I am a first time hearing aid user who that has had mild hearing loss my whole life (on the lower frequencies), but got by without hearing aids thus far since my speech recognition was still relatively strong. But I had a sudden bout of labyrinthitis earlier this year resulting in sudden hearing loss in my left ear, which is now considered moderate to moderate/severe loss, so hearing aids are now a necessity.
I am in the midst of trialing the Oticon Mores. Prior to this trial, my audiologist had let me use a demo pair of Paradise P90s for about a month (the P90s were just calibrated to my hearing test, no REM, whereas the Mores have gone through a full initial first fit). I am hoping to get any feedback from people who may have tried both out to see if anyone has had some of the same issues as me, as well as just to gather some input!
My initial impression, albeit a small sample size, of comparing the two is that the Mores do a little better job in noisy environments and I was able to understand the people I was trying to hold conversations with (restaurants, slightly more crowded outdoor spaces) a bit better, which is what I had considering one of the more important benefits of getting a HA. With the Paradise, the background noise was a bit more subdued, but I still had different issues with understanding people. The first example is I was trying to check in for a doctor’s visit in an office with 3 different receptionists who were all speaking; the one checking me in, one talking on the phone, and the third once speaking with a nurse. I was barely able to understand the person talking to me as all the different voices were just blasting in my ear simultaneously. I actually took my right aid out and was better able to communicate after that, which seems rather counterintuitive! Another problem I had was understanding someone that was softer spoken that was standing right next to me in a dog park with a louder conversation going on 20 yards away, but I could still pick up the subtle sounds of jingling dog tags right next to me. However, speech in noise aside, I find myself preferring the general sound of the Paradise more. The Mores also seem to have significantly louder ambient noises, which I honestly haven’t decided if I like that yet. A fan in the room, for instance, is much more prevalent, or if the windows in my house are open, it always sounds like there’s a distant waterfall that I keep hearing, and I actually find myself turning my HAs down so it’s quieter. (I have considered the possibility that the Phonaks will also give me more of these sounds once they are tuned a little more precisely with REM vs. the loose calibration to my hearing test.)
But my biggest issue thus far is actually the Bluetooth connection with the Mores. I have an Android phone (Samsung S20+), and I spend a good chunk of my day walking and streaming. I find that with the phone in my right pocket, the left ear gets pretty choppy, and sometimes if I even turn my head to the left, the connection cuts off altogether. But If I leave my phone stationary on a desk, and walk into the next room, the connection is fine. So maybe it’s something with both phone and body in motion that makes the connection weak and unstable? Has anyone else experienced this issue, particularly with Android, or do I maybe have a faulty set of HAs? The Paradise had zero issues with the connectivity, and it really is a bummer to be experiencing this with the Mores. I always thought that dealbreakers would be pertaining to sound quality/issues! On another note, with phone calls, the Paradise were louder for me. I could leave the volume somewhere a bit above the middle setting, while on the Mores, I have to turn the volume all the way up on my phone.
Throughout the process of considering which HAs to get, I always figured that the speech in noise would be the biggest factor, as that’s the scenario I struggle with the most since my hearing loss on my left side (in a quieter 1 on 1 setting, I can actually still get by OK with no HAs), so my short experiences so far have left me conflicted. I would be relieved if a lot of people responded and said that the Bluetooth issues might be specific to just my HAs and can be fixed.
I plan on officially trialing the P90s still, with a fine tuned initial fitting, so am interested to hear what some of you have to say with speech in more complex environments, particularly if you have direct comparisons with the Mores! (I may actually see if the Audeo Lifes are available, but I would expect them to essentially be the same as the Paradise.) I know that each individual will have different perceptions of what sounds best for them and there’s no easy “this is definitely the clear better brand/aid” decision, but again, just trying to gather input and feedback!
It was a long read, sorry, thanks for actually getting this far!