Aids for free — which ones to chose?

Hi!

In my county in Sweden I can chose from a list of hearing that I can receive basically for free (I believe it’s ~$60 for both ears).

I don’t have my audiogram at hand, but I have a moderate hearing loss on both ears. I believe loss hovers somewhere between -40 and -55 dB HL over the frequency spectrum and affects hearing mostly from 1 kHz and up. Bass up to 250 Hz is unaffected. Left ear is a little worse than right ear. It used to be a cookie cutter diagram that affected speech, but has during the last years gotten into higher frequencies too.

RIC is preferred over RIA/BTE (audio quality should be better, right?). Smart device support is not a primary concern. Being a musician and having worked with audio engineering, audio quality is without a doubt the most important factor. From the aids I’ve had before I tend to always use the music programs because I find the (lack of?) dynamic compression more appealing and natural sounding. Smaller size aids are very welcome as long as audio quality is not heavily affected by size.

I know the the devices on the list are not the latest and greatest, but the low cost and excellent support makes picking one attractive. I want to find the most advanced aid from the list, especially from a sound quality perspective.

I have my eyes on the Sivantos/Siemens Pure 5px. Could that be the best Sivantos/Siemens device on the list? Sivantos/Siemens Ace 3bx seems smaller and mentions a “HD Music” program.

The list may include some (unsuitable) devices that are for severe to profound hearing loss and some devices for kids. Any recommendations welcome!

GN

  • GN Silk SLK1776-DW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK1786-DW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK686-DW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK963-DRW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK964-DRW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK976-DW BTE
  • GN Silk SLK986-DW BTE
  • GN Boost Plus BOP695-DW BTE
  • GN Boost Plus BOP995-DW BTE
  • GN Enzo2 EN598-DW BTE
  • GN Enzo2 EN798-DW BTE
  • GN LiNX2 LS967-DW BTE
  • GN LiNX2 LS977-DW BTE
  • GN LiNX2 LS988-DW BTE

Phonak

  • Phonak Sky V90-M

Oticon

  • Oticon Dynamo SP
  • Oticon Sensei BTE 13 90
  • Oticon Sensei Pro 312 75
  • Oticon Sensei Pro BTE 312 75

Sivantos

  • Sivantos Ace 3bx
  • Sivantos Charismo 12
  • Sivantos Emerald S 40 6C
  • Sivantos Mosaic M 40 6C
  • Sivantos Mosaic M NR 40 6C
  • Sivantos Motion PX 3bx
  • Sivantos Motion SA 5px
  • Sivantos Motion SX 3bx
  • Sivantos Motion SX 5px
  • Sivantos Pure 5px

Sonova

  • Sonova Bolero Q90-M312
  • Sonova Bolero Q90-P
  • Sonova Bolero Q90-SP
  • Sonova Bolero V50-M
  • Sonova Bolero V50-P
  • Sonova Bolero V50-SP
  • Sonova Naida Q70-SP

Widex

  • Widex Dream 330 D3-PA
  • Widex Dream 440 D4-9
  • Widex Dream 440 D4-FS
  • Widex Dream 440 D4-M
  • Widex Dream 440 FA P

check out the Oticons, those are really good! (I also had a pair simliar to the Sensei pros, you’ll like them if you love being stylish as hell too)

Thanks for your reply! Dynamo SP seems to be for more severe hearing loss while the Sensei’s on the list seems to be RIA. Correct?

They’re definitely older aids. For Signias, ACE uses 10 battery and is indeed small. Pure uses 312.
Of those listed, and your emphasis on music, I’d try out one of the Widex Dreams. 440 is higher level aid than 330. I don’t know letter designations mean after the 440.

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I’d probably go with the Pure 5px or the Dream 440.

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yep! and the Sensei can be made for all ranges too (they have P and SP version)

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The Bolero Q’s and B’s are Phonak BTE’s. Sonova is the parent company name.

Hearing Aids are primarily for speech recognition. If you run on the Music program all the time you are giving up the features designed for speech. I would recommend that you not have a music program for the first 6 months, to force yourself to get familiar with the features for speech understanding.

Thanks! Seems the list has been updated recently. :dizzy_face:

They also added Signia Emerald S 60 6C. This device is listed as “advanced” while Pure 5px is listed as “medium”. I’m not sure I’d trust their classification. Does that sound reasonable? Which one would be the better or more advanced?

They have also added Widex Dream D4-Fusion, which might very well be the same as “Widex Dream 440 D4-FS” from the previous list.

Thanks again!

The Signia Emerald S 60 6C sounds like a Rexton product. The top of the line Rexton is an 80, 60 being mid range and 40 being entry level. I think you’d be hard pressed to tell the differenc between it and the Signia Pure 5px.

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been using hearing aids for 6 years or so. I’ve had two previous aids and I’ve ended up using the music program with both of them. They’ve made it a lot easier for me to hear speech than when I’ve used speech programs.

As you say, when I get the new ones I should probably give speech program a new chance.

It does take some time for the brain to adjust and the Music program does sound better, initially, than the other programs, but in the long run the processing will result in better speech understanding.

I know what you mean about the Music program though. It has a lower compression ratio and clearer sound. It may be louder too due to the lower CR (I’ve had some that were louder and some that weren’t). But it doesn’t have noise suppression or any directionality which other programs may have, depending on model.

When I put mine on the noise program it drops background noise several decibels and that is enough to give close speech the priority. I also have a directional program and that one lowers everything outside the “cone of sound”, even nearby close speech.

My everything program has several environments that it recognizes and adjusts for, and that handles 85% of what I need. The loud noise program handles 15% and the directional program handles 5%. The everything program recognizes music and adjusts for it, but it switches out of it if there is also speech.

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Sivantos lists the following as “Our Brands

On the same page they write:

Have you already taken a look at our comprehensive portfolio? Then you know that our premium brand is Signia…

As both Rexton and Signia are in the Sivantos portfolio, I guess the Emerald S 60 6C might be both a Signia and Rexton aid?

The Pure 5px should be mid range too (there’s a 7px). They both seem to be the latest gen. So, same gen and same range if I understand things right. Probably difficult to find major differences, as you say.

Thanks, your reply was very informative. I’ll definitely give the other programs a better chance when I get the new devices.

These companies make devices that should aid people, yet their marketing/websites and brands/models are a far from aiding. They should really hire some UX people. The closest thing to an answer I can find is an eBay listing(!). It says:

Emerald S (Pure Primax)

S80(Pure 7Px)/ S60(Pure 5Px)/ S40(Pure 3 Px)

It seems to imply that Emerald S60 and Pure Primax 5Px may even be the same device. :dizzy_face:

Rexton is a marketing brand. They do have the same technology as the Signia models. The Signia website has more information.

Let your provider know this. Suggest that you might prefer a more linear sound. You can reduce compression on the automatic program without giving up the sound processing features. Some listeners don’t do as well with wide dynamic compression as others.

I’ll do that! I went with the Pure 5Px by the way. Interesting times lies ahead. :slightly_smiling_face:

Just wanted to follow up. Couldn’t be more happy with the 5Px. Lovely sound and no problems with micro-feedback (which have plagued all of my previous hearing aids).

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Correct me if I’m wrong but the phonak sky is for children so a lot of features are locked out so kids can’t screw with their aids

I believe it’s just the tinnitus controller the rest is the same.