Can you identify these low cost digital BTEs?


A new firm has appeared in the UK called HearingDirect.

Can anyone identify the low cost aids they are marketing?

Their products are shown here:

I’d like to know exactly what I’m up against!

Toys r us ?

they look like GN but they are not , maybe lisound

since most of the people behind this company have left GN to run it I would assume they are a GN product or branded for Hearing direct from GN.


Gary Hill and Stuart C*nterbury OMFG…

There ought to be a health warning on that site about the collision of egos.

I’m now guessing the ITEs and one BTE are Puretone, and one BTE is the Sonetik.

Bongo Wongo - do you agree about my Purtone guess?

There’s no sign of any offer of audiograms and/or programming to loss - are they sending out “average loss” instruments?

What about tube lengths & dome sizing etc?

Is this all in anticipation of UK deregulation or are they already within the rules to do this?

Those poppets look like the Chinese imports that get used by lots of campaigns - like the ones ‘given’ away by Hidden Hearing.

I wouldn’t necessarily associate them with Puretone.

Sorry to gatecrash this thread, as I’m a hearing aid wearer, but I can see that you are all c*apping yourselves at the thought of this outfit taking away all your business ! (not !).

Uh Oh:eek:

I’m not sure if they are complying to UK law or not. They do not use the terms that are protected such as RHAD.
The hearing test is a speech in noise test how that relates to setting the aids I do not know.

Mail order sales ARE technically legal in the UK.

However it’s VERY difficult to get the required liability insurance.

Nevertheless my contacts hint that this website has REALLY upset a lot of people in the UK.

Why is that?:confused: By people, I assume you mean dispensers?

I have to admit they are advertising heavily. I was looking for a hotel on Last Minute and an advert came up for them. I can’t imagine why established dispensers would feel threatened as not many consumers are confident to buy hearing aids on line and most people understand the need for a hearing test to get an appropriate tailored fit so I think they have limited appeal and may just put people off trying aids properly. Industry research has always said if people have a bad experience with aids they tend not to try again for 5 years or more. If it’s not programmed for your loss it will work more like an amplifier than an aid and will be poor in background noise generally.
I alos think the ITE versions look ugly but that might just be me.

Is anybody still speaking to you after that incident with the grapefuit, starting-pistol and talcum powder then? :wink:

Anybody who wants to buy hearing aids with no service model is quite entitled to do so. I’m not sure about the ethics of selling something that is likely to require adjustment on the same basis though.

Obviously the backer behind this has made it work with spectacles, however anybody using the spectacles vs hearing aid analogy in driving their marketing mechnism has usually come unstuck fairly quickly - Songbird, Poppett, (that Starkey one).

If the bloke wants to sploff some of his millions paying Gary and Stuart a pile of cash to get into the market, that’s fine. I’ll have a pound bet with anybody that:

A - it won’t last, and
B - All the contact names will be bombarded to Hell and back with marketing for one of the major companies within three years.

They look like el cheapos. Cracker jack prizes. Made in taiwan.

I asked about programming the HIs. They have pre-programmed amplification geared at aiding mild to moderate hearing loss; particularly that which is attributable to the natural aging process, where people experience more problems hearing higher frequencies than the lower frequencies.

Interesting that their “hearing test” doesn’t demonstrate whether or not a person actually has that slope of loss. I could fail that test very easily but purchasing one of these aids would give me a good opportunity to damage my remaining hearing by having amplification in the frequencies I hear OK and nothing in the middle. Hmmmm.

I am no expert but I believe (except for power models) that HIs will not damage your hearing. Show me some evidence if I am wrong.

LOL I took their online hearing “check” (note the use of the word check rather than test, which I believe is because “hearing test” is a protected term in the UK restricted to pure tone audiometry). OMG I am not sure anyone could do that, but apparently people usually get 80%. I did it with my aids in and aids out and only got 2% difference between the two scores.

Interesting that they reckon hearing aids could improve your hearing in noise, that’s the one situation I reckon they often make it worse.

I suppose probably within the safety limits of these devices they’d be unlikely to damage my hearing, exception being that if I were to be regularly in a situation close to noise limits but not over them and then I put in hearing aids. For example if you work in a bar/restaurant with background music, bashing of plates, lots of people talking, gambling machines going, football on the TV. On its own then it’s probably not enough to damage your hearing unless the music is really loud, but if you put in even a small increase in volume over the extended period it could then put you into the hearing damage zone.

I am not sure where exactly an aid usually goes into the “power” type, but bear in mind that my aids are “mild to moderate” but can be programmed to correct my 60dBHL in the middle frequency, so although they cannot do 60 across the board there is still potential for a moderate aid to be giving that degree of amplification. Not the same thing as these aids, but I will contact them and ask for the specifics of their programming in case they might suit my mum’s hearing loss (who has a good hearing aid which she will not put in for all sorts of reasons, mostly it is “too loud” when correctly programmed for her loss, this might be a good stopgap if her audiologist still refuses to gradually tune it up to volume for her). I wouldn’t be buying anything that they didn’t tell me how much in dB in each frequency, so we shall see what they say.