Another frustrated transaction from analog to digitial

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 49 years, in my time there’s been some major changes as I went through the transaction of what I wore when I was three, all the way up to now. At first I was pretty excited to hear about the new improved digital hearing aids, but now that I’m trying very hard to get adjusted to this one, I’m not a very happy camper.

I have a Phonak (spelled right?) in the ear, the first try out with this was horrible. Seems the aid decides what noises I should and should not hear, I’m self employed, my shop has all kinds of noises, my machine makes noises, it’s basically a moderate noise, and I have a bobbin winder, airconditioner, the phone, a dog (my alert attention for customers), if my machine is on, and the airconditioner comes on, the digital would cut off all sounds, I was on the phone, talking to a customer, the airconditioner came on, all sounds were gone. I have a speaker phone in the shop.
I noticed even my micowave would have an after beep, sort of like hearing the echo of the first beep. Most voices, my husbands, me, we all sound weird, like I’m hearing the last echo of the voice.
Now, I took the aid back, and she fixed it…I guess, however, now it still seems the digital makes the decision of what should and shouldn’t be heard, and still hearing the echo of beeps, there is no possible way I can hear on a handset phone, one phone call and all I could hear was beeps, garble, and lots more beeps.

So, I question myself about this transation from analog to digital, am I being stubborn? Most of me says no. I KNOW what I should be hearing, and I have been questioning my husband a lot, “OK, exactly what does this sound like to you? Do you hear an after effect of a sound, is there supposed to be a grainy sound to my voice?”
While talking to the hearing gal that I got my aid from, I tried to explain all of this to her, what she’s not getting is, her office is quiet, yes, I can hear the airconditioner, but man, when I walked out of her office to my car, the outside sounds, of cars, trucks, people talking, it was like it was just too much for my digital, and it cut out the sounds, which lead me to almost getting hit by a car I didn’t see…and no longer hear.

Sigh, yes, for a newbie on this site, I’m full of many things to say, but I’m frustrated, and wondering, if those that create hearing aids have any hearing loss people working for them, or are they just assumning they know what we want to hear?

If anyone has any suggestions or advice for me, I sure would appreciate it.

What is the full name of your Phonak hearing aid? You’re almost describing the issues I had when I had my aids first programmed…my audi didn’t know what she was doing…but she told me that in the beginning so I was prepared for disaster :slight_smile:

You know, I don’t know…she gave me no booklet, nothing with this aid, I look on the aid, and all it says is Phonak EX.

I had thought this was very strange that I got nothing to read with the aid.

I’m going to try another route on this.

Almost sounds like the Phonak Exelia…Phonak has brochures online for all their newer aids…

click on each name on the left…I see Exelia and eXtra, to match the EX you described…

If this is your first try with digital your brain is not going to like digital for quite a while. There are different fitting formula’s your fitter can try. I would suggest they go to Nal-R and best fit and then three click down the volume. And then you can always try the hearing aid with all the fancy stuff (compression, etc.) off. If you don’t have volume controls (which most digitals don’t) they might help you until your brain accepts the new sound. It’s all about the brain, the ears are only the conduit.

You may just be struggling to get used to the new device. It may take a while to get used to.

U r not alone in this adjustment period for the brain they like to call it. I think after six months working with 4 different pair of HA and 4 different Audis. The mfgs decided to stop making analog and tooled up to make digital HA and to sell them as BTE, because BTE is cheaper to make. The Audis I think are left with this one product to sell. The HA I have tried all name brands and expensive, which is fine with me. I think once the patient leaves the mild to moderate hear loss catagory, every one begin to say it the adjustment period, because the digitals HA began to have design problem. :slight_smile: The Audis I have worked with went to fine schools and seem to be fine people who appear that when they need really good help from the mfgs on the adjustments, they are not getting it. I have been in their office when they called with questions and their actions spoke more than what they told me they received!
I have worn HA since 1987 my first HA was fitted in about 5 minutes, with not follow up visits. My second set was fitted in about 15 minutes, this pair was analog with program setting. no follow up visit except hearing checks. I also able to hear much better!! :slight_smile:
Then the great digital came along and it all went to hell for me. I too have been told that I must adjust this is BS. I am told my hearing is terrible I know that, that why I wear HA :)!! If I can put on my old analog that is tape up with scotch brand tape and hear better than I can with a $5400 pair of suppose to be the great thing since sliced bread, something needs to be said. :slight_smile:
If the HA can’t transmit the sound to the inner ear in one piece then I think, people with serious hearing problems, are left in the dark with digital aids.
By the way, I love new gadgets so done tell me I old fashion and don’t want to change. Like everyone else I don’t like change when its not good for me!!
Oh, by the way on mt 3rd pair and 3rd Audi, I offered to pay my way to the mfg and stay in a Motel all at my expense, I am still waiting for an answer and she has already refunded my money for the HA, in a profession manner.:slight_smile:

What type of configuration is Nal-R? I had some configurations put in and on standby in case I didn’t like my current pre-configuration for my background noise complaints…

Maybe you can give me some pre-configurations for the Phonak Naidas, that way I can help my audiologist with some of my complaints…

Phyllis I think there is good reason to stick with analog if it works great for you since I see they can cost only about 15% of the price of the “hot” and “new” digitals but as Ted mentioned many companies are moving to digital but I expect there will be small companies stick with analog for many years to come. Wal-Mart will want a line they can sell for $100 to $400 I am sure. :slight_smile:

Besides having newer technology than one can fine locally the main attraction of buying mine from America Hears was the ability to have them tweak them while I was in my work environment over the INTERNET or I can just do it myself. The software is straight forward for the most part it seems and there is a thread here by those programming their own aids.

Well getting newer technology for $3,000 fewer dollars had a real impact on my purchase. :slight_smile: However I would have paid $5100 for my America Hears FreedomAD LOF aids to get the programming ability before I would have paid the local MD $5100 for his older technology based Starkey Zon 5 model.

I do have a volume control on my model but it should be used very little I read. The MD said it was only there of long term users who had gotten use to having a volume control.

Best of luck.

I feel your pain. I’ve been using a hearing aid for 10 years. I’ve only ever experienced digital and was told they are the best thing since sliced bread.

I’ve never really had a good hearing aid and I don’t think I fully realized the frustration I’ve been dealing with since getting my first hearing aid. In fact, I recently decided to try an analog hearing aid, but I’m told that it isn’t the route to go.

I had all but given up on hearing aids, my latest one put in the drawer 6 months ago when it stopped working - cracks and pieces falling off. I figured it was easier to not have the hassle than to go and get another one.

It really wasn’t until I came on here less than a week ago that I thought there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. I realize that my audiologist doesn’t know what she is doing and is interested more in money than anything. She’s never been able to program my aids properly, every time I go in it’s “I don’t know why you would have that problem, let’s try this and see.” After the initial few assessments, it was $50 a pop. I remember getting a CIC and she put a wax guard in. She wouldn’t sell me any wax guards - I had to make an appointment and come in and have her change them. And, she never would give me a copy of my audiogram.

I’ve also realized that I’ve had pretty crappy hearing aids in the past, too. People on her are describing results that I can only dream of. Even with a multi-microphone BTE, I never had any sense of sound direction, and the audiologist could never program it so that I did.

I’m starting to realize that I need to chock my last 10 years up to experience and just be careful that I don’t get, uh, taken again.

I’m looking at America Hears due to their more reasonable cost and good reviews here. I’m going to call them on Monday.

I can’t really tell you that it gets better or that you’ll get used to them. I mean, if 10 years isn’t long enough, then what is? All that I can say is that there are glimmers of hope on the forum and I think we might just get something that works. I’m extremely leery of the new aids that have every feature in the world - bluetooth connections, and options that do everything except make a cup of coffee for you. I just want something to stick in my ear that will help me hear. Period. Nothing fancy, it doesn’t need to be able to do anything more, and I’d prefer if it didn’t. Take the sound, let me hear it. That’s all! Oh, yeah, and someplace that doesn’t charge you $3,000 to $5,000 for a product that likely costs them under $100 to make.

Good luck in your search, and keep us posted on how things work out for you!

I would still like to try out an analog hearing aid. I think they’re trying to do far too much with digital hearing aids, and using it as an excuse to gouge the average purchaser.

Digital hearing aids can be absolutely amazing but they do require a much longer adjustment period and require numerous visits to the audiologist before you have them where you want them. They do filter out background noise. My experience with this is that they may filter out more then you want, especially at the beginning, but as you wear them you may notice that some of the background noise begins to return, over time. They can then be adjusted further letting you take in more background noise or less. They take a lot of patience at the beginning but in the long run you may realize they are a godsend. Remember, analog aids amplify everything. So with them it’s just a matter of volume adjustment, and then getting used to the overall sound quality. With digital there is much more fine tuning that’s available. with patience you can make those aids exactly how you want them, and your hearing experience can be much more rewarding. But the key word here is patience, and the desire to readjust every time the aid is tweaked by the audiologist. Phonak aids come in individual boxes with an instruction manual, and the whole thing then comes in a paper bag with string handles.

I hear what you are saying! :smiley:

I had digital hearing aids for 10 years, but never had good results. My last one of several years had numerous programming done, but the audiologist said she just couldn’t do much more with it. It actually didn’t filter out any background noise, just amplified everything. I’m thinking it’s likely a poor aid coupled with a bad audi?

I’m doing my research for my next one, thanks in a great deal to this forum and input from people like yourself.


Hi Phyliss

I’m Julia and am a new member. I can totally empathise with 100%. I am glad I’m not the only one experiencing the same problems. I agree technology has gone backwards and there has certainly been no improvements in hearing aids for me. I am a nurse and work in a very busy A&E dept and need excellent hearing. I also play the piano and flute and with digital hearing aids they are absolutely useless with music and high frequency noises. Like yourself - when people talk to me it sounds like they’ve all got a cold. The sounds are very processed and there is a fraction of a delay in the sound being processed.
Strangely enough digital hearing aids are made analgoue with the digitial processors added. There’s 2 things going here - ok they may be thinking that they are trying to be too clever thinking that they are improving the sounds that we hear - or that this could be a money making mission! and making those who have worn perfectly adequate analogues for over 30 years like myself with severe/profound hearing loss their life a misery - now. This could affect our jobs, our lifes and our love of music. I find it annoying when they tell us to get our brains adjusted to something that sounds abnormal and then they turn round and say - you don’t know what normal sounds are. Well I know what sounds normal as I can hear what my daughter and husband say to me directly in my ears without my hearing aids and they match the sounds that I hear with my beloved analogues. I would go the ends of the earth to get another pair of Phonak Superfront pp-c-2-d’s - and would be prepared to buy them too. I believe an national and international campaign on this is the only way forward - what do you think!?
Kind regards Julia

I also had a bit of difficulty making the transition to digital, but I am glad I did.

I used to have Fidelity F-70s, which I believe was a Starkey product. I loved the full rich sound, but I could not understand speech well at all.

I recently was fitted with Starkey Destiny 1200s, and they made all the difference in the world for speech comprehension, but I missed the rich sound of the analogues especially when listening to music.

I have since had a music program set up and I find it excellent. I even switched back to the Fidelities to test the difference and I find the Destinies much better even for music.

I have a severe-profound hearing loss and I have worn one digital hearing aid (Siemens) and the darn thing drives me crazy. This type of aid does not make me want to get another, I don’t care if it is the world’s best. After reading from one of the members here with her experience with multi-channel model, I’m convinced that the analog is going to be my last aid. I cannot afford the expensive new models and I cannot afford to comprehend all of the beeps, whistles, echo voices, et al along with the bad loss that I already have. I know what I should be hearing and I know when the battery needs changing. Environmental noises are tolerable to a degree if I can determine what it is. A digital only confuses the sound, which I don’t need. I say three cheers for the analog…Oticon is my choice and has been for more than thirty years.

Was that aid the Seimens Triano?

Some people seem to think that digital is ‘different’ or ‘odd’. Incorrect.

If you take a plain power digital and set it to work in linear mode with no clipping level setup it will sound just like a linear analogue aid!

Power digitals for ‘bottom corner’ severe/profound loss audiograms usually:

  1. are linear
  2. have all fancy features turned off
  3. have a VC fitted

They will look and sound like older analogue aids.

The problem (?) with people who have used an analogue power aid for 20 or 30 years is that they have TOTALLY adapted to a linear processing system.

The merest sniff of digital cleverness will upset their hearing.

I have fitted digital aids to people who have worn analogues since childhood.

The best success I have is to put the tatty worn out old aid into a test box and record its settings.

I then program a digital to SIMULATE the old aid. It works … but is an expensive way of upgrading a tatty worn-out analogue aid.

If you have heard the world through an old analogue aid for 20+ years (especially if starting as a child) then switching late in life to a fancy digital will be VERY difficult for you.

Many dispensers don’t realise this and will INSIST on activating all the digital processing gizzmos ‘for your own good’ … a mistake!

Don’t be upset if the new digital features are not for you … but don’t blame the new technology for that either.

don’t blame the new technology, even though it is the latency of the processing that causes the artifacts I notice? BTW - this is not an issue with just hearing aids. It is also prevalent in DAW workstations in the recording studio. You want to talk complaining about the ups and downs of digital vs analog, try the recording engineers’ fora.

I’ve noticed somebody said ‘loss of background noise’ but ‘they will return’. That is far from the issue I have. I get too much information, IMHO. Sibilancy is very exaggerated, and the aggregate of excess information and false information from artifacts created by the technology itself, makes for a harsh, papery, raspy audio experience. I’ve been working with these digital aids since Nov of 2006. I’m no closer to satisfactory audio assistance than I was 28 months ago.

I am searching the web constantly for a pair (or several pairs) of these Phonak 332 XAZ. Unless some digital company is willing to work with me one on one extensively, I have very serious doubts and reservations that they’ll ever stop trying to cram unnecessary bells and whistles into these devices and go back to what they are supposed to do, pick up and amplify what is in your environment, right now, clearly, cleanly.

great information … :slight_smile: . I have worn analogs for 40 years. I had a centra SP that sounded great and now am trialing phonak naidia V --sounds terible
I will show this info to my audi

Power digitals for ‘bottom corner’ severe/profound loss audiograms usually:

  1. are linear

  2. have all fancy features turned off

  3. have a VC fitted

    have a VC fitted what is VC??

From what I can garner on several websites, it sounds like Volume Control