Phonak Hearing Aids
Caption: Phonak Hearing Aids

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.

Pros
  • Patented sound technology
  • Smart app connects to smartphone and TV
  • Cutting-edge technology, including a hearing aid worn 24/7
  • Free online hearing test

Cons
  • 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
Audéo Marvel
$1,149 – $2,799
Mild to profound Receiver in canal Rechargeable
Bluetooth – TV and phone
Naída B
$1,049 – $2,299
Mild to profound Receiver in canal or behind the ear Rechargeable
Roger mic compatible
Bolero B
$1,149 – $2,299
Mild to profound Behind the ear Rechargeable
Autosense OS
Virto B-Titanium
$1,899 – $2,499
Mild to severe In the ear Medical grade titanium
Smallest custom-made aid
Autosense OS
Virto B
$1,199 – $2,399
Mild to profound In the ear Custom made using biometric calibration
CROS B
Custom, Prices Vary
Single sided deafness Receiver in canal or behind the ear Rechargeable
Must use a Phonak aid in the hearing ear
Lyric
$3,000 – $6,000 per pair
Annual plan
Mild, moderate or severe Receiver in canal Invisible when worn
24/7 wear
30-day trial

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.

Conclusion

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.

Phonak Hearing Aids Reviews

Recent Reviews

August 31 2020 12:31AM

The tv connection that I bought does not work and I tried 2. I have up and it sits with dust. Sometimes one aid will have such a loud noise that it “screams” in my ear and I pull it off and throw it. Sometimes the left one will just stop and start back in a minute or 2.

My BIGGEST complaint is a small part of the plastic broke off the door but I cannot get it fixed in Anchorage and has to be sent away for a week. It is the worst ear and I CANNOT go without it that long.

The wonderful Johnny at Costco said he could put a door on in 30 sec but the “policy” is they won’t send them to the store and I can’t order one to be sent to he nor I. COME ON!!! That is the craziest thing I ever heard.

That’s the equivalent of saying you don’t care that I can’t hear for a week. Not ok, I’m putting this on social media bc it’s not good customer service.

Deb O.
Anchorage, SELECT A STATE
June 23 2020 2:41PM

I may only be 36 years old but have worn hearing aids ever since I was 2 years of age, so hearing aid life is all I know. I have no basis to compare how my hearing quality is now with hearing aids compared to, say, when I was younger and my hearing had been perfect.

I have used a wide variety of hearing products through the years from Starkey, Oticon, and now Phonak. I honestly feel that Phonak has been the best brand for me thus far in terms of durability, power, and ability to address my hearing loss needs. I have severe, bordering on profound, hearing loss in both ears, so I've always only been able to have a smaller set of hearing aids to choose from through the years because of the power needed for my particular loss.

I grew up with analog hearing aids, meaning no digital capabilities through the 80's and 90's. It wasn't until my prior set of in the ear Phonaks that I made the jump to digital and that was huge 10 years ago That pair had lasted me with minimal issues - only needing to send out for cleaning and maybe one repair - I did have some issues with the wax traps holders popping out after years of wear and that had to be fixed a couple times. I just got my newest pair of hearing aids and I told my audiologist I absolutely wanted to stick with Phonak because of my positive experiences with them. I now have the Phonak Virto Marvel M90-312s in the ear hearing aids.

I have to say is WOW. Even for someone who has worn hearing aids just about their whole life, I am impressed. The technology has stepped up in a huge way in the past decade. The AutoSense 3.0 operating system has been interesting and some time to get used to but it really does a lot of the work on its own for me determining what setting I'm in and adjusting on its own. I will say there have been a few instances where I was in a certain situation that I would've anticipated a different setting for microphone capture and self-adjusted it in the app on my own on my iPhone.

It is something I continue to work with my audiologist on to better understand the set up and how it works. Ultimately, though, I am very happy so far with them almost a month in. I have not had any issues with them in terms of people saying things like they over amplify things like road noise - I just feel for many whom are newer to hearing aids are just finally hearing things they haven't quite been picking up on for years and it is a major adjustment period if you once were full hearing capable.

I always recommend - keep working with your hearing specialist to tweak and adjust them - it does take some time to find that sweet spot for your as we all have different hearing needs. If you aren't happy with how that hearing specialist works with you, find another one who will take the time to do so - you deserve nothing less than the attention necessary so you can enjoy hearing well!

Nicholas A.
South Windsor, CT
June 18 2020 3:51PM

Have Audeo V purchased 2016. In January 2020, the Phonak app stopped supporting my aids. Now a trip to the audiologist is required to make changes, rather than my iPhone. Poor product support for an expensive hearing aid set.

Deb S.
Fort Collins, CO
May 12 2020 9:31PM

Wow when my husband lost his right hearing aid in his shirt while dressing for bed then failed to tell me until I had started washer I thought all was lost. I managed to fish it out at the end of cycle. I returned it to the charging case and the next day it was back working. Now I call that truly beyond the call of duty.

Carol H.
Eugene, OR
April 11 2020 7:06PM

My behind the ear Phonak's for batteries are 12 years old. I wear them every day since I have a high-frequency hearing loss in both ears. Fitted professionally and checked out semi-annually ever since purchase. I am at the top of my range and will be looking at replacing these whenever the time comes. Never had a repair or replacement. Why buy any other brand! Wonder what kind of deal Phonak might offer me?

Janet B.
Roscoe, IL
March 27 2020 7:50AM

Do not buy this hearing aid! I was charged $6,500 for the in the ear titanium model. I replaced a 4 year old pair of Starkey aids at my dispensers suggestion. When the aids were 10 months old in October 2019, the tiny white ring that holds the filter fell off the left ear. For some strange reason the dispenser refused to send it in for repair, saying “it’s ok to use without”.

In January, while on a two month overseas holiday, the right one fell off. I came to learn a month later, after I got an ear infection, that the filter had imbedded itself in my right ear. Back in the states in March, the 3rd ear doctor I saw here, finally removed it. He told me he removes the filters from peoples ears often. The lady at Costco told me the same thing. My hearing is further impaired and the dispenser won’t return my emails or calls.

Maggie H.
Oxnard, CA
February 13 2020 12:45PM

I wrote before. I had my rechargeable Phonac hearing aids replaced soon after getting them in July, 2019. They were fine in the operation until now. It is February, 2020 and the hearing aids are 6 months old. I started having trouble with the pairing of my phone and my hearing aids. The lights in the recharging bin are not working. I try to restart them and they are evidently dead.

I am very disappointed in the service I'm getting out of these very expensive devices. I am retired, have a bad heart and do not need this type of stress in my life. I very much so need the hearing aids but feel these are much less than worth the money! I am taking them back to the place I purchased them this morning and hope there is a resolve. I would never recommend these to anyone. Overpriced and under performing!

Marsha E.
Selinsgrove, PA
February 10 2020 9:18PM

I have never worn hearing aids before and am 72. Therefore I may not be the right person to do a review, but I am so happy just to finally be able to hear softspoken people (which sounds like mumbling to me!) I literally have only had them a week, but so far they work very well and since I got them through my audiologist they have a lifetime warranty (actually 4 years which must be the life of the hearing aid, hopefully not me - haha) for anything and I can drop in if I need help with them. Everything is very clear. People can even whisper and I hear them clearly. Of course they pick up the swishing of my hair, the clinking of my keys, etc. But the coolest thing is they also are like having a very expensive pair of bluetooth i-buds ... I can answer my phone, talk, and hear as long as my phone is within 30 feet. I can listen to an audio book on my phone without having to carry the phone around and of course anything else you can listen to with bluetooth - music, You Tube, News, etc. I am really having fun with these! Getting old is not so bad and has its fun side! :) I did not buy the most expensive ones because I mainly need them for talking to family and hearing the TV when its across the room without turning it up to the point where everyone else covers their ears. As my hearing changes I can add software that works in restaurants, or anywhere there are noisy loud crowds of people.

Patricia M.
Greer, SC
November 17 2019 4:23AM

I’m really surprised to see the less-than-stellar reviews. I’m demoing the Phonak Audeo hearing aids and I couldn’t be more impressed. I was told by my audiologist to allow the hearing aids to adjust themselves as I went into quiet and or loud environments. I was very impressed at how the hearing aids automatically adjusted themselves so that I could hear wherever I was.

I was amazed at how well I could hear in noisy environments including small conference rooms with a lot of background noise and busy restaurants. I was also extremely impressed with the round microphone accessory that allowed me to amplify select peoples‘ voices around the conference room table.

This is the first time I’ve ever been able to hear everyone whether they’re looking at me or not. Even better I can have the presenter wear the microphone around his/her neck on a lanyard and everything they say will pipe right into my Phonak hearing aids. Definitely a game changer. I also have a hard time hearing my tennis pro on the tennis court. So now he will wear the microphone around his neck on a lanyard. I am so excited. The only negatives are the microphones in the hearing aids pick up a lot of road noise when driving (which is typical). They are more ideal for quiet environments if you’re going to be speaking to clients on the phone. Otherwise they’re fine for family, friends or internal team members while driving.

I was surprised that the microphones didn’t pick up the wind noise while I was walking outside at all which is a nice benefit. I’m hoping my initial experience continues because as a wearer of hearing aids my entire adult life, the Phonak hearing aids will make my work and leisure life easier and even more enjoyable.

Christy V.
St Petersburg, FL
October 29 2019 10:58AM

I agree with the earlier reviewers. These aids are a waste of money in noisy environments like restaurants, PA systems in halls, dances and windy environments. I only get benefit in situations where one person is speaking in an acoustically quiet room and the speaker is looking at me, which covers about 10% of my active hearing time. Phonak make big claims that dont deliver.

Terry A.
Christchurch, SELECT A STATE
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