Hi to everyone, advice for someone new to hearing aids

Firstly, can I point out that I live in the U.K. I found this forum and couldn’t find anything similar over here, hope that’s O.K.
I have had a hearing test via our N.H.S (god bless them) and have mild to moderate hearing loss. They provided very basic hearing aids that have served me for a year but I really think it’s time to get something a little better. I’ve spent hours and hours researching all of the different brands and models but for each, I can read one glowing review against another poor review. I realise what that tells me, every person’s hearing is different and what suits one may not be ideal for another. It also tells me I’m entering a world where I know absolutely nothing!

I’m lucky in that I have a local audiologist who can provide any of the big brands and I have an appointment later this week. I believe I can trial up to two different models.

So, can I have some advice on which brands-models to try given my wish list below?

1, I want as close to natural hearing as possible. I still work, mostly outdoors.
2, I’m an amateur musician so good music reproduction is important to me.
3, At 62, any vanity I once had went out of the window long ago, I don’t care what they look like.
4, Cost is always an issue but I’m willing to pay if the benefit is there.
5, Battery or rechargeable?

Also, I read a lot about Bluetooth connectivity, my question is why do I need that, if the hearing aid improves my hearing, I should be able to hear the T.V, my mobile, etc? Why do I need to feed the signal directly to my ears?
Thanks all.


Hi @David1959, and welcome! There are many forum members in the UK here.

What to trial … that’s one I’m not going to be able to give a fair answer to, as I’ve tried only the one model I’m using (phonak lyric). They might fit your needs (depends on audiogram) but they have some negatives too. I also hesitate recommending them for live music because I suspect they might overload and distort, and I’m not sure you can turn them down enough. That said, if you had interest and they work for your hearing loss you could risk them. Oh, I should remind you that these are sold on a subscription plan, so over time they get much more expensive.

Now, you’re not going to get many answers without providing your audiogram. You can do that in your profile (search the forum if you can’t find it). We’re all guessing otherwise.

Good luck!


Regarding bluetooth: Yes, you’ll hear better with your hearing aids, but the real challenging thing about hearing is dealing with noise. Streaming sound directly to your ears greatly increases the signal to noise ratio.


Thanks Kevin, good to hear I’m not the only Brit here. Over here we basically have the choice between two High Street chains or finding a local independent. When I asked on the phone, none of them seemed too keen to provide an audiogram, guess they don’t want you to get that info and then search for cheaper options? I will ask when I have my hearing test and see if they play ball?

Ahh, OK, I see what you’re getting at. In that case I’ll put Bluetooth higher up my wish list. I do have one of the latest high end Androids (Samsung S21) so hopefully that will work with most.

You answered your own question. What’s good for you may not be good for someone else. You say you have a good audiologist so you’re one step ahead of the game. Let him recommend aids that fit your loss and then try them and decide what you like most

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<slight snark mode engaged>
Hold on here … you’re telling me the wonderful rules here in the US that force medical providers to give you your information are better rules than elsewhere? That’s, well, unusual!

Maybe somebody else from the UK can comment on that … pretty sure I’ve seen audiograms from other UK folk…

I have Resound Danalogic Ambio from the NHS, also Kirkland KS 10 (Phonak Paradise) from Costco. Sound quality wise I perceive very little between the two, but for your hearing loss it may be different. The Resound aid app. is very good, I think better than the Costco Easyline, but no bluetooth streaming as with the KS 10’s

@David1959 I think Specsavers should be able to give you a print of your audiogram (done it, so it is feasible).
For money saving, Costco is your best bet, check your nearest Costco hearing centre:

  • Farnborough - [01252 896 954](tel:01252 896 954)
  • Glasgow – [0141 553 2218](tel:0141 553 2215)
  • Hayes – [0208 571 8694](tel:0208 571 8694)
  • Southampton - [02380 764 836](tel:02380 764 836)
  • Watford - [01923 699 821](tel:01923 699 821)

On your bullet points:
1- “Close to natural”, you will have to try before you buy, Oticon Phonak Widex Signia Resound to name few hearing aids manufacturer.
2 - “music”, my understanding from this forum is that a lots of people like Widex hearing aids for music, so not sure if that’s general!
3- NA
4- Costco?
5- NA
6- Bluetooth, I think most HA have Bluetooth, not sure if your Samsung S21 has ASHA Bluetooth? something to investigate with your hearing care professional.

Thanks for this info, I didn’t even know we had Costco in the U. K. Seems my nearest is about 70 miles away though. How is the aftercare service?

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I use the Glasgow hearing centre, which is around 55 miles from where I live. Aftercare is very good.


I have KS10’s and find the Bluetooth connectivity extremely useful, both for phone (I have an old iPhone6) and for streaming from my Windows PC.

I’m a music fan with a son in the Victoria (Canada) Orchestra. I really enjoy listening to their streamed concerts, especially their recent Beethoven symphony series (https://www.youtube.com/user/VictoriaSymphony). Bluetooth is also handy for Zoom as are captions. I wrote directions for requesting captions for a local organization. Perhaps they will be of use to you: (0000 How to get Closed Captions in CWAG programs)

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Hi to make short and painless
Music is my life.
Classic, Rock, Pop, Reggae, Country, Hardstyle and so on.
For me there is only 1 !
Oticon More
Nothing else can match it.

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Thanks Silvys, the Oticon more 1 is at the top of my list at the moment, very expensive but to hear those chords chime again who cares about the money. :grin:

I don’t know how it works in England but I can tell you that someone with an exact audiogram as yourself can tell you what hearing aids they wear and love, may then sound absolutely awful when you wear them. We’ve run into that situation time and time again here on this forum. I’m a big fan of phonak paradise while others with a similar audiogram prefer oticon which I hated. That’s how it works. I’ll ignore the comments regarding regarding the health care system in the states. I’m not a fan of socialized medicine. I’m not a fan of socialized anything. I’m especially not a fan of anything that prevents you from trialing different aids which I consider essential. Don’t even get me started on the soap opera in Buckingham Palace. Even so, God Bless the Queen

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Hi cuttsds,

I am from the UK. I’ve been on this site a long time and have worn aids for over 40 years, mainly from the NHS but over the last 26 years, privately as well.

You have to be very careful about believing the hype surrounding some of the claims that you see are being made by hearing aid manufacturers. In recent years my perception is that these have been toned down slightly. There have been some massive improvements in certain areas, sure, such as Bluetooth and rechargeability. However, for straight comprehension, the jury is out for me, particularly in noise.

You say you have a mild/moderate loss, and have a “basic” hearing aid from the NHS. You also ask, interestingly, why do you need bluetooth if these hearing aids are supposed to make you hear.
In 2016 there was a study whereby researchers demonstrated (Impact of Hearing Aid Technology on Outcomes in Daily Life I: the Patients’ Perspective - PMC ) that a mid range hearing aid is no less effective that a premium hearing aid in terms of overall comprehension. This means that your “basic” hearing aid from the NHS is likely to be no different to the premium hearing aid you are considering purchasing - except for the bells and whistles such as bluetooth and rechargeability. You have mild to moderate loss. That means you have capabilities superior to somebody like myself, with severe to profound loss, and you can hear light years better than someone with profound loss.

What I am trying to say is that bluetooth, assistive devices, advanced hearing in noise processing may not be required by you. Have you had a SIN test? So rushing out to buy the equivalent of an Aston Martin where you might have a perfectly good device from the NHS doesn’t make sense. Of course, you may want a private hearing aid for reasons that you perceive there is going to be one that will sound more natural, you may want rechargeability, you may want one with super fast processing etc, which is your total prerogative. I am just saying, don’t dismiss the NHS so easily. They should perform REM and their technology level is sometimes just a couple of years behind what today’s premium aids are offering. Good luck.


I agree Glucas. I had a new fitting this week at my local NHS hospital audiology, full hearing test with REM. Also a new pair of Resound Danalogic Ambio’s. I’m hearing better than than I have for for years.

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Hi there, thanks for taking the time to reply in length.
I have been really unhappy with the NHS aids, they just seem to increase the volume of everything without making speech any clearer to me.
I had an appointment with an audiologist this morning, no REM test, 10 minutes with a set of headphones as he made marks on a graph and connected the dots? He confirmed that I have mild to moderate hearing loss. He would not let me have a copy of the graph?
Is this standard?

No. That is not standard. My NHS audiology department performed REM and they were happy for me to have a copy of my audiogram. They even faxed it to me.

If you have no clarity then that sounds appalling. I cannot believe it’s the hearing aid that’s at fault, it’s a lack of REM, after care and either a bodged test or a complete failure of programming. I am sorry. I have worn hearing aids for a very long time, with models going back to 1979, and I have always had clarity. One time I did have a dispenser make a complete hash job of the programming, but most of my fits ranged from good to excellent.

I don’t know if you are the complaining type - but this sounds like good reason to complain. Otherwise going private might be the answer. Costco, specsavers, boots or your local independent audiologist are all good options.

Thanks Glucas, I must admit I was far from impressed this morning, a 10-minute test in a noisy room.

I’ve just called 3 hearing centres within a 30-mile radius, 2 didn’t even know what an REM was and the third assured me they were not necessary with modern HA’s? I think I will go back to my GP and request a new test, hopefully, they will then provide me with the data?.