Hearing Aids – Help me find a good one at the right price.

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  • Hearing Aids – Help me find a good one at the right price.
  • Premier Icon BigJohn

    I get the feeling the whole area is a minefield – except you can’t hear it when you step on one.

    Mrs BigJohn’s hearing is a bit ropey, probably as a result of too many gigs standing by speaker stacks in the 1970s.

    She’s been for a “free hearing test” at Boots and of course has been told she needs a very expensive aid. Looking around I can now see a load of places specialising in these so I am getting the feeling there’s a lot of profit to be made and no guarantee that the pricey ones are going to be any better than mid-priced ones.

    How can she get an independent opinion on what type is required and what she should be paying?


    Pardon ?

    <coat> etc


    Depends, I’ve had to wear them for over 24 years, the original NHS BE (behind the ear) ones were very basic, nowadays they are digital and when I picked up my latest digital ones was blown away at the clarity and a big bonus they were free.
    You really should have a GP refer you to the ENT dept. then hearing tests moulds and eventually the aids.
    I have also a pair of private ITE (in the ear) £2500 and to be honest as I work on a ward I need to pick up the phone the behind the ear aids aren’t a match for quick hearing as you need to be on the ball. Otherwise the latest NHS aids are a match for the ones I have in the ear.

    Any more info I’m more than happy to advise. If I’d have the NHS ones a few days before I wouldnt have bothered with the private ones.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I suppose I should type it all again in bold caps 🙂

    Thanks Catnash, I might take you up on that offer.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    Go NHS – they are all digital now and do the job very well. I can’t see the need to spend thousands when free does the job. It takes a few weeks or months to get through the NHS process though!

    Mine is a behind the ear Siemens model, and is a definite improvement over my old analogue one.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    Catnash – are you saying that the most important thing is to decide when you are going to need the hearing clarity and therefore that will determine what type you need? And are you also suggesting that the latest NHS ones are as good as anything else if you don’t need ITE? Any model numbers/makes you recommend?


    Yes Audiology is a massive subject. The ENT consultant would first diagnose the type and severity of hearing impairment. A visual inspection would be done to see whether any thing is amiss and see a healthy ear drum. The hearing test will find out which frequencies are low etc.
    The NHS aids have various channels etc I was a ENT nurse for 5 years and never had much dealings with audiology. So my dealings with them were from being a patient.
    Over the last few years the NHS Audiology departments have very well trained specialists. An hour for ‘tuning’in aids is the norm.
    I deal with Amplifon aids but you have Specsavers, and Boots and also the smaller hearing aid dispensers. To be honest you do meet genuine dispensers but to the un known they can and will try to sell the more expensive.
    To be honest though the NHS ones are great.
    Most companies that sell them are roughly the same ie Siemens, Phillips and GE Resound to name but a few. What makes them ‘expensive’ is the economies of scale and the ite ones have to be bespoke for you.
    I’d say the NHS ones I have are slightly better in clarity and the channels as the aid is bigger.
    PS I have two though couldnt cope with just one.


    I went NHS as the private one was going to cost £1200 for a middle choice. It’s no replacement for what you had. Hearing is taken for granted until it’s gone. I was moulded for the ear then a week later got a behind the ear one that fits to the clear mould that sits in the ear. Equally as good as the private one i tested for 6 weeks. Can be a bit of a wait but saves money

    I have had tinnatus for 10 years now. Went down the NHS route for behind the ear aid, but it kept falling off when ever i bent down mixin concrete, building work etc.
    Then bought the small in the ear typeand to be honest they have been the biggest waste of £ 1000 that have ever spent. They can get really cloged with wax and also keep whistling everytime you open your jaw to eat. They are a pain in the arse to be honest and i havn,t worn any aids for over 2 years now.

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