Understanding Your CROS Options for Single-Sided Deafness

Related articles: 

Single-Sided Deafness: What Are Your Options?  

Modern Solutions When You Only Have One Working Ear: CROS/BiCROS


A Stroll Down Memory Lane with CROS

Since its initial introduction in 1965, the Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) device has experienced massive changes. It has shifted from a wired design, with an obvious cable linking the CROS transmitter and the hearing aid receiver, to today's wireless options.

I recall my early days as an audiologist in 2009 when we only had one choice for wireless CROS devices – the Unitron Tandem. It was available in 2 technology levels (basic and premium). However, it needed a receiver boot for the hearing aid to get the signal from the CROS, which made the device quite large. On the bright side, the battery life of a CROS setup was similar to any other hearing aid using the same size battery.


Then, in 2011, Phonak entered the scene with a much smaller CROS option, and my clients were keen to switch over for the convenience of a hearing aid and CROS device of the same size. The compromise? Battery life! Those with Phonak CROS devices would only have a battery life of 3-5 days, compared to the typical 7-14 days for size 312 and 13 batteries, respectively. Soon enough, the Unitron Tandem was phased out, and for quite a while, Phonak had a monopoly over the CROS market. However, over the past five years, other manufacturers such as Starkey, Widex, Oticon and Signia have joined the fray. So, let's look at the differences and pros and cons among the current (as of May 2023) CROS options.


Phonak CROS P

Launched: 2021

Compatible with: Phonak Audeo P-13T, Audeo P-R, Audeo P-RT

Designs: CROS P-R, CROS P-13

Battery runtime: CROS P-R = 12 hours, CROS P-13 = 6.5 days (4.5 days for the compatible Audeo P-13T)

App compatibility: myPhonak

Hearing aid technology levels: 30, 50, 70, 90



The myPhonak app can control the hearing aid, keep track of battery life for rechargeable devices, and offer remote support. You can adjust the balance of your CROS and hearing aid using the onboard switch. The high-end models come with features like StereoZoom and Dynamic Noise Cancellation. These can enhance speech understanding in challenging noise environments and improve hearing in noise. The device can connect with Roger accessories without extra devices and can be used with various devices simultaneously using Bluetooth Classic.


The Phonak CROS P is incompatible with Phonak’s latest technology, Lumity, and only works with select Audeo P devices. The myPhonak app cannot adjust the CROS balance when used with the CROS P and does not offer health data tracking and tap control configuration. The battery life is also considerably shorter compared to most other CROS options.


Signia CROS AX and CROS Silk X

Launched: 2021 (CROS AX) and 2020 (CROS Silk X)

Compatible with: Signia Pure C&G AX, Pure 312 AX, Styletto AX, Silk X

Designs: CROS Pure C&G AX, CROS Pure 312 AX, CROS Styletto AX, CROS Silk X

Battery life: CROS Pure C&G AX = 29 hours, CROS Pure 312 AX = 6-7 days, CROS Styletto AX = 17 hours, CROS Silk X = 4-5 days

App compatibility: Signia App

Hearing aid technology levels: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7


The Signia App can control the hearing aid, adjust the CROS balance, and provide remote support. The AX platform is the latest release from Signia. It offers portable chargers compatible with wireless charging for Pure C&G AX and Styletto AX. The top 2 technology levels have a Spatial Configurator that can control the focus direction and front-directional beam width. It also has great battery life and supports direct Bluetooth streaming for MFi (iOS 11 and higher) and ASHA (Android version 10 and higher).



The Signia Assistant (AI assistant available in the Signia App for instant AI adjustments) is incompatible with CROS. While a CROS option is available for all styles, not all are the most current AX platform. Some styles still rely on the older Nx platform (2017). DUE TO ITS IN-EAR STYLE, the CROS Silk X may require more frequent servicing.


Oticon CROS 

Launched: 2019

Compatible with: More, Real,  Zircon, Opn S, Jet, XCeed

Designs: CROS PX (rechargeable), CROS mRITE-T

Battery runtime: CROS PX = 26 hours, CROS mRITE-T = 7-8 days

App compatibility: Oticon Companion

Hearing aid technology levels: Jet 1, Zircon 1, Zircon 2, Real 1, Real 2, Real 3, More 1, More 2, More 3, Opn S 1, Opn S 2, Opn S 3, XCeed 1, XCeed 2, Xceed 3


The Oticon CROS is compatible with RIC, BTE, and power BTE options. It has excellent battery life and is compatible with the Companion app for hearing aid adjustability and remote support. It also supports direct Bluetooth streaming for MFi (iOS 11 and higher) and ASHA (Android version 10 and higher).


The Companion app is quite basic - it only allows for adjustment of basic hearing aid settings and no CROS adjustment. There is some instability with ASHA connectivity.


Starkey CROS

Launched: 2019

Compatible with: Evolv AI (RIC R, RIC 312, BTE 13)

Livio (Edge) AI (RIC R, RIC 312, BTE 13), 

Livio (RIC R, RIC 312, BTE 13)

Designs: CROS RIC R, CROS RIC 312, CROS BTE 13

Battery runtime: RIC R = 14 hours, RIC 312 = 3-5 days, BTE 13 = 5-7 days

App compatibility: Thrive

Hearing aid technology levels: 1000, 1200, 1600, 2000, 2400


Starkey's CROS is compatible with the Thrive app that offers a range of features. You can adjust CROS/HA balance, access remote support, track your health and even detect falls.


Battery runtime is similar to Phonak’s CROS P. There is some instability with ASHA connectivity.


Widex CROS

Launched: 2014? Fashion style released first, followed by Fusion style

Compatible with: Dream, Unique, Beyond, Evoke, Moment/Sheer (all form factors)

Designs: CROS Fusion (RIC), CROS Fashion (BTE)

Battery runtime: 10-12 days (312 battery)

App compatibility: None



Widex's CROS offers the best battery runtime currently on the market. It is compatible with a variety of form factors on the hearing aid side. It offers ZeroDelay, PureSound technology for natural sound quality.



There is no Bluetooth compatibility while CROS is in use. The CROS hasn't been updated for a long time, so its water resistance rating isn't as high as competitors. No rechargeable option is available.



These are just a few of the many CROS options available today. They have come a long way since the single option was available back in the day. When considering a CROS hearing device, look for features in the hearing aid that best suit your hearing needs. 


Don't hesitate to contact Value Hearing on 1300 586 104 to book an appointment. As an independent clinic, hearing aid, and hearing rehabilitation specialist, your audiologist knows all the options available and will recommend the solution that best suits your needs.


Related Articles: