There are six companies that control 98% of the global hearing aid market and are often referred to as “The Big Six”. Purchasing a hearing aid is an important decision, so here’s a quick introduction to the major hearing aid companies and their products.
Owned by Swiss-based company Sonova and founded in 1947. Phonak is regarded as a leader in pediatric hearing care and its Lyric brand is the first 100% invisible hearing aid and can be worn 24/7 for months.
Brands: Lyric, Audeo B-R and BoleroB
Recent Innovation: A new hearing aid using Sonova’s SWORD™ chip and wireless radio technology. The wireless chip can connect to most cell phones without an additional streaming device.
Owned by William Demant and based in Denmark, Oticon is often credited with trailblazing many hearing aid firsts and setting standards for innovation.
Sister Brands: Bernafon and Sonic Innovations
Brain Algorithms: A leader in advances focused on the brain/ear relationship, Oticon’s OPN hearing aid uses the Velox platform which consists of a collection of algorithms that help the brain process sound.
Siemens used to have the largest market share for hearing aid production, with some estimates around 25% of the global market. Siemens was bought by Sivantos, a German company whose roots go all the way back to 1878, and now operates under the Signia name.
Clinical Accolades: The Signia primax platform has been clinically proven to ease listening effort for hearing aid users. Additionally, their 3D custom ear piece molding process provides accurate fit and durability.
ReSound traces its roots back to 1943 and is headquartered in Denmark. Its parent company, GN Group, is a Danish company that began almost 150 years ago as the Great Northern Telegraph Company.
Sister Brand: Jabra
Milestones: ReSound was the first to deliver 2.4GHz technology in hearing aids for direct connectivity. In 2013, they launched the first-ever hearing aid made for iPhones and iPads, called LiNX.
Starkey is a US-based company that celebrated its 50th year in business in 2017. They are the only privately-held company of the big players in the hearing aid industry.
Brands: Audibel, MicroTech and NuEar.
First to Market: Starkey was the first to introduce nanotechnology in hearing aids which allowed the production of water-proof hearing aids. Nanotechnology is used to coat hearing aids to protect them from water and naturally-occurring oils in the ear.
Denmark is widely known as the hearing innovation center of the world and Widex is the third Danish company on this list. Widex was founded in 1956 and is family owned. They are known for their focus on exceptional sound quality and they introduced the first hearing aids for babies in 2010.
Brands: Unique, Dream and Beyond.
Greater Good: The Widex corporate headquarters is eco-friendly and uses renewable energy and a groundwater system for heating and cooling.
Knowing a little about the companies that make hearing aids is helpful, but the best way to learn more about the amazing products out there is to make an appointment for a hearing consultation. We can help you find the right hearing treatment for your specific hearing loss based on test results, your goals and your budget.