Best Hearing Aids for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

Kasey Craig
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Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions among seniors. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 30 million people over the age of 60 have some form of hearing loss. Among this group, nearly 2 million suffer from severe or profound hearing loss; this variety of the condition makes it nearly impossible to partake in everyday activities like conversing or listening to the radio without amplification.

Luckily, there are special types of hearing aids designed to accommodate people with severe or profound hearing loss. In this rundown, we’ll take a look at some of the best options available.

Best Hearing Aids for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss

  • Phonak : Advanced Sound Processing
  • Oticon : Best for Profound Hearing Loss
  • ReSound : Best for iPhone Connectivity
  • Philips : Best Budget Hearing Aid

What Is Severe Hearing Loss?

Not all hearing losses are created equally. Similar to vision impairment, there are different degrees of loss that require different solutions.

This is something you should keep in mind when looking to purchase a hearing aid, as different devices are made to accommodate different degrees of hearing loss. Most hearing aids are suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss; however, only certain devices can accommodate the needs of someone with severe to profound hearing loss.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

Type of Hearing Loss Hearing Threshold Symptoms Common Sounds You Might Miss
Normal Hearing 0 – 25 dB
  • Imperceptible symptoms, if any
  • A leaky faucet
Mild Hearing Loss 25 – 40 dB
  • Difficulty hearing some speech sounds, quiet conversations, or conversation with lots of background noise
  • A ticking clock
  • Rustling leaves
Moderate Hearing Loss 40 – 60 dB
  • Difficulty understanding speech at normal volumes
  • Higher volumes required to hear the TV or radio
  • Microwave beeping, blinker in car
  • Bird calls
Severe Hearing Loss 60 – 80 dB
  • Cannot hear normal speech without amplification
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Passing cars
Severe-Profound Hearing Loss 80 – 90 dB
  • Comprehension of speech is impossible without amplification
  • A food blender
  • A baby crying
Profound Hearing Loss 90 dB and greater
  • Comprehension still difficult with amplification
  • A lawnmower
  • A motorcycle


What Causes Severe Hearing Loss?

For most people, hearing loss is caused by a combination of noise exposure, genetics, and age. Naturally, the latter is why the condition is much more common in older adults; however, as noted, there are also several external factors that can contribute to hearing loss:

  • Noise Exposure: While aging naturally brings about wear and tear on the nerve cells inside of our ears, exposure to loud noises can accelerate this process. Individuals with long-term noise exposure, often factory and construction workers, are likely to have more hearing loss. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to stay away from loud noises or wear hearing protection when such noises can’t be avoided.
  • History of Ear Infection: Any history of recurrent growths, infections, or eardrum ruptures can potentially lead to permanent hearing loss.

Once these sensitive parts of your ear are damaged, there is often no way to repair them, so it’s important to take care of your ears. With that said, a quality hearing aid can go a long way towards restoring one’s ability to hear, especially for those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Phonak hearing aids use the latest technology to help seniors hear.
Phonak hearing aids

What to Look for in a Hearing Aid for Severe Hearing Loss

I have fit many patients with profound hearing loss. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have been wearing one brand of hearing aids for many years, it may be difficult to switch to another. This is because your brain is already used to the sound quality and sound processing of a particular brand. Still, you know what works for you. If you’re in the market for new power hearing aids, there are a few qualities that I considered that you may want to look for:

  • Sound Quality: It goes without saying that a hearing aid should produce sounds audibly and clearly. Different hearing aids have different sound qualities, and some of what makes them work for you may boil down to individual preference.
  • Adjustable Settings: While almost any hearing aid can perform well in a quiet room with only one person talking, it’s a whole different task for a hearing aid to pick up speech in a room filled with noise. With this in mind, I looked for hearing aids with directional microphones and noise cancellation features that help you focus on the sounds you want to hear while tuning out the ones you don’t.
  • Accessories: People with severe to profound hearing loss often need additional accessories to maximize their communication. The availability and compatibility of accessories can make a big difference in quality of life.
Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon Hearing Aids

Our Favorite Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss

1. Phonak - Advanced Sound Processing

What We Like Most:
  • Nationwide Hearing Aid Specialists
  • Contracted with Veterans Administration
  • Fine-Tune Hearing Aids via Smartphone App


Phonak has been a leader in power hearing aids for many years, often starting as a choice for pediatric patients with profound hearing loss. Even more impressive is its array of accessories that are compatible with hearing aids for those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Phonak’s Naída Paradise delivers rich sound to those with moderate to profound hearing loss. Additionally, with the myPhonak app, you can control your hearing aids from your smartphone, and even stream audio from your phone to your hearing aids.

Naida Marvel hearing aids are compatible with Roger accessories. Roger products are accessories that allow you to participate more easily in multiple talker conversations. There are three styles of Roger available. The Roger Pen can be held by the listener and be discreetly pointed at whichever person is speaking, allowing you to control and quickly switch focus between speakers. The Roger Select and Roger Table Mic II are disc-shaped mics designed to sit in the middle of a table and facilitate participation in group conversations. The mic itself chooses which speaker to focus on and automatically switches the direction of focus when the speaker changes. This means that you can get the benefit of multi-talker conversation, hands-free.

Phonak hearing aids must be purchased from a hearing care specialist, so the price will vary depending on which one you visit. With that said, a pair Naída Paradise will likely run you around $3,000 per pair for entry-level technology and $6,000 for high-end technology. Phonak also offers a one- to three-year limited warranty on all of its devices. Most retailers also offer a 45-day trial period for your device. It’s best to confirm your exact warranty and trial period prior to purchase.

  • 1-to-3-year international warranty
  • Proven sound quality
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Must be purchased from a hearing specialist

2. Oticon - Best for Profound Hearing Loss

What We Like Most:
  • Risk-Free Trial
  • Connectivity Technology
  • Range of Hearing Solutions


Oticon suited for people of all ages and for all types of hearing loss, from mild to severe. What impressed us most about Oticon, however, was the great sound quality and feedback (whistling) management in their power hearing aids.

Oticon bills its Xceed device as the world’s most powerful hearing aid, and it’s plain to see why. The Xceed sound processing focuses on allowing you to hear all of the noises around you for a true-to-life hearing experience. With its proprietary OpenSound Optimizer, the Xceed also prevents whistling and static. This allows you to focus on the sounds that matter most to you, whether this is a conversation with loved ones or a song on the radio.

The cost for Oticon’s Xceed will vary based upon the retailer; however, a pair will likely cost you somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000. With any of its devices, most providers offer a 30- to 45-day risk-free trial, during which time you can return your device for a full refund. There are also different yearlong warranties available, depending upon which device you choose and the retailer from which you purchase it.

The Oticon Xceed is great for any person with severe to profound hearing loss. Additionally, for the more plugged-in users, the Xceed can be paired with iPhones without any additional accessories and can be paired to any smartphone for hands-free streaming and talking.

  • Great sound quality
  • Smart features
  • Smaller size than many power aids
  • Risk-free trial
  • Somewhat high price tag
  • Must be purchased through a hearing professional

3. ReSound - Best for iPhone Connectivity

What We Like Most:
  • Free Online Hearing Test
  • 1 to 4 Year Warranty
  • Highly Customizable


ReSound hearing aids are centered around the idea of replicating natural sounds for their users. For those with mild to profound hearing loss, they offer expertly designed behind-the-ear models that amplify into whatever audible range you need. Resound was the first company to offer direct from iPhone streaming in its hearing aids, and it excels at this.

ReSound’s most advanced model, the Enzo Q is made specifically for those with severe to profound hearing loss. This hearing aid provides direct from iPhone streaming, which can be a lifesaver for patients struggling with hearing on the phone. The Enzo 3D will also have great background noise reduction so that you can focus on what matters most.

There are three different technology levels of ReSound’s Enzo Q, all of which come at different price points. With that said, you should expect to pay a minimum of $3,000 for a pair of these hearing aids. While warranties and returns will vary depending upon the retailer, most ReSound products will include a trial period after purchase. Additionally, all ReSound hearing aids will be covered under a warranty of one to four years, depending upon the specific model.

ReSound hearing aids are ideal for: iPhone users; individuals who already have or may get a Med-El Cochlear implant; and for those who have tried other solutions for severe to profound hearing loss and have been dissatisfied by the audio quality of said hearing aids. ReSound hearing aids offer great streaming connectivity and natural sound quality.

  • Tinnitus relief
  • Ability to adjust settings through ReSound app
  • “Find my hearing aid” feature
  • Compatible with cochlear implants
  • Online video tutorials
  • Must be purchased through a hearing professional

4. Philips - Best Budget Hearing Aid

Philips portable oxygen concentrators
What We Like Most:
  • Available at Costco
  • Twin Microphone Design
  • Dedicated Customer Support Service Line


Philips offers a variety of hearing aids, from tiny in-ear units to traditional behind-the-ear devices. All of them are powered by Philips HearLink technology, which allows you to hear well even in noisy environments and something many hearing aids struggle to accomplish. Philips hearing aids are made by Demant, the same parent company that makes Oticon aids. Although Oticon’s aids feature newer features, Philips offers a more budget-friendly option.

For those with severe to profound hearing loss, the Philips BTE PP offers stellar audio quality in a simple behind-the-ear design. Using directional microphones, this hearing aid delivers clean audio of speech, even in environments with lots of background noise. It can also connect wirelessly to phones and other smart devices.

The Philips BTE PP is available at Costco, in addition to other hearing specialist centers. At Costco, you’ll spend about $2,400 for a high-end pair of these hearing aids. Warranties and returns will vary depending upon the retailer. At 180 days, Costco has one of the most generous return policies in the industry.

Philips hearing aids would be ideal for the user looking for a simple model. Their BTE PP model delivers solid audio performance in an easy-to-use package.

  • Easy to use
  • Available at Costco
  • Compatible with iPhones
  • Excellent in noisy environments
  • Limited warranty information

Bottom Line

For those with severe to profound hearing loss, a hearing aid is one of the most essential ways to continue living life to the fullest. When looking into a hearing aid, be sure to weigh your options carefully, as high-powered devices like these do not come cheaply. Luckily, most retailers will offer some sort of trial period, ensuring that you’ll be able to find the right hearing aid for your needs.

To learn more about hearing aids, be sure to check out our helpful guides:

Kasey Craig
Written By
Dr. Kasey Craig, Au.D.

Kasey is passionate about explaining hearing loss and communication strategies to her patients and their families, helping them get back to effective and fun communication. Her experience in public and private healthcare in the U.S. and abroad gives her perspective and familiarity about all sides of the hearing aid market. She studied linguistics at Rice University and got her Au.D. (Clinical Doctorate in Audiology) at the University of South Florida. When she is not helping her patients make the best decisions about their hearing health care and hearing aids, she enjoys photography and painting, in addition to hiking the hills of Scotland with her partner and kids.

Learn more about Kasey here.