What's the best hearing aid on the market?

What's the best hearing aid for me?

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As an Audiologist when I see someone for a hearing assessment I get asked a often 'What is the best hearing aid on the market?'. It sounds a simple question, surely there is a hearing aid or a range of hearing aids available which are market leaders offering top level technology. Yes there are, however there are many factors to take into consideration when answering the question. 

                                                                             

Styles

There are many different styles and options for hearing aids. There are Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) In-The-Ear (ITE) Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC) and Invisible-In-Canal (IIC). They all offer a different cosmetic look and suit different types of hearing loss. They also can have different options and features available to each other. When thinking about what style someone wants we need to take into consideration cosmetic look, features, compatibility, maintenance, batteries, rechargability and possible connectivity. It's really important to find a hearing aid style that you would be comfortable using and wearing.

                                                                                   

Technology levels / Features 

Hearing aids can come in a range of technology levels ranging from a functional level up to advanced signal processing abilities. The more advanced the technology level the more advanced the processing abilities and the more background noise reduction features the hearing aid has. It means it is doing more complex processing to help give the best sound experience possible in all types of situations. However, not everyone will need complex hearing aid processing technology. It all depends on your lifestyle, listening needs, common listening situations and social interactions where you are wanting the most help and benefit.

                                                     

Extras

Hearing aids can come with a wide range of extras such as blue-tooth compatibility, streaming, connectivity to smart-phone and wireless communication with Assistive Listening Devices (ALD's). These extras usually depend on the style of hearing aid you choose.

Price 

Price is also a very important factor. Hearing aids are an investment that will generally last 3-5 years. They range in cost, so it's important to find the best hearing aid to meet your listening needs within in your budget.

To conclude, the answer to the question is, there is no 'best hearing aid on the market.' There is no best hearing aid that will suit everyone. It is purely down to looking through all options, discussing your specific requirements with your audiologist and finding a hearing aid that can deliver what you need to resolve your hearing and communication difficulties.

The question should not be 

'What's the best hearing aid on the market?'

It should be

'What's the best hearing aid for me?'

Zoe Dingle - Clinical Audiologist