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The best hearing aids for tinnitus provide discretion as well as relief. See why brands like Phonak and Oticon, among others, made our list.
- Best invisible hearing aids: Phonak Lyric | Skip to review
- Best caregiver tools: Starkey Livio Edge AI | Skip to review
- Best for listening to music: Oticon More | Skip to review
- Best ready-to-wear hearing aids: Signia Silk X | Skip to review
- Best for all environments: ReSound ONE | Skip to review
Tinnitus is a condition that, according to the American Tinnitus Association, affects over 50 million people in the United States. It’s sometimes referred to as ringing in the ears and is a symptom of a problem within the auditory pathway.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss.
Tinnitus isn’t “all in your head.” This very real condition can significantly diminish the quality of life for people who have it. While there’s no cure for most types of tinnitus, there are treatments to reduce the severity and help with daily function, including hearing aids.
In this roundup, we’ll go over some of the best hearing aids for tinnitus and explain how they work.
A note on price
The hearing aids on this list are all priced as a pair. We’ve indicated cost as follows:
- $ = $2,000–$5,000
- $$ = over $5,000
|extended wear, completely invisible in canal
|new devices are provided as needed
|Starkey Livio Edge AI
|in the ear or behind the ear
|30 days, longer packages sold separately
|receiver in ear, mini receiver in ear, behind the ear, mini behind the ear
|varies by seller
|Signia Silk X
|completely in canal
|30–90 days, based on seller
|receiver in ear
|none offered by company, some sellers may offer a trial period
When selecting hearing aids for our list, we considered the following factors:
- Customer feedback and brand reputation: The hearing aids on this list come from established, trusted hearing aid manufacturers that get good online reviews for customer service and quality.
- Internal vetting: We put each brand and product through our comprehensive vetting process to ensure that each met our business practice standards.
- Price: We were mindful to select quality products that touched a range of price points to serve a wide range of users.
- FDA registration: Each hearing aid is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical device.
- Technology: Each product uses a specific and targeted strategy for providing tinnitus relief.
- Battery use: We included devices that are rechargeable as well as those that use disposable batteries.
- Hearing aid types: We made selections that come in a variety of styles, including behind the ear and in the ear.
- Improve overall hearing: By improving the quality of external sound, hearing aids make the wearer less focused on the inner sounds caused by tinnitus.
- Maintain sensory perception and the ability to understand language: By restoring sound to the listener, hearing aids reduce auditory deprivation. This may also have a beneficial effect on the ability to process language.
- Mask tinnitus sounds that can be irritating: Some hearing aids provide tinnitus relief by introducing white noise or soothing sounds into the ear. This strategy is known as tinnitus masking. Tinnitus-masking sounds are sometimes built into hearing aids. They may also be programmed through an app connected to the hearing aids.
- Retrain the brain: Hearing aids and other types of sound therapy may also use a technique called habituation. Habituation uses external sound and other techniques to teach the brain to reclassify tinnitus sounds as unimportant. This makes it easier to ignore tinnitus sounds and focus on externally generated ones.
Even though there’s no cure for tinnitus, medical treatments and other tinnitus remedies can help provide relief. Some of these are focused on reducing anxiety and depression, such as talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Medication for anxiety and depression relief can also be beneficial.
Other remedies may include earwax removal, avoiding ototoxic medications (drugs that can cause tinnitus), and limiting alcohol, caffeine, and smoking.
The connection between tinnitus and hearing loss
Hearing loss may be a cause of tinnitus. If you have hearing loss, less external sound reaches your brain. This causes neuroplastic changes in the brain that affect the way it processes different sound frequencies.
In some people with hearing loss, the sounds caused by tinnitus may be the same frequency as the external sounds they can’t hear well. For example, if you have trouble hearing high-frequency sounds, the sounds caused by tinnitus may be high-pitched.
Hearing loss deprives the listener of external sound. This can amplify the sounds caused by tinnitus, such as:
The combination of hearing loss and tinnitus can make communication particularly challenging.
When choosing your own hearing aid for tinnitus, consider the following:
- Type/style: Obviously, you want to make sure the hearing aid will fit the shape of your ear and that it will be comfortable for you. Even if you’re pretty sure about the style that you prefer, try it out before purchasing, if possible. If trying it out isn’t possible, be sure that the hearing aid you choose offers a trial period in case you need to make a change later.
- Additional features: Even if the hearing aid options you’re considering will likely promise to feature technology that relieves tinnitus, keep a look out for any additional benefits they offer. These could include discreet design, water use, or specific app compatibility.
- Changes in price: Most hearing aids will give a general price range, but many final price points will depend on geography or who the vendor is. Take this into account when you’re establishing a budget and considering any additional treatment costs.
- Warranty: Coverage for your valuables is important — especially for something you’re investing in to give you some assistance. Consider what brands are offering regarding warranties for hearing aids and if you’re comfortable with the time window.
All hearing aids, including those that provide tinnitus relief, can be expensive. Unless you have an insurance policy that specifically covers hearing aids, they may not be covered by your provider.
These costs may vary by provider. In some instances, you may be able to pay for your hearing aids over time. You may also be able to pay for hearing aids with funds from a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).
Can hearing aids really help with tinnitus?
Hearing aids don’t cure hearing loss, but they do significantly restore the hearing ability for most people who use them. The same can be said for those using hearing aids to assist with tinnitus.
Your degree of hearing loss along with the fit and quality of your hearing aids will have an effect on the results.
Do I need to see a health professional to get a hearing aid for tinnitus?
It may not be a requirement, but if you’re new to hearing aids, it may be helpful to meet with a hearing professional, such as an audiologist, to determine the extent and type of hearing loss you have.
You can then use their advice to decide which hearing aids, prescription or nonprescription, will be best for you.
Can over-the-counter hearing aids help with tinnitus?
While OTC hearing aids can help people over 18 who have hearing loss, they aren’t specifically designed for tinnitus. For instance, OTC hearing aids may not come with a tinnitus sound generator feature such as white noise to help provide relief.
What sound is best for blocking tinnitus?
Besides managing tinnitus, what is another possible benefit of getting a hearing aid?
If you have hearing loss, hearing aids can significantly improve your quality of life. Hearing loss has been
If cost is an issue, keep in mind that more and more affordable hearing aids are coming onto the market.
Tinnitus is also referred to as ringing in the ears. It’s commonly associated with hearing loss.
Several hearing aids include special features that may alleviate tinnitus. These include masking sounds and apps that provide relaxation exercises.
Hearing aids for tinnitus come in a variety of styles. They can also be used for multiple hearing loss levels.
In addition to hearing aids that provide tinnitus relief, treatments for tinnitus include therapy like CBT and anxiety-relieving medication.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who specializes in health and wellness content. She has spent much of the last two decades educating people about infertility and family building options. Whelan is a science nerd, and her heroes span the gamut from Temple Grandin to her wonderful mom. She shares her life in Brooklyn, NY, with her all-grown-up, fascinating children and their wacky shelter dogs. Follow her on Twitter.