I’ve been a Starkey wearer for a few years (the Destiny 1200) and always found them subpar for my needs. Since my insurance will provide another allotment to help reimburse the cost of hearing aids in a few months I figure I might as well get started now and do a little research to see if there’s a brand that can suit me better.
To start, I’m a 35 year old male who attends business dinner functions, conferences, participates in teleconferences, and enjoys music, TV, movies, gaming etc. I have a severe to profound loss in both ears that starts about the 60 decibel range and drops to 100+ in the higher frequencies.
The Destiny aids has been borderline useless in many noisy situations, precluding me from being able to participate in dinner conversations in restaurants, except with just one or two people if they are sitting close enough to me, and even then I only pick up a fraction of their conversations. It’s also been problematic for headset use as well with all the feedback it generates (along with ear and head pain from extensive headphone use).
So basically, I’m looking for powerful enough aids that have:
Little to no whistling/feedback
Bluetooth capabilities for BOTH ears that do not require an add-on ideally. I’d like to be able to just switch a setting and instantly be paired to my iPhone, computer, laptop, etc and thus preclude the need to wear any headphones or a headset when using the phone.
An “analyzing speech in noisy environments” feature/algorithm that actually WORKS, and isn’t a gimmicky pile of crap with merely a cool sounding name cooked up by a hearing brand’s marketing department. Business dinners are a regular part of my life, and I need aids that won’t impair my ability to network with people and move ahead with my career.
Volume control/dial, and as much autonomy over how I adjust my hearing aids as possible. This stupidity where a dispenser/audiologist had to set the VOLUME of my aids was the most offensive thing I have ever had to deal with as a deaf person (back when i was trying out Phonak). Really, I have to make an appointment just to adjust the VOLUME? At least Starkey here grants me a volume dial.
I understand BTE aids are typically my only option due to the severity of my loss, but it’d be nice if the industry finally made an ITE aid I could wear to avoid the stereotypes and prejudice I have to deal with as a result of wearing bulky ugly looking aids.
That’s pretty much it: No whistle/feedback, bluetooth, autonomy over programming/volume, better voice discrimination and an improved cosmetic look (helpful but not necessary)
Any recommendations appreciated.