Phonak is an uncontested innovator in hearing health. The Zürich-based giant isn't the showiest company in the hearing health space, but their wide-ranging products and technology are worn in more ears every day than any other brand. Founded in 1947, Phonak just topped 75 years in business.
If you are considering the latest Phonak hearing aids or just brushing up on your Swiss history, this article is for you. We'll dig into frequently asked questions about Phonak and spend some time in the weeds with Phonak's latest range of products.
Let's get into it.
Before we wax poetic about Phonak's background noise handling (which is impressive), we should probably tell you who we are. Soundly is an independent consumer education site focused on hearing aid audio products.
Our team of audiologists and hearing aid wearers tests dozens of hearing aids each month to share our research with you. You can read more about us and our review process here.
Quick Phonak Facts
- Phonak is the leader among the six top hearing health brands.
- Phonak is owned by its Swiss holding company, Sonova (the owner of Unitron, Advanced Bionics, and Sennheiser).
- Phonak offers a wide range of hearing aids, from truly invisible to receiver-in-canal and high-powered BTE (more on the latest styles in a minute).
AG für Elektroakustik (later renamed Phonak) launched in 1947 and, after three years of R&D, released the first portable hearing aids, Phonak Alpina. In 1965, businessman Ernst Rihs acquired the company's majority shares and renamed it Phonak AG.
The company steadily grew and innovated through the 70s and 80s.
In 1992, Phonak launched the PICS, the first-ever digital programmable hearing system with an analog signal processor.
In 2007 Phonak's parent company changed its name to Sonova but kept the original Phonak name for its flagship brand.
In 2010 Phonak purchased Lyric, a fully invisible hearing aid meant for 24/7 wear.
Over the last 10 years, Phonak has released a steady line of hearing aids with progressively more advanced technology. Phonak Lumity is the company's current flagship.
The Last 10 Years Of Products
2022: Phonak Audéo Lumity, Phonak Virto Paradise
2021: Phonak Naída Paradise
2020: Phonak Audéo Paradise, Phonak Naída M, Phonak Virto M, Phonak Brio 4
2019: Phonak Bolero M
2018: Phonak Audéo Marvel, Phonak Naída B
2017: Phonak Bolero B, Phonak Virto B
2016: Phonak Audéo B
2015: Phonak Bolero V
2014: Phonak Lyric 4, Phonak Lyric 3, Phonak Audéo V
2013: Phonak Naída Q
Phonak's top products today.
Today Phonak's flagship product is Phonak Lumity which the vast majority of consumers choose. The brand also manufactures custom-in-the-ear products under their Phonak Virto line and higher-powered products for severe and profound hearing loss under the Phonak Naída Paradise line.
Phonak also makes a CROS device for single-sided hearing loss and a pediatrics line under the name Phonak Sky.
If you aren't sure what to make of all these names, here's a way to think about it.
- Around 70%-80% of consumers choose Lumity,
- Approximately 10% choose Virto.
- The remaining 10%-20% select Naída, Lyric, or an older model.
Let's take a closer look at the existing Phonak product range.
Apps and Accessories
Phonak has a few smartphone apps that control Phonak hearing aids and unlock special features like sound quality adjustments, fitness tracking, and more.
Our lead audiologist recently did a deep dive into the myPhonak app here.
Phonak offers a robust (although sometimes pricey) line of accessories. I recently tried out the Roger ON external microphone with some fantastic results. Phonak's accessories include:
A versatile external microphone that can plug into your TV or computer, clip onto a partner or teacher's shirt or sit in the middle of a table. Roger ON streams cleaned-up audio directly to your Phonak hearing aids.
Phonak's TV Connector does what you might imagine. Plug the device into your TV and stream audio directly to your hearing aids.
A simple, handheld remote made to easily control your Phonak hearing aids without reaching for your hearing aid buttons or opening an app.
A small, easy-to-use microphone that attaches to your partner's lapel to improve hearing during one-on-one conversations. This one is incredible in restaurants, sightseeing, or in the car.
How Phonak stacks up against other leaders.
Phonak is the leader among hearing health perennials for a reason. The brand has a broader range of form factors than any other brand and a robust underlying technology base. Phonak's flagship product, Phonak Lumity, has the most versatile Bluetooth connection among hearing aids in 2023, and Phonak does a great job managing background noise.
Whether you've worn Phonak in the past or you are just exploring your options, it's safe to say the brand is worthy of your shortlist.
The one major drawback is that Lumity hearing aids have a big price tag ($3,000-$6,500 for a pair). Telehealth leaders like Jabra Enhance Select and Audicus offer a lot of value for significantly less.
Even so, if you are searching for the best option on the market, Phonak is worthy of your shortlist.
You can use our care finder to get up-to-date pricing for your zip code here.
I hope you've found this review helpful. If you have questions or comments, shoot us a note at [email protected].