About Um bongo (real name also Steve)


Hope this helps anybody who is interested…

I originally studied Electro-Mechanical (Combined) Engineering at Coventry, then went on to do some Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Cardiff.

This eventually resulted in me joining Knowles Electronics (google it) in the mid 1990s in UK tech projects for few years. Then went on to Puretone who were supplying the Med-Rx systems into the UK at the time, before doing my dispensing exams (at the same time as English Dispenser) and qualifying here.

I’ve been running my own business for 5 years (www.celtichearing.com) and I’m domiciled in West Wales (UK). Fitting ethos for me has always to find the customers the best level of technology combined with comfort and ease of use: this has resulted in lots of ‘Open’ fits of all styles and some good battles with feedback and wax…

Also available on Facebook: Here

And a bit of blogging too - some of it shamelessly borrowed from the exchanges on these forums: Here


And why “um bongo” - or did you get it in the jungle?


I wondered the same, but google revealed Um bongo to be a favourite drink that people are petitioning to get back on the market. Maybe he really liked it ? :slight_smile:


Just for fun :D: it’s also my log-in on a Welsh Rugby forum, and it pays not to have too many x-word log-in combinations.


I think us audiologist sometimes get tarred as being a bit dull and “beige”… glad to see a sense of humour!:slight_smile: - maybe it’s in the name Steve - but we both have silly usernames :slight_smile:


what do you think about medrx products


You have to try at least one, even if it’s only to get on the training course with Mike Poe in Seminole County. :smiley:

I use the Avant in my main centre - which works really well for me. I’m tempted to get the portable office audiometer too, but I don’t know if I could justify the full REM kit. Having sold the system here, I’m pretty happy with the way that it all hangs together, though I have to be honest I don’t use live speech mapping as much as I used to. That’s primarily due to the move away from custom ITE aids over the past five years, as well as proper in-situ audiometry functions on most manufacturers that I use.

I don’t use their V/O as it’s cumbersome and expensive for what it does, mine’s an Earcam with the LED and image capture box: that works well with the Avant SW though for keeping the V/O images alongside the patient record. The big benefit about an in-line image capture, is that if you have a Noah crash before the session is saved it will still have the V/O pictures in it’s memory, while the autorecovery on the Avant will retain the audiogram.


I never really like the graphics on the Medrx products. When it come to REM the best machine out there for me is the verifit- the only downsize is their poor noah module.
But I can live with out this, viewport is amazing and now it has a new alg. for verifiing
frequency compression - transposition.

I do own a Video Otoscope which I like. I must confess I prefer my new Otocam.
I also own a couple or rejuveair which are amazing… I heard Medrx is cheap
is really the case?


I don’t know how Med-Rx compare in the US on price with the other manufacturers, but I know it’s not the cheapest option here.

The main reason for using it was the speech-mapping and the integration of all the devices running above Noah, which standardises all my audiograms.


Question: just out of curiosity, does the British health care system provide hearing aids, and if so, how many and how long is the wait?


Yes, 500,000 or more, usually 6-12 weeks depending on the referral mechanism/demand in your area.


Behave. I’ve heard about you Cougar type women…:smiley:


Was this supposed to be a private message? I think you forgot where you were posting.


My apologies for the attempt at humor. I shall remove it…


Hi Steve,

I am currently trying out the Naida series. I was wondering whether the 16 channel or the 6 channel model will be better for me, given the kind of audiogram I have.

I am not so concerned about the price difference between the 6 channel and the 16 channel hearing aid; I am more concerned about being able to find the perfect fitting. I presume that the lower the number of channels the easier it is to find the right fitting through trial and error-am I right?

I have heard that the optimal number of channels depends on the hearing loss of the individual user. Could you recomment a 16 channel or a 6 channel aid depending on my audiogram?

My audiogram is as follows:
Right ear: 250 Hz(70) 500 Hz(75) 1k(79) 2k(74) 4k(65) 8k (60)
left ear: 250 Hz (85) 500 Hz (90) 1k(110) 2k(105) 4k(90) 8k (90)

Your input will be greatly appreciated =)



In truth, the stuff about channels is a bit overrated, the resolution of discrete filters allows better handling of noise in theory, but doesn’t seem to generate any practical improvement in SNR (Signal to noise ratio).

If you can afford a better instrument, then consider it: however, particularly in your left ear you might not be able to discern between it and the lesser instrument. If it was me, I’d suggest going with the the six channel device and putting some money towards a tv-link, I-com and Bluetooth phone. This will give you a better return on more situations than you will get for the more expensive aid by itself.

I’d also consider a decent carved shell silicone mould as part of the cost: get these renewed annually (or at least every 2 years) to maintain the peak performance of the aid.


Hi Steve,

Thanks a lot for the advice.

I have new moulds made every year (I just picked up my most recent pair).

I don’t use the tv-link/bluetooth etc since I am able hear fine without all these accessories; I worked hard when I was younger to learn how to discriminate speech without relying on the accessories.

One last question-will it be harder for me to find the perfect setting with the aid with more channels? Is there a lot of additional fine tuning to be done with the 16 channel aid?


I’m afraid there isn’t such a thing as a perfect setting, just one that is nearest to your needs. Technically it makes no difference in the fitting: however the 16 channel instrument offers more refinement in the the control of noise etc. Like I said above, you won’t really notice much difference on your worse ear, but there may be some marginal apparent comfort/clarity improvement on the other.

Feedback may be easier to manually control on the 16 channel instrument too.


Thanks a lot for the help =) I will keep you updated on my progress!

I noticed in the Naida thread that a lot of users talked about the Naida can be programmed to sound more like an analog aid. Any tips to move in this direction?


Yes, if you turn the global compression right down (ie make the aid more linear) it sounds better to analogue wearers.

You might find that the soundrecover needs altering to sound right too: this is just a case of trial and error I’m afraid.