Some people with profound hearing loss have cochlear implants or do not utilize hearing technology at all and are a part of the Deaf community. But hearing aids are still needed for others with profound hearing loss who are not cochlear implant candidates, or who wear a hearing aid on the non-implant ear.
The best hearing aid for a profound hearing loss will be very different from the best hearing aid for someone with a mild hearing loss, or even someone with a severe hearing loss. The unique needs of the person with profound hearing loss must be addressed.
We are going to break down which hearing aids are the best for profound hearing loss, why we believe they are the best, and some other things you should take into consideration if you have a profound hearing loss.
Our top hearing aids for profound hearing loss
ReSound ENZO Q: best top-end
A hearing aid with the power you need and the connectivity you want
- Clear, comfortable sound quality that keeps sounds loud enough to hear but takes the edge off unpleasant sounds
- Convenient remote and real-time support included, as well as your own personalization using the app
- Connectivity and direct streaming capabilities to more devices including compatibility with cochlear implants
- Multi Mic
- Micro Mic
- TV Streamer 2
- Smart 3D app
Phonak Naida Marvel 90: Best for connectivity
A powerful hearing aid that can connect directly to an external microphone for better hearing in loud noise and at a distance
- Comes in the Naida Marvel super power BTE style or the Naida Link M BTE model for compatibility with a cochlear implant
- Connects directly to Phonak's Roger microphone range with no external receiver needed
- Allows for real-time remote video support with your provider
- TV Connector
- Remote control
- Roger Microphones
- myPhonak app
- myCall-to-Text app
Oticon Xceed 3: Best value for money
Hear more speech details with Oticon's supoer power hearing aid that gives you access to a fuller spectrum of sounds.
- Built on Oticon's Velox platform that gives the power you need without risking feedback
- Comes in either a BTE Super Power with 13 battery or BTE Ultra Power with 675 battery
- Can connect to Android for app use and iPhone for direct call streaming.
*These hearing aids have a water resistance rating of IP68, which means they have been tested at 1.5m depth for 30 minutes. This does not mean they can be taken swimming, but should protect against the rain or accidental water damage. Keeping your hearing aids dry is important, read our review of the best hearing aid dryers.
For a better understanding of hearing aid telecoils click here.
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Our staff consists of an Audiologist who has several years experience in hearing diagnostics. As an audiologist, she is well versed in the recommending and fitting of a wide variety of hearing aid brands on all levels of hearing loss.
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What is profound hearing loss?
A profound hearing loss describes the severity, or level, of your hearing loss.
A profound hearing loss is classified above the 90 decibel range. A person with profound hearing loss is considered deaf.
While people with profound hearing loss are considered to be deaf, not all are a part of the Deaf (with a capital D) community. The Deaf community is a culture of those who communicate via sign language and may or may not make use of hearing technology.
Most people with profound hearing loss undergo a cochlear implant evaluation, although not everyone with profound hearing loss is a candidate for a cochlear implant. Some people with a cochlear implant on one side, will also wear a hearing aid on the opposite ear, which is referred to as bimodal hearing.
What makes a good hearing aid for profound hearing loss?
The most important thing that a hearing aid must provide for someone with profound hearing loss is sufficient gain without distortion or feedback (whistling in the hearing aid).
Many people with profound hearing loss have very poor speech discrimination and make use of their hearing aids for awareness of the sounds around them. It is important that the instrument provides enough gain across the frequency spectrum, as many people with profound loss will be able to detect some frequency sounds better than others.
They often prefer a more linear fitting strategy, which gives them a perception of “more power” in the instrument by not compressing any of the sounds.
For better speech intelligibility, most people with profound hearing loss will need to pair an FM system or remote mic device with their hearing aids. This will allow them to pick up voices over the background noise, as well as overcome the effects of distance and reverberation. A hearing aid that can easily integrate with these accessories is a must.
Finally, because people with profound hearing loss rely on their hearing aids every day all day, comfort and reliability should be taken into consideration as measured by the design and IP rating.
Considerations when buying a hearing aid for profound hearing loss
If you have a profound hearing loss, a cochlear implant evaluation is recommended. However, not everyone with a profound hearing loss is a cochlear implant candidate. If this is the case then hearing aid use is recommended.
When it comes to hearing aids for those with profound hearing loss, your style options are more limited to either BTE or RIC styles. However, you still have the choice of which performance level you would like. It is important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to hearing aid performance levels.
The quality of sounds, particularly in background noise, is going to be better in a higher performance level product, no matter which of the models listed above you choose.
Higher performance levels also mean higher price tags, so it is important to balance your budget and your hearing needs to get the best solution for you.
A custom earmold is always necessary when it comes to fitting a profound hearing loss. The amount of gain needed in a Super power hearing aid requires a secure, custom fit in order to prevent feedback.
Your success with hearing aids is going to be highly dependent on your speech discrimination abilities, particularly in noise. Even with the best hearing aid, poor speech discrimination cannot be overcome with hearing aids alone.
Those with profound hearing loss will need to also take advantage of some of the additional wireless accessories that are available for use with their hearing aids. FM systems, remote mics, telecoils, TV streaming adapters, and phone adapters are going to be important for enhancing the listening experience in these more difficult situations.
It's easy to look at some of these products and think that one is better than the other. But there is always room for preference in a product as open to customization as hearing aids, and every individual's needs are different. Be sure to talk to your hearing healthcare provider about these accessories before getting hearing aids to be sure the one you choose is compatible. To find trusted hearing centres in your area, you can use our online tool.
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