Beltone was founded in 1940 in Chicago where they used to develop and manufacture their own hearing aids. In 2000, however, the company was purchased by Great Nordic (GN) Hearing Group, the same company that owns ReSound among other hearing aid manufacturers. Beltone continues to be a very strong retail hearing aid brand worldwide with their strongest presence being in North America. Beltone has benefited from the Research and Development (R & D) that is available through ReSound and continues to be one of the most popular hearing aids in North America where they are still headquartered. The following is a review and description of Beltone hearing aids along with an overview of each of the models that Beltone has on the market right now.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Beltone is one of the most well-known hearing aid companies that got its start in America though the merger with GN took some of their business out of the country. Beltone offers a wide variety of styles and four models of hearing aids and they have an option for any level of hearing loss from mild to profound. There are over 1,500 Beltone hearing centers in America and each one has a hearing healthcare professional to help lead you through the process of purchasing a hearing aid. The company refers to the service that you receive after your purchase as “Belcare” with the promise that from your first screening until you are no longer a customer, a Beltone hearing care professional will be with you. Along with the service and name that Beltone has established over the years, they also offer a high quality hearing aid with many of today’s best features including Bluetooth technology, made-for-iPhone models, dedicated apps, top-line accessories, and features designed to give you the best listening experience possible.
- Beltone is one of the most recognizable names in the hearing aid market in America.
- The 2000 merger with GN gave Beltone access to additional technology and R&D while allowing them to operate as primarily a separate company.
- High quality apps available to control your hearing aids and more.
- The company has been around for a long time with a great reputation, especially in North America.
- An app devoted to tinnitus treatment.
- The Beltone Ultra Boost is a great option for people suffering from profound hearing loss.
- A free online hearing screening on the website.
- Personalized hearing experiences either automatically or through predetermined settings.
- Rechargeable options for those who do not want to change their batteries.
- Behind-The-Ear (BTE), Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC), and custom hearing aids available.
- You are limited to Beltone specialists which means that not every audiologist even has access to Beltone hearing aids.
- An expensive option.
- Other hearing aid brands are more easily available for purchase with the same technology and features as Beltone.
Features & Benefits Of Each Model
The Beltone Imagine contains the brands highest and best technology. The Imagine model comes in the RIC style and contains the most customizable listening experience that Beltone offers. There is a third microphone, as compared to the normal two microphones on the device that sits behind your ear, integrated into the speaker that rests in your ear canal. This allows you even better directionality while also using the shape and size of your ear to personalize the listening experience. The Imagine is compatible with the HearMax smartphone app and are made-for-iPhone devices so that streaming from Apple products is direct and easy. The Imagine is rechargeable and a fully charged battery lasts at least 20 hours even with streaming. The Imagine gives you the best speech clarity, least amount of noise, and a very natural listening experience.
The Beltone Amaze was built on the ReSound Lynx platform and has some similarities to the Lynx Quattro. The Amaze was introduced in 2018 and is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. While the Imagine is only found in the RIC style, you can purchase the Amaze can be found in any style Beltone makes including their custom hearing aids that are virtually imperceptible. You also get direct streaming to your iPhone or Apple products and most Android products as well. You also have access to the HearMax app. The Amaze also comes with the same rechargeable options found in the Imagine line of hearing aids. While they do not have the same speech clarity and directionality that you find in the Imagine, they are not far behind and the sound quality is excellent. The Amaze is right behind the Imagine in terms of features, but the ability to choose different styles is something that many hearing aid wearers desire.
The Beltone Rely is the most budget-friendly line of hearing aids that the brand offers, but they are also full of features and give you great sound quality. They are comfortable hearing aids with styles ranging from the almost invisible Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC) to larger and more noticeable BTE models. There is really something for everyone, and while the Rely does not have the same level of technology found in other Beltone brands, the speech clarity is good, there are rechargeable options, and you get direct streaming from compatible smartphones. You also have access to the HearMax app as well as an extra layer of water resistance.
- Boost Ultra
The Beltone Boost Ultra was developed for those who suffer from severe to profound hearing loss. It is the most powerful Beltone hearing aid with the highest amplification. The Boost Ultra is a BTE hearing aid with five different, skin-toned colors to make them as discreet as possible. The processing chip is faster than ever and provides you with great speech clarity and a personalized listening experience even with profound hearing loss. There is a “Tinnitus Breaker” built directly into the device and you have access to the HearMax app.
Design/Type of Hearing Aid
There is a Beltone hearing aid in any style you could want and for any level of hearing loss that you have. If you are looking for an invisible hearing aid that fits comfortably in your ear canal and is custom fit for you, there are CIC and other ITE style hearing aids available. If you care more about the strength, power, and features in a hearing aid then there are some RIC and BTE models that are extremely powerful while being a little more noticeable. Beltone also makes hearing aids for every level of hearing loss from the most mild of cases to the most profound.
Fit and Wearability
There are a lot of custom fit options available with Beltone hearing aids. Most of the ITE options they have include custom fitting by an audiologist or a Beltone hearing care specialist. Even the RIC hearing aids can come with a custom fitted earmold for the receiver to be housed in. Their RIC and other BTE models are also comfortable devices that feature an array of skin-toned colors to make them discreet. Most of them are small and lightweight to increase the comfort as well.
With rechargeable and disposable options, you can find a Beltone hearing aid that suits your needs. From the Rely which features up to 30 hours on a single charge, to the Imagine which gives you at least 20 hours with streaming time included, there are rechargeable options with every model and at every price point. If you prefer disposable batteries so that you do not have to think about constantly charging batteries, there are also disposable batteries available at most price points and with most models.
- Sound quality
Cross-Link Directionality 3 is available in the Beltone Imagine. This feature constantly monitors all of the sound in your environment and uses three microphones to pinpoint the direction of the sound. This allows the device to give you the sound that is most important to you while taking away background and ambient noise. While this same level of directionality is not offered in other devices, the effective Cross-Link Directionality 2 is and offers some of the same features.
Because of the high-quality nature of Beltone products, the adaptability of their hearing aids tend to be one of their strengths. Especially with the custom-fit ear molds, Beltone hearing aids are small and comfortable enough that you can even forget about them once you get used to them. There is also remote care available so that you can get help adjusting your hearing aids without stepping foot in an office.
- Noise cancellation
The Ultra Focus feature that Beltone offers both fine-tunes speech clarity and cancels out noise in loud environments so you can hear what is important to you with fewer distractions.
You get streaming features with every level of Beltone hearing aid, and all four models connect directly to your iPhone. The Imagine and Amaze models connect equally well with Android devices. The sound quality is great, and you can even stream audio from your television, stereo, or any other Bluetooth enabled device.
- myPAL Micro and Pro
This is a small microphone that you give to the person that you want to hear and converse with. People with hearing aids can have trouble hearing and understanding people unless they are face-to-face. When they are holding this microphone, their voice is sent directly to your device.
- TV Link 2
You can connect this device to your television or other audio device and it sends the sound directly to your hearing aids. When the TV Link 2 is connected you can adjust the volume on just your device while everyone else continues to listen at their volume. It is a great way to enjoy television programming while also conversing with friends.
- Remote Control 2
You can directly control your hearing aid with this accessory just like you can with one of the smartphone apps. You can adjust the volume in one or both hearing aids, change programs, or easily switch between streaming devices. It is small enough to be discreet while being thorough enough to give you complete control over your hearing aids.
- Phone Link 2
When this accessory is being used, you can hear your phone ring on your device as well as having access to hands-free phone calls.
Unique Perks and Features
Many Beltone hearing aids give you Bluetooth connectivity to any iPhone or Android product. These direct connections can give you hands-free calling, stereo-quality streaming, and the ability to connect to almost any Bluetooth-enabled electronic device.
- HearMax Smartphone App
The HearMax smartphone app is very easy to use and intuitive as well as being discreet. You can control the volume, change the settings, and even gives you a “speech focus” function that helps you listen to a conversation easier. It connects to almost any smartphone or even your Apple watch. Most people take their phones with them wherever they go, and this is a way to control your hearing aids in the palm of your hand with a device you would have with you anyway. There is also a “Sound Enhancer” button that cuts down on wind and background noise.
- Hear Plus App
You can download the Hear Plus app from the Apple app store or Google Play and you can gain control of your hearing aids in a simple and intuitive way.
- Tinnitus Calmer App
This app offers a combination of sound therapy and relaxing exercises to calm tinnitus. This app is available through Apple or Google play and is a great way to relax and focus when a tinnitus flare up occurs.
Belcare “Hearing Care”
With the purchase of a Beltone hearing aid, you receive “Belcare” from the over 1,500 Beltone locations in America. This is a hearing care system that you receive for the life of each hearing aid that you purchase from Beltone. There are 12 stated benefits that come with Belcare as follows:
- Annual Hearing Consultation
- Lifetime Care
- 30-day Refund Policy
- Dedicated Phone Line for Patient Care
- 2-year Protection for Change in Hearing Loss
- Manufacturer’s Warranty
- “Lost, Stolen, Damaged” Coverage
- A Method For Establishing Expectations
- Followup To Make Sure You Are Adapting
- Minimum Hearing Loss Requirement To Receive Hearing Aids
- Quality Control Reviews
- Verification That You Are Hearing Better
With four different models to choose from and numerous styles, the cost of a Beltone hearing aid depends a lot on the options that you choose. The Rely line of hearing aids are the budget option and can be found for around $1,500 while the Imagine model of hearing aids can be $3,500 or more. The cost also depends on the level of care you need both before and after the purchase as well as the accessories you desire.
- How much do Beltone Amaze hearing aids cost?
The Beltone Amaze hearing aids start at around $2,500 but the price does fluctuate depending on the style and care that you receive. The Amaze hearing aids are a popular option and about middle of the road in terms of price for Beltone hearing aids.
- What are the best hearing aids on the market?
Beltone makes an excellent hearing aid, and the Imagine model is one of the best in terms of features and technology. There is not an objectively best hearing aid on the market, but each of the best known brands have at least one that stands out. The Beltone Imagine line of hearing aids is the flagship product for Beltone and compares favorably to many of the high end devices on the market.
- What type of hearing aids does Beltone offer?
Beltone offers the Imagine, Amaze, Rely, and Ultra Boost hearing aids. Each one has specific features and levels of technology with the Ultra Boost being the power hearing aid, Rely is the budget friendly option, and the Imagine and Amaze are focused on providing the best features and technology available.
- Who makes Beltone hearing aids?
For a long time Beltone designed and manufactured their own hearing aids in their Chicago base. In 2000, the company joined GN, the makers of ReSound hearing aids, and have since transferred much of their production overseas. GN provides Beltone with additional R & D while Beltone’s reputation has opened up the American market to GN more than any of their other offerings.
The Beltone name is synonymous with quality in America. You can find a Beltone hearing aid at numerous price points, multiple styles, and a wide array of colors. There are over 1,500 Beltone hearing care specialists across America so that they are easy to find. They also offer remote care at any time after you purchase your Beltone hearing aids. They are on the expensive side, but the features and technology make them worth the price.