Although it's possible to buy hearing aids for as little as £1,000, most people who buy privately pay more – about £2,500 on average for a pair.
Not all brands make it easy to find out how competitively priced their hearing aids are though.
To help you get the best price, we've pulled together our unique survey insight on what people have paid for their hearing aids.
We've also gathered pricing quotes from the five big hearing aid chains – Amplifon, Boots Hearing Care/David Ormerod Hearing Centre, Hidden Hearing, Scrivens and Specsavers Hearcare – for different levels of hearing aids, based on the latest models, so we can give you an idea of what you’ll pay per pair.
In May 2020, we surveyed 1,572 Which? members to find out how much they'd paid for a pair of hearing aids at the big high street chains. The average prices are listed below in price order. We did not have enough data to give an average price for Scrivens, but they were cheapest on average in our 2018 survey.
Our comparison table below shows the range of prices the biggest retailers charge for a pair of the latest hearing aids. You'll see they can vary by thousands of pounds.
We’ve split the prices by level of hearing aid into categories that reflect different lifestyles – for example, someone who is mainly in quiet places and having one-to-one conversations, through to hearing aids optimised for complex-listening environments, such as social gatherings.
All hearing aids now, regardless of their level, have wireless technology and can connect wireless accessories made by that manufacturer, for example a TV streamer.
They will also, regardless of their level, have Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can connect your hearing aids via Bluetooth directly to your smartphone. This allows you to control your hearing aids, for example the volume, through an app on your phone.
We look at the price ranges for suggested models from these biggest brands:
|Hearing aids geared towards||Suggested models from biggest brands||Price range*|
|1. Home and one-to-one use|
|2. Home and quiet conversations|
|3. Home and conversations with some noise|
|4. Home, away from home and work in noisier environments|
|5. Home, away from home, at work and in challenging environments|
The NHS buys the same digital hearing aids you buy privately from the same manufacturers. It's probable that they won't be the very latest models, but the technology will be up to date and the hearing aids will work well.
You're likely to be offered behind-the-ear (BTE) and possibly receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) aids although the NHS does now buy less visible in-the-ear (ITE) ones too – see for more advice on the different styles.
It's likely that they would be mid-range, ie equivalent to our category-three models, but this will of course depend on your individual needs. It's unlikely you'd be offered aids for category four or five (the most expensive) unless there was a very specialist reason why you needed one from these ranges.
When you're comparing hearing aid prices, you need to consider the ongoing costs (of parts such as batteries and wax guards) as well as the upfront ones, as these can differ considerably.
For example, Specsavers includes disposable batteries for up to four years, Amplifon includes them on selected models, and Scrivens has an Essential Care plan where you pay £2.50 a month to include batteries and other maintenance items. Potential extra costs to consider include:
Other things you may need include drying kits (a small dehumidifying pot with two silica gel pellets) for hearing aids with disposable batteries, cleaning tools, cleaning wipes, and puffers to dry out behind-the-ear hearing aids with ear moulds.
Ask about the extras you'll need for your specific aids and so you can get an idea of ongoing costs.
More expensive items you might also need to pay for include:
Replacement wires (receivers) - if they break after the warranty runs out (£40-£80 per aid)
Ear moulds - they may perish, not fit if you lose weight, or discolour
Replacement charging units - for rechargeable aids, cost £100 to £400 but retailers may well offer cheaper prices.
Last but definitely not least, it's important to remember that your hearing aids will need replacing after roughly three to five years.
This is about more than just the costs – it's about customer service as well. An audiologist who offers you great follow-up care may be the difference between you enjoying a new lease of life and your hearing aids sitting unused in a drawer.
Do check that you're being offered the manufacturer's latest range, but don't assume you need to pay more for it. If you're mostly at home, you may not benefit from a top-spec hearing aid with many channels, whereas if you socialise a lot and work in a range of environments, this might be just what you need.
Some companies offer free guides on hearing aids and offer to follow up with a home visit. You don't have to say yes to this; you're still free to shop around.
Never buy any type of hearing aid without a full hearing test. The hearing aids will not be set based on your hearing loss and needs, which presents a risk of further damaging your hearing.
If you’re getting quotes and an audiologist offers you an alternative model to the one you’ve been recommended ('it’s just as good and half the price'), check this is really the case by asking the first audiologist you saw for their opinion.
Bear in mind that some hearing companies have tie-ins with certain manufacturers. This may benefit you in terms of price, but may also limit your choices. The NHS only buys from certain manufacturers, too.
You shouldn’t need to replace hearing aids after only a year, so be wary of anyone telling you you should. The technology does not move that quickly and there is a three- to five-year life expectancy on hearing aids.