First day with hearing aids

This is my first time in this forum…I had my first audi test this AM, and know I need HA’s, as my loss is “moderate to severe” in both ears. Don’t know the numbers but will try to get the test results from the “free” audi exam!

I am looking at AUDIBAL aids, as that’s the brand the audi sells. Have been offered a good price (I think) of about $4,000 for a pair of Virtue12 aids. I know so little at this point, but after watching your posts and other comments, I know I need to do a lot more research into types and brands before I make a decision. Hate to lose a discount if I don’t buy quickly, but want to be happy long term, not just save a $1,000!!

I was going to go with the CIC, but too many responders seem to prefer the OTE or open style. I am bald, wear glasses, and am a very lively 70+, so I could care less what people see as far as my HA’s go. Just want comfort, results, longevity, and then price. I would welcome any comments from any other first time HA “needer”, and thanks…

but I think that I’m personally having a hard time adjusting to them. I’ve stopped wearing the aids at this point because my hearing is actually worse with them in than without. But I’m almost certain that is because they need to be adjusted to increase the gain, and not because CICs are bad. I have been trying to wear them when I’m not relying on the aids to hold a conversation with anyone, like when I’m watching TV, so that I could acclimate. But over the past several days I’ve even stopped doing that.

I need to visit my audi. She only has local office hours one day a month, so scheduling a visit has been a problem. I will report back in the forum after I talk to her.

I do highly recommend that you do your own research and I wish I’d done more before visiting my audi. I’m a bit younger than you and wear my hair very short, so I knew BTE aids would be visible and that was a big concern for me. I didn’t want that to be the first thing that someone notices about me, but I think even CICs are noticable unless you are always facing the person. My daughter(6) noticed them within 5 minutes the first day I wore them.

In just a few weeks with aids, I’ve changed my attitude about discretion as the most important attribute. If BTEs or OTEs in general are more capable than CICs, then to me, it is an easy choice. Do what improves your hearing the most, not what will look the best. There may be other reasons to choose CICs over BTEs such as lifestyle, but I haven’t figured out yet what the limitations are for BTE’s

But I’m glad I got CICs first because I think the small size would have always been a draw for me. Now I’m looking forward to trying an open fit style that will hopefully improve my hearing more and I have a good base for comparison. I hope its not going to be a case of the grass being greener on the other side, if you know what I mean.

Hi chesapeake

Wow! Only one day a month for office hours. That’s grim. Is that because you’re in a rural area? Under no circustances should you be better off with your aids out. Looking back at your earlier posts, it sounded like you were getting some initial benefit, but after about a week, they became “$4,200 earplugs”. Originally sounds were too loud, but you just mentioned that you think they need more gain. I’m sure this is a dumb question, so please don’t be offended, but is there any possibility the batteries have died? Are you sure they’re actually working? With my BTE aids, I can just quickly pull them out, while I’m listening to radio or watching TV, and directly hear how much improvement they’re providing. Can you try something like that?

As to how discrete a behind the ear (BTE) aid can be, even if you’re bald, like RetiredPeddler :), a small BTE aid is going to be almost invisible to everyone except someone directly behind you. I’m a guy with hair that starts out pretty short (after a haircut) to fairly shaggy (just before my next haircut), and even with the longer hair, the hearing aids are visible from directly behind. I know, I used a hand mirror and looked. :slight_smile: If you have any hair at all, you can pick colors that match your hair pretty well, and help camouflage the aid. And an open fit hearing aid is SO much more comfortable. I sure hope you can get in soon to see your Audi. Is there any chance there is another hearing aid provider that could give you better service? Just a thought. Hang in there!


Hi chesapeake

One other thought: If your Audi is only available one day a month, and you don’t have any other local alternatives, it seems to me that you might be better served using an internet provider. You can certainly get your hearing aids mailed back and forth faster than once a month, and you’d save quite a bit of money. Just a thought.


because I’m complaining about them being too loud one minute and too soft another. I’m actually starting to think that one of the two might be defective somehow. But then again, I’ve never worn aids before so I don’t know what to expect as a baseline for my conclusion.

When I put them in, I don’t magically hear a difference like everyone seems to be talking about. It’s not like all of the sudden, someone turned on the lights and now I can see. I thought maybe the batteries did go dead, but I can whistle a high tone and hear them working, and I’ve changed the batteries a couple times as well.

The right aid, “crackles” frequently which is why I think it might be defective. It’s not distortion, but actually sounds like a broken tweeter or an electrical discharge. This crackle does not accompany any ambient sound which is why I think it might just be defective.

If I hear a loud high pitched noise, such as my 2 year old screech, the sound is unbearably loud and distorted. The crackle sound didn’t surface until a few days into wearing them. I don’t know if this means that the aids have somehow adjusted to the environment or if they’ve somehow gone bad, or if they are just poorly adjusted. Or maybe this is just normal?

I do know that both aids work because I can whistle and hear the aplified tone. With one aid, the tone sounds normal, with both aids in, the tone “flutters”, so I know they are both working. Again, I don’t know if this flutter is normal or if it is a sign of a poor adjustment.

As far as office hours go, I live in southern Maryland and work in Annapolis. When I first visited the Audi I understood that she had office hours at my local ENT office every Friday and other hours in Annapolis during the week, which would work perfectly for me. As it turns out, she has office hours 1 Friday a month at my local ENT and her normal office is in Baltimore. Obviously my hearing was a bit off that day…

I probably just need to find a new audi in Annapolis, but I’d at least like to give her a chance to help me before I throw my 10% return fee away.

There shouldn’t be a return fee. It’s the law that you should have free returns for at least 30 days.

Actually the law varies by state. Many states allow a reasonable return fee.

Starkey have had receiver in the canal aids for a long time. It’s their RIC range.

Also unlike many other companies they now offer FOUR different types of open fit.

  1. OTE - That’s the mini BTE device with the microtube and open ear bud or custom mold.
  2. RIC - Mini BTE with the receiver in the canal.
  3. BTE - A regular BTE device with an adapter to an ear bud microtube system.
  4. CIC - A CIC with a vent 2-4 times the size of a typical IROS vent.

It’s option four that is pretty cool. I fitted a patient the other day with that kind of system and it looks just like a CIC with an insanely large vent. My patient has less than 10dB loss below 1K and he had no occlusion.

Thanks to one of the best feedback cancellation technologies out there Starkey can make one of the biggest vents you can imagine.

They offer CIC open fit on all their Destiny range.

I’ve read your posts.

First off, I would certainly return the hearing aids. One day a month? Are you kidding?

I’ve just started my own practice and would never consider being anywhere less than one day a week.

Digital hearing aids can take a lot of adjustment to get things right. Especially if the fitter is not a very proficient programmer. So only being able to go in once a month is going to take you forever to get things adjusted correctly.

There’s been some talk about open fit, and certainly I guarantee that Starkey can make that vent bigger than most other companies if they need to. This helps with the blocked up sensation.

The Destiny 400 was the bottom of the line device (in the Destiny range) until they brought out the even cheaper 200. Honestly, if you are younger and have a more active lifestyle the 800 or 1200 would be more impressive. Sadly, more expensive though.

If you were old, and merely sit at home all day watching TV, I’d say carry on as you are. But with a more complicated lifestyle, working, raising kids etc, you are going to need a hearing professional who will work with you and help you get the programming spot on. You might also want a multi memory added for different life situations.

Finally, the Destiny has a really good Insitu Hearing test. They can make the aids themselves give you a hearing test. It will fine tune the aids far more closely to what you need them to do.

I’m a big Starkey fan, and I think you will do great with Starkey, but without the support of a good hearing professional, as with any other kind of hearing aid, you are in for more of a challenge.

Like I’ve already mentioned, you can get open fit WITH CICs. So you can have your cake and eat it too. Once you find a competent hearing professional that actually understands that one day a month is completely inexcusable for providing proper patient care, ask them for the OPEN FIT version of the CIC. 400, 800, 1200, or 1600 depending on your budget. Then you can enjoy all the benefits people have been banging on about with open fit, with the appearance you are interested in. There is no necessity to go to OTE or BTE with Starkey technology.

My next audi appointment is on Friday, so I need to arm myself with as much information as possible.

There were a couple things that I’d like to know if someone could respond.

The flutter sound that I hear when whistling a steady tone, is that normal?

The crackling sound that I hear frequently, is that normal?

The distortion on loud noises, is that normal?

Keeping in mind that hearing aids are supposed to be worn most of our social / work hours, I cannot imagine if I can stand any of these as ‘normal’.

My gut feeling is that something is really wrong with the aids - most probably the receiver (the tiny speaker). I would ask to try another HA and I really wish you can somehow find a service provider that can offer more than ‘once a week’ support.

Regards and all the best.


Had my follow-up visit today. My audi adjusted my starkey 400 CICs and showed me the adjustments on her screen this time. I can tell the aids are actually doing something now! There was very little amplification of the low and mid ranges and she brought those up to the normal levels. Apparently, she had reduced them because my voice sounded too amplified on my first visit and that did help at the time.

She also dampened the high end a bit to help avoid the startling sounds from my 2 year old son. It helps, but I do still get some distortion. I’m returning in 1 week to get a pair of Oticon delta open fit aids to try them out. I did put one on and it felt like nothing was there and was completely invisible from the front. I have a feeling I’m going to like the delta’s more, but we’ll see.

As it turns out, my audi is changing office hours a bit and I should be able to meet her on any Friday. I not only have bad hearing, but bad comprehension as well, at least my wife tells me that all the time…

Thanks to everyone for the advice so far.

Nice to see that you’re making progress. If my experience means anything, I think you’ll like the open fit aids. I’d gotten used to 5 plus years of occlusion and how my voice sounded, but really enjoy hearing me again with my open fit ric btes. :stuck_out_tongue: (And I thought the computer industry and government were bad about acronyms.)

to test an instrument you should have an appropiate time…
Oticon, has a tool call SAM which is a small pin you give to your clients and it basically records the amount of time you spent in speech in noise, speech only, etc… Basically it is an HI with datalogging but it is built in a pin…
This might help you decide which technology is best for yuo regardless of the
brand … I use it all the time

I had my second follow-up visit yesterday and I traded in the Starkey 400 CICs for a pair of Siemens Rexton RICs. All I can say is WOW, what a difference. The Siemens cost about $800 more than the Starkeys, but the difference in my limited experience is night and day.

I can hear my own voice normally. I don’t hear the aids adjusting to environment or anything like that. I’ve heard no distortion. I haven’t heard anything that is startlingly loud, although I haven’t had them in all environments yet.

But the biggest thing is that they are so comfortable that I actually can forget that I’m wearing them. The CICs were comfortable too, but I was constantly aware of them. I think the RICs are adjusted better, but the freedom from occlusion makes all the difference.

Thank you to everyone who suggested open fit aids. For anyone with a hearing loss similar to mine, I can’t recommend open fit aids strongly enough, and I’ve only had them for one day.

I actually just went to a meeting of about 30 people and had normal individual conversations with several people. That’s not something that I could have done without the aids and I don’t think it’s something I could have done with the CICs either. I am so pleased!