I am having moderate hearing loss and discussing with audiologist purchasing my first professional hearing aid (before, used only PSA). The most important factors for me are Bluetooth connectivity and various programs for complicated hearing environment where I am experiencing difficulties with PSA.
Based on comparison published on this forum and my priorities I thought about trying Phonak, Oticon, and Resound (in the order of preference).
Strangely, my audiologist visibly turns me toward the Resound for whatever reason. He also says that he cannot order all three to try but only one at a time.
Assuming we are talking about the highest premium models and, based on my priorities, how would you rank the devices above and give me any reasons to prefer or reject Resound.
Appreciate any advise and thanks for your help.
I cannot respond to Resound, but hearing aids are very personally, and to be honest the best aid for someone with the same hearing loss as you, may be the very worse choice for you. Also depending on the environments you deal with and with your hearing loss, you may not need the premium hearing aids which will save you money. So to me it sounds like your Audi may know Resound better, so that is why your Audi suggested Resound. With your hearing loss I would say a very good Audi is 75% of the package of getting you a great fit.
Bluetooth connectivity with what? If you want universal BT connectivity (laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) Phonak Paradise currently holds the edge as it uses standard BT 4.2. If you just want phone compatibility, both the Resound One and Oticon More are made for iPhone and ASHA and claim to be future compatible with BT 5.2 devices with LC3 audio. I think Resound has the nicest app, but that is much less important for most people than they think. Oticon’s emphasis is that they just work (little need to play with app) and most people really like the sound quality. They have a different approach to noise reduction too. My biases would lean towards Phonak or Oticon too unless you insisted on having a great app and made for iPhone and then I’d choose Resound.
Thank you. I surely understand your point about 75%, though 25% still matters. My aids are very partially covered, though want to max the value per $ if I am going to invest in it. Also as getting older, I am really not sure my next aids will be covered at all (with Medicare). This is my rationale to get the aids that exceed my current needs and leave room for future ones.
All my devices are from Apple (at least now). I would definitely prefer at least 3 actively connected, but can live with 2. What is more important is a stability of the bluetooth connection (many hours of conferencing during the day) and sufficient rechargeable battery life. I cannot call myself an audiophile though the sound quality is not negligible. Quite often I find myself in a quite noisy environment where speech recognition becomes a challenge. I am inclined now to Phonak or Oticon (as the second option), but need to consider Audi’s suggestion too.
Do realize that Apple computers are not made for iPhone. Phones and ipads should work well with any of the hearing aids, although Phonak won’t use the Made for iPhone capabilities. To connec to a laptop or desktop will require an additional device with Oticon or Resound. The good thing is that they’re all very good hearing aids.
My personal choice is Oticon, because I like the sound so much better than the others. I have been wearing Oticon aids for about 11 years. I will tell you this if you try Oticon you will have issues being connected to say an iPhone and iPad at the same time. It isn’t an issue for me, I am retired, and I understand the issues. Like MDB says the Oticon app isn’t as good as some of them, but then again, my first requirement is sound, and speech understanding, my second requirement is connecting to my iPhone and TV Adapter. The app to me is an after thought.
And to add if you want to connect to your laptop you will need the Oticon Connect Clip.
Seems to me as another big point to Phonak since connection to my laptop is very essentially for me. When you are talking about additional device is it like a Bluetooth dongle that I need to use with other two?
You are at a turning point concerning your hearing. Thankfully you are educated about your hearing loss and hearing aids.
The forum members can be bias, take your time picking which aids are best for you. The three you mentioned are all good aids. Getting them fit for you is the trick. Good communication with your fitter is important. Understanding phone, TV and computer compatibility with whichever aids you get is important.
I would say take your time and pick the best for you, but I will be honest, you will have to make some compromise, it will be a miracle if you get all of what you want with any of the aids. The connectivity issues are different with each one be each has their on issues with connectivity.
Thank you very much for all the replies - it is useful for adjusting the expectations. I think I have some understanding on pro and contra between Phonak and Oticon, but less about Resound. Would like to hear from any Resound users around who tried other brands if they see any edge for Resound (besides app)?
There are several ways to handle it, but device is bigger than bluetooth dongle, but still quite portable. As cvkemp mentions, none have perfect connectivity. Phonak could easily require a new BT dongle and some troubleshooting.
Perhaps you want to stick with your audiologist but you could probably try both Phonak (the KS10’s) and ReSound (the Preza’s) at Costco and see which you like best. I’ve never used Costco but, IIRC, they let you walk around the store for an hour with a demo model so perhaps you could try both, at least very briefly, at the same time. I don’t know if an Oticon model is available through Costco but that could be the one that you try through your audiologist. Then, after you’ve tried all three, you might tell Costco, sorry, but you want to have the tinnitus feature available and you’ve decided to go to an independent audiologist to get that - or you might find the KS10’s or the Prezas are great and just decide to go with Costco.
If I were you, though, if it’s going to be a “lifetime” purchase, I’d wait a bit and see how BT LE Audio and also Apple bidirectional handsfree calling (probably revealed in the next 3 to 4 months) works out. Otherwise, you might suffer a bad case of buyer’s remorse if you take the plunge right now.
@jim_lewis As far as I understand all brands I am considering have support for BT LE as well as my laptop, iPad, iPhone so I think I am already on edge of technology for now. It is quite possible that my audiologist has a very good reason to prefer Resound, but wanted to get some personal experience from some who compared several devices. And I understand my results might be different.
@MDB I also had problem to keep the BT connection with MacBook Pro even using regular BT headsets, but once I got the new model (last year) all problems disappeared. I am currently using AirPods Pro and the connection stable (may be a couple of glitches rarely). I think new BT with LE support makes the difference.
BT LE or BLE is not “BT LE Audio.” BLE starts with BT 4.x. BT LE Audio requires BT 5.2 and the LC3 codec for all its features (may work with lesser features with BT 5.0, someone claimed).
Check out the threads in the links below if you think that you’re going to be on the cutting edge of technology with currently available HA’s. Especially if you’re into all Apple gear, Apple has yet to produce its take on BT LE Audio and how it will integrate with MFi hearing aids (Apple, besides creating the MFi protocol with ReSound initially, is one of the BT SIG members for BT LE Audio, as are most of the other major HA manufacturers except for Phonak, notably). The BT SIG group for BT LE Audio naturallly toots their horn loudly for their baby, proclaiming its the future of BT for the next 20 years or something like that. Remains to be seen how fast and how widely its adapted but if their claim has any merit, the HA’s today, rather than being cutting edge technology, might end up on the cutting room floor…
Not saying any premium HA available now won’t do a great basic job of helping you hear better but if being current with the latest technology is important as far as connectivity goes, you might miss out on a bit there unless you’re willing to upgrade as time goes by or just wait now to see what happens in the coming months with the next iPhone, WWDC 2021 starts June 7th! - maybe some hints there?!
P.S. I’m potentially interested in new HA’s, particularly if suddenly we have a bunch with both BT LE Audio and, for the iPhone, with bidirectional hands-free calling, FaceTiming, Zooming, or whatever. But if some HA’s like that do come along soon, I plan to also wait and see what Phonak’s response to that is. If Phonak just continues along the classic BT route, it’ll be Oticon, ReSound, or something else for me, most likely. What would be great would be if Phonak could offer the option in one HA of using either a classic BT connection or BT LE Audio, etc. When one is as ignorant about BT as I am, one can always hope for the impossible!