Free Hearing Assessment

At The Hearing Care Partnership, hearing tests are completely free. Our trained hearing care professionals are here to help – there’s no obligation to purchase hearing aids or use our ear wax removal service. Book your free hearing test today at one of over 230 practices across the UK.

An audiologist performing a hearing assessment on a patient.

What is a hearing test?

A hearing test helps determine if you have hearing loss, whether minor or more severe. At The Hearing Care Partnership, our free hearing assessments are easy and painless.

Your audiologist will ask about your lifestyle, go through your medical history, and perform a variety of tests – otoscopy, tympanometry, pure tone audiometry, and speech tests.

We’ll talk through your results with you, whether you need any treatment, and if hearing aids could be beneficial.

When was your most recent hearing test?

How often do you visit the doctor, dentist or optician? And when was the last time you had a hearing test? If it wasn’t recently, you’re not alone. But it’s just as important to visit an audiologist regularly.

Having regular hearing tests will help you keep your hearing healthy and will help us increase the chance of catching any irregularities early on, avoiding any further hearing decline.

This is particularly important if you’re over 50, as the risk of hearing loss rises to 40% in this age group. Increasing again to 70% in the over-70s.

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How do I know if I need a hearing test?

Perhaps you struggle to enjoy conversations when there’s too much background noise, you often need people to repeat themselves or speech can sound muffled or lack definition – these are all signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss.

As hearing loss is often gradual, it can be hard to tell it’s happening. In fact, it’s often a loved one that notices your hearing loss long before you do. On average, it can take around seven years for someone to recognise and accept their hearing loss and choose to wear hearing aids.

Here are some of the signs of hearing loss that indicate it’s a good idea to get a hearing test:

Finding it difficult to communicate in groups or with background noise

Turning up the TV volume louder or needing subtitles

Needing to ask people to repeat themselves constantly

Missing sounds like the doorbell, oven timer or phone calls

Persistent ear ringing

Feeling isolated from conversations due to hearing difficulties

Apart from difficulty in hearing, hearing loss can also affect your psychological wellbeing. Feelings of isolation and frustration are common amongst those suffering from hearing loss as they find it harder to interact and communicate with other people, so they often avoid doing so altogether. Depression and even dementia are more likely to develop if hearing loss is not addressed, so the warning signs shouldn’t be ignored.

The 6 steps of your hearing test

Two people dancing in a kitchen.

1. You and your lifestyle

We want to know what’s important in your life and how your hearing might be impacting this. So, we’ll discuss your work and home environment, your hobbies and your interests. This will give us the full picture when understanding your needs.

A woman writing on a clipboard.

2. Medical history

We’ll also need to delve into your medical history, asking questions to find out about any relative conditions or symptoms, such as ear infections or tinnitus. This helps our audiologists to decipher whether you suffer from any medical conditions that could have an effect on your hearing.

An audiologist examining the ear of a patient with an otoscope.

3. Otoscopy

The next step is to use an otoscope to look into your ears. An otoscope is a simple instrument that helps us see inside your ear canals. We’ll check that they’re in healthy condition, with no obvious obstructions, inflammations or earwax build-ups that might be contributing to hearing loss.

A patient having a tympanometry test.

4. Tympanometry

This is followed by a test for the eardrum and middle ear. A simple and quick tympanometry procedure will change the pressure in your ear canal and record the movement of your eardrum. It can detect a variety of conditions, from glue ear to eustachian tube dysfunction.
This part of the test is unique to The Hearing Care Partnership – it’s not usually offered by other high-street audiologists and was previously only carried out at specialist ENT hospital clinics.

An audiologist performing a hearing test on a patient.

5. Pure tone audiometry

The fifth and most important part is the pure tone audiometry test. This is what determines if you have hearing loss and measures its severity. The test is simple in concept: it aims to determine the quietest sound you can hear. Wearing headphones, we’ll play you a series of tones at different frequencies/levels and ask you to respond when you hear them. Wherever you stop being able to hear the tones will indicate your level of hearing loss. Or, you might be able to hear them all – fabulous!

‘Speech-in-noise’ test.

6. Speech test

Known as a ‘speech-in-noise’ test. Headphones and pre-recorded sounds are used to replicate conditions found in common everyday environments – such as coffee shops or restaurants – where background noise often causes problems for people with hearing loss. We also perform a ‘speech-in-quiet’ test, to measure speech recognition with no background noise.

How long will your hearing test last?

All together the hearing assessment takes around 60-75 minutes. And once complete you’ll receive a full breakdown of your results. We’ll then discuss recommendations on what to do next and whether hearing aids or further treatment would be beneficial to you.

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Close up shot of a hearing aid dispenser fitting hearing aids.

What happens if hearing loss is found?

If your audiologist does find signs of hearing loss, don’t worry – it’s very common. In fact, 40% of people over 50 have hearing loss. And there are plenty of treatment options.

If you need them, we will show you our hearing aid options as a part of your free check-up. We offer a 60-day money-back guarantee on all our hearing aids, so you can find out which model best suits your ears.

100% independent
As a truly independent hearing care provider we are not tied to any one manufacturer and will evaluate a range of hearing aids on the market to help choose what is most appropriate for each patient.

Discreet hearing aids
Many people are worried about using hearing devices. But with brilliant new technology offering discreet styles, hearing aids are far less noticeable in 2022.

Find your perfect hearing aid
Explore our range of hearing aids here. Our audiologists are on hand to answer your questions – from designs and features to costs and payment plans.

If your hearing loss is caused by a build-up of excess wax in the ear canal, your audiologist will discuss options for removal.

At THCP we use the latest and safest technologies to remove earwax, choosing from manual removal, microsuction and water irrigation, depending on what’s best for your ears.

Our earwax removal services cost a flat fee of £70 for an in-practice consultation and an appointment will take about 30 minutes.

'Free Hearing assessments' banner.

How much does a hearing test cost?

At THCP our hearing and tinnitus assessments are completely free. And there is no obligation to purchase a hearing aid or use our earwax removal service – even if we recommend these as further treatment. We’re simply here to help and advise what’s best for you!

How to book a free hearing test?

Book online

Book a free hearing test at your local practice using our simple online booking system

Book by phone

Call us on 0800 52 00 546. Lines open Monday to Saturday 8.30am – 5pm

Frequently asked questions

Everyone’s hearing changes over time. So it’s important to get it checked at least every two years, or as soon as you notice any of the signs of hearing loss mentioned above.

It’s true that your risk of hearing loss increases as you get older: the UK charity Action On Hearing Loss estimates that more than 40% of people over 50 have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70. So it’s tempting to keep putting off getting a hearing test, but the reality is there’s no such thing as being ‘too young’ for a hearing test.

In fact, our audiologists recommend regular hearing tests to anyone over the age of 25, or to anyone who is experiencing signs of hearing loss or changes to their hearing.

If you are a parent or guardian with concerns about your child’s hearing and they are under the age of 18 you should seek a referral from your GP to your local NHS paediatric audiology service.

When talking to a loved one about hearing loss, it’s important to:

  • Choose the right moment
  • Avoid accusatory or aggressive language
  • Remain positive
  • Listen and be supportive

It can be a hard topic to bring up, but approaching it with understanding and empathy will make the conversation easier.