Phonak Hearing Aids Review
Phonak is a hearing aid solutions company that has been in business for over 60 years. Company headquarters are in Switzerland with a U.S.-based office in Illinois. The company is owned by Sonova, which also owns the Unitron and Hansaton hearing aid brands and Advanced Bionics cochlear implants. You’ll find Phonak’s extensive network of distributors and subsidiaries represented in over 100 countries around the globe.
- Patented sound technology
- Smart app connects to smartphone and TV
- Cutting-edge technology, including a hearing aid worn 24/7
- Free online hearing test
- Many models not covered by Medicare
- Can be expensive
Latest Phonak Hearing Aid Technology
Phonak develops and manufactures hearing aids with some of the most current technology, like rechargeable batteries you never have to change, advances in Bluetooth, and hearing aids that adjust to your surroundings in a split second.
- Direct Connectivity is compatible with any cellphone using Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology, which includes many older phones. Your hearing aids double as a hands-free cellphone or wireless TV headset with Direct Connectivity. Studies show that this technology delivers excellent TV sound quality.
- AutoSense OS is a hearing technology that automatically adapts to the sound environment by performing a fast analysis and blending audio profiles to produce optimal hearing results. AutoSense Sky OS is similar but designed for children and teens to adjust to classroom or playground sounds, or to listening to music or having conversations with friends. The AutoSense Sky OS is more sensitive to loud speech and yelling compared to the regular Phonak AutoSense for adult hearing aids. The latest AutoSense 3.0 identifies even more hearing scenarios with top-rated streaming sound quality.
- Binaural VoiceStream Technology streams real-time full audio bandwidth bi-directionally in both ears. This feature allows you to put less effort into trying to hear others speak in a noisy environment.
- Roger Wireless technology encompasses a variety of microphones that transmit sound directly to the Phonak hearing aid wearer. Roger was developed for particularly challenging hearing environments and reduces background noise while enhancing understanding. Roger mics are useful in settings like restaurants or when sitting a distance from someone who is speaking to a roomful of people.
- Phonak Rechargeable Batteries are self-contained Lithium-ion batteries. Phonak claims the cells last for six years, but we found four to five years is more typical. Field tests indicate these batteries are 15% more reliable than replaceable batteries and a single charge can last around 24 hours.
Phonak Hearing Aid Models
We listed some details for Phonak’s seven latest hearing aid models in the chart below. The company offers 14 other models as well. Your hearing specialist will help you choose the best hearing aids for your needs.
|Phonak Hearing Aid Models|
|Model Price per Ear||Hearing Loss Treated||Type||Features|
$1,149 – $2,799
|Mild to profound||Receiver in canal||Rechargeable
Bluetooth – TV and phone
$1,049 – $2,299
|Mild to profound||Receiver in canal or behind the ear||Rechargeable
Roger mic compatible
$1,149 – $2,299
|Mild to profound||Behind the ear||Rechargeable
$1,899 – $2,499
|Mild to severe||In the ear||Medical grade titanium
Smallest custom-made aid
$1,199 – $2,399
|Mild to profound||In the ear||Custom made using biometric calibration|
Custom, Prices Vary
|Single sided deafness||Receiver in canal or behind the ear||Rechargeable
Must use a Phonak aid in the hearing ear
$3,000 – $6,000 per pair
|Mild, moderate or severe||Receiver in canal||Invisible when worn
Phonak Hearing Aids Cost
Phonak hearing aids come at all price points set by the hearing aid providers, and you can compare the prices to the average in our Best Hearing Aids Guide. The most affordable devices are about $1,300 per aid or $2,600 for a pair. The most expensive Phonak hearing aids are the Lyric model, which are the size of a pencil eraser and sit entirely in the ear canal, so they are invisible to others. Because a professional must insert Lyric hearing aids and remove them every few months, Phonak sells this model using an annual subscription between $3,000 and $6,000 a pair. There’s no Medicaid or Medicare coverage for Lyric devices.
Where to Buy Phonak Hearing Aids
Phonak sells hearing aids through audiologists; ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists; or designated hearing aid centers. You can check the website for providers near you or call the number on the site. Before getting fitted for Phonak hearing aids, you will need to have a hearing test. The specialist will recommend the best Phonak hearing aid model and style for your particular needs. The specialist orders your new devices after taking a mold of your inner and outer ear, and you will be fitted in a few days to a few weeks, depending on the model.
Phonak Hearing Aids Complaints
Phonak hearing aids receive mixed reviews online. ZipHearing gives the brand 5 out of 5 stars, with many reviewers commenting on impressive sound quality and comfortable fit. ConsumerAffairs reviewers give the company an average of 2.5 out of 5 stars, with many saying Phonak hearing aids work great, but others experienced problems and had to send the hearing aids back for adjustments or repairs. ConsumersAdvocate gives the brand 4 out of 5 stars for high-quality products, after-sale service, and a wide range of accessories. The Better Business Bureau has accredited Phonak and rates the company with an A+.
Phonak Hearing Aids Q&A
Will my insurance cover Phonak hearing aids?
Some insurance providers cover part or all of the cost of hearing aids from Phonak, though many will only cover specific models. Check with your provider or insurance company for details.
Can I buy a warranty to cover Phonak hearing aids?
Phonak provides a one-year international warranty on its hearing aids, but talk to your local provider to see if they offer a separate warranty. You can buy an extended warranty for some Phonak hearing aid models.
Can I buy Phonak hearing aids online?
You can buy some Phonak models online, but only with the assistance of a licensed professional. Phonak’s Internet Sales Policy warns that any direct-to-consumer online sales are from unauthorized sellers, and you will not receive the support you get from a hearing specialist.
Does Phonak have a program for veterans?
Yes, Phonak has a contract with the U.S. Veterans Affairs. Most of the models listed in our chart above are available via VA benefits along with many accessories to enhance the hearing aids.
Phonak sells a hearing aid for any level of hearing loss across all age groups. The company develops technologically-advanced hearing aids with comfort and ease of use in mind, including the convenience of Lyric hearing aids which are worn invisibly for months at a time.