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Phonak was founded in 1947 in Zurich. Today it combines a mixture of Swiss engineering and silicon valley technology to sell hearing aids and hearing aid accessories to those with mild to profound hearing loss. It is often included in lists of the top hearing aid brands. 

Under ownership by hearing care giant Sonova, the Phonak brand is manufactured by Sonova’s German hearing aid engineering firm, Hansaton, which also manufactures Phonak’s sister brand, Audicus.

Phonak offers seven different hearing aid models with different fit styles and many with custom-fit options. It also sets itself apart from the competition with its large selection of hearing aid accessories. Many of the hearing accessories make hearing more accessible in environments that typically make things challenging: group conversations, crowded restaurants or classrooms, family dinners, etc. It is also one of the few hearing aid manufacturers that offers a completely invisible device — the Lyric. The Lyric doesn’t need to be removed for months until the batteries need to be charged.

Phonak is a large and reputable hearing aid manufacturer and has decades of experience manufacturing and designing hearing aids. This means that it likely has a generous research and development budget that helps it to develop new technologies and expand product features and performance. 

Phonak currently sells three lines of hearing aid devices:

  • Audéo Marvel
  • Lyric
  • Virto

Phonak's line of devices offer different features. The Marvel line is its premier line with rechargeable options, bluetooth streaming, exceptional sound quality, and Phonak’s Binaural VoiceStream technology. The Lyric hearing aid is one of the few completely invisible hearing aids on the market. It is made of a very soft material so that it can fit snugly in your ear until its batteries need to be charged. This hearing aid really sets Phonak’s selection apart from other competing hearing aid manufacturers. 

The Virto line is Phonak’s custom product. It is 3-D printed to your ear and provides a truly discreet hearing aid. It is made from titanium making it very durable as well. 

Phonak’s innovative hearing aids and accessories have been recognized with numerous awards. In 2019, the company won the CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree in Accessibility. It also won the Silver Award at the 2019 Edison Awards Consumer Electronics & Information Technology category. 

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The Good

  • Great Selection of Hearing Aids and Accessories
  • Standard Warranty
  • Full Line of Support Apps
  • Online Hearing Test
  • Great Accessories to Assist Hearing in Crowds

Great Selection of Hearing Aids and Accessories

Phonak gives customers a great selection of hearing aids to choose from including several custom-fit options. Its hearing aids are equipped with the current hearing technology such as bluetooth capability. The Phonak Virto M-312 hearing aids connect directly to either your iOS or Android smartphone or other Bluetooth® enabled devices. Use them for hands-free calls, TV, music, e-books, podcasts and so much more. Some competing hearing aids may offer similar capability, but they may not connect directly as the Virto does. 

Phonak also offers an above industry standard number of hearing aid accessories such as wireless accessories and its Roger™ line. 

Standard Warranty

Phonak offers the standard hearing aid industry warranty. Most hearing aids appear to come with a one-year warranty with limitations. Some hearing aid models come with two-year limited warranties. Phonak gives customers a one-year, limited international warranty on its hearing aids.  It does not include hearing aid accessories. Phonak’s warranty covers free repairs of hearing aids that malfunction due to manufacturing and/or material defects. 

Authorized retailers may offer extended or additional warranties. 

Full Line of Support Apps

If you’re looking to purchase a new hearing aid, you should check to see if the manufacturer offers support apps to make your hearing experience as comfortable, easy, and customizable as possible. The myPhonak app can be used on Bluetooth®-enabled smartphones and provides several capabilities to customers who have purchased one of Phonak’s hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity. 

From the myPhonak app, you can access convenient remote video support from your hearing care professional, view status information on the connected hearing aids such as battery charge, adjust and control volume and frequencies of your hearing aids, tap control configuration, easily select configurations for your social situation, and more. The massive variety of features and customization options offered through its app truly set Phonak apart from competing hearing aid manufacturers. 

Phonak also offers several other apps as well: myCall-To-Text, Phonak Guide, Tinnitus Balance, and a stories app. 

Online Hearing Test

Like many competitors, Phonak hosts an online free hearing test on its site. While there's no replacement for a consultation with a hearing-care expert, the online hearing screening can provide some quick and useful feedback about your hearing. Be aware that further appointments, including a complete diagnostic assessment, hearing aid fittings, and adjustments can be conducted in a hearing care professional’s office or virtually. 

Great Accessories to Assist Hearing in Crowds

Thirty-one percent of hearing aid wearers report they still have challenges hearing in noisy situations. Phonak stands out with its impressive selection of hearing accessories to assist hearing aid wearers in difficult situations such as in crowds, restaurants, family dinners, group conversation, or classrooms.

Phonak's RogerDirectTM is an industry-first that allows Roger microphones to stream directly to your hearing aids. After an installation of the Roger receiver into the hearing aid by a hearing care professional, you benefit from the proven performance of Roger, in noise and over distance without attaching an external receiver. The Roger line includes microphones of different sizes including the discreet and easy to use Roger™ EasyPen.

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The Bad

  • Needs to Be Fitted by an Audiologist 
  • Pricing and Insurance Information Not Readily Available 

Needs to Be Fitted by an Audiologist

You will need to visit a local audiologist in order to be fitted and order a Phonak hearing aid. The company's website makes it easy to locate a provider and it has a large network. While you can do some fitting services remotely, it is likely that you will have to go into an audiologist's office for most of its models. 

Pricing and Insurance Information Not Readily Available 

Many hearing aid manufacturers, especially newer startups, provide their customers with pricing information. Many customers today appreciate this up-front pricing transparency.

Phonak does not list any pricing or insurance information on its website. Pricing is established by hearing healthcare providers based on the products and services they offer. You will have to consult your hearing healthcare provider for specifics and insurance coverage varies.

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The Bottom Line

Phonak has decades of experience manufacturing and designing high-quality hearing aids for mild to profound hearing loss. It also has specialty designed hearing aids for children as well as services specific to veterans with hearing loss. Its selection of hearing aids includes the latest technology, and the company even has one of the very few completely invisible hearing aids on the market.

Phonak also offers customers a large line of hearing aid accessories to further increase the effectiveness of its hearing aids. We like that it is current with the latest technology and has several apps to assist customers with customizing their hearing aids. While you can take an online hearing test to get the process started, you will need to eventually be seen by an audiologist for a full hearing aid fitting.

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