2 Month Review of my Resound Azures

Hey everyone,

I’ve had my Resound Azures for almost two months and I thought I would post a note with some thoughts about the performance of these hearing aids. I haven’t seen too many detailed posts about this model and I thought a few people on this board might find my comments helpful.

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 5 years and I’ve tried a number of different brands to correct what is mostly a high frequency hearing loss. I’ve tried a bunch of hearing aids over the years but I seem to keep coming back to GN Resound products because the sound clarity has always been top notch. Last year I was due to replace my GN Resound Airs (Insurance pays every 3 years) and my audiologist recommended the Resound Pixel CICs. I tried these aids out for a number of months and I was extremely pleased with the sound clarity. The big issue I had was that I couldn’t really get used to the occlusion (as I was spoiled by the open fitting Resound Airs) and while the noise reduction was adequate, I was still having issues during lunch meetings in noisy restaurants. My audiologist recommended trading up to the new Azures and all I can say is WOW!!!

The mini BTE Azures are a tiny bit bigger than my old Resound Airs but the quality of sound, directionality and noise reduction capabilities are phenomenal. I ended up getting the aids in a cool flat black color and with my dark brown hair, they are hard to notice.

This is the first hearing aid that I have every owned that has the ability to deal with the noisiest of restaurants. When I flip over to the restaurant setting on the aids, the ambient noise drops way down and I honestly think that I can now hear people at the table much better than people with normal hearing. I’m not sure what they have done with the noise reduction capabilities of this hearing aid but it is remarkably better than any of my previous hearing aids. I’m no longer worried when people invite me out lunch meetings because I can participate like a normal person in the conversation. This is a big relief given that restaurants are the ultimate torture test for hearing aid users.

One of the coolest features of this aid is the new Bluetooth headset that I ordered as an extra option. The Bluetooth headset clips onto the bottom of either hearing aid and turns your hearing aid into a cell phone headset through a direct digital connection. The way it works is that it stays turned off while connected and your hearing aid just acts like a normal hearing aid. When your cell phone rings, you hear a ringing sound in the hearing aid and you can answer the call by either pushing a button on the headset or by answering the call from the phone. Once you answer the call, the hearing aid automatically turns off the external mikes and turns on the cell phone mike. When you hang up the call, the headset automatically turns off and the hearing aid turns back on. Very cool. This is way better than a telecoil solution and the whole thing looks like you are wearing a bluetooth headset when its connected. The cell phone feature takes up one of the four program slots but this allows you to create custom hearing aid settings for cell phone use. This accessory was double the price of a regular bluetooth headset but it was way cheaper than purchasing a solution like the Streamer. Its a very good solution for those people who have to talk a lot on cell phones. I still use my telecoil setting when I’m not wearing the headset but the nicest thing about the headset is that you don’t get the interference that is typical of telecoils.

Other things that I really like about these hearing aids is GN’s “Natural Directionality” feature. This is a cool idea where the mikes on both hearing aids are set differently to give you more directional capabilities. i don’t know how it works but after two months I can honest say that I can tell which elevator is arriving when I hear the elevator arrival bell in a big building. Perhaps someone on the board can explain this a bit better. The hearing aids take a bigger battery and I seem to be getting about 2 weeks or more on a set. This is great because I don’t have to bother taking batteries everywhere. My old hearing aids took a number 10 battery and they ran out every 3-4 days. 2 weeks is a huge improvement.

So my overall conclusion is that the Azures are worth the money. Yes…they were very expensive but the improved noise reduction, bluetooth headset and directional capabilities makes them worth it. I will say that I watched the audiologist set them up and the number of settings and adjustment process seemed complex. These hearing aids need to be fitted by someone who really knows the ins and outs of the multitude of software settings for these aids and trying to fit them through a mail order supplier would be quite the waste of time. My audiologist took me through all the various settings and explained the nuisances between these settings in detail. After the initial setup, we fine tuned the settings through a number of visits and in some cases, I tried out some of the optional settings for a few days at a time to see if I liked the changes. I don’t see how I could have gone through this process without having access to a local expert. It wouldn’t surprise me if some customers end up going with less complex/cheaper aids than the Azures because their audiologist doesn’t know how to properly adjust the aids or doesn’t want to take the time to take customers through a lengthy trial and error process.

I’m quite happy and I would strongly recommend the Azures to anyone who fits the profile of the product and wants a bluetooth solution for their cell phone. At the end of the day, all I really care about is the quality/clarity of sound in many listening situations and this product delivers the best performance I’ve seen in very challenging listening environments. The only bad thing I can say about them is that I still haven’t figured out a good solution for listening to my iPod and I still find BTE aids a nuisance with glasses. I hate the feeling of having multiple things hanging off my ears…

Let me know if you have any questions. I was thinking of posting some pictures of the bluetooth headset so that you could all see what it looks like. Let me know if you are interested in seeing some pictures.

Jordan.

I demo’ed the Azure about 8 months ago, but bluetooth and rechargeable batteries weren’t available in the US then, at least not from my audiologist. I was initially drawn to the Azure because of the bluetooth and natural directionality, but because bluetooth and rechargeable batteries weren’t available, and other reasons as I posted in other threads, I settled on the Pulse.

I’m wearing a pair of dot 30s now, and happy to have the natural directionality back. They seem to combine the best of the Azure and pulse into a tiny receiver-in-the-ear aid.

I’d love to see pictures of the Azure and the bluetooth attachment. I wonder if it’s now available in the US.

Here is a link to some photos of the Bluetooth headset for the Azures. Its quite cool looking and works well. The coolest thing about it is that the bluetooth adapter only turns on when you are talking. When its not in use, the hearing aid operates as if the bluetooth adapter isn’t there. I considered waiting for the Dot to come out but this hearing aid has more features/flexibility and can be reconfigured for use with a closed earmold and earhook (in case my hearing gets worse and I can’t use open fittings, etc). Also…I really wanted a clean solution for using a cell phone. I live in Canada and I’m one of the first users to get the headset. I don’t think its available in the USA yet.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jekalpin/HearingAidPhotos

Let me know what you think of the photos.

Jordan.

Cool! Great pictures! I like the Pulse a lot, and expect to like the dot 30 because it’s so tiny, but I really like that Azure bluetooth solution. And it seems like you made a good color choice.

dang that looks real heavy is it light?

does it have voice dialing*

The headset looks big but its actually as light as a feather. Probably the weight of the hearing aid or a bit less. When I first got it, I initially thought they forgot to install the rechargeable battery because it was so light. Turns out, the battery was inside already and it worked perfectly. Resound owns Jabra and the power adapter that came with the headset has a Jabra label on it so they probably had Jabra do the design work. My only complaint is that you have to take off your hearing aid to attach and remove the headset.

My Blackberry has voice dialing but I haven’t tried it yet. Will let you know.

Jordan

I wasn’t able to see the photos.

I can still see them just fine. I’m on a Mac running Leopard using the Safari browser.

Ok, I see it now. Wow that’s cool!!! Are you only using it for the phone. Would it be better to have 2 in order to listen to mp3 player?
I’m going to get my tests and fitting on Friday. I just found out my insurance pays 80% up to $5000 so I’m stoked!! Imagine, just finding out you’re going to save $4000+. I still don’t have a clue which brand to get but I’m getting the best.

Hi jbrsd1

“I still don’t have a clue which brand to get …” - That’s easy. You get the one that costs $5000! :smiley: :rolleyes:

Just kidding! Find out the brands with which your fitter has the most experience. That’s critical. Then pick. Good luck!

Dag

pick top 3 –
siemens oticon phonak — maybe GN
those are top brands

Oh, you better believe it! I’m spending it all!!!

As I compare the different bluetooth options I really like the streamer. I watched some of the videos on how it can be used on the Oticon site. But I know my hearing loss is Severe/Profound. Question to dispensers…which models will have the power I need?
John

no
oticon only covers up to 80 dbhl

we are expecting them to get a power version within 3-4 weeks time…

The company will have their anual meeting in 3-4 weeks time we expect to

see what it will launch…

If they did not come up with such product, it will be launch at EUHA

in October… Phonak has something power bluetooth therefore,

it will expect Oticon would want to get at par quite soon

Natural directionality basically fits one ear with an omnidirectional microphone and the other with directional. The theory is that you can have the benefits of both systems at the same time (better hearing in noise, and better environmental sound awareness).

As I’m looking at the different HA’s, let me ask you audi’s…Do people really like the different colors?
John

I Sell tons of delta, they can be ordered wit very strange colors–
however, most people pick 2 or 3 different shells…

I guess having tons of colors is a desirable thing, but people ultimately only pick two or three