A prospective trial of hearing aid provision was undertaken to define factors which might be used to allow hearing aids to be fitted optimally. Patients referred for the provision of a hearing aid were studied prospectively at each of five visits when they were questioned by means of a proforma. Fifty-six patients completed the trial and gave adequate responses for analysis. No audiometric or symptomatic criteria were found to be of use in predicting the final choice of hearing aid combination. It may be that initial sequential monaural aiding leads to a higher uptake of binaural aids in the long term. Patients valued multiple visits to the clinic and sequential trials of monaural aiding, the majority felt that binaural aids should be tried.