The short version is that I demo’d a pair of Phonak B-R 90s in September, loved them, but the ones I actually ordered don’t sound nearly as good and neither the dispenser nor I can figure out why. Any advice?
I demo’d the B-R 90 for two weeks in September, and made plans to purchase them in December, when it was financially more prudent to do so.
During the demo, I exhaustively tested the HAs, going to varying listening environments, testing talking with people in cars, restaurants, meetings, etc., and making notes on what I experienced. While hearing can be subjective, my test and notes were rigorous, and I sent them to the dispenser with the comment “they really are a tremendous leap forward.” (I’ve worn HAs for decades). I felt like they were as close to experiencing “normal” hearing as I will ever come. The sound quality and speech discernment were very good, without many of the typical negatives of HAs such as occlusion and background sounds being too loud. They sounded very natural.
Fast forward to December and trying the pair ordered for me, and I knew right in the dispenser’s office that the sound quality was not as good. I took them home, and stopped wearing them after a few days because they were not discernibly better than my old Resounds. The dispenser ordered another pair for me, with the same result. I can’t hear in the car, am frequently having to adjust volume up and down…they just don’t feel like the same model HAs I demo’d. They do not sound natural.
The dispenser tells me they are the exact model, programming, etc as the ones I demo’d. For the second new pair, she briefly tested my hearing with the aids on and made some adjustments, but no great improvement. It’s very frustrating, and I sense the dispenser is getting impatient. I asked to try a step down in receiver power from the current 2xp, thinking that a less powerful receiver might have better quality sound, but she assures me the model I demo’d also had the 2xp.
I understand why the dispenser is getting frustrated. But it’s $8k with accessories (Roger pen the most expensive), and I can’t do that for a small marginal improvement over my old HAs. There are also some minor issues like ordering the aids without asking me what color I wanted. I am contemplating returning everything and starting fresh with a different dispenser or audiologist but am conflicted because she’s put a fair amount of time into this.
What would account for the difference in quality, assuming it is not just faulty memory on my part? It’s at the point where I’m wondering if the ones I have are actually a lesser model than what I paid for. I have no idea how to check though.
Thank you for any advice or comments.
Hz 250 500 750 1k 2k 3k 4k 5k 8k
L 60 55 65 75 90 80 80 70 65
R 65 65 65 70 80 75 75 65 60