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What are the differences between hearing aid retailers Hidden Hearing & Amplifon?

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 1st January 2024
Hidden Hearing vs Amplifon - What are the differences?

Hidden Hearing vs Amplifon Hearing Aids

What are the differences between hearing aid retailers Hidden Hearing and Amplifon?

 

Researching hearing aid providers in the UK

When embarking on the journey to find a hearing aid provider in the United Kingdom, thorough research is essential. Start by exploring reputable sources such as professional associations and customer reviews to identify providers with a solid track record.

Consider factors such as the provider's expertise, certifications, and years of experience. Look for those offering a diverse range of hearing aid brands and models to ensure a tailored solution. Investigate their customer service, including aftercare support and warranty options.

Additionally, check for locations near you and inquire about pricing and insurance coverage.  By conducting diligent research, you can make an informed decision and find a trusted hearing aid provider in the UK.  In this article, we look at two hearing aid retailers in the UK to give clarity and comparison.

 

Which one is better?

So, you have chosen to go private for your hearing aids – but which provider?  When it comes to choosing a hearing aid there any many factors to consider other than the device itself.  Some of the most common questions asked are, 'Who is the best hearing aid provider?', 'How much do hearing aids cost?'  or 'How do different retailers compare?' 

For instance, how does Hidden Hearing compare to rivals Amplifon?  What are the differences between them?

We, at Hearing Aid UK, think it is important to know the main retailers out there.  This way you can gain from a better understanding, which in turn might help steer you in the right direction when searching for hearing aids. 

Here we compare two of the big retailer names on the high street by discussing the pros and cons of the service they provide - so you can see the differences and whether they are right for you and your hearing loss needs.

 

Hidden Hearing Vs Amplifon Hearing Aids

Hidden Hearing versus Amplifon

Who is Hidden Hearing?

 

Hidden Hearing aids

With a head office in Kent and around 80 clinics and 200 hearing aid dispensers, this retailer is the third-largest in the UK.  Hidden Hearing is owned by the same company that owns manufacturers Oticon and Bernafon -  William Demant Holding.  Oticon and Bernafon are two of the major manufacturers in the industry.

 

Advantages of Hidden Hearing

  • Due to the number of clinics, this retailer is extremely accessible, and chances are there will be one on the high street near where you live.
  • They provide a home visiting service, which is booked at a convenient time for you.

 

Disadvantages of Hidden Hearing

  • Because Hidden Hearing is owned by the same company that owns Oticon and Bernafon - it means you will probably be recommended hearing aids from one of these brands.  Therefore, you might get an unfair and biased service due to these affiliations.
  • They don’t display their hearing aid prices online.  It is becoming increasingly hard to compare hearing aid prices when very few retailers publish them on their websites.  From a consumer's perspective, this information is valuable and it can save time when researching hearing aids and providers. 

Considering that the price point is a huge factor for most consumers, we feel that not publishing prices can only be negative.  In fact, Hidden Hearing is one of the main retailers that don’t publish their prices.

  • In the Which? Report they came bottom for pressured sales – 45% of their patients felt underlying pressure to purchase when they visited their centres.

 

Hidden Hearing Vs Amplifon Hearing Aids

The Differences Between Amplifon and Hidden Hearing

Who is Amplifon?

 

Amplifon hearing aids

Although an Italian company, Ampifon currently has a sizeable UK presence and operates in eighteen countries.  Their Italian Head Office is in Milan and they also have a UK HQ in Manchester.  To date, they have around 200 centres and employ around 100 dispensers.  Similar to Hidden Hearing they provide a home visiting service, but it’s important to know that this is not offered in all areas of the UK. 

Amplifon came to the UK hearing aid market in 2006 with Ultravox, which owns Amplivox, Ultratone, Sietech and Hearing Health.  They have no affiliation with any hearing aid manufacturer, but they have always been known to have a solid business relationship with Resound

With this in mind, most hearing aids they sell are from this brand and to put this in perspective 11% purchased Widex and roughly 19% invested in Phonak hearing aids.

 

Advantages of Amplifon

  • In the last Which? Report, they were considered ‘good’ regarding keeping to appointment times, facilities offered, staff and service in general.
  • They have a large number of centres nationwide and globally – similarly to Hidden Hearing, there will be a store conveniently nearby.

 

Disadvantages of Amplifon

  • It states in the latest Which? Report, that they didn’t score well in the way of hearing aid choices offered to customers as well as their clarity in pricing and model information.
  • Another low score in the same report was the pressure they put on their customers to make a purchase.
  • As we said earlier, we feel that they potentially have quite a biased approach to which hearing aid manufacturers they talk about and promote - in this case, Resound.
  • Their home visiting service is quite limited and not offered in all areas of the UK anymore.

 

What do we offer our customers?

We, at Hearing Aid UK, are completely transparent with our prices, services and much more.  The advantages and disadvantages that we have stated for Hidden Hearing and Amplifon have come from a reliable source - the Which? Report from last year.  You can view this report here

 

  1. Free full hearing test - either in practice or in the comfort of your own home, wherever you live, for no extra charge.
  2. Hearing aid fittings, programming and aftercare are included in the price you pay - no hidden extras.
  3. Fully qualified and registered audiologists who are members of our nationwide network of professionals.
  4. Wide variety of hearing aid options available from the top manufacturers of the industry.
  5. Truly independent and unbiased service with no affiliations with any manufacturers.
  6. We offer up to 40% off the high street prices and always publish them online, unlike some of our competitors.

 

Here are some other articles you may find useful when researching hearing aids:

Click on the links to find out more information surrounding hearing aids and hearing healthcare:

►What are the different hearing aid types? - Discover hearing aid types

►What are the best hearing aids in the industry? - Discover our 5 best hearing aids

►What are the UK's hearing aid prices and costs – See What You Should be Paying

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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

Want to know more about Hidden Hearing or Amplifon hearing aids?

When researching hearing aid providers, it is important to consider several key factors. Firstly, look for providers with a strong reputation and positive customer reviews. Also, check if they are licensed and experienced in fitting and adjusting hearing aids.

Thorough research helps you find a reputable provider who can deliver quality hearing aids and excellent care.  If you would like to speak to one of our audiologists about anything within this article, other hearing aid providers or any other hearing healthcare queries - call us free on 0800 567 7621

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This article was written by audiology expert Paul Harrison

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Common FAQs when researching hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.

 

Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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