As we become smarter, savvier consumers, we start to pick apart our goods. Is this peach locally grown and organic? Am I supporting local business with this handmaid jewelry? Who actually built my iPhone? The more we know about where our products come from, who created them, and how they got into our hands, the better we can piece together their worth.

Just like everyone who wears hearing aids has a story, so do their hearing aids. Like televisions and eyewear, a few global manufacturers dominate the hearing aid market. Here are the top players manufacturing hearing aids.

The top hearing aid manufacturers

1. Phonak – This Swiss company started back in 1947 and became the world’s largest maker of hearing aids. Known for producing quality hearing aids, and recent innovative solutions for children with hearing loss. They also own Lyric, the only completely invisible hearing aid on the market. Phonak falls under the umbrella of the larger company of Sonova who also owns Unitron, so they produce a wide array of hearing devices. If you purchased hearing aids at Costco, chances are you have Phonaks.

2. GN ReSound – This Danish company started around the same time in 1943 and is known for their open-fit hearing devices, which are small and do not lie within the ear canal. Additionally, their Linx hearing aid, along with the next manufacturer’s Halo hearing aids, are the only two made with iPhone connectivity.

3. Starkey – Along with being the only American-made hearing aid on this list, Starkey gained great popularity through their Starkey Hearing Foundation. This non-profit donated over 1 million hearing aids to deserving individuals who could not otherwise afford hearing aids. Starkey created the first hearing aid to go inside the ear canal and also has a device specifically for those who suffer from tinnitus.

4. Oticon – Oticon started all the way back in 1904 in Denmark and created the very first digital hearing device known as the Digifocus. Their new hearing aids have come a long way since then and are now come equipped with Internet connectivity. They also created the BrainHearing philosophy to allow customers to hear sounds as naturally as possible.

5. Signia/Siemens – Things may get slightly confusing here: Signia was previously called Siemens but now falls under the Sivantos Group. Siemens dates back to 1878 when they created a telephone specifically for those with hearing loss. Fast-forward about 80 years, and they produced the first behind-the-ear device. Despite any name changes, Signia remains a dominant force in the hearing aid community.

6. Widex – Widex is another Danish company, started by a family in 1956. They formed the first completely digital hearing aid for inside the ear and also have a line specifically for babies born with hearing loss.

How hearing aids get to you

Hearing aids produced by these top manufacturers are usually sold in large quantities to buying groups. An individual audiologist would not need to or be able to buy in bulk, so these groups buy many hearing aids at the wholesale markup. Audiologists buy from buying groups and add their markups to the product for office overhead and services. This contributes to the very high cost of hearing aids. Disruptive companies like Audicus are an exception. The direct to consumer model allows us to partner directly with the manufacturer, and avoid buying from middlemen.

By: Diana Michel

Sources: Hearingtracker.comReuters, verywellhealth, Everyday Hearing


9 responses to “Who Makes Hearing Aids Anyway?

  1. Thanks Diana for this article. I had been told that there were only a few manufacturers of HAs but had not researched how many. Which company makes the Oro HAs which I bought from Audicus? Ted- Gold Coast, Australia – happy customer.

  2. I did have a Signia Run Click CIC which was never programmed, was too loud, fit wonderfully, & which was lost by UPS (NEVER USE UPS). I am now interested in a Signia Prompt.

  3. Hi do you mean that your hearing aid products come from those top manufacturers and do you offer/sell all those top manufacturers products? Or are your hearing aids manufactured/supplied by companies other than those top manufacturers?. I’m asking because am inteted in Signia/Siemens hearing aid particularly Silk & Pure 13.

  4. Very informative article by Diana Michel!

  5. So the fact that you don’t mention where Audicus gets there hearing aids from, does that mean your (my) hearing aids are lower quality than the six that you mentioned?

  6. In my opinion hearing aids have never been perfected. Going back to my two oldest children who were born hearing impaired and force to wear those big hearing aids in harnesses around their necks. They hated them as they never helped to clarify speech but just made everything else too loud. Consequently as they grew older they stopped wearing them and both are in their 60’s and do not wear aids. They weren’t candidates for cochlea transplants back in their teenage years and now would never do it. My daughter had a friend that went thru the surgery developed an infection and died. Now I am 91 and wearing two aids that do not clarify speech (my biggest complaint) can’t understand movie speech or TV and making it louder only muffles it. Sometimes I hear better without them at all. I do keep the caption on the TV but recently came back from Costa Rica (only two English speaking stations) and no caption and could hardly understand anything they said. Altho there are speakers whose words I understand without any trouble. In the movie “3 Billboards” starring Frances McCormack I hardly understood her but Woody Harrelson I understood his every word. Lately I have this hollow sound in my head when I talk out loud.

  7. more info on natural hearing and pricing on aids

  8. Interesting information but who makes Audicus hearing aids?

  9. Even local hearing aid sellers are pushing behind the ear aids. Why is that. BTE aids were what I wore 50 years ago. They replaced in the pocket aids. BTEs are floppy sometimes fall off the ear when I am active. They are in the wrong place on the back of my ear. they don’t pick up sound as well as in the ear models. It is even harder to use a phone with BTEs.

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