Finding the right hearing aid for you can greatly improve your quality of life. Of course, there are a lot of brands and devices to choose from. This can make knowing where to start your search challenging. To help you with this, we have compiled some information below comparing two major hearing aid brands: Phonak and Widex.
Phonak is a brand owned by Sonova Holding AG, a Swiss company that owns several other hearing-related brands. The company traces its roots back to 1947.
The Phonak product lineup includes hearing aids, cochlear implants and wireless devices that are compatible with its hearing aids. Throughout its history, Phonak has been a leader in innovation for the industry, and it continues that tradition today with useful advanced features for its products.
Phonak’s Audéo functionality lets some of the hearing aids work directly with smartphones, including iOS and Android devices. This makes taking phone calls and listening to media on your phone significantly easier. The hearing aids can even use the built-in microphones to allow you to use your hearing aids like a Bluetooth headset.
Their Marvel platform provides some of their top-end devices with excellent sound quality in a variety of situations. The technology can identify voices and enhance them to make following conversations easier, even in noisy settings.
Many of their products use Phonak AirStream. This technology aids in connecting hearing aids to media devices. For example, you can plug in a transmitter to your television to have the sound streamed directly to your hearing aid.
Overall, Phonak provides many high-quality devices and should be given serious consideration by anyone needing a hearing aid. Like most hearing aid providers, they sell their products primarily through a network of distributors.
This Danish brand was founded in 1956. Unlike most hearing aid brands, Widex is family-owned rather than part of a massive conglomerate. Nonetheless, it is one of the largest manufacturers in the industry.
Like Phonak, Widex has a strong reputation for innovation. The company endeavors to offer new and useful features. For example, in 1990, it created a new computer-aided manufacturing technique that allows the company to create more comfortable and better-designed devices. A version of this process is used by all major competitors in the field today. Widex also created the first in-the-ear device for public sale, Senso.
Widex’s True Input technology offers users a better music experience. Most hearing aids compress sound to an extent which significantly diminishes the quality of music. True Input is designed to allow a more complete sound picture, especially at louder volumes.
Another innovative Widex feature is its fuel cell technology. This uses a proprietary system to refill the cell in 20 seconds, which then provides 24 hours of usage. It is a completely different take on hearing aid power compared to conventional rechargeable batteries.
Widex’s ZEN tinnitus technology helps reduce the effects of tinnitus. Many brands offer some form of tinnitus program; however, ZEN is widely recognized for its effectiveness. It is one of the many ways Widex can improve quality of life for its users.
Much like Phonak, Widex offers some excellent quality devices. They also sell their hearing aids and other products through distributors rather than directly.
Brand Highlights Comparison
|Customer Service||Online FAQ, 1-800 number, Online number, videos||Online videos, help in-app, local repairs|
Unfortunately, clear data on hearing aid pricing is difficult to acquire. Because hearing aids are often partially covered by insurance and depend on the specific deals the brands’ distributors have with your provider, the price can vary greatly from person to person.
Reports from consumers place Phonak devices somewhere between $1,200 and $2,400 typically. Some sources place Widex at a slightly higher price point, starting around $1,800. However, again, this can vary substantially from case to case.
Contact your local hearing aid professional to better understand pricing. Additionally, make sure to connect with your insurance, employer, VA and charitable organizations to learn if there are any assistance programs available to you.
Both Phonak and Widex offer high-quality hearing devices. Widex has consistently been on the cutting edge and offers some particularly advanced functionality. It is a good choice of brand for users who want strong integration with other technology such as smartphones.
However, Phonak’s lineup is also impressive. Their Marvel platform provides audio quality that can compete with any other brand. Furthermore, they provide additional customer service options, including a 1-800 number, which some users may prefer over app-based support. Because Phonak is part of a larger company, it may be easier to find competitively priced distributors locally. Additionally, Phonak allows users to customize their own hearing experience, something many brands do not offer.
Either brand is a good choice for most users. Consider the features offered by each and check the pricing with your hearing aid provider to aid your decision.