Hearing Aids - A Comprehensive Guide

Deciding on the right hearing aid for you can be an confusing and sometimes overwhelming experience with hundreds of models to choose from. 

This guide has been designed to help give you foundational information on hearing aids, so you are better equipped to more confidently navigate your way, through what some clients describe as a minefield, towards better hearing.

Hearing aids can work for a several types of hearing loss. For certain kinds of hearing loss, surgery or medical intervention might be a better option. That is why a comprehensive hearing assessment is your very first step. This assessment will help you figure out what your next step should be with professional guidance.

 

In order to be successful with hearing aids, you absolutely need to be motivated to use hearing aids. Without appropriate motivation, you are setting yourself up for failure. It has been found that up to 1 in 3 people don't wear their hearing aids after 1 year. Motivation could play a big part in this. You need to determine who are you getting hearing aids for? Is it for yourself or is it simply to placate someone else?

 

You will also need to find a good provider to help you on your hearing journey. Going it alone, such as by buying hearing aids online, may be more likely to result in failure. You will need to find someone who takes the time to understand you, doesn't use pressure to force you into a choice and someone you feel comfortable with. We discuss the various aspects you need to look at for a good clinician here as well as where you might find someone like that.

 

Things can go wrong and hearing aids might not work for you. This is especially true if you end up selecting the wrong one for your needs. Frustrations often revolve around difficulty hearing in noise, hard to handle or uncomfortable hearing aids, even if you invest in more expensive hearing aids.

There are several reasons for these difficulties in background noise and the reason tends to be unique for each person. As such treatment options should also be very individual for best results. We discuss the reasons and possible solutions for difficulty hearing speech in background noise here. 

 

With the right hearing aid, you should find a dramatic improvement in your quality of life in general. Hearing properly is also critical to emotional and brain health.  They also last around 5 to 7 years, so getting it right is important.

 

We have a complimentary Buyers Guide for you to download, which guides you through the journey to better hearing.

 

Hearing aids have changed dramatically over time. We have seen clear improvements in performance, sound quality, size and comfort in one generation to the next. So always make sure you get the latest model if you are looking for new hearing aids. Some providers sell much older models under their own labels and swear that they are the same as current models. This is not always the case.  

Decided Hearing Aids are for you?

Here are a few things you should know about hearing aids:

How hearing aids work

How hearing aids work

Premium Hearing Aids

Premium Hearing aids are also the most expensive but also have the most features. They are often recommended automatically if you mention that you frequently need help to hear in  noisy situations. This is only true if your unique ability to hear in background babble noise is not taken into account. 

By testing people's unique ability to hear in noise, we find that only about 36% of people need premium (top end) hearing aids to do well in noise. So this level of technology is often over-prescribed. 

The very best premium hearing aids of 2021 as listed below, all have exceptional sound quality, Bluetooth streaming, are automatic and some even use rechargeable batteries. Depending on your unique needs in noise as well as the specific features of the aid, one of these aids might be suitable for you. 

Below we've listed the premium level models, which are the best available for the particular brand.  

Signia Pure Charge & Go 7X -R

Signia Pure Charge & Go 7X -R

Brand Signia
Device Code B357SIE
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$3,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Oticon OPN S 1 mRITE -R

Oticon OPN S 1 mRITE -R

Brand Oticon
Device Code B072AUD
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$3,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Widex Moment 440 M4-mRic -R D

Widex Moment 440 M4-mRic -R D

Brand Widex
Device Code B246HAO
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Resound Quattro 9 LT962

Resound Quattro 9 LT962

Brand GN Resound
Device Code B251RES
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Size 13 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Starkey Livio Edge AI ITC R

Starkey Livio Edge AI ITC R

Brand Starkey
Device Code C163STA
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$3,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Phonak Audeo P90-R

Phonak Audeo P90-R

Brand Phonak
Device Code B687PHO
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$3,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Oticon More 1 miniRITE R

Oticon More 1 miniRITE R

Brand Oticon
Device Code B169AUD
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$3,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal

Advanced Level Hearing Aids

Advanced Level Hearing aids are less expensive than premium level hearing aids but still have plenty of the latest features. They often perform close to previous generation premium levels. They are often recommended when you tell the clinician you cannot afford premium level but still need help in noise

Our testing using a person's Unique hearing in noise requirements, show that only about 21.5% of people actually need advanced level hearing aids. As such this level is also often over-prescribed when speech in background noise testing in not performed. 

The very best advanced level hearing aids of 2021 are listed below. They all have performance in quiet equal to premium models, come with Bluetooth connectivity and some also feature rechargeable batteries. 

 

Oticon OPN S 2 mRITE -R

Oticon OPN S 2 mRITE -R

Brand Oticon
Device Code B091AUD
Technology Level Advanced Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Phonak Virto M70-312 ITC

Phonak Virto M70-312 ITC

Brand Phonak
Device Code I137PHO
Technology Level Advanced Level
Battery Type Size 312 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Phonak Audeo P70-RT

Phonak Audeo P70-RT

Brand Phonak
Device Code B692PHO
Technology Level Advanced Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Livio AI 2000 RIC -R AP70 - High Power

Livio AI 2000 RIC -R AP70 - High Power

Brand Starkey
Device Code B456STA
Technology Level Premium Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Oticon More 2 miniRITE R

Oticon More 2 miniRITE R

Brand Oticon
Device Code B170AUD
Technology Level Advanced Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal

Standard Level Hearing Aids

Standard Level Hearing aids are generally offer a good mix of features and technology. They often perform close to previous generation advanced level hearing aids. They offer the same performance in quiet as more expensive models, but feature less capable noise reduction. This is only an issue if your brain actually requires more help in noise. This can only be assess via speech in background party noise testing. 

Our testing using a person's Unique hearing in noise requirements, show that around 27.2% of people need only Standard level hearing aids to do very well in all kinds of hearing situations. This level of technology appears to be massively under prescribed.

The very best standard level hearing aids of 2021 are listed below. They all have performance in quiet equal to higher level models, come with Bluetooth connectivity and some also feature rechargeable batteries.

Phonak Virto M50-312 ITC

Phonak Virto M50-312 ITC

Brand Phonak
Device Code I138PHO
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Size 312 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Widex Moment 220 M2 Ric 312 D

Widex Moment 220 M2 Ric 312 D

Brand Widex
Device Code B244HAO
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Size 312 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Unitron Moxi Jump DX 5 -RT

Unitron Moxi Jump DX 5 -RT

Brand Unitron
Device Code B669PHO
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Signia Silk 3X CIC

Signia Silk 3X CIC

Brand Signia
Device Code Silk3X
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Size 10 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Phonak Audeo P50-RT

Phonak Audeo P50-RT

Brand Phonak
Device Code B693PHO
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Oticon More 3 miniRITE R

Oticon More 3 miniRITE R

Brand Oticon
Device Code B171AUD
Technology Level Standard Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$2,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal

Essential level Hearing Aids

Essential Level Hearing aids are generally well featured hearing aids, with great performance in quiet, comfortable fit, good sound quality, Bluetooth Capability, Rechargeable options and more. They do however have a limited ability to clean up background noise to make speech understandable.

 

18.6% of people would do as well with essential level hearing aids as with premium level hearing aids in noise. 

 

Unfortunately speech in party noise testing, which would determine the correct level for you is seldom used. 

So this level of technology is often not prescribed, even though some people would do perfectly well with these without having the spend premium level money. 

The very best essential level  hearing aids of 2021 are listed below.

Unitron Moxi Jump 3 -R

Unitron Moxi Jump 3 -R

Brand Unitron
Device Code B626PHO
Technology Level Essential Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Oticon Ruby 2 MiniRite-T

Oticon Ruby 2 MiniRite-T

Brand Oticon
Device Code B149AUD
Technology Level Essential Level
Battery Type Size 312 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Widex Moment 110 M1 RIC 10

Widex Moment 110 M1 RIC 10

Brand Widex
Device Code B241HA
Technology Level Essential Level
Battery Type Size 10 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Phonak Audeo P30-312

Phonak Audeo P30-312

Brand Phonak
Device Code B682PHO
Technology Level Essential Level
Battery Type Size 312 Battery
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal
Signia Styletto BT 1X

Signia Styletto BT 1X

Brand Signia
Device Code B406SIE
Technology Level Essential Level
Battery Type Lithium-Ion Rechargeable
Performance in noise
From
$1,XXX
Click here to reveal
Click here to reveal

Types of Hearing Aids

BTE1

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids

The most common hearing aid type is the Behind The Ear hearing aid, recognisable from their compact case which sits right behind the ear. Durable, easy to clean and maintain and ease of use are just some of the advantages of the BTE hearing aid...

More information
cic-in-ear

Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids

Virtually invisible and one of the more aesthetically pleasing hearing aid type, CIC hearing aids are most suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. They're custom made for the wearer with a high quality and natural sound

More information
in-the-canal-hearing-aid-in-ear-itc

In The Canal Hearing Aids

Incredibly popular with wearers of ITC aids, these discreet hearing aids are custom fit to your canal, providing excellent sound quality and greater manual control. They're also easy to insert and remove, and work remarkably in noisy environments..

More information
invisible-in-canal-hearing-aid-in-ear-iic-1

Invisible In The Canal Hearing Aids

IIC hearing aids are the smallest type of aids available on the market. Producing a clear and vibrant sound with minimal sound distortion due to it's location close the ear drum. Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss

More information
photo-ite-3

In The Ear Hearing Aids

Suitable for those with mild, moderate or severe hearing loss, In The Ear hearing aids are leaders in the field when it comes to battery life. While they are visible, they provide excellent noise reduction and easy access to controls

More information
receiver-in-canal-micro-hearing-aid-in-ear-RIC

Receiver In Ear / Canal Hearing Aids

Combining the best features of the ITC and BTE hearing aids, Receiver In The Ear hearing aids are small and visually discreet, while offering flexibility, high sound quality and power. Suitable for all levels of hearing loss, these hearing aids are a popular choice due to the sound quality and minimal visibility. Small enough to be discreet and large enough to house advanced technologies such as directional microphones and bluetooth

More information
in-the-canal-hearing-aid-in-ear-itc

Half Shell Hearing Aids

Half Shell In The Ear hearing aids are powerful yet cosmetically appealing devices that occupy that lower portion of the outer ear. Whilst not as discrete as other options, their size enables the addition of many wonderful features like volume controls, directional microphones and special settings for various listening environments

More information

The importance of a brand independent clinic

As an independent audiology business, not owned by or aligned with any particular brand, we have all the major brands available. This means that our clinicians are free to help you choose the best hearing aid for your needs from all the best models available in Australia. Wouldn't you prefer having the best options currently available to you rather than just what the clinic sells?

Hearing aid brands we work with:

  • Phonak Hearing Aids

    Phonak

    Phonak is a premium Swiss hearing aid company owned by Sonova. Phonak is one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world and has always been at the leading edge...

    Learn about Phonak
  • Oticon Hearing Aids

    Oticon

    Oticon hearing aids is a subsidiary of William Demant Holdings in Denmark and is undoubtedly one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world, with their own cha...

    Learn about Oticon
  • Signia Hearing Aids

    Signia

    Sivantos has bought Siemens hearing aids and are rebranding as Signia. With Signia, Sivantos starts a new chapter in forward-thinking hearing solutions with expertly engi...

    Learn about Signia
  • Resound Hearing Aids

    ReSound

    GN ReSound is among the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids. Since the company was founded in 1943, ReSound has been known for great sound quality, design excel...

    Learn about Resound
  • Unitron Hearing aids

    Unitron

    Unitron was originally a Canadian hearing instrument company, who was bought by Sonova, the same company who owns Phonak hearing aids, several years ago. Their research a...

    Learn about Unitron
  • Starkey Hearing aids

    Starkey

    Strengths: Makes the smallest invisible hearing aids on the market Decent programming flexibility for the clinician, so most can be fine tuned. Great range of styles for ...

    Learn about Starkey
  • Widex hearing aids

    Widex

    Widex is a Danish hearing aid manufacturer that has lead the field in excellent high fidelity sound quality. Their sound quality has become known as Widex sound and in th...

    Learn about Widex
  • sonic_innovations-logo

    Sonic

    Sonic Innovations is an American hearing aid company which has been bought over by William Demant Holdings, in November 2010. William Demant Holdings also owns Oticon and...

    Learn about Sonic
  • Bernafon Hearing Aids

    Bernafon

    Bernafon is a Swiss Hearing Aid Company that is part of the William Demant group who also owns Oticon and Sonic Innovations. Bernafon offers great technology, such as Cha...

    Learn about Bernafon
  • Siemens Hearing Aids

    Siemens

    Siemens is a well known producer of electronic equipment in almost all industries. Siemens often innovates with new technologies and were the first company to introduce b...

    Learn about Siemens

Hearing Aid Videos and Reviews