What are the biggest pain points when "shopping" for hearing aids?

Risky how?

Get a test, get a trial on agreed terms and make an informed decision.

All hearing aid dispensing is regulated by the HCPC. You will also find that decent hearing aid audiologists are part of BSHAA who also provide guarantees of service and mediation. It’s a properly regulated industry and heavily weighted towards the customer being satisfied with their purchase.

Why not dip your toes in and actually try some products?: all the ‘research’ in the World goes out the window if you’re considering the wrong factors in your hearing aid or audiologist choices.


Because if you don’t have the knowledge to make an informed decision, you will be guided towards a purchase that may not be the best option. Also, very few hearing aid dispensers let you try all different brands of HA and very few have knowledge of all brands. I am finding that unless you can do back to back trials of several different aids (I’m doing three, maybe four), you aren’t making an informed decision. You are making a very expensive choice based on very limited info.

If I’m getting my aids free on the NHS I’ll accept some compromises. If I’m spending £3K plus I want to be sure I have explored every option available to me and got the best aids for my needs. And yes, I have been let down in the past.

You’ve already said in the other Thread that you have in fact demoed several aids.

So you’re now of the opinion that the Intent is the preferred choice: I can’t quite see how you’ve been ‘steered’ based on someone else’s choices when it’s your actual opinion that brand X is working better for you.

Then do what i have done over my 20 years wearing aids, research and more research. Talk to as many different audiologists as possible, read all of the marketing spec with a vision of reading between the lines, read all of the personal reviews the same way, take everything with a grain of salt. When choosing an audiologist talk to the patients who use that audiologist and really listen to the ones with about the same hearing loss issues as you have. Don’t just throw up your hands and give up. I am 76 years old we aren’t to old to still learn.


No, I’m talking about my past experiences. I have found a superb audiologist who is working with me to identify what will suit me best. I am only part way through my trials, at the moment the Oticons are doing ok but there are some issues with them. But it took me a lot of effort to find this audiologist, and I was getting depressed about having to change my hearing aids because (until I found this audiologist) I had no confidence that I would be able to get a good solution for my £3K plus spend.


I wear Oticon aids and love them, my wife has just finally found that. believe it or not Miracle Ear aids are working best for her mild to moderate high frequency loss. She tried every other hearing aid brand and couldn’t stand them. We are all different and have to realize that and not pay too much attention to what others say.

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Try the Bernafons too :wink::sunglasses:

The first thing I did was to watch videos on Dr Cliff’s site and the videos by Matthew Allsop on the Hearing Tracker site to educate myself about the current available brands and models and to get a sense of what the latest technology levels are. This was great. For example, I found out about Widex hearing aids, which are highly respected by musicians (the mmusic capabilities of hearing aids are very important to me). I had never heard of Widex, and no audiologist had ever mentioned Widex to me as a possible choice, despite me saying how important music is to me.

Armed with this knowledge, I decided I wanted to have a choice of various HAs, I was focusing on Widex, ReSound and Oticon (but also wanted to know about Starkey and others). That ruled out all the high street chains for me, because they have a very restricted range available. I then found hearingaid.org.uk, an online outlet that offers fitting at home through a network of audioloigists. They offer most brands at good prices. However, I rang them and spoke to them to find out who their local audiologists to me were. There were three, I rang them all and found they only fitted Phonak and Oticon, so no chance to try Widex, ReSound or anything else.

I then investigated all the local small chains and independents. I looked at their websites and spoke to several. I checked their background and what aids they fitted. I also asked a few key questions, for example if I go for ReSound, should I wait until the Nexia platform is rolled out in Europe (at the time I was doing this, Nexias were available in the US but not Europe). Only one audiologist was able to answer my questions, and could also talk to me about the technology available in every brand and the pros/cons of every brand. This audi also has a degree in sound engineering and acoustics, so understands my needs as a musician and music producer and I am confident in his ability to do custom programming for me.

So after 15 years of wearing hearing aids I finally feel like I am in control of the process. I realise I am a very demanding customer, but for the money I am spending I feel I have every right to be.


Dear User1186,
Your post is from last fall but I just saw it. I understand your point. I’ve been partially deaf from my teens onward. Years ago, as I am an older person now, an audi asked if I was retired. I said “No, I am founder and CEO of a biotech startup I am running.” She was surprised. Another time my friend, who is a PhD statistician, was attending a solid organ transplant conference where I met her for lunch. The doctors attending the conference were also eating in the food court. They were fine with us signing ASL to each other until she pulled out her scientific data on algorithms for lung transplant allocation and it was clear we were reviewing data in ASL. Then the odd stares began from the nearby tables. It was funny and sad at the same time. The community on this forum is very diverse, but it’s easy to assume most folks are like the majority. The diversity of our community is a strength, glad you spoke up to educate us.


The amount of marketing BS out there spewed by HA manufacturers and venders. It is EXTREMELY difficult to find the information you need to make an informed decision.

For example, reviews for Jabra HAs are good. So I bought one yesterday. Nice features and works pretty well, UNTIL you start using Bluetooth. Then it is abysmal.

Or take the new Oticon intent. Their webpage is full of almost nothing but marketing hype. It’s very difficult to find FACTS! What is worse is it looks like the Bluetooth is years old with virtually no new fixes. Lots of complaint posts in the forum.


What do you mean by that? Intents have one of the newest BT certifications at 5.4. In fact, I’m quite sure they’re the only one at the moment.

In addition to the pain points already posted, here are several more, based on my own experience as an HA virtually all my life:

  • I prefer to use a Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) vs. an audiologist. I find that audiologists are expert at diagnosing levels of hearing loss, but are not up on the technology of the latest hearing aids. The HIS I use knows her stuff, including maneuvering the apps.

  • Be patient with yourself when buying new HAs. It may take several visits to get things just right just for you. Those visits should be part of your initial purchase.


I appreciate the questions comments and answers here.

Many years ago o considered myself to be a music enthusiast with a budget

Music was part of my life. It made life better.

I don’t understand why we accept that hearing aids are only for speech.

Come to think of it put two of us together and we start talking about bad word recognition in noisy environments.

It should be easy to understand speech in noise. It should be easy to enjoy music


I don’t. Music is incredibly important to me. The quality of streaming I am now getting on the Intents with BT LE is superb and I have fallen back in love with music (my previous aids were so badly set up I had pretty much given up recording and listening to music).

I am also getting a pretty good experience listening to music through speakers but it took two sessions with my audi and I will be doing some tweaking at home.

It is possible to get a good music experience but it is beyond the skills of most audis to deliver this IMO because can require quite deep personalisation.

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One of the principals of this forum has a video telling how to set up hearing aids for music. I’m sorry I don’t have a link

For anyone interested, this site has a lot of good information: Hearing Aids and Music

I am listening to Dark Side of the Moon as I type this and it’s sounding pretty darned good. Just a bit of fine tuning (which I will do myself) and I will be there…


Which Jabras? What are your expectations? What are the problems? IOS or Android? Di you have HAs before the Jabras? If so, which ones?

I’m delighted with BT for phone calls and listening to TV, and I can make music listenable (barely) by boosting bass in the app, but the Android app really screwed up my listening to everything but phone calls.

Apparently we have very different experiences. I don’t mean to argue about your experience. I’d just like to understand it better.

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I on the other hand have very nice Bluetooth streaming on Android galaxy S23 Ultra with Jabra Enhance Pro 20s. This is with LE Audio turned off. I have few Bluetooth issues. Streaming Santana as I type.

@RSW With the S23, why do you have the LE Audio turned off? Did you give up on hands free telephone or is that not avalable with the P20’s? I was thinking of getting an S23 so I could have hands free calls with the Phillips 9050 with LE Audio (if it ever appears :slight_smile: ).


I have lovely stability with the ASHA protocol. Calls come in clear to both parties. Sound comes out to both ears when streaming music YouTube and phone calls.

Do not get me wrong, I like LE Audio a lot, a real lot. I like to walk away from the phone, into other rooms even and still be heard clearly. I find that I still do switch it back on fairly regularly but and until it futses out on me during a call.

I think it needs a patch from Android and or GN ReSound/Jabra. I am okay hitting disconnect and reconnect in the HAs Bluetooth settings when I hear out of only one ear when streaming music.but when it happens during a call, or my voice is not clear, I find it faster to switch LE Audio off and revert to dependable ASHA.

I then tend to leave it there till the next time I really want hands free. I keep my phone with me in my vest pocket or a fanny pack almost all the time. Thus I do not ‘need’ hands free with LE Audio for all calls. For long ones yes I like to use it. I just find that I often need to disconnect and reconnect the HAs or sometimes just toggle Bluetooth off and on.

You can get the S23s and EP 20s and have hand free delightfully. Just note it takes a bit of patience using it. Falling back to ASHA works wonders for me.

I hope that clarifies my comments.