Are Basic or Advanced level aids appropriate for my situation.

After dealing with a mild to moderate hearing loss my entire life, I have decided to take the plunge and try wearing hearing aids. The main motivation for this is that I am having a hard time with hearing speech, especially my 16 year old son. Often I can tell that people are talking but I feel like it is hard for me to make out what they are saying. I feel like I get only some of the words correct. I can usually figure it out but by the end of the day, my brain is exhausted. It has probably gotten worse because I just returned to teaching this year after being a stay at home mom for 15 years. I have a hard time hearing the students and my assistant, especially if there is any background noise. I also have a hard time with TV, in restaurants and at mass. Basically, I feel like I can hear things but not speech clearly. It’s very frustrating and getting worse.

That being said, I was able to try the Widex Moment, Signia Pure Charge and Go and the Resound Quattro Linx in my audiologist’s office. She said it was personal choice which one I decide to go with. She also told me to “go with your budget”. There is a significant price difference between the basic and Premium levels of these models. Obviously, I want the best technology for my situation. I am willing to spend more if I have to. I wanted advice from more experienced users about what level of technology I should invest in. My husband said basic is good enough but I want to be sure since I’m pretty sure he is thinking only of the cost.

My audiologist is part of the hospital system and the pricing for all three models is the same. So it’s not so much about the model but the level of technology that will determine the price. Thanks for your help.

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Are you able to trial them for a period of time? My NHS aids were good at home but awful at work or in supermarkets (in noise basically). I have basic level private aids now and they’re so much better. Are you able to find a list of the features the different levels of aids have? There may be certain functions that you don’t need or some that you think would be really helpful for your situations

Hi, it’s an important question. My loss is lower so not sure if it will be completely the same for you but-I am a mum of 2, in 40’s. I have top specification of Widex Evokes 440, I can hear clearly in noisy situations, in fact in all situations. The streaming is awesome and the wind noise minimal so I can hear the children when we are out walking next to the road. When helping on school trips I could hear clearly on the coach, next to road, in assembly etc. Every time you drop a level you will lose some of this gain. I decided it is worth it as every single day my experiences are better for it.

I have found the answer to be it depends on the person wearing the hearing aids, we are all different, with different needs, and desires. The most important thing is the person that is doing the fitting. The Audi can make the most basic work better than the best, or they can make the best be the worst.

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Welcome to the forum.

Most any modern hearing aids will help you hear better. The premium level aids might not improve your hearing speech over basic level aids. We have many members who use the basic level aids with excellent success.

You have mentioned hearing aid costs. Have you considered Costco? They have very good aids and service for really good prices.

Lots of information about hearing loss and hearing aids on this forum. Great members to share their knowledge with you.

Good luck

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We had a great dispenser set up the Evoke 110 for a relative. He found his hearing much better but still saying pardon sometimes and speech in noise was difficult, wind noise quite loud. Relative upgraded to 440 on my advice, speech was great, minimal wind noise and excellent in picking out speech in noisy situations. Yes a dispenser can make them sound good or bad, but when you are set up exactly right, each level ie 110/220/330/440 will give you increasing software to vastly improve your hearing experience depending on what is right for your lifestyle.

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I’ve got the Phonak B90 (top of the range but older technology) and the Phonak M50 (low range but current technology), I actually hear better with the Marvel (M50) despite the settings being the same.

The only feature I like of the B90 is the Speech in Wind feature but then that’s because I’m a sailor.

(I have no experience of other aids as I’ve only worn Phonaks.)

If there’s no difference in your out-of-pocket, my 2cents/tuppence would be to go with the upper end model of whatever model you choose. My Oticon Opn S1s have a setting that helps significantly with the high-noise/multiple sources issue by doing a pretty good job damping down what’s coming at you from behind you. It was night-and-day between my Costco units (2nd tier Oticon) tempered by no adjustments over three years and the decline in my hearing acuity over that period. Like the Costco ones, these take a Bluetooth feed off my IPhone so calls are piped straight into my ears. I have portable hard-wire phones at home and the poor sound quality make two of the three units unusable for me. I just ask people who need me rather than my wife to call my cell. Good luck.

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Thank you everyone! I think the issue my husband is having is that in his mind, a mild loss isn’t that bad so I can probably get by with the basic model. I think the fact that I can hear makes people think you don’t need the help of an aid. They don’t understand how hard this loss makes it to understand speech clearly and how tired my brain is after dealing with it all day while teaching.

Anyway, I had my audiologist order the Widex Moment 330 and then if I feel like I need more assistance I can bump up to the 440 and just pay the difference. Unfortunately, I have to pay completely out of pocket so I want to see if the 330s will be sufficient before I bump up to the 440s.

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If it makes you feel any better, so far when researchers manage to run double-blind trials the average user can’t actually tell the difference between the levels.

However, I think you need to prepare your husband for hearing aids being an aid not a cure, and be a bit clearer with him about just how much of an impact you experience from your “mild” hearing loss, and how different environments impact you differently. Typically hearing people do not know what hearing loss is really like, and have no way to know unless we explain it to them. Usually, it’s better to try to explain it to them when things are calm than when you are angry and frustrated with eachother.

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It’s worth keeping track of when the NHS would replace your aids. The second set they gave me were much better than the first.

Thanks, they’re only about 18 months old so it’ll be a while yet unless my hearing gets much worse. They’re better than nothing as a back up though

Heh, that probably depends on which aids study was done. I’m sure 5+ years ago results would be different. Of course if we’d compare best fitted all HAs.

Today, you’re probably right. From what I’ve seen in Target sw for Phonak, difference between tiers is how many automatic programs there is, if they have access to some feature eg ‘echo reduction’ in m90 vs other who don’t have it.
Of course they could put completely different aka older generation sw in m30 and m50, but I think the algorithm for processing sound is the same, it’s just which option it has to do the processing, eg that’s what you pay for.
I think it makes no sense to develop sw twice, and still have them similar enough to be called marvels, while keeping them better than previous generation.

But yes, those additional things I believe can make the difference, if for example one has 4 mics and can utilize them vs if HA has only 2. From what I understood, M30 and M50 have less mics than M70 and M90. So if you need those features, you can’t get by with lower tiers.

For @dani7059
I think most important is that you realize for which situations you need help, and test devices in that situations.

5 years ago I was told that Widex dream 440 shows its shine when you need 2 HA, and since I need only one, I went with 330. I believe today is similar. From Phonak, m90 (top tier) and m70 (second one) I see that feature ‘speech in loud noise’ uses mics from both HAs to actually do something. So in my case, even if I’d pay more for m90, I still can’t utilize its possibilities since it needs two m90s to try to do something.

However, I plan to buy roger microphone things. I can hear sounds with probably any aid, but put me in a meeting room with several speakers, and I just can’t follow even if I have one good ear. Maybe if I pulled out HA, but it would still be hard bc people are all around the table.

With mic I hope it’ll all be past :slight_smile:
I’ve tried select in some situations and I felt the positive impact already. But I have to test pen and I’ll probably buy pen first bc I can hold it in hand and point around, which is my currently more often use case.

And I’ll stick with M70, since lower ones don’t have wind block, no ability for 360 sound and few more things and I definitely want / need that.

Anyhow, don’t rely on your audi nor what we say here (in this topic only) for our preferences, check what features are different, try to understand how they work, and which of them you must have vs what are nice to have, check if it’s possible to do some workarounds also (eg make own program instead of built in preprogrammed one for some situation, I mean, audi makes it for you instead of manufacturer).

If you’re not stuck with android phone but instead have iphone, you definitely have wider range of manufacturers to try as well. Don’t rush, it’s your money, take your time. If this audi has no patience anymore, find another one.

I think single best thing I’ve done for my current quest for HA is to come here, read A LOT and sleep it over so many nights. Plus I’ve changed audi. Now my wishes are much clearer and I know what I need to test next before final decision. Although I think only decision left is to pick color for HA and to see in which order and from where I’ll buy roger devices :smiley: Oh and setup it properly this time with new audi, but that’s easy part :rofl:

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Yes. One of the limitations of these studies is that the audiology research community is small and lags behind the manufacturers, so even when they were released the hearing aids they’d looked at where already older-generation. The marketting claims were all the same back then too though.

I don’t know what the situation for accommodations in Germany is, but the nicest set-up for a large meeting is having a bunch of networked Table Mic II devices spread around the room and a pen or a select on the main speaker. This set-up is generally prohibitive for an individual, but is sometimes something that the business will purchase. Alternatively, I’ve sometimes seen success convincing businesses to go for the educational digimaster system with the pass-around mics, because the soundfield will benefit individuals without hearing aids as well. It takes a little organization to teach people to use the microphones when they want to talk, but people get used to it over time. And the turn-taking it forces is a benefit all on its own.

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Thanks, I’ve heard that recommendation as well. I’m preparing for job search, but will definitely ask if they’d be willing to buy more stuff :smile:

Oh, and about marketing, don’t they always promise the best? However they could be honest, they really are the best at that time point :rofl:

Good luck “educating” your husband. I’ve worn aids for 15 years and explained countless times that for me to hear optimally it would be nice if he (the husband with fine hearing) were in the same room and facing me. He becomes a tad irritated when I’m unable to make out what he says from an adjacent room. My answer to his “can’t you hear me” is yes I can HEAR you but I can’t make out what you are saying. It seems an uphill battle; good luck.

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I agree good luck, I too have been wearing aids for 15 years and my wife still will not accept that I cannot hear or understand her if she doesn’t get my attention first. But she loves to accuse me of not paying attention to what she says. Even with my aids if there is a TV on and she claims she asked me something she will not accept that she got lost somewhere in the noise that the TV was making, and if I have the TV adapter streaming to my aids then it is even worse.

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I would suggest that anyone having difficulty with a spouse understanding their hearing loss turn it into ‘A Talk’. Sometime when everyone is calm, sit down and discuss what your experience is and how you expect it also impacts them, and how their behaviour makes you feel (dismissed, excluded, not worth trying harder to accommodate, grieved by a level of close communication that has been lost, exhausted) and how your hearing loss probably makes them feel (unheard, burdened by having to frequently be the one answering the phone or interpretting for you, grieved for a level of close communication that has been lost), and try to brainstorm ideas on how to communicate better. Better to have it be a serious discussion than to make comments here and there which are easily dismissed. The reality is, you probably want that close communication back, and want things to be easier, and so do they. You need to make yourselves a team.

And then if that doesn’t land, or if it’s too hard, bring them in to your clinician and ask that THEY talk to your partner. Or look into local classes/support groups for communication with hearing loss. Sometimes it’s easier for a loved one to start to really get it when they are hearing it from OTHER people.

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Been there done that, it helped for a short time then she goes back to the old ways.

Maybe repeat the talk? I mean, explain that your hearing loss is forever, not just for a short while. Maybe find some examples how distorted hearing is, I saw in target that it can play such examples, I didn’t test it, but maybe there’s something online accessible as well?

I think many people who hear well think that hearing loss is like when you put fingers in their ear - quieter.

They don’t get that easily how our curves mess up our ability to understand. I have one good ear, and even I wasn’t aware enough to explain to my hubby what exactly is the problem and why I find mics so great that I suddenly want them. I think we both forgot that I got stereo only but not great understanding with my old HA, and until several weeks ago I was under the impression that that’s the best I can get. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

I mean, I understand him when he speaks, but yes, we usually sit close, I can read lips, I know how he talks both vocabulary wise and pronunciation wise. And I think I never explained to him that even if I get it right, how much effort it takes for me.

But, he is willing to listen and understand.

However, even if your wife forgot, I think it’s worth explaining trying again, and few more times again if needed. Maybe also don’t just say ‘repeat please’ but be precise. I started saying to my ‘I hear you’re talking something, but have no clue, can you come or wait until I come over’. I don’t ever say ‘I don’t hear’, I say ‘I don’t understand’ and try to repeat what part I did get. Especially with new people.

Good luck

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