When researching hearing aids, it can feel at times, rather like a minefield of questions, comparisons and misconceptions. You might be wondering how much hearing aids cost and whether you will be able to find an audiologist near you that can cater to your hearing loss needs. Perhaps you’re trying to find out who the main hearing aid providers are? How do they compare to each other?
Here we talk about the two main hearing aid chains that you probably have already heard of, as they are two of the biggest names on the highstreet. We thought it might be beneficial, from a consumer point of view, to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Boots Hearingcare and Specsavers Hearing.
The main thing is you have acknowledged your hearing loss and the need to hear better again – and that is the biggest hurdle to overcome. We hope that this article might be of value to you, as quite a few of our customers in the past have asked us how Boots Hearingcare compares to that of Specsavers and have found this information useful.
If we asked people on the highstreet who first comes to mind when they think about buying hearing aids, the majority of them would say Boots. They are a popular choice and never too far away from anyone’s mind when they think of health, eye care and hearing care. Who can blame them – with over 400 stores, large marketing budgets and a huge presence in the audiology market it's hard not to.
But who owns Boots Hearingcare? Boots hearing aids are supplied by the big franchise David Ormerod Hearing Centres – which are owned by the Sonova Group, who is the company that brought Phonak and Unitron to the audiology industry. In 2013, Boots Hearingcare bought a 49% minority stake of David Ormerod Hearing. Why is this important? Well, because of said minority stake the service you may get when visiting one of the Boots Hearingcare stores could be a biased one.
The reason being is that due to this affiliation there is a high probability that you will leave with a hearing aid from either Phonak or Unitron. These hearing aid manufacturers provide great hearing solutions, but it is important to remember that they are two of many big brands in the industry offering outstanding technical innovation, style and design. We believe this limits the choice for the consumer and their hearing wants and needs.
Specsavers Hearing is considered to be the largest retailer on the UK highstreet. With around 600 locations either stand-alone or within their opticians, they indeed have an impressive presence on the hightstreet.
Specsavers supply hearing aids from two manufacturers, these tend to change every few years but at time of writing are Signia and Phonak. The majority of the aids they dispense however are their own brand "Advance" range. These Advance hearing aids are also made by Signia and Phonak but are based on the previous generation of hearing aids rather than the newer technology. This means that with the Advance you won't get the latest features and improvements available in the branded versions.
Also worth stating, that due to the Advance being a Specsavers only product, they can only be re-programmed or maintained by a Specsavers dispenser. So, if you need the hearing aids adjusted in any way by another audiologist, not from this company, then that wouldn't be possible.
Also worth stating, that due to the devices being their own products, they can only be re-programmed or maintained by a Specsavers dispenser in store. So, if you need their hearing aids adjusted in any way by another audiologist, not from this company– the chances of being successful are very slim.
We believe that you should not be paying the odds for your hearing aids. Yes, they are an important investment, but the price needs to be fair, transparent and include aftercare, warranty and other important benefits. There should be no hidden extras.
Price is perhaps the biggest misconception surrounding hearing aids and generally perceived to be nothing other than expensive. In truth, it really depends on the nature of your hearing loss, your budget, lifestyle and whether technology and connectivity are important to you.
For instance, if when we check your hearing, analyse the recordings and take all your unique factors into consideration you may need hearing aids that don’t require a high specification or a variety of features. If this is the case, then we will find ones to suit. The hearing aids that you end up with may not be premium rate devices, but the right ones for you. To hear better again, to feel connected, to thrive. When the right hearing solution is found – it’s life-changing.
Even if your hearing loss, lifestyle, technology and connectivity needs require a premium hearing aid – our prices are always up to 40% off the high street. To find out how Hearing Aid UK can change the way you hear life, call free on 0800 567 7621
Please note that the above information comes from the published 2019 Which? Report and therefore a reliable source.
Read Next: For more help when researching hearing aids – why not download our free consumer guide here?
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.