5 Best Hearing Aids For Seniors

December 15, 2022
Amy Sarow | Doctor of Audiology
Written by
Amy Sarow | Doctor of Audiology
Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff
Senior Wearing A Hearing Aid

Hearing loss is a common problem among senior citizens. The NIH estimates that approximately one out of three people over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss. 

Fortunately, there are many modern hearing aids available to help seniors restore their hearing and improve their quality of life. Hearing aids have come a long way and now come with simple, discreet, and easy-to-use designs.   

This article will examine seven of the best hearing aids for senior citizens. We'll also discuss some factors to consider when selecting a hearing aid and provide information about financial support options for seniors on a fixed income.

Background

Hearing loss becomes more prevalent with age. Both genetics and environment can contribute to the development of sensorineural hearing loss.

Age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis, most commonly affects high frequencies. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, can increase the likelihood of developing hearing loss.

After age fifty, it is wise to have a baseline hearing test for comparison later in life.

High-frequency hearing loss can make it hard to understand speech, pick up on environmental sounds, or even hear certain alarms.

The result is that conversation is much harder to understand, as speech lacks clarity. It becomes hard to hear when the doctor is saying or understanding the conversation clearly. Personal safety may also be more at risk, as sounds such as doorbells and phone rings are not as easily audible.

Factors seniors should consider when choosing hearing aids.

Selecting the right style and type of hearing aid should take into consideration the following factors:

  • Service
  • Durability / Warranty
  • Dexterity
  • Lifestyle
  • Mobility

Service

When it comes to hearing aid care, there are a variety of options available. For an all-inclusive approach, you can purchase a hearing aid with bundled services from a local hearing aid clinic, which usually includes routine follow-up visits, regular cleaning, and occasional adjustments. Use our "shop" tool to find a product and be paired with a local clinic.

For additional flexibility, unbundled models allow users to pay for each appointment separately. 

Alternatively, direct-to-consumer options like Jabra Enhance Select provide care through Telehealth care rather than in-person visits. 

Finally, OTC hearing aids offer the least service and require do-it-yourself adjustments using a smartphone.

Typically more service comes at a higher cost but requires less tech-savvy and DIY adjustment. More about affordable options below. 

Durability and Warranty 

Broken hearing aids can be expensive and disruptive for seniors (and anyone else). That's why durability is another essential factor to consider when choosing a hearing aid. If you spend more time in humid or dusty environments, consider a hearing aid that stands up against these elements. More on hearing aid longevity here.

Many hearing aids today incorporate protective capabilities, including water resistance and charger options with built-in dehumidifiers. 

As you consider a hearing aid, double-check the warranty and have issues addressed before that warranty lapses. 

More premium devices generally come with the highest water resistance (look for IP68) and the most extended warranties (typically 3 years). Affordable devices may have lower IP ratings (sometimes IP57) and shorter warranty durations (1-2 years).   

Dexterity

Those with difficulty with dexterity can often find themselves struggling to insert or wear hearing aids.

Thankfully, several hearing aid styles are specifically designed to address this issue. For example, an in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is one style that can be easier to manage and provide the necessary support for those with problems related to dexterity. ITE hearing aids offer easy insertion and fewer pieces. 

If you (or a loved one) have limited dexterity, consider rechargeable batteries, as they reduce the need for tiny battery changes every 5-7 days. 

Lifestyle

Do you live an active lifestyle that involves time spent in various challenging acoustic environments? Or do you spend more time in quiet?

Hearing aids come in different technology levels and offer features according to your lifestyle. Premium technology is more appropriate for those with active lifestyles, while standard technology can be enough to benefit those with more quiet lifestyles.

If you're more of a stay-at-home type and spend most of your time in more tranquil settings, less sophisticated hearing aids with standard technology might be suitable for boosting your ability to hear conversations and other sounds.

Choosing the lowest level of technology with less sophisticated background noise handling can save you around $1,500 or more for a pair. 

Read more about hearing aid technology levels here.

Mobility

For those in a wheelchair or care facility, in-person visits to the hearing aid clinic can pose a challenge. 

Reach out to your local clinic to request a more spaced-out visit to ensure that your doctor has adequate time to fit and explain your hearing aids.

A local hearing aid clinic can also clean and check the hearing aids at regular intervals between those in-person visits, requiring only that the devices be dropped off rather than visiting the clinic in person. 

You may also want to explore options for remote care services. Companies like Yes Hearing bring a mobile clinic to your home, and brands like Jabra Enhance Select program hearing aids through Telehealth. 

Many local clinics can also log into your hearing aids remotely for fine-tuning after an initial fitting. Double-check that the hearing aid you choose supports remote follow-up care. 

Are behind-the-ear or in-the-ear hearing aids best for seniors? 

When selecting a hearing aid, there are two main types to choose from: RIC (receiver-in-canal) and custom (in-the-ear). Both types offer excellent sound quality and ease of use, but they have some differences that should be considered when making your decision. Read our full comparison here

RICs sit behind the ear with a piece that fits in the ear canal. People often enjoy the natural sound quality of RIC hearing aids due to their range of fitting options.

Custom in-the-ear hearing aids can be more discreet, or the larger sizes are sometimes easier to handle since they slide into the ear canal with very few pieces.  

Around 80% of hearing aid wearers choose a hearing aid style that sits behind the ear. 

The Best Behind-The-Ear Style Hearing Aid For Seniors

The Resound OMNIA hearing aid offers excellent sound quality and a user-friendly experience. With outstanding sound quality and Bluetooth connectivity for iPhone and Android, this hearing aid makes it easy for people to hear well. It offers options for those who desire options with technology. This hearing aid will automatically optimize your listening experience based on the sound in your environment. 

This discreetly designed and lightweight device comes in various colors to match any skin tone or hair color.

ReSound OMNIA includes a special smartphone capability called "check my fit" that allows users to check the placement of their hearing aids to ensure they are properly sitting in the ear. The ReSound OMNIA, rechargeable hearing aid, has a charger that is easy to grasp and use, and the inductive charging unit provides a durable charging option.

Learn More About OMNIA Here

The Best Custom Hearing Aid For Seniors

Custom hearing aids come in various styles and are typically preferred by those with petite ears who also wear glasses or for those with dexterity concerns.

The Signia Insio Nx ITE hearing aid is an excellent option for seniors. Signia's new split processing system performs well in background noise, and Signia Insio is very user-friendly, particularly for anyone with dexterity concerns.

The hearing aids do not need to be in any particular orientation while charging, making it very easy to place them in the charger each night. Bluetooth connectivity is also available with this hearing aid, with a user-friendly Smartphone app for both iPhone and Android. 

Find a Local Signia Care Provider Here

Additional Hearing Aid Options For Seniors 👇

1) Oticon More  
2) Phonak Lumity 
3) Signia Pure AX
4) Jabra Enhance Select (the most popular telehealth option)
5) Lexie B2 Powered By Bose (the most popular OTC option)


Woman wearing ReSound OMNIA hearing aids
Oticon More
Best for Natural Sound

Oticon More

Oticon More

4,598
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
Rechargeable
Rechargeable

Oticon More was released in January 2021 and has since become one of the most popular hearing aids in the world. This hearing aid is rechargeable offers hands-free calling via iPhone and audio streaming via Android.

What makes the Oticon special is the way the hearing aids handle sound. While most hearing aids suppress background noises and prioritize only voice, Oticon More gives the brain a more natural, full sound landscape.

Oticon used a 360 spherical microphone to capture sounds from 12 million real-life situations to achieve this new approach. They used that sound to train the computer inside their hearing aids.

Overall notes: Oticon More is an undisputed leader among top-tier hearing aids. If you are attracted to the idea of hearing more of the sounds around you vs. solely focusing on voices, this product is a great choice.

Price: Starting at $3,198 through Zip Hearing (walk-in prices $5K-$8K)

Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth (not hands-free), Behind The Ear Style

What audiologists say: “Oticon More is among the best. If you are looking for all-around, top-of-the-line technology, this is an excellent choice.” - Ramsay Poindexter, AuD


Pros

Open sound quality that many users prefer

Bluetooth streaming from Android and Apple devices

Offered with both rechargeable and disposable batteries

Cons

Oticon More hearing aids start at $3,198 and can cost as much as $7,000 with walk in care

Oticon More hearing aids require a visit to an in person audiologist and are not sold online

Access pre-negotiated pricing from Zip Hearing and save 25%-40%
Find a Professional
Phonak Audeo Lumity
Best Bluetooth Connection

Phonak Audeo Lumity

Phonak Audeo Lumity

$4,598
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Rechargeable
Rechargeable

Audeo Lumity is the brand new offering from the world’s most popular hearing aid brand. The device is made by the world's #1 manufacturer Sonova and is widely seen as the most connected Bluetooth hearing aid on the market.

The new Lumity operating system offers several improvements from the older Phonak Paradise hearing aid most notably, an enhanced ability to hear in background noise. 

Phonak hearing aids offer all of the modern features you might expect including the most stable Bluetooth streaming connection in the industry, rechargeable batteries (or disposable for those who prefer them) and a waterproof option.

The devices have lots of intelligent listening tech onboard, including a motion sensor that focuses your field of sound when you are sitting and opens it back up when you are walking around. 

Pros

Top of the line customization, Bluetooth connection and rechargeable batteries

Enhanced background noise reduction

Waterproof option available for active lifestyles

Cons

Audeo Lumity is a premium product with an average price of $3,198 - $7,000 per pair

Phonak manages sound quality in a way that can lead to a "closed off" feeling compared to Oticon or ReSound's more open sound quality

Access pre-negotiated pricing from Zip Hearing and save 25%-40%
Find a Professional
Signia Charge&Go
Smallest Size and Longest Battery Life

Signia Charge&Go

Signia Charge&Go

$4,598
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
Rechargeable
Rechargeable

Signia Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids are the smallest behind-the-ear devices on the market in 2022 and amazingly hold the longest-lasting battery at nearly 40 hours per charge. Signia is known for limiting background noise by using motion detection to gather information about your surroundings as you move from one space to the next. The hearing aids automatically sense when you start walking or sit down and make intelligent decisions about where to focus.

Overall notes: Signia Charge&Go AX is a hearing aid for someone on the go. It's the smallest, has the most extended battery life, and offers best-in-class motion-based adjustments.

Price: Starting at $2,798 per pair through Zip Hearing (walk-in pricing is typically between $5K-$8K)

Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth, Behind The Ear Style

What audiologists say: “The AX offers hands-free streaming (for iOS) and connectivity with their app. It is a solid device with impressive specs and design." - Garrett Thompson, AuD

Pros

Smallest body size on the market

Longest lasting battery with 40 hours per charge

Fully customizable with premium sound processing

Cons

Only sold through local clinics at $3,198 - $7,000 a pair

Requires a separate accessory to allow remote programming

Access pre-negotiated pricing from Zip Hearing and save 25%-40%
Find a Professional
Jabra Enhance Select Hearing Aids
Jabra Enhance Select
Best Overall Value

Jabra Enhance Select

Jabra Enhance Select

$1,190 - $1,995
Affordable
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Bluetooth
Bluetooth
Rechargeable
Rechargeable
PROFESSIONAL FITTING
PROFESSIONAL FITTING

Jabra Enhance Select hearing aids are built by the world's 4th largest hearing aid manufacturer (ReSound). Jabra Enhance (originally called Lively) made a name for itself by recreating the full-service audiology service online.

Instead of requiring you to come into their office, Jabra reduces the cost by programming remotely and shipping to your home.

All Jabra products come with a 100-day return policy and 3 years of unlimited remote care. You can find the same product for sale at a local clinic for around $4,500.

Overall notes: If you have mild to moderate hearing loss, are on a budget, and want a hearing professional to program your hearing aids to match your hearing loss, this is one of the most compelling products on the market.

Price: $1,195 for a pair of battery-powered - $1,595 for a pair of rechargeable, $1,995 for enhanced sound quality

Features: Rechargeable, Bluetooth (not hands-free), Behind The Ear Style

What audiologists say: “Their audiologists can personalize and program Jabra hearing aids in real-time; highlighting the benefits of telehealth and competent professionals.” - Garrett Thompson, AuD

Pros

One of the most affordable and convenient ways to purchase online while maintaining professional care

Comes with a 100 day free-return period

Offers rechargeable batteries and Bluetooth streaming

Cons

Remote care requires users to be somewhat tech savvy

Jabra only offers styles that sit behind the ear

Compare Jabra Enhance Products or Take a Free Hearing Test
Get Started
Image of Bose rechargeable hearing aids
Lexie B2 Powered By Bose
Affordable and Rechargeable

Lexie B2 Powered By Bose

Lexie B2 Powered By Bose

$999
Affordable
Affordable
Behind the Ear
Behind the Ear
Rechargeable
Rechargeable
Self-Tuned
Self-Tuned

Lexie B2 Powered by Bose is the newest edition to the Bose product family. The big news here is that B2 is rechargeable. Based on our evaluations, B1 and B2 are virtually identical in appearance and function outside of their batteries. Lexie B2 Powered by Bose is a registered OTC hearing aid with impressive self-fitting technology and great overall sound quality for the price.

According to Lexie, both B1 and B2 will remain on the market for the foreseeable future. Both products come with 45-day hassle-free returns and unlimited remote follow-up care from a Lexie Expert.


Like its counterpart, B1, the new B2 product does not allow Bluetooth streaming.

Pros

Strong underlying technology

Self-fitting using the Lexie app

Affordable and rechargeable

Cons

No Bluetooth streaming

Only comes in one color

Costs $150 more than disposable battery version

Check for the latest Lexie holiday prices here
Get Started

Financial Support For Seniors With Hearing Loss 

For those on a tight budget, there are some additional options to consider for support in the financial aspect of the hearing aid process:

  • Financing. Many companies and clinics offer affordable plans to fit within your budget. Jabra Enhance Select offers prices as low as $39 a month per pair. 
  • Have you served in the military? Reach out to the VA to see if you qualify for hearing aid coverage through service connection. Read more here
  • Do you have a Medicare Advantage plan? You may be eligible for discount pricing through a third party like TruHearing. Read more here
  • Lions Club. The Lions Club is an international organization that provides hearing aids at low or no cost through donations to their hearing aid bank. Read more about your local Lions Club here
  • Medicaid is a state and federal insurance program. Each state has different eligibility requirements, with hearing aid coverage in some states. Find out more about your state here.  

Final Thoughts

80% of hearing aid wearers report that the devices significantly improve their lives and communication. Whether you are 45 or 85, it's worth investing in your hearing. 

When selecting a hearing aid, there are many important factors to consider, such as lifestyle needs, dexterity concerns, budget restrictions, service availability, and dependability. 

Additionally, numerous financial assistance programs can help seniors on fixed incomes cover some or all of their hearing aid costs. 

We hope this blog post has given you some food for thought when it comes time to make your hearing aid selection.

–The Soundly team