Hearing aid types: Does brand matter?

Some people are very loyal to brands, sticking to the same brand of vehicle, coffee or smartphone. Should you develop the same loyalty for hearing aids? Does it matter which hearing aid brand you choose?

“I have to give both a ‘no’ and a ‘yes’ answer, because it really depends on your priorities,” says Hanan Merrill from Nanaimo Hearing Clinic.

There are about eight major hearing aid brands, owned by about five major manufacturers.

No, it doesn’t matter which hearing aid brand you choose

“The major brands all have a similar range of products and styles, so really, any brand can fit the average person’s hearing needs,” Hanan says.

Every brand offers a similar range of products at different performance levels and price points, a similar variety of hearing aid styles, and a similar selection of accessories. On the surface, the brands are quite similar — so none can be considered the ‘best hearing aid brand’.

Yes, it does matter which hearing brand you choose

Then again, astute users will notice subtle differences.

“Each brand offers slightly different sound quality. One brand has a more mellow sound, one is more sharp and a third brand has a richer sound quality,” Hanan says. “There are a variety of reasons why people may love or hate a particular sound quality — or not notice a difference.”

There are also subtle differences between accessories which may affect your choice.

“For example, one brand’s TV connector will plug ‘in line’ with your sound bar, while another brand must plug ‘in place’ of your sound bar. That affects whether you can watch TV comfortably with others,” Hanan says. “Remote microphones are another example. Some are simpler to use, while others offer more advanced function.”

If you’re tech-savvy, you may love using a certain brand’s app to control your hearing aids from your smartphone. Then again, you may prefer a more hands-on control system. Subtle differences in material textures and sizes can make one hearing aid brand ‘fit like a glove’ while another is extremely irritating — but those preferences will be different for everyone.

What are your hearing goals?

“If you’re the type of person who says, ‘I’ll adapt to anything, I just want the best price,’ that’s great. Follow that principle and don’t worry about your hearing aid brand,” Hanan says.

“On the other hand, if hearing is important to you and you recognize that you’ll be wearing your hearing aids more than any other accessory in your life, then the subtle differences between brands will be extremely important.”

Because Nanaimo Hearing Clinic is an independent hearing clinic, they offer clients access to all of the major brands — with no obligation. Their experienced staff can help guide you through the many options and find the perfect fit.

Find Nanaimo Hearing Clinic at 501-5800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza. To make an appointment call 250-585-4100 or get in touch online at nanaimohearingclinic.com/contact.

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