Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! A gift to myself is going to be a HA.
Something idiopathic caused single-sided SSNHL so I’m only shopping for a single HA. I think I want an 813 battery model to save size and weight without relying on recharging. I have a musical and engineering background but value intelligence & speed of the HA over features like streaming. My focus is on speech-in-noise performance and automatic & accurate detection of environment. The apps sound nice but ideally I won’t need to tweak it constantly.
Question #1: Are directionality features diminished if I won’t have an HA in both ears?
My ENT’s AuD suggested open-fit (vs occluded) type and demoed Phonak Marvel and Resound Quattro RIC for me. At that time I had not found this forum yet. I forgot to take pictures or note the tips used, but I believe they were open/vented. My notes say I found the Quattro more noticeable when I spoke and others spoke, while the Marvel was neither and so I thought that the Marvel was better. Now that I’ve read this forum and watched Youtube, I recognize that conclusion was premature.
I went to Costco to compare Sonova KS-9 (Marvel) vs Resound Preza (Quattro). HIS#1 did a hearing evaluation and answered questions before running out of time. After going home to read more and digest, I visited HIS#2 who demoed both for me and did a cursory REM on each after exploring various configurations of receiver and dome.
HIS#1 said KS-9 was better for steeper sloping audiogram, uses compression, may sound tinny to me. HIS#1 comes from a Phonak background, yet recommended the Resound for me. HIS#2 comes from a Resound background, and initially recommended Phonak to me, until we demoed different configurations and found the Resound seemed to suit me better.
Hearing test info:
Pictures and notes from Costco HIS#2 (feel free to comment or edit this):
I recognize that I am not a perfect candidate for open domes given feedback risk; however ENT’s AuD demoed Marvel & Quattro using them, and HIS#2 also used them on my Preza demo. I found the closed-domes noticeable in my ear (i.e. less comfortable, or needing more time to acclimate). I also found the Phonak calibration routine more annoying (longer, louder, higher pitched) than Resound’s which was softer and more static sounding. After first-fit, I felt the KS-9 was too loud while Preza was too soft. At some point I believe HIS#2 used 90% of NA-L2 which felt “about right”. HIS#2 commented that the Phonak software initially suggested power receiver + power dome, which he disagreed with. HIS#2 said that I might need custom molded cshell to get KS-9 to work optimally. I didn’t like this idea because I could already feel the closed-domes in my ear.
Preza with 813 battery lacks physical volume control so that needs to be adjusted via the app.
Preza may never work with Android ASHA for Bluetooth on my Pixel 2, so I shouldn’t expect hands-free calling.
It’d be ok for me to use a medium/regular receiver on the KS-9 and Preza.
It’d be ok for me to use an open-dome on the Preza.
Sorry for the long read. Any feedback on what I’ve been told or how to decide based on these findings is welcome. Thanks for all the information on this forum!