If you are experiencing difficulty hearing, particularly in background noise or in situations where you are not able to see or focus on your target speaker fully, you may be in the early stages of hearing loss. Hearing loss due to aging, also known as presbycusis, tends to begin in the higher frequencies (pitches) where the consonant sounds of speech occur. These sounds are what provide clarity of speech, the ability to hear the difference between “sin,” “thin,” and “fin.” You may be interested in pursuing hearing aids to help you hear in those more challenging listening environments, as they will bring the audibility of those soft consonant sounds back, thus improving your ability to hear and communicate effectively.
Recently, legislation has changed, allowing greater availability of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Like traditional prescription hearing aids, OTC hearing aids come at a range of price points based on their available technology and features.
This article will review Sennheiser’s hearing aids.
Understanding Sennheiser hearing aids
Sennheiser is a German electronics company that specializes in audio equipment such as microphones, headphones, and speakers. In March of 2022, Sonova, a global hearing healthcare company, acquired Sennheiser. Also under the Sonova umbrella are Phonak (a premier hearing aid company), Advanced Bionics (the only American cochlear implant company), and Connect Hearing (a retail division for hearing aids), among other hearing healthcare brands. The acquisition of Sennheiser is a natural next step in expanding the profile of what Sonova can offer in all audio and hearing care spaces.
Sennheiser hearing aids were introduced in two different models: All Day Clear and All Day Clear Slim. Both iterations of Sennheiser hearing aids offer rechargeability, Bluetooth streaming, directional microphones, and access to a mobile app to make adjustments. Consumers can purchase the hearing aids online and go through a self-fitting setup or opt for an in-clinic care package that provides in-person support at Connect Hearing centers.
The difference between the All Day Clear and All Day Clear Slim is mainly in aesthetics and retention of the hearing aids; the ear tip portion is designed differently between the two devices. The All Day Clear looks similar to other receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids, while the All Day Clear Slim resembles a hearing aid/headphone hybrid: they have an earbud that goes into the ear canal with a bendable wire over the ear. They come with a charging case, USB wall charger and charging cable, ear tips in three sizes, a zippered pocket case, and additional wax guards.
Both are designed for patients with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Sennheiser hearing aids also offer “Intelligent Scene Detection,” and it is more than likely borrowing from Sonova’s innovative automation technology seen in other devices such as AutoSense OS, available in both Phonak and Advanced Bionics devices. The company also offers a 45-day trial period on Sennheiser hearing aids.
The All Day Clear is priced at $1399.95 for a pair, while the All Day Clear Slim is priced at $1499.95 for a pair.
Pros and cons of Sennheiser hearing aids
At this price point, the closest competitors in the OTC space would be Lexie B2 by Bose ($999), Jabra Enhance Select ($1195), and Eargo devices ($1,550-$2,450). Bose and Jabra are also leaders in the audio space, so it makes sense that they (like Sennheiser) would move into the hearing aid market.
Like the Sennheiser hearing aids, the Bose and Jabra devices offer rechargeability and streaming capabilities in an RIC form factor. The Eargo devices are completely-in-canal (CIC) devices that are self-fitting and, unlike prescription CIC devices, a standard size rather than custom-made for your ear canal shape.
Customer Testimonials and Reviews
One user describes the ideal experience for any hearing aid user:
The Clear Slims do not seem to “unnaturally” boost or target specific frequencies to the point where sound becomes distorted, overly processed/tinny, or unrealistic… Sennheiser uses both volume and clarity without feeling like anything is missing… the result is simply an abundance of natural, enjoyable, and intelligible sound.
Another reviewer describes them as comfortable, easy to wear, and easy to use. This user still noted some difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise but stated that the hearing aids have helped substantially at work in the office and on the phone.
Sennheiser hearing aids have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 68, meaning that they are fully dustproof and waterproof. Reviewers stated this gave them peace of mind about wear and tear on the devices.
They are light and stay in place. Great product!
Reviewers who were not as thrilled with the Sennheiser hearing aids felt that they worked well but not well enough to justify the price point. Some stated they had had comparable results with other, less expensive OTC hearing aids. That said, some of these reviewers admitted they had greater degrees of hearing loss, which are contraindicated for OTC hearing aids in general.
If you have mild to moderate hearing loss and are considering OTC hearing aids, Sennheiser hearing aids are a good brand to try. They have years of experience in audio and the backing of the extremely large and reputable Sonova brand. The two different styles of Sennheiser hearing aids give you some flexibility in your choice, and while they are on the higher end of the cost spectrum for OTC devices, they are less expensive than prescription devices with the option of in-person support, if needed.
Please seek out our other articles on OTC hearing aids to explore the pros and cons of many brands on the market.
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.