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The Which? Report: Best hearing aid providers for 2021

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 19th May 2021 in: Articles, Latest News
The Which? Report: Best hearing aid providers for 2021

The Which? Report:  Best hearing aid providers for 2021

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 2021 statistics?

To obtain these results Which? 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.

Results of the Which? Report 2021

Best Hearing Aid Providers UK 2021

Local independent retailers come first again

As with the last three Which Report publications before this one, local independent audiologists come top.  The 2021 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? have 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.

Which? 2021 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.
  • 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.  However, what it does tell us is that 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.

What hearing aids do we sell?

Hearing Aid UK supply hearing aids from every single one of the manufacturers, without bias. We have no ties to any brands.

The full results can be found in the tables above.  What did Which have to say about our Competitors?

Find out more about us  >>  LEARN MORE

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Amplifon

Amplifon is an Italian company with a large UK presence – more than 200 centres in the UK and some home visit coverage.

Which? 2021 Ratings for Amplifon

  • This survey saw Amplifon ranking better than the last one, switching places with Specsavers and considered excellent for their thorough testing and testing environment with 5 stars.
  • They did well for their customer service, aftercare and hearing aid appearance and suitability with a poorer score for their value for money and price.
  • Customers also stated that they didn't have to wait long for their appointments to be issued, with 56% being scheduled within the week.
  • Please note that there wasn't enough data to include Amplifon in the product range comparison.

What hearing aids do 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.  In this survey 54% invested in this brand and out of the remainder, 24% bought Phonak and 8% bought Widex.

It should be noted that since the Which? Report came out, Amplifon has moved to selling their "Amplifon own brand" of hearing aids which are older models of the normal branded aids but re-badged as Amplifon.

Find out more about Amplifon >> LEARN MORE

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Boots Hearing Care

Boots are one of the largest of the national retailers with 430 stores and after local independents, were the highest-rated High street presence.

Which? 2021 Ratings for Boots

  • Joint second with Hidden Hearing, they achieved a high score for their testing with 5 stars and an overall "good" for most of their categories.
  • But they have lost a star on value for money and price since Which's last survey from 4 stars to just 3.
  • Most customers quoted that they were impressed with their follow-up process.

What hearing aids do Boots sell?

Boots Hearingcare are part-owned by the same company that makes Phonak aids.  Whilst Boots do have lower-priced options (their “essentials” range), what is becoming more apparent, is their affiliation with the hearing aid brand Phonak.  82% of their customers bought Phonak, 6% invested in Widex and a third of their customers felt pressured to buy a particular brand.

Find out more about Boots Hearing Care  >>  LEARN MORE

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Hidden Hearing

Hidden Hearing is a large UK company with 80 centres and a full home visit service.

Which? 2021 Ratings for Hidden Hearing

  • Joint second with Boots at 78%, this company rated better in this survey than those previously.  However, their customer service and pricing still need improving as well as price transparency online.
  • Their testing was rated highly and ranked good for other categories, such as product range and aftercare.  Although, almost half felt pressured to buy their insurance compared to other retailers.
  • Like in the last survey, they came worse out of everyone for pressure sales, with 29% of their customers having felt pressured into buying.  Whereas, one in ten did from independent retailers.

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.  With 71% of their customers who participated in this survey, buying Oticon hearing aids.

Find out more about Hidden Hearing  >>  LEARN MORE

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Specsavers Hearcare

Specsavers have hearing centres in many of their optics locations and have over 600 locations overall making them the largest UK branch based retailer.

Which? 2021 Ratings for Specsavers

  • This time Specsavers dropped one place to rank second to last compared with the last survey.
  • Only average at 3 stars for staff knowledge and professionalism, as well as for their hearing aids – including the appearance of them, the range they offer, hearing aid comfort and their suitability for the person wearing them.
  • Specsavers was shown to offer the lowest average price for a pair of hearing aids, but consumers were more likely to report problems with their hearing aids than with any other company.
  • However, their hearing tests and testing environment were rated as excellent at 5 stars.

What hearing aids do Specsavers sell?

Specsavers like to dispense their own brand range, the “Advance” but also do Widex, Phonak, Resound and Signia, with the larger percentage being Signia (at 43%).

Find out more about Specsavers  >>  LEARN MORE

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Scrivens

Scrivens is one of the larger national chains with over 300 outlets, though many of these are manned only once or twice a month.

Which? 2021 Ratings for Scrivens

  • Like the last survey, they came bottom in Which? Magazine’s customer survey with an overall customer satisfaction score of just 69%.
  • They achieved a rating of 4 stars with regard to the thoroughness of their testing.
  • In other categories such as product range, they have rated 3 stars and their client's aftercare was deemed to be poor, with 67% reporting hearing aid problems.
  • Please note that Which? didn't have the right amount of consumers to portray an average price paid for Scriven's.

What hearing aids do Scrivens sell?

Scrivens mainly dispense Bernafon and Starkey hearing aids.

 Find out more about Scrivens  >>  LEARN MORE

Best Hearing Aid Providers in the UK

Choosing the right hearing aid provider

 Why is it so important?

Finding the right hearing aid provider and audiologist is the most important part of the hearing aid process.  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 right hearing aid for you, your lifestyle and your hearing loss.

This all takes time, dedication and experience to fit, adjust and choose the right digital hearing aid that will give you the best hearing you can achieve.  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

As you can see in the above results table, hearing aid retailers and providers differ in their service and aftercare - with independents coming out 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 a strong and trusting relationship with our patients.  We also know that treating all hearing loss the same will not work.

That’s why we spend time diagnosing the level of hearing loss, supporting, adjusting and going through all aspects of hearing aids and hearing healthcare with all our customers.  This means that they all benefit from a greater understanding of their own unique hearing loss and their own unique hearing solution.

Want to know more about us?

If you would like any more information about the above article, highstreet retailers or the difference between them and the service we provide - call us free for an informal chat on 0800 567 7621

 

 

Read next:  Top 5 Hearing Aids of 2020 / 2021

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
Unlike most national retailers we are not owned by any manufacturer, this means we can offer the full choice of all makes and models of hearing aids
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