and gives the Sony headphones 5 stars on Amazon because they’re a perfect fit for him, and he loves the sound quality. Steve also loves the sound quality but finds the headphones slightly loose on his smaller head. He only gives the headphones 4 stars.
As you can see, there are individual factors with any consumer electronics. Bob’s larger head size made the Sony headphones a perfect fit. Now, let’s take a look at the hearing aid review scenario:
Hearing Aid Review Scenario
Bob and Steve both suffer from hearing loss. Bob has a severe hearing loss while Steve has only mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Bob and Steve are both fitted with the new Resound LiNX Quattro hearing aids by the same hearing provider, and both have textbook perfect hearing aid fittings. Bob and Steve both report a good physical fit and no discomfort while wearing their hearing aids.
Steve sees a dramatic improvement in his hearing with the new hearing aids, and streamlines right back into the social scene he’s been missing. He gives the hearing aid 5 stars. Bob, with his severe hearing loss, sees a definite improvement in his hearing, but still misses about half of what people are saying, and can’t hear the soft-spoken, or the television, very well. He gives the LiNX Quattro only 3 stars.
Same Fit and Performance. Different Outcome.
In the example above, the hearing aid is fitted and performing perfectly for both Bob and Steve, but Steve achieves a more perfect hearing outcome since he has a better hearing, to begin with. Due to the inherent limitations of more severe forms of hearing loss, Bob cannot possibly achieve the same result. While he has been counseled by his hearing provider about these limitations, he still feels the hearing aids are imperfect, and his hearing aid review reflects that concern.
Only the names in this example are hypothetical. In my years in clinical practice, I have seen this scenario play out again and again, with satisfaction varying wildly for the same exact products, and a clear pattern of greater satisfaction in patients with milder forms of hearing loss.
Are You Rating the Product or the Provider?
To muddy the waters further, imagine now that Bob and Steve both have the exact same hearing loss, both purchase the same LiNX Quattro hearing aids, but are each fitted by a different hearing provider. If Bob’s hearing provider is superior to Steve’s, Bob will likely achieve a better result with his LiNX Quattro and report greater satisfaction with the product.
This is possibly the single most important bias to keep in mind when reading hearing aid reviews. Many argue (and I agree) that comprehensive hearing care is the most important factor in achieving a good outcome with hearing aids – even above the product itself.
Why Hearing Aid Reviews Still Matter
When purchasing a hearing aid, you’ll need to consider more than just your hearing outcome. Hearing aids are manufactured with varying levels of quality; some hearing aids are extremely durable, while others suffer frequent breakage. Battery life also varies between models, and manufacturer predictions of battery life are often optimistic. By collecting feedback from consumers, we can get a better idea of real-world product durability and battery life.
Technology reliability and accessory functionality are other areas where consumer feedback can be useful. Are the manual controls on the hearing aid working consistently? Does your phone maintain a persistent Bluetooth pairing with your Made for iPhone hearing aid? Does your remote control work every time you press a button, or are there some inconsistencies. Do your synchronized hearing aids always change volume and program setting together? Does your remote microphone maintain a steady connection?
Factors to Focus On
When reading through hearing aid reviews and looking at product ratings, here are some suggestions on product factors to focus on:
- Hearing aid manufacturing quality, durability, and water resistance
- Battery size and battery life
- Wireless connectivity options and consistency of connections
- Availability and consistency of accessories and manual controls
These types of issues have been reported by many users on Hearing Tracker. Knowing about product limitations ahead of time can help establish realistic expectations or help avoid bad products completely.