What’s the best hearing aid?

This is a question I get asked a lot, but there is not really a simple answer. Actually, one of the reasons I decided to be an independent provider, was so I could have the flexibility to use different brands, to meet the individual needs of my patients. One thing to understand is, there is no manufacturer that can “do everything” with one instrument. For example, it used to be that if you wanted a Made for iPhone hearing aid (one that connects and streams audio directly from your iPhone), you had the choice between 2 or 3 brands, now that number is up to 5 or 6. However, if you wanted rechargeability, you had to settle for a non-Made for iPhone aid. That has since changed, and you can now have both features with several manufacturers.

So features are one thing, another, and more importantly for most, is sound quality. Every manufacturer has different algorithms for processing speech, handling background noise, compression strategy, among other things. This translates to big variances in the way hearing aids sound. Some patients absolutely love one brand, while the next patient will be complete opposite. I often use the analogy that it’s like Coke and Pepsi. Some people like Coke, some people like Pepsi. So, which is better? Who is right? Well, of course neither is right or wrong, it’s simply their preference, and the same is true for hearing aids.

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