How we review hearing aids

Independent private ‘hearing aid dispenser’ (HCPC registered). This is the protected name qualification required in the UK to be able to ‘sell’ or prescribe hearing aids. There is a general habit of ‘us’ describing ourselves as AUDIOLOGISTS. I am personally ok with this term, even though it is primarily used to describe an NHS trained person who measures hearing. It is not a protected term, and describes a person concerned with the measurement and understanding of hearing levels.

It is regrettable that the qualifications required are often over-stated.  So I am seeing terms such as consultant audiologist, cerumenologist and consultant which must be an attempt to overstate our qualifications?

The skill required to program a hearing aid is extremely minimal. The labour required to explain outcome expectations, the rehabilitation period, how to use hearing aids; and the servicing needed after purchase is where all the value is be gained. So our job is all to do with HARD WORK, PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE and being part of an organised business that is capable of actually providing the long term package included in the price.

It’s a tough job providing products that most people don’t want to face up to getting in the first place, and meeting people’s expectations of how they should hear in background noise, which are often, frankly, not met.

So, there is a lot of hype and ‘sales’/ overly optimistic language used when discussing private hearing aids (see an example below). This is as a result of the high level of consumer scepticism and doubt, the NHS hearing aid availability, the difficulty in defining how well a person actually hears (it’s very individual and opinion-driven) and the low level of training required to become a private hearing aid dispenser.

You need to approach this subject with great CARE, DILIGENCE, SUPPORT from someone who’s opinion you value and in my humble opinion, you should demand an UNCONDITIONAL FREE TRIAL.

Who reviews hearing aids for us? Our 3 testers are real hearing aid wearers. Right now, by coincidence, all three are male. All three are employed in the IT sector. All have suffered from a long term or congenital complex hearing loss, ranging from mild-to-moderate, severe to profound.

They have all agreed to test new hearing products that come to market in return for receiving free hearing aids. Each model tested by all three persons is evaluated in short, easy-to-understand language that we can all understand.

A typical hearing aid advert (above)

This is not your typical hearing aid review website We are not including end-users who will typically bundle the service they have received together with the hearing aid sound quality. We are not including audiologists’ views. Nor are we listing manufacturers’ blurb. Our idea is to get ‘into’ the products themselves, so in effect, this is a hearing aid product review website.

How do we decide which hearing aids to test? We are influenced by world & European sales: So we’d be more inclined to try hearing aids from the following: Phonak Oticon Resound Widex Signia Starkey

in that order.

Stars that rate hearing aids are often NOT REVIEWS These are instead arbitrarily placed next to hearing aid models as an opinion by the author only. You can spot this straight away as older models / lower spec. models will be marked with less stars, and the most expensive models with 5 stars.