So you are looking for a good quality hearing aid? Here are the best to date in the world. Update 12 June 2014 )
Who am I to judge? My name is Richard Andrew I have dispensed Independent private hearing aids for well over 20 years. In that time I have gained experience in retrieving feedback from the actual user of the hearing aid, not the manufacturers advertising hype. I am honest and straight forward in my appraisal in the hope of helping the user select the right outlet to purchase, the right price bracket to buy and the key points to look for when purchasing an hearing instrument. This update will obviously need adjusting throughout 2014 but this is how in my opinion it stands today. Please feel free to email me for any questions or queries I do get a lot of emails so please be patient I try to respond within 48 hours.
There are some key factors when purchasing an hearing aid.
Price – Performance – Features – After service – Cosmetics
These can all be seen in my Key factors when choosing a hearing aid
I have chosen to split the ratings into price brackets,High end, Mid range and Budget.We will start with high end or top of the range
Although obviously the best and with the most inclusive features they are not always the best for every individual. Prices range from £1600 to £2500 dependent on the supplier even though I have seen prices nearly 3 times this the above prices are what you should be looking to achieve per instrument.
Phonak Virto Q 90, Audeo Q 90,Naida Q 90 and Bolero Q 90 ( Still my number one for second year )
Capturing voices wherever you go, whatever you do.
This is quite clearly and deservedly the best of the best. It has a super clear sound, fantastic noise reduction and feedback stopper. The features are to many to post but every user rater this 5 out of 5. Click here for features. In fact the feedback on this instrument is nothing short of wonderful
Unitron Quantum Pro and Moxi Pro
This Canadian company utilizes the same microchip as the Phonak and although excellent still falls short of its rivals ability. As a company Unitron are well respected and offer excellent back up services. Click here for features The best feature on this instrument and one unique to hearing aids is the ability to have it upgraded to higher technology.Download Brochure
One of two manufacturers to be able to be controlled via IPhone. Really for people who have iphones and like to control what their hearing instrument is doing more. Best feature is if you alter the instrument within a restaurant and geo tag it it will switch to that altered setting when you go there again. Very clever if you like to have more say with what your aid is doing Download Brochure
Siemens Mi 7
Siemens have come a long way this year from not being in my top five to second place, They offer a good selection of features from many of the other manufacturers and have improved there feed back canceller Click to download brochure. Also they have an excellent selection of accessories that may suit ones needs more than the Phonak.
Widex Clear 440
The Danish company is used to ruling the roost at the top of the tree with past hearing aids including the famous Widex Senso one of the best on the market for at least 8 years. Good sound, but just falls short on its peers. Clear here for features
Mid to High End
Prices range from £1295 to £1800 again depending on your local supplier. This is a difficult sector. Do you pay more for all the features or less and not notice the features you have lost. If having the best is not the issue and value for money is I would suggest going to the low end range and upgrading if it does not fulfill your hearing needs.
Unitron Quantum 16 and Moxi 16 (2)
Although the Phonak is the better of this group by a small margin this instruments ability to be upgraded to a higher technology at any time without replacing the instrument makes this a sound choice. Would still choose mid range or high end though.
Phonak Bolero 70 and Virto 70
Loses a few features on its big brother the 90 series and to be honest I would pay the difference.
Siemans Mi 5
Widex Mind 330
This is a difficult sector the aid is good but I still would pay more for the top of the range or less for slightly less features
This is my favourite section its were you get the most for your money. There are some fabulous hearing aids in this section that are nearly half the price of the high end but nearly 80% as good. Prices range from £800 to £1295
Unitron Quantum 10 and Moxi 10 (2)
This is my only true choice in this category and new in. It can be upgraded at any time for higher technology at a later date if needed without changing the instruments.
Widex Mind 220
If your after a sub £900 hearing aid this is it. It can be made very small and discrete is fully automatic and is a very good price for the features it holds
Starkey E Series
Another great featured hearing aid for the price. Can be found around the £800 price bracket. Excellent feedback stopper to.
Phonak Virto Q 50, Audeo Q 50,Naida Q 50 and Bolero Q 50
At the top end for price within this category but has bundles of features and great sound.
Prices for budget aids should not exceed £700 and most should be nearly half that. A good choice of instruments in this section and if you require an in the ear hearing aid but are happy with the ( very good ) NHS behind the ear hearing aids then this is a good choice.
Starkey Ignite 20
Quite frankly an excellent budget hearing aid with a good feed back stopper. I was going to put a selection from differing manufacturers but to be quite frank this is the best of the best budget hearing aid. And can be purchased from £395 it really is a no brainer in this section.
If you have worked in noise please read my post on compensation. Hearing instruments are expensive and if you have had your hearing damaged through work you are entitled to compensation to help with the costs. Click here
Please check out my post on what to look for when buying a hearing aid.