Yes your right,my bad!
I trialed the Signia’s recently.
I found the Signia’s to be a very good beam-forming HA, and I like that it’s automatic switching was not perceptible as some people experience with Phonak’s Autosense. But the Oticon open paradigm appealed to me, and I’m just now finishing my trial with the More 1, which I will keep.
Forget your Phonak experience from 5 years ago. The HA’s I just retired are 5 yr old Phonak’s, and they performed reasonably well for technology at that time. But this technology is moving at ever increasing speed; there are several generations between what you tried and the Phonak today. This comparison is of little if any value now.
Similarly, the Signia NX and Signia X platforms which preceded the AX, were widely perceived as meh. But the AX changed the chip architecture and introduced independent parallel dsp processing. The much greater chip density in this platform and it’s new architecture translates into significantly greater performance in speed and function.
It is changes like this that result in HA brands leap-frogging one another, and make performance comparisons quite difficult for users. At any given point in time, trialing HA’s may involve one model at the front of its lifecycle and another at the end of its lifecycle (currently, these are approx 2 year cycles in the premium brands). The difference in the user experience may simply be due to no more than the former is twice as fast as the latter.
Then add in the subjectivity factor. Users with the same audiogram do not necessarily have the same experience with the same HA’s due to subtleties in the auditory process and in the brain.
And finally, there is the difference in how the HA’s are fit and how long they are tried. There can be great variation between providers, and users often feel differently after sufficient time to acclimate.
The short answer is, individual opinions are just that and vary widely, being very much subject to the factors above. So there is no way to know what is best for you individually except to try to alternatives, preferably fit by the same provider (and hopefully, a good one). That is no way around this reality.
Thanks for your reply. Any chance you explain in a bit more detail what it is exactly that appealed to you in the Oticon More over the Signia AX?
I mean, how did you experience the Oticon in practice comparitively and in which situation/s was its open paradigm appeal most noticeable? I’ve read about the open concept but curious to understand better how it works in practice.
With beam forming do you mean direction focused hearing? like focusing to speech in front of you or to your right when you’re sitting next to someone etc
Yes, beam-forming is directionality, front-facing or a bit broader. Re the open paradigm:
I prefer to hear as much of the detail in my surroundings as possible. For some - particularly those who have worn traditional HA’s for quite a while - this can be overpowering or distracting or annoying (or, I suppose, all three). For me, open is the most natural and comfortable.
I like that I don’t need to switch programs for different environments nor contend with the automatic switching which may not be fast enough or accurate enough. The design intent of the Oticon More is to expose all sound to the user and help the user’s brain to largely control where it chooses to focus for sound, as happens with normal hearing. Beam-forming is about suppressing surrounding noise other than speech, to facilitate understanding it specifically. The More’s definitely do noise suppression (in a very different way), but the soundscape heard still remains more open to the wearer.
My audiologist tells me that while the More uses the most open approach and the Paradise probably the strongest beam-forming approach, a couple brands do some combination. IIRC she mentioned the Widex Moment specifically as being one of the latter.
I think the Signia AX is kinda closer to the Paradise. I could clearly hear it doing beam-forming which it did well, and the quality from very clear. If I hadn’t decided to go the open route, the AX would be on my short list.
Thanks a lot for that detailed explanation, insightful.
I very much prefer an open sound too.
In fact, when I first got my current Widex HAs they would be “smart” and suppress “noise”, or rather sound I actually wanted to hear.
For example I’d be talking to someone and a car drives by. The Widex would think: “oh no! noise! let’s lower the volume”. I’d then be like wtf is this pos HA doing, I wouldn’t be able to understand what the person next to me was saying anymore and the world would sound like I just stepped out of a submarine prematurely - before it surfaced from the water.
That has since been fixed with program adjustments, but a HA that has a fit philosophy that does this right from the start would probably work better for me.
Considering your comment, I’ll most likely add the Oticon More back to my shortlist, thanks
There is an older (and fairly long) thread where someone trials the Paradise, Mores and AXs. Spoiler alert, the user ends up picking the Paradise, but if you’re looking for input on her (I think it’s a her, sorry if I’m wrong) experiences, you can read through it: Ready to upgrade from Oticon Opn 1. Should I select Oticon More or Phonak Paradise?
I’m also in the middle of getting my first pair of hearing aids, and am trialing a number of brands. I originally hadn’t considered Widex because until a few weeks ago, they weren’t compatible with Android streaming. But it sounds like from the other thread you posted on, the bluetooth is no better than other brands for non iPhones, unfortunately. I have already trialed the Oticons and currently have the Phonaks, and will be getting demo Signias next week.
Overall, sound itself with both are good. I have some issues with some flutter/warbling with both, and funny enough, it happens with near opposite frequencies between the two HAs. It sounds like with some feedback adjustments, that issue is fixable though.
With Oticon, given their open sound methodology, you simply hear more. As soon as I put them on, I get almost this white noise in my ear, almost as if there’s a waterfall in the distance. While initially it seemed a bit much, and I actually turned down the volume of the HAs, after a week or so, I stopped noticing as much, and after a few weeks, altogether. I get the impression the open paradigm would be a little more overwhelming if someone had a more severe loss and has gone a while without being accustomed to a lot of noise. There are times I do wish sounds were a bit more attenuated though, such as buzzing refrigerator noises at the store, hood fans while cooking, etc. The good thing, however, is even though there is more noise overall, I am still able to distinguish speech through it very well. If there are 2 sources of noise, I can hear one through the other, albeit not always perfectly, but it’s still distinguishable as to sourcing where the noise is coming from. As for the Bluetooth, as mentioned in other threads, it’s awful for Android. The MFi platform is simply better established.
The features of the Phonak aids are far superior. Stable BT, hands free calling, and as someone who streams a lot, the tap feature for pause/play (and voice assistant if you use it) is really quite convenient. I found myself missing it a lot more than I thought I would when I had the Oticons on. And the app itself is incredibly comprehensive. If you’re someone who likes to tinker and adjust things for yourself, the app allows for quite a bit of customization, though to do it effectively takes some time in learning and understanding what you’re really doing with adjusting each setting. These features do come with some pains though, such as tap sensitivity and the connection time every time you open the app. All in all, they are small annoyances, but they exist. In terms of sound, I personally find some of the higher frequency sounds to be a little off, and also oddly loud. The creaking of the old wooden floor, clicking of dogs’ nails on the ground, or when he’s licking his lips, footsteps on certain floors are unnaturally loud for me, to a point of distraction and annoyance. Some of this might be alleviated by adjustments by my audiologist (or myself once I learn all the different sound setting combinations better), but for me, still a noteworthy initial observation/experience. The biggest issue I had with these was that I could not separate out competing noises. While I think the aids do a great job suppressing background noises, I had difficulties if there were competing louder sounds. If several people were speaking at once (like a loud table nearby at a restaurant), and there are also sudden louder noises (i.e. a door slams, or some sort of alert or chime goes off), I just get a wall of noise in my ear with no real way to pick out one sound from another, rendering it near impossible to understand anything. The Oticons did a much better job, for me, in similar situations.
I’ll gladly report back once I’ve had some time with the Signias, but just my personal experiences so far. I’d reiterate that while it’s nice to gather feedback (which is what I have been also doing), it’s best to really try it all out for yourself as our experiences will be unique to our personal hearing losses. There will be those with opposite feelings about how the HAs perform for them.
My experience is with the Signia 7AX and Widex Evoke (not the Moment) so take it FWIW.
I am new to the HA world and I trialed both the Signia 7AX T-Coil and the Widex Evoke 440. My Audi had great things to say about the Signia and said that all her patients that have tried the Signia have loved it. Also the fact that the Signia has dual processors (DSPs) and is able to process noise and speech separately. I later found out that this is not unique to Signia and other major brands are able to process noise and speech separately as well albeit in their own ways and not necessarily like Signia does.
Anyway, I loved the design of the Signia and the fact that they were so tiny and disappeared behind my ear. I loved the Bluetooth connectivity and streaming capability. I was extremely impressed by the battery life of the T-Coil version. A charge gave me almost 2 days worth and it was incredible. All good right? Unfortunately there were two things about them that I could never get past. First was the speech recognition. I have a 95-100% work recognition score with sufficient amplification (I have mild to moderately severe loss) but with the Signia on, I had a very difficult time understanding speech. Even though I could hear my wife, I had to constantly keep asking to repeat herself. My 9 year old daughter was virtually impossible to understand. In fact with the Signia off, I could understand her perfectly as long as she spoke louder than normal. Second they sounded tinny. I read a lot (including this forum) that tinniness is something your Audi can tune out of the HAs. My Audi and I tried many many times to tune it out of the HA but we simply could not get past it. Everything would sound tinny and often times the comb filter effect was obvious too. It was maddening to use the HAs and left me with a headache almost every day.
Due to my dissatisfaction with the Signia, my Audi had me try the Widex and I was immediately surprised by how natural everything sounded. Usually it takes a few days to weeks to get used to new hearing aids but the Widex improvement was instant. And there was virtually no comb filter effect. The amplification wasn’t as strong as the Signia and frankly the tech and the chargers were a downgrade but the sound was incredible and my speech recognition was massively improved. My wife even commented that I rarely ask her to repeat things once I started using the Widex. I decided to stick with the Widex and have ordered the Moment 440.
Maybe its just my ears and so YMMV.
Thanks for sharing your experience, insightful as well. Good to learn some more about these HAs from other people like you who’ve used them
Ah Interesting that you very much preferred the Widex. I’ve tried other devices in the past too. 10 years ago I tried Oticon, 6 years ago Phonak.
Oticon experience was ok but I choose Widex still. Phonak was horrible and so Widex was the clear choice then. Tech changes though and it seems since the last 6 years a lot so I figured best to give things a fresh look…
But still interesting you also have had such a contrastful experience with Widex after first trying the Signia. To me Widex also was an instant hit. No time needed to adjust apart from kneecapping the dumb “smart” program which was trying to “intelligently” adjust volume and whatever.
From all of the comments I’ve read on this forum now it also seems that indeed HA experience is very subjective and while one may love a certain HA, another may hate it. Interesting how that works, but good to be aware of that.
Still interesting and valuable to hear other people’s experience I think as it at least gives you some idea of what a devices strong and weak points may be.
I have had a pair of Signia C&G 7 AX Aids for 6 weeks. Best aids I have ever owned. Streets ahead of Resound Quattros.
Chargers have abysmal ergonomics.
Which charger do you use?
Do you have a source for the “historical surveys”?
Yes. The first source is an audiologist in 2016 called JustinHIS. I haven’t seen him post recently but this is what he wrote on one post:
"We will know about end user improvement within a month. I have about 100 test subjects that will have Opn on within a few days of availability. New product release timing has nothing to do with performance improvements of competitors. Oticon has the next 4 generations of technology already mapped out. I’m sure the other brands do as well. They release a new product or a new product line because sales on their existing product release slow down below a certain threshold, which may or may not be due to other brands product releases. When Oticon released Alta back at the beginning of 2013, then Nera in the Fall, and then Ria in early 2014, sales on Ria started to eclipse Nera too quickly, and their average selling price dropped too low, and didn’t start to bounce back as quickly as it had in the past. Which was a key factor in why they released the Inium Sense product line in its entirety all at once at the beginning of 2015. If that hadn’t happened, Inium Sense would not have been released. They would have waited until this year to begin the Velox platform release cycle.
End user feedback statistics already support that Inium Sense has a higher user satisfaction rate than any other platform currently on the market, including Primax, including Kirkland, including Synergy, including Unique, including Linx2, including Venture… And Oticon had the largest increase in market share out of any of the big 6 in 2015. But the one big thing that Oticon has never believed in, is shooting for niche markets. Thats why they don’t currently offer a wireless CROS. Thats why they don’t put frequency lowering in ALL of their products. But with a user satisfaction rating in the high 90 percentile (When the next closest competing product is in the low 80 percentile - still good historically), and with integrated bluetooth connectivity growing in popularity and decision-making importance, it is time to give people what they want…
By the end of June I will be able to give some real-world end user feedback from people who have been wearing Alta2 Pros, Unique 440s, Muse i2400, Linx2 9, Audeo V90s, and Primax 7-series."
If you search on JustinHIS he also talks about clinical outcomes somewhere. I could not find it just now.
The 2nd source was a survey amongst hearing tracker audiologists:
Also this one:
It’s frustrating because Hearing Tracker did a recent survey as well, but I cannot find it on their site. It rated Oticon the top for Sound quality. @rasmus_braun - do you know where it is please?
I think this is what you’re looking for:
Yes! Thank you. I knew it was around somewhere.
It’s interesting to read that study but I can’t help but feel it’s somewhat flawed as it surveyed audiologists and not the people that actually wear HAs day to day.
Especially considering the state of the industry where at least here in the Netherlands almost all hearing aid stores have been bought out by hearing aid franchise companies that just exist to funnel you to towards a certain brand which they sell and have made a deal with, at the exclusion of other brands.
In that context the survey that could also be interpreted like Oticon sells best so that’s what most audiologist prefer. But best selling does not necessarily equal best for the end user. Best selling can also be a result of good marketing and audiologist brand deals.
Not trying to be a party pooper or saying its one way or the other, just playing devl’s advocate here
Then there’s also the fact that many audiologist don’t sell all those brands. So if they only sell Oticon and Phonak for example the results likely naturally skew towards those brands having higher scores, further exacerbating a potentially skewed study.
That said, I may be unaware of some intricacies of the study. So If I’m wrong on some points please correct me.
No. I disagree for several reasons. The original post from JustinHIS talks about patient satisfaction - this is nothing to do with what an audiologist prefers.
In any case for the later surveys, the audiologists preferences are going to be based on what the patients are telling them - are they not?
The other reasons why I disagree with you is that I have a lot of experience of being dispensed hearing aids from the UK NHS - in several regions, from private audiologists - in several regions and Denmark. All of them - and I mean every one, dispensed either Phonak or Oticon as their primary hearing aids. I have never been offered a Widex, Signia or Resound.
The UK NHS and independent audiologists are not in the business of choosing 2 brands for purely monetary gain. I have heard from several audiologists that either Phonak or Oticon is their go to aid because they have the broadest portfolio of aids and have the best clinical outcomes.
In addition to that I have direct user experience of 3 Oticon aids, dispensed by the UK NHS in 1989, 2014 and 2020. The sound quality of every model has been superb.
Yes it sounds interesting. When he mentions the below and then lists a bunch of HA brands I’ve personally never heard of it’s kind of a headscratcher to me though, leaving me wondering if the major brands I’ve been looking at were included in that study. I guess they were but it’s hard to tell from that text.
I’d certainly hope so and I’m happy with my current audiologist which actually sells all the brands listed in the hearing tracker study (He recommended Signia and Oticon as his top 2 choices).
But all those hearing aid store franchises I don’t trust at all as it’s obvious the’re going for profit by funneling people towards one or 2 brands that they made deals with, instead of trying to provide as a good a service as they can for their customers with a range of choices to best fits each individuals needs.
That said, the results of the study may very well be right. I’m just naturally skeptical of information that potentially has a biased component to it. I’m just the same with investing which I’ve been doing a bit lately, I dig deep and am skeptical by default, until a company can with the available information convince to me that they’re for real and credible.