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Starkey Hearing Aids Review: Cost, Features, Models in 2021

Updated for November, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Starkey hearing aids address all levels of hearing loss, from mild to profound
  • Every hearing aid style is available, from behind-the-ear to invisible-in-the-ear
  • Battery operated and Starkey rechargeable hearing aids options to choose between
  • Starkey hearing aids range in technology level from low to high
  • They feature Bluetooth connectivity and streaming from Apple and Android devices
  • Some hearing aids provide fall alerts to your chosen contacts
  • Starkey hearing aids are not available online. Starkey provides a localized list of hearing aid providers and audiologists you can
  • choose from based on zip code
  • Starkey hearing aids can be sold as a pair or separately
  • Each hearing aid provides amplification or masking for tinnitus relief
  • Starkey hearing aids can be more expensive than other brands.
  • Since they’re sold locally by providers, their costs vary

Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review

Each product we review and recommend has been thoroughly researched. Our review team has interviewed experts in the field, including audiologists and geriatric care professionals. We mystery shop brands and evaluate verified customer reviews from reputable third parties, including Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.

Why Starkey Is One of Our Top Picks

We decided Starkey hearing aids were worth an in-depth review because the hearing devices address all levels of hearing loss, from mild to profound. They aren’t available online, so you have to visit a local audiologist or hearing clinic.

Depending on your hearing needs and preferences, Starkey hearing aids could be the best fit for you, especially if you are looking for a model that works efficiently with Android devices as well as Apple phones and tablets. If fall alerts to inform chosen contacts of a potential medical emergency is a priority for your next hearing aid purchase, you may want to consider Starkey.

Pros and Cons of Starkey Hearing Aids

Pros

  • Starkey hearing aids are sold across the country by many hearing aid professionals and providers.
  • Hearing aids of various technology levels are available, from simple to sophisticated.
  • Every hearing aid type is available, including behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-ear, and invisible-in-the-canal.
  • Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream phone calls, music, and television.
  • Some hearing aids provide fall alerts to your chosen contacts.
  • Activity and social engagement monitoring is available in some devices.
  • Every hearing aid offers tinnitus relief options.
  • Hearing aids have a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Starkey hearing aids can’t be purchased online.
  • They’re more expensive than many comparable hearing aid brands.
  • Since they’re sold by providers, their cost may vary and reflect regional differences.
  • Customer service is also varied since it is determined largely by the provider you get your hearing aids from.

Compare Starkey Hearing Aids at a Glance

Features Picasso Livio Livio AI Livio Edge AI Evolv AI
Cost (may vary; based on MSRP) $2,500–$6,500 per ear $3,000 –$7,300 per ear $3,000–$7,300 per ear $3,000–$7,300 per ear $7,000–$7,500 per ear
Type of hearing aid custom fit invisible-in-the-canal (IIC), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE) Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC) Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC) Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC) Behind-the-ear (BTE), invisible-in-canal (IIC), completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE), receiver-in-canal (RIC)
Type of hearing loss Mild to profound Mild to profound Mild to profound Mild to profound Mild to profound
Rechargeable battery
Bluetooth streaming
Customization
Water-resistant (not waterproof)
Telecoil Some Models Some Models Some Models Some Models
Directional microphones except for CIC and IIC except for CIC and IIC
Noise reduction
Processing channels

Starkey Models Offered

Starkey Picasso

Starkey Picasso
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Starkey Picasso
  • Cost: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges from $2,500 to $6,500 per ear
  • Type of Hearing Aid: Custom-fit invisible-in-the-canal (IIC), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Rechargeable Battery: No
  • Bluetooth Streaming: Yes

Picasso hearing aids are very small and discreet. The size of your ear canal and type of hearing loss you have will determine which type of Picasso hearing aid will work best for you.

Picasso hearing aids are sold as single devices and can be programmed to address one-sided hearing loss. They’re feedback-free, distortion-free, and provide clear, crisp sound. If you have tinnitus (ringing in the ears), customizable amplification settings can help mask tinnitus sounds.

The Picasso line is compatible with Starkey’s Surflink accessories. You can use them to stream phone calls and media (including podcasts, music, and television) from your smartphone to your hearing aids.

They come with a 30-day, risk-free trial and manufacturer’s warranty.

Starkey Livio

Starkey Livio
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Starkey Livio
  • Cost: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges from $3,000 to $7,300 per ear
  • Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Rechargeable Battery: Yes
  • Bluetooth Streaming: Yes

Livio hearing aids are designed to provide crystal-clear hearing and natural sound quality in all types of environments, including noisy rooms. Livio also has an adaptive car mode which automatically reduces distracting car noise.

You can stream phone calls, music, and TV directly to your hearing aids via Bluetooth from Android and Apple devices.

Livio syncs to the Starkey Thrive Hearing Control app, which you can use to remotely switch hearing environments as well as control volume. You can also program and save specific hearing environments directly into your hearing aids from the app. The app has Siri integration, so you can hear texts and emails through your hearing aids.

All Livio hearing aids can be used for one-sided hearing loss and tinnitus relief.

Starkey Livio AI

Starkey Livio AI
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Starkey Livio AI
  • Cost: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges from $3,000 to $7,300 per ear
  • Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Rechargeable Battery: Yes
  • Bluetooth Streaming: Yes

Livio AI provides all the benefits of Livio hearing aids, plus it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically adapt to your surroundings.

A new feature, Mask Mode, makes the human voice clearer, even when the speaker is wearing a mask.

These hearing aids have embedded sensors that monitor body and brain health by tracking steps and activity level. They also measure your listening time during social engagement activities.

Livio AI hearing aids feature tap control, plus they have a built-in fall alert system that lets your chosen contacts know that you may require medical support.

They come with a 30-day, risk-free trial and manufacturer’s warranty.

Starkey Livio Edge AI

Starkey Livio Edge AI
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Starkey Livio Edge AI
  • Cost: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges from $3,000 to $7,300 per ear
  • Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (IIE), in-the-canal (ITC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Rechargeable Battery: Yes
  • Bluetooth Streaming: Yes

Livio AI Edge provides all the benefits of Livio and Livio AI hearing aids, plus it has Edge Mode, a higher technology level. Edge Mode is a program designed to mitigate background noise in extremely noisy environments.

Other additional features include Multiflex Tinnitus Masker, a program that can be customized to reduce the impact of tinnitus sounds according to your specific preferences.

Livio Edge AI hearing aids also translate 27 languages into the language of your choice, in real time.
They come with a 30-day, risk-free trial and manufacturer’s warranty.

Starkey Livio Evolv AI

Starkey Livio Evolv AI
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Starkey Livio Evolv AI
  • Cost: Manufacturer’s suggested retail price ranges from $7,000 to $7,500 per
    ear
  • Type of Hearing Aid: Behind-the-ear (BTE), invisible-in-canal (IIC), completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE), receiver-in-canal (RIC)
  • Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to profound
  • Rechargeable Battery: Yes
  • Bluetooth Streaming: Yes

The newest line of Starkey smartphone-connected hearing aids delivers the clearest, most defined sound of all their offerings. According to Starkey, Evolv AI hearing aids make 55 million personalized adjustments automatically each hour and have a 40 percent reduction in noise input over their earlier models. These devices are designed to provide an effortless experience and natural, realistic sound in all types of listening environments.

These hearing aids have superior connectivity to Android devices than earlier Starkey models.

They feature telehealth tracking for fitness, social engagement, and fall alerts.

They can be programmed for daily, weekly, monthly, or annual reminders.

They can also be programmed to connect to two apps: Thrive and Thrive Care. This enables the contacts of your choice to be kept in the loop about your social engagement, physical activity, fall alerts, and hearing aid usage.

They come with a 30-day, risk-free trial and manufacturer’s warranty.

Starkey Hearing Aids Review: How Much Do Starkey Hearing Aids Cost?

Starkey hearing aids range from $2,500 to $7,500 per ear, based upon the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. These costs vary from supplier to supplier and may reflect regional variations. You may also find Starkey hearing aids from discount providers, such as Yes Hearing.

Starkey doesn’t offer direct-from-the-manufacturer financing, but monthly financing and payment plans may be available from your provider.

Most health insurance plans don’t cover hearing aids. However, if you have health insurance that covers hearing care, you may have full or partial coverage for Starkey hearing aids.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover hearing aids, though many Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans do offer this benefit. Check with your plan provider to be sure.

You can use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) for hearing aids.

The Starkey App and Accessories

Starkey’s Thrive Hearing Control app is available for Apple and Android devices. The app lets you switch memories and adjust your hearing aid volume, and it includes activity and social-engagement-time tracking.

Other features include language translation, reminders, fall alerts, Find My Phone, and mask mode, which helps you better discern speech when someone is wearing a mask.

Through the app’s Telehear feature, your hearing aids can be adjusted remotely by a Starkey hearing professional.

Starkey wireless accessories include the Surflink line of remote devices for use with Picasso hearing aids, and other wireless accessories that can be used with the Livio line and Evolv AI. They include:

  • Remote microphone and mini remote microphone
  • Surflink remote control
  • Surflink Media 2
  • TV streamer
  • Standard, custom, and mini-turbo chargers

Starkey Hearing Aids Customization

Customization capability varies for Starkey hearing aids, based on the model you have.

Picasso hearing aids can be customized for volume and memory through the Surflink remote, which can also be used for streaming.

Most Starkey hearing aids can be customized through the Thrive Hearing Control app, which lets you remotely adjust volume, hearing environments, and memories. Adjustments can also be made through the app by Starkey hearing professionals.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

Starkey gets high marks for customer service and satisfaction at Trustpilot, where the company has a 62 percent excellent rating and 3.5 stars out of 5. Starkey also has an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, on BBB, Starkey has a 1- out of 5-star customer review rating, but this is based on only one review.

Comparing Starkey to Other Brands

Brand Cost Types of Hearing Aids Hearing Loss
Starkey Varies by seller and services provided, the MSRP range is from $2,500–$7,500 per device Invisible-in-canal, in-canal, completely-in-the-canal, in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-canal Mild to profound
Phonak Varies by seller, range from $1,550–$4,450 Behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, in-the-ear, custom-shell Mild to profound
Oticon Varies by seller, lowest cost is $1,599 Behind-the-ear Mild to profound
Widex Varies by seller, lowest cost is $2,798 In-the-ear, behind-the-ear Mild to profound

What to Consider Before Buying Hearing Aids

Approximately 80 percent of all hearing loss can be corrected with hearing aids. Sadly, however, only one in four people who would benefit from hearing aids use them.

Starkey hearing aids cover all levels of hearing loss, from mild to profound. Since the company requires an audiologist’s exam, you can be assured you will be directed toward the type of hearing aid that is best for your level of hearing loss.

According to the American Tinnitus Association, over 50 million Americans have tinnitus. Tinnitus, which is sometimes referred to as ringing in the ears, often accompanies or precedes hearing loss. If you have tinnitus, the hearing aids you choose can help reduce its impact.

Budget and Cost Reduction

Budget is also a factor to consider when shopping for hearing aids. Though hearing aids can be expensive, if you shop around, you may be able to find the best hearing aids that you want at a reduced price. Another way to reduce cost is to choose hearing aids that are less technologically advanced. You can get great hearing from a pair of hearing aids that don’t offer the bells and whistles, such as transcription, media streaming, or language translation. By eliminating some of the extras, you may be able to bring your cost down to an affordable level.

If you have Medicare, take advantage of Open Enrollment periods when you can find a Part C plan that covers hearing aids. Even if your new plan has a monthly premium, you may still wind up paying less out of pocket for hearing aids than you would with Original Medicare. Open Enrollment takes place annually from October 15 to December 7.

Starkey Hearing Aid Customer Reviews

“Wonderful people and so helpful, they go above and beyond. Thank you for being so kind and understanding to my 88 year old dad.”
—Jacqueline McAuley, verified review (Trustpilot.com)

“My experience with Starkey has been awesome as I have been using the Livio Edge hearing aids. Edge mode is REALLY essential when near a lot of background noise when walking near traffic or busy areas, as it makes it totally crystal clear when someone is walking next to you. I can finally hear my family when they talk to me, and my audiologist (Sonus) was extremely professional and very response. All around Positive experience.”
—Jonathan King, verified review (Trustpilot.com)

“My personal experience has been nothing but positive. When I was introduced to Starkey hearing aids I went in with a “wait and see attitude” because of feedback I had gotten from close friends. These friends had all purchased various brands of hearing aids which ended up in their night stand because of issues that bothered them enough to give up on the products that they paid a lot of money for. The main complaint was dealing with multiple sounds in social situations. With that said…… I personally have had no problems with any environment. The support and service I’ve received has made the transition to hearing again clean and simple. Because of the Covid situation I have not been around massive groups but I am not concerned because everything has gone so smoothly.”
—Ben Foster, verified review (Trustpilot.com)

How We Reviewed Starkey Hearing Aids

We assessed the value of Starkey hearing aids and whether or not they’re worth purchasing based on a number of factors, including:

  • Price
  • Audiologist care
  • Warranty and adjustments
  • Tech features
  • Comfort and fit
  • Durability

Bottom Line

Starkey produces a broad-based line of hearing aids that address all levels of hearing loss.

Since you must be examined and fitted for Starkey hearing aids by an audiologist, they’re a good choice for people who are new to hearing aids, and for those with a significant degree of hearing loss. They are also a very good choice for people with tinnitus.

Starkey hearing aids can be more expensive than some other brands, but they offer a wide range of technological advances, including health and socialization tracking, and fall alerts.

Frequently Asked Questions about Starkey Hearing Aids

How much do Starkey hearing aids cost?

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for Starkey hearing aids ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 per ear across their entire line of products. However, you may be able to purchase Starkey hearing aids at a significant discount from online providers such as Yes Hearing.

What is the most powerful Starkey model?

Starkey’s latest hearing aid addition, Evolv AI, is the brand’s most technologically advanced and powerful model.

Are Starkey hearing aids Bluetooth compatible?

Yes. Starkey hearing aids range in technology level from low to high, so you can find a hearing device that has the bells and whistles you’re looking for, including Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. You can also find Starkey models that allow you to stream from Apple and Android devices, which is a huge perk for a lot of people.

Resources

Brandi, Starkey helpline operator. Online chat interview. November 11, 2021.
Chris, Yes hearing helpline operator. Telephone interview. November 11, 2021.
Cory, Starkey helpline operator. Telephone interview. November 10, 2021.
Hearing loss and tinnitus statistics. (n.d.). https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/hearing-loss-tinnitus-statistics
Rosie, Starkey helpline operator. Telephone interview. November 11, 2021
The hidden risks of hearing loss. (n.d.). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
Understanding the facts. (n.d.). https://www.ata.org/understanding-facts
Wes Christ, Starkey helpline operator. Telephone interview. November 10, 2021