What Are the World’s Best Hearing Aids 2022?
(upbeat music) - Hey, guys, it's Matthew here from HearingTracker, keeping you up to date with the latest news in the hearing technology world. I imagine that you've arrived here after spending hours searching online for the best hearing aids out there in 2022 and you're probably thinking, "How is there so much information out there, yet why am I still confused as to which is the best hearing aid for me?" Well, look, no further. You've ended up in the right place. In this video, I'm going to run through the latest and best hearing aid technology in the world, kicking off 2022.
And at the end of this video, I'll also talk about what you need to look out for in an audiologist to ensure that your technology is tailored specifically for your needs. If you're keen on keeping up to date with the latest news in the hearing technology world, then make sure that you subscribe to this channel, press that great notifications bell, and you'll be updated every time we release a new video. The competition is hot for the best hearing aid of 2022.
And while I have my favorites, it is impossible to say which is actually the best for you specifically as there are so many different factors that come into play when selecting the right hearing aid for you. This is a conversation that you'd really need to discuss individually with your audiologist. I've kept my list short and outlined the features that I think are the most impressive and unique for that particular hearing aid.
I'm also really keen on getting your feedback. So as I'm running through these hearing aids, I would love to have your comments on which stand out as being the most appealing hearing aids to you. So in no particular order, here are my top seven. The Danish giant Oticon was founded over a century ago. And I would say in that time they've been a major player in the hearing aid world, but they have massively stepped up their game in the last 10 years.
The More range uses groundbreaking artificial intelligence in their hearing aids in the form of a deep neural network, which sounds great, but what does that mean? They claim to be the first manufacturer to use sounds recorded from real life to train the DNN and have used 12 million real life sound scenes so that it can learn the way that the brain does when it comes to hearing. As a result, Oticon boast that their general setting is the most accurate in terms of being able to identify the type of listening situation that the hearing aid user is in, and then make a precise decision on how they should react in those listening situations, delivering the sound that the hearing aid user wishes to hear. As a result, their research has shown that this equates to a 15% greater speech understanding from their previous Opn S hearing aid range. The More is available in a range of colors and three different technology levels: the More 1, More 2, and More 3, with the More 1 being the most advanced of the range.
As the technology level increases, as do the number of features that you have access to and the degree of automation that the hearing aid has. They're only available in a receiver-in-canal style at present. And as far as I'm aware, there is nothing currently pending for an in-the-ear version. Plus, there's a cross system available for those with single-sided deafness.
If you're after an in-the-ear Oticon hearing aid, such as an IIC, then you'd be looking at the Oticon OPN 1 range, which is a couple of generations behind them all. The advantage of a receiver-in-the-ear style of hearing aid is that it can be adapted to suit various degrees of hearing loss. So it's suitable whether you have mild, moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss.
You can choose from both the lithium iron rechargeable or non-rechargeable version, which visually look identical and both have a telecoil system built in. You may pay a fraction more when it comes to the rechargeable version, but will soon recuperate that by not having to change the batteries once a week as is necessary with the disposable version. With Bluetooth a standard in most hearing aids now, this is no longer a unique selling point for a best of video. However, one change that we've recently seen with these Oticon hearing aids is they can now connect with both iOS and Android, meaning that media and phone calls can be streamed directly from your phone to both hearing aids. They're not fully hands-free yet, as you still need the phone microphone close to your mouth to pick up your own voice, but there are a wide range of accessories to work with these hearing aids to improve any listening situations that you may still experience problems in when you're wearing this tech. The Bluetooth also allows you to adjust the settings if you wish to use the Oticon ON app, plus you can have your audiologist remotely log on and adjust your hearing aids with you sat in the comfort of your own living room and the audiologist being in their clinic.
The final feature worth a mention is Oticon's tinnitus sound support, which is a sound generator that can be integrated into the daily functioning of these hearing aids. Specifically designed programs in the hearing aids allow you to play various sounds that can help you move away from your tinnitus. You can choose from soothing ocean-like sounds to steady white noise and adjust the volume level of the release sounds directly on the button on the back of the hearing aid or via the Oticon ON app on your smartphone. Back over on the Hearing Tracker channel, we have full independent reviews on all of the latest tech, which is constantly being updated.
So check out the rest of our videos for full details on these hearing aids. Widex, who are another Danish hearing aid manufacturer, initially released their Moment halfway through 2022. And at the time, I was invited over to their research facility for the launch and a behind the scenes sneak peak at what was in store for the world when it came to their new tech.
I can honestly say that I have never seen any hearing aid manufacturer as excited about a product compared to when I was over in Denmark for this release. This is still Widex's flagship product and it's definitely got a place in the top hearing aids that you should consider when researching new hearing aid technology. The feature that Widex are most proud of in their Moment range is their revolutionary PureSound technology. This new program is designed for those with a mild hearing loss and uses their zero delay technology to process sounds between 8 to 20 times faster than other digital hearing aids. Widex claims that this enhances the subjective quality of sounds processed by the hearing aids, and their research shows that it gives further benefits in speech understanding and reducing the artificial sound of hearing aids, which in turn results in a natural clean sound.
I mentioned Oticon's AI earlier on in this video and how impressive that was, yet they weren't the first to start to integrate AI in their hearing aids. Widex have done so for a while now, and using their Bluetooth connection to the phone, Widex have taken this to the next level, involving the user in the decision-making process. Using the app, the user can adjust the settings, which teaches the hearing aids to automatically adjust to the preferences of that user when in similar environments going forwards. Research from Widex indicates that SoundSense Learn usage leads to a greater listening comfort and subjective sound quality.
The Moment is available in a range of colors and four different technology levels: the Moment 440, 330, 220, and 110, with the former being the most advanced of the range. Unlike the Oticon Mores, the Widex Moments are currently available in a range of styles, with three receiver-in-the-canal styles. Firstly, the size 10 battery, which I will add is a very small and discreet receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid. In fact, it's the smallest hearing aid that made it into this video today. So if you're interested in something discreet, then this may well be the right hearing aid for you. The size is, however, at the cost of any Bluetooth functions.
We also have the receiver-in-canal size 312 battery, and the lithium iron rechargeable battery version, which is the smallest rechargeable hearing aid out there at present. The behind-the-ear style using a slim tube or conventional hearing aid mold is available in a 312 or 13 battery size. And the final form factor is Widex's range of custom-made hearing aids, including the micro CIC, CIC, and in-the-ear style. Plus, if you have single-sided deafness, they also have their cross system. Therefore, you will definitely find a hearing aid in their portfolio that is suitable for your configuration of hearing loss, whether you have a mild, moderate, severe, or profound loss.
To echo the connectivity features of the Oticon More, Widex has built in Bluetooth in most of its models across the Moment range and is now suitable with both iOS and Android smartphones as well. Again, for one-way streaming of media and phone calls. As far as apps go, Widex has the Widex Moment app for hearing aid adjustments over Bluetooth. And for those models which are too small to have Bluetooth, there is the Widex Tonelink app, which still allows you to make basic adjustments to settings such as volume and programs.
Remote adjustments are still available with Widex, however, the process is a little bit more complicated compared to other manufacturers, as the user needs to wear an external neck loop to connect, which does come at a cost. Nonetheless, it is still possible to have remote adjustments done from the comfort of your own home. And finally, whilst each hearing aid manufacturer has their own form of sound enrichment therapy in their hearing aids for tinnitus patients, Widex are known in the industry for their unique fractal Zen tone therapy. Zen plays random chime-like tones that can be used for relaxation and for making tinnitus far less noticeable. This is also individualized according to the user's hearing loss and takes into account background noise.
There are various unique Zen tones to choose from depending on which provides the best relief for the user. If tinnitus is one of your most bothersome issues even without a hearing loss, then this form of therapy can make a significant difference to your bothersome tinnitus on a daily basis. Similarly to the Widex Moments, the Paradise range was released in the summer of 2020, and Phonak have continued to add to the range in one form or another since their initial rollout.
These hearing aids are absolutely packed with features and it would be impossible for me to cover them all in as much detail as they deserve in the best of 2022 video. So make sure you check out the full review and I promise you that you will not be disappointed. With the Phonak Paradise range, it's safe to say that Phonak are most proud of their AutoSense 4.0 feature, which is the automatic setting built into the hearing aids.
And it's designed to adapt to the environment around you without you needing to make any adjustments to the settings on your hearing aids. This setting splits the world into seven main environmental classifications, from calm situations, speech in noise, speech in car, comfort in noise, comfort in echo, and finally music. Now, you know what's coming, this is all done via machine learning, which is a subfield of artificial intelligence. Once either your environment or stream signal is understood, recognized, and categorized by AutoSense 4.0, it's able to choose from more than 200 different setting combinations in order to optimize the hearing aids setting to perfectly match the needs in that situation.
With other genius automatic features built into these hearing aids, such as motion sensors to detect whether or not you're walking, which then determine whether the microphone should be pointing in front of you or to the side, Phonak have really taken automation to the next level in terms of outside of the box thinking to optimize your hearing. Paradise is available in a range of colors and four different technology levels: the P90, 70, 50, and 30, with the former being the most advanced of the range. It's currently only available in a receiver-in-the-canal style in Phonak's power range, the Naida Paradise. Plus, more recently, the CROS II. If you're looking for a custom-made hearing aid from Phonak or a behind-the-ear hearing aid for mild to moderate hearing loss, you need to check out their Marvel range, which is currently one generation behind in terms of technology. With each technology level, there are various models available and you'll need to choose between rechargeable or battery-powered hearing aids, with some models also forgoing the loop system.
A conversation with your audiologist should help to establish which is the best of your lifestyle. And again, you'll definitely find a hearing aid in this range suitable for both a mild, moderate, severe, or profound level of hearing. As with most of the hearing aids discussed today, the Paradise hearing aids also have Bluetooth built in, however, they have a couple of different Bluetooth features which are unique to Phonak in themselves. First of all, they use classic Bluetooth, which means that they can connect to any Bluetooth device. So not only an iPhone or Android, but also a non-smartphone, as long as it has Bluetooth built into it. They allow for a total of eight different Bluetooth pairings of which two of these can be paired simultaneously.
For example, they can be paired to both your mobile and landline without needing to reestablish the connection each and every time, which was necessary in their previous generation of hearing aids. And to be honest, it was a bit of a pain at the same time. So I'm glad they've overcome this issue. The second unique Bluetooth feature which other manufacturers are just starting to catch up with is they allow for a two-way Bluetooth connection. And what I mean by that is that when you use your phone, the sound is streamed directly to both of your hearing aids. And then when you speak, your own voice is picked up by the microphone on the hearing aids and streamed back to the person you're speaking to on the other end of the phone.
So with these hearing aids, you can have a truly hands-free conversation. Again, remote adjustments are available with the Paradise range, with the user sat at home. This is done via the myPhonak App, which while I mention it, has evolved very nicely over the years. I now feel that Phonak have really listened to the feedback of both users and audiologists, giving you control and allowing you to create your own custom-made programs and have quite a hands-on approach when it comes to adjusting some of the more finer details on the hearing aids, such as being able to adjust the bass, the mids and the trebles, changing the noise reduction settings and directionality on the hearing aids, and also making them more or less focused in terms of picking up sounds from around you. If these hearing aids alone still don't overcome all of the challenges created by your hearing loss, Phonak have a comprehensive range of FM systems called Roger, and accessories which are compatible with the Phonak Paradise range.
The last unique addition which I think is worth a mention, which in fact is a very recent addition to the range, is the Phonak Paradise Life model. Phonak are boasting that this new receiver-in-canal style hearing aid is the world's first fully waterproof rechargeable hearing aid. To develop this product, they've had to add additional microphone protection, sealed the seams with silicon, coated the components with parylene, and redesigned the way the hearing aid charges so that rather than having contacts like the rest of the Phonak Paradise range, they have inductive charging similar to that of Widex, ReSound, and Oticon. Whilst I'm on the subject of Phonak, the next hearing aid which makes this list is the incredibly unique Phonak Lyric version 4.0. The first generation of the Lyric hearing aid came out in 2007. And since then, we've had new generations roughly every three to four years with slight tweaks from both a physical and an electroacoustic perspective over the years.
It is the world's only 100% invisible extended wear hearing aid. And what I mean by that is that it's inserted in the ear canal under a microscope and sits four millimeters from the ear drum and is left in your ear for between two to three months at a time. This is why it's dubbed the contact lens of the ear.
It needs to be prescribed and fitted by an audiologist who's specially trained in the Lyric fitting process. After the two to three months, you need to re-attend the practice to have the Lyric device removed, and then another one fitted. Due to the depth of the insertion, it really is the most invisible hearing aid that's currently out there. And even with someone peering right down your ear canal, it should still go unnoticed. Whilst discretion is a big advantage of this hearing aid, convenience is another huge factor when it comes to people choosing this device, as it also means that there are no batteries to change and no ongoing maintenance is necessary.
Whilst there isn't any Bluetooth built into these hearing aids, as it would have a significant impact on draining that battery life, it does come with a remote control tool called a SoundLink. This tool has two important functions. Number one, it acts as a remote control allowing you to change the volume or the program on the Lyric, whether that's on, off, or sleep mode. And number two, it acts as a tool to allow you to remove your Lyric devices. These are two quite big subjects in themselves, so check out my Lyrics series for other videos covering these topics, which are linked in the description to this video. Being as forward-thinking as Phonak are, with your permission, they will also store your Lyric settings in the cloud.
So should your Lyric die if you're away on holiday in another city or country, then you can head over to another practice that provides Lyric and have it replaced. And if that isn't convenient enough, you can even take away a spare set and self-insert your Lyrics should they die. From a hearing point of view, I'm also pretty pleased to report a lot of positives.
It's suitable for a mild to severe hearing loss. So if your hearing loss falls within this fitting area, then Lyric could be suitable for you. Lyric is a digitally programmable analog device, meaning that it's analog in terms of processing.
And whilst when you hear analog in terms of hearing aids, you may think that they're really old technology, it's not necessarily the case. Analog devices tend to provide a far more natural listening experience to those of digital hearing aids. From that perspective, I've had some great success with the musicians that I fitted with Lyric due to its next to natural sound. And they tend to be some of my most toughest patients to achieve satisfaction. Lyric doesn't have the same degree of automation that you would be able to achieve with a conventional digital hearing aid like the rest of these hearing aids that have made it to today's list. However, due to its uniqueness and appeal, it definitely deserves to be here in the runnings for the best hearing aid of 2022.
Located in Minnesota, U.S., Starkey is the only American-based hearing aid manufacturer. And in fact, the last independent hearing aid manufacturer in the world. For 40 years, they've been leaders in the development of new and innovative ideas, and that hasn't slowed down one bit. Starkey were the first to bring the term healthable to the hearing aid world in 2018. And since then, have built on this concept, along with their smartphone app Thrive.
This contributes to their idea of being more than just a hearing aid, but also to be a device which is responsible for the overall health and wellbeing of the user. The Evolv range is the newest addition to the hearing aid world. And whilst it was released in the U.S. at the tail end of 2021, in some countries it's literally being released as I speak. This range is honestly one of the most comprehensive ranges of hearing aids that I've ever seen, ranging from their IIC hearing aids, going up to their Power Plus BTE.
And they come in both rechargeable and disposable battery options. Therefore they should cover any style of hearing aid that you're interested in, and any degree of hearing loss. And they're even claiming to have built the world's smallest CIC hearing aid which has Bluetooth capabilities, which up until now, the only real competition in this sphere has been ReSound. The Evolv range is available in four technology levels: the 2400, 2000, 1600, and 1200, with the former being the most advanced of the range.
As I've mentioned artificial intelligence with every other hearing aid manufacturer on this list so far, it will be unfair to miss out Starkey's incorporation of AI in these hearing aids. Starkey call their version of this Edge mode. And when activated, the hearing aids conduct an AI-based analysis of your current environment.
The hearing aids will then adjust their parameters in order to optimize the listing situation for the hearing aid user. This should then make immediate adjustments designed to improve the speech audibility issues caused by those of background noise, and Starkey claim that this even works for people wearing face masks. As a result, Starkey are boasting that users should see a 40% reduction in noise energy compared to their previous hearing aid technology, with the end result for the hearing aid user being improved speech understanding in background noise. As with Phonak, there are way too many features to cover with this overview.
So again, check out the specific Starkey Evolv review video that we have over on Hearing Tracker. The Thrive Bluetooth app allows the hearing aid user to make similar basic adjustments to their settings on their hearing aids compared to other hearing aid manufacturers apps too, such as adjusting the volume control or changing to different programs, which Starkey call memories. This app also has a long list of other key features, which is what brings the Starkey hearing aids into the healthable arena which I was discussing with you earlier on in this video. Some of those unique features worth a mention are their activity monitor, their translation feature, which I liken to a live voice version of Google Translate. They even have a transcription feature providing closed captions for real-world situations. Their fall alerts and care settings are great to help monitor the activity and safety of a loved one wearing these hearing aids, with automatic notifications being sent to a chosen person should something unfortunate happen to the user.
One final unique point to mention regarding the Evolv range is that they are the first hearing aid manufacturer after Phonak to introduce two-way Bluetooth, allowing again for fully hands-free phone calls. If you're looking for a hearing aid to be more than just a hearing aid, then this may well be the right hearing aid for you. Signia, alongside Widex, are owned by a company called WS Audiology, yet Signia are a fairly recent name in the world of hearing aids. They have a history of designing hearing aids that are a little bit more out there compared to other manufacturers and have tried to redirect the hearing aid market a couple of times with their previous hearing aid ranges. And I feel that they have done so again with their AX range.
Released gradually throughout 2021, Signia have some very unique features that we haven't seen with other manufacturers. Saying that, one thing that I really like about this tech is that it looks like Signia have also cherry-picked some of the best features from other manufacturers too, and put them into one hearing aid. No, I can't say who came up with the R&D first, but it certainly seems like a sensible decision to combine the best features from all hearing aid manufacturers in one hearing aid. The Charge&Go AX hearing aids come in three different technology levels: the 7AX, 5AX, and 3AX, with the former being the most advanced of the range. They come in various colors and also a few different form factors, ranging from a rechargeable receiver-in-canal style, which can be ordered both with and without the telecoil, to a custom-made ITC and ITE fully rechargeable version too, with all of them supporting Bluetooth for both Android and Apple technology.
The main USP that the Signia camp is shouting about comes down to these hearing aids containing two different processes running simultaneously. Signia are claiming that this allows them to process the sounds that are in focus, such as speech with one processor, and with the other processor focus on all of the environmental sounds. These two signals are then treated very differently, with speech receiving more linear amplification, whilst noise, on the other hand, is compressed far more aggressively. The hearing aids can then control how these sounds are recombined.
And in theory, it should create a greater contrast between the two signals. This augmented focus then pulls the focused sounds closer and places the environmental sounds further away, with the end result helping you to focus on the speech that you want to hear with more clarity and detail whilst hopefully minimizing background noise in situations such as groups, crowds, or noisy listening environments. Although the Signia app, which is aptly named Signia App is pretty basic, Signia have taken the Widex SoundSense to the next level with their Signia Assist feature.
The Signia Assist is something very unique to Signia and definitely worth getting excited about. This clever piece of artificial intelligence is useful in two different ways. Via the app, the user types in their hearing issue and the Signia Assist will present you with a list of potential solutions to choose from.
It will then analyze the parameters in your acoustic environment, and then based on the deep neural network, will enhance the settings on the hearing aids to suit your requests and desires. This means that with your feedback, the hearing aids are in a constant state of evolution and change without you needing to revisit your audiologist for the adjustments as often as you may need to otherwise. This information is all fed back to your audiologist and then they can remotely track the interactions that you have with the Signia Assistant, which also makes the feedback that you give at your follow-up appointments even more valuable. This should, as a result, lead to you reaching the point in which you are satisfied with your hearing aids even quicker than with previous Signia hearing aid technology. As far as tinnitus goes, Signia offer three different strategies against tinnitus, depending on which is the most appropriate for the user.
Firstly, they have static noise tinnitus therapy signals of which you can choose from five preset noise signals. Plus, you have the ability to be able to customize the sound to meet your specific needs. Secondly, they also have four different ocean wave therapy signals, which is designed to mimic the sound of the sea. And then finally, they have the Signia tinnitus notch therapy, and they're the only hearing aids currently using this, which is designed specifically for those experiencing tonal tinnitus, such as ringing, whistling, or buzzing, which is the most common type of tinnitus that people suffer with.
This approach is different to using a masking sound, and Signia claim that the concept behind notch therapy is not to drown out tinnitus, but to teach the brain how to ignore it completely. And finally, but by no means in last position comes the ReSound ONE. Released back in August, 2020, this is ReSound's current and most advanced receiver-in-canal hearing aid.
ReSound dominated the world of hearing aids when they produced the first made for iPhone hearing aid in 2014, and they set a new standard when it came to connectivity. The ReSound ONEs have three different technology levels: the nines, sevens, and fives, with the former being the most advanced of the range. They're available in various colors, battery sizes, and in a rechargeable version, as well as being available with a low, medium, high, and ultra power receiver to suit your degree of hearing loss.
The ONE also works with the receiver unique to ReSound, the microphone and receiver in the ear, which is also known as M&RIE. Works not only with two microphones on the back of the hearing aids, but also introduces a third microphone which sits in the ear canal. ReSound boasts that by having this microphone in the ear, this takes into account the shape and size of an individual's anatomy, which can have a significant impact on the sound. They claim that this improves sound localization by around 15% when compared to omnidirectional BTE microphones, and about 10% when compared to hearing aids that provide pinna compensation. Combining this with directional technology, this results in a significant improvement in their signal to noise ratio.
In English, this means that it's the best hearing aid in background noise that they've been able to achieve with any hearing aid. The ONEs, again, have Bluetooth to allow streaming of media and phone calls with both Apple and Android devices and have a comprehensive app called the Smart 3D app. Whilst they allow for basic adjustments like any other hearing aid manufacturer, they also give a few more advanced features, such as noise filtering, wind noise reduction, noise reduction, and enhanced speech settings and clarity settings. Plus, they give the user access to a three-band graphic equalizer. And if you wish, you can also store your own settings should you adjust all of the above parameters and find something that works well for you in a particular scenario.
If you're wondering why there aren't many in-the-ear hearing aids that have made it to my list for the best hearing aids of 2022, that's because whilst the hearing aids are great and can make a huge difference if you're not wearing any hearing aids at all, they do technically have a lesser spec than those of behind-the-ear hearing aids. We do have another video covering the advantages and disadvantages of in-the-ear hearing aids that I would recommend checking out for a healthy discussion on the pros and cons of this style of technology. The final point that I want to put across in this video is that when selecting a hearing aid, it really is an impossible task to do it alone, as each and every manufacturer will tell you that they're the best for your needs.
And hey, at the end of the day, they're the same as any other business and I think that each of them genuinely believe that, just like Starbucks think they have the best coffee and Ford think that they make the best cars. The thing about hearing aids that you have to remember though, is that the hardware is only 50% of the solution. In fact, I'd actually go as far as saying it's less than 50%. Hearing aids are only as good as how well they're programmed and that comes down to the skill and experience of the audiologist that you're working with and the time that they spend with you. Hearing aids come as a blank canvas, and it's the job of your audiologist to paint an acoustic picture of your lifestyle and hearing loss and tailor those hearing aids exactly to your needs. You've wisely started this process by investigating the latest technology that's out there and now you need to continue this process by finding the best audiologist that's out there too.
I first of all recommend finding somebody independent that deals with at least all of the aforementioned manufacturers so that they can give you a full breakdown on which are the best for you as an individual. After all, you wouldn't go to an electronic store and expect them to only recommend one brand of television, would you? Once you found the right audiologist, it's onto the right assessment of your hearing. There are so many places that think that a quick look in the ear and a pure-tone audiogram is an appropriate way to assess someone's hearing. And in reality, that gives us a very small part of the picture. I'll cover exactly what you should experience in an audiology assessment in another video, as it's a huge subject in itself.
Once you've been assessed, your audiologist may give you a few options or they may state that one specific hearing aid really stands out for your needs, but don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration of a couple of different hearing aids. You should be offered a demonstration appointment and the hearing aids should, without question, be programmed using real ear measurements. Make sure you also ask questions about a trial period and how comprehensive the aftercare program is, as setting up a set of hearing aids isn't just a case of having them programmed and you sailing off into the sunset.
That's actually just the beginning of the process. You'll need to work with your audiologist over a period of time to get the right settings for you. So make sure that you also connect with that person on a personal level, as you will be spending some time together.
I do hope that you found this video useful, guys. If you liked this video, then please hit the like button. If you have any questions, then drop them in the comments below. And if you haven't subscribed yet, then make sure you do so.
I'll see you in the next video.