Getting Fitted for Starkey Evolv AI 2400 CIC Tomorrow. What Should I Know?

Hi everyone,

After a couple of false starts with the Lyric 4 and the Signia Silk X my audi suggested I try the Starkey Evolv AI CIC. Impressions were taken and I’m being fitted tomorrow.

My question is: what do I need to know or what should I ask the audi? From doing some research I’ve discovered that the antenna on these devices actually sticks out a really long way - to the point where one audi on his YouTube channel described them almost as antennas for contacting aliens - they were that noticeable. @Neville mentioned that the antenna can be hidden or made less noticeable with some heat being applied and then curled, so I will definitely talk to the audi about this tomorrow (I know some have their own opinions about this, but for me having these antennas sticking out is a deal breaker).

My trials before only lasted a few days (Lyric - due to bleeding in the ear) to 10 days with the Silk; so I don’t really have a lot of experience and I really don’t know what questions I should be asking. I know that when first fitted, there is like a “new user” setting where volume is 80% (or other) of what it actually should be. I’m left handed and often I do carry my iPhone in my left front pants pocket, but it is mostly in the right pocket or sometimes in the rear right - I’ve read from others here that this does cause issues with the BT connection, and I understand the HAs can be set up as the L or R as the “master”.

Previously when the HAs are fitted I have been asked “how does that sound? Is it OK?” well, sure it is because I am in a soundproof room with zero noise and the audi is sitting 1m away directly in front of me…! Once I get outside and walk thru the mall to the car (and grab a takeout coffee where there is noise and voices from everywhere) it is a different story and I can’t hear a damn thing when it comes to voices close to me.

Are there specific programs I should get the audi to add tomorrow? Any specific adjustments that should be done that normally wouldn’t be done that would help me to get the best out of my trial?

I’m not really sure what else to ask everyone here - I just really want to get maximum benefit of my trial before I shell out NZD$9000 and find out they are not ideal for me.

Any advice/recommendations would be appreciated. Also very keen to hear from anyone who has the Starkey Evolv CIC already and what your experience thus far is. I really struggle with hearing voices - people can be right beside me in a relatively quiet office and I can’t hear them, or at a noisy bar (which everyone struggles with).

Thanks,
Richard

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Real-ear verification?

If the Starkey CIC doesn’t work out for you, strongly consider a RIC.

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Starkey strongly advise against bending, let alone heating the Bluetooth antenna. You can get the non-wireless version of the CIC

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Post your audiogram. CICs might have high risk of feedback with large high-frequency losses. I always recommend RIC over customs. DEFINITELY have your aud do REMs. You may not tolerate full prescription of these are your first aids but at least you’ll know how far you are from an optimal fitting. Programs are less important right now.

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Why did you trial the second set of Aids only for 10 days? As you say, inside the office / audiologist room, you can’t tell how things sound. Surely you needed more time to see how things sound and then go for adjustments?

Following this post as I’m curious how it works out for you. I’ve been on the fence on getting this one, but your concerns about the antenna is what has me hesitant, as well as reported connectivity issues. I want Bluetooth in CICs very badly, as it would greatly help with all of the phone calls I do for work.

I have had Starkey products for a little over 10 years, the Evolv AI tech appears pretty amazing, and Starkey is the only one I’ve found offering Bluetooth in a CIC. The antenna is definitely a con for me, and I’ve read that the Bluetooth signal is not that great and leads to connectivity issues. I believe Starkey has always suffered with Bluetooth connectivity issues as I tried their Surf Link tech about 5 years ago and it was very poor. I demoed the SurfLink Mobile 2 for about a month and returned it because it just wasn’t convenient at all dealing with the connectivity issues. Based on the experience with the SurfLink Mobile 2 I don’t really have high hopes for their current Bluetooth offering in the Starkey Evolv AI CIC…I’m hoping your experience is a good one though! Please let us know what you think and whether or not you have any connectivity issues! I can live with those antennas IF they work good and are necessary for good Bluetooth connectivity.

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I have Evolv’s AI-ITC R, and can confirm that there are frequently connectivity problems.
Often the connection with the APP is lost, and than I have to restart the ITC’s to connect again.
But the rechargeble version can only be restarted by put these on and off the charger.
So, without charger, they cannot be restarted.

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Your aud can configure the push button to turn them on/off with a long press

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There is no push button on this ITC version.

Hi. I went back for an adjustment during those 10 days. The second adjustment made things so much worse even though the voice frequencies were lifted a lot. I definitely wanted more time but my audi seems to offer only a 10-14 day trial

Funny you should mention that….

I’ll update my post below with what happened today.

My audiogram should be on my profile, I hope. I spent ages trying to figure out how to upload it. Let me know if it is not visible.

The audi did do REMs today - she spent a good 20 mins running it and doing it multiple times. Like you, she suggested not to worry about programs during the trial and to just get used to them and make a note of what I am experiencing.

Ah okay. That’s a shame that it’s such a short time to trial.

:slight_smile:

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Hi Scott,

From what I’ve read the antennas seem to be a worry for most - they are quite long and noticeable. I haven’t read too much about the connectivity side of things. I originally wanted something as discrete as possible and I wasn’t too fussed about BT, but after reading more about the Starkey Evolv platform and then thinking it through about how much time I spend on calls and on Teams meetings I was keen to try it out and the Starkey appealed due to it being the smallest BT CIC on the market. I’ll definitely update my post once my CIC BT arrive - due to some screw up (either audi or Starkey) I have ended up with a pair of IIC NW. They have ordered the correct devices now, but it will be about 3 weeks before I get them.

Thanks @Neville - she did REMs today

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I know right?! Way too short.

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Update as to what happened today…

It seems either the audi or Starkey screwed up and instead of getting the CIC BT as we discussed, I ended up with a pair of IIC NW instead. When I first saw them I thought they were the CIC, and that the antenna was nowhere near as big as I had read that they were. Then I noticed the faceplate was black and not light brown as had been ordered. The audi was sure they were the CIC as the paperwork she gave me to sign for insurance purposes stated CIC; but when I got home I opened the box and the manual etc, and the warranty slip from Starkey listed them as IIC NW. She was going to discuss with my original audi and come back to me. She called me later today and confirmed they were IIC and they were not sure what had happened.

Anyway, she suggested I continue to trial these ones for the next two weeks and make notes about what I am experiencing and what adjustments need to be made while we wait for the new CIC BT (about 3 weeks).

Initial impressions (after 8 hours of wearing): the IIC so far seem quite comfortable but they do feel like they are not staying in properly. The right ear does hurt a little when I put the HA in. Could this possibly be due to a bad mould impression? Not sure.

Sound seems a little sharp. I did say to her that I really struggle with voices - both in the office with people next to me or in front of me, or in social environments like bars (I’m sure there may be a couple of others here with the same issue…). She got me to face one way while she faced another direction and spoke to me to see how much I could hear, and more importantly whether I could hear it clearly and accurately. I could hear about 75% so she cranked up the voice frequencies and the clarity, but after being out on a busy street and then walking around today it seems I may have the same issue I had with the Silk X when I trialed them - the voices actually seem to drop in volume despite the clarity and volume going up, and it is harder to hear voices.

When I had the stereo on in the car on the way home it was definitely louder and I had to turn it down a couple of notches, but…the voices were definitely lower and in some cases almost inaudible - it was only due to the fact I knew the words to the songs that I knew what the singer was saying. If it didn’t know the words then it was almost impossible to decipher it. It seemed to be worse for female voices, but I will do some further testing over the next 2 weeks.

I do have bad tinnitus in my left ear and after having the HA put in it multiple times while she was adjusting things, it definitely got worse and tonight it is driving me bloody insane. Hopefully it settles down overnight but at the moment I am getting an amplified hissing sound. She didn’t add the tinnitus program but I may ask her to next time.

I’ll try and update this post every day or two as I experience more.

Cheers,
Richard

You must remember that it’s a rehabilition process. There’s no instant fix. It will take the brain some time to acclimatise to the hightened sense of hearing and learn to make sense of the sounds again. Commit to wearing the devices for at least 8-10 hours per day.

My process for fitting new users is to begin by performing REMs to meet the users full prescription. However, new users almost never tolerate their full prescription/volume straight away, so I drop the volume to anywhere between 70-90% of their prescription (based on what they can reasonably tolerate). This is easily done in the acclimatisation tab/section of the fitting software. Over time I gradually increase the volume as they acclimatise.

Your aud might have her own process, but ask her what it is and what her plan is for you. Increasing the volume of your aids based on your ability to hear her while she is facing away from you (on the day of your first fitting no less), seems an odd method to me, but she may well have her reasons.

I just looked at your audiogram and I strongly believe that a custom device is the wrong style for you. Your hearing in the low frequencies is far too good, and what can end up happening is the aid boosts your high frequencies, but also creates an artificial hearing loss in the low frequencies by virtue of the fact that you literally have a plug in your ears denying you of natural hearing where you still have it! Since high frequencies give us clarity of speech, and low frequencies give us the perception of volume, the IIC/plug in your ear may well be why you notice speech being quieter. I would strongly urge you to consider a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid for your loss.

Good luck, and stay persistent.

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Thank you very much for the explanation and the advice @Louie - very much appreciated! That makes a lot of sense.

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Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you and I are both in about the same situation with the high frequency loss, lots of work calls and online meetings (FYI Webex recently added closed captioning and has been a huge help to me), and the tinnitus. Sounds like your fitting with the loss of speech clarity is similar to my experience, in my case the high frequency was cranked up too much and causing distortion of everything else, after multiple rounds of REMs and hearing tests we finally got it dialed in, main thing is to never simple settle for subpar results and keep adjusting until you get it right.

Certainly a bummer that they sent you the wrong thing. I don’t really see how wearing something else as a trial is of any benefit since you do not plan on keeping it. Seems kind of like a waste of time trying to acclimate to something and make adjustment to a hearing aid that you’ll be turning in soon once the correct ones have been received.

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