What Tampa Bay residents don’t know about Audibel hearing aids.

Audibel is a national retail hearing aid chain that runs full page ads each week in the local Tampa Bay media. Many of our new patients come to us for a second opinion after they visit an Audibel store or they see us for service and repair after they buy Audibel aids. So who and what are Audibel hearing aids? Below is my opinion about the pros and cons of Audibel hearing aids.

Pros

Audibel is not a hearing aid manufacturer. Their hearing aids are built by Starkey, who is one of the top six hearing aid manufacturers in the world. One analogy would be that Sears brand washers and dryers are actually built by a company such as Maytag.. This means that Audibel sells a quality product that is comparable to such brands as Phonak, Widex, Oticon, Resound and Siemens. Audibel is a national chain so if you move or are traveling you may have access to an Audibel store in another city but there are limitations (read the next paragraph).

Cons

While Audibel sells a good hearing aid that Starkey builds for them you are at risk for poor service and support after the sale. Audibel places a secret code in the electronics of their hearing aids. They are the only ones who can unlock that code for future repair and follow up care. They sink their hooks into their customers. For instance, if your Audibel salesman resigns and you don’t trust or like their replacement then you can’t bail on Audibel. If you move and your closest Audibel store is inconvenient then you’re stuck with traveling to them. However, if you buy the exact same Starkey hearing aid model then you can obtain support from my Gardner Audiology staff or most any hearing health provider in the nation.

If you must do business with Audibel then insist that they sell you the comparable Starkey model instead of the Audibel version.

Recommendations

The knowledge and formal education of your hearing healthcare provider is much more important than the brand of hearing aid you buy. Retail hearing aid chains such as Audibel usually employ hearing aid specialist who need no formal education other than high school equivalent. In comparison audiologists have earned a doctorate degree and can most likely deliver a comparable hearing aid to you at a competitive price. I encourage people to be an educated consumer. Compare hearing aid prices and obtain a second opinion from an Audiologist with an advanced university degree. You are welcome to visit one of my audiologists for a courtesy second opinion about any hearing or contact me and I will find an audiologist near you. Click here to contact me or call 1-800-277-1182.

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