Best Hearing Aids

What are the best hearing aids brands 2017?

Clinic Compare has researched customer opinion to collate information about the best hearing aids manufacturers. The six leading manufacturers are: Starkey, Siemens, ReSound, William Demant Holding, Sonova and Widex.

Hearing aids manufacturer Who are they?
Starkey Starkey Hearing Technologies are focused on creating innovative hearing products and developed the first invisible in the canal hearing aid.
Siemens Siemens Hearing Aids is part of Singaporean company, Sivantos Group, that provides hearing instruments and services including wireless technology.
ReSound ReSound was founded in 1943 and now make hearing aids that innovate with smart technology, including device connectivity and apps.
William Demant Holding William Demant Holding was founded in 1904 and owns hearing aid brands such as Oticon, Bernafon and Sonic.
Sonova The manufacturer behind hearing aid brands such as Phonak and Unitron, Sonova focuses on creating innovative hearing care solutions.
Widex Widex is headquartered in Denmark and specialises in wireless and discreet hearing aid solutions for both adults and children.

From our findings, these hearing aid manufacturers have received high customer satisfaction ratings due to the quality, durability and reliability of their hearing aids. Because of this, we recommend you buy a hearing aid produced by one of these six manufacturers. It is important to note that all leading hearing aid retailers stock hearing aids made by these manufacturers.

Who are the best hearing aid retailers 2017?

The best nationwide hearing aid retailers are: Bloom, Amplifon, Hidden Hearing, Boots, Specsavers and Scrivens. Clinic Compare has collated information on the number of stores and range of hearing aid brands supplied at each retailer.

Hearing aids retailer Number of stores Brands they supply
Bloom 32
  • Starkey
  • Widex
Amplifon 132
  • ReSound
  • Phonak
  • Widex
Hidden Hearing 84
  • Starkey
  • Siemens
  • ReSound
  • Oticon
  • Widex
  • Bernafon
Boots 490
  • Starkey
  • Phonak
  • Widex
  • Unitron
Specsavers 400
  • Siemens
  • Phonak
  • Widex
  • Advance
Scrivens 175
  • Starkey
  • Bernafon

Review of the best hearing aid retailers

Based on customer reviews, these hearing aids retailers have all been highly recommended on the basis of their facilities, the quality and range of hearing aids they supply, their prices, and their customer service. They also offer industry-leading warranties from 1 year up to 5 years, and money-back guaranties from 30 days up to 90 days for their hearing aids. All have nationwide coverage meaning you won't have to travel far to get to a store, whist some even offer home appointments if it is difficult for you to travel. You should ask the retailer whether this is a service that they provide.

There is also the option of receiving hearing aids from a local independent retailer. There are around 500 independent hearing aid retailers operating throughout the UK, which typically offer the full range of hearing aid types from the leading hearing aid manufacturers. Customer reviews have rated independent retailers as highly as nationwide retailers on their facilities, customer service and prices.

What are the best hearing aids?

Clinic Compare has researched customer review and industry expert opinion to gather a list of the top five highly rated hearing aids available across a range of fitting types.

Hearing aid model Type Manufacturer Pros Hearing aid retailer
  • Receiver in-the-canal (RIC)
  • Clear sound
  • Good with background noise
  • Hidden Hearing
Linx2 9
  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • Completely in-the-canal (CIC)
  • Invisible in-the-ear (IIC)
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Full range of type
  • Amplifon
Soundlens Synergy
  • Invisible in-the-canal (IIC)
  • Complete wireless capabilities
  • Hidden Hearing
Unique 440
  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • Wireless technology
  • Bloom
  • Boots
  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • Completely in-the-canal (CIC)
  • Good value for money
  • Boots

This table provides a full spectrum of fitting types, for example those that sit behind the ear, in the ear, in the canal itself or completely hidden. The above hearing aids that have rated well mainly seem to deal with background noise and with wireless and smartphone capabilities.

Why does it matter where I get my hearing aid from?

hearing aid prices audiologist

Your hearing is hugely important to your quality of life and therefore giving it the respect it needs by getting your hearing aid from a trusted retailer is absolutely vital.

In many ways, choosing the right retailer is more important than your choice of hearing aid manufacturer. Especially if you wear a hearing aid all the time and need regular contact with your hearing dispenser.

You want to choose a retailer that you feel you can build an ongoing relationship with that you can trust to point you in the right direction. A hearing aid dispenser should provide you with clear recommendations so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

They should be able to answer all your questions and offer guidance during your appointments with you. They should also be there to offer support if you experience any problems with the fitting or sound of your hearing aid.

Could you benefit from a Hearing Aid? Click your age below to find out!

What should I consider when choosing a private audiologist?

An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing and treating hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. Their work involves a variety of assessment techniques and advising on treatment methods such as hearing aids.

Audiologists will have specific training in all hearing related matters including a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser (RHAD) accreditation.

When you are researching and looking for a private audiologist to consult you on your hearing loss and recommend the right hearing aid for you, it’s important to ask these questions:

  • Do they receive any financial incentives to fit any particular brand? You want an impartial and professional opinion rather than being swayed into choosing a hearing aid that only has financial benefit to them.

  • Are they RHAD accredited? The law dictates that all hearing aid dispensers must be fully qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Check the audiologist has the letters RHAD after their name.

  • Do they have a long-standing reputation and good reviews? Established audiologists that have solid experience in the field as well as those that come by personal recommendation are worth considering.

  • Is it easy to get appointment and do they offer follow-ups? Check how the consultations are organised. Will they continue to stay in touch after the first appointment?

  • Are they local and easy to get to? Finding an audiologist that is accessible to you will make life easier when it comes to follow-ups.

  • Do you feel like you could build a long-term relationship with them? Wearing hearing aids are a long-term solution and therefore you will need to assess whether you feel your audiologist is the right fit for you.

How to receive hearing aids from a private retailer

Many people in the UK opt to receive their hearing aids from a private retailer rather than waiting for a referral from a GP. This means that you can select a retailer yourself and benefit from their advice and consultation.

The process will begin with a hearing test by a registered hearing aid dispenser. Some private retailers offer a free hearing test whilst others will charge you depending on the level of the diagnostic procedure.

In addition to a hearing test you will also be asked questions related to your medical history along with an examination of your ear canal and ear drum to give the hearing aid dispenser the best overview of your hearing level.

Once this full assessment is complete, the results will be explained to you in full detail as well as an initial consultation about the next steps.

For hearing loss causes such as old age or damage caused by exposure to loud noise, you can be recommended a hearing aid to try directly after the test has finished. If the hearing aid dispenser believes your hearing loss to be caused by a medical issue such as infection, buildup of earwax or tinnitus, they will advise you to first visit your GP.

You will receive advice and recommendations on which hearing aid to choose that suits your budget and hearing loss type. Private hearing aids can range from between £395 to £3,495 and vary in spec. You can read our page on hearing aid prices for additional information and guidance.

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