This crucial list to the best and worst hearing-aid providers is brought to you based on feedback from more than 1,500 previous clients who took part in our poll.
Making a number of critical decisions is required in order to acquire the appropriate hearing aids. Do you go through the private sector or the NHS? How much should you expect to pay, and in which stores will you have the best and worst experience? In order to get an idea of this, we asked hundreds of people who wear hearing aids about their experiences. The questions ranged from where they could get the greatest hearing tests and the largest selection of products to where they could find the best deal for their money. You may find out which hearing-aid providers rated the highest by looking at the tables that follow, and you can learn more about how to select a hearing aid by watching the video that we have provided.
The best provider of hearing aids
The findings of our poll indicate that local independent hearing-aid providers receive the highest ratings from their clients, with an amazing overall customer score of 86 percent. Scrivens, a high street retailer, comes in at the opposite end of the table with a score of 69 percent. The depth of the testing, as well as the staffing, was where local independents shined (including knowledge and professionalism). In addition, respondents to the survey applauded the company’s aftercare and price (including value for money), giving the company the top ratings in both categories. Boots Hearing Care and Hidden Hearing received the highest customer score, which was 78 percent, although Amplifon and Specsavers came close behind with scores of 77 percent and 74 percent respectively. Both Boots and Hidden Hearing were given ratings of three stars or above for all of the components of service that we questioned their customers about, and both obtained full marks of five stars for how thoroughly the testing was done as well as how the testing environment was set up.
NHS or private
Other high street businesses received ratings of either exceptional or good for their product selection, in contrast to Scrivens and Specsavers, which received just average ratings. However, it is essential to keep in mind that Scrivens and Specsavers are the only businesses that provide a service that is supported by the NHS to certain consumers who have been referred by their general practitioner or another health professional.
This programme is known as the Any Qualified Provider plan, and it suggests that Scrivens and Specsavers may be restricted in the services that they are legally permitted to provide to NHS consumers in comparison to those that they provide to private clients.
It is possible, for instance, that privately paying consumers would be presented with alternative designs of hearing aids; nonetheless, these hearing aids will be manufactured by the same major companies as those presented to NHS paying customers, such as Phonak and Signia. It is possible that this played a role in the ratings that NHS customers of Scrivens and Specsavers gave to those companies in categories such as product range, hearing aid appearance, and suitability.
What sets hearing aid retailers apart from one another?
Customers gave excellent ratings to independent hearing aid retailers in terms of price, despite the fact that they were the most expensive. More than half of respondents (54 percent) paid between $3,000 and $6,000 for a pair of hearing aids, which rather proves the point that getting a good deal isn’t the only way to get value for your money. This contrasts with the clients of Specsavers, of whom just under half (48 percent) paid between one pound and two thousand pounds. Because we did not receive enough responses, we are unable to provide an average price paid for Scrivens; however, it is important to note that their pricing were the lowest on average in our 2018 poll.
It is simple to glance at the first pricing and use it to compare brands, but you should investigate more in order to establish a comparison that is accurate. Hearing-aid vendors are include things like aftercare and what they include on an ongoing basis in their products, and rolling those costs into their headline pricing. The duration of the risk-free trial period and the satisfaction guarantee, as well as the availability of free batteries and wax traps, might vary greatly from one company to the next. By placing the offerings of each shop side by side, we have made it easy for you to examine the factors that really go into determining the cost of hearing aids.
How much does it cost to buy a hearing aid?
Hearing aids can be purchased for as low as one hundred pounds, but the vast majority of people who buy them privately spend substantially more than that. According to the results of our poll, the typical cost of purchasing a pair of hearing aids was £2,558. Instead of only getting one hearing aid, most people opt to have two. The members of Which? said that the price of a pair of hearing aids purchased from Specsavers was the lowest overall average price. Customers who purchased their hearing aids from Specsavers were, however, more likely to report issues with their devices than customers who purchased their hearing aids from other retailers. When purchasing hearing aids from an independent retailer or one that is part of a small chain, the highest average price spent was £3,145. Other retailers’ average prices for a pair of hearing aids were as follows: £1,850 at Specsavers, £2,496 at Hidden Hearing, £3,037 at Amplifon, and £2,509 at Boots. In our guide to hearing-aid prices, you will find information on the prices that you should anticipate paying for the most recent hearing aids, including brands such as Oticon, Signia, Specsavers Advance, and Phonak, as well as for hearing aids that fall into the basic, mid-range, and high-end price categories.
Why does it matter which store I go to to get my hearing aid?
It is essential to select a reliable retailer if you want to enhance the likelihood of having a hearing aid that is tailored specifically to your needs. Since only a small number of companies produce the vast majority of hearing aids, the quality of an individual device is not typically what differentiates a good hearing aid from a poor one. It is the professional fit and service provided by the supplier that are more important than anything else. It may take some time to properly install and adjust a hearing aid so that it enables you to hear as well as possible with its assistance.
In the absence of a professional and attentive fitting service, you run the risk of becoming frustrated, giving up on your assistance, and storing it away in the back of a drawer for all time. The majority of those who use hearing aids do so on a daily basis (78 percent), while another 11 percent wear their aids anywhere from two to five times a week.
On the subject of the hearing aids themselves, the providers of hearing aids received varying ratings. Customers of Scrivens and Specsavers gave an average rating to the store in terms of the selection of hearing aids offered, the appearance of the store, the comfort of the hearing aids, and the individual’s compatibility for the hearing aids.
On each of these metrics, other retailers scored either well or exceptionally well. In addition to serving customers who pay for their hearing aids privately, Scrivens and Specsavers also serve customers who are covered by the National Health Service (NHS), for whom they can only provide a predetermined selection of hearing aids. If you believe you would benefit from wearing a hearing aid, take a look at our buying a hearing aid guide to learn more about the factors you should think about.
Will you be put under pressure?
However, this varied considerably between providers, with the largest differences occurring between Hidden Hearing review and local independents. Nearly one in five customers of private hearing-aid retailers felt under some pressure to buy from that retailer, and one in seven customers chose a more expensive option that was recommended. For instance, just under a third of customers who shopped at Hidden Hearing (29 percent) reported feeling pressured to make a purchase from that retailer, but just one in ten customers who shopped at independent retailers (11 percent) did so.
Even though there have been more reports of high-pressure sales tactics in some other markets, like the stairlift industry, it is essential that no customers are put under any kind of pressure, and that you are allowed to take as much time as you need to investigate and select such significant products.