New to the world of hearing aids? Or considering a product switch? There’s a lot to consider.
As an audiologist, I’ve seen the positive impact hearing aids have on people. So, I enjoy staying up to date on the latest hearing tech—because investing in the right device can make a world of difference.
But with so many choices, it can seem overwhelming. You don’t have to feel that way, because I research the best hearing aids for my patients. I’ll arm you with the best insights and the latest intel in order to choose the right treatment for your needs.
Background on Hear.com and Horizon
Hear.com has been making a lot of noise—pun intended—in the hearing health care industry.
With beginnings as Audibene in Germany, the brand has grown considerably since 2012. WS Audiology (one of the 5 largest manufacturers in the industry) owns Hear.com, Audibene and three other major brands: Widex, Signia, and Rexton.
Hear.com serves 11 different countries with a goal of providing the best hearing option based on lifestyle, budget, and location. The flagship product—known as Horizon—is very similar to the sleek Signia Styletto AX and also features a standard RIC, similar to the Charge & Go AX.
Scroll on to check out the similarities and differences between Signia versus Horizon hearing aids.
How The Hear.com Process Works
Let’s get into what you can expect from the process with this model of hearing care.
First, Hear.com uses a questionnaire to assess your communication needs, desired features, and other questions to determine a profile from which they can make recommendations.
But, there are other factors that Hear.com considers for your unique situation:
- Insurance coverage
- Employment status
- Health benefits
- Credit score
Next, you can speak with a consultant to continue the evaluation or to schedule an appointment after taking the questionnaire.
FYI: For those who are new to hearing aids, speaking with a consultant can be very useful in sorting out the best path forward. They can also share more information about insurance, payment, and financing options.
For in person care, you’ll be scheduled with a local provider to fit with the hearing devices you’ve selected. Conveniently, hear.com partners with over 2,000 licensed hearing care professionals and can recommend a local professional in your area.
When you go in for your visit, your audiologist will do a hearing test to fit and program your devices appropriately.
Need a telehealth option? Hear.com also provides remote care options. Pro tip: Make sure your internet connection is solid.
Before your appointment, you’ll receive:
- A tablet
- A video otoscope
- Hearing aids
Additionally, before the appointment a customer support professional will explain the process and answer any questions. Then, you’ll set up your appointment for your remote hearing aid fitting.
Horizon Hearing Aids
While you can choose from various hearing aid brands on their website, the company also offers in-house hearing devices.
This line of hearing aids is called Horizon, and they are made by WS Audiology and are very similar products to the current Signia hearing aids.
Since these devices are in-house, pricing is typically better with Horizon hearing aids. Which means these hearing aids can be a good choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option.
How Horizon Compares to Signia
First, let’s focus on what is similar to the current Signia products.
Visually, these hearing aids look very similar to their Signia counterparts. The slim RIC design of Signia’s Styletto has won awards for its sleek design that patients love.
And, the devices come in three levels of technology, 3, 5, and 7. Like Signia products, Horizon devices share great rechargeability, smartphone streaming, and strong background noise capability.
Horizon looks pretty similar to Signia. So, what, if anything, is different about these devices? The difference is on the inside.
Horizon hearing aids have three unique features:
- Speech Focus
- Relax Mode
- Panorama Effect
Speech Focus is meant for those situations when you need additional speech clarity in the presence of background noise.
You’ll hear more mid-frequencies to emphasize speech while reducing background noise.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and need a break? Relax Mode will play relaxing nature sounds like ocean noise to help you relax.
Finally, the Panorama Effect is just what it sounds like. If you take a panorama photo, you’ll capture your full surroundings.
Similarly, this feature is for those who want to hear 360 degrees around them.
- Works with your insurance
- 45-day trial period
Some advantages of Hear.com include the flexibility to evaluate various hearing devices and choose between in-person or remote care.
Typically, there is less variety of hearing aid brands at an in-person clinic. Hear.com does offer more affordable options, such as their in-house Horizon hearing aids.
If you have a hearing aid insurance benefit, the good news is that the provider can help work with those benefits. For your hearing aid selection, you’ll also have a 45-day trial period to try out your devices and return them if you’re dissatisfied.
- Customer service staff are not audiologists
- Price only includes three to five follow-up visits
- Remote areas may not have a local provider for in-person visits and only offer a telehealth option
There are a few other drawbacks to consider.
For example, during your phone consultation, you’ll speak with a customer service representative rather than an audiologist or hearing care professional.
While that individual may be trained on hearing devices, they may be unable to answer all your questions or help in complex cases.
Also included in your device’s price are just three to five follow-up visits. But for those who need more frequent follow-up visits, this is one drawback.
In that case, you may consider a local clinic with a bundled care model, which includes unlimited visits throughout your hearing aid warranty.
Hear.com does not publish prices but they do publicly share that they have options starting at as low as $499 for a pair. Hear.com states that most patients spend around $5,000-$7,000 on a pair of premium hearing aids. The national average for a pair of hearing aids is around $5,500.
Ultimately, hear.com’s average prices are in line with (or a bit higher) than the average private clinic. ZipHearing offers an alternative option with slightly lower prices.
The options at Hear.com have a convenient, flexible offering regarding hearing aid selection and care model.
Compared with Signia devices, users can almost expect similar performance from both the Horizon and Signia brands—but potentially get more bang for their buck if they choose Horizon.
If you’re interested in learning more or want to see what Signia offers, check out the Live Listen to sample audio files of different devices to test them out. With plenty of information here and elsewhere online, we hope you now feel equipped with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision when selecting a hearing aid brand and care model.