How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss
Whether you’re buying your first pair of hearing aids or shopping for your next pair, it’s difficult to wade through the sea of hearing aids for severe hearing loss. To help you out, we narrowed down the choices to our top hearing aids for severe hearing loss. We evaluated factors like price, features, user-friendliness, Bluetooth connectivity, mobile app compatibility, and reputation.
Types of Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss
Power and Super-Power Hearing Aids
Individuals with severe or profound hearing loss can’t use just any style or type of hearing aid. Instead, they need power or super-power hearing aids. These types of hearing aid tend to come in the BTE style with a component that sits behind your ear and another component that fills your ear. The style and larger size provides room for more powerful receivers, amplifiers, and processors.
Other hearing aids come in smaller styles, like the invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) style. An invisible style is too small to include the power and features that a person with severe or profound hearing loss needs. You can visit our list of the best invisible hearing aids to learn more about IIC devices.
You can find power and super-power hearing aids in rechargeable or battery-powered styles. For example, Signia’s Motion Charge&GO SP X features a rechargeable battery, while Oticon’s Xceed relies on disposable batteries.
How Do Super-Power Hearing Aids Work?
Super-power hearing aids amplify sounds, but that’s just the start. The technology also focuses on making sounds clear and distinct so that wearers can process what they’re hearing. A big part of this is transposing hard-to-hear frequencies.
It’s common for those with severe or profound hearing loss to struggle to hear low- or high-frequency sounds. No amount of amplification would improve the wearer’s ability to hear at those frequencies. That’s why power and super-power hearing aids detect sounds in those hard-to-hear frequency ranges and then transpose them to a more moderate frequency. The transposed frequency, paired with sound amplification and feedback cancellation, helps the wearer to hear clearly.
Where to Buy Power and Super-Power Hearing Aids
All of the top players in the hearing aid industry sell hearing aid solutions for severe hearing loss. However, you’ll need to visit an audiologist or hearing center for purchase and fitting. The audiologist will test your hearing, review purchase options and pricing, and make a mold of your ears. Hearing aid earmolds come in a variety of colors, but clear or skin-tone molds offer the most discretion.
Features to Look for in Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss
When deciding which hearing aids to purchase for severe hearing loss, research or ask your audiologist about the following features:
- Powerful sound amplification: Power and super-power hearing aids need powerful amplifiers, processors, and batteries.
- Frequency transposition: It’s common for seniors with age-related hearing loss to lose their high-frequency hearing.3 Hearing aids that shift high-frequency sounds into a lower frequency can help you hear better.
- Bluetooth streaming: Forget earbuds. It’s more convenient to stream television shows, movies, calls, and phone audio directly to your hearing aids with no background noise.
- Remote microphone compatibility: Remote microphones, such as Phonak’s Roger, help you hear your dinner partner, an educator, or other conversation partner more clearly in a busy or noisy setting.
- Telecoil: The worse your hearing is, the more helpful telecoil becomes. Telecoil lets you hear better in environments that use loop systems, such as churches, airports, courtrooms, and theaters.
- Tinnitus management: Tinnitus is worse for people with hearing loss.4 If you suffer from tinnitus, look for hearing aids with tinnitus management capabilities.