Blackdown Hearing is the business of Duncan Jury and it has offices in Taunton and Somerton, which are both in the tractor-inflicted county of Somerset in the UK.
After 20+ years of failing hearing I decided I'd like to hear things once again and sought out an audiologist. I looked at various online reviews of audiologists and the ones for Blackdown Hearing are universally excellent. That sort of thing makes me initially suspicious in today's world of fraudulent reviews, but after using Duncan's services myself I can see why his company is so highly rated.
I had messed about with some of the cheaper hearing aids, bought online, for a few years, but decided to go all-in and get a proper pair of hearing aids. An appointment was made and I was off to a place called the Swan Retreat in Stoke St Mary, which is where Blackdown Hearing has its Taunton office. It's a lovely location, for what it's worth. Depending upon which direction you're coming from, you might miss the turning the first time and only see the sign to the Swan Retreat once you've passed it, but you'll know where it is for future visits.
The first thing Duncan did was syringe my ears. My hearing's so bad I hadn't realised they were blocked. That done, I then had a bunch of hearing tests. These will indicate what sort of hearing aids you need and how the hearing aids need to be configured.
Duncan is personable and set me at ease, which is particularly important for the sort of in-your-face profession audiology is. He is also professional and really knows his stuff. You'd think that's a given for an audiologist, but about a decade ago I saw an NHS audiologist — and the NHS is an organisation I usually have a huge amount of respect for — but I was sent away with a single hearing aid that didn't do the job. That hearing aid fell into disuse and I later started buying cheap, off-the-shelf hearing aids from the internet. Such hearing aids might be okay if your hearing loss is very mild, but I'd say it's a waste of money for most people. It certainly was for me.
Anyway, back to the appointment, I wasn't messing about and ordered hearing aids, as per Duncan's recommendation, there and then. About three weeks later Duncan had the hearing aids and I was back for the fitting. I noticed almost immediately these hearing aids were in a different league to anything I'd tried before.
Duncan had configured them based on my hearing tests and they were pretty much spot-on. I nevertheless returned three weeks after that for a follow-up appointment where some minor tweaking was performed. I've had one issue since then that Duncan sorted out quickly and efficiently.
You can tell Duncan cares about his customers and his reputation. He communicates well throughout the process and regularly checks to make sure everything is going okay. I cannot find a single thing to complain about and he fully deserves the excellent reviews he receives.
The only problem for me now is I've lost an excuse. I can no longer claim I didn't hear something properly and people know that I chose not to hear them.
Back in October, I reviewed the Starkey Livio Edge 2400 AI hearing aids I got from Blackdown Hearing in case you're interested.