Buyers guide and reviews for NANO type hearing aids
- Choosing which NANO type hearing aid to buy is such a vast market may seem like quite a task – but if you get it right, the good news is that hearing loss may no longer affect you.
- This guide will point out some of America’s best brands and their latest models.
The global hearing aids market is expected to reach over USD $9.7 Billion by 2022; an increase of over USD $2.5 billion in comparison to 2017. Independent press covering NANO hearing aid reviews went to great lengths to point out what constitutes a good buy for hearing aids.
The rapid growth of the industry is a reflection of both: the technological advancements made in hearing aids- which can now provide significant comfort in even the most severe hearing loss cases, and the wide-ranging application of the devices in today’s society. In a market which is rapidly becoming more relevant, this article is going to provide a deep overview of the current best-sellers in the industry by analysing some of its most eminent manufacturers as well as their respective and most well-received products.
Nano Hearing Aids Review: The most ‘complete’ brand?
Having earned a top 10 position among the most desirable health gadgets in 2020, the NANO Hearing Aids brand has become an industry benchmark for Americans. Nano Hearing Aids is a direct-to-consumer hearing aid manufacturer that ‘cuts out’ the middleman in order to provide more affordable pricing to the average American- who may not be able to afford the more extortionate pricing of some of the more powerful models listed below. What is fascinating about Nano is that the company has undoubtedly managed to maintain an extremely high level of quality- presenting some of the most powerful and innovative hearing aid technology in the market today.
As the heading suggests, customer reviews articulate that Nano is the most ‘complete brand’ due to its ability to offer a variety of hearing aid devices with the ability to cater for almost all levels of hearing loss whilst universally adhering to their two key principles: a) low cost and b) high quality. Nano’s SX2000 for example, whilst being one of their most expensive and powerful products- with automatic environmental sound management that arguably exceeds the popular Oticon Opn S, comes in at just under USD $1000. Their RX2000, whose localization levels are suspected to pragmatically exceed most competitors, is offered at just under $500 dollars a pair.
Nano’s ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ approach is universally applicable to all of their products- meaning customers should be able to afford a pair at a much more affordable price. Nano also allows their customers to purchase one unit at a significantly discounted rate- making their products even more affordable.
Specialists have stipulated that the company’s approach in relation to the pricing of their products is a testament to their culture of integrity, respect, innovation and altruism and displays a clear commitment to their customers, who can now purchase hearing aid powerhouses at an extremely affordable price.
Oticon Opn S Hearing Aid Review: The essentials
Oticon is an impressive hearing aid brand, although not the market leader.Firstly, we are going to have a look at Oticon’s notable Opn S module. This was a revolutionary product when it was released as it completely shattered the expectations of thousands of consumers around the world by significantly expanding hearing aid application in noisy environments.
In turbulent areas, the microphone on the hearing aid starts to significantly amplify the sounds coming from right in front of the wearer whilst paying less and less attention to the sounds coming from around them- commonly referred to as ‘Narrow directionality mode’. This has some obvious benefits and until the release of Oticon’s Opn S was the established way of processing sound as it ensures that the wearer can still converse and communicate with whomever they wish to in even the most loud and disruptive areas.
The downside, however, is that this creates a very ‘tunnelled down’ experience which was deemed by many wearers around the world as a very ‘unnatural’ way of processing sound. Oticon’s Open Sound Navigator allows the wearer to decide for themselves which sounds to amplify, and which sounds to condense and consequently provides a solution that reflects a much more natural way of hearing. Furthermore, through Oticon’s Open Sound Booster option, customers have retained the ability to refer back into directionality mode if they wish to, which may be attractive to individuals with significant hearing loss.
Opn S comes in three different variants with S1 starting at USD $2400 and S3 going up to roughly USD $3500. The main difference between the S1 and S3 is how well the device processes sound in noisy environments, which has led to some unsatisfactory reviews by customers who have found that their lower tier did not reflect a significant enough improvement of sound quality to warrant such a high price. Furthermore, it should be noted that even though the module is build for both Android and Apple, Android users need to buy a CollectClip streamer from Oticon in order to stream from their android devices which will cost them an additional couple hundred dollars.
Overall, Oticon’s Opn S is an extremely reliable and sufficient hearing aid. It does however come at an extremely high opportunity cost and may not reflect a significant enough quality of life increase for many recipients unless they pay for the most expensive version of the product.
Phonak Audéo Paradise Review: Better than the Marvel?
Phonak’s newest release is undoubtedly even better than their already impressive ‘Marvel’ line of hearing aids- the most popular hearing aid in Phonak history.
Their new Phonak Audéo Paradise comes with a new chip called PRYSM which provides double the memory of the short clip that was used in the marvel devices. Additionally, Phonak has added in-motion sensors into their rechargeable versions which allow the hearing aids to make microphone setting changes based on the wearer’s movement and not merely based on the acoustic information in their surroundings.
Paradise hearing aids can additionally be paired up with up to 8 different devices- regardless of if they are Android or Apple and can actively connect to two separate devices simultaneously. Furthermore, wearers are able to make contactless phone calls via touch control by simply accessing Siri or Google Assistant through a quick double tap on the hearing aid.
Coming in at USD $3700, Phonak’s Audeo Paradise is undoubtedly one of the strongest hearing aids in the industry, but it does come with a few setbacks. Numerous customers have reported a number of bugs which interfere with the wearer’s ability to customize their own hearing program, which significantly limits the device in comparison to its competitors. Additionally, the price may polarize a massive portion of individuals who cannot afford to spend a month’s or two’s salary on a single hearing aid.
Resound One Hearing Aid Review: A worthy investment?
Resound recently released its new line of hearing aids that are replacing the LiNX line of devices that it has been manufacturing for the last seven years.
Resound One is packed with quite a few advantages, including its distinct shape, its new microphone placement and its more convenient push button. The build quality is overall substantially better than the last line of devices and their exterior no longer looks ‘cheap’- a massive point of previous criticism for Resound.
By utilizing a 28 Nanometer chip and improving memory capability by over 200%, Resound has introduced a world first and placed the device’s microphone at the end of its receiver without any significant sound feedback. Moreover, the device contains M&RIE receivers which are able to sustain localization at a very high level in comparison to their counterparts- leading to a significant improvement in sound quality and allowing the wearer to benefit from a more ‘natural’ experience.
The device also has one of the best battery life performances in the market, with 3 hours of charging acquiring over 30 hours of life- available with a standard and premium option.
Despite the device’s apparent benefits, Resound has struggled with reviews in areas relating to customer satisfaction. Customers have stated that the provided live assistance can be quite unhelpful at times, with a significant proportion of the time being taken up in order to troubleshoot technical difficulties. Additionally, Resound’s Smart 3D app is notorious for having problems establishing and maintaining a solid connection to the wearers device, which can be a very serious inconvenience for users who actively interact through their smartphones or tablets.
For around USD $3200, Resound One provides quite a satisfactory experience overall but undoubtedly falls short in key areas when compared to some of the more value-for-money counterparts in the industry.
Eargo Hearing Aid Review: The highlights
Online hearing aid retailer Eargo released their Neo hearing aid in 2019- a significant improvement in comparison to the previous generations of Eargo Plus or Eargo Max.
Improvements include the addition of new flexi palms which have replaced the old, rather uncomfortable flexi fibers, a substantial improvement in build quality and extra microphone ports to prevent the microphones from easily clogging- a problem which was quite common with the older generations. Moreover, Eargo’s new smartphone app gives the wearers access to a plethora of convenient- albeit basic, options. These include the ability to access online FAQs, how to guides, the Eargo store and an option to call customer support.
Eargo additionally provides a 1-year free warranty. This includes an advanced replacement program which allows customers to acquire a replacement whilst their own hearing aid is being repaired or replaced. Moreover, via their upgrade discount scheme customers can send in their old hearing aid devices before purchasing a new one and receive an ever better price.
It should be noted that the app only connects with the charger and consequently a wearer cannot make setting adjustments whilst they are wearing the hearing aids. They also cannot stream audio directly from their phone into their devices. The app merely allows the customer to toggle between 4 different volume setting programs. Moreover, as there is no option to customize voice settings, multiple customers have reported dissatisfaction due to either an over amplification or under amplification of noise in their devices and an over all sub-par quality of sound in comparison to some of the competitors mentioned above.
At first sight, the price of the Eargo Neo is quite competitive at USD $1375, however per Eargo policy customers are required to purchase two devices at once with no single purchase option. This pragmatically increases the starting price to USD$ 2,750, whilst also ensuring that customers with hearing loss in only one ear suffer a massive economic inconvenience.
MD Hearing aids review: Cheap or valuable?
MD Hearing manufactures, sells and supports their line of hearing aid modules and allows their customers to purchase hearing aids from the comfort of their homes at extremely competitive prices.
The best attribute of MD Hearing aids is undoubtedly the low prices. The AIR module, which they claim is the number 1 value-for-money hearing aid in America, costs just under USD $400. Whilst the hearing aids are not custom fit, the manufacturer includes a 45-day trial and free shipping to make any exchanges easy, affordable and accessible.
This does, however, come at a significant opportunity cost. MD Hearing aids have a rather limited battery life, with a noise cancellation application that falls short when compared to even the most basic localization standards and a rather cheap and rigid design that is commonly uncomfortable to use- at least in comparison to some other products on the market.
In essence, MD Hearing aids provide an extremely low price, but a lower price may well have affected the quality. This has led to some questionable reviews where users asked whether- even at a low price, their hearing aid constituted ‘value for money’. Nevertheless, MD Hearing aids may provide a low-cost alternative to persons who cannot afford more exorbitant, high-quality hearing aids and who perhaps suffer from very mild hearing loss and do not require a lot of the features offered in the aforementioned products.
Costco Hearing Aids Review: Convenience or Inconvenience?
Costco is one of the largest retailers of hearing aids in the world and allows its consumers to conveniently purchase their hearing aids and have them serviced at a store they frequently visit. Costco offers a range of different hearing aid brands, including Phonak, Resound and their very own Kirkland Signature 9.0- which is manufactured by Sanova. The Kirkland 9.0 is very satisfactory- especially for its low price, as it offers automatic noise classification, the ability to adjust program settings and the ability to stream audio in all types of phones for just under USD $1500 a pair.
Consumers and otolaryngologists alike have continuously stated that despite its many flaws, Costco plays an essential role in the treatment of hearing loss. This is because- as previously stated, Costco sells a variety of different products from extremely reputable manufacturers, and provides a cheaper alternative to persons who cannot afford the high level of care that may be provided in clinics. A warehouse club membership is required in order to buy any hearing aid and have it serviced in one of their centres, however this starts at only USD $60 a year and so only marginally increases the overall cost.
Costco also offers the ability to schedule a free hearing test appointment- typically performed by a specialist audiologist, a universal three-year warranty covering all repairs and replacements and a two-year loss and damage scheme.
Despite its attributable contributions to the hearing aid industry, Costco undoubtedly has a rather poor reputation in relation to customer service- being infamous for a very ‘hit or miss’ quality of service. This is detrimental as all hearing aid products sold in Costco are ‘locked’; meaning that after purchase they can only be repaired, adjusted or reprogrammed in a Costco. This is a massive inconvenience for any purchasers that may relocate, or that aren’t satisfied with the administrator at their local Costco as they have no other way of going to any other professional to get their hearing aids altered in any way if they wish to do so.
Buyers should beware of any sellers pushing campaigns prohibited by the FTC, including misleading sales and advertising practices, inaccurate refund and warranty coverage and false reviews. FTC guidance on hearing aids is freely available to consumers.
Conclusion: Which Hearing Aid Brand is Superior?
Unsurprisingly, Nano was predominantly considered as the current best hearing aid brand on the market today by both consumers and hearing health professionals.
Nano seems to offer the best of both worlds. Providing exceptionally low prices whilst maintaining a presence of undisputed quality that is not commonly offered by other manufacturers in the industry.