The Best Hearing Aids of 2021

Forbes Health has just published an excellent guide to hearing aids. Best Hearing Aids from Audiologists 2021.

Forbes assembled a panel of three audiologists to come up with a list of best hearing aids in a variety of categories, including best hearing aid overall, best hearing aid for low budgets, best for tinnitus, best for outdoor enthusiasts, and more.

Drop-down text boxes under each device provide further information. The listings are followed by some sensible advice about how to buy a hearing aid.

This seems like a very helpful guide for those considering hearing aids for the first time as well as for those who already have them but need new ones. It’s important to remember, however, that this is just a guide. It’s not a shopping list. Even though a hearing aid is ranked “best,” it may not be right for your hearing. Another hearing aid style or brand may work better. Cost is also a factor. The most expensive is not always the best.

The three audiologists are:

  • Abram Bailey, a doctor of audiology, Forbes Health Advisory Board Member and founder of HearingTracker.com
  • John Coverstone, a doctor of audiology in New Brighton, Minnesota, and host of the AudiologyTalk podcast
  • Lee Weissman, a doctor of audiology and master of science in biomedical engineering with Hear So Good in Novato, California

The package was edited by Kim Acosta, the lead editor at Forbes Health.

Another recent “best hearing aids” list was published by Explore Health, in 2020. Healthline.com also published a list in 2021. It’s interesting to compare recommendations.

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For more about living with hearing loss, read my books “Smart Hearing: Strategies, Skills and Resources for Living Better With Hearing Loss” and “Shouting Won’t Help: Why I and 50 Million Other Americans Can’t Hear You.” Both are available as ebook and paperback on Amazon.com.

12 thoughts on “The Best Hearing Aids of 2021

  1. The best hearing aid is the one that fits to encourages you into the hearing world. If a person lives a lonely life do not fit them with a hearing aid they remain lonely. Fit one that will encourage them to get out and join groups, The best organization for those who are losing their hearing is the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). You will find out that there are so many people who cannot hear well and this organization gives you the education, information, support, and advocacy for your hearing loss. Every audiologist should encourage their clients to join HLAA.

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  2. What a waste of time for anyone who needs a hearing aid.
    3 audiologists who all have advertisers. Main issue is 3! Do it again with several thousand.
    God knows we are smarter than to listen to 3 compromised people.

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    • I respectfully disagree. No one is going to travel to Novato, California or New Brighton, Minn to see an audiologist unless that’s where they already live. Consumers can always benefit from the services of an audiologist, not only in buying a hearing aid but in the followup visits, An audiologist should be easily available for followups.
      A list like this offers talking points for consumers. As I wrote, this is a guide, not a shopping list.

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      • I totall agree to the point that Katherine mentioned, ” an audiologist should be easily available for followups.” In Korea market, it does make sens considering that majoiry of hearing aids users are older people who has diffciult in moving long distance.

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      • Once you’re established with an audiologist, it is possible to meet via telehealth for some things, like programming. Over the 40 years I’ve had hearing loss, however, my audiologist has always been my main contact, rather than my ENT.

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    • “G” what counts in a hearing aid is how well the audiologist fits you for the hearing aid that accommodates your personal hearing loss. I love my hearing aids one in each ear because both ears have a hearing loss. I can assure you my hearing loss is different than other people. A university or hospital that has an audiology department in my opinion is a good place to start. If not satisfied you can always try another venue. Perhaps friends or family can recommend an audiologist. It is always a good idea to take a hearing friend or family member when you visit an audiologist.

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  3. As someone who is profoundly deaf on one side and only moderately HOH in the other, I had hoped that there would be a category for that scenario. I’m also disappointed that suppression of background noise was not addressed.

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  4. Thank you, Katherine!
    I’ve always believed that it’s best to see an audiologist (and having an audiologist who will listen to and work with you is a plus!)
    A trial period is vital, so you can see how it works for you in the real world, rather than in a quiet office. My audiologist based her suggestions on my audiogram and let me try Brand A. It was the clearest I ever experienced. Then I wore it to work, and its noise-cancellation feature was so aggressive that I could not understand a thing. So I went back and she gave be Brand B to try. That worked well for my needs.
    So, as you said, no one brand is right for everyone. Also, I’d like to mention a quote from a woman I met in the early days of SHHH-Florida. She observed that in those days hearing aid manufacturers were so intent on making hearing aids “invisible” that they lost sight of what hearing aids are supposed to do, to help people to hear. So she would say: “Smaller isn’t better — BETTER is better.”

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    • I wish that I had been able to try my hearing aids longer than even the 45 days that I had been able to wear my hearing aids even longer than the admittedly generous 45 days allowed. But my audiologist kept telling me that I needed to keep wearing them to adjust to them. I kept trying, and she would tweak them, but before I knew it the grace period was over. It’s been over a year, and other than the Bluetooth capability, they are worthless to me. $4000 wasted 😫.

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    • I see full-page ads advertising how tiny their hearing aids are. As if that is the only reason why their hearing aids will accommodate your hearing loss and nothing else matters. if you have a mild or severe hearing loss you are still missing words and conversation in the everyday world. The bottom line is a competent audiologist whose only interest is fitting you with the correct hearing aid for your loss whether it be mild or severe.

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  5. Just feel like the kind of hearing loss discussed the most is for mild hearing loss, unfortunately. It is catered to the later age hearing loss as well.
    Thanks for the info.

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