Hearing Aid Blind Test Study (think about it)

and could the reason this never has happened is because Hearing Aid Manufactures are scared of what “independent results” might show? Or more likely worried they might lose control of their advertised propaganda machines?

But seriously why not line up 25 people with a low level hearing loss (in a blind study) and have each person rank each hearing aid they test. OK - 25 candidates to small, I’ll find you a 100 people to test aids. Then line up another 25 to to 100 people with a mid-level hearing loss and have them rank hearing aids tested. Lastly line up 25 to 100 people in the severe/profound ground and have them test and rank all power aids. Now to test so many different aids (only in office setting) could take several days for each group. And testing results would only be in one setting and it would be a quiet one. No outdoor testing, no restaurant background noise testing, no stream testing, etc. but (and it’s a big BUT) its still a fair test across the board controlled by some independent hearing agency or audiologist group.

Just think of all the non-partial information that could gathered from such an “independent hearing aid study” and how that might help others with a hearing loss determine what hearing aid they might want to try and buy. Yea - I know just limiting a hearing aid test indoors (controlled environment) is not ideal but most hearing aid users are looking for better word/speech recognition versus other hearing requirements.

Yea, I doubt my suggested “blind hearing aid” study will ever see the light of day, but is that because the “hearing impaired” have no interest in such a study or more likely the hearing aid manufactures have no intent of trying to find out how their aids stack up against the competition? We can spend millions of dollars testing one new manufactured car against another, yet spend ZERO dollars testing one hearing aid against another. Doesn’t make a sense to me.

From some of my experience, you can take any number of people with what the test results see as the same hearing loss but they are from different environments, they will conceive different hearing needs. I have friends that have the same type of hearing loss as me due to them being station with me, and living with the same noises that cost me my hearing. The difference now is that we are out of the military we live, work and go to different environments so we conceive our needs differently. That is why we have different hearing aid companies and different hearing aids within the companies. Then you have to add to that the different levels of how Audiologists do the fittings, and also how each person’s level of acceptance of the aids. It is a total crap shoot at best.

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Disagree - what’s a total crap shoot is consumer report on hearing aids. CR pretty much tells you nothing other then companies XYZ sells hearing aids and they all do lousy in noise. I’d much rather read or hear what 100 people say about testing one particular hearing aid (good points - weak points) versus what the hearing aid manufacturer puts out. You get more (accurate results) with mass testing large groups so why not bump the number up to 200 - 400 individuals? Tell the volunteers they can all enter a raffle for two free hearing aids of their choice - and then let them go at it.

Bottom line - the buying public wants more serious reviews on all levels of hearing aids and not “this hearing aid will make you think its not a hearing aid”. People are tired of the “spin”.

The bottom line is this never trust anything anyone else says make your own decisions. Which is all I am saying. Hearing aids are so subjective that no one but you can really be the judge.

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This type of test will go nowhere. Let’s tell you my experience.

I lived my entire live at a very noisy country, most of 20 years with hearing lost which didn’t stopped me attending the university and getting my degree on time and second of my class; then moved to another country for my postgraduate where I felt lost because my hearing (another people, another accent, less noise) which made understanding speaking properly a challenge. So, after four months I looked for hearing aid for first time; I’ve tested Signia (three times), Oticon, Resound, Phonak, Unitron. Finally I stood with the Signia Pure 7Nx. My hearing improved so much I can’t explain it. Then I returned to my country (diffrent environment again) where I can’t understand propperly. Sometimes I feel better without hearing aids… Why? Well, environment, noisy place…

Take in mind these are the same hearing aids which worked pretty good there. I bought Noahlink Wireless device and learned to fit it on my own. I’ve tested each fitting formula and make changes each 2-3 weeks. I don’t reach the satisfaction level I had in the another country where people isn’t louder, cars don’t honk…

So, this is my advices, in my humble opinion:

  1. Hearing Aid’s brand doesn’t matter.
  2. Propper fitting is crucial.
  3. Your environment will determine your hearing quality much more than brand and fitting.
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That’s why trials exist. There’s no the single one best hearing aid out there.

I had some cheapest unitron REMs fitted and in quiet in the office I get the same results as I get with the most expensive, phonak marvels 90.

But the difference in ability? Earth-sky as the saying goes in my country.

Little unitron is IMO good for anyone who is anchored to home, simple, predictable environment with enough time to change program.

Marvels have autosense and they react in an instant.

Second, marvels easily support roger mics.

For me, that difference alone is worth the price difference. Eg getting them for free (little unitron) vs paying out of pocket 3 thousand euros.
Oh and I didn’t test other brands because I don’t want to change phone.

And yes, my hate toward iphone is so strong that I’d consider it only if there would be some aids, only for iphone, which are connected directly to my brain to skip all damaged ear areas. And that they work with mic seamlessly (ok, but maybe I wouldn’t need mics then).

However, for now, all HAs rely on sending signal through the air, and everyone is in the same ballpark technology wise (plus I definitely don’t want aids which think they know what fine tuning I want, like increase bass on the fly, because I have special snowflake hearing loss).

So yeah, you really can pick them by color if you want, as long as you have great fitter.
And if you’re willing to hang things on your neck, them there’s no limit for connectivity.

Oh and yeah, none is perfect nor could be. Because your hearing isn’t perfect. However brain will work the best out of what you send to it.

And mine will consider different sound as natural for the same event than yours after a while.
And that’s ok.

So even if anyone would spend thousands of dollars for such big testing, their conclusion would not not matter to you, because best information how this type vs that type of sound suits you, you get from personal trialling.

Specifications we can compare on paper without such extensive study.

And if someone messed up their BT implementation, you come and read on forum. That’s faster than any study :joy:

That has already been tried to some degree with the old “Carhardt hang three” fitting technique. Professionals would try three hearing aids and the one you thought the best is what was fit. The problem is that by the time you get to the third one you have forgotten what the first one sounded like. Everyone responds differently to amplification and the type of test you suggest would not give any useful results. The old computer adage, “garbage in garbage out” would come into play.

If you fit 3 devices using same REMs and patient takes each home for week or two and makes notes and then if unsure take two best together at home and try them in the same situation, it will give results.

With good fitter you should be able to take 2 at home to compare them back to back.

However, if you can’t decide from 3, then conclusion is simple - either all three are good for you or all 3 aren’t good for you. So it doesn’t matter which one you take from those 3 which are good for you.

Unfortunately, providers fitting on ‘how do you hear me now’ are setting the ground for poor fits for all. And let’s not forget intentionally giving more attention to the device with higher profit. And that’s IMO the biggest problem of finding best aid for you, since you can’t have fair trial if fitter is unable to fit them all to the same level that in his office you get the same wrs in quiet and in noise on each device.

With different wrs we can’t speak about trialing that makes any sense to do.

Of course if despite the best effort, fitter can get same wrs in quiet but in noise one gets significantly worse wrs no matter the adjustments, choice is then obviously simple.

So, fitter that follows best practices , choose by features, test in office getting the WRS same, and take home two candidates, week after week or at the same time (only if you’re wearing HAs for more than a year, first time wearers should rely on personal notes and longer trials per device).

Every other approach is, I agree, prone to ‘garbage in, garbage out’ conclusions.