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.

We have also included a list of the best hearing aids currently available in this guide.

The first question to ask is: "Do I have hearing loss?" . We have an easy online screener available to help you with that question.  You can access our free, quick, online hearing check here.

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, once you have determined that hearing loss is present. This assessment will help you figure out what your next step should be.

 

In order to be succesful 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 will also need to find a good provider to help you on your journey. Going it alone, such as by buying hearing aids online, may be more liklely to result in failure. You will need to find someone who understands you and that you can work with. We discuss the various aspects you need to look at for a good clinician here.

 

Things can go wrong with hearing aids and they might end up not working for you, especially if you end up selecting the wrong one for your needs. Frustrations often revolve around difficulty hearing in noise, even with more expensive hearing aids. We discuss the reasons and possible solutions for difficulty hearing speech in 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. Even in the last 5 years we have seen dramatic improvements in performance, sound quality, size and comfort. 

Decided Hearing Aids are for you?

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

How hearing aids work

We have a detailed article going into more depth around the various parts of a hearing aid here.

Hearing Aids come in various technology levels, each with more features than the previous. Don't let this confuse you. Only certain features really matter.

The best hearing aids for you

Choosing the best hearing aid for you is not as simple as looking at the hearing aid that receives the best reviews.  Neither is it about asking your friends and seeing which hearing aid they do well with. A hearing aid that may not work for you, could be loved by others.

Hearing loss is as unique as a finger print. We each have developed slightly differently during our lives, have different lifestyles and differing types and degrees of hearing damage. No single hearing aid fits every person the same. That is why reviews can vary so significantly for the exact same device, particularly when it comes to hearing in noise.

We have an article here, that will help you find the best hearing aid for you and your unique situation.

Modern Hearing Aids are more discreet and more capable than you might think

The world of hearing aids have changed dramatically over the last few years and things keep improving. They are now smaller and more capable than ever before. That is why you don't want to buy last years models, as sold at some retailers.

Not only do we now have rechargeable hearing aids available in most brands. We also have hearing aids with built in Bluetooth, so you can stream phone calls and music directly from your phone as well as Television audio, in high quality stereo, to your hearing aids. Some of the best hearing aids combine both these features with all the must have features to improve sound quality and hearing in noise. This gives new levels of performance in small sizes, never seen before.

If you are upgrading from older hearing aids, you need to look at a few factors to ensure your new hearing aids work better than the last.

Hearing Aid Prices

Hearing aids can be expensive, but are even more so if you end up with the wrong hearing aid that does not work well for you.

It is crucial that you never just shop a hearing aid on pricing alone. Not all hearing aids are created equally. Even if you have been recommended a specific model elsewhere, if they did not do a speech in noise test as part of the evaluation, you could end up with a more expensive hearing aid than you actually need.

Hearing aids require specialised care over your entire hearing improvement journey to deliver optimal outcomes. So always consider the aftercare included and the processes followed when considering a hearing aid. Where you get the hearing aid might actually matter more than the exact model in some cases.

Hearing aids start from Free to client to eligible pensioners and around $1,400 to self funded clients. There are several funding options available in Australia including government, payment plans and health insurance options. 

Just beware when you look at hearing aids online. Some hearing aids, especially those advertised cheaply (a few hundred dollars) are actually not real hearing aids and may even damage your hearing more! It is truly a situation of buyer beware.

There are also some common myths about hearing aids you need to be aware of discussed here. 

Using and Taking Care of your hearing aids

Hearing aids can play a big part in your enjoyment of life once you are used to them.

Hearing aids can even help reduce your tinnitus if used and set correctly. They do however need a bit of care and cleaning as they are worn in or on hot and sweaty ears for thousands of hours a year (if worn correctly).

We offer some troubleshooting for when things go wrong here.

We also offer tips on travelling with hearing aids. It is always a good idea to insure your hearing aids and not only to rely on the manufacturer's loss and damage policy included with the hearing aids.

Best Hearing Aids of 2020

The very  best hearing aids of 2020 have exceptional sound quality, Bluetooth streaming, are automatic and some even use rechargeable batteries which means that no matter which brand or device you pick, you’ll be getting some of the best technology on the market today.

Below we've listed the premium level models, which are the best available for the particular brand.  You may actually not need the premium model of these to do very well however. So always undergo a speech in noise test before making your final decision. 

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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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...

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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

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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..

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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