Educate Me

Hi all - First post - I’m a long time hearing aid user. About time to make a new investment and I hope that you all can help me. I have quite a step slope so I loose words easily. I would like to move to one of the new units that provide direct blue tooth or wirless tv input and cell phone.
Can you help me with what you believe to be the latest technology. Is the Resound Alera - really great technology or is it for instance similar to the Siemens Pure 701’s. How would you compare them?
Any reply and help you can give me is appreciated.

I had a GN Resound CIC for about 10 years, until it got stepped on, and a Siemens BTE for about 5. Left ear, much high frequency loss but also highly recoverable; right similar loss, less recoverability according to the latest audiogram. In replacing the GN Resound, I am now in the first day of a Versata Art CIC trial period. I have some questions about digital hearing aids now, and this seems like the right place for information.

First, the sound is very different than before. It’s kind of gritty. My last aid only sounded like this when the battery was giving out. I am trying to get used to this, but it’s hard because my brain is interpreting the sound as distorted (if this were a stereo amplifier, I’d say it was into heavy clipping). Is this what digital sound is? If so, are there aids as capable as the Versata is supposed to be that won’t have the gritty sound?

Second, for the first time ever, I have some sort of automatic adjustment feature – another new experience! So far the only effect I have noticed is the rushing sound of car air conditioning makes the aid’s high frequency response go way down. I got in the car with the brand new aid yesterday, wondering what the radio would sound like. It was actually pretty good until the AC came on. Then the bright sound went away. Turning off the air brought normal response right back, but in Kansas City in the Summer this is not an option.

I think this feature is for hearing in noisy environments (restaurant tables, meetings) but if so it’s got the adaptation backwards, muffling instead of brightening. The audiologist set the programming to “auto” and said to try it for a few days, so that’s what I’m doing. So far, not so good.

Third, I got I think four books with this thing, none with any useful advice at all. I am thinking digital is probably not for me, but I have no idea what else to try or where to get information.

I hope this doesn’t come off as total ramblings of a newbie, and hope you people can help!

Thanks, Ken

Most of the big manufactures’ aids are quite similiar in performance. Nobody has a magic perfect aid. Most use the same or similiar processing chip and the same mikes and receivers obtained from the same parts manufacturers.

Adjustment (fitting) is the key. IMO Ed

Hi ed121
If the manufacturers all use the same components, and I have read this elsewhere as well, why the huge difference in features? Is it just that some features get enabled for a suitable fee?
It would be very interesting to know exactly how much some of these aids cost as they leave the factory gates before every person after that points adds their cut.
$8,000 really is a lot for a commonly used component.

Its all in the way that the firmware of the aids are setup and also with the way that the programming software that the audis have to use that they buy from the manuf. That determine the features that are different. The processors that the manuf. use are just blank brains until the manuf program them and that is what the firmware is.