Earlier this month one of the main high-street hearing care centres, Boots Hearing Care, started selling the AudioNova D and T Range of hearing aids. This isn't a new product launch as such, the technology has been around a while. This is essentially a Boots "own brand" hearing aid that isn't sold anywhere else and therefore can't be price compared. This article’s purpose is to give a little more clarity as to what you'd be buying if you chose an Audionova hearing aid.
Boots Hearingcare are part of the Sonova Group – which also owns Phonak, Unitron, Hansaton and AudioNova. Due to this heavy link between Boots and this big manufacturer means that more often than not you would be offered hearing solutions from Phonak, Unitron and now AudioNova when you visit their stores.
Audionova is, in fact, a chain of hearing aid shops elsewhere in Europe, they are not a manufacturer themselves. The Audionova aids that Boots are now selling are the "own brand" of this European retailer that has now been brought to the UK market.
As Audionova isn't a manufacturer, what are the Audionova hearing aids? We know that they are based on Unitron hearing aids and the styling of them is very similar, the aids certainly look nice. What we don't know is what specification they are as this information isn't available. Generally speaking, own-brand hearing aids are usually based on older technology ranges or have been "de-featured" in some way to make them more basic, hence the cheaper price.
Although Phonak and Unitron make good hearing aids, they are very similar to each other and there are six other major manufacturers that could have more relevant hearing aids for your particular hearing loss. So, in simple terms, Boots Hearingcare is half-owned by Sonova and therefore they will want to sell you one of their brands of hearing aid.
We often explain and educate our customers to understand that just because you’ve heard of a particular brand it doesn’t mean it is the best option. Big players like Sonova (and others such as the William Demant group) have the resources to drown the market with advertising campaigns, resulting in their brands sticking in your mind. Most high-street brands have strong links, like Boots, to big hearing aid manufacturers giving you a biased opinion and therefore limiting your hearing solution options dramatically.
We hope that this article has helped you and succeeded in providing you with a better understanding of Boots Hearingcare and AudioNova. If you have recently had a test at Boots and want to get a second opinion about any advice you have been given, call us on 0800 567 7621.
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When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.