Advice, please, for new hearing aids and DIY Programming

Hello all, and thanks in advance for this great informational forum.

Background: My sister has Siemens Signia hearing aides, the 3PX. I see they are also referred to as Insio Primax 3PX. Her HIS is apparently not the most helpful, saying only if she upgrades can she get better quality sound out of her existing hearing aids. She does not make many adjustments, and when she does it usually causes other issues. The most inconvenient per my sister, is that when she turns the control up for voices/conversations, the background noise is so high it causes her trouble, and the reverse is she can’t hear conversations when the background is turned down.

She is thinking of upgrading her hearing aids, and we are looking at the Signia Insio Primax 5PX or perhaps moving up to the Oticons. She MUST have the in the ear kind of hearing aids, too, the ones that fit over her ears always get knocked out of her ear or tangled up in her hair. So, she has the added pain of that occlusion because she wears custom molds too. The ones before these, had those little ‘gripper’ things at the ends, that irritated her ears tremendously and kept falling out or getting knocked askew. I am a retired Android programmer, and technical re: PC’s and devices and software…I believe I could do just as good a job helping to program her hearing aids, but we understand some are “locked”. I see there is a list, not sure how updated it is…so…

So multiple questions here:

  1. Understanding the need for in the ear, custom fit molds - without being locked, are there any suggestions on the hearing aids we should start looking at?

  2. Which should be stayed away from considering we want the ability to DIY adjust?

  3. Has anyone bought just ONE of a pair, and gotten insurance to pay for the other, or is that prohibited by most insurance companies? I don’t see why THAT should be a problem, but my sister says it probably is…

  4. I see the links for finding and buying the software and hardware for programming, and am hopeful I can work through all that with some help from all the great information you all have here. So, with that in mind, with the hearing aid recommendations you might be kind enough to offer, can you also recommend favored programming equipment?

Thanks a million times in advance,


Initial impression that may very well be wrong. Your sister doesn’t sound like a very motivated user and I’m wondering how much she uses her hearing aid. On to your questions:

  1. I’d stick with the big 6 (or 5 depending on how you want to call it): Phonak, Oticon, Widex, Resound, Signia and Starkey. Make sure you get ones with adequate power for her loss.
  2. Stay away from Miracle Ear, Beltone, Resound models from Costco and most house brands.
  3. I don’t know about this, but I wouldn’t think it would be an issue. Read the insurance contract. Imagine you’re THEIR lawyer while reading it.
    4)The DIY section (found by clicking on PVC’s avatar) will give you an excellent start on self programming. It’s not really about finding favorite equipment, it’s about making sure you get equipment that will work with whatever aids you decide on. Assume nothing. Check and double check.

Here is a link about your aids.

When first starting to program your own aids the first thing you have to get your hands is the software and equipment to communicate with the aids. As MDB said, pick a big 5/6 hearing aid manufacturer. Hard to beat Oticon or Phonak.
Some of us buy our aids off eBay. Saves us a bunch of money by buying top of the line aids that are about a year to 2 years old.

Well, she is very motivated. She keeps trying to get them adjusted, goes in at least once a month to have them cleaned (I guess wax cleaning and filter replacement) and has asked for more time with the hearing adjustment person to try and fix the issues. She wears them from after her shower in the morning until she goes to bed at night. She can’t hear very much at all without them, though she says her hearing loss has been described as moderate. This is her second pair, by the way and this was an upgrade from a pair she got from a hearing aid place that went out of business within the first year of her using them. This is her 6th year I think wearing them full time.

I think she is going to stick with the Signia line, as that has been more useful to her. I just was hoping to be sure they aren’t “locked”. I believe since I won’t be “in the business”, I’ll have more time to help her get them adjusted better.

Thank you for your help!


Interesting! I’ve seen them on sale on line, I just didn’t realize how prevalent the sales are. I wonder, is the manufacturer warranty applicable on online sales?

I’ll have to check into that.

Thanks for your information!


Good. That will make it a lot easier. I think my advice is still good even if I did have wrong impression.

I have Oticon HAs and downloaded their Genie 2019 software. Its a big download but free and very easy to use. Then you need to be able to connect to your hearing aids, a NOAHLink does this wirelessly and is available on eBay.
The only thing I cannot do is a firmware upgrade, for some reason Oticon requires a wired connection to their HAs for this process, even though the NOAHLink does this for other manufacturers.

I would encourage people to be careful with terms. NOALink and NOAHLink Wireless are two different items. I believe the Oticon OPNs require NOAHLink Wireless. I’d encourage confirming before one purchases.

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Didn’t know there was an alternative, I have the NOAHLink Wireless
This forum post says that NoahLink is obsolete

They are not cheap, US299 on eBay is the best I have seen.

As you can see research is needed before buying aids if you plan to do self programming. The correct hardware for a particular hearing aid manufacturer is needed.
In general the HiPro will do everything needed. The Noahlink wireless is nice but won’t do firmware on most aids.
I happen to use an old serial port HIPro. The newer USB HiPro is nice too. With the HiPro you will need cables to hook up with your aids. These cables have to be correct.
There are a number of members who are very good with all this. PVC is the guru with all programming hardware. Look at his post to learn more.

Thanks so much again! Its good info and very appreciated!

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Yes, Noahlink is obsolete for new hearing aids, but people can find them used. There’s a lot of terminology in DIY that a lot of people mix up. I encourage people to check and double check before ordering.

Although I have something similar to a HiPro (minipro), it’s my understanding that it will not work with some of the new Bluetooth hearing aids. There is no universal programmer that I know of, so I encourage people to confirm that a device will work with their hearing aids before ordering.

Agreed, this is why it’s so important for self programmers to research before buying aids and programming equipment. It all has to fit.

By the way, is there truth to the statement that

*purchasing through online resellers comes without a warranty
****MOST IMPORTANT does DIY programming NEGATE the warranty



I don’t know the answers to your questions for sure.
I do know that some sellers on eBay do mention full warranty of their new aids. These are the good name brand aids coming from India usually. A few forum members have bought there successfully and saved money. I have also read that some of these foreign aids were shunned by USA audiologist because they were not bought in the USA. One member did mention buying from India and had an issue with the new aid and the Indian seller made it right quickly.
As a self programmer you have to do your homework before buying.
I have sent an email to Lloyd’s asking if they will rehouse a used in the canal aid with a new ear mold after doing new impressions for that person. I am curious to know too.

DIY programming does not negate the warranty. BUT, in any case, read the warranty and look for possible exceptions. There is a possibility that you end up without a warranty if Online Seller goes out of business. This happened with Buyhear/

Thanks for the info. We have an appointment this coming week at a different HIS place. I talked with the insurance company yesterday and got some information that conflicts with the HIS explanation of my sisters benefits so we can drill down on that.

I think she will be looking at Signia again, but we are gonna get more info on the Phonak and Oticon aids too. Then i will really drill down to make sure the model isnt locked and then find equipment compatible for DIY programming.

Thanks all so much for the help. I am sure i will be back.

My experience may be of interest:
My situation is unusual in that I volunteered to be part of a university study having not used HAs previously.
I purchased a pair of Phonak Marvel 70 Rs via Ebay in April for $2000 USD.
The item was listed as being located in San Jose USA but advised in the small print, that if programming required asked for it would be shipped from New Deli (India) I assumed that the seller was located in the USA but on looking closer they are actually located in India. The price asked was less than half that quoted locally but in the month since I see it has risen by $300 USD.
The most interesting thing in relation to this thread is the warning on the box. (see photo) Inside the box was a 2 year warranty card. My Audi has checked with the local Phonak headquarters and they said they would honour a guarantee for 1 year not the usual 2 years, but if returned via the seller in India, a 2 year warranty would apply.
I have also purchased a Noahlink wireless unit at a good price but will not try the DIY route until the study is completed.

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