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

Featured Review
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
March 19 2022 3:29PM

After a week the left ear stopped working. All it does is whistle. I called my provider and their response was Make an appointment. So these cost me 12000 dollars. Truth be told sound quality is worse than a pair of cheap head phones I bought at the dollar store for 6 bucks.

If the wind blows I can't hear anything but wind noise. If I open my phone, which they are connected to, the hearing aid stops working...I know there are many options out there and I dont know which ones are the best...but I'm guessing these are among the worse. Do some homework and avoid this product.

Angelo A.
High Point, NC
March 18 2022 1:30PM

My mother has been wearing Phonak hearing aids for over 10 years. She bought another pair 2 weeks ago and both of them have been broken due to manufacturing. Her audiologist has sent them back and we went with a new company.

Apparently this has become a problem with this company. My mom is 91 and has a hard time getting around. We can’t keep going to the audiologist every other week.

Christianne A.
Towson, MD
January 12 2022 4:05PM

My problem is I have had the CROS B for little over a year and it has twice completely stopped working and has to be replaced. Needless to say this is anxiety inducing as now I'm afraid of where it may choose to completely stop again.

Luckily the first time was at home on my day off and the second literally an hour after I got off work. Waiting on my 3rd one to come back. Going to have a serious discussion regarding the reliability of this product.

I had a Microtech before from a different provider that never gave me any trouble till it simply got old and needed replacing.

Sammie S.
Bend, OR
November 12 2021 2:48PM

I have had these Audeo Marvel 90R for over a year now. The connectivity to the phone is indeed great as is sound quality of any streaming music. It does great as amplifying sound, too. But from my experience that is where it stops.

While Phonak comes with programs that allegedly allow one to hear in loud environments, all I experience is an amplification of all sound, background and voice, no matter what program I am in and no matter what settings I use.

I have been to my audiologist five times now to make adjustments without success. He advised me that my next fitting will now start costing me $60. While the sound amplification is good, the clarity of speech is poor even after all of these fittings.

I think that Phonak applies a lot of "market embellishment" in the claims that they make about speech clarity and ability to hear in noisy environments.

My experience with this hearing aid as well as Eargo's and Resounds is that all of them are really nothing more than sound amplification devices and do nothing to improve speech clarity. Not the result I was hoping for!

John H.
Cincinnati, OH
November 06 2021 3:04PM

I am deaf in my left ear and have some high frequency hearing loss in my right ear which is typical for someone my age. In January 2021 I was fitted with the Phonak P90 Unit that is designed to pair with a crossover unit for my deaf side.

I purchased the main unit (for my "good ear") ($2800) because of the promise of the crossover technology, that unfortunately wasn't available at that time. The main unit seemed to work well initially.

When the crossover technology became available in August, I went in to get it fitted. Upon placement, it worked great.

I was ready make that additional purchase until it was revealed that the crossover unit was not designed to pair with the phone app, in spite of what the audio technician told me when first discussing this system in January. The app is even graphically designed for left and right controls!

He called Phonak tech support while I was there there to discuss the issue and they told him that the technology was not available, contrary to what he was led to believe. He was as flabbergasted as I was.

At that point, I was not willing to shell out another $1100 for something that wasn't going to do that I was promised it would do.

When I checked with my audiologist a few weeks ago (October), they told me that the crossover unit was being redesigned to sync with the app and would be available in Jan 2022.

I'm not holding my breath. To this day I am having a continual problem with my main unit not connecting with the phone app. The suggested remedy by tech support to reload the app has not worked after three attempts.

This is all very disappointing after being excited for the crossover technology that would enable me to hear sounds from my left side. Particularly after already spending $2800. Spending that kind of money gives the right to expect far better.

It appears to me that Phonak is a typical company that put marketing and sales ahead of technology. At this point, I would NOT recommend their systems. There are many others out there.

Tim W.
Decorah, IA
July 13 2021 10:22PM

I have the Audeo P90. While it does most of what it says it will, it only does it most of the time. Sliding out of programs, back to autosense preset. Causing me to have to readjust several times a day.

The largest annoyance is that one will quit about every 2 months, requiring a visit back to audiologist. Here they say it just needed cleaning, but the hearing aid would not give out even an audio feedback. Each visit cost$25. After warranty that will be hell knows how much.

This is not what I expected after paying $2000 each. But I guess they know us old folks will be dead soon enough, and all the negative feedback will be buried with us.

Charles J.
Shelbyville, TN
July 06 2021 6:32PM

Right hearing aid has had problems from the start. It has been sent back by the provider four times for repair. It stopped working entirely a month ago and still has not been replaced.

30 days seems like sufficient time to send a replacement. After spending a small fortune to hear clearly, this is unacceptable.

Karen A.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
May 11 2021 4:42PM

I was advised by the seller of my Phonak hearing aids that the aids warranty applied to international locations. My Phonak aids were purchased in the USA and one of my hearing aids broke when I was travelling in Europe.

I contact a local Phonak dealer in Portugal and they advised they could not assist me because I did not purchase the hearing aid from them. I was advised that the hearing aid repair would need to be performed at the Phonak factory.

I also contacted the Phonak website via email and was advised they would not assist me then I needed to send my hearing aid to the store in the USA and they could send in the aid for repair.

I explained my situation to the Phonak representative and was advised 'sorry, we cannot assist, you need to contact the store where the unit was purchased". Wow what a surprise.

So if you purchase a Phonak and plan to travel, make sure you can contact the original seller and return a broken aid to them.

Dan P.
Lisbon, CA
May 03 2021 12:54PM

Mine are about 2 years old. Have been sent back to the factory 4 times. This is my fourth set of hearing aids and the worst. I try to take the best of care for them, and that doesn’t make any difference. I would never recommend this product.

Nicholas H.
Richmond, SELECT A STATE
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