Buying HAs Online vs From Audi?


#1

I’m considering buying a Widex Evoke 440. They are about $6,100 from an audi vs about $4,300 from an on-line direct vendor (hearstore.com) with 3 yr local service. To say that I’m nervous about buying online would be a massive understatement. That said, saving $1,800 is tempting.

Does anyone have experence with on-line buying? With hearstore.com? What has been your experience? Positives? Negatives?

Thanks for any feedback.

Regards,

Dan.


#2

I think if you’re willing to buy online with reduced/limited/very basic local service, instead of getting (almost) unlimited service from the regular channel, maybe you should also investigate the DIY route in parallel to see if you’re up for it or not, so that you can help yourself more with the self-programming after you will have exhausted the initial limited service from the local provider.


#3

My very first hearing aids was bought online and I was sent to an Audi that really didn’t understand the aids I got and I never had any like with the hearing aids and no satisfaction with them, the physical fit from the custom ITE was never right so the hearing fit was never right either. I still look back on it as experience and a high mistake. And as money wasted.
I am so lucky now to get my hearing aids and supplies along with all the needed accessories from the Veterans’s Administration at no cost to me.


#4

Just bought Phonak marvels from Truhearing online .Local provider was knowledgeable about them .I like them and saved $1800.00 .They replaced my Phonak audeo b50 312t, which I bought locally. Feel like I got ripped off buying locally. Anytime, other than cleaning, they had their hand out wanting more money. When I purchased the b50s they told me all the after care was free .They lied .


#5

I bought online (Oticon Opn 1) from Buyhear.com. I self-program so I don’t really worry about local service, however, about 2 years after my purchase, Buyhear went out of business and my aids started acting up and I had to find somewhere else to facilitate the repair/replacement of the aids. So if you are the type to self-program then I say go for it, otherwise, I would stick with brick and mortar.


#6

I got my ReSound Quattro 9 61’s (the premium Li-ion powered rechargeables) through TruHearing who hooked me up with a very experienced local audi (practicing since the 1980’s, at least). The total cost was about $4,600 ($2,600 to me after insurance) but the bargain price only included 3 fitting visits. The audi declared that she didn’t believe in limiting fittings like that and wasn’t going to charge me more for additional visits if needed. So it doesn’t hurt to inquire. TruHearing also can tell you what sort of feedback they get about an audi that works with them but in my experience, they ask you to complete the survey after only the first visit or two. Whatever you do, look at the fine details of your contract and discuss them with your provider and any associated online service before you take the plunge so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Ask if the local provider will do Real Ear Measurements as part of the service or how much extra it would be to have it done ($40 for me).

I’m very happy with TruHearing and the local audi that I got hooked up with. I was also very happy with the initial fit but subsequently have found that I like my fit even more by changing from the ReSound “First-Time User” hearing profile to “Experienced (Nonlinear)” and using more closed, occlusive domes makes me even happier with the resulting fit. So no matter what route you go, discussing the type of user profile the provider is going to set you up with and the degree of closure in your domes or molds is probably a good idea to get the very best user experience right from the start, IMHO. (for example, “First-Time User” is the default fitting experience for ReSound fitting software and my audi did not happen to mention that there were other profiles that I could go, too, maybe because I was so happily gushing that the fit was incredible and I didn’t want to change anything one iota!)


#7

Volusiano, cvkemp, wyattwilliams891, Abarsanti, Jim,

Thanks for the feedback. I like the idea of DIY self-service and by profession I’m a software developer. I’m pretty much not scared of any programming project. After 50 years, you get that way - not arrogant, just confident. However…

I don’t have much spare time and I’m not sure if I want the hassle. At 72, I’m still a professional software engineer for a local company. Lots of stuff going on at work. A bigger issue is the physical fit - tubes, domes, etc. And then there is the judgement call - a third party can make suggestions and provide analysis that I would miss. Another big issue is service - what happens when an HA goes south.

If you bought online, how do you resolve the issues of fit and service?

Thanks and regards,

Dan.