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Starkey Hearing Aids: Reviewed and Tested by an Audiologist

Starkey offers advanced hearing aids with unique features like AI technology, fall detection, and activity tracking. is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines Rating:
4.4 of 5
55+ Years in Business
100+ Markets Worldwide
10+ Style Options
$1,000 Starting Price is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines Rating:
4.4 of 5
Brad Ingrao
Dr. Brad Ingrao, Audiologist Read About Our Panel of Experts

Starkey is an innovative brand which utilizes AI and other technologies to produce clear, clean, natural sound. They have options for all hearing-loss levels across a variety of styles. If you’re new to hearing aids, or are looking to make a change, Starkey products are well worth your consideration.

One of the great things about America is that someone can start a company in a garage or dorm room and grow it into a multi-national powerhouse. That certainly happened with Starkey. Founded in 1970 by Bill Austin,1 Starkey is the only U.S. member of what is known as the “Big Six” international hearing aid manufacturers.

Starkey continues to innovate and now offers a wide range of products. They’re distributed through the VA, private multi-line audiologists and dispensers, and through Starkey-owned stores under the Starkey and Audible brands. Read on to learn about my personal experience with this brand!

Testing out Starkey hearing aids

Testing out Starkey hearing aids

Is Starkey the Right Hearing Aid Brand for Me?

Starkey hearing aids have a wide range of prices to accommodate different budgets. They also feature a slew of features and accessories, such as health monitoring, Bluetooth compatibility, wireless microphones, and TV streaming. It’s not always easy to know exactly how much you’ll pay in advance, however, since Starkey’s prices vary by location and provider. If you’re looking for more transparent pricing or simply want to review other options, see our top-rated hearing aid brands below.

We may receive compensation from the brands listed here. The compensation we receive from our partners impacts the products and services shown here, but it does not impact our ratings in any way. Our ratings are chosen through comprehensive research, clear methodologies, hands-on testing, and input from our team of experts. Rating:
4.8 of 5 Rating:
4.7 of 5
Call for best price: Call to Order: (800) 422-9380 Rating:
4.3 of 5
Call for best price: Call to Order: 855-922-3431

Starkey Hearing Aid Lineup

Starkey's current lineup includes Evolve AI, Genesis AI, and custom-made Signature Series hearing aids. These products were designed to bridge the divide between medical devices and wearable consumer electronics. Styles range from behind-the-ear (BTE) to invisible-in-canal (IIC), so there’s something for pretty much everyone here.

Every Starkey hearing aid is engineered to provide clear, natural sound with little to no feedback or noise. There are disposable battery and rechargeable options throughout their current offerings.

Starkey’s hearing aid processing is arguably equivalent to premium products from other big players. What is significantly different is that some of these hearing aids feature sensors that help users track “body” and “brain” activities; these include daily steps, heart rate, standing time, and time spent actively engaging in conversations through the Thrive app for iPhone and Android. It's an interesting way to attract folks like me who are in their mid-50s and spend more time than we should staring at a screen. The research on the benefits of this kind of tracking is mostly internal, but if you already track this stuff and need hearing aids, combining them might make sense.

Another unique feature in some of Starkey’s top-of-the-line products is fall detection and alerts. If you or someone you care for has a history of falls, this feature is excellent; plus, it’s relatively unique for the hearing aid industry.


FYI: Visit our list of the best hearing aids in 2024 to compare Starkey to our other top picks!

A final breakout for this line of hearing aids is that Starkey has managed to provide a rechargeable option in all form factors, from BTE to in-the-canal (ITC). Starkey’s ITC devices have gold charging contacts, and, like other manufacturers, Starkey provides a high tech black version to appeal to the folks who wear something stuck in their ears anyway and aren't trying to hide their hearing device. For those who prefer, these same products are available with a zinc-air battery.

Starkey offers two different chargers for these products. The standard charger provides an “all-day” charge (about 16 to 20 hours depending on streaming behavior) in a few hours. The TurboCharger provides 3.5 hours of wear time in seven minutes and has a power bank that can fully charge the devices four times per charge. This is very helpful in places like Florida where seasonal weather creates the probability of periodic power outages.

While Starkey hearing aids offer high-tech features and health tracking, it’s important to note that their product line is fairly limited when compared to other providers we’ve reviewed, like Signia. Starkey also has less options for profound and severe hearing loss than other brands like Phonak. However, if you’re looking for innovative health and safety features, Starkey is an excellent choice.


Starkey products are compatible with several smartphone apps and a few accessories to help with background noise and reverberation. Their Hear Share app is a marvel for people who wish to keep family members or caregivers in the loop about their daily activities.

Starkey Accessories

Starkey Accessories

Remote Microphones

Starkey hearing aids are compatible with two remote clip-on microphones: Remote Microphone and Mini Remote Microphone. The Remote Microphone captures sound but can also stream audio through receivers like the Phonak Roger X or a Bluetooth connection (helpful if you have an Android phone or tablet). It also includes a Telecoil. By the specs, it sizes up well against the ReSound MultiMic and would be a good multi-function tool.

The Mini Remote Mic doesn't include the Bluetooth or audio input options, so it must be clipped or placed very close to the source (around five inches) to be effective.

TV Streamer

This device connects via an analog or digital cable to your TV or cable box and then streams the signal to the hearing aids. Once connected, these are pretty straightforward and help counteract the negative effects of distance, reverberation, and background noise on TV listening, particularly in large rooms with vaulted ceilings and hard floors.

Remote Control

For those who aren't all about the smartphone apps and have trouble with the relatively small buttons on hearing aids, Starkey offers a standalone remote control. About the size of a business card case, this simple remote is a newer version of a longstanding and successful Starkey SurfLink Remote which we'll get to in a bit.

Starkey’s Synergy Platform

Starkey’s Synergy platform uses 900 MHz wireless, which Starkey has used for many years in their SurfLink accessories. The current platform provides an excellent range of high-quality hearing aids, including custom-fit Picasso devices, at a good range of prices. The Synergy line is compatible with a Remote Control (SurfLink Remote), TV streamer (SurfLink Media 2), and remote microphone (SurfLink Remote Microphone 2). Also, they offer a small Bluetooth receiver that plugs into the Remote Microphone to provide Bluetooth streaming and background noise control.

I've used SurfLink products for years and have always found them to be reliable and easy to use.

Starkey Build and Service

Hardware-wise, I have historically found Starkey's build quality to be on par with others. Like other providers, they occasionally have a design that shows more failures, but I have always found them to be responsive when it comes to repairs, replacements, and learning lessons for future models.

Their focus since the early days was on custom ITE solutions and all-make repairs, which they still excel at. It's pretty common in the hearing aid industry for a manufacturer to only repair their own devices if they are less than five years old. They will sometimes deviate from that but usually tack on a hefty price to do that legacy work.

Starkey Hearing Aids

Starkey Hearing Aids

Starkey has always honored repair requests for any of their older models, even if they no longer sell them. This sets them up from other top providers in the industry. My patients and I have always been happy with these services.

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Starkey Prices

Starkey’s pricing is all over the place. You’ll find that costs vary by location and provider. The company has Starkey dealerships, and they also offer their products through local dispensers and audiologists. As one would imagine, in a closed-loop shop, prices tend to be a bit higher. On the other hand, they work very hard with independent folks to make their products competitive at the wholesale level. Depending on the pricing structure of the practice, you can find Starkey hearing aids with prices comparable to other major manufacturers. Starkey also participates in several large buying groups which helps keep the wholesale prices down.

Starkey has contracted with the VA for several years, so anyone who qualifies for basic VA healthcare can obtain top-of-the-line Thrive hearing aids and accessories at no cost. To learn more about financing options and ways to find free or discounted hearing aids, watch my interview with our Editor in Chief, Jeff Hoyt, below.

My Experience With Starkey

Not that I’m trying to date myself, but I’ve been a fan of this brand for decades. When I was in graduate school in the late ‘80s, Starkey was the go-to company for tricky in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, particularly those for people with profound hearing loss. Under Austin's leadership, Starkey was very focused on giving those with very poor hearing the option to wear whatever hearing aid style they wanted.

Many years later, I had the pleasure of meeting and having dinner with the original “Incredible Hulk,” Lou Ferrigno, at a Starkey Foundation Gala. I knew that he had severe to profound hearing loss, but I didn't notice any hearing aids. When I asked about it, he pulled out his Starkey multi-speaker completely-in-canal (CIC) devices made personally by Austin. He told me that he loved them for public appearances where his usual power BTE hearing aids would have been too visible. Just like Ferrigno, I’m a big fan of Starkey hearing aids. I have been prescribing them to my patients for decades.

Final Thoughts

Starkey is a great example of the American dream. Built on the passion and elbow grease of Austin, it's become one of the 800-pound gorillas of hearing aids and continues to push the envelope of possibility in hearing enhancement. Throughout my almost 30 years in practice, they were always one of my serious considerations for patients. With very few exceptions, I feel confident in recommending them to my patients.

Still deciding if Starkey is right for you? Check out my video on choosing the best hearing aid below. I compare the industry’s leading brands and offer more insights on my experience with Starkey.

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  1. Starkey. (2020). Bill Austin.

  2. Starkey Hearing Foundation. (2020). Homepage.

  3. Youtube. (2020).'s Youtube Channel.

Written By:
Dr. Brad Ingrao
Read About Our Panel of Experts
As a practicing audiologist since the 1990’s, Brad Ingrao, AuD has fitted thousands of hearing aids to seniors and people of all ages. Brad is the Official Audiologist for the International Committee on Sports for the Deaf and a well-known… Learn More About Dr. Brad Ingrao