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Best Hearing Aids for Single-Sided Hearing Loss

Our experts evaluated the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss and narrowed down the choices to their top picks.

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Unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is a condition where you experience hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other. UHL affects an estimated 7.2 percent of adult Americans, but only a small percentage wear hearing aids. For many with UHL, wearing one — or even two — hearing aids1 can help you hear better. Below, we’ll take a look at the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss and their impressive features. We’ll also explore unilateral hearing loss and the types of hearing aids that can help.

  • 1. Jabra Enhance

    Overview

    Jabra Enhance sells its hearing aids in pairs only, but we still think this company is worth checking out for unilateral loss. Jabra Enhance’s line of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids offers direct streaming for calls, music, and other phone media; even if you have hearing loss in one ear only, the hearing aid in your better ear still gets the benefit of streaming media. This means you won’t need to choose between the hearing aid you need and the convenience Bluetooth earbuds offer. Instead, Jabra Enhance delivers the best of both.

    FYI: In November of 2022 Lively rebranded to Jabra Enhance. The company’s name may have changed, but its high-quality hearing aids haven’t!

    Even if you don’t plan to use direct streaming, buying a pair of Jabra Enhance hearing aids still has its advantages. The second device could be used as a backup in case your primary device breaks or the battery dies before you get a chance to recharge or replace it.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • High-tech accessories
    • Mobile app for volume control and adjustments
    • Bluetooth connectivity for streaming calls and music
    • Three years of remote follow-up care with Jabra Enhance’s audiology team
    • 100-day money-back guarantee
    • Variety of colors
    • Financing available
    Cons
    • Must be purchased as a pair
    • Not for severe or profound hearing loss
    • Small product lineup
    • Direct streaming is available only with select Android models

    Pricing

    Jabra Enhance hearing aids cost $1,195 to $1,995 per pair. That may be more than what you’d pay for budget brands like Otofonix, but considering their advanced technology and features, Jabra Enhance hearing aids are quite affordable. The purchase price also includes three-year loss and damage protection and warranty, three years of follow-up care with the Jabra Enhance audiology team, and a free mobile app. Plus, you can try Jabra Enhance for 100 days risk-free.

    The Bottom Line

    Jabra Enhance’s line of hearing aids includes rechargeable and battery-powered models. They’re designed to be worn in pairs, but you could wear a single hearing aid if desired. Or you could wear both to enjoy the benefit of Bluetooth streaming from your Android smartphone or iPhone to both ears. Learn more about this direct-to-consumer brand in our 2022 Jabra Enhance hearing aid review.

    FYI: e named Jabra Enhance as one of the best hearing aid providers in 2022!

  • 2. MDHearing

    Overview

    MDHearing sells two BTE hearing aids and one in-the-ear (ITE) model that are available for one ear or both. We love that flexibility! And each hearing aid can be adjusted independently, which is welcome news if you have lopsided hearing loss.

    For older adults who want a more customized experience, there’s the VOLT MAX. This rechargeable hearing aid is the only model that connects to the MDHearing smartphone app. The app creates a sound map of your hearing and customizes the hearing aid to match. Personalization like this helps you get the most out of your single hearing aid.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Above Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • 45-day risk-free trial
    • FDA-registered hearing devices
    • Feedback cancellation and noise reduction
    • Battery-powered and rechargeable options
    • Available in singles or pairs
    • Lifetime support from audiologists and hearing specialists
    • No prescription needed
    Cons
    • No direct Bluetooth streaming
    • Only suitable for mild-to-moderate hearing loss

    Pricing

    MDHearing’s prices are transparent. The cost of a single hearing aid ranges from $499.99 to $799.99, but MDHearing often runs promotions that make it cheaper to buy a complete pair! Buying a pair would not only save you money, but also give you the option of wearing two hearing aids or simply having a backup. While these hearing aids aren’t the fanciest, they’re still thousands of dollars cheaper than the top brands.

    The Bottom Line

    MDHearing doesn’t limit your choices if you’re in the market for a single hearing aid. Instead, you can purchase one or two of any of MDHearing’s hearing solutions. Features like noise reduction, feedback cancellation, independent volume adjustments, and the ability to choose the battery type make MDHearing a smart solution for many seniors with single-sided hearing loss. Learn more about MDHearing in this year’s MDHearing review.

  • 3. Eargo

    Overview

    Like Jabra Enhance, Eargo sells its hearing aids in pairs only. But if you have single-sided hearing loss and experience tinnitus, a pair may be just what you need. Eargo’s invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids can provide relief to older adults who experience tinnitus, even if their hearing loss is limited to one ear. Eargo hearing aids amplify other noises around you, reducing the volume of your tinnitus in the process.

    The Eargo 5 and Eargo 6 models offer the most personalization options. Using the Eargo app’s Sound Match feature, you can personalize each hearing aid to meet your hearing needs. This is a great feature for seniors who have more significant hearing loss in one ear and only slight hearing loss in the other.

    Did You Know: Tinnitus is the No. 1 disability among veterans2. Eargo puts relief within reach by providing veterans and active military service members with a 20 percent discount on the Eargo 63.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Advanced hearing technology
    • Nearly invisible
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Flexible financing options
    • Water-resistant technology with select models
    • Smartphone-compatible options
    • Telecare
    Cons
    • Must be purchased as a pair
    • Only for mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss
    • Only ITE styles available

    Pricing

    Eargo delivers advanced hearing aid technology at prices that range from $1,450 to $2,950 per pair. While that may seem pricey, Eargo is still more affordable than many of the comparable in-office-only providers like Phonak or Starkey. Eargo also offers financing starting at $67 per month.

    The Bottom Line

    Wearing a pair of Eargo hearing aids can help you manage tinnitus, even if you have hearing loss in one ear only. You’ll also find that it’s hard to beat the discretion and comfort of completely-in-canal devices like Eargo’s. Of course, if you want to buy only one hearing aid, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Learn more about Eargo’s offerings in our latest Eargo review.

  • 4. Otofonix

    Overview

    Cost stops more than 25 percent of seniors from getting hearing aids. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t let cost stop you. Instead, turn to Otofonix. This U.S.-based company delivers the hearing aid features you need at the most affordable price on the market. The Otofonix Elite is an accessible BTE hearing aid for seniors with single-sided hearing loss. Available as a single or a pair, this battery-powered hearing aid features background noise suppression, four program modes, 10 volume levels, and easy-to-use controls.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Average Average Average Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Background noise suppression
    • Free lifetime phone support
    • Free two-day shipping
    • Lightweight and comfortable design
    • Variety of preconfigured programs and volumes
    Cons
    • Not for severe to profound hearing loss
    • BTE models only
    • Available in beige only

    Pricing

    Otofonix hearing aids are inexpensive, which is welcome news to seniors on a budget. The Otofonix Elite costs $490 for a single hearing aid. Otofonix also sells a more bare-bones model if you’re looking for something even more affordable. The Otofonix Apex costs $248 per ear. It may not have the bells and whistles of the other brands, but it does offer the core features at an accessible price. Otofonix also runs frequent sales that bring down the cost of their inexpensive hearing aids even more.

    FYI: Otofonix landed a spot on our list of the best cheap hearing aid providers in 2022, thanks to budget-friendly prices and frequent sales.

    The Bottom Line

    Older adults who want a single hearing aid at an affordable price should look no further than Otofonix. The Otonofix Elite and Apex deliver a 35dB gain, making them a good option for seniors with mild hearing loss. Head on over to our Otofonix review to learn more.

  • 5. Phonak

    Overview

    If you’re concerned about how wearing just one hearing aid would look, you might want to consider Phonak’s Lyric. Lyric is a 100 percent IIC hearing aid that you wear 24/7. Unlike other hearing aids on the market, Lyric is inserted into your ear by a hearing professional. It stays in your ear for months at a time, even as you sleep, shower, or wear headphones. You don’t need to recharge or change the batteries either; instead, you’ll visit your audiologist before the battery dies to get a new Lyric device inserted.

    Your hearing professional will program Lyric to match your hearing loss. Even if your hearing loss is concentrated in one ear, wearing Lyric provides benefits like sound localization and reduced feedback4.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Average Above Average Above Average
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Fully invisible
    • Extended-wear technology
    • Clear, natural sound
    • Wear around the clock
    • Moisture protection
    • Advanced noise cancellation
    • Risk-free trials available in many locations
    Cons
    • No digital speech processing
    • Must be professionally inserted by a hearing professional
    • Not for moderately severe to profound hearing loss

    Pricing

    Phonak Lyric is available only on a subscription basis through an audiologist or hearing specialist. A subscription lasts for one year, covering all replacement devices and services. How much you’ll pay for Lyric, or any Phonak device, varies by location. Expect to pay more than you would for direct-to-consumer brands like MDHearing or Eargo.

    The Bottom Line

    Lyric delivers natural sound while letting you use headphones, wear glasses, and wear helmets. While Lyric is safe for wearing in the shower, it’s not meant to be submerged in water. So, if you enjoy swimming, you’ll want to consider a different hearing device. Read our Phonak hearing aid review to see which other models this provider offers.

  • 6. Signia

    Overview

    Signia, one of the world’s largest hearing aid brands, offers a number of hearing solutions for adults with single-sided hearing loss, including CROS (contralateral routing of signals) accessories. A CROS device is best for those with unaidable hearing loss in one ear and normal or near-normal hearing in the other. Signia’s CROS devices include BTE and ITE models.

    If you’re after discretion and comfort, turn to Signia’s CROS Silk X. It’s advertised as the only ready-to-wear ITE CROS device. This discreet device features soft-silicone click sleeves for an instant and secure fit. There’s no need to wait weeks for custom-fit devices. CROS Silk X is compatible with Signia’s invisible Silk X CIC hearing aid.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Excellent Above Average Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Solutions for all levels of hearing loss
    • Vast product line
    • Made with innovative technology
    • Variety of wireless accessories
    • Manage audio settings and preferences with Signia app
    • Remote telehealth support available
    • Instant fit
    Cons
    • Higher price point
    • Requires in-office visit

    Pricing

    Signia doesn’t advertise its prices online. Visit an audiologist or local hearing aid specialist to learn about the cost of the Signia device that best meets your needs.

    The Bottom Line

    Signia’s CROS Silk X accessory and Silk X hearing aid offer comfort and flexibility to seniors with unaidable unilateral hearing loss or single-sided deafness. The device sits in the ear canal, so you can use your phone as you normally would and wear over-ear headphones. You can even control Silk X with the Signia app. To see what else Signia has to offer, read our latest Signia review.

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids for Single-Sided Hearing Loss

Choosing the right hearing aid is hard, and it can be overwhelming if it’s your first time shopping for one. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss. We evaluated providers based on criteria like cost, advanced features, variety of models, reputation, and ease of use.

What Is Unilateral Hearing Loss?

UHL occurs when an individual has hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other. When there’s nonfunctional hearing in one ear, it’s also called single-sided deafness. Single-sided deafness affects an estimated 60,000 Americans each year5.

Many people living with unilateral hearing loss simply rely on their “good” ear for listening. However, some choose a hearing solution, such as the following:

  • A single hearing aid
  • Two hearing aids
  • CROS systems
  • BiCROS systems
  • Bone-conduction devices
  • Bone-anchored implants

What Are CROS Hearing Aids?

CROS hearing aids are for older adults who have near-normal hearing in one ear and hearing loss in the other. CROS hearing aids consist of a transmitter with a microphone that you wear on your ear with hearing loss and a receiver with a speaker that you wear on your better ear. The transmitter picks up sounds on one side and delivers the sounds to your other ear.

CROS hearing aids make it easy to hear conversations taking place on your poorer side. They also help you pick up more environmental sounds, which can improve safety and awareness.

What Are BiCROS Hearing Aids?

BiCROS hearing aids are another option if you have single-sided deafness. They work similarly to CROS hearing aids, but are for individuals who experience hearing loss in their better ear too. A BiCROS hearing aid will amplify sounds in your better ear as well as transmit sounds from your deaf ear to your better ear. Both sides have a microphone, and the sounds get sent to the receiver in the better ear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids for One-Sided Hearing Loss

  • Do hearing aids work for single-sided deafness?

    Hearing aids may help individuals with single-sided deafness, but it depends on the severity of the unilateral hearing loss1. An audiologist can help determine what type of assistive hearing device, if any, could help you to hear better.

  • Is it okay to wear only one hearing aid?

    If you have hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other ear, wearing one hearing aid is sufficient4. However, most individuals with age-related hearing loss experience hearing loss in both ears, even if it’s of varying severities. Research suggests that those individuals are more satisfied when they wear two hearing aids.

  • What type of hearing aid is best for single-sided hearing loss?

    The right solution for single-sided hearing loss depends on the severity of the loss. If you have nonfunctional hearing in one ear, CROS or BiCROS devices can be effective. Regular hearing aids may be sufficient for mild to severe single-sided hearing loss.

  • Will a hearing aid cure my single-sided hearing loss?

    No. Hearing aids cannot cure hearing loss; however, wearing hearing aids can help you hear better.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

Citations
  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Unilateral Hearing Loss (Single-Sided Deafness)

  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Tinnitus

  3. Eargo. (2022). IT’S OUR HONOR TO SERVE THOSE WHO SERVE

  4. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). One hearing aid or two?

  5. The Hearing Journal. (2015). One hearing aid or two?