What appears to be a simple organ from the outside, is in fact a complex blend of anatomy and physiology known as the ear. More than a mere fixture of our face, our ears are responsible for delivering hearing and restoring balance to our bodies.
The structure of the human ear is a multifaceted system comprised of three distinct parts. Each of these performs a specific role in the process of detecting and analysing sound. As one of the five senses, optimal hearing is a cornerstone to everyday functioning and communication.
There are times however when our hearing just isn’t up to scratch. Be it through illness, trauma, or degeneration over time, many of us will require the services of a specialist to optimise our hearing capability. Hearing specialists are known as audiologists. Audiologists are highly qualified and professionally accredited health care providers dedicated to good hearing.
Hearing centres and audiologists therein, conduct various hearing assessments to diagnose and treat a plethora of conditions. They go hand in hand with reaching developmental milestones of children, all the way through to the needs of our most senior citizens.
But in an unregulated market with fraught with manufacturer affiliated clinics, how to do determine the best audiologists from the rest? Fortunately, we’ve sought out some of the best hearing centres and audiologists in the Canberra regions. Do read on below.
What makes a great hearing centre and audiologist?
The best hearing centres and audiologists are independent specialists making optimal hearing accessible and achievable for all. They are masters in assessing and treating all manner of hearing impairments for both young – and young at heart. For the sharpest sounds in Canberra, here are our tips on evaluating your hearing centre and audiologist:
- Qualified & experienced. Audiologists have an intimate knowledge of hearing systems along with the techniques used to assess client needs. This knowledge is gained through five years of tertiary study, producing a master’s in Clinical Audiology. Moreover, all practitioners must be accredited with peak industry body Audiology Australia, to legally work as audiologists. Qualifications aside, experience also counts when seeking an audiologist. The best come with years of well-rounded experience, even specialisations in an area or two.
- Credentials. Good audiologists tick all the mandatory boxes for qualifications, but the best hold extra credentials too. For assurance of quality, look for optometrists that are members of the Australian College of Audiology. Moreover, consider those audiologists who are members of Independent Audiologists Australia. Both professional bodies ensure the utmost standards in professional care and instil binding codes of ethics.
- Brand independence. The best hearing centres and audiologists are brand agnostic. They not aligned with, nor do they financially benefit from, relationships with product manufacturers. This is important as it means that their recommendations are based solely on what is best for client care.
- All tests available. Great hearing centres are a single-stop solution for all manner of tests. Consider a centre that has the means to conduct pure tone audiometry, speech discrimination tests, and even online tests. Also look for those which offer objective hearing tests including otoacoustic emission testing, auditory brainstem response testing, and tympanometry. Doing so will save time scheduling numerous appointments at varied locations and adds to convenience too!
- Full service. As with comprehensive testing, great centres and audiologists offer everything when it comes to sales and service. This means stocking a wide range of products from all the leading brands. It also means offering products like hearing aid batteries, accessories, ear plugs, and ear protection. Importantly, look for those who can also service and repair hearing aids.
The best hearing centres and audiologists in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
As a not-for-profit organisation, the ACT Deafness Resource Centre provides information, support, reassurance, advocacy, and referrals for the hearing impaired, deaf, and those with chronic ear disorders.
Founded in 1985, the centre exists to support clients through their hearing loss journey. Having assisted thousands of families over their decade’s long history, they promote understanding of hearing-loss through education, advice and increased community awareness.
As a bastion of support in the community, their services break down barriers allowing clients to live independently. Key to this is are their individual consultations, providing information and advice tailored for specific hearing-loss needs, empowering clients to manage their hearing-loss effectively.
Another key aspect of their offering is a handy drop-in service. This service provides an open forum for visitors to explore various resources including an extensive range of assisted listening devices, which are also available to purchase. This includes personal microphone systems, smoke alarms, vibrating alarm clocks, video doorbells, flash alert units and much more.
Importantly, the centre is a registered NDIS provider, offering an extensive range of hearing-loss services. For genuine support and a wealth of resources to optimise your hearing ability contact the ACT Deafness Resource Centre today.
As Pip Rose wrote on Google, "Super helpful and supportive, especially when navigating the hell of NDIS. I really appreciated their kindness during this horrible time."
With over three decades experience, owner-operator Helen King is a qualified audiometrist and an accredited practitioner, as well as serving as the secretary for the Audiometrist Society of Australia. Her audiology clinic stands apart from the rest by offering diagnostic hearing test services in office - or the comfort of your home.
Services include hearing evaluations and audiograms backed up an extensive range of hearing aid products, and their aftercare needs. For an impeccable manner and the option of convenient home consultations look to Helen King Hearing Solutions.
Christopher Powell shared this review of Helen King Hearing Solutions on Google, "Extremely professional, personalised service."
Founded by Christo Fourie, Value Hearing set out to flip the traditional model of hearing services on its head. Offering a combination of the highest level of hearing expertise, wonderful customer care, quality aid and extensive aftercare, they continue to deliver value to customers around the country.
The Canberra clinic is an independent specialist audiology centre and hearing aid retailer. For a gold standard of hearing aids at more affordable prices, Value Hearing in Canberra is worth a visit.
Daniel Chisholm shared this review of Value Hearing on Google, "Professional, friendly service and very competitive prices on hearing aids."
Founded by principal and audiologist Mandy Nyhof, Brindabella Hearing Speech first opened its doors in 2004. Today this group of independent clinics has grown to become a pioneering leader, bringing countless new services to the region.
Their team of high calibre team of hearing and speech specialists are nothing less than university trained and professionally accredited experts. Offering the broadest range or hearing, speech, language, and balance services and products quality care is first and foremost with this team.
With close to four decades experience and more accolades than space here allows; Dr Vass is one of Canberra’s – and the nations – leading audiologists. As one of just twenty-two Doctors of Audiology his professional acumen and client commitment is second to none.
His local and independent clinic specialises in hearing health, with the practise dedicated to the ethical, positive, and fair treatment of clients. Well regarded for the quality of their personal approach to care and comprehensive after service, you can rest assured with Dr Vass Hearing.
Owned and operated by audiologist Kimberly Gordon in 2011, Canberra Audiology has been providing hearing assessment and rehabilitation services to Canberra residents far and wide.
Canberra Audiology is home to a team of highly experienced, tertiary qualified, and industry accredited audiologists who strive to provide caring and personalised service to meet individual needs.
Offering an comprehensive range of services, and with specialisations in paediatric and complex cases, Canberra Audiology are a wonderful independent choice.
As Thomas Walcott states on Google, "Best audiologists in Canberra."
If you’re looking for more ear health services in Canberra, you might like our article on the best ENT specialists. For other specialised services please see our articles on the best occupational therapists and the best optometrists that Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with hearing centres and audiologists in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the hearing centres and audiologists listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is specialised health-care professional that works with clients to preserve, manage, and improve hearing, ability to process sounds, and balance. Audiologists work with clients of all ages, from infants to the elderly, improving their ability to communicate effectively.
How does an audiologist differ from an otolaryngologist?
While audiologists focus on hearing ability, otolaryngologists focus on the organs - ears, nose, and throat. Audiologists are generally the first point of call for any hearing needs however, should further medical intervention be required they may refer to an otolaryngologist or ENT specialist.
What types of assessments do audiologists perform?
Audiologists perform a range of assessments to determine things hearing and auditory function, vestibular function, tinnitus, auditory processing, and neural function.
What can I expect from a standard hearing test?
Hearing tests assess the ability to hear the loudness and pitch of sounds. The results are produced on an audiogram, which outlines the specifics of any hearing problems. Common tests include pure tone audiometry, and speech discrimination. Audiometry tests are typically conducted in an insulated environment with headphones and an audiometer.
When should I have my hearing tested?
Beyond infant screening, it is recommended that children should have their hearing tested if any speech or languages disorders are found to be present. For adults, hearing should be tested as soon as any loss is suspected. Signs may include ringing in the ears, difficultly hearing through background noise, frequently asking others to repeat conversation, and complaints from others on speaking loudly. For any adults who have not yet had a hearing test, a baseline hearing test may be helpful for comparison further down the track.