Difference in tech levels/tiers of RIC models, processing speed, battery sizes, for moderate severe flat loss

What is the relationship to higher/lower tech levels/tiers in RIC’s (specifically Widex Moment), battery sizes (between a #10 vs #312 battery), and processing speed? I have a pretty bad FLAT across loss in the 65-70db range. The $ difference between each tier is $1K-are the higher levels really worth it??? I do NOT minding changing a #10 battery every couple of days…Thanks.

They all use the same chip/processor and chassis, the difference is certainly that some features are required by busy people who frequent restaurants and bars, business meetings etc, so it’s just things like noise reduction settings/feedback management/wind noise reduction and so on…do you need them? well only you would know, a decent trial between the basic and premium models would be needed for you to know this.
As for brand, well this is very subjective,you could ask what’s the best smartphone, so the one that works for you is the one to have,you asked about Widex but Phonak, Signia,ReSound,Oticon all have pretty good HAs, maybe do a trial between a few and you decide which one is better for your situation, go for at least a size 312 if you like a bit streaming, of course rechargeable is another option (seems all the manufacturer’s are going there) you need your audiology clinic to shortlist some for you, and go from there, the number one issue people have with premium is the cost, so don’t forget to look at Costco for one of the best deals around for premium models.

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Hi Tenkin. Thanks for responding. I have a huge physical fitting problem with RIC receivers in my ears. Of course I’d rather save $ and go to Costco, but I really do need more help than what they provide. Believe me, I’ve tried for years.

I do not stream or have a legit cell phone. My needs are basic, no special programs. But I do go to lots of music jam sessions and contradances- where I have to be able to hear the dance caller.

The Widex Moment model has the smallest receiver and body overall, of all the major brands. My choice is between a #10 or a #312. My audiologist is advising me to buy the #312 because she says it will give me more power- she says the higher tiers ($1K difference between levels) will provide faster processing. I ran this by my computer engineer husband, but he doesn’t know if this is true, reason why I’m asking on the forum. It seems to me, putting aside sound quality, the cheaper lower tiers, with less channels, programs/features, would use LESS energy, so even the #10 battery would last longer. Is this true or false? Why should I care about processing speed?

If music is a major goal, you may want to look for a model with a good input dynamic range. I can tell from my experience with Oticon that their tier 3 models (OPN 3, OPN S3, MORE 3, etc) have a decent dynamic range for speech but not good enough for music. What Oticon calls “Clear Dynamics” is only available in their tier 2 and 1 models.

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Have you considered a BTE?

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For some reason, no one has seriously considered them for me. The body looks HUGE and the tube, mold part looks bigger than RIC’s- and look uncomfortable. I have no idea how babies can wear them…

They really aren’t that big.

Blue one is my old HA and pink one is my new HA.

Blue one is TINY and takes a 312 battery. This is a large power dome so the smaller ones are a lot smaller.

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Why did you buy a BTE? The Widex Moment #10 is minuscule. I don’t have a lot of real estate between my ear and skull AND have tiny, very twisty ear canals.

What do you know about RIC levels/tiers vs processing speed vs battery size?

Size 10 and 312 battery are the same thickness so likely the HA is the same thickness as well. Just smaller in diameter with the size 10.

If ya happy with the Widex then that is good.

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The larger batteries will provide higher peak current, which might mean higher volume level without clipping. But without seeing your audiogram it’s impossible to say whether that will help you or not. I agree with what was said higher up the thread. Go for at least 312. The 10 battery is really just for hearing aids that are entirely in your ear, rather than behind it.

The comment about higher levels giving you faster processing is nonsense. More recent models which have later platforms will provide faster processing, which again may or may not be relevant for you. But within any particular model, the higher tiers just enable more firmware (which is embedded software), and so you get more features and functions that you may well not want or need. Or you may find helpful.

If you can afford to spend money on the higher tier, then I would say go for it. But if cash is tight then maybe go for the lowest tier your audiologist recommends.

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Eh, depends on your ear. The molds do fill up the ear, but they are a soft custom fit and should not be uncomfortable. With tiny ears that cannot fit receivers, the RIC wire often sticks out like a wing anyway and so the mold ends up looking sleeker. The body of the hearing aid behind the ear may be close to a RIC if your hearing loss can be supported with just a moderate or power device (and 312 battery). The super power devices certainly are bigger, so if your pinna is small and tight to your head that’s a consideration. A nice thing about BTEs is that the tube is typically stiffer than a RIC wire and so doesn’t flop off your ear as easily. Retention is better. BTEs are very robust. Earmolds also typically provide better low frequency response.

The downside of BTEs is that you cannot return the custom molds, so if you try them and don’t like them you are out of some money. The earmolds should also be replaced regularly.

In regards to processing speed, it’s generally no different from level to level with perhaps the exception of Widex that has a new speedy processing feature that they may be limiting to premium devices right now. Widex claims that this feature provides clearer, more natural sound. Your mileage may vary. I fit a few and then the company ticked me off and I stopped fitting them, so I don’t have a lot of experience with them lately. Back when I fit more Widex I was always pretty happy with their sound quality and their wind noise management. I think they also still have that nice landline phone. I have to go back and check, though, isn’t their “pure sound” option really only relevant for open fits? If you have a flat loss that’s not you.

Baby earmolds are adorable 100% of the time.

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I heard that Widex ‘nickle and dimes’ audiologists for every tiny thing- shipping back and forth, restocking fees, etc. But this seems to be my only choice for now.

Also BTE ear molds can hurt just as much as RIC ones- they still go into the ear canal- true? I do not have retention problems. I’m used to wearing tiny, ancient, prehistoric Oticon Deltas. I’m just using 8mm power domes that I cut into a flower petal shape. I had very tiny acrylic earmolds, that no one seems to be able to duplicate.

My question now is do the Widex, or other HA models in general, higher tech tiers actually use more battery energy because they have more channels, more programs? Given the same audiogram/hearing loss profile. Would the lowest cost, no frills, less channels, model use less battery power? Thanks.

I’m pretty sure that level or tier of hearing aid has no impact on battery use. Determinants of battery use are how much gain is supplied and how much streaming is done.

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My understanding about hearing aid levels is most people can not tell the difference.

As far as batteries and power they are all the same. The smaller batteries just don’t last as long.
The rechargeable battery hearing aids do actually have a higher voltage and some hearing aid manufacturers have a few extra options for those rechargeable battery hearing aids.

The best hearing aid for you is the one that is fit properly for you. Finding the right fitter is key. All the big name brand hearing aids can be fit to your hearing loss. It may take a few weeks for you to acclimate to new properly fit aids but you probably understand that.

Small ear canals can be fit with molds if receivers will not fit. As mentioned behind the ear aids might be your best bet.

God luck with this.

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Hi. Why would BTE’s be better? The mold part still goes into the ear canal, which is the major problem. Thanks!

Yes, but RICs are bound by the size of the receiver block which has to fit into your ear. If you have a small ear canal sometimes the power level of receiver you need simply doesn’t fit. I assume that this is the case for you because of what you are saying about the Widex choice. The receiver block on Widex hearing aids is slightly smaller than other manufacturers. With a BTE earmold, there is no receiver block to fit into the ear, just a small tube. A properly fitted earmold should not hurt, although sometimes it can take a remake or two to get it right (particularly during staff change-overs at the manufacturer lab).

Oticon makes nice little embedded molds, but if your hearing progressed a bit and you now need a more powerful receiver, they may not be able to make the same nice little mold because of physical space limitations (the more powerful receiver is perhaps now too large to fit in your ear inside of an embedded mold).

Depends on the clinic. Manufacturers do more favours for clinics that purchase higher volumes, unfortunately. If your clinician is not a big Widex fitter, they probably do nickle and dime her. Additionally, Widex is a smaller manufacturer and it is probably a lower volume device for many clinics and may therefore get a reputation for nickle and diming EVERYONE. But any manufacturer will nickle and dime you if you aren’t fitting their product regulary. The differences can be a bit outrageous. For example, one manufacturer gives us wax filters at no charge and we pass them onto our customers at no charge. Another tried for a while to give them to use at $6/case. That $1 per wax filter. That tiny little white thing! A DOLLAR! That same company charges us double the repair cost of any other company, and also differentiates component repairs from shell repairs and will charge you double if the hearing aid has a broken wire AND a crack. :man_shrugging:

Higher tier hearing aids may have more power hungry features. For example, if you are sitting in a beam forming program all day long you will drain your batteries much more quickly than if you are sitting in an omnidirectional program. If a lower tier hearing aid doesn’t HAVE a beam forming program, then you can’t use the battery on it. In practice, however, most people aren’t sitting in noisy environments for long enough periods for it too make a dramatic difference what the extra noise reduction features are doing. As MDB says, biggest determinants of battery life tend to be gain and streaming. Also, batteries are cheap–how hard is it for you to change them? For some users it’s a huge hassle or physically difficult, for others hearing aid size is more important. If you want to get a #10, steam all day, and go through a battery a day, maybe that’s fine for you.

Depends on the person.

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With regard to the specification levels ie 110/220/330/440, I did not notice any difference in battery useage between the 330 and 440. What makes a big difference is how much you stream. The 330 is a very good specification, the 440 will have all features including wind noise reduction and speech in noise. This means that when walking along you don’t get the wind noise which can interrupt hearing speech, and that in noisy situations it’s like a microphone being held to peoples mouths as it zones in on speech. This negates me needing to use accessories like the roger range. We’re all different, it depends what you are looking for but hopefully you can trial them for free. If you divide the extra cost over 5-8 years (average duration I wear mine for) it can be a very worthy investment but I appreciate this isn’t an option for everyone.

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Dr Cliff has a few vids out on tech levels and where he was comparing tech levels on various patients and every patient chose the high tech level at purchase. Might be of interest…

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I have not watched video but am skeptical. Dr. Cliff is not the most objective guy. Could be interesting to watch though.

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Hmmmm…I thought it was just the opposite. Most people chose the lower levels, not really valuing the higher tiers. Now bear in mind, I love music, we go to jam sessions at least 2x’s/week…