Domes styles, open, closed, double, sizes, customs?


New to HA’s, and having trouble adapting. Signia Pure 7px’s, about 3-4 weeks ago.

Going fairly well EXCEPT for the in-ear receivers. (Why do they call what is to the rest of the world a speaker a receiver?)

I first tried 12/10mm double domes not vented at all. Drove me nuts! Felt completely stuffed up, really bad own voice, and they itched till I couldn’t stand them. With enough determination, I could keep them in about 2 hours max at a time.

Next tried 6mm open. Way too small, but no problem wearing them long term. Comfortable, but spent all day pushing them back in due to too small.

Next tried 10mm open. Again, comfortable, sound good, but still spending all my time pushing them back into position.

I was advised by a friend who has had HA’s since childhood that customs are the only way to go for comfort. I believe she has open, customs?

I don’t have 12mm’s to try, but I suspect that they will just work their way out like the smaller ones, and be uncomfortable as well. I seem to have tapered ear canals, without much for the domes to grab on to.

I have my next apt with Audi Friday, and if customs are the better way to go, I’d like to get that done and not drag this experiment out any longer. Cost is not nearly as important to me as something I can wear!

Any advice appreciated!


Did you pick out what you want to try or did the audi recommend these dome types for you? I’m surprised that your audi lets you try open domes with your level of loss. I can understand why he/she started you out with a power dome (which I believe the double domes are called). But I can see how you’d hate them with the occlusion problem. The itching may or may not go away, depends on whether your ear canals can adapt to the silicone or not.

I wonder why the audi didn’t put you on closed single bass dome with maybe a single vent hole or double vent hole? That was the first natural choice my audi put me on, a closed single bass dome with a single vent hole. After trying out a couple of sizes to find the right one, that was pretty much it. The occlusion is still there but only slightly (as compared to an power dome), but it kept to a minimum and I got used to it real fast. I tried the same dome but with 2 vent holes (the vent holes are tiny compared to the vents in the open domes), but it caused a slight wheezing feedback when I put my headphones on, so I went back to the single vent hole bass dome.

I’d recommend you try that next (single vent hole closed bass dome). If still a little occluded, try the double vent hole next.

If the bass dome still doesn’t help, then custom molds would be my last resort. They’re not cheap, and they’d feel more occluded, although they can put some vent hole in there to help with the occlusion. If your ear canal is truly very asymmetrical then custom molds may be your only option. At least they’d help out a lot with feedback control as long as you don’t have too many vent holes on it.

Fitting help

you hear well enough with open domes compared to the close ones? molds are pretty much a must, and they aren’t too expensive, but surprised that the open domes sound good to you…


All the kool kids have open domes and iPhones.
Remember… “It’s more important to look good than to hear good.


Yes, looking Kool is the most important thing.
Actually hearing what’s going on around you isn’t necessary any more.
Talking and listening aren’t Kool (or needed) in today’s social media society!
That’s just for old f***s.
Plug buds in your ears, and text. You’ll look Kool, and no one cares if you can hear.


^well anyway, I would have imagines since you need alot of highs and mids (frequencies) a closed mold might be more suited, you might wanna check again before deciding for a half shell or something similiar…


Thanks to all: I appreciate the inputs. It’ll take some more trials to find what works, and at the same time, what my ears can tolerate!

I did find an article on “One of the great mysteries of audiology.” Why the HA industry calls the sound generator a receiver:

Not useful information, but interesting entertainment.:smiley:



I’ve worn hearing aids for about 10 or 15 years. It took a while, but I can go for 6 or 8 hours before I start feeling clogged up and take them out. I never did well with domes. I have tried a few custom molds, and am most happy with the open mold from Westone (model 12). They are not as invisible as domes, but they feel and sound a lot better.


Based on your advice to Bob, now I’m curious whether I shouldn’t have open domes. (I currently do).

Freq 250 500 1K 2K 4K 8K
L, Bob -15 -35 -50 -60 -60 -90
L, Me -35 -55 -60 -55 -60 -60
R, Bob -20 -40 -60 -55 -65 -75
R, Me -35 -55 -60 -50 -65 -60


If you’re happy with open dome then that’s all that matters. But it wouldn’t hurt to try the closed bass dome with single or double vent holes just to see if maybe you’ll be even
happier with them. Domes are cheap to try out so I think it’d definitely be worth a try. But you’ll need to see your audi not just to get the domes but to also have them change your programming profile to match with the right dome type.


I have had HA for six years. My number is are about the same as yours. Another term that confused me for years are the words “molds/domes”. For a long time I thought they were just alternative words for the same item. While they both contain the speaker/receiver-the word “mold”, which I have, refers to a custom fitted object that goes into your ear. The term “dome” refers to an object that is off-the-shelf. I think I have that terminology all correct.
When I first got myHA, the audiologist use some kind of wax mold to send out to have the molds made that would fit perfectly in my ears. It never occurred to me such objects would be bought off the shelf. Contrary to what some have posted here in various forum threads, I’ve functioned perfectly with my open fit molds. Compared to the price of the HA, the cost is negligible. I don’t know what they cost, exactly, because my HMO included it with the total cost and didn’t break out the cost separately.
Before making the final purchase, I took my test results to Costco to see what they offered. They wanted to sell me a closed system that what is prevented me from using a telephone man in a normal manner. Fortunately, I had been reading messages on this forum and knew I was a candidate for an open fit system. That allows me to use a regular telephone (the few that are loud) and the Bluetooth headset which I wear much of the day-even for years before purchasing the HA.
I had absolutely no problem wearing the HA all waking hours from day one. I just had the usual “getting used to sounds I hadn’t heard for years” syndrome.


Fortunately, I had been reading messages on this forum and knew I was a candidate for an open fit system.



Custom molds is a hard shell mold made from the wax impression of your ear canal. This is not off-the-shelf because you need to send the impression in to get the custom molds made to fit your ear canals. I think custom molds probably run between $60-$100 per ear nowadays? My audi told me it’d be around $80 to make one for me.

Domes on the other hand are off-the-shelf because they’re just round symmetrical soft silicone domes that can be inserted into most ear canals and will conform to the ear canal (due to their soft flexible shape) and hopefully provide a snug fit if the right size is used, and if the ear canal is regular symmetrical shapes. No custom wax impression needs to be made and sent in like with custom molds. If the domes work out, the patient can walk out with the HAs after the first appointment.

If the domes don’t work out well for you because they don’t fit right and snug in your ear canal and cause too much feedback, custom mold is the next resort to help provide a more snug fit.

You refer to “open fit” molds. I’m confused on what you mean by “open fit”. You mean your hard custom molds have vent holes in them? Maybe large vent holes?


Costco does them for $40/ea. If you think you are missing something, use your little fingers to cover the canal and converse. You hear a louder version that may benefit. Understand that aids are adjusted for the mold/dome used and it won’t be exact. But you may find it better for understanding.


bob h, just a question: was the itchy dome you had clear silicone? Cuz I’ve heard that about 1 in 20 people have problems with that material. I opted for Widex power dome (doubles) in a smoke topaz color. Believe me, I have SUPER sensitive skin, and so far, I’ve had ZERO discomfort wearing these domes for a good 16 hours a day! Explore other materials.

The fact that your domes are constantly slipping OUT of your canal could mean that you just have super oily skin. My hard-case aids are FAR more likely to extrude from my ears (causing leaky-squeaky!) after a good workout or if I’m in a very humid climate. On the other hand, my silicone domes tend to stay PUT really good! (I’ve actually got a pair of hard-case ITEs and my newer silicone domed RIEs).

As another post suggested: ask your audiologist to put a “leash” on your receiver component. I found that VERY useful the first month or so I had these Opns. They were like training wheels that kept the aids snug and helped me get them out at day’s end. You may need a leash to help your receivers seat and stay put.

Try various combos till you achieve total comfort AND quality sound. It’s definitely row to hoe till it all comes together. Let us know what works for you!


Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

I don’t think I’m reacting to the silicone, I think it was just the extra pressure of the larger double domes I tried first. They also went deeper into my ear canal, and weren’t vented. I don’t think I can tolerate non-vented, although I’ll probably give them another try just to make sure.

At the moment I’m getting along fair, by adding a concha lock (leash?) on the left side, which works pretty well. Right side it seems the shape of my ear just doesn’t want to keep the lock In place.

I’m guessing a bit, but it seems the shape of my canals don’t give the domes a good place to sit, there’s nothing to keep them from just pushing out.

I’ve got custom fitted molds coming, suggested by a friend here locally who’s got many years of experience with HA’s, and several good comments here about them.

The aids themselves are working out well in spite of the difficulty with the domes etc.

As many have advised, It takes time and experimentation to get it to all work!


This is what worked for me. I was able to use small (comfortable) open domes, and they don’t fall out.


When I first got my ReSound Cala 8 aids from Costco, I was using a medium power dome. They were constantly backing out. I tried tulip domes, and they would back out too, but not as much; I also preferred the sound from the power domes. The fitter at Costco cut a u-shaped chunk out of the larger rear dome, and that solved the problem. They went in deep and stayed there with no issues.

That worked fine while I waited for custom molds to come in. I has them installed a couple of days ago, and really like them. ReSound made them, molded permanently around the receivers. I’d tried acrylic molds a few years ago where you jammed the receiver into the mold, and hated them, but these are really nice.


^^^^ That is a really nice resolution for the perfect FIT! Yes, it is a bit of rocket science to find the right receiver piece to sit comfy in the canal and provide a perfect seal. I also found the (M) double dome and tulip domes just too loose for me. So far, the (L) power domes are working out great, but if I had the time & money, I’d sure like to try out the custom-molded receiver case like you have.

I have to ask: with these custom molds, does the receiver also sit DEEPER into your ear canal than with the typical silicone dome? Cuz that would be another huge improvement. I ask cuz I see the tiny twig at the end to enable pulling it OUT at day’s end.


I assume that the clear section is the part that goes into the canal, and the brown section of the mold is the part that is visible from the outside and it fills out the ear “well”, is that right?

So it looks like the receiver sits in the brown section because I don’t see any receiver in the clear section, is that right? Is that still as effective as the receiver sitting deeper into the canal? Do you lose some volume if it sits that far out from the ear canal?

Also, if the receiver goes bad in this case, I assume that you’d have to make a new mold for a new receiver, right?