Q. I have used hearing aids for over 20 years and have had mixed success with four different brands. What are the big differences between the different hearing aid brands?
A. Hearing aids are available in the U.S. from a multitude of manufacturers. Some of these companies have been around for 70-80 years. One company, Oticon, has been researching, designing and making hearing aids over 110 years!
There are innumerable secondary and tertiary hearing aid manufacturers. Some only sell through the mail order, magazines, or over the internet. The sound quality and customization from these units is comparatively limited.
Major brands of hearing aids like Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens, Starkey, and Widex, have large design and development organizations that invest tens of millions of dollars in original research. They unveil the most technically advanced hearing aids and features on a regular basis.
The top companies each use proprietary algorithms and software to improve how well you hear details you otherwise miss. Some companies like Oticon also design and develop their own unique micro-processors for their hearing aids.
One major difference in a patient’s hearing experience can be directly linked to the hearing center they use. Find a well-reviewed center near you to adjust your current hearing aids, or have them let you listen to the most recent hearing system available.