Best RIC HA with Bluetooth?

I’m in the process of researching hearing aids (this will be my first) and drowning in the information ocean… As people have different hearing problems they also have different experiences with HAs. The model that some people love, others hate, etc. Do you know of any website that offers independet reviews of HAs? Like a top-10 list or something like that? These are my requirements:

  1. Small sleek RIC design
  2. Bluetooth enabled
  3. Price is not a problem, I’m willing to pay for the best

The two HAs that I’m “stuck” at right now are the Siemens Pure 700 with TEK and the Phonak Smart IX with iCom, but there may be others that are comparable or better out there?

I expect that a lot of people with give me their personal opnions, which is fine and interesting but what I’m really looking for is an independent professional review.

Thank you in advance.

Hello Benny,
To me its all about process - - and, being technically guided by a real pro. Key, of course, is finding that pro and knowing you really have one.

I came to the same decision regarding suppliers - - Siemans top of line vs. Phonak. At this point I have decided on Phonak. I will not go into reasons for rejecting Siemans.

Regarding Phonak at first I planned to test drive only its top performance level IX but my audi talked me into first test driving the V, which is in process. She said this way I will learn to understand all the features and go slow in finding what each does - - before most likely moving to test out the IX.

She offered a test drive of each performance level - - and after deciding on one then a 45-day tryout, meeting in her office at least once per week - with unlimited visits to tweak thereafter.

As you know there is a ton of info out there, and many of the terms are not every day to a new user - - and much of the info is low tech sourced or from novices, such as me.

In the end here is the process I decided upon, and recommend for your consideration - - basically it is >

find the best professional audiologist you can to guide you - - as, after all, this is a technical product involving a medical issue (your hearing) - - and, having highly professional, dedicated and responsive after-sale support to me is a biggie >

Go to the web sites of each of the two firms you mentioned, read 100% several times to acquaint you with their products and features, so you gain a somewhat novice understanding - - then, find their ‘find a dealer’ section, type in your zip code to identify all audiologists within your range - - and then, arrange a visit with ear test at least 4 different audi offices for each named supplier.

Just in having them administer an ear test lets you find how they approach things technically, the quality of their equipment, thoroughness, etc. Watching how they program adds a lot. I was amazed at the variance between audiologists, even those with doctor diplomas - - even the variability in the completeness and accuracy of their hearing tests.

In the end, I think I have found one who stands heads and shoulders above all the others, and she has her PhD in the subject and thoroughly understands the technicals of each detail and feature. Just watching how she does a test, analyizes it, programs details, etc and checking her references. I feel very, very good indeed.

The technicals in hear aid products are changing rapidly in recent years, and all are not keeping up, and as you will find some are selling out - - and there is no way many, many hearing aid offices can keep up, considering their technical status. Just because one has been selling hearing aids for years does not, in my book, qualifly them in this hi-tech world of today.

That’s my suggestion. I hope others also respond to your post, the more good ideas the better.

Hope this helps. Good luck.<O:p</O:p

Our experiences (my wife and I) were similar those described by Mike, except with a different conclusion. We terminated our search for the elusive perfect audiologist. Even audiologists that we liked were pushing specific brands.

We ended up getting Oticon Epoqs with Bluetooth Streamer, that we self-program with Genie software, a USB Hi-Pro, Oticon #3 programming cables, and a pair of Oticon programming shoes.

Even audiologists that we liked were pushing specific brands.

That’s not not necessarily a sign of evil intent.

For example I currently favour Phonak products, for a complex mix of reasons.

(It might be Oticon next week!)

Accordingly I might fit more Phonak than say Sonic.

The key point is that the client will in my opinion be getting the correct aid for their situation in either case.

I hear you EnglishDispenser and I agree with you too! Except our case was a little different. The audi we liked best was recommending mid-line models at top-of-the-line model prices.

Back to the OPs original question. Try a forum search (click the search button above) for things like bluetooth icom streamer. Learn about the time delay when streaming TV.

Oh, and Smartlinkwhich I just discovered in another thread.

PVC - you made 2 points of interest
a) above about discovering Smarlink. I started a thread elsewhere regarding assessories, and smartlink also came up there >

I mention here with hope you (and other) will share what you find and decide RE smartlink - as well the others.

b. and your other post where you wrote > “The audi we liked best was recommending mid-line models at top-of-the-line model prices.”

You are correct. I found the same, in spades. Additionally, amazed at some audi offices that basically show their ‘selected’ sales rep your audio test and let him come up with a device. Some say they are matching your test with the best device for you, and then give you a menu of a way over-priced unit and others lower priced way down there - - where even a novice can go to the web and find significantly different performance levels between each. These experiences just motivated me not to give up the hunt for an audi I feel I can trust as well as my GP doctor.

(maybe being a Physics/math guy handicaps me to spend time data-hunting until satisfied - and, being retired I want the very best, at the right price, with plenty of back-up)

Last point - discovering this Hearing Aid Forum was a blessing to assist that process. Cannot say enough thank you to the many sharing, knowledgable members.

two of the most popular brands are Oticon and Phonak…

Now, Oticon is due to release new products… So I would wait 3 more weeks

their new agile will be released beg of march

Unitron and Phonak are the same company and it is my understanding that Unitron is somewhat less expensive!

They are both part of the sonova group. It is true that they share some of their functions
and that phonak has the more "advance¨ or interesting products out there.
I would agree in that Unitron tends to share Phonak technology at a lower price point.
I think Unitron fitting software as superior to phonak.

Unitron has an interesting product call YUU and the passport. I like their remote control quite a lot