There are 5 main hearing aid companies in the world: Starkey, Siemens (Signia), Oticon, Phonak, and Resound. Each of these does have subsidiaries that have hearing instruments at a lower cost, but of the same quality. There are several other independent companies that are a good quality of hearing aids, generally less expensive due to fewer options.
There are several basic things to know when you go shopping around for new hearing aids. Most hearing aid specialist or audiologist will tell you that their product is the best and you should purchase the highest level of technology available. In my opinion, mid-range and lower range hearing aids are very good for most people. The fewer the options, the fewer breakdowns are possible over the lifetime of the hearing device, with longer battery life, custom to your personal lifestyle and are less expensive.
Before going to get a hearing evaluation, talk to your friends, family, even total strangers about their hearing aid experience with their hearing care provider. You will want to check with as many people as you can in order to get a better idea of the experience they have gotten. When having your hearing evaluated, there are some must ask questions. You will want to ask most or all of the following questions: