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By Javier Cruz
Updated: September 8, 2021 3:59 PM ET
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Best BTE
Best for Active LifestylesBest Battery LifeBest Hearing Aid AIBest for Severe Hearing Loss
Signia - Styletto XStarkey - Livio Edge AIReSound OneOticon MorePhonak Naída Paradise UP
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE RIC

BTE RIC

BTE M&RIE

BTE

BTE

Price Range

$1,808-$3,401

$2,204-$4,376

$3,045-$3,675

$2,761-$3,822

$1,942-$3,558

Technology Levels

5

6

4

3

4

Battery Type

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

675 zinc-air

Manufacturer Warranty

1 year

3 years

1-4 years

1 year

3 years

Best BTE
Signia - Styletto X
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE RIC

Price Range

$1,808-$3,401

Technology Levels

5

Battery Type

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Manufacturer Warranty

1 year

Best for Active Lifestyles
Starkey - Livio Edge AI
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE RIC

Price Range

$2,204-$4,376

Technology Levels

6

Battery Type

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Manufacturer Warranty

3 years

Best Battery Life
ReSound One
Our Partner
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE M&RIE

Price Range

$3,045-$3,675

Technology Levels

4

Battery Type

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Manufacturer Warranty

1-4 years

Best Hearing Aid AI
Oticon More
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE

Price Range

$2,761-$3,822

Technology Levels

3

Battery Type

Rechargeable (lithium-ion)

Manufacturer Warranty

1 year

Best for Severe Hearing Loss
Phonak Naída Paradise UP
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Hearing Aid Type

BTE

Price Range

$1,942-$3,558

Technology Levels

4

Battery Type

675 zinc-air

Manufacturer Warranty

3 years

An estimated 15% of American adults, roughly 37.5 million people, suffer from some form of hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

To help you compare models and product features, we created a variety of categories and gathered a list of the best hearing aids in the industry today, including companies like Signia, Starkey and Phonak.

Our Top Picks for Best Hearing Aids

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Best Hearing Aid Reviews

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Facemask mode designed to better hear mask wearers
  • Resistant to debris and water (IP68 rating)
  • 5 colors available
Cons
  • No disposable battery option
  • Tinnitus relief program only available in 2X-7X technology levels
  • No telecoil option
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE) Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of hearing loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price range
$1,808-$3,401
Manufacturer's warranty
1 year
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE) Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of hearing loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price range
$1,808-$3,401
Manufacturer's warranty
1 year
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE) Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of hearing loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price range
$1,808-$3,401
Manufacturer's warranty
1 year

The Signia Styletto X is our best choice for customers looking for a high-quality, lightweight and stylish BTE hearing aid. The devices are about as heavy as an AirPod, making it among the lightest on the market, and its price range isn’t as expensive as other hearing aids on this list. The device runs on Signia’s new Xperience platform, which adds extra technologies for improved features, like sound and motion sensing.

  • Technology levels: 5 (1X, 2X, 3X, 5X, 7X)
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Bluetooth, iPhone and Android connectivity, hands-free calls, debris and water-resistant (IP68), binaural sound processing, feedback cancellation, high-frequency compression, extended dynamic range, tinnitus relief (2X-7X models only)
Pros
  • Only hearing aid on the market with an IMU
  • 3-year manufacturer warranty
  • In the canal (ITC) model available
  • Has disposable and rechargeable battery options
  • 7 colors available
Cons
  • Very expensive for a hearing aid (averaging at $4,376)
  • Only the premium, 2400 technology level includes the IMU
  • Must pay $50 per hearing aid to make the ITC model rechargeable
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,204-$4,376
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,204-$4,376
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,204-$4,376
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years

The Starkey Livio Edge AI BTE hearing aid is a great device if you follow an active lifestyle, as it’s the only hearing device on the market that has an inertial measurement unit (IMU) in its circuitry. The IMU includes an accelerometer and a gyroscope with broad tracking capabilities, including your heart rate, movement and positioning. It can even detect sudden falls.

The device displays this information in its “Thrive” app, which keeps track of your daily calorie burn, steps taken, and daily movement. However, this feature makes the Starkey Livio AI one of the most expensive devices on this list, so you must consider whether a workout-oriented hearing device is worth it.

  • Technology levels: 5 (1000, 1200, 1600, 2000, 2400)
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Bluetooth, iOS and Android connectivity, hands-free calling, debris and water resistance (IP 58), volume/program control button, inertial measurement unit (IMU), directional microphone, user-tuning, remote programming available
Resound One
Best Battery Life
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Pros
  • Rechargeable, 30-hour battery life
  • Three hours to fully charge
  • Extra microphone inside the receiver improves sound quality
Cons
  • Starting technology level averages at $3,045
  • Telecoil option only available in premium technology level
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), microphone and receiver in the ear (M&RIE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$3,045-$3,675
Manufacturer's Warranty
1-4 years, depending on device and provider
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), microphone and receiver in the ear (M&RIE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$3,045-$3,675
Manufacturer's Warranty
1-4 years, depending on device and provider
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), microphone and receiver in the ear (M&RIE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$3,045-$3,675
Manufacturer's Warranty
1-4 years, depending on device and provider

Most rechargeable hearing aid batteries typically last around 20-24 hours, depending on device usage. Unfortunately, most rechargeable hearing aid batteries typically last around twenty to twenty-four hours, depending on how much you are using the device, and whether you’re using it to stream music and/or podcasts. The ReSound One ups these caps by offering up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Another great feature is the inclusion of an additional microphone in the receiver component of the hearing aid, which increases sound localization by 15% when compared to BTE devices with omnidirectional microphones. Also, since the device has two microphones (one inside the receiver and one inside the device’s chassis), it promotes better binaural processing by your brain.

  • Technology levels: 4 (Resound One 4, One 5, One 7, One 9)
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Dual microphones (in the ear and over the ear), Bluetooth, iOS, and Android compatibility, telecoil (only on premium technology level), IP 68, handsfree calling, background noise tracker, tinnitus sound generator, wind and noise reduction
Pros
  • DNN technology improves sound and speech recognition
  • Telecoil compatibility available in all technology levels
  • Seven color models to choose from
Cons
  • It only has three technology levels
  • Starting technology level is expensive, averaging at $2,761
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,761-$3,822
Manufacturer's Warranty
1 year
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,761-$3,822
Manufacturer's Warranty
1 year
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to severe hearing loss
Price Range
$2,761-$3,822
Manufacturer's Warranty
1 year

Oticon’s More hearing aid model stands out due to the device’s artificial intelligence, which includes what Oticon calls the “deep neural network technology” (DNN). This technology is trained to recognize more than 12 million real-life sounds, helping the wearer’s brain recognize nuance sounds that would be filtered out otherwise.

Additionally, the company’s own Centre for Applied Audiology Research states that DNN increases speech understanding by fifteen percent, so you will be able to listen to friends and family more clearly in all situations. Another great perk is that the Oticon More includes telecoil compatibility in all its technology levels, so you don’t have to worry about spending more for this feature.

  • Technology levels: 3 (More 3, More 2, More 1)
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Hands-free calling, iOS and Android compatibility, push button (program, volume, and mute control), Telecoil on all technology levels, noise reduction, automatic acclimatization, bass boost, feedback protection, neural noise suppression, IP68
Pros
  • Compatible with all Bluetooth devices
  • Telecoil and tinnitus balance available in all technology levels
  • 3-year manufacturer warranty
Cons
  • No rechargeable battery option
  • Model is bulkier than other BTEs
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Severe to profound hearing loss
Price Range
$1,942-$3,558
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Severe to profound hearing loss
Price Range
$1,942-$3,558
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Severe to profound hearing loss
Price Range
$1,942-$3,558
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years

The Phonak Naida Paradise UP stands out from other hearing aids for severe to profound hearing loss thanks to its “Made for All” wireless compatibility. This allows it to connect to any device with Bluetooth capabilities. Additionally, each of the aid’s technology levels includes telecoil and tinnitus balance, so you can enjoy these features without paying extra.

Additionally, all the device’s technology levels include telecoil, so you can enjoy this feature without worrying about technology levels. Unfortunately, the Naida Paradise doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery, so you’ll have to spend extra whenever batteries go out.

  • Technology levels: 4 (P30, P50, P70, P90)
  • Battery type: 675 zinc-air
  • Features: Bluetooth, iOS and Android compatibility, push button (program, volume, and audio control), hands-free calling, IP: 68, Telecoil on all technology levels, noise reduction, sound amplifier, feedback suppression, Tinnitus balance program on all technology levels, user-preference tuning, auto acclimatization
Pros
  • Unique tinnitus relief program
  • "Soundsense Learn" feature helps log and update your sound preferences
  • Smallest rechargeable lithium-ion battery on the market
Cons
  • Needs additional devices for Android and TV connectivity
  • Remote care/tuning only available through an extra accessory
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,971-$3,521
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,971-$3,521
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), Receiver in the canal (RIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,971-$3,521
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years

There are many hearing aids that address tinnitus, but none does it like the Widex Moment. The device uses a phone app program called “Zen” that provides tinnitus relief using music. To do this, you access the Zen program on your mobile device, link it to your hearing aid, and cycle through various looped tunes that can help you manage tinnitus effectively.

All technology levels come with Widex’s “Soundsense Learn” option, helping your hearing aid to adapt to your surroundings more efficiently. When you’re at a specific location — a family meeting, for example — you can access the Soundsense section of the phone app, and it will prompt you to listen to two sound profiles linked to your vicinity. When you choose your preferred sound setting, the device will record it on a personal noise profile, so that you can access it again if you find yourself in a similar noisy environment.

  • Technology levels: 4 (110, 330, 440)
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Machine-learning capabilities, Bluetooth, iOS connectivity, push-button (program and volume control), IP 68, noise reduction, tinnitus balance (Zen program), wind and feedback protection

Other Companies We Considered

Most of the hearing aids in this section are direct-to-consumer hearing devices, meaning devices that can be purchased directly online or through retailers. DTC devices are ready to be used upon purchase or after fine-tuning at home, without the support of an audiologist. These types of hearing devices are relatively affordable, making them very popular. However, studies show that DTC devices can potentially deliver poor sound quality and uncomfortably loud sounds.

Eargo - Eargo 5 IIC

Pros
  • Sleek invisible in the canal (IIC) design
  • Rechargeable case
  • 45-day, no-questions-asked return policy
Cons
  • No professional help available for hearing adjustment
  • Some users say the device didn't improve their hearing
Hearing Aid Type
Inside the canal (IIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$2,950 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Inside the canal (IIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$2,950 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Inside the canal (IIC)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$2,950 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
  • Technology levels: 1
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: 4 preset sound profiles, User preference tuning, noise reduction, feedback cancellation, wind noise reduction, water-resistant (no IP stated)

Why It Didn’t Make the Cut

Although user preference tuning can help greatly with adjusting the device to your hearing, this can lead to a false sense of security. The company doesn’t offer professional help, so you are left on your own to figure out how to adjust your device.

MD Hearing Aids - Volt Hearing Aid

Pros
  • Inexpensive, at just $599.98 for a pair
  • Two-year warranty
  • 45-day risk-free trial period
  • Free shipping on all devices
Cons
  • Sound profiles are preset and you can't change them
  • Money-back guarantee is limited to 45 days
  • Risk-free trial might charge you a $99 handling fee
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$599.98 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$599.98 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE)
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$599.98 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
2 years
  • Technology levels: 1
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Sound amplification, rechargeable battery, noise reduction, feedback reduction, water-resistant (no IP stated), 4 sound profiles

Why It Didn’t Make the Cut

Even with its affordability, it’s hard to fully endorse the Volt, as its lack of programmability is limiting. MD Hearing aids also offers a premium model called the “Core” that includes user programming via an app, but we can’t recommend that device either for two reasons. First, it isn’t water-resistant, so if water ever seeps into your hearing aid, you’ll have to contact the company for a replacement. Secondly, the Core doesn’t come with rechargeable batteries, so you’ll have to spend extra cash whenever its disposable batteries run out.

Costco - Kirkland Signature 10.0

Pros
  • Device has telecoil and Bluetooth capabilities
  • Hearing aids can be adjusted by professionals at Costco hearing aid centers
  • Charging case included
Cons
  • Not all Costco locations have hearing aid centers
  • Device will likely be set by a hearing instrument specialist
  • You need a Costco membership to access a hearing professional
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,399.99 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,399.99 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
Hearing Aid Type
Behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the canal (RIC
Type of Hearing Loss
Mild to moderate hearing loss
Price Range
$1,399.99 for a pair
Manufacturer's Warranty
3 years
  • Technology levels: 1
  • Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion)
  • Features: Telecoil, Bluetooth, iOS and Android connectivity, remote adjustment available, four sound profiles

Why It Didn’t Make the Cut

Not all Costco store locations have a hearing aid center, and they mostly employ hearing instrument specialists, not trained audiologists. These two factors made us hesitant when placing the Kirkland 10.0 device on our top choices.

Hearing Aids Guide

What are hearing aids and how do they work?

Hearing aids are electronic devices worn in or behind the ear to improve hearing by amplifying sound. Although they can look like earbuds, they are sophisticated devices meant to treat hearing loss.

All modern hearing aid brands have three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The device has a small microphone that receives sound and sends it to a microchip, where it converts it into a digital signal. The amplifier increases the strength of the digital signal and the speaker produces the amplified sound into the ear.

After a hearing test, a hearing specialist programs the new hearing aid to the specific degree of hearing loss observed in the test. Some hearing aids have automatic features that adjust their volume for improved hearing in different environments. Hearing aids can cover all levels of hearing loss, although profound hearing loss is usually handled by a special hearing aid called a cochlear implant, which connects the hearing aid to the inner ear.

Types of hearing aids

There are two different types of hearing aids: behind the ear (BTE) and canal hearing aids. These devices come with either disposable or rechargeable batteries, the latter using its carrying case as a charger.

Each type connects to the outer ear and comes in a variety of shapes and styles. For BTE models, there are two styles: BTE, where the device’s receiver is hidden inside the chassis, and “receiver-in-canal” (RIC), where the receiver is placed inside your ear canal. All BTEs come with a variety of domes to fit your hearing comfort, but if need be, you can also opt to get a custom earmold to fit your ear canal.

BTE hearing aids are the most feature-friendly device on the market, since their chassis size gives them enough room to place other non-hearing features, such as telecoil and Bluetooth.

Conversely, canal hearing aids are custom molded to your ear canal and are meant to be more lightweight and discreet. They come in four different varieties: in the ear (ITE), in the canal (ITC), completely in the canal (CIC) and invisible in the canal (IIC). Due to their chassis size, canal hearing aids commonly come with little to no extra features and require disposable batteries.

BTE and RIC hearing aids pros and cons

Pros
  • Device position diminishes sound occlusion
  • Can address mild to profound hearing loss
  • Chassis size makes it possible to include other functionalities
  • Chassis is more durable
Cons
  • Receivers can break easily and require frequent maintenance
  • Not as discreet as canal hearing aids

ITE, ITC, CIC, and IIC hearing aids pros and cons

Pros
  • Except for ITE models, all canal models are discreet
  • Canal models are custom molded to your ear canal
  • They use less battery power than BTE models
Cons
  • Smaller batteries have shorter lifespans
  • Can be problematic to put on if you have dexterity problems
  • Small size makes it difficult to add technical features like Bluetooth
  • Easier to lose or misplace
  • Only address mild to moderate hearing loss

Hearing aid technology levels:

All hearing aids come in a variety of technology levels set by their manufacturer. Technology levels are very important, since they determine how many features the hearing aid has, and how many extra features it could have if you chose a higher level.

When we say features, we don’t just mean physical characteristics, such as telecoil, but programs that are added to the hearing aid’s processor. It’s similar to the features in a smartphone: there’s the device itself and the apps it has installed; the hearing aid’s features would also include the apps.

Technology levels used to average at around three to four, but nowadays some manufacturers offer from one to six. To help you sort out what features a technology level usually has, we’ve organized this table with the average technology level name, and the features normally found on that level.

Technology Level Features
Basic Feedback suppression, noise reduction (1 level), speech compression
Standard Feedback suppression, noise reduction (1-3 levels), speech compression, wind noise management, tinnitus relief, binaural processing
Advanced Feedback suppression, noise reduction (1-4 levels), speech compression, wind noise management, tinnitus relief, binaural processing, wireless capabilities, directional microphone adaptability, auto volume, music enhancer, telecoil
Premium Feedback suppression, noise reduction (1-4 levels), speech compression, wind noise management, tinnitus relief, binaural processing, wireless connectivity capabilities, directional microphone adaptability, auto volume, music enhancer, telecoil, natural sound smoothing, sound classifier, range extender

Telecoil:

A telecoil, also known as a T-coil, is a coiled copper wire that can be added to your hearing aid. The coil is sensitive to magnetic fields, and it creates a magnetic signal that can be picked up by other objects with a T-coil. This gives you the option to switch from listening with your hearing aid’s microphone to hearing through the signals picked by the coil.

For example, if your hearing aid and your smartphone have a telecoil installed and linked, you would hear what a caller is saying without having to put the phone on your ear. Hearing aid manufacturers typically offer telecoils at the advanced technology level, but some models, like the Phonak Naida Paradise UP, make it available for every level.

Telecoils aren’t limited to phones. Many theaters, cinemas, places of worship, and meeting rooms have what is known as a “Hearing Loop” system. Using a microphone, an amplifier, and a copper loop cable, hearing loops directly transfer sound picked up by the system into your hearing aid’s telecoil.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Hearing Aids

Technology levels hike overall cost

Getting a higher technology level also increases the overall cost of your hearing aid, so you need to make sure that you can afford the level with the features you want. Think of it as spending more for a premium device: if you want the latest features, you must opt for the most expensive model.

Hearing aid technology levels can vary in pricing between devices: some can be very expensive, while some don’t increase much in costs. For example, the Signia Styletto X model has five technology levels and varies from $1,808 for a level one tier up to $3,401 for the level five tier. On the other hand, the ReSound One hearing aid has four technology levels and they all range around $3,000.

Most healthcare insurance policies don’t cover hearing aids

Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t fully cover hearing aids since they see them as elective rather than a necessity. The reason is that insurance companies tend to insure things that are unlikely to happen naturally, such as accidents, and they typically don’t insure things that are likely to happen due to age.

In the United States, 48 million people are affected by hearing loss, so the odds of someone claiming hearing loss benefits from their insurer is high. Nevertheless, some insurance companies cover other things related to hearing loss, such as diagnostics and balance exams, such as Medicare Part B.

However, there is hope for affordable hearing aids in the future, as the US government is taking the initiative to promote over-the-counter hearing aids to ease American’s wallets. These hearing aids would be programmable, so you can take them to a hearing specialist to fit them to your hearing needs. Most recently, the Biden administration signed an executive order to address this.

Hearing aid longevity

The life expectancy of hearing aids is between three to seven years, depending on the model, how well you take care of them, and how much you use them.

A hearing aid’s life expectancy is determined by a combination of the material used to make its chassis and circuitry, how frequently it’s cleaned and maintained, and the hearing aid’s style/type. For instance, an IIC hearing aid is smaller than a RIC one, and its delicate components have a higher risk of being damaged by accident.

If you want your hearing aids to last as much as possible, we recommend that you clean them thoroughly, bring them to your hearing care provider for adjustment and maintenance, and keep them away from damp enclosures.

Hearing aids aren’t waterproof

Most hearing aids have a debris and water resistance rating known as the ingress protection rating (IP). This rating determines how resistant each device is to these factors, but since the IP rating determines resistance, it means that hearing aids aren’t waterproof.
If you leave your hearing aids unattended in a damp area, like your bathroom, or if you shower with them, chances are that they’ll get damaged. This is true even with all water-resistant devices: if you expose them enough to water, you’ll have to replace them.

If you leave your devices in damp areas or live in a humid environment, you need to take extra precautions to protect them. You can buy disposable hearing aid dehumidifiers or even UV light devices that remove humidity overnight.

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Steps for Getting Hearing Aids

Consult a hearing care professional

Always consult a hearing care professional, such as an audiologist or an otolaryngologist. There are countless websites that offer free online hearing tests, but none will be as precise as a professional diagnosis. Hearing experts use what is known as “real ear measurements,” a method that guarantees that your hearing aid will be programmed to your exact needs.

Keep an eye on warranties, payment plans, and trading discounts

Since hearing aids can be a huge investment, you need to know how to plan financially for them.

  1. Know how long your warranty is, and if you’d like to extend it. Most companies allow you to extend your warranty for an extra two to three years, although this comes at an additional cost. Having an extended warranty is very helpful, since it protects you from having to spend even more on a new pair.
  2. Check to see whether you can pay for your hearing aids via payment plans. Most manufacturers and hearing centers have payment plan programs set to ease the initial weight of buying hearing aids. Direct-to-consumer devices can also offer payment plans.
  3. Finally, check to see if your hearing expert allows you to trade in your old hearing aids for new ones. Some companies also allow you to trade them for discounts to upgrade them to newer models.

Look for financial assistance

There are many programs and organizations that can help you obtain or pay for hearing aids. Each organization offers different services and has different requirements, so you need to do a little research before you apply. We have listed a few of these programs below.

Best Hearing Aids FAQ
What is a hearing aid?
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A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear to improve the sound quality of your hearing. Just like with eyeglasses, the device isn't meant to cure hearing loss, but to aid you if you've lost the ability to hear clearly. Digital hearing aids dominate the market today, as they are more efficient than their previous iteration, analog hearing aids.
How much do hearing aids cost?
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The cost of hearing aids varies depending on the company you end up choosing and on the technology level that you select. Prices range from around $2,000 for a pair, up to $10,000, and technology levels range from around one to four.
How do hearing aids work?
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A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The microphone picks up sounds around you and sends them to a microchip for processing. The chip amplifies the sounds and converts them into electrical signals. The signals are then converted back into soundwaves and are then transmitted to your ear through the hearing aid's speaker.
Why are hearing aids so expensive?
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Hearing aids are expensive because manufacturers spend a lot of money to research and develop them. Every year, companies invest millions of dollars to create new technologies and to improve previous devices, making them smaller and more efficient. To cope with these expenses, companies charge highly per hearing aid.
Where can I buy hearing aids?
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Most hearing aids are sold through hearing aid specialists. You first need to book an appointment with a hearing aid expert, such as an audiologist, who'll guide and recommend hearing aid devices based on your hearing loss level and your personal preferences. There are also direct-to-consumer options that are more affordable and don't require an audiologist appointment, but they typically come with fewer features and without programmable capabilities.
How long do hearing aids last?
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Normally, hearing aids last between three to seven years, depending on the device quality, how often you use them, and how well you take care of them. However, some hearing aid parts, like earwax guards and connector tubes, need weekly or monthly replacements.

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids

To help you find the right hearing aid for your needs, we researched 12 companies and all their respective hearing aid products, focusing on the functionality of each device. This helped us offer hearing aid options that fit different situations while keeping in mind their features and price range. In total, we used four parameters: functionality and lifestyle, features and price, battery, and manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Functionality and lifestyle: Most of our choices are BTE RIC models; this is because this style is the most flexible on the market today, addressing mild to severe hearing loss. However, we also took into consideration different hearing aid user lifestyles when choosing our top devices. For example, if you love exercising or if you suffer from severe hearing loss, you’ll find an option on our list.
  • Features and price: We decided to focus on the built-in technology features of the basic model of each hearing aid. However, if you’re looking to upgrade, we added the technology levels tiers of each device to help. Since prices vary greatly from device and technology level, we also chose to list the average price range of each hearing aid.
  • Battery: We evaluated a hearing aid’s battery types, preferring hearing aids that had rechargeable batteries whenever possible. This is because it eliminates the need to buy additional batteries, which can be a burden in the long run.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty: We looked for companies and hearing aids that offered more than the standard one-year manufacturer warranty. Therefore, those that offered two or three years scored higher with us.

Summary of Money's Best Hearing Aids of 2021