A privately owned company based in the United States of America, Starkey Hearing Technologies has been in operation for more than 50 years. Once a small business run by just one person, today it’s a world leader in hearing aid technology and offers a wide variety of products for hard-of-hearing people of all ages.
History of the Company
Starkey Hearing Technologies was originally known as Starkey Labs and made ear molds until William F. Austin purchased it for just $13,000 in 1970. Since then, Austin has created a variety of innovative hearing technologies that have led to worldwide success since the 1980s. Even former President Ronald Reagan was a fan. Today, the company's products are sold in more than 100 countries around the world.
The Starkey Philosophy
The Starkey company operates with several important philosophies in mind, each one a piece of the puzzle that creates the successful company:
- Innovation – Starkey is at the forefront of innovative hearing technologies. The company’s researchers in Berkeley focus on evidence-based science to create its projects, which range from hearing aids made specifically for iPhones to waterproof hearing aids perfect for swimmers of all ages.
- Philanthropy – Starkey isn't just out to make a buck. The Starkey Hearing Foundation was founded in 1984 and has helped more than 1 million people around the world receive the hearing devices they need. It also raises awareness via its national program, known as Listen Carefully. Finally, its nonprofit, Hear Now, helps permanent U.S. residents who otherwise couldn't afford hearing devices.
- Domestic Craftmanship – The company has been headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, since its inception and still focuses on American-made products.
- Individualized Attention – Starkey knows that no two people have the same hearing loss experience, which is why it focuses on providing individualized attention for every customer. The company's professional audiologists and hearing specialists work together to create customized devices, provide patient counseling, and handle maintenance and repair as needed.
Innovative Hearing Devices
Starkey Hearing Technologies offers unique technology in its hearing and activity tracking device and its smartphone-compatible device. The hearing and activity tracker is available as a receiver-in-canal or behind-the-ear model and comes in seven neutral colors. It uses Livio AI technology and includes several features:
- Works with the Thrive Hearing app to monitor your mental and physical health
- Features effortless hearing transitions with more clarity
- Amplifies conversation for better understanding
- Streams music, phone calls, and messages
- Remote programming allows for minor adjustments without office visits
Starkey's smartphone-compatible hearing devices also feature RIC or BTE models in a range of stylish colors, including two special-edition shades. The device, which works with Apple or Android technologies, includes several helpful features:
- Creates pristine sound while eliminating buzzing
- Cancels out background noise
- Streams phone calls, messages, music, and more directly from your smartphone
Other Types of Listening Devices
Starkey may be innovative, but the company's professionals also understand that sometimes people prefer a device without all the bells and whistles. For this reason, it offers several other types of devices:
- Invisible Products – Made to be as discreet as possible, these devices stay behind the second bend of the ear.
- RIC – These small devices provide a snug fit that works well for first-time wearers.
- CIC – Completely-in-canal hearing aids are small and hidden, except for the small removal handle.
- BTE – Devices that go behind the ear are most common and available in several sizes.
- ITC – In-the-canal devices are custom-created to fit in your ear.
- ITE – In-the-ear hearing aids are also custom fit for your ear and fit inside the outer portion.
- Single-Sided – Single-sided devices are created for people who need to make up for having weaker hearing in one ear.
- Tinnitus Device – Some people have difficulty hearing due to ringing sounds related to tinnitus. This device cancels the ringing to make listening easier.
Starkey Hearing Technologies provides devices that work with several different innovative technologies:
- Halo 2 – Created for pairing with the iPhone, Halo 2 devices are the smallest ones made for smartphone compatibility. Features include Acuity Directionality for improved speech understanding, direct streaming of phone calls to your device, geotagged locations that adjust your hearing device as needed, Surface NanoShield to repel water and moisture, and much more. Halo 2 works with the TruLink app.
- Halo iQ – Halo iQ takes innovation a step further since it is also compatible with Android devices. In addition to Acuity Immersion Directionality for improved understanding in a variety of listening situations, the technology offers personalized control in the TruLink app, a feedback cancellation system, and Advanced Multiflex Tinnitus Technology.
- Livio – Offering superior sound quality, Livio features Hearing Reality technology that provides clarity even in the loudest environments, easy-to-adjust settings via the Thrive app, 24 hours of listening on one charge (available on the RIC style), wireless streaming, geotagged environments, and much more.
- Livio AI – The first hearing technology ever to include integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, Livio AI provides Hearing Reality and easy adjustments just like its predecessor. It also offers integrated sensors that track your activities, CROS technology for streaming between both of your hearing aids, a feedback cancellation system, and more.
|Behind-the-Ear (BTE)||Completely-in-Canal (CIC)||In-the-Canal (ITC)||In-the-Ear (ITE)||Invisible Aids||Receiver-in-Canal (RIC)|
|Best For||Moderate to Severe Hearing Loss||Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss||Mild to Mildly Severe Hearing Loss||Mild to Severe Hearing Loss||Mild to Moderately Severe Hearing Loss||Mild to Severe Hearing Loss|
|Activity Tracking||Options Available||No||No||No||No||Options Available|
|Rechargeable Technology||No||No||No||No||No||Options Available|
SoundLens Synergy iQ
The cost of these products varies and depends on thorough evaluation from a professional, licensed audiologist.
The Cost of Listening
Starkey Hearing Technologies does not sell its hearing devices directly to consumers. Therefore, prices can vary depending on the model, its specific features, and even which distributor you purchase from. However, the company does strive to provide affordable devices and offers a variety of payment plans and financing options. Discounts may be available through the Veterans' Administration or other charitable organizations, and some models offer limited 30-day free trials.
Starkey Hearing Technologies strives to provide affordable and innovative listening devices that suit a range of needs for all types of people. Are you interested in learning more about listening devices for seniors or about senior housing, medical devices, or other necessities? Read our entire Starkey hearing aids review here.