There are six major hearing aid manufacturers at the present time: Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens, Starkey and Widex. Some of them have parent companies that incorporate some of the smaller brands as well. For instance, Oticon is under the auspices of William Demant Holding which also includes Bernafon and Sonic Innovations. Sonova is the umbrella company for Phonak, Lyric and Unitron. Siemens was bought out and is now known as Sivantos. Almost all of the companies have other smaller brand names that they manufacture as well.
I have people come in all the time and ask for a particular brand because someone they know got it and it was “the best”. But all the companies have a range of good, better and best aids. Each company also processes sound a little differently which may make a difference in how you perceive sound. The companies may have similar features in their circuitry but they all have different names for them so it makes it difficult to compare for most people.
The bottom line is this: there is no single hearing aid or hearing aid manufacturer that is superior to the others. The important thing is to talk about your hearing needs with your audiologist to determine what will work best for you. We consider many things in our recommendations: your hearing loss, your ability to handle certain styles of aids, your lifestyle/hearing needs, connectivity devices and of course, your budget. The decision of which aid to get is a mutual process—it is as equally important for your input on what is most essential to you as it is our recommendation for your hearing loss.
So the real question is not which manufacturer is the best, but “which manufacturer works best for me?” We’re here to help you make that decision.