i’ve been wearing the soundlens in both ears now for almost 2 years now. The quality of them has been great; as someone who has worn hearing aids for the past 32 years since I was 3 years old, I thoroughly enjoy every new pair as the technology just keeps getting better and better (I’ve worn Starkeys since the 90s in high school). That said, because they keep improving technologically speaking, there is greater room for adjustment, I think, and I definitely spent a good month or two going back and forth to my audiologist’s office to get the right sound when I got them. The occlusion definitely was noticeable at first, but once my audiologist got them adjusted right (I think it was too heavy on the low-frequencies), that went away and I no longer thought I was going crazy. I do think that these smaller aids are more sensitive to humidity, which can make them feel more full/occlusive or sound different, which is my only gripe with them.
As for the background noise in the restaurant, I think you should make sure your audiologist knows about this problem b/c it sounds like an adjustment issue to me. This pair is the first pair of aids that has really had good background noise filters; I’m able to hear conversation in loud restaurants much better than ever. In fact, I often can hear better than my husband when we eat out and he has amazing hearing. I do have trouble at work sometimes, if there’s a lot of chatter going on around me (loud, but not quite “loud restaurant loud”), but it’s better than before this pair. And if the music sounds tinny, that’s also an adjustment issue. Music should sound really good with these, or at least I have found that to be the case, as I had some “tinny” qualities when initially getting situated with these, but after communicating with my patient audiologist, we got it to sound right and I’m very happy with the sound quality.
Some of the best advice I can give you as a new HA wearer is to be patient and to make sure your audiologist is patient. It takes some time to figure out how things sound and sometimes even longer to be able to articulate the concern to your audi (it can be hard to describe what it is you’re hearing or noticing, but once it’s clear, they can usually fix it, or if not, they can call Starkey, who can offer advice.) Don’t be afraid to speak up and let him/her know what’s bothering you and don’t feel bad if it takes several tries; they want you to be happy and to hear as best is possible!
My aids do the random beeps followed by a long beep from time to time. I have no idea why, but so far, nothing bad seems to happen after I hear them, and my audiologist didn’t know the cause as of a year ago.