The Best in 2020: Post-Lockdown Life UK Edition [Updated]
Sarah Peterson, Editor
Thanks to advances in technology, battery life and ease of use – many hearing aids and amplifiers found online have become just as accurate and in many cases better than their hospital counterparts (costing thousands). We’ve seen a huge increase in customers purchasing their own hearing aids online rather than risking an unnecessary trip to the audiologists, especially whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is still on.
That said, the hearing aid market has become cluttered with cheap knockoffs and dodgy internet sellers. Even well recognised brands are rushing to put out subpar product that is not worth your hard earned money. This is where we come in…
If you are thinking of buying a hearing aid, this list (updated monthly) will help you make the best choice with a focus on accuracy and ease of use, features, and overall value for your money.
Healthline HD970 hearing aid: Editor’s pick for the most accurate & easy to use.
£699.99 £299.99 at Healthlineofficial.co.uk
Where to buy the Healthline HD970 in the UK
The best hearing aid for sound accuracy, ease of use, and price point come from a brand that has only been around for a few years in the UK. But don’t let that scare you off, as this hearing aid is easily one of the best we have ever tested. It provided like for like performance against a Phonak of similar specifications costing £3,000. We used this machine as the benchmark to compare the hearing aids in this list against.
BEST VALUE - DISCOUNT STILL AVAILABLE
So what makes the Healthline Pro the best all around blood pressure monitor?
The best hearing aid for every day use, period. The Healthline HD970 was designed from the ground up to be the most sound accurate and easy to use hearing aid for everyday use. It’s not overloaded with fancy extras which are simply not needed for most people. It does the job it has set out to do in an extremely accurate manner. It’s simple to place inside the ear and remove when needed while many others on this list could be a little difficult at times. It takes your standard A10 batteries found in every supermarket. Many of these newer monitors overwhelm the user with a complicated settings such as bluetooth pairing or frequency tuning. We’ve found for the most part hearing aid users prefer something more simple to use which just works – and works well.
Incredible Sound Accuracy. The problem with many hearing devices is that the sound accuracy can be questionable. This can sometimes be solved by trips to the audiologist, who will program the device to suit the user. While this sounds good in practice, if the customers hearing degrades any further it throws the programming off once again and requires many trips to recalibrate, costing time and money. These latest hearing aids use different technology which require no programming, the only thing that you’ll need to change is the volume which is on the device. The Healthline HD970 fits into this category. Tested against the Phonak the Healthline HD970 was the only hearing aid to consistanly match the results time after time, using multiple participants. It gives complete and total peace of mind, allowing you to go about your daily life will hearing like you had years back. How these big companies can keep charging as much as they do will soon be days of the past.
Includes both ears. Healthline do not charge per ear like many other companies. The price includes both left and right ears and the science actually says you should wear both even though one ear may only be effected (this is because the brain works in stereo). This however is your own choice, but at least you’re given the choice. Top marks for that.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Healthline is now available with £400 off this November (while stocks last) Healthline have knocked £400 off their normal price of £699.99 bringing the monitor to just £299.99 at the time of writing. They just ask you send a review by email they can use on their website in return for the discount.
UK-based customer support. We have been continuously disappointed with hearing aids in the past, even from medical giants like Signia. Part of that disappointment comes with poor or absent customer service. We tested Healthline on several occasions with questions and every time received proper replies within an hour. That demonstrates commitment to the UK market and contributes greatly to our award of Editor’s Pick.
Where to buy the HearGlow X3 in the UK
If you don’t mind the black colour, HearGlow may be the brand for you. This hearing aid comes with fewer accessories than the Healthline, but offer a more generalist approach to the format.
Why HearGlow makes the list of best hearing aids in the UK
Good overall quality from a new brand. Like Healthline, Hearglow is a relative newcomer to the hearing aid market but have grown quickly and produce some fantastic hearing aids which can match close to the big boys (Phonak, Signia). Easy to setup and no programming needed, the sound quality was great but we found the fittings a little uncomfortable for the ears. We tried all four fittings but the hearing aid had a tendency to come lose in a few participants.
Excellent marks for sound accuracy. While the sound accuracy wasn’t quite as good as the Healthline, the overall measurements came close to the Phonak hearing aid we’ve been testing against quite well. At this price point, you really have to wonder how Phonak can get away with charging what they do!
Comfort. For the most part the HearGlow X3 is a fantastic device. Some of our participants in the test reported the comfort levels being an issue as mentioned before. It seems the hearing aid needs to be in the exact position to gain the perfect sound accuracy. It takes a little getting used to but once you’ve found the spot (everyone is different) the device works brilliantly.
Where to buy the Phonak Cros II in the UK
Phonak, a brand which has been around forever in the hearing aid space. And while the in ear cros II is an excellent product, it suffers from an aging Bluetooth chipset and mediocre battery life, costing Phonak a higher position on our list.
Why Phonak gets our approval for the home
Great sound that comes at a cost. While Phonak has engineered a product that is indeed worthy for home use, it does come at a cost. Reduced battery life and Bluetooth 4.1 instead of 5.0 hurt the product and age it to the first generation of in ear hearing aids. The cost of this device is too expensive for what it is, given newer companies have devices which perform the same at a fraction of the cost
Comes with huge array of options. You’re able to hook your mobile device up to this monitor and tinker with the myriad of settings available. It’s handy to look back at the saved settings but setting up can be a little tasking, especially if you’re not used to pairing devices to your phone and network. If this is something you enjoy doing then the benefits are fantastic and can trump most on this list.
Built for everyday use. While Phonak are known worldwide for their outstanding hearing equipment, their folly into in-ear aids is a relatively new one. It does provide fantastic sound quality but we feel you can get more for your money looking elsewhere. If you’re not price sensitive, then this could be right up your street.
Runners-up: Best Hearing Aids
There are many, many hearing aids in the UK market. And while we attempt to test as many as possible for our readers, some units simply don’t make the cut. Here’s a quick peek at monitors that didn’t make the list.
The HD500 hearing aid is a device which provides high sound quality at an affordale price. It allows optimal performance of sound frequencies and requires little setup to get going. It uses a unique clamping system where the hearing aid is kept in place via a metal clamp which sits around the ear. This provides fantastic stability and is suprisingly comfortable to use. It’s also available in different colours. Some of our testers reported a tinny sound, rather than deep and vibrant.
The Bernafon Viron 9 is the only aid on our list with an over the ear design which always combines an inner ear module. Whils’t the sound quality is truly fantastic we feel the amount of features this thing has is just far too much the average user. It has bluetooth connectivity with a mobile app and the amount of settings you can change and setup is mind boggling. We accept some users will be in their element tinkering like this, but for the most part many people simply don’t have the time. It’s a shame because it’s such good quality sound from Bernafon.