High frequency hearing loss - are hearing aids worth it?


I have similar loss. For me it’s been gradual over the years. Thankfully my hearing loss has stabilized and actually improved over the last three years. I currently use Signia NX7 bte. The improvement from these aids is very dramatic. They are a full featured aid. I do self programming and have found the sweet spot. The remote app on my iPhone makes tuning for various conditions an easy process.



Signia pure are really good I have a Mac and an iphone all link up perfectly. Also the /signia TV streamer is a must if you watch TV as sound streams wight into your aids.



I don’t think this has been mentioned before, but another option you might look at is very low frequency control. I don’t know what it’s called elsewhere but on my Resound Fortes it’s called expansion and it’s supposed to control the low frequency humming or buzzing you get from things like air conditioners and fans. It doesn’t remove the low frequencies, at least it’s not supposed to, just the droning kind. It helps you hear what you want to hear in the low end.




  1. My audiogram is very similar to yours, but age related.
  2. I have used various aids since 2007 and have had others for shorter trial periods.
  3. Up until this year, the all from 2) above have been at best borderline helpful … untill
  4. Current setup 3 months: Phonak Audeo B90 312 with Phonak Compilot ll and TVlink ll - A quantum improvement.

So responding to your specific points, from my personal experience with this setup:

  1. Hearing: these have been an ear opener (excuse the pun) for me compared to previous aids, even with the standard 1st pass programming. The Phonak multiple environment adaptation is amazing!
  2. Specific programming: Like you I am in a similar environment (also ME) with a/c’s and especially traffic noise: a bit of judicious tweaking has controlled all of that.
  3. Streaming: yes the streamer is a bit of a faff, but the sound quality is excellent and the functionality easy to use. I switch between TV, IPad, Iphone and yes… MacMini easily. It’s all bluetooth (which in itself is at times a flaky technology). The TV link needed only if your TV does not have Bluetooth.

Ponts to consider:

  1. The new current Phonak model is the Marvel (“M”). This does all the bluetooth without a streamer, though you will need your iPhone to manage it.
  2. Why did I get the end of line B90’s rather than the new M90 - Only because there was a wait till the M90s became available and my current aids were next to useless. As pure hearing aids there isn’t much difference between them, and the clincher, I got the B90’s at an amazingly cheap price second hand. The intention being they would be a stop gap till the M90s became available. However given my overall satisfaction with these B90’s I very much doubt I will “upgrade” any time soon. Especially as they cost iro $4,000 locally (my B90’s and all the bits came to <$1,000).
  3. I was so happy with the B90’s that I bought the programming interface ICube ll and now tinker myself with my wonderful audiologist as a backstop safety net. (Windows software in Parallels on OS10 Mojave … not for the faint hearted!)

So in summary, from personal experience, your audiogram, and your specific needs I would recommend the Phonak aids, the latest M90’s should tick all your boxes, the older B90’s with streamer bought secondhand a close second only in that it needs a streamer. There is a version of the B90, the B90 Direct which offers streamer free streaming (direct bluetooth) but according to my Audiologist compromises on some of the pure audiology performance so never tried.

BTW there are lower spec aids in the range 30, 50, 70, which are cheaper and may be adequate for you but no experience with those. Your audiologist would advise. Interestingly the M90’s trial aids are configurable to the different performance levels in the fitting software so it is easy to trial the different performance levels (and costs) without having to fit new trial aids.



Thank you so much for such a detailed response. I’m finding here that audiologists do EITHER Oticon or Phonak and trials aren’t the norm, so I’m guessing I’ll have to decide between the two brands in advance… Did you try the any other brands or just the Phonak?



I tried Signia (previously Siemens) Pure 13 7NX. The Phonak was way better and significantly less expensive though that may vary by location. I have not tried Oticon either on this occasion or previously, so can’t comment on them, though forum posts are positive. I have not tried the Phonak Marvel M90 either, forum posts suggest its very much like the B90s I have, with perhaps a small improvement in pure hearing and a significant improvement in bluetooth connectivity.

As far as I was aware, Phonak always offer a trial period, and manufacture specially configurable aids to facilitate. It would be odd and generally undesirable to have to make an upfront commitment without a trial period, though no accounting for local jurisdictions! Certainly worth insisting on if there is such a possibility. Ideally you would want to trial both the Phonak and Oticon and then decide. Having said that I would just go ahead with the Phonak Marvels, local support and costs taken into consideration. You can get a feel for international pricing of these aids on Ebay.



None of the manufacturers offers a ‘trial period’ as such - it’s down to the individual supply channel.

There are certain amounts of ‘Demo’ aids around though.

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I would think offering “free trials” would be a PIA. Something else to keep track of and little recourse if somebody doesn’t return on time or returns damaged.



Your hearing loss profile is a lot like mine (ski slope), and I’ve had this type of loss since I was a toddler. I was fitted with an Alta in one ear back in 2007 and didn’t wear it often because it didn’t really help with comprehension in noisy environments. It just made everything loader and enabled me to hear sounds that made my world noisier, but didn’t really enable me to communicate better. So I usually left it in a drawer. Last fall, I decided to investigate how hearing aid technology had advanced in the past 10 years to see if maybe there was something out there better suited to my type of loss. I was fitted with an Oticon OPN, which I trialed for 4 weeks before deciding to purchase them. These new aids are incredible—and I wear them all day. The special programs for Speech in Noise and music work really well and I can finally carry on conversations in noisy restaurants and understand what people are saying when they pull me aside to whisper something during a meeting or lecture. It makes the world noisier, but in a good way. My hearing is not perfect. I still have to ask people to repeat themselves on occasion, but so don’t people with normal hearing. I encourage you to find an audiologist and try out the latest generation of aids. If possible, check out the Oticon OPNs, as I think you will like them a lot. Make sure you find place that will let you trial new aids for at least a month. It takes a while to get used to hearing a full range of sound again. This is a major investment. You need both the right hearing aid and the right audiologist (who is willing to listen to you and knows how to program the aids to fit your loss and lifestyle). BTW, I use the Bluetooth features to listen to music and podcasts through my iPhone, but it took a few visits to the audiologist to get everything working correctly. I also just swapped out my ZPower rechargeable battery kit for the second time, as it has been buggy, but Oticon has been great with customer support.

Hope this helps! Good luck!!

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I am very satisfied with my 8.0 Costco Aids. Good price, amazing change. Now I know how deaf I am. My highs go straight down. Now I hear all.



for me, I always turn over to the Oticons (been with them since I was 10 yr old)