Poll finds half of British adults have never had a hearing test

An opimium conducted a survey of 2,007 British adults in 2019 found that many had never taken a hearing test. New mobile service provider Audacious, are hoping to change the way people communicate for good, and want to raise awareness of hearing loss, and hearing health.


  • GroupCreated with Sketch. More than two thirds of British adults have experienced difficulties hearing or being heard on mobile calls with one in ten experiencing difficulties regularly*
  • GroupCreated with Sketch. Unclear mobile calls are leaving nearly a fifth of Brits feeling frustrated and stressed, rising to 90% and 69% respectively for people who have hearing loss
  • GroupCreated with Sketch. Almost a quarter report avoiding answering the phone altogether and ‘Phone fear’ is resulting in almost one in five adults feeling isolated
  • GroupCreated with Sketch. New mobile network Audacious, is launching today, to offer personalised calls to people based on their hearing profile, to help address issues of isolation

More than two thirds (67%) of British adults are struggling to hear or be heard on mobile calls, with one in ten experiencing difficulties regularly.   The breakdown in communication is leaving many Brits feeling frustrated (18%) and stressed (17%)1.  When looking at people affected by hearing loss specifically these figures soar to nine in 10 (90%) of people feeling frustrated and nearly seven in 10 (69%) feeling stressed.

The findings are released to coincide with the launch of Audacious, a new UK mobile phone network, on a mission to make calls clearer, using a world-first medically certified technology developed in partnership with audiologists to personalise mobile calls based on your unique hearing profile, enabling people to get the most out of their calls.  Audacious is aimed at helping anyone who experiences difficulty hearing calls on their mobile.   Whether because you’re in a crowded place or because of hearing ability.

Almost a quarter (23%) report avoiding answering the phone altogether, due to their concerns of not hearing the person on the other end, leading to a widespread ‘Phone Fear’ and the phenomenon is leading to one in five (17%) Brits experiencing feelings of isolation as a result.

Hear your mobile calls better with Audacious MobileThe poll revealed a widespread lack of understanding of hearing health in the UK as more than half (55%) of British adults surveyed reported having either never having had a hearing test or can’t remember the last time they did.  In comparison, nearly two thirds (61%) had taken an eyesight test in the last year.  This is in spite of Action on Hearing Loss data revealing that over 11 million across the UK are living with hearing loss**.

From today, anyone can visit the Audacious website and take a quick, commitment free sound check to receive their own personal hearing profile.  Customers can then order a personalised SIM card tailored to the individual way they hear. There is no need for users to upgrade or replace their handset, instead, they simply swap their existing SIM card with a new Audacious one.

Audacious works exactly how your current mobile service does, with minutes, texts and data but importantly makes your calls clearer too. Contracts will be rolling on a flexible 30-day basis, which allow users the freedom to leave at any time. Prices will range from £14 per month for 2GB of data to £24 a month for 10GB of data and all tariffs will come with unlimited texts and minutes.

Audacious was founded by Matthew Turner, who has had moderate to severe hearing loss his whole life. Matthew set up the network in response to the lack of support provided to him and many others by the telecoms networks.

Audacious Founder, Matthew Turner said: “Having lived with moderate to severe hearing loss since birth, I am fully aware of the emotional impact millions of people are experiencing as they struggle daily to communicate using the mobile phone.  It was a real struggle to talk on the phone and it had a negative impact on both my personal and professional life.  As no mobile operator was offering or appeared to be working towards a solution to this global challenge, I made it my personal mission to develop the technology that could tailor phone calls to individual hearing loss or needs and so empower people across the UK to have better, clearer conversations.”

Hear your mobile calls better with Audacious MobileHearing Scientist, University of Cambridge, Professor Brian Moore who has worked on developing Audacious said: “When sound travels over your mobile network, it loses some of its definition. When this happens, we lose the highest and lowest frequencies, making it harder to hear the person we’re talking to.  That’s where Audacious technology comes in. It understands your hearing ability and improves the clarity of speech on your calls to suit your personal hearing profile”

Former England Rugby player Ben Cohen MBE who experiences hearing loss said: “I’ve never let my hearing loss hold me back, whether playing sport at an international level or learning to ballroom dance. The one thing I find hard though is missing out on interactions with loved ones.   I travel a lot and while text or emails are great you can’t beat hearing the sound of someone’s voice.  Audacious is a game-changer as it means I can hear about my children’s day wherever I am”

Audacious CEO, Rob Shardlow said: “The beauty of Audacious is in its simplicity, you don’t need to change your mobile phone or add any accessories, simply do the quick, free online soundcheck to find out how you hear, receive your personalised hearing profile and then order your customised Audacious SIM card that works for how YOU hear.”

*Opimium survey of 2,007 British adults conducted by Opinium in July 2019
** Action on Hearing Loss Hearing Matters Report 2015

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