If your hearing aids don't have Bluetooth, then you're giving up a ton of great features. Hi guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona, and in this video I'm giving you my top picks for the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands in 2023...coming up!
Alright, here we go. I'm taking a look at all of the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands that are currently available on the market, and I'm letting you know which ones I think are the best of the best. Since direct Bluetooth streaming hearing aids first hit the market back in 2014, this has become arguably one of the most popular features among hearing aid users. Bluetooth has not only opened up the ability to stream audio like music and phone calls directly into both of your hearing aids, but it is also made available a bevy of other features such as remote programming capabilities, app controls, and even TV streaming. Of course, after another year of technological advancement, we have started to see some new Bluetooth features hit the market, not just inside of new hearing aids coming out, but also inside of old hearing aids. But before I give you my top picks for the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands as we enter 2023, if you could do me a huge favor and click the like button, it really helps out my channel and it encourages me to make more videos just like this one.
And while you're at it, if you have not yet hit that subscribe button with notification bell, go ahead and do that as well because I release multiple new videos every single week and you do not want to miss out on those. That being said, I really appreciate it and let's go ahead and take a look at some of the disclaimers for this video. Disclaimer number one, it does not matter how awesome any one of the Bluetooth hearing aids are that I talk about in this video if you have not had them fit and programmed by a hearing care professional who follows best practices. Now, if you do not know what best practices are, they are extremely important and I will link a video in the description if you wanna learn more. If you want an easy way to find a provider who follows best practices near you, just go to HearingUp.com and search for a HearingUp Network member in your area.
HearingUp providers are committed to following comprehensive best practices to ensure you receive the maximum amount of benefit possible from your hearing aids. Disclaimer number two, I do not rank order these hearing aids because what might be the best Bluetooth hearing aid for somebody else might not be the best Bluetooth hearing aid for you. It really depends on what your specific wants and needs are. Disclaimer number three, this video is dedicated to the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands currently available on the market in 2023. So if you're looking for any one of my other best of videos like Best Receiver in Canal, Best Over-the-Counter, Best Invisible Hearing Aids, make sure that you go check those out separately on my channel and I will try to link all those videos in the description as well. Disclaimer number four, I do not give any pricing information in my videos because the price you pay will be heavily dependent on where you live, what technology level you go with, what services are included in your hearing aid purchase and the quality of those services.
These prices can range literally by thousands of dollars. For me, giving you any kind of pricing information would basically be pointless. And disclaimer number five, just like all of the other review videos on my channel, this video is not sponsored. It is just a short list of what I believe to be the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands currently available on the market. Additionally, each one of the hearing aids that I talk about in this video do have their own dedicated review video on my channel, so if any one of them peaks your interest, make sure that you go to my channel and check those out as well. Alright, with that out of the way, let's go ahead and start taking a look at the four best hearing aid brands currently available in 2023. Starting with Oticon. Oticon's More RIC, Own Custom ITE, and Xceed Power BTE hearing aids are both made for iPhone hearing aids that also have the ASHA Bluetooth protocol.
The Made for iPhone Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol allows you to stream audio directly from a compatible Apple device into both of your Oticon hearing aids. For years, if you wanted to stream audio directly from a smart device into both of your hearing aids, you had to have an Apple product. However, a couple years ago, they did come up with the ASHA Bluetooth protocol that now allows you to stream audio from an Android device into both of your Oticon hearing aids as well. However, if you want full functionality of the Bluetooth capabilities of an Oticon hearing aid, you're going to have to use a compatible Apple device. For instance, you cannot use the two-way audio streaming capabilities with an Android device using the ASHA Bluetooth protocol. This is when you can stream audio directly into both of your ears and use the microphones on your hearing aids to take your voice and send it to the person that you're actually talking to on the phone.
This means you can be completely hands free if you are using one of these compatible Apple devices, but you have to still hold your phone if you're using an Android device. The best part about this particular feature in these Made for iPhone hearing aids is that you can toggle this particular feature on and off, so if you wanna be hands free, you can just toggle that feature on. If you do not want to be hands free and talk into your phone still, you can make sure that that feature's turned off. This can come in extremely handy if you are in a noisy environment because if your voice has to travel back to your hearing aid, a lot of the background noise can mix in with your own voice, making it hard for the person that you're talking to on the phone to hear and understand you.
But if you can toggle this feature off, still stream the audio into both of your ears, and then actually talk into the microphone of your phone, that is going to be much more effective. Oticon hearing aids will allow you to stream audio directly from your TV into both of your hearing aids as long as you have the Oticon TV streamer, and you can use remote microphone capabilities either with the ConnectClip or the EduMic. You also get access to the Oticon ON app. This app acts like a remote control for your smartphone or tablet, which lets you do things like change into different programs and accessories, increase and decrease volume in each of these programs, adjust a streaming equalizer to improve music sound quality, activate Live Listen to turn your iPhone into a remote microphone, check your battery status for rechargeable and disposable batteries,
locate your hearing aids just in case you lose them, and set up automations using If This, Then That. Now, Oticon does limit the amount of adjustments that your hearing care professional can do inside of the programming software for a streamed signal, so do not expect your hearing care professional to be able to get everything exactly right here from a sound quality perspective. The silver lining to this is is that Oticon actually gives you a three band equalizer inside of the Oticon ON app that you can view to further customize the streamed audio. But one thing that I really do like about the Oticon Bluetooth hearing aids that you do not get from some of the other Bluetooth hearing aid brands is the ability to use the Apple Watch with Oticon and their Oticon ON app. You can control your Oticon More hearing aids from your iWatch, which will give you access to three different screens.
This will allow you to change your volume levels by using the crown on the side of the watch. You can change between different programs and activate different accessories using the touchscreen, and you can even see the battery life remaining in your hearing aids. Oticon also has the Remote Care app that allows you to have a remote programming session with your hearing care professional without you having to go into their office. They can tap directly into the programming of your hearing aids, make any adjustments that they want to save it and you're good to go. Now, it does not matter which technology level you go with, with your Oticon hearing aids. From the top to the bottom of these technology levels, you're going to get this Bluetooth capability, so you do not have to worry about losing that if you need to drop down to a lower technology level for affordability reasons.
Now, the second hearing aid brand that I would consider to be one of the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands in 2023 is Phonak. Phonak's Audeo Lumity, Virto Paradise, and Naida Paradise Hearing aids are all considered made for any phone hearing aids because they use the Bluetooth Classic protocol by using Bluetooth Classic. Phonak made it possible to connect to virtually any Bluetooth device. I don't care if it's an Apple device or an Android device or anything in between. And the way that they did this is that they were able to designate one hearing aid as the main hearing aid for that Bluetooth Classic connection, and then that hearing aid routes it over to its partner device so you get stereo hearing in both of your ears. These Bluetooth devices include smartphones, dumb phones, brick phones, laptop, computers, desktop computers, tablets, and pretty much anything else. Now, like I mentioned before, if any of these Bluetooth devices are Apple devices or Android devices, it doesn't matter.
You connect up with them in a very similar way and you pair with up to eight different Bluetooth devices with two of them being connected at the exact same time. This means that you could be streaming a movie from your tablet and get a phone call on your phone and answer the phone call without having to turn off Bluetooth on the tablet and turn on Bluetooth on your phone in just enough time for you to miss the phone call. It just goes seamlessly back and forth between your two favorite devices. You also get two-way audio with this Bluetooth classic protocol so you can be hands free when you're talking on the phone because the microphones of your hearing aids will pick up your voice and send it to the person on the other end of the line. With the Lumity and Paradise models, you can use the push button to answer the phone call, reject the phone call, or you can use a double tap feature if you have a rechargeable version of these hearing aids, and you can double tap your ear to answer the call and double tap your ear once you're done with the phone call to hang up on the person.
Personally, I prefer the audio quality of Bluetooth streaming using the Bluetooth Classic protocol inside of the phone at hearing aids compared to any other Bluetooth connection that you can use, including the ASHA protocol and the Made for iPhone protocol. Just keep in mind that a lot of this streaming audio quality has to do with the coupling that you're using on your hearing aids, whether that's a rubber dome or whether that's venting on your earmolds. Phonak also lets your hearing care professional customize this audio really well. In fact, they actually separate out music media from speech related media using their AutoSense operating system. However, keep in mind that Bluetooth Classic is not all sunshine and rainbows. If the main hearing aid that you're using to connect to your smart device malfunctions, then you're gonna lose all of your Bluetooth streaming capabilities in both of your ears because all of that audio routes through the main ear first and then over to your second ear.
Also, you cannot turn off hands free calling, so if you're in a noisy environment, you don't have the ability to toggle it to where you can just talk back into your smartphone. Again, you have to basically turn speakerphone on, and then you're gonna have trouble hearing the person that you're talking to as well. The myPhonak app app does give you a lot of great features. These features include the ability to activate different programs and accessories, increase or decrease volume, and even customize different program settings and save these customizations as an entirely new program that you can access easily later. You can track wear time and your daily step count, and you can have a remote programming session with your hearing care professional in real time. Now, one thing that you cannot do with the Phonak hearing aid with this Bluetooth Classic connection is connect directly to the TV.
You have to have a TV connector box very similar to what you need for most of the other hearing aid brands on this list, but this allows the audio from the TV to go into both of your hearing aids at an extremely high quality. Phonak also has a variety of other wireless accessories like the Partner Microphone and the award-winning Roger microphones that are definitely worth checking out. Overall, it is hard to compete with these great all-around hearing aids with Bluetooth Classic connectivity, but that did not stop the next hearing aid brand on our list this year, which is ReSound. ReSound's receiver-in-canal OMNIA hearing aids, their Custom hearing aids, their Power BTE hearing aids, and economy line of Key hearing aids all use made for iPhone Bluetooth for Apple devices and the ASHA Bluetooth protocol for Android devices. While the ReSound Bluetooth hearing aids function in a very similar fashion to the other made for iPhone hearing aid technologies that I'm talking about in this list, the one thing that sets them apart is that they have one of the best smartphone apps out there.
The ReSound Smart 3D app is the highest rated hearing aid app by a wide margin, and this is probably due to how consistently reliable it is. This app allows you to change between different programs set up by your hearing care professional and activate or deactivate different remote accessories. You can activate the noise filter or speech clarity, quick keys, increase or decrease overall volume of your hearing aids, and depending on which program you're in, you can use the sound enhancer to to do things like control the directional microphones of your hearing aids and increase or decrease noise reduction. They also have a newer feature that is the Check My Fit feature, so if you're confused of whether or not you have your hearing aids inserted into your ear canals correctly, you can use this particular app feature to make sure that you have the proper insertion depth.
This app also allows you to have a live remote programming session with your hearing care professional, just like all of the other Bluetooth hearing aids that I'm talking about in this list. But they also give you asynchronous programming, which is unique to them at this point in time, which means that you can request changes from your hearing care professional, and then when they have time to get around to those changes, they can send you a program package that you can upload into your own hearing aids, and you can either accept it or reject it depending on how things sound. This can be an extremely convenient way to get programming changes with your hearing aids if you have difficulty lining up appointment times with your hearing care professional. The ReSound Smart 3D app is also compatible with an Apple Watch. If you happen to have ReSound hearing aids like the ReSound One and their smart 3D app, you can use the Crown on your iWatch to make volume adjustments or you can use the touchscreen itself.
You can change between different programs and accessories, and the watch even lets you activate your noise filter and speech clarity filter just like you can inside of the Smart 3D smartphone app. ReSound also has several great Bluetooth accessories like a TV streamer, the Micro Mic, which is a remote microphone, and the Multi Mic, which is a remote microphone, but also has a variety of other different features that it enables, including telecoil connectivity. Overall, ReSound hearing aids are a terrific Bluetooth hearing aid option, just like the fourth and final brand that made the list this year, which is Starkey. Starkey makes fantastic hearing aid technology with a full lineup of Evolv AI hearing aids, ranging from invisible in the canal all the way up to a power plus BTE, with the wireless CIC and larger being Bluetooth compatible. While I have had some consistent Bluetooth connectivity issues with Starkey devices, there are certain features that these hearing aids give you that you do not get from other hearing aid brands, which definitely earn them a spot on this year's list.
In addition to streaming virtually anything from an Apple or Android device directly into both of your hearing aids, like audiobooks, podcast music, YouTube videos, and two-way phone calls, you also get a variety of other features due to this Bluetooth connectivity, whether you use the Made for iPhone low energy Bluetooth protocol or the ASHA Bluetooth protocol. These additional features include fall detection, wellness tracking, Thrive Care, self-check diagnostics, and audio streaming from an Amazon Fire TV Cube. Fall detection has actually saved the lives of Starkey Hearing Aid users. What happens here is that the motion sensors inside of the Starkey Evolv AI hearing aids can detect when you fall, and if it detects that, it will send a message to individuals that you set up inside of the Starkey Thrive app so they can notify help if necessary. The wellness tracking feature inside of the Starkey Thrive app actually keeps track of your engagement levels and your physical activity levels.
[FURTHER RESEARCH: SEE STARKEY EVOLV AI REVIEW HERE]
The goal here is not only to improve how well you're hearing but actually improve your overall quality of life. With Thrive Care, this wellness information will be sent to another individual on your contact list so they can monitor how engaged you are staying and how active you are being, and if they start noticing some discrepancies there, they can reach out to you and see if you need assistance. The self-check diagnosis is pretty cool because you can take the hearing aids out of your ears and then go into the app and start a self-check of those devices to see if there's any part of the devices that are malfunctioning so you can reach out to your hearing care professional to get your hearing aids fixed. And something that is really cool and unique about the Starkey hearing aids that you do not get from any of the other Bluetooth hearing aids on the market is that you can directly connect to an Amazon Fire TV Cube.
This will allow you to stream audio directly from your TV into both of your hearing aids without having to purchase an additional accessory from Starkey. Now, I cannot stress enough how awesome it is to stream audio from your TV into both of your ears. If you are not understanding 99+ percent of dialogue on TV, if you start doing Bluetooth streaming from your TV into your hearing aids, it is going to clear that up. Now, Starkey also uses a program called Stream Boost so your hearing care professional can go in there and customize the audio of your streamed signal. Just keep in mind that a lot of the quality of the stream that you get still has a lot to do with the rubber dome that you're using on your hearing aids or the custom ear mold and the venting, so really if you're looking for some out-of-the-box Bluetooth connectivity capabilities, then the Starkey hearing aids are definitely gonna be a great option for you.
Alright, there you go. Those are my top picks for the best Bluetooth hearing aid brands here in 2023. If any one of them piques your interest, make sure that, again, that you go over to my YouTube channel and watch the full review, and if you really think that one of them is perfect for you, make sure that you reach out to your hearing care professional to get yourself a pair. At the end of the day, anyone who still thinks that Bluetooth connectivity is just a nice thing to have really does not understand how important this particular feature is if you wanna maximize your ability to hear. So if 2023 is the year that you're going to be upgrading your hearing aid technology, then I strongly encourage you to add Bluetooth connectivity to the list of mandatory requirements that you have for your new devices. I promise you won't regret it. That's it for this video. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below. If you like the video, please share it. If you wanna see other videos just like this, we'll make sure that you hit that subscribe button. Also, feel free to check on my website HearingUp.com and check out all of my other best of videos that you can find over here.
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