End of ultrapower hearing aids era?

As I can see, most of hearing aids manufacturers removed ultrapower hearing aids from their lines. Oticon Xceed is weaker than Dynamo. Phonak Naida Marvel may appear in superpower variant only. Widex stopped all superpower hearing aids manufacturing. Signia have only one model in very strange design. So we, clients with severe to profound hearing loss, forced to switch to CI. But many of us have contraindications for CI (for example, I have zero hearing memory). I feel it as discrimination (or even as fascism) to clients with profound hearing loss. We are not in concentration camp to have only one choice - CI with surgery and foreign objects in our head. We must have choice with hearing aids from any preferred company. Our active life will stop without ultrapower hearing aids.

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The fitting range of Xceed and Enzo is reaching 120db, right?
I wonder which manufacturer has the best technology of moving frequencies or sounds in other hearable regions for understanding the speech.

The fitting range in technical datasheets cannot guarantee real power output. You can install Oticon Genie and simulate your audiogram with Dynamo and Xceed - and you will see much weaker output of Xceed.

It’s more down to usable stable gain. Given that the feedback manager is better on the Xceed than the Dynamo, if you can reproduce sounds in the 120-150dB without distortion and saturating the receiver then the aid is better for more severe losses.

From memory, the ferrofluid damped receivers have slightly lower output than the old CI series receiver, but they are more faithful at higher input levels which used to ‘waggle’ at saturation. Great if you needed to hear a whistle at 2.6KHz at 145dB, but not good for much else.

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The Phonak Naida B is shown in UP power for a fitting range up to a 120 dB loss, and a maximum output of 132 dB.

I’m trying to understand what you are implying. Is there something other than market forces at work reducing supply despite demand?

Naida has shorter frequency range, it cannot cover my hearing loss. And… I see Naida Marvel SP only here

Isn’t reduced high frequency response normal for the very high power aids? Seems to me that it is a price of getting more power. Also, isn’t Marvel their latest bells and whistles technology, but the Naida the workhorse model? Not sure, I don’t follow the BTE aids that closely.

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Yes, power instruments have shorter frequency range. But Naida and Dynamo are same in power, and Dynamo have wider frequency range. So Phonak is not for me. Especially with Naida Marvel SP only.

Based on your audiogram you do not seem to have usable hearing beyond 3 kHz. Are you using frequency lowering or compression? It would seem you would benefit from that. When you look at specifications for frequency response I believe that is output, not input. In other words these high power aids will “hear” frequencies up to and beyond 10 kHz, but they can only output them to a reduced range. The limitation is on the output not the input. If you use frequency compression it can take those high frequencies and convert them down to a range that you may be able to hear. However, it seems to me that you would need to be careful to determine how low the frequency compression can go. The Rexton aids I am more familiar with are unable to compress frequency lower than 5.25 kHz. That would not be of any benefit to you, as you would have to get compression to under 3 kHz.

In the broader world, the lower the frequency the more power required to reproduce it at a given decibel level. So what’s the real issue here? Is it actually one of artificial high frequency restrictions on higher power HAs to reduce additional damage to your hearing?

Yes, I use frequency lowering. But I need also have full gain at 2 and 3 kHz. Only Oticon Chili and Dynamo CAN do this.

I wrote about stopping manufacturing of ultrapower hearing aids. What about do you write to me? It’s a different theme.

It looks to me like the Phonak Naída B can go out to 5 kHz.

It looks to you. But in real life it don’t.

Please stop spamming me with Phonak!

Then I failed to communicate fully.

You asked why fewer are made but seemed to imply something ominous. I asked what you were trying to imply, you did not respond. Others chimed in, seeming to suggest that some higher power units don’t extend to higher frequencies because power is still insufficient for those frequencies. I added that in normal sound production it is low frequencies which require more power, not the high ones, so that doesn’t explain it unless HA transducers are different in that respect. But with that in mind I posited that it might be that by design they limit higher (more damaging) frequencies to a lower DB level for safety reasons, and by extension this could result in your perception of some indifference to people with your condition. In other words, unlike anyone else so far I was in fact trying to discuss possible theories to answer one of your actual questions.

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Just want to add my 2-cents’ worth that potential (and actual) CI people need options other than undertaking the risk of surgery and possible reaction/infection due to an implant.

Perhaps the research needs to focus on battery size/power for starters? I’m not an engineer, but why can’t there be a rechargeable aid with sufficient frequency gain for profound loss?

Developing smarter aids that use AI is one thing, but at the risk of sounding jaded, sometimes having a FUNCTIONING, dependable device is better than a state-of-the-art one that tries to be smarter than our own brains.

Basics. That’s a good starting point.

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So do you think that CI killing all hair cells are better way than HA with high frequency at high levels? And risk of surgery? And one more fact - Oticon Xceed have much less power output even in mid and low frequencies, even in Xceed UP.

I have no idea, and I didn’t mention CI one way or the other. I don’t even have a shred of evidence that my wag on your question is correct. But for-profit companies are motivated by very few things and they all boil down to money, the opportunity to make more or the risk of losing it. If HAs such as you describe were readily available but no longer are then it’s logical that either they were deemed not sufficiently profitable or posed some form of additional risk to profits.

Not sufficiently profitable could be just too little demand, but once developed and on the market that would seem less likely, the expensive part is done and they have epically high margins. But if they largely flopped and most people weren’t satisfied or they were unreliable, so auds stopped recommending them, then they are unprofitable and a risk to reputation. Again, just more pure wags on my part hoping to attract the attention of someone who actually knows something to come in and correct me. :slight_smile:

Batteries have come up a couple times so maybe it’s as simple as that, too many dissatisfied customers because current batteries can’t cope with the levels (overall load at whatever mix of frequencies required). Fortunately there is an enormous amount of R&D on batteries these days for other reasons but as we’ve seen often enough there are risks when you try to pack too much power into certain types of rechargeables. You don’t want your HA catching fire in your ear, and for now anyway single-use batteries still pack more power per volume without those risks.

So take your pick, your guess is probably better than mine.

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