Bernafon's amplification suddenly faint

One of my Bernafon SwissEar 106 BTE D’s amplification has dropped to a very faint level, i.e., still clearly amplifying but barely discernible. After cleaning the tube and checking for obstructions on both input and output orifices, I visited the vendor (Costco) where I had planned a hearing test to see if I could benefit from new HAs. The tech told me that the hearing aid was “dead”…but clearly it’s not, since some amplification can clearly be heard and there’s feedback generated when enclosed in my hand. Any thoughts on whether this might be something easily remedied and, if so, who would do it and what might it cost?

Also, the tech recommended that I upgrade my four-year-old SwissEars to Bernafon Verite ($2,800, pair) which I’m picking up on Wednesday for a 90 day trial. I’d like to compare them to my existing aids but first have to fix this amplification problem. For those of you familiar with these HAs, do you think this upgrade will provide a significant improvement for me? I have considerable difficulty with my existing HAs in restaurants, etc. and watching TV (“TV Ears” don’t work with my TVs because all the sound comes through ceiling speakers).

Thanks for any input you can provide.

If im not mistaken both instruments are channel free, but the verite is rite instrument
with frequency response up to 10,000hz. That said, speech und. should be superior along with localization of sounds. The added benefit of bluetooth comp is a plus…

I would still fix the swiss ear and have them as backup…

you should consider soundgate and conenctline tv

First thing is to get the old HA repaired. I have had HA’s for 44 year and always have a back up. Never had a Aud tell me that they could not be repaired. The cost ranges from $100 for the analog to $250 for the digital (USA). Usually with a one year warranty.

Thanks for the comments, xbulder. Curious about your enthusiasm for Bluetooth. I know that means it can link to my cell phone but if I have Bluetooth in my car, I can’t connect my cell to both my HA and my car…can I? I guess it might be nice to use with my MP3 player though and if I buy some sort of Bluetooth device that can connect to my ceiling speakers, perhaps that could improve my reception there. The two products you mentioned won’t work for my TV system, since audio isn’t piped to the TV, only the ceiling speakers. (I still regret putting in this fancy A/V system!)

Thanks, disty. Any recommendations on who best to do the repair job?

I have the same problem with my Bernafon here in Australia. I have had it about 4 months. It has been back to Bernafon for repair and they replaced the receiver. However after a couple of days the problem has returned. With a fresh battery it initially works fine, but in 2-3 hours it is very faint and in 4 hours it appears to be “dead”. (i.e. muted). I will be taking it back agian this week and will let you know the outcome. I have a pocket remote which can increase/decrease the volume, but even the Max volume level is muted after a few hours use. The model is a Behind the Ear Brite.

In fairness you’re getting a different problem. The SwissEar is a slim-tube device and sounds from the description above that there’s a long term receiver failure about to happen.
Your brite receiver is probably just blocked with wax. If your Audiologist had old stock, you probably had one of the old short receivers without the No-wax filter. If they were newer sort, there’s a renewable filter in the shaft which may be blocked.

Otoh, if you have high humidity where you are, it might just be a moisture issue.

You can mount the bluetooth TV sender next to your amp as long as it’s within 10 metres (or get a cable/patch panel to make it less than that).

The digital aid went back to Unitron until they no longer wanted to service it. After that it was sent to Starkey for repairs. The Analog was Starkey so it always been service by Starkey. FYI i am now trying a pair of Phonak Smart IX and starting to like them.

Thanks, Um bongo. I’ll check at Fry’s to see what might make sense. The amp is located in my basement and the rooms where I most often watch TV are quite a distance. Fishing wires may be problematic but the installers may have run some unused cables that could be put to use.

I guess for starters I need to see whether just listening to the speakers through my new HA will be enough of an improvement. If that’s the case, then Bluetooth won’t be necessary.

Just want to clarify. I have the Bernafon Brite 504 model. This is the model with the speaker in the ear canal (with dome) and the slim clear plastic wires to the BTE unit. I have removed the dome and cleaned the speaker unit.

If there’s a white filter in the end, it’s a ‘No-wax’ - that can be replaced. If there’s not, it may be the receiver on its way out. The old ones had a problem with the wires becoming over-strained after the joint went in between the receiver shell and the wire sheath.

Whichever way, you might be better to walk it into your Audiologist to get a service.

Something to consider is whether your zinc-air batteries (commonly used with these units) are still still effective. I see that my batteries’ expiration date is Oct 2010, although they were purchased (from Costco) just a few months before that date :confused:. This type of battery type is air-activated, i.e. they start losing effectiveness as soon as you remove the orange sticker, whether or not you’ve actually got your HAs turned on. And I’d bet that those orange stickers aren’t all that air-tight, or the package expiration date would be a lot further out. I’ve got mild HL, so don’t use my HA (same type as yours) continuously, and I often find that I can only get an hour or two out of it before needing to put in a new battery. I’ve found that if I get feedback when I cup my hand over my ear, it means the battery is fairly strong.

Regarding your home audio, speakers in the wall shouldn’t be a limiting factor. Go directly to your A/V receiver and find an unused pair of stereo output phono jacks (aka left & right “RCA”/“phono” jacks), and plug the TV Ears transmitter into those jacks, and it should work fine :rolleyes:.

A caveat with TV Ears though: they are based on infrared technology, like most remote controls, so you have to be facing the TV Ears transmitter for them to operate. This is not clearly stated on the package. If you’re hoping to be able to fix dinner while you listen, or if you watch TV while lying down, look elsewhere :mad:. Also, TV Ears are kind of clunky, and create significant downward pull on your ears.

What works very well for both my non-HOH wife and myself is earphones wired to the TV with a thin, 20-foot cable available from Radio Shack. We plug it into the TV’s earphone output, plug the other end into a y-adapter, plug in two of Shack’s little inline volume controls, and plug in two inexpensive, very lightweight headsets that originally came with Walkman cassette/CD players. Whatever your home A/V setup, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a similar solution. :cool: