Has anyone ever heard of Swiss Ear Hearing Aid?

I would like to share my experience with my search for purchasing a pair of hearing aids. Several months ago I went to an ear specialist who sent me to an Audi for testing. She was very thorough in her testing and of course I needed to get hearing aids. She programed a BTE open fit, Siemens for me and let me take it home for a trial period. Purchase price would be $4000. A two year warranty and 1year of free adjustments. After wearing them for several days I did not like them and so I returned them.

Then I went to Miracle Ear. The Audi there told me my hearing was much worse then the test results I had from the first Audi. He then tried to sell me a full shell and said the open fit was not right for me. He wanted $3800.00 plus $400.00 for making the molds. I thanked him for his time and left.

My third attempt at purchasing hearing aids took me to Costco. The Audi there tested me again and her results were very close to the first Audi. I asked her if I was a good candidate for open fits and she said absolutely.

She programed three different sets of hearing aids and laid them on the table in front of me. She said, one is a Siemens, one is a Rexton and one is a Bernafon. She did not tell me which was which though. She then told me that one brand costs $1599, one costs $1399 and one costs $1049. She again did not tell me which price went with what brand.

Then she had me put on the first pair and told me to go and walk around the Costco store, talk to some people, take notice of background noises, feedback, etc. and then come back to her. We did this with all three pairs of hearing aids.

Then she asked me which one I liked the best. I was sure that it would be the one that cost the most. But I was wrong. Out of the three that I tried the Swiss Ear made by Bernafon felt the most natural. My own voice did not sound amplified or distorted and the background noises were very subtle and yet I could hear the people voices very well. They also can be converted to the molds, for $35.00 each, should my hearing get worse in the future. So I purchased them. I have a 60 day money back trial period. It comes with a 3 year warranty for loss or damage. Free adjustments for the life of the hearing aid. Free tubes and tips for the life of the hearing aid. And should I move out of my current area, I can go to any Costco anywhere and have it serviced for free.

Total cost for two hearing aids. including 6 months supply of batteries, $2,118.75. Now I have always believed that you get what you pay for, but I have to tell you that these hearing aids work wonderful for me and I saved a ton of money.

Jan

I think what you have highlighted is the benefit of what we in the profession call test aids.

If I find a patient with a hearing loss, I always offer them the chance to listen to some hearing aids. After all they are a major purchase. But you’d be astounded how many hearing specialists NEVER offer a patient the option to listen to hearing aids.

Offering you a three hearing aid test drive, is wonderful, and far beyond what you will get at most places. Sounds like you picked the right professional to help you.

That Miracle Ear sounds typical. I have to say, the more I hear about them, the more I dislike them. If I had to list all the companies I would work for, these guys would be at the bottom of my list.

I think you may have been premature with the Siemens aids. A few days is certainly not long enough to adjust to a hearing system, and it may have taken several visits to get the sound perfect. That said, I have always considered Siemens over priced and over rated. FYI Siemens also produce Miracle Ear products.

At the end of the day, you found an impressive professional who you trust, and seems to have helped you. Bernafon is not that well known, but they have been in the business for 60 years, they ought to know what they are doing. Any time you can get a set of hearing aids for under $3,000 you are doing very well.

Hope things go well for you Jan.

Jan, Here are what I found are the down sides of the hearing aid. I’ve had a lot of problems with feedback. It screeches when I yawn, when I eat, comb my hair, put my head on a pillow, wear glasses, even when my car starts. The other problem I have is with background noise. I still have a hard time hearing someone across the table when there is background noise.

Also, I decided that I needed an aid that is adjustable. So many times I’ve wanted to turn the volume up or down but can’t.

After trying it for a year and many visits to the audiologist at Costco, I decided to take it back. Every time I go he fixes the feedback problem but it returns within a week. He also has been unable to correct the background noise problem.

Poz,

The problems you describe could really happen with any hearing aid in this price range. Feedback is probably the number one complaint that patients have. The severity of feedback is determined by the amplifier, the size of aid, the fit, shape of your ear, amount of wax you make, allergies that effect the ear drum movement, type of loss, gain of hearing aid, and many more factors.

Some of the premium digital aids have some great solutions to this problem. But I don’t think you can really claim that one brand of aid is any more likely to feed back than another. With so many factors at play individual results will vary.

I haven’t had any problems with feedback at all. All the sounds seem quite natural to me. Although you have me thinking that an adjustable volume control might be nice. I do hear conversations better but still think I might need more volume. I am on a 60 day trial period and am going back to audi next Friday. I think I will ask her if she can somehow raise the volume a bit more. But maybe then the feedback who come into play? I’m not sure.

Jan