Hearing aid reviews – by Crystal Hearing

This BLOG gives up-to-date information on every aspect of hearing loss, digital hearing aids and hearing aid accessories.

For a more generalised overview of hearing aids please check our client NEWSLETTER

Please SUBSCRIBE (click green tab to the right) and you will receive an automated email when each article is published. Your email address will not be passed on.

All hearing aid prices shown here

Contact us on 0800 180 4075 (UK only)

Or 07957 465 084 (UK only)

Email – info@crystalhearinguk.co.uk

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The latest Starkey Hearing aids

Please click on this link for the latest on Starkey hearing aids

starkey hearing aids


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New Oticon Hearing Aids

Oticon have now upgraded their digital hearing aid portfolio with the new chipset called INIUM SENSE.

To find out more about the benefits of the new portfoilio please click here.



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Free hearing Tests – London and Home Counties

Did you know you can now have a FREE hearing test? No cost whatsoever.

Crystal Hearing is an independent hearing aid company offering a free hearing test to anyone who thinks they may have a problem with there hearing, or anyone who suffers with tinnitus (unwanted noises in the head / ears).

Crystal Hearing has now teamed up with Natural Hearing and Easyfit Hearing to form ‘THE HEARING HUB’ to cover all of London and the Home Counties – this means we can offer a free hearing test to anyone living in the whole of the South-East of England.

Please call 0800 077 8248 

free hearing tests

Please call 0800 077 8248 for a free hearing test

All hearing tests are undertaken by qualified hearing aid audiologists – please click this link to read more about the free hearing test procedure.

Once we have completed the hearing test we can explain the results and advise if any further help can be offered.

Should you be looking for help with digital hearing aids we guarantee to offer the lowest prices for the latest digital hearing aids on the market. We now supply the latest ‘made for iPhone‘ hearing aids – Starkey Halo and Resound LiNX

For more information on the hearing services we supply please check our main website.

Call 0800 077 8248 for a free hearing test

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Ear Wax Removal

Ear wax removal using micro-suction

Ear wax removal has traditionally been undertaken using ear syringing techniques, which entails streaming a flow of warm water into the ear canal to flush out ear wax. However, there are several problems using syringing for ear wax removal, including:

  • Pushing the ear wax further into the ear canal
  • Risk of perforating the eardrum
  • Dizziness – meaning you cannot drive home
  • It can be messy!


For this reason we use the micro-suction for ear wax removal which is safer.


Not the way to do it!

Why have your ear wax removed?

Production of ear wax is natural and has functional purposes including helping to keep the ear moist and free from infection.

Ear wax normally clears itself by falling out in small particles, mainly when we sleep. However, sometimes the ear wax can be stubborn and cause a blockage. If your ear is blocked with wax you can try using ear drops to break down the wax, as recommended by a chemist or a GP. If this fails then syringing or micro-suction of the ear wax will be required.

Who can undertake ear wax removal?

You have 2 options here:

  • Go to your GP for ear syringing – this is free but riskier
  • Find a local experienced / qualified person who can offer microsuction – this is chargeable but safer


Many GP’s are actually now opting out of ear wax removal due to the hazard of ear drums being perforated when using ear syringing.

You are best to use a local Audiologist or Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser as both are specifically qualified to inspect your ear for any signs of damage, infection or medical contra-indications which render ear wax removal a risk.

Please call us on freephone 0800 077 8248 to discuss

Micro-Suction for Ear Wax Removal

The safe way to remove ear wax

Microsuction for ear wax removal simply involves using a special suction unit with a length of 10mm suction tube attached to a very thin suction probe.

The operative wears a pair of surgical glass binoculars with a headlamp to get a good close look into the ear canal, and then using a small funnel placed at the entrance of the ear canal the operative can safely enter the ear canal with the suction probe for careful removal of any ear wax.

Assuming the ear-wax is not too solid and wedged in to the ear canal, removal is pain free and easy.

If the ear wax is firmly wedged in the ear canal then it may be necessary to use ear-wax softening drops. HOWEVER we cannot advise what drops you can use. Please see your GP or ask at a chemist. If you have a perforated ear-drum please let them know so they can advise accordingly. Many people simply use olive oil for a week or so to soften ear wax before ear wax removal, and this really can help us remove your ear-wax in one visit.


Ear wax removal via micro-suction can be carried out at our premises or at your home.

Prices for visiting us are £40 for one ear and £60 for both ears.

Home visits will incur a call out charge and will be dependent on distance. For this we urge you to use drops prior to our visit to ensure you do not incur a call out charge for no work undertaken.


At Crystal Hearing we offer the service of micro suction for ear wax removal in and around Marlow, including Maidenhead, Reading, Slough, High Wycombe, Henley and Beaconsfield. You may of course drive to us from anywhere outside of these locations.

We do also however work with a UK WIDE NETWORK of Registered Hearing Aid dispensers who can also undertake micro-suction for ear wax removal.

Please call – 0800 077 8248 or 07957 465 084


Publisher – Crystal Hearing Ltd

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GN Resound hearing aids

Crystal Hearing

Gn Resound hearing aids

For the latest information on all GN Resound hearing aids click here

All hearing aid prices are shown here

resound linx

The new Resound Linx – made for iPhone and iPad

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Why wear 2 hearing aids?

Often we are asked “will one hearing aid do?”

Naturally people want to halve their costs, but unfortunately wearing one hearing aid halves your benefit. Well, it isn’t halved but it is certainly dramatically reduced.

Wearing two hearing aids is called binaural listening (bi for two, and aural for ears)

Wearing one hearing aid is called monaural listening

Studies have shown that most patients with a hearing loss in both ears will gain far greater satisfaction and quality of life from the wearing of two aids. Medical tests have also shown there to be physiological benefits. As such it is a hearing aid dispensers duty to recommend the wearing of two hearing aids where tests results indicate a client would benefit from doing so.

Dispensers shall however, where appropriate, make it known to clients that they may not benefit from the wearing of hearing aids, or that they may be more suited to wearing one hearing aid than two and as such dispensers should deal with each case individually.

Read also our page on single sided deafness

Here are some reasons why you should consider wearing two hearing aids if your dispenser recommends you should do so:

1. Auditory intelligence
The two halves of the brain work in harmony to give an auditory image. Just as the brain converts the two images your eyes see into a single picture, the same spatial perception happens with your hearing. It is the different signal each ear sends that makes this perception possible, requiring less concentration and making listening easier and more comfortable. If the two halves of the brain aren’t sharing the auditory signals, then auditory intelligence is reduced greatly.

2. Two ears hear much better in noise
The biggest problem for most people with a hearing loss is hearing clarity of speech is the presence of background noise. The brain has an amazing ability to filter out, or suppress, unwanted sound signals making it easier to hear speech in noise. Unfortunately it requires both sides of the brain to do this and as such, two sound signals. The one-eared listener hears all the voices and noises blended together and rarely achieves satisfactory results in noisy environments.

3. Localisation
The brain can detect minuscule time differences from a sound source entering each ear and thus allows us to detect exactly where it came from, up, down and 360° around. One-eared listeners cannot detect these time differences and therefore struggle to detect where sounds come from.

4. Auditory deprivation
Hearing is in the brain, not the ears, and is received as a pattern of electrical impulses via nerves. When nerves are not stimulated dead zones appear in the brain, and the brain reorganises to make use of the spatial area. So, if you have a hearing loss these nerve areas are redirected to other functions. Whilst this can be reversed, studies show prolonged duration of lack of stimulation results in ‘auditory deprivation’. i.e. the hearing may never be restored, and we may never be able to provide clarity again. This is a very important consideration for people who withhold from wearing hearing aids or only wear one aid for a prolonged period of time.

5. No dead side
With two ears we can clearly and easily hear sounds coming from both sides. Monaural listeners often have to turn their heads to hear people on their unaided side. This is due to the ‘head shadow affect’, whereby the size of our head prevents certain frequency sound signals from reaching the opposite ear at the required volume to hear easily. This can make meetings very difficult, amongst other things.

6. And finally… quality of life!
The majority of people who have worn both binaural AND monaural fittings report a significant improvement in the quality of their life when wearing two hearing aids

We have two ears for a reason – so if you have a hearing loss in both ears you really must aid both ears. Double the cost unfortunately!

If you have two hearing aids try getting th

the ear

Visit the official Crystal Hearing UK website for information on:

  • hearing aid prices
  • free hearing tests
  • low cost accessories, batteries, telephones, wireless accessories and repairs

Publisher – Crystal Hearing Ltd

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iPhone Hearing Aids – here now!

Made for iPhone Hearing Aids!

This is an extension to our blog article posted a week or so ago (click here) as we have just heard news that 2 more companies are to working on made for iPhone hearing aids. One of those companies is Starkey and the other from the Willem Demant Holding group, so either Oticon or Bernafon.

This is great news for the hearing aid wearer as we believe that made for iPhone hearing aids are the way forward in hearing aids and the biggest step forward for a number of years.

‘made for iPhone’ hearing aids are specifically designed for wireless interaction with iPhones, iPads and iPods for the following benefits:

  • Functional remote control
  • Remote microphone streaming (large meeting table etc)
  • Streaming phonecalls / music / podcasts / radio etc.

All without the need for carrying additional accessories as per all preceding solutions offering wireless connectivity with digital hearing aids.

There are some extra more advanced features such as programme geotagging – this utilises GPS tracking in the iPhone to detect where you are and automatically changes the programme to a pre-selected programme with your preferred settings for that environment. This is excellent for those who understand how to uses their hearing aids or simply want to get the best out of their hearing aids.

Please read our link on the Resound Linx hearing aids.

As we say, two other manufacturers will be launching iPhone hearing aids very soon so this could be an exciting year in the world of digital hearing aids!


All prices for iPhone hearing aids will be shown here when available – the launch day is 6th March 2014

Or call 0800 077 8248 / 07957 465 084 for more details

iphone hearing aids

The new Resound Linx – made for iPhone and iPad

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Publisher – Crystal Hearing Ltd

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Hearing Loss

How do we hear?: Sound enters the ear canal as a pressure wave of varying frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). These pressure waves pass down the ear canal and beat upon the eardrum causing the eardrum to vibrate. The ear canal (up to the ear drum) and the Pinna (the ear itself) form the ‘outer ear’.

“People don’t speak CLEARLY!

The eardrum connects to 3 small ossicles (bones) know as the Malleus (the hammer), the Incus (the anvil) and the Stapes (the stirrup – the smallest bone in the human body!). The Malleus is connected to the eardrum and links to the Stapes via the Incus. The stapes is attached to a small oval window at the entrance to the cochlea (the nerve centre or ‘inner ear’). The beating eardrum sends sympathetic vibrations through the middle ear bones into the cochlea. The eardrum and the 3 bones form the ‘middle ear’.

The cochlea is a tiny cavity (< 4mm long) formed within the cranium shaped like a snail shell, filled with a thick fluid and lined inside with thousands of microscopic hair cells / nerve endings. The travelling wave stimulates specific hair cells along the cochlea according to the exact frequency and amplitude of the continuous stream of sound signals, and triggers an electrical impulse that is sent to the brain via the auditory cortex.

We thus perceive sound as electrical impulses!

Damage or obstruction to any of the components between the outer ear and the auditory cortex can therefore cause a hearing loss. Below is a brief description of the most common causes, and details of how hearing aids can help.

Causes of Hearing Loss:

Click the links or scroll down:

 Presbyacusis (hearing associated with advancing age)

The most common general form of hearing loss resulting in a slow progressive deterioration of the hearing. Although there are varying types of pathology that can result in presbyacusis, the most common cause is hair cell degeneration within the cochlea leading to less electrical impulse signals being sent to the brain. This degeneration is commonly caused by noise exposure, but can also be bought on by vascular, dietary and stress related problems amongst others.

Presbyacusis is permanent and can only be treated with hearing aids.

Being a slow progressive deterioration, presbyacusis normally takes a few years before a person will recognise or even admit they have a problem. A classic indication of someone suffering from presbyacusis is that they will often complain that people mumble. Why???

Speech can be split into low and high frequency. The low frequency content is made up of the vowels, deeper resonating elements that give off volume, and the high frequency content is made up of the consonants, the quieter T’s, and S’s etc that start and end words, and define clarity. As presbyacusis has more impact on the higher frequencies a sufferer may hear the volume of speech (the vowel content) but will inevitably miss the clarity (the consonant content). Thus a sufferer will generally cope much better 1 to 1 where the brain can fill in the gaps they are missing, than when background noise is present and the brain cannot fill in the gaps so readily, or between rooms where lip reading is not possible. Background noise is generally low frequency.

Digital hearing aids were developed for this type of loss and have now reached such a level so as to restore a much better quality of life for most sufferers, even in noisy environments. 

 Wax (or Cerumen)

The most common cause of sudden conductive loss (conductive being a loss in the outer or middle ear). Wax is an accumulation of secretions from the ceruminous glands within the ear canal. A hearing loss will only occur if the wax blocks the whole diameter of the canal and is frequent in swimmers (as water swells the wax), patients who use cotton buds (as they frequently push the wax further into the ear), and persons with hairy ear canals (as the wax accumulates on the hair). 

Treatment can include syringing, suction, and ceruminolytics (ear drops). It should be noted that although Registered Hearing Aids Dispensers have undergone extensive training, they are not medically qualified and thus should not advise on how to remove earwax (unless they also hold a relevant medical qualification). A patient with wax build up, or whom suspects they have wax build up, should seek advice from their GP. 

 Noise induced hearing loss

Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by long duration exposure (such as factory machinery) or sudden high intensity exposure (such as bomb damage or gun fire).

The resulting damage is the same as for presbyacusis but may result in slightly different test results. Sudden high intensity exposure can often cause severe high frequency damage whilst very minimal low frequency damage. This means that such a sufferer may hear low frequency volume of speech just as ably as a teenager, but may miss the high frequency clarity completely. As such, these sufferers can be in denial for longer periods and are less partial to wearing aids, as they hear many sounds loud enough.

Open-fit (OTE) hearing aids have been developed to overcome this type of loss, restoring clarity, whilst providing a comfortable, discreet solution.

Menieres Disease

Also known as Idiopathic Episodic Endolymphatic Hydrops. Called Idiopathic because the cause is unknown, however it is known the problem is associated with abnormal pressure changes due to over and under production of fluid within the inner ear. Being that the inner ear is attached to the vestibule (the balance organ) symptoms can include severe attacks of dizziness and nausea, alongside a fluctuating hearing loss and tinnitus.

Menieres can occur at any age but more frequently between the ages of 20 and 50 with the majority of sufferers being over 40. 7-10% of sufferers have a family history of the problem

A client suspected of having Menieres must be referred for medical attention prior to being fitted with hearing aids as amplification can induce attacks, and there may be more suitable alternative treatments.

For those who have already received medical advice and who wish to receive treatment with hearing aids, consideration should be given to using hearing aids with a volume control to counter any fluctuations in the loss.

See www.menieres-guidebook.com for more information. 

 Perforated Eardrums

May result from violent changes in pressure (a slap or explosion etc), direct trauma (from a cotton bud, hairclip etc), excessive pressure build up within the middle ear (from blocked Eustachian tubes), and very rarely from uncareful syringing.

Patients suffering from perforated eardrums should seek medical attention prior to being fitted with hearing aids as some perforations can heal spontaneously. Permanent perforations can normally be easily treated with modern hearing aids, but wearers should give extra attention to cleaning and maintenance of the hearing aids so as to avoid infection setting in. Some doctors may advise against the use of aids for this reason. 


A growth of extra spongy-type bone that forms on the middle ear bones that gradually hardens preventing transmission of the sound signal to pass from the stapes bone to the cochlea.

A hereditary disease affecting 1 in 200 of the population, onset occurring usually between the ages of 20 and 30 years.

Patients with otosclerosis should seek medical assistance as surgery may be offered to cure the problem, normally in the form of a stapedectomy. Surgery is the treatment of choice but eventually the bony outgrowth may form back. There are contra-indications to surgery for some clients, and it should be noted that surgery is not always successful, which can in the worst cases lead to complete deafness. See www.stapedectomy.co.uk for more information.

Hearing aids are usually very successful in overcoming this type of hearing loss. 

 Otitis Media

Build up of fluid in the middle ear causing a conductive loss, usually as a result of blockage in the Eustachian tube. Patients with otitis media should seek medical help and should not be treated with hearing aids. Excessive or prolonged fluid build up can lead to other complications and should be treated urgently.

 Medication (ototoxic drugs) and Infections

Infections and drugs within the bloodstream can cause damage to the inner ear. These normally result in more rapid and severe losses and can also be congenital, being passed from mother to unborn child. These losses can often be successfully treated with hearing aids.

For advice and prices on the latest digital hearing aids please visit www.crystalhearinguk.co.uk


Publisher – Crystal Hearing Ltd

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Resound LiNX™ – Made for the iPhone / iPad!

Resound LiNX

Well it had to happen eventually – the world’s first iPhone and iPad compatible digital hearing aids are launching in March 2014 with the GN Resound LiNX™

Please watch this video to see what this amazing new hearing aid technology can offer you.

The Resound LinNX is coming out in all styles and will allow you to:

  • stream your phone calls direct into your hearing aids from your iPhone
  • stream skype calls and apps direct from your iPad
  • listen to music wirelessly from iPad and iPhone
  • use the iPhone as a remote microphone (i.e. place it at the end of a meeting table, or have a person talk into it and here them better)
  • use your iPhone as a very effective visual remote control.

Visit the Resound LiNX website for more information

Prices to be updated soon on our Crystal Hearing webpage

Call for information on 0800 077 8248

The new Resound Linx - made for iPhone and iPad

The new Resound Linx – made for iPhone and iPad

Publisher – Crystal Hearing Ltd

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