The Latest Which? Report for Hearing Aid Providers

Who are the best hearing aid providers?

This report is the latest one for hearing aids that Which has released and reflects their own website, this was updated by them in October 2022. When a new version of the Which Report Best Hearing Aid Providers is released, we will update this article accordingly.

 

Which Report on hearing aids

Choosing the right hearing aids is a complex process with so many factors to consider.  Should you buy your hearing aids privately or go through the NHS service?  How much should you be paying for them and what providers have the best service?  What better way to find out than through the Which? report’s 2023 statistics?
 
To obtain these results they surveyed over 1,572 of their customers to give consumers a better idea of the best hearing aid providers out there.  Digital hearing aid users were asked about their experiences with different retailers with questions about which outlets offer the best hearing tests, the greatest choice of product, and who offers the best value for money.
 
 
Which Report
 

Local independent retailers come first again

As with the last three Which Report publications before this one, local independent audiologists come top.  This survey shows that independent retailers like us are rated the highest by hearing aid consumers – coming in at 86%.
 
Because we are the largest network of such independent audiologists, Which has given us permission to write this article about their report and they classify us as such independents. However, it should be noted that other independent audiologists who are not part of our network are also considered equally highly.
 
Our network consists of over 200 independent audiologists. We have over 200 clinic locations as well as offering a full home visit service.
 
 
 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for independents

  • Rated as excellent with 5 stars in most categories.
  • Rated as “4 star” for staff professionalism and customer service, hearing aid suitability and value for money.
  • It is worth noting that the average price through an independent retailer was £3217.74, which is actually more in line with the very most expensive pair we sell. This is because some independent retailers who are not connected to us charge exorbitant prices.

 

What hearing aids do we sell?

Hearing Aid UK supplies hearing aids from every single one of the manufacturers, without bias. We have no ties to any brands. Value for money is more than just getting a bargain, it’s all about the whole package and aftercare you receive that brings value to the client.

 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for Amplifon

On the whole, Amplifon seems to have improved since the last Which Report, as consumers consider them to:
  • Offer an excellent testing service and testing environment.
  • Provide a good level of customer service, aftercare, hearing aid appearance and suitability.
  • Customers also stated that they didn’t have to wait particularly long for their appointments to be arranged.
  • However, customers think Amplifon’s value for money and price could be improved.

 

What hearing aids does Amplifon sell?

Amplifon has always had a strong business relationship with GN Resound and most of the aids sold by them are from this manufacturer. They also sell Phonak and Widex hearing aids.

 
It should be noted that since the Which Report came out, Amplifon has moved to selling their “Amplifon own brand” of hearing aids which Amplifon General Manager, Paula Cave tells us are based on the same technology as the current model branded aids from the main manufacturers they use but rebranded as Amplifon.
 
We asked Paula to confirm whether their aids have the same full range of technologies in them or whether they are a cut-down or “de-featured” version, but she declined to comment.
 
 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for Boots Hearingcare

Overall customers think that Boots Hearing Care are good in most areas of their hearing healthcare services.  Including:

  • Offering an excellent testing service.
  • Having an impressive follow-up system in place.
  • However, customers believe Boots could improve their value for money and price.

 

What hearing aids do Boots sell?

Boots Hearingcare are part-owned by the same company that makes Phonak aids and the vast majority of their customers bought Phonak hearing aids, they also dispensed a small percentage of Widex and also aids from their lower-priced “essentials” range. Many of their customers reported pressure to buy the Boot’s preferred brand.

 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for Hidden Hearing

Whilst customers think that Hidden Hearing could still improve their pricing and their price transparency online, they also thought:
  • Their aftercare and testing service was really good.
  • The product range offered was impressive.
  • However, some customers felt pressured to buy their insurance when compared to other retailers.
  • Overall most customers thought that the whole in-store experience was very sales-driven.

 

What hearing aids do Hidden Hearing sell?

Hidden Hearing is owned by a larger company William Demant. William Demant also owns the hearing aids manufacturers Oticon and Bernafon and these are the two brands that Hidden Hearing supply. Chances are you’ll probably be offered a hearing aid from these two brands, as most of their customers are reported buying Oticon hearing aids.

 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for Specsavers Hearing

The overall customer perspective of Specsavers has changed slightly from the last Which Report, with some services not being considered as good.  Here is a summary of the customer’s recent feedback:
  • They continue to like their hearing aid prices (for a pair).
  • Most people thought both their hearing tests and testing environment was excellent.
  • However, the customers felt that their staff knowledge and professionalism was average.
  • Most thought their hearing aids could be improved – including the appearance, range, comfort and suitability.
  • Consumers were also more likely to report problems with their hearing aids than with any other company.

 

What hearing aids do Specsavers sell?

Specsavers like to dispense their own brand range, the “Advance” but also do Phonak and Signia aids.  However, the majority of customers are recorded purchasing Signia hearing aids.

 

Summary of the Which Report ratings for Scrivens Hearing

The poor level of consumer satisfaction achieved by this company has stayed quite consistent with all of the Which Reports from previous years.  Here is a summary of the customer’s feedback:
  • They thought the thoroughness of their testing was good.
  • However, they thought that the product range and aftercare could be improved.
  • A high percentage of people also reported hearing aid problems.

 

What hearing aids do Scrivens sell?

Scrivens mainly dispenses Bernafon and Starkey hearing aids.

 

Why is it so important to choose the right hearing aid provider?

There are a handful of really good manufacturers in the industry so the difference between a good and bad hearing aid is usually down to the service, fit and aftercare from your audiologist than the device itself.
 
Discovering an audiologist you can trust will ultimately result in the best hearing aid for you, your lifestyle and your hearing loss.  Without the right professional hearing aid provider offering optimum aftercare – you could possibly end up with the wrong device that you won’t wear.
 
 

Aftercare is crucial

Hearing aid retailers and providers differ in their service and aftercare – with independents coming out on top. At Hearing Aid UK, we know how important aftercare is and recognise that it plays an integral role in hearing healthcare. Because of this, we always build strong and trusting relationships with our patients. We also know that treating all hearing loss the same will not work.

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Kimberley Bradshaw

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