If you have had your hearing tested and determined that you are a good candidate for hearing aids, congratulations! On average, it takes about seven years from the time a person notices they are having difficulty hearing to when they move forward with hearing aids. Choosing to pursue amplification is the most important decision you can make.
If you’ve started doing your research, you may have found that there are many, many hearing aid brands on the market, and it can be confusing to decide which one is best. One major distinction is over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids vs. hearing aids (ReSound vs Starkey) that are dispensed by an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on those that are selected and fit by a professional. This category has six major brands: Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Signia/Siemens, Starkey, and Widex. There are advantages to all of them, and it is possible that you could find equal success with all brands or that you may prefer one over the other should you have the opportunity to try multiple styles. It is also possible that your audiologist may have a preference for one manufacturer over the others, which is okay! It usually means they are most comfortable with that fitting platform, which can be helpful when making modifications. Today, we’re going to focus on ReSound vs Starkey hearing aids.
About Starkey Hearing Technology
Starkey Hearing Technology was founded in 1967 and is based in Eden Prairie, MN. In addition to hearing aids and accessories, Starkey also has a charitable branch called the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This began as a program to recycle hearing aid batteries and has evolved into a large non-profit which includes global programs as well as the Hear Now program offering hearing aids to individuals who cannot afford them. Starkey also has a specialty all-make repair lab, which means they will service hearing aids from any year, make, or manufacturer.
Starkey’s newest line of hearing aids is called Genesis AI. They are available in receiver-in-canal (RIC) styles as well as custom in-the-ear (ITE) styles. It will accommodate mild to severe hearing losses. The Genesis hearing aids can also be rechargeable, depending on the style, and are compatible with a range of accessories such as remote microphones and TV streamers. This line of hearing aids also includes a health monitoring feature as part of the MyStarkey app and is the only hearing aid on the market to offer fall detection. They are also reportedly moisture-resistant and durable.
ReSound is part of the GN Group, headquartered in Denmark. Their US headquarters are in Bloomington, MN. The GN Group was founded in 1943 and owns the well-known audio brand Jabra. ReSound was the first hearing aid manufacturer on the market to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids with the ReSound Linx in 2014, which allowed users to directly stream phone calls and media from their iPhone to their hearing aids without the use of an intermediary accessory. ReSound does offer a range of accessories, such as remote microphones and TV streamers, which are compatible with their devices.
The newest line available from ReSound is called the Omnia. It is available in all styles, from tiny, completely-in-canal (CIC) to behind-the-ear (BTE). Because of the range of styles, all hearing loss configurations can be accommodated. There are rechargeable options for the receiver-in-ear (RIE), BTE, and in-the-ear (ITE) models, and the hearing aids will last a full day on a single charge. They have an IP 68 rating, meaning they are waterproof and dustproof.
The hearing aids are still Made for iPhone (and iPad and iPod Touch), enabling direct audio streaming from Apple devices. The hearing aids can also directly stream from compatible Android devices, and additional features can be enabled via the ReSound Smart 3D app installed on the iPhone or Android device.
Related Article: Best Hearing Test App Free and Paid (Android or iPhone)
The table below breaks down a ReSound vs Starkey comparison of their latest respective hearing aid models:
ReSound vs Starkey Comparison
|Starkey Genesis AI
|RIC (with or without telecoil), ITE, ITC, CIC, IIC
|BTE, RIE, ITC, CIC
|51 hours on a full charge, 3 hours with a 7-minute charge
(CIC & IIC use disposable batteries)
|Full day (minimum 12 hours) on a full charge
(CIC uses size 10 disposable battery)
|Range of 2.4 GHz accessories
Adjustments and call streaming via MyStarkey app
|Range of 2.4 GHz accessories
Directly compatible with Apple products and some Android products
ReSound Smart 3D app enables additional features
|Personal health monitoring including fall detection
Remote adjustments via video chat
|IP 68 rating for weatherproof/durability
ReSound Assist Live for remote adjustments
|Learn More About Starkey Genesis AI
|Learn More About ReSound Omnia
ReSound vs Starkey Conclusion
As you can see, there are many similarities in the features between these two hearing aid brands. Both offer a range of styles to suit both your hearing loss and comfort, as well as options for rechargeable hearing aids versus those that use disposable batteries. Additionally, both offer Bluetooth compatibility for streaming via your smartphone and making adjustments through the proprietary apps. They also offer telehealth services from their respective apps and accessories to provide extra support in difficult listening environments, such as remote microphones and television streamers.
It is important to remember that there are trial periods for all hearing aids, so if you are not satisfied with your fitting, it is possible to try another brand or style. That said, do not expect hearing aids to be a miracle cure! It will take some time to get used to them, and there will always be difficult listening situations, even for people with normal hearing. Talk with your audiologist about your lifestyle and what you are looking for most in your hearing aids, and they will help you choose the best brand and style to suit your needs.
If your audiologist favors one brand over the others (such as with ReSound vs Starkey), this is okay! It likely means they have had good experiences with the devices and the company service, are happy patients, and are comfortable with the fitting software. It is not uncommon in clinical practice for the audiologist to make a choice on the manufacturer and for the patient to determine a technology level that suits their lifestyle and budget. All manufacturers have wonderful educational materials for patients and professionals on their websites, which can help you learn more about how to best use your new hearing aids.
Erin Edwards received her Doctor of Audiology degree from Towson University in 2015 and her Ph.D. in Education and Leadership from Pacific University in 2022. She has worked with patients of all ages in a variety of settings and has a specific interest in cochlear implants, the relationship of hearing loss and dementia, and interdisciplinary healthcare.