Hidden Hearing promises it will ‘always act in your best interest’ and provide ‘the best possible hearing device’. But do its customers agree? Find out below

Hearing aid

 

 

Hidden Hearing says it is ‘proud of our customer service’ and its advice is ‘of the highest quality.’ Do its customers agree? Hidden Hearing is one of the main hearing aid providers in the UK, with more than 80 centres. In our survey of its customers, Hidden Hearing achieved an overall customer score of 78%.

This places it in joint second place with Boots in our table. Independent companies were the highest rated, getting a customer score of 86%. Customers rated it excellent for thorough testing and its testing environment.

But they rated it as good on other measures including its staff (for example, their knowledge and professionalism) and attributes of its hearing aids such as comfort, appearance and product range. One customer said: ‘Now I have [Hidden Hearing] hearing aids, [they are] comfortable to wear. The audiologist took good care to get the best sound possible.’

But it is rated only OK (three stars) for its prices, including value for money. Only independents got a ‘good’ rating for this. Hidden Hearing is one of the companies that provides home visits, although it has more than 80 branches nationwide.

One in five of its customers in our survey had had a home visit – the highest percentage of any company.

See our table below to find out how Hidden Hearing performed in all areas.

Hidden Hearing hearing aids with  Customer star rating

Waiting times ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Testing environment ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Staff ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Thorough testing ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Product range ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Hearing aids appearance     ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Hearing aids comfort     ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Hearing aids suitability ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

After-care ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Price     £2,496

Sample size 49

Customer score 78%

Customers feeling pressured

Hidden Hearing has the highest level of reports of customers feeling under pressure to buy from the company. Three in ten Hidden Hearing customers reported that they felt either under some pressure, compared with nearly one in five on average across all providers.

And one in five Hidden Hearing customers said they felt under at least some pressure to buy a more expensive option out of a range of suggested solutions (this was 13% on average across all providers, but was also 16% for Boots). Perhaps most worryingly, nearly half felt under some pressure to take out the retailer’s insurance, compared to one in ten 11% across all providers.

One customer said: ‘The audiologist said what a great difference they [hearing aids] would make. Also suggested after two years, I needed to upgrade them to newer models.

Plugged insurance as well.’ We have advice on the right questions to ask to avoid any sales patter and make the right choice, including the pros and cons of buying a hearing aid privately. To find out how Hidden Hearing compares with other providers, visit our best hearing aid providers overview page.

Hidden Hearing hearing aid prices

Hidden Hearing customers have rated it average on price, including value for money. The average price paid by Which? members and other adults for a pair of hearing aids from Hidden Hearing was £2,496.

This is a bit less than the average spend (£2,558) across retailers for a pair of private hearing aids.  A quarter of Hidden Hearing customers paid between £2,500 and £2,999, and another one in five paid between £3,000 and £3,999. Obviously, price depends very much on your personal level of hearing loss and the sophistication of the aids you need.

Find out the average retailer prices for different levels and brands (the latest models) of hearing aid in our guide to hearing aid prices.  Hidden Hearing is the only one of the major chains not to publish its hearing aid prices online. It says:

‘The cost of hearing care is not widely known and we do not want to add to that confusion. We know that the true value of your problem cannot be assessed until you have had a professional hearing test.’

What brands are Hidden Hearing customers buying?

Hidden Hearing sells Oticon, Bernafon and Starkey hearing aids (the former two are brands owned by William Demant, which owns Hidden Hearing). It’s fairly typical for retailers to sell two or three brands. Of our Hidden Hearing respondents, 71% had Oticon Hearing aids.

Oticon is also one of the brands supplied by the NHS: 35% of our NHS hospital clients had Oticon hearing aids, and an average of 13% on average across all private companies.

Types of hearing aid

Although some people choose to go private to get types of hearing aid, you’re unlikely to get on the NHS – such as invisible hearing aids – four in 10 of Hidden Hearing customers bought behind-the-ear open-fit hearing aids, three in 10 bought receiver-in-the-ear/canal aids and one in seven bought behind-the-ear with earmould – see more about hearing aid types).