How to get what you need within your budget. This guide will give you everything you need to know to choose a hearing aid with confidence, with minimal loss of time, and at a price that works for you.

Private vs. NHS.

If you take the NHS hearing test, it's free, and so are your hearing aids and batteries. However, as you might expect, there are many advantages to having a hearing aid prescribed by a private company or individual. 

The choice of hearing aids is indeed enormous when it comes to online stores: the NHS offers a very limited choice and within that choice, it is highly unlikely that the NHS will offer a very small and discreet 'in-the-ear' hearing aid system. Instead, you can find a wide selection of affordable yet best quality hearing aids on

Most, if not all, private companies offer a free "follow-up" service once you become a customer. Ask if they can provide free batteries, for how long; and ask what warranty applies to your hearing aid. You can get a warranty of up to five years on your hearing aid, but in this case, you will receive a smaller discount.

However, you should always ask what discounts are on offer: there is always room for negotiation. Personal hearing aids don't come cheap: the NHS system is free and that includes batteries. However, the NHS rarely visits you at home unless there is a reason preventing you from leaving the house.

If you have a private system and run into a problem, there will always be a telephone help service, and if you need a visit from your dispenser you will get one; there will almost certainly be no charge for this. You would normally have to make an appointment to visit your local 'ENT', or hospital to solve any such problem if you have hearing aids supplied by the NHS.