I recently purchased a pair of Audicus Canto after a lengthy discussion with my audiologist. They are NOT hearing enhancement devices, which you can buy in catalogues, and yes, at Wal-Mart. These are hearing AIDS, manufactured by Siemens for Hansaton. Anyone ever buy a Kenmore appliance? Sears does not make those; established manufacturers do. Whirlpool makes Kenmore refrigerators, Janome makes Kenmore sewing machines, but Kenmore products cost less than Whirlpool or Janome. FWIW, both my refrigerator and my sewing machine are Kenmores.
Back to the Audicus hearing aids. Wow. I loved them from the first. The first full day I had them I sat and read and listened to music. I am a musician and have not really enjoyed listening to music for several years, though I didn’t realize why. But I could suddenly hear so much of what I had been missing and it was a pleasure to again hear the flutes and violins and basses. And being able to have it all coming into both ears instead of just my left was amazing. I found after a week or so that I was starting to sing around the house again. I could hear what I was doing and was hitting the right notes. I had to sing at a funeral and with my new aids I was able to confidently sing The Lord’s Prayer and hit every note dead on. I was also able to hear the soft-voiced gentleman who gave the eulogy, and I didn’t have to strain to do it. Suddenly conversations were easier. The nonstop ringing in my right ear was less noticeable because more sounds were coming through to mask it.
After a few weeks my audiologist did an aided audiogram and felt that though I was very happy with my aids, I should be getting a bit more gain, so I sent them back in for reprogramming. This is the downside of ordering online - having to be without your aids for a bit. Audicus has been great. When they finally received them after they floated around in the mail system for close to a week with no tracking information offered by the Post Office except for a notice that they had been mailed, Audicus sent them back expedited. (I had sent them expedited as well, so I am under no illusions that it will matter.) Today is the day they are supposed to be here, but I am not holding my breath. The tracking information is limited to a notice that the pre-shipment info was sent to the Post Office.
I am still in the midst of my trial period, which was suspended the day the aids were postmarked when I sent them back. It will resume the day I receive the aids. I should have known better than to send them through the Post Office. When I initially ordered them I requested that they be shipped UPS.
This is not an insurmountable issue, or at least it will not be once I get them back. I checked with Audicus, and if there is someone locally (which there is - I checked) who can adjust Hansaton aids I can take them there to be reprogrammed when needed. It will not affect the warranty at all.
Even with paying for reprogramming when necessary and renewing the warranty each year ($99 per aid per year), the cost savings is quite significant. I also liked the fact that Audicus was able to program my aids independently, so I can adjust each aid separately. The hearing in my right ear fluctuates, and this is a wonderful feature. In addition, I appreciate the time that Audicus reps take with me. I gave them information both via online chat and telephone, and they included it all in my file. Their audiologist programmed the aids from the audiograms I sent in, taking the file notes into account.
I don’t need a bunch of bells and whistles. I didn’t order a remote or any other extras. I don’t want to talk on the phone with my aids, or connect to the tv - I just want to hear. In the few weeks I had them these accomplished that, and I know they will once again when the Post Office finally gets around to delivering them.
I recently spoke with a gentleman who has a pair of $10,000 hearing aids. He is not happy with them and said he needs to go back and have them adjusted - again. A hearing aid is a very personal device, and we can’t expect it to work like a pair of glasses - put it on and that’s it. Although, we have had to have glasses redone occasionally too. That is just the way it is with something that is supposed to fit you and you alone. So we can expect to have that issue whether we pay $10,000 for our aids or $1,400.
It is easy to look at a product and make a judgment. But if we have no experience we may be off base. That is why I think it is important to talk to people who have used the products, or in lieu of that read reviews by people who have used the product. It is also important to share our own experiences so we can help someone else with their decision.
My audiologist told me that my experience is very positive, and that is what she looks for. She said that I might actually be happier with the programming for less gain, though I wouldn’t know until we try. She said it varies with individuals, and some are more comfortable with less, at least at first. Again, having to send in the aids is a downside, though I won’t have to do that again since there is a local place where I can go. She said to have them re-programmed then see how I like it.
There is one more downside - I can’t leave them in ALL the time! Of course, unless you have Lyric you have that problem with all aids.
I will update when I get my aids back. But so far I think they are wonderful.