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Truly, genuinely

 independent...

We can prescribe from all major hearing aid brands.


Here’s why our

independence benefits you:

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GN Hearing

By Mark Coyle, Hear Here Director of Audiology

 

Technology has advanced so much in recent years that there is barely such a thing as a bad digital hearing aid, providing it is programmed effectively and accurately, to best suit your hearing loss.  Common-sense however, should tell you that wild promises in magazines or on the internet about ‘wonder’ hearing aids for low prices are to be taken with a pinch of salt.  

What is best for you will depend on a number of factors:

 

The type and degree of your hearing loss is only one factor.  Another is inevitably cost. All manufacturers produce hearing aids for different budgets - some give more than others at different price points and we are happy to help you choose the most appropriate for you.  

For most people, it’s the wearer’s lifestyle that will influence what technology will be the most effective, including what other media you wish to interact with via your hearing aids, e.g. television, mobile telephone, tablets etc. It will also depend on where you want to hear – at home, in meetings, in church, theatre and so on.

 

This is why the social butterfly with a mild hearing loss may actually require more technology than someone who spends a lot of time at home with a more severe hearing loss.

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Bernafon

Overview:

A technologically advanced Swiss company that processes sound in a genuinely different way from every other company, with their ‘Hybrid Technology’.

​Pros: Produce a very natural listening experience that is often most appropriate for thfirst time hearing aids wearers, especially where low frequency hearing remains relatively unaffected. Stylish design, with a lot of technology for your money at entry level.

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Cons: Not the best at delivering power; if the hearing loss requires this, there are better option available with other manufacturers. 

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GN Hearing

Overview:

This Danish firm has a history of being one of the most innovative of all, with a number of ‘firsts’ to their name, e.g. first to produce ‘open fit’ hearing aids; and first ever ‘made for iPhone’. 

 

Pros: Extremely good app for smartphones. Gives the wearer a lot of control and even includes a geo-tagging system to automatically remember the settings you prefer in your favourite café. Also produce exceptionally good power instruments for severe hearing loss.

Cons: Rechargeable products don’t have Telecoils (for use in public buildings with ‘loop systems’), so if you want that then consider other options. Sadly, GN’s relatively small market share compared to others seems to have begun to impact on service levels, with much of this now located in Hungary rather than the UK, causing long waits for repairs.

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Oticon

Overview: 

Another Danish firm and the first to introduce hearing aids with a ‘deep neural network’, which uses AI to mimics how the human brain hears. From an audiologist’s perspective, the programming software is as exceptional as the sound quality.

 

Pros: The ‘Real’ range of hearing aids are arguably the most advanced on the market and what I have my own mother wearing! UK manufacturing plant is based in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, so usually capable of a quick turnaround.

 

Cons: Premium product so premium price (worth it if you can afford it though). Wax guards need more frequent changing than most, so not necessarily the best option if dexterity is an issue. Telecoil option not available with ‘in the ear’ models – an oversight in my humble opinion.

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Phonak

Overview: 

Another Swiss manufacturer which is exceptionally good at marketing. First to produce made for Android hearing aids.​

If you go to Boots Hearing they will probably recommend Phonak, because Boots Hearing is only part-owned by Boots, the other part is owned by the parent company of… you guessed it, Phonak. Buyer beware!

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Pros: Robust and very clear connection when streaming from smart phones.

​Cons: Rechargeable technology uses a physical connection that can be difficult to insert/remove for those with dexterity issues (many others use the induction charging method that avoids this).

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Sivantos

Overview:  

Now part of WS Audiology since their merger with Widex, and the third Denmark headquartered company of the ‘Big Five’ that dominate hearing aid manufacturing.

​Pros: Very physically robust hearing aids that will stand up to more abuse than most, so a good option if you’re the clumsy type!

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Cons: Terrible customer service with ever changing reps who don’t respond promptly, if at all.  Even the ‘Head of Customer Satisfaction’ failed to ensure my enquiry had been dealt with. 

We can't in all conscience, risk our patient's money or our reputation on service like this, as things currently stand. 

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Starkey

Overview:

The only major American manufacturer on the market with an impressive range of styles and technology. I was a huge fan of the previous Livio and Evolv models for first time wearers, however the recently launched Genesis, while offering incredible technology, has a sound more suited to existing wearers in my opinion. 

Pros: Starkey produced the world’s first hearing aid with motion sensors; and the first rechargeable ‘in the ear’ hearing aids. Also, the smartphone app for controlling the hearing aids (using Bluetooth) is the most comprehensive on the market - it can even translate languages!

Cons: Previously reliable service has taken a clear dip since the previous MD and the longest serving Scottish rep both left last year.

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Unitron

Overview:

A Canadian manufacturer that has a real eye for design and has won awards for their styling – the latest rechargeable ‘Slim’ model being a good example. 

 

Pros: Several, including rechargeable technology that will stream to almost all Bluetooth devices, the previously mentioned ‘Slim’ and rechargeable Behind the Ear (BTE) options for severe hearing losses.

 

Very good option for first time wearers with hearing loss across the frequency range, since initial settings can start lower than most to assist the rehabilitation process.

 

Cons: Few, although the Classic Bluetooth offered may not be the most suitable for iPhone users if streaming is important.  ​

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Widex

Overview:

Now part of WS audiology although parent company claims brands will share R&D yet remain distinct. If you’ve worn Widex before you’ll know the Widex sound is very different from most, and you might struggle to adjust to the sound from other manufacturers.

 

​Pros: Offer probably the smallest ‘receiver in canal’ hearing aid on the market and uniquely, a landline phone that uses proprietary technology to connect directly with its hearing aids.

Cons: Recently upgraded its smartphone app software without also updating Audiologists’ programming software, leading to major problems when trying to connect smart phones to hearing aids – a diabolical error that should have seen heads roll in Denmark HQ!

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*Please note that these can be subject to change over time due to mergers, takeovers etc.
so please check out our blog for the latest industry and product news.

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