20sep hearing aids hero
Research report
11 September 2020

Hearing aids buying guide

Hearing aids cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Member comments

Get access to comment

Ross T.
17 Sep 2021

I am so pleased to read what Specsavers is doing. See my comments further down that I made a few years ago.

John R.
25 Apr 2021
NZ Hearing Aid Prices

Others have mentioned hearing aid prices and SpecSavers. Went to an independent audiologist, support the independent operator, and was quoted $7000. Same brand through SpecSavers was $5000. Excuse me!

Took the top end SpecSaver model at $4700. Good service at Botany. A couple of trips back for minor adjustments and am now loving my new aids.

Get the feeling hearing aids in this country are just one more great big NZ rip-off.
SpecSavers entering the market may give it a shake up.

Philip D.
22 Dec 2020
Specsaver Botany - Restoration! Excellent Value and service

4 years ago I tested at 6% hearing loss but was then working as a music teacher and felt that this would be a stigma, they cost too much and told myself that things weren't that bad. With recent testing showing my hearing loss jumping to 15% i.e. moderate and after taking note of other Consumer.org reviews, I went to Botany Specsavers where I got excellent advice and help. I am very surprised as to how versatile and restorative these aids are and at $3600, well worth it. I have the BTE Advance Elite aids with integrated Bluetooth into the iPhone iOS which means that phone calls, Google map voice, Podcasts - whatever audio, will stream directly if you wish, that there are a variety of software programmes for different scenarios - e.g. Restaurant, Music, All Around, Speech focus, noise filter, and you can customise your own listening profiles that can be GPS activated automatically, e.g. create "Work" and then the hearing aids automatically switch to the "work" programme when you arrive there. Also included are rechargeable batteries that re-charge by induction in a pod case that itself will do three recharge cycles before being connected to power. You can get a Tinnitus white noise programme too as well as the phone App "BeMore" to tweak settings manually. While the hearing aids are badged as Advance, they are made by Resound - from Denmark and I'm surprised and delighted that my hearing has been significantly restored. I am impressed with Specsaver's move - typically we all go and get our eyesight sorted quite early on but with hearing we delay up to 10 years. In my case I left it 4 years while becoming increasingly grumpy about hearing only vowels when my wife wasn't facing me, and in struggling with listening in restaurants and annoying family by wanting volumes up more on TV. No more, and wow so cool to be able to stream audio via my iPhone. If I were teaching again, I would now be confident that I could assess in the Sound Engineering aspects of Music Technology that can be offered in school music departments. That's quite an endorsement as to the quality and significance of the restoration in my hearing! I look forward to 2021 when singing again in a choir to note the impact this will have on my ensemble awareness. As someone who went to the fitting of hearing aids still thinking my hearing wasn't that bad, it was a delight to restore my hearing while being reminded that if we leave it late to have hearing aids, the risks are that our brains switch off the ability to discern in busy situations and then that capacity is gone for good. That's what happened to my dad and it ain't going to happen to me! As stated earlier - this is a smart move by Specsavers - to have sight and hearing in one place while undercutting the ridiculous hardware markups others impose, maybe the public will make earlier and more timely decisions to take action regarding their hearing loss. I'm told that CoVid has impacted on the rollout of Specsaver's audiology services and it's early days yet nationally, but they're well worth checking and hopefully will give the other businesses the wakeup they need regarding their pricing.

Kaye C.
23 Sep 2020
Specsavers Botany bring some reality to pricing and give great service

I recently went for a follow up hearing test at Dilworth after being floored by the quoted cost of hearing aids 2 years ago (and consequently doing nothing about getting them). That was 2 years of constantly asking people to repeat what they said, and often switching off in noisy social situations.
Again, I thought the price quoted in July was high, although unlike 2 years ago a range of options and prices was available, and to be fair the highest priced and speced was not recommended as most suitable for me. So I was looking at almost $7000. The extra cost of rechargeable aids was quoted at $1000. The highest spec model was almost $9000.
In the meantime while searching (almost completely in vain) for prices to compare, I came across Specsavers, now with some audiology branches, and prices listed on line. I had to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment but once underway the experience was very positive. I went to the Botany branch where I got the highest spec aids with rechargeable batteries (you just sit them overnight in slots in a charging box) for $3575. These are unbranded aids made by the big name companies (Sonova or GNResound). The extra cost of rechargeables is $500 at Specsavers.
The audiologist followed up with a phone call after 4 days to check how I getting on, and follow ups are included for a year. It's no surprise to me that people are coming from far and wide to deal with Specsavers, it's certainly worth the travel cost.

Maria P.
22 Sep 2020
My Mothers Experience with an Insurance Claim for a lost aid: Beware!

My Mum had two aids and lost one and was directed to Bay Audiology for the replacement through insurance , even though she had a different Hearing Clinic she used. Subsequently when she visited her independent clinic they found that the two aids weren't compatible at all as they didn't talk to each other or work in unison. Beware when you have an insurance claim as you have a right to use your own provider when you need a replacement!

Petrus V.
15 Sep 2020
Too Expensive

The costs are way too high. I appreciate the good back-up service I get from Bay Audiology, but to pay nearly $10,000 for top-of-the-line hearing aids which may last no more than seven or eight years is a con. The technology involved is miniscule compared with a $1500 mobile phone! When the money runs out, next time, I may have to settle for a $500 mail-order option.

Ross T.
13 Sep 2020
The Whole Industry Needs a Shakedown!

I wholeheartedly agree with the comments on the exorbitant pricing throughout this greedy industry. I look forward to Specsavers smashing through what I go as far as to call corruption.
Each huge chain currently is basically in the pocket of various massive manufacturers and is essentially a conduit for that brand.
Four years ago, I decided to have none of this and purchased my hearing aids online from overseas. I had to forego the government subsidy and I still saved my self $4000! My aids are topnotch and were tuned overseas to my hearing test. I have received great ongoing answers to questions and have replaced a broken wire through the same company.
The NZ chains soon closed ranks on people like me and price fixed retuning costs etc at $1000. A ridiculous price for what is easy to do with the computer program.
This is what Consumer should be targeting and not beating around the bush with articles like this.

Chris O.
13 Sep 2020

Hi. I am a seventy six year old male, and getting deafer all the time. My hearing aids have bluetooth, and I use it a lot. There is a gadget attached to the TV, and both my wife and I sit in apparent silence, listening to very good sound from the TV via our hearing aids. And another gadget that lets me hear my cell phone and my laptop through the aids. It sounds like it is inside my head, but you soon get used to that! The quality is brilliant. Definitely recommend. I buy batteries from ebay for about 50 cents each in my letterbox. Rayovac Extra seem to last about a day longer than any other I have tried. Cheers!

12 Sep 2020
You get what you pay for......

I'm a typical male, first set of basic hearing aids languished at home - too proud to wear 'em.

Second set, five years later seemed much better (I was deafer) and not only had a volume control which was great, because at first everything is just TOO LOUD! but they also had a set of four sound profiles - general, conversation, music, and general with wind noise reduction for outside.....

At first I thought that I'd wasted my money as there appeared to be no audible difference between profiles but after two months wearing they became fantastically useful.
It seems that my brain had become used to the variety of sounds it was now able to "hear" and each profile was so plainly different from the others and really suited to purpose. I switch as needed all the time now via a single press-button.
Music is so "wide-screen" I can identify individual instruments, conversations in groups are no longer a confused jumble. As a frequent walker, wind noise reduction is a necessity.

Hearing aids in my opinion are still extortionately expensive but paying a bit extra for such extra features IS worth it for the benefits you'll gain. But only if you persist in their use and realize that it's your BRAIN that you are training and they become fabulous....

I'm 76 now and went to Bay Audiology and No, I don't work for them!

Ross F.
12 Sep 2020
Hearing Excellence

I have severe hearing loss; I have been under the care of the above clinic for over 20 years. I have always found them very good. I have been in a job that enabled me to recommend hearing assessment for people. I have always recommended Hearing Excellence here in Christchurch and have had no negative feedback.
I understand that some of the bigger companies in the field make their money from the markup on the aid. My suggestion to prospective users is to shop around as the same aid may be 50 - 100% cheaper at some clinics!

M H.
14 Sep 2020
Endorsing the Hearing Excellence.

Over 40 years they have provided me with appropriate hearing aids from a variety of manufacturers. Although my hearing loss is now substantial, my aids fit the need, without unnecessary extras and expense.

Christine W.
21 Sep 2020
Which clinics can someone in chch recommend

We have given up in disgust with our provider. Over 300 documented failings and a year of complaints. They finally replaced the devices with an inferior product, nothing like the technology of the others. We had to get really forceful before they finally agreed to a refund.

Maria P.
22 Sep 2020
Endorsing Hearing Excellence

I have used Hearing Excellence for the last 20 odd years. I have been fitted with a variety of different brands of aids to best suit my hearing loss at the time of fitting.
My last two sets of aids (I need to wear one in each ear) were approx. $5000 although this was largely funded by grants. I am able to receive my Mobile phone calls directly to my aids via Bluetooth which means I can hear people on the phone which is essential in my work.

Hearing Excellence adjusts newly purchased aids for free during their guarantee period. Hearing Excellence also runs daily clinics so that you can have small adjustments and repairs done for minimal costs. Great service all round, thoroughly recommend them!

Leslie O.
14 Jul 2021
Endorsing Hear[ng Excellence

A nicer friendly and honest group of Audiologists you could not meet. Always so on to it. No hidden charges. In fact their free morning open clinics are just that, FREE. Have been with them for over 20yrs. Do your self a HEARING favour. Go see them

W R A.
12 Sep 2020
Severe loss

I've had severe hearing loss for over 20 years (I'm now mid 60s) and have had excellent care from Jan Morris from Hearing Consultants. It's an independent company and there are branches is Wellington, the Hutt, and up to the Wairarapa. Because they're independent they will offer aids from all the manufacturers and your choice depends upon "best suited" and unfortunately "cost". The government subsidy doesn't go anywhere near the total cost, and the top models are pricy.