Hearing loss is an often unwelcome change that comes with getting older. Difficulty participating in conversations causes many seniors to withdraw from social interaction altogether.1 Not only does hearing loss keep you from socializing with friends and family, but it can also increase your risk of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline, depression, and falls with serious injury.2 Luckily, companies like Phonak are dedicated to giving seniors with hearing loss their independence back.
Phonak is a Swiss company backed by over 70 years of industry experience that offers hearing aids in more than 100 countries. The company has a full lineup of digital hearing aids for all types of hearing loss from mild to profound. They offer behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, and receiver-in-canal models to meet the various preferences of aging adults. They even have models particularly suited for single-sided hearing loss if you just need one device.
Prices for Phonak's hearing aids will vary by provider, but they typically start at around $999 per device and can only be purchased after consulting with a hearing specialist in person. While this is more expensive than budget-friendly models sold online from providers like Eargo, starting at a few hundred dollars per pair, Phonak's variety of high-tech devices will ensure that you receive a hearing aid tailored specifically to your needs and lifestyle. We'll get into everything you need to know about Phonak below, from the purchasing process to device features to choosing the right hearing aid for you.
Unlike some hearing aid providers that allow you to purchase devices fully online, Phonak only makes its devices available through licensed hearing professionals. You will need to see a specialist for an assessment and fitting to purchase Phonak hearing aid devices. This allows the specialist to ensure that you're getting the best device for your needs, and they can also assess if your hearing loss is linked to any other underlying conditions. To find a hearing care specialist near you, you can call Phonak at 833-828-1749 or fill out a form on their website.3
If you don't feel comfortable visiting a specialist in-person because of the COVID-19 pandemic or you just want a quick solution, you may want to consider online providers like Eargo or MDHearingAid. However, if you would like to speak with a professional to make sure all of your hearing needs are taken into account, visiting a Phonak provider is the way to go.
Important Tip: If you are unsure if you need a hearing aid, take the free online hearing assessment provided on Phonak's website.4 While this assessment is not a replacement for a consultation with a trained professional, it can help you determine if further testing is necessary.
Phonak offers a wide range of hearing aid designs to fit the needs of various users. Whether you're looking for a behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, or receiver-in-canal device, you'll have options with Phonak.
|Audéo Marvel||Bolero Marvel||Virto Marvel||Audéo Paradise||CROS B & B-R||Lyric|
|Battery||Replaceable zinc||Replaceable zinc or built-in rechargeable||Replaceable zinc||Built-in rechargeable||Built-in rechargeable||Built-in battery that lasts 3-4 months|
|Good For||Mild to profound hearing loss||Mild to severe hearing loss||Mild to severe hearing loss||Mild to profound hearing loss||Single-sided hearing loss||Mild to profound hearing loss|
|Style||Receiver-in-canal||Behind-the-ear||In-the-ear||Receiver-in-canal||Behind-the-ear or custom shell||Unique in-the-ear design|
|Bluetooth and app compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes, some models||Yes||No||No|
Important Note about Pricing: Phonak hearing aids are distributed through a network of third-party hearing specialists and hearing centers. Pricing varies largely based on region and provider. Any pricing information included on this page is representative of the providers that we spoke with and is intended to provide an estimation only. Contact your local authorized Phonak dealer to check pricing in your area.
The Audéo Marvel is a receiver-in-canal hearing aid device that is available in a range of neutral colors for those with mild to profound hearing loss. It is a multifunctional device that offers clear sound that will help you listen in any situation effortlessly, whether you're at a busy restaurant or traveling with friends. Marvel technology helps you better understand sound and speech, so you won't have to put in as much effort while listening. Again, prices for this device will range by the provider, but they typically start at around $999.
The Audéo Marvel is Bluetooth compatible, so you can use it as a hands-free call device, or an earbud for TV, music, e-books, podcasts, and much more. This model is also app-compatible so you can individualize your settings with an easy-to-use interface on your Android or iOS smartphone. Unlike some hearing aids that require an extra device to connect to your other devices, you'll be able to stream straight through your Marvel hearing aid. It can even distinguish the difference between sounds from streaming and speech automatically and adjusts the sound quality accordingly. The Marvel line includes optional rechargeable batteries, which makes handling easy for older hands, as there are no tiny batteries to replace.
Phonak's Bolero Marvel comes with all of the same great features as the Audéo, including clear, rich sound, smartphone app access, Bluetooth compatibility, and optional rechargeable batteries. Prices start around $1,050 per device.
The main difference with this model is that it comes in two behind-the-ear models for different levels of hearing loss: one designed for mild to moderate hearing loss with zinc batteries and the other for mild to severe hearing loss with rechargeable batteries. The Bolero is available in nine different colors with options for both neutrals and skin tones. If you like all of the Marvel features but prefer a behind-the-ear design over receiver-in-canal, we'd recommend the Bolero over Audéo.
Phonak's last Marvel model, the Virto, is designed for those who want all of the standard Marvel features in a more customizable, discreet style. The Virto is an in-the-ear hearing aid that is made from ultra-durable titanium for a strong, yet lightweight feel. Every Virto device is custom-made to fit each ear's anatomy and size, so if there are differences between your left and right ear, Virto takes that into account. This model automatically adapts to every sound environment so there is no need to fiddle with settings when you enter a noisy room with the grandchildren or come home to the quiet.
The titanium shell is a natural silver metal color, while the faceplate comes in three color options resembling skin tones (i.e. light, medium, and dark). The Virto is also available in a stylish black finish instead of titanium. Prices for some providers range from $1099 to $1840 per device.
The Audéo Paradise comes equipped with Phonak's latest Paradise hardware and technology, and it's great for seniors who want the most personalized sound experience. Designed for mild-to-profound hearing loss, this receiver-in-canal model offers crisp natural sounds. It enhances soft-level speech, so if you have family or friends with quieter voices, or you're trying to hear someone talk from across the room, it'll be a breeze. Audéo Paradise also offers personalized noise cancellation through their mobile app, so you can block out the noises that get in the way while still hearing all the ones that matter.
Just like the Marvel models, these hearing aids are Bluetooth and smartphone app compatible, so you can stream your favorite shows, listen to music, or make calls hands-free. The Paradise technology takes it a step further, giving you voice-assistant access through your phone so you can answer a call, talk to Siri, or pause the music by simply tapping your hearing aid and using your voice. This is great for those who use their phones frequently or want the latest and greatest technology.
Phonak's most reliable hearing aid model, the CROS, comes in both a behind-the-ear and custom shell style that performs exceptionally well in noisy environments and starts at around $1499 per device. It is also the best solution for individuals with single-sided hearing deficits. It can stream sound between your good ear and the one with hearing loss, so you'll be able to hear sounds evenly and clearly from all sides. There are both rechargeable and disposable battery options for this model.
CROS-B and CROS-BR hearing aids are best for those who want a simple solution. There aren't extra bells and whistles like Bluetooth technology or mobile apps to get in the way for those who are technology-averse. All you'll need to do is switch the device on and you'll be good to go. These models are available in nine colors ranging from neutrals like brown, beige, silver, and white to a variety of skin tones. The shell is also available in a few fun colors like pink, aqua, red, or blue.
The Lyric is an all-together different in-the-ear hearing experience for those with mild to profound hearing loss. Unlike traditional devices that need battery replacements or to be recharged daily, users can wear the 100 percent invisible-to-the-world Lyric device around the clock. It is safe to wear for all daily activities including showering, sleeping, and exercising. For those who are reluctant to wear a hearing aid because of the appearance, this ultra-discreet model is the solution. The battery lasts about 3-4 months at which time the entire device is replaced by your hearing professional. Rather than an outright purchase, Lyric is sold by annual subscription. This allows for as many replacements as needed within that time frame.
Important Note: The Lyric is a semi-permanent hearing aid device. It is placed near the ear canal by a trained professional and requires a special magnetic tool to remove. It does not need to be charged and replacements are handled through a monthly subscription price rather than an upfront purchase.
Lyric does more than just amplify sound. It uses the anatomy of the ear to conduct sound and mimic natural hearing. Due to the small size and placement, Lyric devices must be placed near the eardrum by a trained professional.
There are dozens of hearing aid providers to choose from with varying prices and features. Some companies like MDHearingAids will ship hearing aids directly to your home with no visit to the doctor for pennies on the dollar of other manufacturers. Meanwhile, Phonak devices require a consultation and fitting at a hearing professional's office and come at a premium price. So how do you know if it’s worth it?
Phonak hearing aids are priced competitively in the upper range of the industry. However, during our hands-on review of Phonak, we found that they are worth the price tag. The Switzerland-based company is well-known for its commitment to quality and industry-leading technology. With several devices designed for mild to proud hearing loss, ranging from traditional behind-the-ear to custom in-the-ear styles, there is a hearing solution for most users. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly hearing aid or you want to make your purchase online, it may be best to consider other hearing aids. However, we've found that Phonak offers top-of-the-line customizable hearing aids with the latest technology.
Phonak hearing aids are available from hearing centers and audiologist offices in more than 100 countries around the world. Use the feature-rich locator map on Phonak’s website to find a dealer near you.
Yes. In addition, if you have single-sided hearing loss, Phonak has the perfect solution. The CROS B hearing aid is designed specifically for single-sided hearing loss. The CROS device has a microphone that picks up sounds from the non-hearing ear and transmits it to your good ear.
No. You can only purchase authentic Phonak devices from a licensed audiologist or hearing center that represents Phonak hearing aids. However, you can take a free hearing test on their website and use the tools available online to find a dealer in your area.
All models require regular cleaning with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt, debris, and moderate ear wax in between uses. Some models will need replacement batteries, others need to be recharged. If you opt for the Lyric hearing device, all maintenance, repair, and replacements are even covered in the cost of your subscription.
National Institute of Aging. (2020). Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults.
Saunders House. (2020). How Hearing Loss Affects a Senior’s Quality of Life.
Phonak. (2020). Take our three-minute online hearing test.
Phonak. (2019). Phonak Celebrates One Million Marvels Fit.