A predator with his ears on backwards =?

= ? ….Dead meat… well not yet.

So I have had my bargain basement Siemens Centra Actives for a month or so now.
For those new to my “cause” … I am classic mature age ski sloper .
I had a bad case of “sticker shock” after the audio quoted me aud 8500 for near redundant second string aids
I subsequently bought “gold standard” grey aids off the web and had them set up by the local Siemens distributor ( cum audio practice)

My lifestyle dictates that wearing the aids on a regular basis ( eg daily ) would be a bit pointless as I live a quiet rural life.
It has , therefore, taken some little while to generate a picture of the improvements or otherwise that they lend to my life .

The executive summary:
Hearing in quiet environment… 4/10… … they don’t add enough detail to make them worth the effort.
Hearing in noise (a) 8/10 Quiet(ish) restaurant. very good …no guessing … small group conversation quite clear.
Hearing in quiet environment … Movie theatre… 7/10… fair to good … dialogue generally much clearer but still guessing some dialectic dialogue
Hearing in live theatre 5/10 barely worth the trouble … yes the dialogue is marginally better … but the music sounds like manure …
Hearing in Noise (b) 0/10 30 or so adults in a large tent for a 21st birthday party… completely useless… running flat out and I think the aids just gave up.
( I don’t know how folks get by without the remote … it seems to me to be seminal to the task)

So I am going back to my Audio to see what can be done… but I would be a very unhappy camper if I had ten grand riding on the race so far…
My disability is hearing in a noisy social environment , and in this critical situation the aids failed completely.

My observations are that with it’s ears on backwards… no processor is going to cut the mustard ( let alone feed the predator) and I have little hope for salvation.
Higher frequencies are more directional… my brain computes that… it seems the aids do not.
I did try my traveling noise reducing headphones in a noisy restaurant environment a year or so ago, and they did help.
Next project is to play with the aids and the nr headphones.

I have a vision of a dedicated setup of good muffling nr headphones with a little programmable amp on the headband with a couple of forward facing small cone directionally sensitive mikes
Who cares if a rig like this would look a bit … er overt… I would be happy to just hear the person who is talking to me…


It sounds like you’re missing some additional HF gain, but your audi might be limited in the amount they are able to give as Siemens tends to have the most Feedback issues of any manufacturer. Do you use domes or a custom ear tip? Custom ear tips allow more gain without feedback. Was any real ear measures done when you were fitted (i.e a little tube put in your ear with the hearing aid to see how much sound is actually reaching your eardrums relative to your hearing loss?

The other and possibly most significant issue comes down to the amount you are actually wearing them. We hear with the brain and not just the ear. The brain needs to acclimatise to the new sound in quiet (even when you are alone you make noises that allows the brain to relearn with the added gain from the aids) before full benefit can be derived in noise (which also improves with every new experience for a period of several months!). It is a well know fact that people who use their aids consistently tend to do much better than those who don’t. So I challenge you to wear your aids all day everyday for a fortnight and note if you experience any improvement (This works best if the aids were properly verified and optimally adjusted without gain reductions to compensate for feedback).

If these aids were supplied by the audi you might have already been switched to another brand as some people cope better with certain brands than others due to different features suited to different lifestyles, expectations etc. Appropriate counseling also seems missing from your whole experience.

hearnow is quite correct, auditory depravation is a real thing, even if you dont seem to needed, your brain need to receive sounds; if the aids are properly fit you should be able to confortably use them all day… In the long run you would benefit

I live by myself, and I would never wear my aids at home. My audi told me to, but I never would. I started having more problems with my speech discrim in noise and everytime I would complain about she would tell me to wear them at home and in situations when I am not trying to hear speech so I could get used to hearing the noise. Though most of my speech discrim issues were being my hearing was rapidly progressivly getting worse - we didn’t realise that at the time - listening to ‘noise’ did help in a noticable way.

One thing my audi also had me do was turn on my TV and radio at the same time and try to listen to one or the other at a time. This also helped me be able to teach my brain how to focus on the correct sounds.

Hearing aids are a magical fix, they require work too. Especially if you haven’t heard some of the sounds for a long period of time. It can be a frustrating process but keep at it because the results are well worth the effort.

i would try lace for sure, your speech dis. is very likely to increase
it cost only a bit of money but you have so much to gain

Thanks for the feedback (sic)…

We do agree on one thing … and that is that I have been poorly advised… but that ain’t my fault.
My first two audio reports are from the two major players… both backed and recommended by a gaggle of local ent’s.
My opinion is that they wanted lots of money and were offering little in return.

I find your brand prejudice unprofessional … although quite transparent.
IMnsHO , this devalues your otherwise thoughtful and caring contributions to the list
Not sure what Siemens did to you … but you won’t get back on their xmas list by constantly bagging their products… :slight_smile:
Perhaps the Phonak rep has treated you to one too many red wine lubricated lunches and spun you a Chevy’s are better than Fords because …line of …manure

It is quite early days and the Audio who set them up seemed pretty switched on.
My deal is that I pay 35 bucks each tweak …so I’m heading back in for a … tweak.
They were set up with rem . I suspect that there is some unused volume available as I was a bit blown away with the sound in the initial set up.
He did comment that he could not normalize some frequencies , so we will consider that also.

Wearing them all the time for adaptation ( and reliance ) is work in progress .
I will try to put up with them on a more regular basis… but may also decide that the daily irritation aint worth the party conversation … such is life
Same story for the tips… I’m just using the smallest tips provided and can’t imagine tolerating any thing larger blocking up my orifices.
I will discuss all of this stuff with the audio and see where it takes me.


Yes , good suggestion, thanks … will follow it up.
I’m not financially challenged, just a bit parsimonious…

Thanks for the input.
This makes good sense , as my mid range is more sensitive than ever as my peanut sized brain chases the detail.
Much of my life is a challenging environment for hearing aids, but I can , and will , wear them more in an attempt to find an accomodation between the irritation of the disability “assistance” … and the potential gains.

I find your brand prejudice unprofessional … although quite transparent.
IMnsHO , this devalues your otherwise thoughtful and caring contributions to the list
Not sure what Siemens did to you … but you won’t get back on their xmas list by constantly bagging their products…
Perhaps the Phonak rep has treated you to one too many red wine lubricated lunches and spun you a Chevy’s are better than Fords because …line of …manure

I make no pretenses about particularly liking Siemens. I have been employed in environments where Siemens was all that was available to me for around 3 years and have always had an uphill battle in those environments to keep clients happy. Once I found myself in an environment with freedom to prescribe what I wanted, I did so and found that all of these previous uphill battles were a thing of the past. Even in these free environments I still gave Siemens a shot and again my clients and thus myself were disappointed. I do not just prescribe Phonak, although they are my clear favorites. I investigate all the options from all brands out there and choose what’s best for MY client. I report my experiences which is the aim of this forum. If you in your opinion feel that that is unprofessional, then YOU must misunderstand professionality.

I have never prescribed to any form of bribery and take great offense at your comment that I do. I have made it clear to manufacturers that I will not be bribed and have always based my decisions on a hearing aid’s technical ability rather than marketing fluff. For you information Siemens is actually the company offering the most incentives to the practitioners in AU, while Phonak actually offers none. None of what I write here will make any difference to your opinion I’m sure. At least you can rest assured that I choose not to respond to any further advice you might need on this forum. I’ll spend my valuable free time on other more deserving posts.

I am not posting to this list seeking free advice .
I am posting to the list to provide some balance for the readers.
Not everyone buys the poor downtrodden but altruistic audio spiel.

An awful lot of current and potential audio customers are quite angry about the convenient alignment between audiologists and aid manufacturers that continues to support usurious charges upon folks who should not be exploited.

Feel free to ignore any future post that I make , but methinks he doth protest too much .

I have no idea if Siemens make crap hearing aids, but the kind of brand bagging you have promoted wouldn’t move my opion e way or t’other.

Go back and read your posts and attempt to evaluate how the bias is presented with only anecdotal evidential support.

I did not and am not suggesting that you were bribed … unless you take a very narrow defenition of the word.
I did suggest , based on your anecdotally based hatchet jobs on Siemens at every opportunity … that you present as overtly biased with an anti- Siemens Agenda.

Every Audio practice that I have visited appears to be attched to one manfacturer or another.
From a manufacturers perspective ,it is a pretty attractive , and perhaps common ,practice to seek and nurture the kind of overt public bias you demonstrate… it’s also a neat way to get invited out to nice red wine lunches.

None of the above ??
Pure as the driven snow ??

Good …pleased to hear it.


i have seen Hearnow, post and to be fair, I find his reviews balance and
accurate. Remember, the idea of the forum is to provide information so that the end user can buy what ever is best for them. It is true. some of us do more work for one work, I fit a lot of GN and Oticon - so when someone ask a question in this brand I could answer the same goes true for ZCT wich works starkey only and what not…

Hopefully, as a end user what you get is a lot of information and you buy what is best for you…

I believe most audis/his agree that, ultimately it is about what the end user
can do- I would rather buy a ABC hearing aid from an unknow company knowing my audi knows how to program a HI well as oppose to #1 or #2 brand in the market…

I would like to think most of the prof. here think the same way…