Hearing aid apps have become an essential tool for individuals with hearing loss, making it easier to manage and personalize their hearing aids. However, the quality and functionality of these apps can vary significantly. In this article, we’ll rank six popular hearing aid apps based on ease of use and stability, as experienced by a regular user.
1. MyStarkey App
Ranked at the top is the MyStarkey app for the newly released Starkey Genesis AI hearing aids. This user-friendly app was designed with input from hearing aid wearers, providing a streamlined interface for easy reading and navigation. Key features include:
- Smart Assistant: Adjust settings, set reminders, and ask questions about hearing aid topics using your voice.
- Fall Detection: The only hearing aid app that can help detect falls and alert family or friends.
- Edge Mode+: Uses AI to optimize sound quality on-demand for either clearer speech or improved listening comfort.
- Audio Streaming: Enjoy music, TV, and more, streamed to your hearing aids from your smartphone or wireless hearing aid accessories.
2. Resound Smart 3D App
The Resound Smart 3D App comes in second, featuring a new intuitive design with one-tap access to the most important app menus such as program change and favorites. Highlights of the app include:
- Quick Buttons: Everything you need for quick adjustment is on the main screen for one-tap access on the go.
- Personalized Settings: Create and save your own favorite settings.
- Tinnitus Management: Helps you cope with tinnitus by masking it with relieving sounds.
- Location-based Hearing: Save your settings at your favorite locations and your hearing aids will automatically switch to those settings the next time you return.
3. Oticon Companion App (Replaced Oticon On)
- Volume Adjustments: Personalize your listening experience for any environment.
- Program Switching: Switch between predefined programs according to the different listening situations you are in.
- Battery Monitoring: Keep track of your battery levels.
- SpeechBooster: Reduce background noise and enhance speech when you need to focus on conversation.
The MyPhonak app ranks fourth, offering value-added features and personalization options. The disadvantage is that the app is slow to connect to the hearing aids. Features of the MyPhonak app include:
- Direct Connection: Connects directly to your Phonak hearing aids for a personalized hearing experience.
- Program Information: Shows available programs, battery info, and more.
- Health Data Tracking: Enables health data tracking.
- Personalized Hearing Experience: Preset your hearing aids to the volume you find most comfortable.
5. Starkey Thrive
Ranked fifth is the Starkey Thrive app, giving users full control over their hearing aids using their smartphones. Key features include:
- Healthable Features: Like Engagement and Activity tracking.
- Assistive Features: Like Find My Phone, Translate, Transcribe, and Self Check, which lets you check your hearing aid performance without an office visit.
- Hearing Features: Makes it easier to hear people who are wearing face masks.
This app is for all hearing aids previous to the Starkey Genesis Platform. It is a good app but a lot more complicated than the My Starkey App.
6. Signia App
The Signia app, ranked sixth, offers everything you need to enjoy your hearing aids to the fullest. This includes:
- 24/7 Signia Assistant: Get immediate support whenever and wherever you need it.
- TeleCare: Stay in touch with your hearing care professional for remote support between visits.
- My WellBeing: Track your daily steps and more with your hearing aids.
- Face Mask Mode: A special button in the Signia app revolutionizes hearing aid wearers’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Widex Moment App
Last but not least is the Widex Moment app, providing full control over your Widex Moment hearing aids using your smartphone. It allows for:
- Sound Personalization: Fine-tune your hearing, so you get exactly the sound you prefer.
- Remote Control: Use the app as a remote control for your hearing aids.
- Audio Streaming: Stream audio directly from your iPhone and many models of Android phones to your hearing aids.
- Widex MySound™: An AI feature that provides a personally recommended sound profile based on the way thousands of other users preferred to hear in a similar situation.
Choosing Your Hearing Aid: More Than Just the App
While the ranking of the apps can provide valuable insights into the usability and functionality of the associated hearing aids, it’s crucial to remember that choosing a hearing aid should not solely be based on the app ranking. The app is indeed an added bonus, an additional tool for personalizing and managing your hearing aid. However, the primary focus should be on the hearing aid itself and how it fits your specific needs.
Hearing aids are highly sophisticated devices designed to improve your quality of life, and their efficacy goes beyond the associated app. Each hearing aid comes with unique features and functionalities that cater to a variety of hearing needs. Therefore, factors such as the type and degree of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, and even your budget should be key considerations when choosing a hearing aid.
As a professional, I typically recommend fully automatic hearing aids that do not require much interaction through the app. These hearing aids are designed to automatically adjust to your listening environment, providing a seamless and effortless hearing experience. They can adapt to different soundscapes, whether you’re in a quiet room, a noisy restaurant, or outdoors in the wind, ensuring you always hear the best sound possible without the need to constantly adjust settings manually through an app.
While the ability to personalize your hearing experience using an app is undeniably useful, the less you have to interact with it, the more natural and enjoyable your listening experience can be. After all, the best technology is the one that works so well, you barely notice it’s there.
For more information on which hearing aids I currently recommend, please see my other articles on this subject. Remember, your hearing care professional is your best resource for advice tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle.
The above ranking provides an overview of the top hearing aid apps based on personal experience. While these rankings can provide a helpful guide, the best app for you will depend on your specific needs, hearing aid model, and personal preferences. Always consult with your hearing care professional for advice tailored to your situation.