Best Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

If you notice a ringing noise in your ears that no one else seems to hear, then you may have tinnitus. An auditory and neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million Americans, tinnitus has no known cure. This chronic buzzing, hissing, and clicking in one’s ears is a small nuisance for most people. For others, however, tinnitus is stressful and can cause more intense symptoms. Those with debilitating tinnitus often suffer from a lack of sleep, in addition to anxiety and an inability to concentrate.

Best Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

What Causes Tinnitus?

There is no single cause for tinnitus, and while it can be bothersome, it is usually completely harmless. It can be a symptom of an underlying condition, most commonly, age-related hearing loss. However, it can be aggravated by substances like caffeine and some medications.

In rare cases, tinnitus can be linked to cardiovascular conditions, like high blood pressure, acoustic neuroma, or head or neck injuries. If you have bothersome tinnitus that starts suddenly and is constant — or is only present in one ear — it’s best to get it checked out by your doctor.

Did You Know: Tinnitus can occur in one or both of one’s ears. Additionally, its noises may be present all the time, or they may come and go in a seemingly random fashion.

How Is Tinnitus Treated?

Just as there’s no one cause for tinnitus, there’s no definitive cure, especially if the cause is hearing loss. Some people get complete relief by wearing hearing aids to treat hearing loss. However, if that doesn’t help, many people find they can get some relief using a combination of talk therapy, relaxation techniques, and deliberately using background noise to distract them from the tinnitus sounds. Using a variety of techniques can decrease the awareness of tinnitus in everyday life and make it easier and less bothersome to live with.

Can a Hearing Aid Stop Tinnitus?

To understand the link between hearing loss and tinnitus, let’s talk for a minute about the hearing process. We hear because sound travels into our ears, and our auditory nerves take those signals to our brains. The brain’s job is to put together all this acoustic information and make sense of what we’re hearing.

Our ears don’t select what we hear; rather, they hear everything, so our brains are tasked with filtering out unnecessary noises and background sounds, preventing us from getting overwhelmed by the many noises at any given moment. In cases of hearing loss (or other changes in the hearing system, such as an infection), our brains don’t get the same information from our ears. One theory is that when our brains try to get more information and fill in the gaps, it can result in tinnitus.

If your tinnitus is directly related to hearing loss, simply restoring your hearing by using a hearing aid can help lessen the symptoms.

On top of this, some hearing aid manufacturers have taken things one step further and developed specific tinnitus-related features to help mask out the sound of tinnitus and make the condition more manageable.

What Else Should I Look For In A Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is an investment in better hearing and the ability to enjoy life more fully. With that said, these devices tend to run a pretty penny, so it’s important to choose one that covers all your needs. If you have tinnitus and are looking for a hearing aid, we recommend looking for the following:

Best Hearing Aids for People With Tinnitus

Here are our picks for the three best hearing aid manufacturers that offer tinnitus solutions.

1. Signia - Best Overall Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

3.5 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Solutions for Tinnitus
  • Free Online Hearing Test
  • Nationwide Hearing Care Professionals
  • Smartphone Compatibility

Overview

Signia has a range of hearing aids on offer, from sleek modern behind-the-ear models to tiny, in-ear models. They also offer some unique tinnitus therapies.

Tinnitus Solutions: Signia hearing aids provide a variety of gentle static background sounds or ocean wave sounds to help soothe and mask your tinnitus. In addition to these more common tinnitus treatment strategies, Signia also offers something called notch therapy. If you have tonal tinnitus (which sounds like one particular tone/frequency), sometimes amplifying that frequency can make it worse rather than better. Notch therapy provides amplification appropriate for your hearing loss across all the frequencies except the location of the tinnitus. Rather than distracting from the sound or masking the sound, notch therapy works to help the brain ignore the sounds so that they fade further and further into the background.

Tinnitus Models: Tinnitus therapy is included with most Signia models. These range from in-the-ear models to modern behind-the-ear models. A hearing health-care provider will be able to advise you on which model is best for your unique hearing situation and can double-check that the model you choose includes tinnitus therapy.

Signia Styletto hearing aids look great and help seniors hear better.
Signia Styletto hearing aids

Batteries: Both rechargeable and traditional battery hearing aid styles are available from Signia. Its newest rechargeable model also allows for charging with a Qi wireless charger.

Accessories: Signia has a great range of digital accessories to help you stream content directly to your hearing aids and make hands-free calls. You can also access apps to help control your hearing aid and learn to use its many features.

Support: You can easily reach your hearing health-care provider through the dedicated messaging on the Signia app, allowing you an easy way to bring up concerns, get support, hearing aid adjustments, or schedule in-person appointments when necessary. Signia is a longstanding, trusted hearing aid company. Chances are, if you are traveling and the issue cannot be fixed remotely by your hearing health-care provider, you will be able to find a practice to get your hearing aid serviced wherever you go.

What We Loved: In addition to the seamless integration of tinnitus therapies, we also loved the overall sound performance from our Signia models.

What We Didn’t: While we appreciated content streaming and wireless models, If you want audio streaming for phone calls and music without an additional accessory, Signia is probably best for iPhone users.

Pros
  • Wide Range of Models
  • Superior Customer Service
  • Mobile App for Easy Control
  • Unique Therapies for Tinnitus
Cons
  • Must Be Purchased Through a Hearing Professional

Our Verdict: With the combination of their one-of-a-kind notch tinnitus therapy and static masking noise available on a wide range of hearing aid devices, Signia is the best choice for people dealing with tinnitus.

2. Phonak - Best for Natural Sound

4.5 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • Nationwide Hearing Aid Specialists
  • Contracted with Veterans Administration
  • Fine-Tune Hearing Aids via Smartphone App

Overview

Phonak places a strong emphasis on a rich, clear sound that lets you go about your daily life naturally and easily. Although Phonak only offers a few options of broadband-type masking noise, the real benefit of Phonak is the ability to stream sound continuously from any type of phone.

Tinnitus Solutions: Phonak hearing aids use a broadband sound generator to transmit sounds that provide masking for your tinnitus. When using Bluetooth-compatible aids, Phonak also provides an app that allows you to control when the masking noise streams directly to your hearing aids. It can also be used to stream music from your personal playlists or as a sleep timer to help you fall asleep despite tinnitus sounds.

Tinnitus Models: Phonak has two models that include tinnitus relief: Bolero, Audéo, Virto, and Lyric. The Bolero and Audéo models are RIC and BTEs that provide Bluetooth compatibility for all iPhone and Android phones. The Virto is a custom in the ear aid, and it’s best to check with your provider if a set custom made for you can be wireless. The Lyric is a long-term aid worn completely in the canal that offers tinnitus-masking programs but is not wireless.

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

Batteries: Rechargeable or traditional batteries are available, depending on the exact model you pick. The rechargeable models also offer portable charging, so you won’t be tied to finding an outlet when traveling.

Accessories: Phonak offers a range of digital accessories — such as clip-on microphones to enhance sound quality in noisy environments — to streamline your hearing experience and improve your quality of life.

Support: Phonak offers a support app to help guide you through your first few weeks with your new hearing aids, which offers tutorials, tips, and tricks for using your hearing aids. You can also have your hearing health-care provider adjust your hearing aids remotely if needed. Hearing aids will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, and your hearing health-care provider can help with servicing and repairs. If you are traveling, it should be easy to find a location to service your aids. Phonak is owned by the same corporation that owns Connect Hearing, which has locations all over the country.

What We Loved: In addition to their tinnitus therapies and streaming ability, Phonak hearing aids have a crisp, natural speech sound quality.

What We Didn’t: Phonak doesn’t offer as many masking noise options as Signia or Widex.

Pros
  • Official Hearing Aid of the VA
  • 1-Year International Warranty
  • Advanced Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth Streaming
Cons
  • Must Be Purchased from a Hearing Specialist

Our Verdict: Phonak models fit comfortably, deliver crisp sound performance, and provide relief from the effects of tinnitus, making them a solid option for those suffering from constant ringing in their ears, especially if you enjoy streaming music or audiobooks to soothe your tinnitus.

3. Widex - Best Smart Features

4.1 / 5
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What We Like Most:
  • iPhone Compatible
  • Smart Hearing Aid Technology
  • Zen Technology for Tinnitus Sufferers
  • Behind-the-Ear and In-Ear Models

Overview

Widex creates hearing aids designed to give clear sound in every situation. They also can relieve the effects of tinnitus through their proprietary Zen therapy technology.

Tinnitus Solutions: Widex created Zen therapy to help manage tinnitus. Zen therapy uses fractal tones to help mask tinnitus. Although l music can help with tinnitus, some people can eventually habituate and begin to hear the tinnitus again. Because fractal tones are semi-random, you never habituate to them. Fractal tones sound a bit like chimes, and there are different pitches and rhythms to choose from. Widex is the only manufacturer to offer fractal tone therapy for tinnitus.

Tinnitus Models: Zen tones are available in all Widex models, and its newest platform, Moment, offers one of the smallest rechargeable RICs on the market.

Widex hearing aids are top rated for seniors.
Widex hearing aids

Batteries: RICs are available as either rechargeable or with traditional hearing aid batteries.

Accessories: Widex has a range of accessories to promote clearer media streaming, music, TV, and phone calls.

Support: Your hearing health-care professional will set up the Zen programs for you and can remote support via the Widex app. To provide remote adjustments of Widex aids, a hearing aid user must have a separate programming device, which your hearing health care provider can lend you, or you can purchase.

What We Loved: We really appreciated Widex’s clear, beautiful sound. Musicians often choose Widex’s sound over other providers. Both voices and other noises came through with crisp performance.

What We Didn’t: The Widex charger for its rechargeable aids does not have a lid or portable charging option, which can make traveling with the hearing aids more difficult.

Pros
  • Great Sound Quality
  • Comfortable to Wear
  • Smart, Adaptable Hearing Aids
  • Wide Range of Devices
  • Zero-Obligation Hearing Evaluation
  • Risk-Free Hearing Aid Trial
  • In-Store Purchases
Cons
  • Professional Fitting Required
  • Variable Pricing

Our Verdict: Zen therapy is a research-proven therapy for individuals with tinnitus. It’s worth talking to a hearing health-care provider about how it can work for you, especially if white noise and regular music haven’t been very helpful in the past.

In closing

Tinnitus can be frustrating. Luckily, if it accompanies hearing loss, hearing aids can help manage it. If you suffer from hearing loss and are worried about tinnitus symptoms, we’d highly recommend booking an appointment with a hearing health-care provider to see how their tinnitus-specific features can help you.

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here