Hi, all, and thanks for engaging.
Left ear infection. Thanksgiving 2021 infection, closed from before 2022; don’t have exact date.
Unfortunately the previous aids were taken in trade; long story omitted but they were no longer serviced. Offices changed, new audiologist (currently on the FL hearing folks’ association board of directors, previous 25 years independent) doesn’t have the prior data to attempt duplication. In any case, it’s likely, as there were only group-speak (like a restaurant) and windy settings (we lived on a boat for 15 years), the current program wouldn’t be able to copy those settings in today’s electronic wizardry environment.
I did, indeed, rely - for volume, the acuity issue being solved as earlier noted - on a remote mic my wife would wear in the cockpit, where she essentially whispered (compared to belowdecks where her ordinary speech level, after that miraculous - well, for me, after years of not hearing her clearly - last adjustment on the antiques) - by using the MyPalPro microphone.
I essentially can’t hear music nor speech at any normal volume due to my acuity loss (as illustrated in the - count’em - 9 audiograms above). However, what made me certain that my issue wasn’t neurological (as presumed by the factory rep who was equally bumfuzzled with my challenges) was the clarity of both bluetooth phone calls and over-the-ear headphones (which, with the included mike, is now how I do my various zoom equivalent conferences), listening to a piano piece, wherein every note was accurate.
I suspect it’s all the whizbangs designed for non-musicians (listeners rather than performers) which caused that distortion, as seen in a different thread/series of discussions referred to me earlier (Chasin, et. al.).
My personal opinion after, now, 5 different providers, is that the gear, presumed to be current state of the art, is irrelevant, whereas the audiologist (and maybe the programs associated with the hardware) is the key, as witnessed by the frustrated audiologist who successively tried the top ones from Widex, Phonak and Starkey - I’d misremembered the 3rd, but saw the notation on the paperwork this morning), IMHO (and also uneducated O), is the real answer.
Having a software which has lots of ways to shape the sound coming out the receiver likely is critical, and maybe an app on a phone or other bluetooth device can help the user after the adjustments, but if you don’t get really close to as-desired, before mucking around in a bluetooth program, I suspect that most of us not trained on the software would perhaps do more harm than good.
I’m down to 3 - the Imagine 17s from Beltone, Phonak Audeo L70s, and whatever the Lucid/Liberty/Sam’s state-of-the-art is (SIE A128WL). We get close, and then overshoot (yesterday I had the Phonaks reverted to the previous setting, e.g., due to issues with the couple-of-days-ago adjustments; it’s my second revert over the 10 weeks we’ve been hacking on it). We finally, on the Beltone, after repeated massaging by the company rep, and when he went missing, the ex-independent now-Beltone employee, got to nowhere, we started over with the most recent Vero ENT settings and are chipping away at full function. We’re close; eliminating all compression from (all of) the music program(s) has largely fixed the piano accuracy, but I’m still not quite there on my ability to hear and reproduce sung tones (an ‘own voice’ issue, mostly).
When I went in for the reversion, my audiologist at Phonak created two new categories: Ladies (our Friday afternoons with a retirement facility residents) and Music 1 (a separate music program tweaked for my specifics, rather than the music function on the app). Tomorrow’s church service will reveal if the “Music 1” hits the mark. It didn’t, when I did a rehearsal CD (me singing with a part-specific track), yesterday; going to the standard “Music” setting was better (but not particularly good). On the other hand, the old ladies were brilliant. That setting will keep me able to hear their responses to the trivia questions I pose (baby steps; one problem at a time )
As to an audiologist recommending a specific brand, of course, my Beltone guy sells and services Beltone. But he’s been at this for 25 years, was an independent up until just before I bought the current aids, and knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak. He doesn’t wear Beltones - but what he has is from when he was an independent, more than any deficiency in the Beltone gear. He DID have some opinion on what was the good stuff and otherwise; his opinion is that the Sam’s are awful, and the Phonaks not nearly as good as several others. But, see above about the audiologist. Consolidation among manufacturers further muddies the waters, but I suspect that none of that is at issue here.
Thanks again for the engagement. I keep a pretty detailed log about my experiences, in order to guide the tweakers at the 3 remaining companies. LMK if that level of detail might be useful here; I’m happy to provide…
Here’s just one example, of the Phonak just before I did the reversion:
0600 Insertion uneventful
1030 Fair sound/speech
1145 Tweaks, “Music 1” program created (enhanced Bass for own voice, no-compression continued)
1900 Cantata rehearsal…
1910 “Music 1” has very strange speech
1915 Piano and other-voices tonality seems accurate
1920 Own voice only fair but VERY boomy sound overall in “Music 1”
1930 Swapped around between “Automatic” and “Music” and “Music 1” – difficulty with ‘own voice’ and hearing piano and/or voices next to me all settings
1000 Quick appointment to revert current setting (upcoming Sunday service)
1430 Quickie fix to “Music 1” and added “Ladies” program as well
1630 Women/Trivia pretty good with “Ladies” although a bit loud; didn’t stop to fix cuz noisy otherwise as well.
1645 Back to “Automatic”
1800 Tried all 3 (Music, Music 1 and Automatic) and had best results singing on rehearsal CD from speakers with “Music;” don’t recall what made that better but it was notably better than the other two
1850 TV on Automatic good for speech but subtitles may give rose colored glasses effect?
I presume the immediately above is TMI but let me know if further specifics might help…