I’m in the process of trying to buy my first hearing aids. I’m in the US, and my health insurance doesn’t cover enough of the $5,200 cost of the Widex Clear330’s that my audiologist is recommending, so I’m looking for options that are more affordable out of pocket.

I’ve been sort of circling around Audicus for awhile but their business model and online behavior has frankly left me a bit skeptical. I’m also having a very hard time getting a real live human being on their telephone (and they’ve gotten rid of their chat system)

The only reviews I can find anywhere of their products are on their own web site, and honestly I pretty much distrust any review I’m reading on their own site. I’d much rather see the good, the bad, and the ugly out on the wild frontier of the Internet outside of their overly groomed SEO-enhanced slick but sparse web site.

Even the search function here turned up very little about them. As long as they’ve been around, seriously, nobody is using Audicus hearing aids and wants to talk honestly about the experience of dealing with them and their products?

Interestingly, the moment I submitted this post, my phone rang and Audicus was calling me back. So I did talk to a real live person, and I got more details that were missing from the web site. :slight_smile:

I’m also having a very hard time getting a real live human being on their telephone (and they’ve gotten rid of their chat system) think how hard it will be once they have your money.

Try Costco you can get in very good aids for about 1/2 that. Plus it would be tough to hide behind not answering a phone.

I got a pair of Audicus 300s back in April. They have been working great since then. I have been in contact with Mr. Freuler with some questions early on since I never used hearing aids before. The service and response was always prompt and courteous. I have subsequently purchased some accessories (tubes/domes) without issue. I would definitely check them out again when time for another set of HAs.

Thanks all. I ended up buying a pair of Audicus aSwings, and added on the Telecoil option (which was effectively free after applying the 10% holiday discount code).

I’ll make sure to report back when I’ve had some time to adjust to them.

Update: I ordered through their web site on Wednesday night. I got a USPS tracking number tonight. So the turnaround time from order to shipping was ~3 business days. Not too bad.

So I should have them in my ears later this week. I’ll post some impressions later.

There is really an absence of honest third party assessments of their products on the web so I feel a little responsible to help fix that.

I got a call from Allison at Audicus last night to see if I got my HA’s okay, as the USPS tracking indicated I should have gotten them. The post office did drop them off early this morning. I would have preferred having them delivered by UPS or FedEx, where meaningful tracking is available.

The HA’s were well protected for shipping, and included concise instructions. There was also an included form for having them reprogrammed. They came with small earbuds installed but an assortment of earbuds was included for getting the right fit (I ended up going up a size). I’ll probably have to play around with the fit a little more, and possibly order up some longer tubes.

One pack of batteries was included. Since one $500 HA would have included one pack of batteries, I guess I would have wanted to see 2 packs of batteries included. Not a huge deal.

The aSwings have four programs

  1. General use
  2. Restaurant/Bar
  3. Television
  4. Telecoil

I’m not sure about the television mode. While watching the TV, it did sound “funny” and did a better job of amplifying the hum of aquarium pumps and such. The restaurant mode was a bit better for watching TV as it did squelch out the ambient hum.

I’ve only had them for like an hour, so this isn’t so much a review of the HA’s themselves, just to give you an idea of what the process has been like for me.

Day 3

This is the first day I have gotten out of the house with the hearing aids since they showed up, due to being down with the flu virus.

I found myself in a number of different environments, including my car, a pet shop, a supermarket, and a Chinese buffet restaurant (yeah, I’m regretting that one already).

I found myself checking a couple of times if they were in, if they were on the right program or not, didn’t feel they were particularly helping me where I needed it the most: hearing what people are saying to me. If someone crumples a piece of paper, yeah, I get more crispness conveyed through the HA’s. Speech? Not so much, at least not yet.

Tomorrow I try them in the office. That should be the real test. I work in an old tobacco factory that was converted into modern office space. It’s an open layout, like a news room, with open pods of desks. Loud HVAC usually overwhelms my ability to clearly hear people, and background chatter of others talking usually offers up too much competition. I cope pretty well, but a lot of it is lip reading and contextually filling in the blanks. This is really where I’ve been hoping for the most benefit.

Day 4

This was my first day in the office with the new hearing aids. Being Christmas Eve, a lot of people were taking the week off. But there were enough people for me to see that these hearing aids deserved more time to consider the ups and downs.

The two people that I work most closely with were in the office today and I understood them very well, much moreso than I normally would. They commented that they noticed I was speaking much more quietly than I normally would.

My 11AM meeting every day usually involves people from multiple locations on a phone or skype, and several of the participants speak English with a very thick foreign accent. Normally, the ones with the heavy accents are almost completely unintelligible to me and I have to seek translations if I suspect something was said that might be of interest to me. Today, a fellow from Russia who is normally about 10-20% intelligible to me was more like 80-90% intelligible to me, with his intelligibility becoming reduced when someone put him on the spot and he was more stressed out.

I went out to lunch with two co-workers to a crowded sports bar. In the general use program, I quickly lost the ability to follow. I tried out the restaurant mode (program #2) and while there was definitely some digital heavy lifting going on, it served to improve the intelligibility of the people around me and I was a first class participant in the conversation for a change. I do recall telling one of my colleagues that the HA made him sound a little like a cyborg in this mode, but the effect was subtle.

I’m still having the most problems at home. My own voice is clipping when I speak a little more loudly. My wife and kids are a loud bunch and their voices are clipping quite often. Sometimes when they get going now, it’s actually a little painful with the HA’s in to listen to them. I might start trying the restaurant mode at home to see if it’s any better.

Some people with hearing loss tend to speak too quietly, others tend to speak too loudly. One is associated with conductive loss, the other is connected with nerve loss. I don’t remember which is which.

it’s actually a little painful with the HA’s in to listen to them
You might ask for a bit of voice modulation at home. Good for the vocal cords, anyway.

any updates on swing from Audicus? Thinking of getting a pair. Returning Costco Resound they are ok but feel these will work as well and save $1500 if not can return in 45 days.

I like them, I don’t love them. I suspect reprogramming them would make them better, but I can’t bear to be without them to ship them off, so I’m living with what I’ve got. It’s better than not having hearing aids, but it’s not even in the ballpark of the Widex Clear330’s that I got to try out at the audi’s office.

I find it amazing that you are able to buy hearing aids online and out of the box with no custom programming, and still get the success you are experiencing. Imagine if you were to buy a hearing aid that an audiologist could custom program for you on the spot in an office. I bet you would see a huge difference and would actually love your hearing aids instead of just liking them.

Wait, let me correct that right now. These hearing aids are custom programmed by Audicus before being shipped out. You send them your audiogram, they program the HA’s. But having them reprogrammed isn’t as simple as a quick visit with the audi.

If I could go to the audiologist and have them provide a la carte services I’d be happier. If I can find cheaper hearing aids online, and have them professionally fine tuned in the office for the cost of an office visit, I’d be much happier.

Do you have an update? How are your Audicus aids working out?

I chatted with Allison a number of times and had umpteen emails before I purchased the aSamba in the ear model ,It will be delivered some time next week. I currently have a 2000 Phonak behind the ear which does a so so job but I am looking forward to trying the new one .I will be picking it up and immediately flying to Las Vegas so I will have a variety of differe4nt sound experiences. I will report back when I come bacxk. I told Alison that if I like it in that noise environment I will keep it , if not it will be returned

Their Bluetooth device is a tip-off that it is Siemens technology (I’m guessing not the current technology).

I ordered the aNotes for trial. They are the Hansaton Sorino. Siemen’s technology with minor modifications so your guess is correct. btw, I verified both with Audicus and Hansaton that they are Siemen’s. Not only a Siemen’s but current technology equivalent to the Micon.

I should have a report for you all in a week or so after I receive my aids and get a few days under my belt.

I considered Audicus as well but ended up buying the HCX from Advanced Affordable Hearing. For $299 I could not be happier. They are not as good as my older Siemens but for 10% of the price I am thrilled.

Just a small note. Audicus will make adjustments to the aids at no cost throughout the life of the aids. I had similar issues when mine initially arrived – that nearly everything seemed amplified, including background noise that made it more difficult to hear the conversations I wanted to hear better. So I sent them to Audicus, and they tweaked the programming. I should receive the reprogrammed aids any day now, so I’ll report back on the progress.