Phonak Hearing Aids Review
Updated for December, 2021
- Phonak is one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids and leads the field in new hearing technology.
- Bluetooth compatible hearing aids allow users to easily stream audio, video, and phone calls.
- The company sells hearing aids via hearing professionals, not directly to consumers. To purchase a Phonak device, you must have a consultation from a certified distributor.
- Features like speech enhancers, feedback reduction, and noise cancellation are available with high-end models.
- Most designs incorporate moisture protection and there is even a waterproof model.
- The Lyric hearing aid is the only device that is designed to be “invisible” and can be worn 24/7.
- Many Phonak hearing aids and accessories are designed for challenging noise environments, like offices and schools.
- Phonak hearing aids are some of the most expensive on the market.
Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 5,000 hours conducting in-depth research on hearing aids. Throughout this process, we did the following:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with independent audiologists
- Consulted with geriatric care experts
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
- Tested various models of hearing aids
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read thousands of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Why Phonak Is One of Our Top Picks
Phonak is one of our top hearing aid picks because they offer a wide range of customizable options with advanced technology features suited for many different types of users. Not only is Phonak one of the oldest and best-known names in the industry, they have also developed some important hearing aid technologies. We like that they offer behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid models with four different performance levels to meet different hearing loss needs.Many Phonak hearing aids are also Bluetooth compatible, allowing users to connect their hearing aids to devices including smartphones, televisions, speaker systems, and more. This also allows users to manage and adjust their Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids using the myPhonak app. We especially like the various technology features that help improve hearing in noisy settings, like crowded restaurants or busy streets.Finally, Phonak provides customers with a great variety of style and design options to choose from. This allows the wearer to find a hearing aid that can both help improve hearing, but also fits their comfort and style needs. We like brands that give customers more say in the look, feel, and functionality of their hearing aids.
Pros and Cons of Phonak Hearing Aids
- Wide range of behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), and in-the-ear (ITE) models
- Leading hearing device manufacturer with more than 70 years of experience
- Almost all Phonak hearing aids can connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices
- Many designs accommodate challenging noise environments like schools and offices
- Long-lasting batteries and extended wear options
- The Phonak Lyric is the only hearing aid that is 100 percent invisible when worn
- Lyric includes a 30-day trial
- Advanced technology like telecoils, noise cancellation, speech enhancers, and tinnitus treatment help to balance sound and speech
- Prices are not featured on website and vary widely by distributors
- Expensive when compared to competitors
- Purchase requires professional consultation
- One-year limited warranty
- Mix of good and bad customer reviews
|Phonak Model||Cost||Style||Type of hearing loss||Rechargeable battery||Bluetooth||Water resistant||Telecoil||Noise reduction|
|Lyric||$3000 - $6000 per pair (per yearly subscription)||In-the-ear (ITE)||Mild to moderately-severe||No. When the battery dies the hearing aid is replaced, through your entire subscription period.||Lyric uses the natural anatomy of the ear to reduce sound|
|Naída Paradise||$1350 - $2100 per device||Behind-the-ear (BTE)||Severe to profound for replaceable battery model; mild to severe for rechargeable model||Rechargeable and replaceable battery options|
|Naída Marvel||$1189 - $1885 per device||Behind-the-ear (BTE)||Severe to profound||Rechargeable and replaceable battery options|
|Bolero Marvel||$1191 - $1955 per device||Behind-the-ear (BTE)||Mild to severe||Rechargeable and replaceable battery options|
|Audéo Paradise||$1354 - $2259 per device||Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC)||Mild to profound||Rechargeable and replaceable battery options|
|Virto Marvel||$1107 - $1955 per device||In-the-ear (ITE)||Mild to profound||Replaceable zinc battery|
|Sky Marvel||$1265 - $1954 per device||Behind-the-ear (BTE)||Mild to moderate and mild to profound for replaceable battery models; mild to severe for rechargeable model||Rechargeable and replaceable battery options|
|Phonak Model||Customization||Directional Microphone|
The Phonak hearing aid line features three main three styles of hearing aids: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), and in-the-ear (ITE) in a range of models. Many Phonak hearing aids are also Bluetooth compatible, allowing users to connect their hearing aids to devices including smartphones, televisions, speaker systems, and more. This also allows users to manage and adjust their Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids using the myPhonak app. We especially like the various technology features that help improve hearing in noisy settings, like crowded restaurants or busy streets.Finally, Phonak provides customers with a great variety of style and design options to choose from. This allows the wearer to find a hearing aid that can both help improve hearing, but also fits their comfort and style needs. We like brands that give customers more say in the look, feel, and functionality of their hearing aids.
Phonak Sky MarvelBuy Now
- Cost: $1265 – $1954 per device
- Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to moderate and mild to profound for replaceable battery models; mild to severe for rechargeable model
- Rechargeable battery: Rechargeable and replaceable battery options
- Bluetooth Streaming: Yes
How Phonak works
Phonak, a subsidiary of Sonova, has designed hearing aids and accessories for more than 70 years, and is one of the largest distributors on the globe. The company’s continued commitment to research allows it to stay at the cutting edge of hearing technology. The designers at Phonak know that there isn’t one perfect hearing aid — they have designed a range of devices, accessories, and styles so individuals can find the right fit for their lifestyle and type of hearing loss.
After taking an online hearing test on the Phonak site, customers interested in learning more should reach out to their audiologist. Phonak does not directly sell to consumers, but through hearing loss specialists.
How Much Do Phonak Hearing Aids Cost?
Phonak pricing varies widely because the company does not sell products directly to consumers. Instead, price is determined by individual healthcare providers and varies based on geography, services included, and type of device, but Phonak aids generally range between $1000 and $4000 per ear.
As the company does not sell its products directly, it does not offer financing or payment plans. Check with your audiologist to inquire about their options for financing. Prospective buyers should also contact their insurance provider to determine the specific terms of their policy. Many private health insurance providers do not cover hearing aids, but a few policies do. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover hearing devices, but some Medicaid plans do, depending on your state’s program.
Phonak App and Accessories
The company has designed its own app to support remote hearing aid adjustment through Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. You can also use the app to reach out for video support from a hearing health professional to make real time adjustments to your device.
Online hearing test
Phonak’s free online hearing test allows potential users to confirm that they have a problem with their hearing. Of course, this hearing test is not comprehensive—it is only meant as a screening to be followed up with a full evaluation by an audiologist.
Phonak’s TV Connector pairs your television with your Paradise, Marvel, and Audéo B-Direct hearing aid. It streams the television audio, just as if you were using wireless headphones. The connector supports streaming to an unlimited number of hearing aids.
Some users need to enhance their hearing aid with the use of directional microphones. Phonak’s portfolio of Roger microphones enhance sound differently for a range of scenarios. The Roger On supports users looking to distinguish a voice from background noise. The Roger Table Mic II works best in group discussions and connects to a MultiTalker network for large groups. Designed for students in school, the Roger Touchscreen can be worn by a teacher or placed in a small group of students.
Phonak Hearing Aids Customization
Phonak offers a range of colors, sizes, and levels for users to customize their hearing experience. Most of their devices come with color options, from the Virto’s sleek black titanium shell to the Sky Marvel’s bright mix-and-match colors. Many wearers prefer to choose from a range of flesh tones to match their skin for a more subtle look.
There are also a range of options for users to customize their device’s functionality. Customers often have a choice between built-in lithium-ion batteries or changeable zinc batteries. Some models are offered in a range of levels; the four performance levels, Essential, Standard, Advanced, and Premium, describe the device’s speaker and receiver functions, streaming programs, and features like motion sensors and noise cancellation.
Finally, users can find the most natural fit by choosing from a variety of sizes and styles. Phonak offers behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-ear, and in-the-ear designs. Some models, like the Virto, even come in a range of sizes so you can customize your device to comfortably sit in your ear.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction with Phonak products varies widely. Phonak receives an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, but on some third-party reviewer sites customers complain of technical difficulties and unsatisfactory customer service. These hearing aids are a big investment, and it’s disappointing when the devices don’t perform as expected. In some reviews, buyers express frustration with the lifespan of their aids, difficulties with the app, and some complaints about customer support.
The myPhonak App is a quick way for users to reach out for help with their device, and the app even supports video conferencing with an audiologist to troubleshoot issues. But it’s important to note, many customers seek support from the hearing center where they purchased the device rather than through the Phonak company directly.
Comparing Phonak to Other Brands
|Hearing Aid Brand||Average Cost (per pair)||Types of Hearing Aids||Types of Hearing Loss|
|Phonak||$2,299||Behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-canal, and in-the-ear||Mild to profound|
|Lively||$1625||Behind-the-ear||Mild to moderately severe|
|Oticon||$1850||Behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-canal, and in-the-ear||Mild to profound|
|MDHearingAid||$599 per ear||Behind-the-ear||Mild to moderate|
What to Consider Before Buying Hearing Aids
People with hearing loss experience that loss differently, so it makes sense that hearing aids are not one-size-fits all. People living with hearing loss will need to carefully consider how their type of hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget make some devices a better fit than others.
A high tech hearing aid might delight one user and overwhelm another. Those who value simplicity should stick to more basic wearable models. Many Phonak devices, like the Naída Paradise, feature Bluetooth technology and adjustments that can be activated by using a finger to tap the device in your ear. Take some time to determine what hearing technology can best enhance your lifestyle.
You’ll want to consider how your daily routine determines what you need from a hearing aid. For example, the presence of telecoil technology improves the quality of sound coming from audio devices, like speech through a microphone or intercom in theaters, churches, schools, and offices. Bluetooth enabled hearing aids allow users to easily stay connected to streaming audio and video.
Phonak devices also cover the range of hearing loss, from mild and moderate to severe and profound hearing loss. If possible, users should try out a variety of device styles to feel behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, or in-the-ear designs, to see which is the most comfortable. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders suggests researching how choosing the right style of hearing aid can help you overcome your hearing challenges.
Additionally, some products are geared toward especially active users, like the Audéo Paradise Life model, which is sweat proof, showerproof, and waterproof up to 1.64 feet. Active users might also consider the Lyric, which, once fitted by an audiologist, can remain in the ear canal around-the-clock for months at a time.
Phonak Hearing Aid Customer Reviews
While we found many strong reviews of Phonak products, we also included some customer complaints to give a more complete picture of some of the issues encountered with this brand.
“This is my second set of hearing aids. The technology continues to improve very quickly. They are Bluetooth compatible so I can answer my phone just by pushing a button. The phone app allows me to set specific programs i.e., TV, restaurant, car with just the right volume. The only feature I miss is the ability to turn them off at the hearing aid without disengaging the battery. The batteries do not last as long as in my previous set.”
REVIEW FROM CONSUMER AFFAIRS
“The Phonak hearing aids I recently purchased are amazing! They have so many nice extra features such as Bluetooth connectivity and tinnitus settings that do a great deal towards mitigating my bothersome tinnitus. I have used Phonak Hearing aids for over 20 years and can honestly say they are the very best hearing aids made. I have tried other brands that were sort of okay but nothing compares to the quality of Phonak.”
REVIEW FROM CONSUMER AFFAIRS
“I received my Phonak hearing aids in 2020. I truly enjoy these hearing aids because they are small and well hidden from sight. The hearing aids are very easy to maintain. What I like is that they can be connected to bluetooth and be programmed to different settings, for instance when you are watching TV, or in a restaurant. You can increase and decrease the volume, etc. I highly recommend them.”
REVIEW FROM CONSUMER AFFAIRS
“I was told that there was a 30 day guarantee period. I had difficulty with the hearing aids and requested a return. They came back and offered a different ear plug… which was not to my satisfaction. I sent them back with their promise to fix it. It came back worse than before. I asked to return them and they told me the 30 day period had passed. Huh? I’m out $5000 and no hearing aids. I cannot recommend this company and will return to Seimens when I can afford another pair.”
REVIEW FROM CONSUMERS ADVOCATE
“Phonak hearing aids are excellent. However the Phonak app is poor. There is a default program setting which includes a certain level of speech recognition, treble, setting, etc. Although the settings can be adjusted, the app constantly reverts back to the default setting. This is a glitch that tech support is aware of, but they currently have no fix. They recommend turning off sound settings to apps etc, which still does not work. The product is being sold with certain functionality that does not work, only the volume can be adjusted. Tech support states this is a problem with both Android and Apple platforms. If one looks at the app reviews for Phonak, reviews are not favorable. This problem is a major drawback to Phonak hearing aids.”
REVIEW FROM CONSUMERS ADVOCATE
How We Reviewed Phonak Hearing Aids
To create our review of Phonak hearing aids, we examined the brand based on price, the number of models available, the types of hearing loss covered, advanced features, comfort and fit, customer reviews, and warranty options.
We like Phonak because it offers lots of different hearing aid options that are often customizable in terms of size and style. Most models also include upgraded versions with four performance levels for different hearing loss needs. These upgrades add features like noise cancellation, tinnitus balancing, and the ability to adjust to different noise levels. Phonak also stands out because it offers the Lyric hearing aid, the only invisible hearing aid that is placed inside the ear canal and can be worn 24/7 for multiple months.
The drawbacks to Phonak hearing aids include the higher price tag, and the fact that pricing is difficult to determine on your own. Since Phonak does not sell directly to consumers, you must go to a hearing center for a consultation with an audiologist to determine cost options. This makes the brand less easy to buy, try, and return than some other options available for purchase online. Additionally, some customer reviews claim that the 1-3 year warranty is not long enough for such an expensive piece of technology.
Phonak hearing aids are high quality, but you’ll pay a premium for your device. This isn’t a budget hearing aid and that is reflected in Phonak’s high-performance technology. The Marvel line is especially strong in creating listening devices that balance sound in challenging noise environments. The Lyric is another game-changer, as the invisibility and extended wear features make this a great fit for any active lifestyle. It’s a device that, once fitted, you really don’t have to adjust or think about.. Phonak also offers users a lot of customization options in terms of device color and technology.
While this brand is known for leading in new technology, its distribution model is still old-school. To purchase a Phonak device, you’ll need to visit a hearing center and consult with an audiologist. This leads to unpredictable and often high prices, depending on your location and the services you need.
Is Phonak a Good Brand of Hearing Aid?
Consumers have consistently rated them highly, as demonstrated in the brand’s Consumer Advocate “very good” score of 3.9/5 stars and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
What Is the Life Expectancy of Phonak Hearing Aids?
Why Is Phonak So Expensive?
Who Makes Phonak?