It seems the Phonak Marvel and the Opticon OPN S get lots of good reviews. Did you ever try to Oticon OPN S? What did you think of it?
I haven’t. At first I was pointed towards phonak bc of being android user. Then with time I’ve discovered how tricky my loss is, and that I definitely want roger mics, and I also like direct streaming very much.
I went checking prices to make any other aid roger and android compatible and it just isn’t worth the much higher for me, plus hassle with wearing additional devices.
And then I’ve learned that auto switch programs isn’t default today, and my main emphasis is speech comprehension not natural sound, so, I stick with phonak.
When I first tried HAs, 5 years ago, I tried oticon alta pro I think it was, sounded nice but useless, I couldn’t understand a friend sitting like 50 cm from my bad ear, and I understood him better without that aid
Granted they were fitted with manufacturers formula plus bunch of tweaking, but widex was as well.
So I wasn’t inclined to test them now either. Especially when I realised that they push ‘all sounds in and let your brain filter out things’.
My special snowflake of the loss makes my brain’s job hard enough and I decided I’ll go for solutions that makes comprehension as easy as possible (it’s not easy, it’s hard, I just don’t want to make it harder). I don’t care about ‘natural sound’, since I have one good ear if I want to hear that. I mostly don’t. Eg I wear HA in good ear to get the most of binaural tech, plus simultaneous streaming, and so far I never removed HA to ‘hear the real sound’. I’m perfectly fine with weird sounds that are overemphasised for speech where I can understand people speaking.
Other times I prefer silence over anything else. Not audiophile either.
What do you mean by DIY? You have fitting software?
I do, and programming device, so with that I reduced need for visiting fitter for trivial stuff plus I got to understand how they can be set up.
I’ve checked starkey and resound sw recently, and didn’t like the (lack of) options
Phonak really enables a tons of customisations, what I like
Costco sells the Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aids for $1500 a pair. From reading various online posts, it sounds like this hearing aid is now compatible with Roger devices, and is now available with a telecoil. After a recent firmware update, the Siganture hearing aides are now compatible with the Phonak app. Its seems that all of the features on the Phonak Marvel M90 are available on the Signature 9.0, expect for remote adjustment and rechargeable batteries.
I think I’ve read that even remote might come?
I mentioned the telecoil but I would rarely use it, so if it adds to the size of the aid I would take a pass.
Difference between 312 regular and T rechargeable which are biggest I think are few mm in length and 1 wide. Unless you have laser meter in eyes, you probably won’t see the difference if they’re not side by side. My ear really doesn’t feel it. I’ve had a bunch of them on my ears. To me, all are just tiny. And I wear glasses and they’re behind my ear when you look at me from the side. And I don’t have big ears.
Do you think I should try out the Kirkland at Costco, or go to a budget-friendly audiologist and compare the Phonak Marvel M90 (or maybe the new Paradise) and Opticon OPN S?
I’d say try KS9. They’re basically M90 which are really great aids. And price is unbeatable.
Regular prices here are let’s say 2800 eur for M90 and 3000 eur for P90. Per piece. So to me, it’s ‘just’ 400 eur difference and a bit better BT connection and softer button and 2 devices at once is worth the difference.
I’m on job hunt and will work in IT, so watching conferences/tutorials on the computer while staying connected to the phone sounds good. Also, I’ll commute each day at least an hour in public transport each way, so BT that has less hiccups outside when walking is worth.
I managed to get some significant discount (also, I’m buying one without any setup, the one for good ear), but the price difference between M and P is the same.
But if I’d have an option to go half the price and get 2x M but such deal wouldn’t be available for not Ps, I wouldn’t think twice.
So it depends how much money you can waste on them. Also, if you need mics or not (if your sentence in noise score is bad, for example). If you need mics, I’d say costco KS9 and then you buy mics and you’re probably below the price for that same package with other dispenser.
If you don’t need mics, then play around with comparing. It’s probably a bit harder since you probably have to pay for each and then get refund (I don’t have to pay anything in advance, so even parallel comparison is easy).
Take notes! Don’t rely on your memory. I managed to forget the sound quality in a day
And phonak vs oticon, I’d say it’s worth trying more manufacturers if you’re not happy with speech comprehension or whatever you seek and features with the current one. So start with one and give it some time then if you are not happy, try another one.
But keep in mind to be realistic. Like, no aid can help you understand better in noise if your brain need more than 5db SNR boost, aid works up to 7m in quiet and not through the walls, and 1-2 m in noise, speech babble noise is the hardest, and probably in 0.5-1m distances.
Also, if your best word recognition score is poor (80 and below), no aid can push you above that.
Because that’s what your brain can figure out of the sounds coming in. You might train your brain with time and intentional exercises. But don’t expect that HAs will bring back comprehension. They won’t.
They only bring more or less processed sound, and it depends with which your brain can work the best.
And one more thing, cheapest level of tech or even cheapest platform currently available will give you same comprehension in quiet as the most expensive one. Saw study but also tested on myself.
Only condition is that they’re both properly fit following the best practices.
Check here if you haven’t already
best practices summarised by dr cliff
edit: I decided I want roger select which with phonak marvel/paradises doesn’t need extras. I didn’t tried other mics, mostly because whenever I checked, everyone would say how select is pure awesomeness and I definitely confirmed that in my ears, so I was lazy to do extensive testing all around. I think other manufacturer’s mics can do good in relatively quiet with several people around the table (think meetings), but I’m not sure if any is coming close to select in noisy situations. Since, I think many use omnidirectional for table solution or direct-directional tat has to be worn on a speaking person and grabs only their voice, while select definitely has some noise cancelling features built in, plus it seeks the speaker or you can fix it on someone. I really hear the difference. I have tested it with roger pen, and pen isn’t even close. I guess since pen uses omnidirectional approach for table mode.
Select uses beam forming bla something. Works really good, if you need that. I do
So, I’d say two most important reasons were sticking with android and having select without insane additional costs (I’d have to pay either 1000 eur for select in that works with P/M or 1000 eur for regular select + around I think 600 or 800 per receiver, and I’d need two or one plus device to plug in that receiver).
That’s main reason why I haven’t do trials with other than phonak. I did a ton of online reading and price calculations and ended realising that it would cost me even more to get the similar setup, and I’d either need to buy new phone, or additional streamer and whatnot. Just too much hassle just to see if I’d like the sound more. I decided I want speech clarity, I got it. Sound isn’t the best, but it serves the purpose.
I tested some baby unitron without any gadgets so that I can say that I did to my insurance. I’ll get around 700 eur from them, I’m not sure if I’ll manage to convince them to buy me P90s. I doubt it