Sonetik™ hearing aids
Sonetik are a Swiss based hearing company founded in 2007. In 2014 they signed a contract with Lloyds Pharmacy in the UK to provide their hearing aids in-store at certain pharmacies.
The Sonetik concept is to have a short, automated (10 minute) hearing test at a local Lloyds pharmacy. If you are found to have a hearing loss which matches the profile of one of their 4 hearing aids then the can fit the hearing aids there and then.
So what exactly are Sonetik hearing aids? The exact specification is not divulged so one can only assume they are relatively low spec. They all look the same although there are 4 models which contain different audiometric profiles. Essentially they are mini, behind the ear hearing aids that use a thin tube (rather than a standard tube and ear mould). There is a push button at the rear of the hearing aid which changes the volume in 4 different levels. The cost to the consumer is £395 per hearing aid. They come with a 1 year warranty and a 30 days full money back guarantee.
Here is a comparison between the Sonetik hearing aid and another low cost hearing aid. The aid we are comparing it with is the ReSound Enya 2 which was launched in October 2015.
|Sonetik hearing aid||ReSound Enya 2|
|Number of channels||Unknown||6|
|Models||Behind the ear only||Behind the ear and in the ear|
|Aftercare||Unknown||Yes for the life of the hearing aid|
|Home visit available?||No||Yes|
|Money back guarantee||30 days||60 days|
On a positive note, Sonetik are driving consumer awareness about hearing loss. The pharmacy staff pro-actively invite people to take a free hearing test. The Sonetik aids are low cost and can be fitted instantly. If you're a first time wearer of hearing aids then they're not a bad option.
The main Achilles heel of the Sonetik aid is that it is not specifically programmable for the individual person’s hearing loss. If your hearing loss changes then they cannot be reprogrammed or adjusted to account for individual preferences. The volume can however be changed by pressing the button at the back of the hearing aid. The feature specification is low (and unknown to a degree) and it is only available as a behind the ear hearing aid.