Only one in five people in Australia who could benefit from a hearing aid actually use them.
Additionally, hearing loss affects one in six Australians — and this ratio is expected to rise to one in four by the year 2050.
But it’s not all doom and gloom; thanks to advances in technology that are only expected to grow further, the benefits from the best hearing aids are improving, and the barriers to using them are diminishing.
In this article, the experts at Harmony Hearing will discuss our picks for the best hearing aids in Australia for 2023 to help you make an informed decision about your new hearing aid.
Prick up your ears as we dive right into our list of the best hearing aids, discussing technology, aesthetics, price, and preferences along the way.
1. The Oticon Real
The Oticon Real is the flagship model of Danish manufacturer Oticon, built upon Oticon’s Brain Hearing™ research philosophy — that providing the brain with a full and accurate sound scene supports the way we attend to sound and switch attention.
Here’s what makes this model great:
- Deep Neural Network (DNN): The Polaris R chip platform rebalances any sound scene so that the streams of speech are preserved, improving speech understanding and localisation and reducing listening effort. The Polaris R chip’s DNN has the capacity to machine learn and is trained in over 13 million sound scenes.
- Sudden Sound Stabiliser™: Reduces the invasive nature of both sudden soft sounds like keyboard clicks and louder sudden sounds such as a door slam — without detracting from beneficial speech cues.
- Wind and Handling Noise Prevention: Through clever microphone switching, invasive roaring sounds, wind, and handling noises are reduced.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity to Apple and select Android devices enables direct wireless streaming of audio, including calls and media.
- Rechargeable Option: Lithium-ion rechargeable models offer both a convenient and environmentally friendly option.
- Tinnitus Management: Additional programs can be installed with sound generators to help suppress and give relief from tinnitus.
How Much It Costs: $2,720–$3,330
Why We Love It:
- Machine learning and AI capabilities
- Noise cancelling and sound stabilising
- Environmentally friendly recharging
- Tinnitus relief and management
2. The Phonak Lumity
This fantastic model is the world’s first waterproof inductive charging hearing aid. As fully automatic hearing aids, they use their AutoSense 5.0 system to optimise performance for every listening situation.
- Universal Connectivity: Using Bluetooth classic, they can pair with almost any device that has Bluetooth enabling wireless streaming of phone calls and media.
- MyPhonak App: Installed on your smartphone or tablet, this app allows easy adjustment of volume and programs to suit your listening preferences.
- Motion Sensors: Inbuilt motion sensors allow your hearing aid to identify whether you are stationary or moving to optimise their automatics. They use the combination of acoustic and motion input to determine whether to provide a forward focus or more directionality.
The flagship and top model is the Phonak Lumity Life L90 RL.
How Much It Costs: $1,730–$3,475
Why We Love It:
- Convenience and accessibility
- Ideal for active users
- Universal Bluetooth
3. The Signia Silk X
For those seeking discreet and comfortable hearing aids, the Signia Silk X is an excellent choice. Here’s why:
- Almost Invisible: The Silk X is one of the smallest IIC hearing aids on the market, providing great clarity and excellent sound quality.
- Ultra-High Frequency Sound: These petite hearing aids use ultra-high frequency sound rather than a Bluetooth connection to enable easy adjustments using the Signia App, allowing you to adjust the programs, volume, bass and treble.
- Real-Time Conversation Enhancement Technology: Focuses on the speech signal in background noise and pinpoints multiple moving speakers in real-time conversations, adapting the microphones to follow those conversations.
There are several renowned models of the Signia Silk, each offering different advantages depending on your preferences, hearing levels, and budget:
- Silk 7X: The top-of-the-line or premium model promises the best performance and listening comfort in challenging environments.
- Signia Silk Charge&Go IX: The world’s first completely-in-the-canal rechargeable hearing aids (a single charge gives you 24 hours of wear time!)
- Signia Silk IX Cross: The world’s first completely-in-the-canal (CIC) rechargeable cross hearing aid system for people with more severe hearing loss in one ear. It relays the audio from the side with the greater hearing loss across to the other hearing aid in the stronger ear.
How Much It Costs: $980–$3,480
Why We Love It:
- Easily adjustable
- Accessible range of prices and models
- Discreet size and shape
- Excellent for conversing
4. The Signia Pure Charge&Go IX
Clocking in at number 4, we have another Signia model: the Signia Pure Charge&Go IX. These receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids feature Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming from smartphones.
They come in two models:
- Pure Charge&Go IX: Gives 24 hours of wear time
- Pure Charge&Go TIX: Features a telecoil to be able to directly stream audio from loop systems in public venues and gives up to 34 hours per charge.
Both RIC style models are Cros compatible. With their powerful amplifiers, they are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss.
How Much It Costs: $1,020–$3,480
Why We Love It:
- Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming
- Powerful amplifiers
- Affordable prices and options
5. The Resound Omnia
Another top receiver in the Canal (RIC) style hearing aid launched in 2023 is the Resound Omnia. They have been optimised for hearing speech whilst remaining comfortable in background noise. Being rechargeable with up to 30 hours of wear time on a single charge, they also boast the following advantages:
- M&RIE: Compatible with Microphone & Receiver in the Ear (M&RIE): a third microphone located on the end of the receiver within the ear canal makes use of the natural shape of the ears, pinpointing where sounds are coming from while minimising the invasive effects of wind turbulence.
- Physical Wearing Comfort: With its relatively petite and unique shape, these hearing aids can be worn comfortably all day.
- Audio Streaming of Phone Calls & Media: Your hearing aid doubles as a wireless headset for stereo streaming of music, podcasts, or video clips — as well as phone calls.
- Natural Sound Quality: Provides the ability to focus on important speech by providing a natural sound quality whilst minimising invasive noise.
- Hearing Speech in Noise: Enhanced speech understanding and listening comfort in competing background noise. Your own voice is also preserved to sound relatively natural.
Why We Love It:
- Long recharge life
- High-quality streaming
- Enhanced speech understanding and own voice
6. The Widex Moment Sheer S RIC RD
With two distinct signal processing pathways, the Widex Moment’s PureSound™ delivers a natural sound quality, incorporating ZeroDelay™ technology which reduces the processing delay between the microphone and receiver below 0.5 milliseconds—the fastest processing speed available! This eliminates any echoes inherent in traditional hearing aids while improving speech clarity and localisation of sounds.
- Long Life Recharge-ability: Sheer takes about four hours to fully re-charge and gives you around 29 hours of wear time with no audio streaming. Or, you attain 16 hours of wear time plus 8 hours of audio streaming.
- Elegant Design: Widex Sheer is one of the most petite and elegant rechargeable RIC hearing aids available, designed to improve mild to severe hearing losses with its powerful amplifier.
- Variety: It has a great variety of ear tips (acoustic coupling) that enable perfect tailoring of the fit to every unique individual.
How Much It Costs: $1,695–$3,875
Why We Love It:
- Rapid processing speeds
- Long recharge life
- Accessible, discrete design and options
7. The Starkey Genesis AI
The Latest Starkey Genesis family of hearing aids were launched in the U.S. around July 2023 and will be unrolled in Australia during the first quarter of 2024. The Genesis line will include the following models:
- Genesis R: A smaller model with a single push button
- Genesis RT: A larger model with a telecoil and double push button.
- Genesis AI CIC: A full and half shell rechargeable version as well as non-wireless completely in the canal model.
- Premium Genesis AI 2400: Designed to maximise comfort in competing noise and minimise listening effort. Ingress protection IP 68 rated and resistant to moisture, dust, and dirt.
The Genesis AI offers the following features:
- Starkey Neuro Processor: This new chip provides greater processing power than the former Starkey Evolv models, with a greater input dynamic range of 118dB—the industry’s highest.
- Low Circuit Noise: Circuit noise has been cut down by 10dB and microphone input noise by 2dB. So, there’ll be little to no perceivable rushing or ‘hiss’ sounds in the hearing aids.
- Amazing Rechargeability: Get up to 51 hours of wear time on a single charge. The smaller Genesis AI Micro RIC provides up to 40 hours of wear time on a single charge. A mere 7-minute top-up charge provides an additional 3 hours of wear time.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Connect to both iPhone and ASHA protocol-enabled Android Smartphones and devices. You can connect to multiple Bluetooth devices, and one remains active at a time.
The MyStarkey App provides access to a variety of features to adjust your hearing aids, including the following:
- Edge Mode Plus improves speech intelligibility in noise.
- Fall alerts to notify a loved one to help when a fall is detected.
- A Language translation feature can translate 71 different languages.
- Hearing aid diagnosis functions to check whether your hearing aids are performing properly.
- Tele-Hear enables you to have a live remote care appointment with your hearing care professional wherever you are.
How Much It Costs: $2,360–$6,500
Why We Love It:
- Incredible dynamic range
- Almost no circuit noise
- Unparalleled recharge life
- Bluetooth and technology-compatible
8. The Beltone Achieve
The Beltone Achieve is Beltone’s latest flagship receiver in the canal (RIC) style model, designed to provide the most comfort and clarity in noise.
The Achieve provides 150% better speech understanding in background noise and enhanced music enjoyment, TV listening and phone conversations. You can stream your phone calls from both iPhone and ASHA-enabled Android devices.
- M&RIE: Compatible with the innovative M&RIE receiver, including a third microphone on the speaker unit that sits deep inside the ear canal, picking up the sound that enters the ear naturally.
- Ultra-Focus and CrossLink Directionality 3: The Achieve can narrow the focus of the microphone input from both sides to have a narrow focus or become beam forming, activating when poor signal-to-noise ratios are detected. Compared to traditional directionality, it provides up to 2 dB better signal-to-noise ratio.
- Smartphone connectivity: Made-for-iPhone connectivity and Bluetooth streaming from Android phones.
- Wireless accessories and apps: Compatible with Beltone’s 2.4 GHz Direct Line wireless accessories, including remote microphones, audio streaming devices for phones and TVs, and handheld remote controllers.
- The HearMax App: The HearPlus app can be installed, providing remote control capability and allowing high-definition of audio streaming using a stable 2.4GHz signal.
- Rechargeability: An integrated lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charging dock provide charging overnight.
- Colours: The Imagine family comes in eight colours to match skin and hair tones. Colours include Sparkling Silver, Champagne, Deep Black, Gold, Bronze, Warm Grey, Graphite, and Espresso Brown.
How Much It Costs: $3,480
Why We Love It:
- Android streaming via ASHA
- Hands-free calling via
- Smartphone app control
- Remote programming support
- Microphone in ear
- Beamforming directionality
What To Consider When Choosing the Best Hearing Aid for You?
And there you have it — Harmony Hearing’s picks for the best hearing aids in Australia.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Not sure which one is best for you? Don’t worry; stick around for some quick tips on how to determine which of these hearing aids is right for you.
In your search, consider the following factors:
The Type of Hearing Aid
The type of hearing aid may affect comfort, visibility, aesthetics, and more. Decide whether you’d prefer:
- IIC: Invisible in the Canal
- CIC: Completely in the Canal
- ITE: In the Ear
- ITC: In the Canal
- BTE: Behind the Ear
- RIC: Receiver in Canal
Its Technological Capabilities
Without a doubt, these hearing aids have some of the best technological features ever seen. We’ve provided baseline information about the tech of each model, but it’s always best to investigate the following basic features in more detail:
- Noise cancelling ability
- Bluetooth compatibility
- App control
- Processing speeds
- Dynamic range
- Sound quality
All the best hearing aids on this list are from globally renowned brands and manufacturers—most of them part of the GN Hearing Group. However, certain brands are better known for certain characteristics and advantages, so if this matters to you, consider which brands are most suited to your needs and preferences.
Final Recommendations for Finding the Best Hearing Aid
2023 has seen marked developments and innovations in hearing aid technology to improve the lives of people living with hearing loss.
Australia’s—and the world’s—best hearing aids in 2023 offer an incredible diversity of advantages, technological marvels, and quality-of-life improvements for those suffering from hearing loss.
As each hearing aid comes with its own benefits, the best hearing aid in Australia for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, whether it’s exceptional sound quality, advanced connectivity options, personalised adjustment, automaticity, or discrete design.
Remember — the appropriate choosing and fitting of any hearing aid is best guided by a hearing care professional.
If you would like some guidance and a free trial of any of these excellent solutions, please contact Harmony Hearing today at 1800 020 406 or [email protected].
Our highly experienced Audiologists can help tailor the best hearing solution for you and recommend the best hearing aids in Australia for 2023 and beyond.