Dr. Cliff's Review of Starkey Genesis AI Hearing Aids

Before we dive into the Genesis AI hearing aids further, it’s important to remember that it does not matter how great a particular hearing aid is unless you've had it fit and programmed by a hearing care professional who follows best practices. That's because best practices, like real ear measurement, are the only way to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefit from your hearing aids. Now let’s get into the product.

Performance and Features of Genesis AI

The all-new Starkey Neuro Processor boasts the industry's most advanced processor technology. It mimics the function of the central auditory system through a Deep Neural Network (DNN) on-chip accelerator and automatic functions. Deep Neural Networks are essentially designed to perform deep learning, so the hearing aid can process sound better. Here are some of its key features:

  • It is the smallest processor ever created by Starkey, yet the most powerful with six times more transistors.
  • The Starkey Neuro Processor operates quickly, efficiently, and quietly, up to four times faster than previous processors.
  • The processor is more efficient with power while delivering significantly higher processing. We will see this more below when I discuss the battery life.
  • It is loaded with five times more computational memory and ten times the amount of non-volatile memory.

I've had patients who have struggled with other hearing aids in the past, particularly in noisy environments. The Genesis AI's ability to reduce distracting noise and enhance speech clarity could be a game-changer for these individuals.

Dr. Cliff's Pros and Cons for Starkey Genesis AI

Starkey Genesis AI Pros

  • Physical comfort
  • Long Rechargeable Battery Life
  • Robust App Features
  • Deep Neural Network
  • Custom & RIC styles

Starkey Genesis AI Cons

  • Poor Bluetooth Stability
  • Ugly design
  • Limited programming for streaming sound quality

Genesis AI Models

Now let’s talk about the different form factors - here are the Genesis AI models that are available today:

  • RIC RT, a larger receiver in canal model with rechargeable battery, telecoil and double push button
  • Micro RIC R, a smaller receiver in canal model with rechargeable battery and single push button
  • ITE-R, a custom full shell, in the ear rechargeable model
  • ITC/HS-R a custom in the canal rechargeable model
  • CIC NW, a non-wireless completely in canal hearing aid with replaceable size 10 battery
  • IIC NW, a non-wireless invisible in canal hearing aid with replaceable size 10 battery

Also important to note is that all of the models except the last two (CIC and IIC) are listed by Starkey as being waterpoof and are IP68 rated. Now Starkey is very well known for their custom products. They have a really fantastic lab in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and they've been manufacturing custom products for a long time - not just in the ear products, but also custom ear molds for the receiver in canal devices. So having this technology, and especially the rechargeable technology, in the custom devices is really fantastic.

Upon unboxing the Genesis AI RIC, the first thing that struck me was the design - while compact and modern, they do look a bit weird to me. For the RIC model, the geometric design rests snugly and conforms naturally behind the ear, making it barely noticeable. This is a big plus for those who value discretion in their hearing aids. In my years of practice, I've found that the aesthetic appeal of hearing aids is a significant factor for many patients, and Starkey has certainly delivered on this front with the Genesis AI. While they don’t look great in your hand (in my opinion), they do look great on your ear.

Starkey Genesis AI hearing aids and charger

Starkey Genesis Technology Levels

They also have four technology levels available in the Genesis lineup; 24, 20, 16 and 12. One recommendation I always make is that you go for the highest level of technology that you can reasonably afford, and if you cannot afford it, you go down to a lower technology level to the point where you can afford it - then it's the job of your hearing care professional to maximize your performance with those devices with programming and customization. I must say that there is no guarantee that if you drop down technology level that you'll lose benefit, but there is the possibility that you'd be leaving benefit on the table.

Rechargeable Battery Life is Impressive

One of the best features of the Genesis AI is its battery life. The device offers up to 51 hours of battery life per charge for their larger Receiver-in-Canal (RIC RT) device. Even the smaller Micro RIC R gets 40 hours of use on a charge. This is industry-leading performance and a significant advantage for those who rely on their hearing aids throughout the day. I've seen the frustration of patients who have to constantly worry about their hearing aid batteries running out, and the Genesis AI offers a solution to this problem. The charger is very easy to use and the hearing aids fit well within the charging case.

Connectivity and App Features

The Genesis AI offers iOS and Android compatible audio streaming, hands-free calling for iOS, and wireless control with the My Starkey app. The app extends your control over Genesis AI and their performance. It allows you to adjust settings, stream calls, track lost devices, manage your Personalized Health Monitoring, and more.

One of the app features I found particularly impressive is the Edge Mode+. This feature uses AI to optimize your hearing aids based on your listening environment. It quickly analyzes what you are hearing to automatically adjust settings, allowing you to select between various modes for Best Sound, Enhance Speech, and Reduce noise.

Health Monitoring

Starkey has integrated health tracking elements into the Genesis AI, offering more advanced personal health monitoring through the My Starkey App. The app provides several metrics for you to monitor and estimate physical activity such as steps, standing time, exercise, and other goals for the day. This is a unique feature that emphasizes the importance of both hearing and physical health.

Moreover, the Genesis AI is the only hearing aid that can detect falls and alert family or friends. This can be a lifesaver, especially for older adults who live alone. I've had patients who have experienced falls, and the peace of mind this feature offers is invaluable.

The Good and The Bad

Overall, the Starkey Genesis AI Hearing Aids are a top-of-the-line product that combines advanced technology, user-friendly features, and a sleek design. My favorite features are the EdgeMode+, the battery life, the rechargeable customs and the improved MyStarkey app. The things I was not impressed with were the overall noise reduction and the Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth connection appears to work much better with iPhones, so Android users that want to stream consistently might want to avoid this product.

Final Thoughts

In my years of practice, I've seen how the right hearing aid can drastically improve a person's quality of life. The Genesis AI, with its advanced features and user-friendly design, has the potential to do just that. I've seen the joy in a patient's eyes when they can hear clearly for the first time in years, or when they can participate in a conversation without struggling to keep up. These are the moments that remind me why I chose this profession, and why I'm so excited about products like the Genesis AI. If you're looking for the latest generation technology, industry-leading rechargeable battery life, and advanced app-based personalization, the Starkey Genesis AI Hearing Aids are worth considering. As always, I recommend consulting with your audiologist to determine if this product is the right fit for your specific needs. Remember, the best hearing aid is the one that meets your unique hearing needs, lifestyle, and budget and is fit by a professional using Best Practices.

Cliff Olson

Cliff Olson is an Audiologist and the co-founder of HearingUp and Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, AZ. In addition, he runs and creates content for the popular DrCliffAuD YouTube channel.


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