Considering new aids, number of channels

Its been 6+ years with my Oticon DigitFocus aids so I’ve scheduled a hearing
test (last one 2 years ago) and have been reading about some of the latest
hearing aids. The Oticons have been quite durable and long lasting…

I recalled years ago, when I got my digiFocus aids I had first tried the Oticon
Digilife which did not sound well, I feel, do to the number of bands or channels
it had. At the time the DigiFocus sounded better in that it has several most frequency bands/channels…

Looking online now it seems the DigiFocus has 2 channels and 7 bands. I recall
there were 7 frequency adjustments; more than the DigiLife model that seemed to help. How does this compare to current models; it a model has,
say 4 channels, does that mean there are only 4 frequency ranges
to adjust? I’m just wondering if, in general, a 4 channel aid would still sound
better than my 2 channel/7band hearing aids and should be amongst my
choices. I see there are many choices out there and a knowledgable audi/dispenser is a must.

Working with a knowledgeable local professional is the best way to go.

In general, hearing aids from all manufacturers have improved over the years. There are many hearing aids that offer 16 to even 128 channels. I have personally found I like having at least 9 channels, as this way we can program them very effectively for most hearing losses and we can adjust the sound at a minimum of every half octave.

There are several 4 channel hearing aids with 12-16 bands, where the sound can be tweaked as you would with an equalizer on your stereo.

Yet if you really want to improve things, I would suggest you look into the mid to top line hearing aids from Oticon, Phonak, Sonic Innovations and Siemens, as they offer some great products and often with great pricing (good pricing especially on the Sonic Natura Pro, Phonak Extra, etc).

Let us know how you do.

Thank you! Yes, it would seem, I may be wise to stick with 8 channels or more… as cost is always a factor, I think I will be open to less and let my
ears decide.

As to local professionals…

I do have a local dispenser I’ve been to for maintenance over the last few years. I will be going to the audi location that checked my ears last. Since
I did not get my aids fitted by this audi last time (worked with my dispenser
who was familar with the oticon products and software) I know little if this
audi is really good at fittings, software etc.

Add to this the fact that my insurance refers me to the hearPO network
which is yet another audi (but not necessary in my insurance plan). The
hearPO network offers discounts on hearing aids…this somewhat forces me to
consider yet another audi+dispenser. While the inital price might be great
and their fitting knowledge probably better than my dispenser’s I am weary. I have found after 32 years of hearing aids that followup customer service is really important. In that regard my dispenser won’t make me wait 2 weeks
to replace a tube. With the complexity of aids and hearing though I’d love
to find an audi that is an expert at my initial fitting and is accessible for general followup needs for all of the following years… I just have been able
to find one.