Hearing aids are increasingly incorporating smart technology, giving you more convenience and customization when it comes to tailoring a solution that fits your specific needs. However, these advanced smart options are not yet standard, and most insurance companies are still reluctant to pay for anything but the most basic hearing aids, i.e., those without smart features. Therefore, it is important to consider your choices carefully before you make a buying decision.
ReSound is headquartered in Denmark and has been producing hearing aids for over 70 years, since 1943. Part of the international GN Group, ReSound has a presence in more than 80 countries worldwide. ReSound broke new ground by introducing the first Made for Apple hearing aid, featuring the capability to stream stereo sound directly. Another innovation by ReSound was the first hearing aid with direct connectivity with the included 2.4 GHz technology.
Phonak’s history parallels that of ReSound’s in several significant ways. Like ReSound, Phonak has a worldwide presence, represented in over 100 countries. Similarly, its roots are in Europe, specifically Switzerland. In addition, Phonak has been an innovator on the cutting edge of technology. For an example, it was the first hearing aid manufacturer to release a fully invisible hearing aid and offer solutions for single-sided hearing loss.
It is nearly impossible to find pricing information for hearing aids online. Hearing aids are medical devices that need to be individually fitted and calibrated by an audiologist, so there are no off-the-shelf solutions. Nevertheless, we dug deep and found a couple of sources that would provide us with general price ranges for both brands.
ReSound is one of five brands of hearing aids offered by the membership-only warehouse chain Costco. Unfortunately, Costco does not provide pricing for each specific brand, but pricing for the five brands as a group ranges from $499.99 to $1,499.99. Prices vary based not on brand but on the style of hearing aid, i.e., where it rests in the ear and how visible it is. The broadest price range of hearing aid styles from all brands at Costco is the in-the-ear style, which starts at $499.99. Most other styles start at $899.99. Bear in mind, also, that this is only the pricing for one seller and may vary overall.
Based on the available price information, Phonak brand hearing aids tend to be more expensive than ReSound hearing aids. There are no prices under $1,000 listed for Phonak hearing aids. Prices generally range from $1,000 to $3,000. The most affordable Phonak model in the pricing guide that we found is the Naida B, listed from $1,049 to $2,299. The most expensive is the Lyric. Its price is listed as $3,000 to $6,000 per pair, which implies that if you were to buy only a single aid, you would pay $1,500 to $3,000. It is also important to add that the pricing guide that we found listed only seven of the 21 Phonak hearing aid varieties available.
It may be easiest to compare the features of ReSound and Phonak hearing aids side by side. Since there are many more varieties of Phonak hearing aids available than ReSound, we chose a sample of Phonak hearing aids that we feel are representative of the brand.
|ReSound Enzo 3D||Phonak Virto B||ReSound Linx 3D||Phonak Audeo Marvel||ReSound Linx Quattro||Phonak Lyric|
|Styles Available||Behind the ear||In the ear||Behind the ear; in the ear||Receiver in canal||Receiver in ear||Receiver in canal (invisible)|
|Estimated Price Range||$899.99 to $1,399.99||$1,199 to $2,399||$499.99 to $1,499.99||$1,149 to $2,799||Not available||$3,000 to $6,000 per pair|
|Degree of hearing loss||Mild to profound||Mild to profound||Mild to severe; mild to profound||Mild to profound||Mild to severe||Mild, moderate, or severe|
|Bluetooth Connectivity||With extra accessories||With extra accessories||With extra accessories||Yes||Yes||No|
|Special Features||Variety of colors
Streams music/sound from smart devices
Smallest hearing aid available for profound hearing loss
60% better speech understanding in noisy environment
|Biometric calibration to your ears’ anatomy
Different options of shell and faceplate colors
Six in-the-ear substyles
|Remote adjustment by health care professional
Wireless headphone capability
|Variety of models and colors
Connection to television
Smartphone control via myPhonak app
|Large range of sounds
Stream TV and other audio
Processes sound without distortion
|Wear 24/7 for several months
Comes with one-year paid subscription to technology updates and servicing
Only 100% invisible hearing aid in the world
If your main consideration is price, ReSound hearing aids may be a better option as they may be less expensive. However, they also offer less selection. If you want a greater variety from which to choose, Phonak may be the better choice. Phonak also has a contract with the VA to provide certain products to veterans for free or at a reduced cost, so if you served in the Armed Forces, you may wish to choose Phonak.