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Phonak Versus ReSound Hearing Aids

November 6, 2023
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Written by
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A
Amy Sarow, AuD, CCC-A

Dr. Amy Sarow is a practicing clinical audiologist and serves as Audiology Lead for Soundly. Her expertise and experience span topics including tinnitus, cochlear implants, hearing aid technology, and hearing testing. She holds a doctoral degree in audiology from the University of Iowa. During her residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sarow was inspired by the three-tiered, patient-centered approach, incorporating clinical work, teaching and research.

Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff
Soundly Staff
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Are you—perhaps a friend, or loved one—planning on getting a hearing aid? The process can be overwhelming. After all, there are so many different models and brands on the market, which makes it challenging to decide which one is right for you. 

This article will examine two of the most popular hearing aid brands: Phonak and ReSound. Then, we'll compare their styles, Bluetooth connections, app controls, special features, and sound quality—so you can determine which one is best for your lifestyle.

Round One | Style

When it comes to style, both Phonak and ReSound have a wide range of options available. For style, we'll focus on the design and practicality of the device.

Phonak offers different types and sizes of hearing aids. The Phonak Lumity hearing aid has a sleek form factor with a toggle switch to easily press up or down for volume control. This button is easier to find on the Lumity versus the previous Phonak Paradise hearing aid. The RIC hearing aid comes in several color options, such as beige, brown, gray, and black, so you can find a model that suits your hair or skin tone. (Note: The BTE-style Phonak Sky offers more fun colors to choose from like Majesty Purple, Sandalwood, and Electric Green). 

ReSound has a slightly different shape than their RIC hearing aid. The top of their RIC device has a small point to it. The ReSound NEXIA has a single push button rather than a toggle switch. For those who prefer a manual button push to access volume or programs, it does mean fewer options than the Phonak toggle switch. For example, for a unilateral ReSound hearing aid wearer who prefers manual button press, it means choosing either volume or program change for the button. In my experience, patients also have difficulty figuring out the difference between short and long press to access these different features (e.g., quick press versus long press).

Are you looking for a custom hearing aid? Phonak has the most extensive portfolio. For example, there are ITE hearing aids for those looking for Bluetooth connectivity, while there are also more discrete options, such as the Phonak Lyric or IIC Titanium hearing aids. ReSound makes ITE and ITC options, but does not have the same range of invisible styles

Phonak wins this round due to the sleek design and more flexibility with the push button options.

Round Two | Bluetooth Connection

Phonak and ReSound offer wireless connectivity via Bluetooth technology, which allows users to stream audio from their phones or other devices directly to their hearing aids. However, there are some significant differences here.


ReSound works very well for iPhone Bluetooth connectivity due to their Made for iPhone technology. If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you can connect and use your hearing aids like a hands-free headset. The hearing aids will pick up your voice, and you can keep your cell phone in your pocket.

Specific compatible Android devices will also work. However, you'll want to ensure your cell phone is on the list of compatible models. The hands-free option does not work for Android phones, unfortunately.

However, ReSound's Bluetooth accessories, such as their Mini Mic and TV Streamer, are some of the best assistive devices in the industry. My patients love the Multi Mic in a noisy restaurant or another setting. For patients with a Cochlear Americas implant on the other ear, ReSound is hands down their best option.

And last but not least - ReSound's latest NEXIA hearing aids are Auracast compatible! This exciting new addition will become increasingly more useful as technology begins incorporating Auracast into public venues in the coming years. Read more about Auracast here.


Phonak has the advantage of being compatible with any device with Bluetooth due to its pairing via Bluetooth Classic. Their hands-free option for calls with functionality like a Bluetooth headset is ideal for Android users who want this option. One caveat here is the double-tap feature. Some patients like this option but for some, it is challenging to tap at a quick enough speed or in the right place on the device.

Do you like to have multiple Bluetooth devices connected at once? Phonak is your best option here. With Phonak hearing aids, you'll be able to stay connected to more than one device at once without disconnecting and reconnecting.

ReSound wins this round with their future-proof NEXIA hearing aids with Auracast. If you're an iPhone user or have a Cochlear CI, ReSound is your best option. However, go with Phonak for Android users or multiple Bluetooth device connectivity.

Round Three | App Controls

Both companies have their own dedicated apps for controlling your hearing aids via your Smartphone. Each app is set up slightly differently, so let's take a look at the different options.

The ReSound app is user-friendly and has controls for changing the program, adjusting volume, muting the hearing aids, or adjusting streaming. For those with a premium ReSound hearing aid, the Front Focus feature is also accessible on a program in the app. Moreover, the ReSound Relief app has excellent options for tinnitus masking. My patients often appreciate the easy-to-navigate app that still allows for customization.

Phonak's app also has controls for changing programs, adjusting volume, muting the hearing aids, or customizing programs. If you're into step counting, Phonak hearing aids can track your activity levels and show this in the app. But, Phonak's app has been known to have bugs or glitches. Therefore, if we connect the hearing aids to the programming software in the office, any custom programs you make will be deleted.

The winner here is ReSound for their user-friendly app.

Round Four | Rechargeability and Batteries

Both hearing aids offer rechargeable hearing aids. However, there are some differences in terms of performance. Firstly, ReSound also offers a disposable battery option alongside the rechargeable one. Though most patients go with rechargeable batteries nowadays, some still stick with the traditional disposable battery option. On the other hand, Phonak has yet to offer its Lumity hearing aid with a disposable battery.

In the past, Phonak rechargeable hearing aids were more difficult to remove from the charger due to the way they are seated in the charging case. Compared with the previous Paradise, Lumity is easier to remove. Still, ReSound is by far the easiest to put in and remove from the charger.

ReSound wins this round.

Round Five | Special Features

Both brands offer unique features that may come in handy depending on individual needs. Below, we’ll break down the details.


1. ReSound offers a "Find My Hearing Aid" feature that many people appreciate. In case you do misplace or lose your hearing aid, it will show you the location of the last time you were connected to wifi.

2. Ultra Zoom is excellent for helping with hearing in background noise. However, this program is only available in premium hearing technology (NEXIA 9).

3. ReSound's accessories work seamlessly with your hearing aids to help when you need more support. As mentioned above, their Multi Mic elevates sounds in noisy settings like restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, stadiums, and more.

4. ReSound's premium charger is convenient, with the case itself holding a charge and rechargeability is a strong suit with the brand. In my experience, patients have fewer repairs or problems with ReSound rechargeable products than with other manufacturers.

5. In the app, the “Check My Fit” feature allows you to check whether your hearing aids are in the ear correctly. This is a unique feature from ReSound and can be helpful to check fit.  


1. The tap control feature allows you to answer phone calls, start or stop streaming, or activate the voice assistant. When it works, it is a great feature. However, only some find it easy to use. I like to use the demo feature in the office with my patients at the hearing aid fitting, so that it's clear how to initiate this feature.

2. Made for All connectivity lets you connect up to eight Bluetooth devices, with two being active at once. For some patients, this is a huge deal (especially if they like to stream music or shows from various devices). On the other hand, it's certainly convenient that you don't need to disconnect and reconnect.

3. The Phonak charging case has a desiccant bead compartment. This one might seem less important, but if you live in a humid climate or tend to sweat, this one can save the life of your hearing aid and prevent corrosion.

This is tough, but ReSound narrowly wins this round due to their convenient charging case and "Find My Hearing Aid" feature. (Pro tip: Looking for the benefit of the desiccant beads in ReSound's charger? Get some of those desiccant bead pouches, like when you buy new shoes, and place them in the center of the case.)

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Round Six | Sound Quality

Last but not least is sound quality. Both hearing aids are strong in this category, with AI optimizing speech and reducing background noise. ReSound boasts an impressive 4.3 dB SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) improvement in background noise. Phonak's StereoZoom 2.0 achieves an additional 2.5 dB SNR in background noise.

ReSound's award-winning M&RIE receivers cut down on wind noise and provide an impressive, natural sound quality while optimizing speech and reducing noise. Of note, only some will be candidates for this type of receiver. However, I like to fit patients with M&RIE when they meet the criteria.

While it's very close, ReSound is the winner here.


When it comes down to choosing between Phonak and ReSound hearing aids, both are strong contenders. Ultimately it does still come down to individual preferences and circumstances. If you are an Android user and want Bluetooth connectivity, Phonak is your best option. Yet, with all things equal, ReSound narrowly wins this battle.

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