Hearing is part of life, and if you lose your hearing you may miss out on important things. That’s why technological strides have been made in the hearing aid industry to provide you with better hearing. Two of that industry's biggest brands are Phonak and Starkey.
Before you purchase any type of hearing aid, it is important to understand the differences between various brands. After all, when there are so many options to choose from, they all start to look similar. To help you make an informed decision, we've put together this guide.
The Difference Between the Two Brands
While hearing aids all work to provide you with the ability to hear better, not all hearing aids are the same. They can differ in style, sensitivity and technology, which can make choosing the right one a challenge. Phonak and Starkey, for example, each offer different user experiences.
Established in 1947 in Switzerland, Phonak provides hearing aids to individuals in over 100 countries. This company is known for offering a 100% invisible model that has taken the world by storm. Although now under parent company Sonova, the brand continues to make strides in cochlear implants, external communication devices and hearing aids to help individuals around the globe.
Starkey began developing its presence in the hearing industry in 1963 before becoming a fully-fledged, privately owned hearing aid business in 1970. Headquartered in Minnesota, Starkey found great success during President Reagan’s time in office. The owner, William Austin, wanted to help people who need assistance hearing, which is the idea that brought about the creation of the Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1984.
A brief overview of what Phonak and Starkey offer can be found in the table below that highlights important features. Take a look before continuing on to learn about the specifics.
|Technology||Rechargeable lithium batteries|
Marvel technology for clear sounds
AutoSens OS that helps you adapt to sound in your environment
Tinnitus technology to lessen ringing in the ears
|Product warranty||International warranty||Limited warranty|
The Technological Features
The main high-tech feature of Phonak hearing aids is the use of Marvel technology. This enables speech recognition, exceptional hearing performance and the delivery of high-quality sound. The brand also offers biometric calibration, which helps create a unique hearing aid experience based on the shape of an individual’s ear structure.
Starkey utilizes technology that protects hearing aids from moisture and wax, called Surface Nano Shield. Another feature that is attractive to users is remote programming that allows your physician to make adjustments without you ever having to step foot into the office.
The Different Types of Hearing Aids
With advances in technology come new models and features in hearing aids. Rather than the clunky devices of decades past, both Phonak and Starkey offer various models of behind-the-ear, in-the-ear and invisible hearing aids.
Phonak has several models for you to choose from. This includes everything from a titanium model to an invisible model.
Besides the traditional in-the-ear and behind-the-ear models, Starkey offers receiver-in-the-canal options that can be used for individuals with hearing loss in only one ear. Both companies help individuals across the spectrum of hearing loss by providing devices that suit a person’s unique hearing situation.
The Cost of Hearing Aids
Price is an important factor in choosing hearing aids, and it can vary based on a variety of factors, including the model you choose, your level of hearing loss, various features and what might be covered by your insurance. In general, Phonak hearing aids, which start at around $1,200 for the most no-frills options, are less expensive than Starkey models that start at roughly $1,500. For an exact price, however, it is best to speak with your audiologist.
The Customer Service You Deserve
Hearing aids are incredible technology, but you may feel like you’ve stepped into uncharted territory at first. Phonak does its best to help you solve your problems by providing answers to common concerns online. There is also a 1-800 number you can call and an online form for different help options.
Starkey provides a troubleshooting guide as well as answers to common questions on its website. Or, if you’d rather, the company can also help you via a toll-free phone number and email.
The Bottom Line
Depending on what you’re looking for in a hearing aid, there are multiple types from each brand with technological features that deliver high-quality sounds. Phonak offers many different models to suit a wide range of individuals, including a completely invisible hearing aid. Starkey also provides individuals with plenty of options and enhanced technology.
In the end, the choice is yours. Our goal is to provide you with the facts behind two popular brands so you can choose whether Phonak or Starkey hearing aids are right for you.