5 Best Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss in 2020

The best hearing aids can't be the same for everyone.

The hearing aid that is right for you will depend on a lot of factors, one of the main ones being the severity of your hearing loss.

The best hearing aid for a severe hearing loss will be very different from the best hearing aid for someone with a mild hearing loss, or even someone with a moderate hearing loss.

We are going to break down which hearing aids are the best for severe hearing loss for adults, why we believe they are the best, and some other things you should take into consideration if you have a severe hearing loss.

What is severe hearing loss?

A severe hearing loss describes the severity, or level, of your hearing loss. With a severe hearing loss the person has difficulty hearing most environmental sounds and normal conversational speech levels. We classify a severe hearing loss as having hearing thresholds in the 71 to 90 decibel range.

In most cases, hearing aids are the recommended treatment method for a severe hearing loss, although in some cases a cochlear implant may be recommended.

Additional assistive listening devices such as FM systems may also be recommended in conjunction with a severe hearing loss if hearing aids are not enough to overcome their hearing difficulties, particularly in background noise.

What makes a good hearing aid for severe hearing loss?

The number one thing a hearing aid well suited for severe hearing loss must do: provide sufficient gain at all speech frequencies without distortion, and without feedback occurring (that annoying whistling sound).

People with severe hearing loss need a hearing aid that will provide them with good audibility, but also a clear sound quality and aggressive noise reduction features to assist in noisy environments without making them feel like the sound is “closing down” around them.

They will also want to take into consideration what kinds of additional assistive listening devices are compatible with their hearing aid, such as a telecoil, phone compatibility, remote mic, or FM System, for additional assistance in challenging environments such as hearing on the phone, in restaurants, church, classroom or lecture-type setting, or in the car.

Finally, because people with severe hearing loss will be relying on their hearing aids every day all day, comfort and reliability should be taken into consideration as measured by the design and IP rating.

Top 5 hearing aids for severe hearing loss

Here is a list of all our top picks for the best hearing aids for severe hearing loss.

Phonak Audeo Paradise 90: Best for connectivity

4.8

These are for you if you want a hearing aid that keeps you connected to all your other electronic devices.

Hearing Loss Level Icon
Hearing Loss Moderate to severe
US dollar price icon
Price $$$
hearing aid style icon
Style Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC)
  • Seamlessly adjusts to your changing environment with AutoSense OS 4.0
  • Direct audio streaming for almost any bluetooth phone
  • Connects directly to Phonak's Roger FM system for optimizing hearing in noise
Summary

Phonak's Paradise hearing aids are available in 4 receiver-in-the-canal size options with a choice of rechargeable or disposable batteries. They are the most advanced hearing aids when it comes to connectivity features with new features like Tap Control, allowing you to answer your calls with just a tap of the ear, as well as Motion Sensor Hearing to help you hear better on the move.

Battery icon
Rechargeable Optional
Telecoil Optional
Wireless accessories TV Connector, Roger FM, Remote control, MyPhonak app, Call-to-text app, PartnerMic
Tinnitus options Yes
Phone connectivity icon
Phone connectivity Android and iPhone
water droplet icon
Water resistance Up to 1.5m*

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Oticon Opn S 1: Best top-end

4.5

These hearing aids are for you if you want to forget you're wearing hearing aids

Hearing Loss Level Icon
Hearing loss Mild to severe
US dollar price icon
Price $$$
hearing aid style icon
Style Receiver-in-canals (RIC) and Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • Processes sound using the Velox S chip for better hearing in noisy backgrounds
  • Choose from 4 comfortable style designs
  • Equipped with remote support for help from home
Summary

Oticon's Opn S hearing aids have some of the best noise reduction features that help you hear in even some of the most challenging environments. The 4 style options include one rechargeable option and the ability to communicate with iPhone and TV streaming accessories.

Battery icon
Rechargeable Optional
Telecoil icon
Telecoil Yes, optional
Wireless accessories TV Adaptor, ON app, Remote control, ConnectClip
Tinnitus icon
Tinnitus options Yes
Phone connectivity icon
Phone Connectivity Direct from iPhone
water droplet icon
Water resistance Up to 1.5m*

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Widex MOMENT: Best for natural sound quality

4.4

These hearing aids are for you if you want to forget you're wearing hearing aids

Hearing Loss Level Icon
Hearing loss Mild to severe
US dollar price icon
Price $$$
hearing aid style icon
Style Receiver-in-canals (RIC) and Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • Processes sound using PureSound technology for a smooth and natural sound quality that can't be beat
  • Has the smallest lithium-ion rechargeable option
  • Provides better hearing even in noisy situations
Summary

The Widex MOMENT hearing aids have unrivaled sound quality that will help you forget you are even wearing hearing aids. The 6 style options include one small rechargeable option and the ability to communicate with iPhone and TV/phone streaming accessories.

Battery icon
Rechargeable Optional
Telecoil icon
Telecoil Yes, optional
Wireless accessories DEX accessories
Tinnitus icon
Tinnitus options Yes
Phone connectivity icon
Phone Connectivity iPhone. Andriod only with accessory
water droplet icon
Water resistance Up to 1.5m*

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ReSound LiNX Quattro 7: Best mid-range

4.2

A hearing aid with a lot of style and color options to fit anyone's preferences

Hearing Loss Level Icon
Hearing loss Mild to severe
US dollar price icon
Price $$
hearing aid style icon
Style Receiver-in-ear (RIE), Behind-the-ear (BTE) or custom
  • Whether you want a custom aid, a BTE, or a RIE, the Quattro has all the options
  • The ear-to-ear wireless functions help you localize where sounds are coming from all around you
  • Remote support functions help you get the support you need from anywhere
Summary

ReSound's LiNX Quattro hearing aid has very precise sound quality with all the streaming functions you could want in a hearing aid. The rechargeable option comes with a small portable charger, great for the person who is always on the go.

Battery icon
Rechargeable Optional
Telecoil icon
Telecoil Yes, options
Wireless accessories Micro Mic, Multi Mic, Phone Clip+, TV Streamer 2, Remote Control 2, Remote Control, ReSound Smart 3D app
Tinnitus icon
Tinnitus options Yes
Phone connectivity icon
Phone connectivity Android or iPhone
water droplet icon
Water resistance Up to 1.5m*

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Oticon Ruby: Best value for money

3.9

A basic-level hearing aid that still has all the necessary features for better hearing, plus more.

Hearing Loss Level Icon
Hearing loss Mild to severe
US dollar price icon
Price $
hearing aid style icon
Style Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • A low-cost hearing aid that still delivers natural sound quality using Oticon's Velox S processing chip
  • Provides streaming options from TVs and iPhones
  • Several size options for meet your wearing preferences and hearing loss
Summary

Available in 5 style options from the most discreet receiver-in-the-ear design to a powerful behind-the-ear instrument. The Ruby provides the best sound quality in the basic hearing aid category while still delivering on rechargeability and connectivity.

Battery icon
Rechargeable Optional
Telecoil icon
Telecoil Yes, optional
Wireless accessories TV Adaptor, ON app, Remote control, ConnectClip
Tinnitus icon
Tinnitus options Yes
Phone connectivity icon
Phone Connectivity iPhone. Andriod only with accessory
water droplet icon
Water resistance Up to 1.5m*

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*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

Speak to a qualified hearing specialist and discuss hearing aid options tailored specifically for you. We recommend that you get professional advice before considering one of the hearing aids listed above.

Some less-expensive options for treating severe hearing loss

When a cochlear implant is not indicated, digital wireless hearing aids are the best option for treating severe hearing loss.

When it comes to the options listed above, the prices can range anywhere from $500 up to $3500 for one hearing aid, depending on the performance level you choose and what types of professional services are included in the cost. However, we understand that in some cases, the need for a less expensive option is necessary.

Our budget pick: Williams Sound PockeTalker

williams sound pocketalker

View the PockeTalker on Amazon

Considerations when buying a hearing aid for severe hearing loss

When it comes to hearing aids…you get what you pay for.

In other words, there are several different performance levels available in each of the models listed in the chart above.

The quality of sound, particularly in background noise, is going to be better in a higher performance level product, which also means a higher price tag. It is important to balance your budget and your hearing needs to find the best solution for you.

A custom earmold is usually necessary when it comes to fitting a severe hearing loss with either a BTE or RIC hearing aid. This will help to maximize audibility of speech without feedback occurring. Be sure to talk to your hearing healthcare professional about having a custom earmold made for your ear to obtain the best fit possible.

Your success with a hearing aid is highly dependent on your speech discrimination abilities. Even with the best hearing aid, poor speech discrimination cannot be overcome with hearing aids alone.

You may need to consider adding additional accessories, such as an FM system or remote mic option, to help in environments with a lot of background noise.

Summary

You've got a solid amount of options if you're looking for a hearing aid to accommodate severe hearing loss. The votes seem to indicate that the Oticon OPN Power is the best bet, but all other hearing aids listed here would serve you well. If you're still unsure, talking to a hearing specialist is the best way to find the best hearing aid for you.

Talk to your hearing healthcare professional about your speech discrimination abilities and what you can expect with your hearing aids. To find trusted hearing centres in your area, you can use our free online tool. If you have questions, please leave a comment below.

Lindsey Banks is a graduate of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Florida. She uses her diverse experience in hearing healthcare and her passion for helping people to provide credible information to those with hearing loss who visit Clear Living.

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  • irma hills
    Are there any clearliving outlets in Canada
  • irma hills
    Where are the severe hearing loss aids available. They appear to be what is needed.
  • irma hills
    where are clearliving hearing aids available? Gentleman 87 years old has not had any success in the last 7 years.
  • Jarom Linton
    It's a great point that these people with hearing loss are relying on their aids all day, so you need to find a hearing aid that is reliable and comfortable. My mom has some hearing issues now and she is trying to get some sort of hearing device that can help her get a normal life again.
  • Tristan Stewart
    It's really great that you talked about the decibel range that we need to pay attention to in order to diagnose severe hearing loss. My son hasn't been able to hear us lately and I am really worried about his ears. I'll try to take him to a hearing test soon so that we can find some hearing aids that will help him.