How Does One Know When They Have Chosen The "correct" Hearing Aid


There are too many issues with that survey for me to take that as being significant. It’s possible I just missed the memo but I don’t see a substantial discussion of statistical significance with that survey, or a discussion of the survey’s limitations. I do see a “Discussion” section which is empty. Moreover the question they asked about returns is flawed. This is what they asked: “Which of the following brands has the most returns by patients?” An audiologist who sells only Starkey can only answer “Starkey”, but that’s not actually comparing Starkey to another brand. Or an audiologist who sells 1000 Starkeys and has 100 returns but sold 100 Signias with 50 returns could answer “Starkey” because the highest number of returns they had was Starkey. Though that’s a much lower rate of return (10% for Starkey vs 50% for Signia). The return rate would be a better measure but if a survey wants that, then it must ask that. But even asking a return rate is still problematic. If an audiologist sells 1000 Starkeys and had 101 returns and sells 1000 Signias and has 100 returns, then Starkey has a higher rate but it is not statistically significant.

Purely from looking at the literature and reading forum posts, Starkey ended up in my “if nothing else works” group. I’ve tried the KS8 and the Bernafon Zerena and I have a Zerena on order (yes, “a” Zerena because my left ear is the one that needs help; and yes I know the KS8 is only sold as a pair). If the Zerena turns out to not work there are other options I’d consider before going with Starkey.

I think efigalaxie may have been at least partly referring to the fraud problems among Starkey’s corporate officers. That definitely gives me pause though I’ve not yet written Starkey completely off like I did with Volkswagen or Wells Fargo. These two are irrevocably off my list of businesses I want to deal with.


I fully agree that the survey has it’s flaws, but unfortunately flawed data is all we have to base our hearing aid decisions on. This was the most objective data I could offer, but it fits with other stuff I’ve heard that is little more than innuendo. Regarding KS8s being only sold in pairs. Has anybody tried to buy a single. I think I stated that the KS7s could only be bought in pairs, but I don’t “know” that. They’re only advertised in pairs, but when I bought mine, they were priced individually. Curious if anybody has tried to buy a singlet KS7 or KS8?


Yes I “tried to buy a single”, but the fitter at Costco told me the KS8s are only sold in pairs. Once in a while I do run into misinformed employees so it’s possible that’s the case here.


Yup the article I linked re: corporate fraud has turned me off to Starkey.

This morning I spoke with a HIS having 30 years experience. He seems really knowledgable but does NOT do real ear verification. He claims the mfg algorithms are pretty good and he gets feedback from his patients to fine tune the aids.

I know real ear is part of best practices but one must ask"…does not years of experience count for something?"

He may not have the latest and greatest tech but if I may draw an analogy to an old time mechanic who may not have the latest and greatest tech but is renowned in the area as being great at what he does simply by way of experience.

It gets more and more confusing.

Frankly I was drawn to his statement about listening to his patients and seeing them frequently in the beginning to get things just right. It was a breath of fresh air. What a novel idea, listen to the patient. Not that common these days!!

Are we relying too much on real ear or is it needed? A search on the forum indicates it is standard of care but…

Guy reminded me of an old time veterinarian I use for my horses. Not fancy but a true miracle worker.

A bit off topic but just sayin…


Everything we have suggests can only be bought in pairs, but if I really wanted a single one, I’d likely politely take it up the food chain a bit… To me the only absolute reason they could have for no singles is because of an agreement with Rexton. Even if Rexton only sells in pairs to Costco, Costco could still sell singles unless the agreement with Rexton forbids.


My first visit to Costco, they suggested a single aid. (KS6) I think MDB’s suggestion has merit.


I had a similar car mechanic I always used. But he needed another mechanic that was current to help him out at times. Great for brakes and such but the engines had gotten beyond his skill level. He’s retired now, unfortunately.

Times change and some don’t keep up.


I concur. Although I would prefer to have REM, I think a fair amount of audiologists have found that it doesn’t help them create a satisfied customer. There is a LOT to be said for experience.


@drjay44 This is a strong point about experience / greatest tech / listen to patients. I’d suggest that vast experience and listening can be the best result, or at least as effective in a good fitting as the REM test. I’ve known mechanics like you mention, and they become legendary, other mechanics consult them often. I’ve had that experience with doctors as well, though most of them consult amongst themselves and don’t hesitate to pass you on to a known expert when necessary. Of course doctors do not have sales motivations, where HA fitters often do, and mechanics are understandalby reluctant to give free advice.

I have limited experience so far with one audiologist. He has years of experience, and a strong background in audio sound and recording that I find encouraging. He has a little bit of that “I’m the doctor with the training and I know more than you” attitude through the evaluation and two short trials. I see him next week for a fitting and demo. I want to know how he does in that scenario.

I have a test scheduled in mid August with a Costco HIS who I know has been there at least 7 years and maybe longer with two people who highly recommend her. I’ll get a fit and demo there before I make my final decision.


I had a good mechanic at one time. Now I drive a Toyota, so I’ve lost touch with him. :grin:


Just picked up my KS8s and I believe they are only available as a pair because the left HA contains the UP/DOWN buttons for program selection, and the right HA for volume change.


Those can be changed in the software. There are lots of options by the way. Besides volume and program, there’s also a mute as well as directionality and tone balance, Can get quite involved with short, medium and long pushes.


Mfg algorithms are pretty good… some are better than others. Signia’s is terrible for me. I mean over 20db in spots. Resound and Oticon both needed some adjusting.

Sometimes, what the patient wants and needs are different things. My audiologist only very begrudgingly gave me 3db MPO in the high frequencies. His job is to treat my hearing loss. I work in a steel mill. If I am not careful, that 3db could cause additional hearing damage.

Being willing to take time with a patient is to be commended.

Real ear is needed. Your guy that is so good without it might become stellar with it. He is hurting himself.


IMHO, the best hearing aids adjustment may never come, but will be really close when I have control over the adjustments. If I can’t hear some favorite sounds, I should be able to do a frequency-sweep to determine where my desired sound lies, and I should be able to boost those frequencies till I’m satisfied. Even though it’s technologically possible today, the hearing aid lobby keeps it out of my hands.


The issue with that is it is a hassle to stop before each and every change in environment and make adjustments. You may want to look at the FDA as much as the hearing aid lobby. Boost frequencies until you are satisfied…what if you satisfy your remaining hearing right on out of your head? My libertarian leanings tend to make me say have at it. Yet, no audiologist is going to be convinced to simply give you Carte Blanche. Many of them, if you take that ability, will simply tell you that they aren’t going to treat you any more… Think…it’s an issue of liability for them…you blow your eardrums out because you did something you should not have. Then you sue them for it…

By the way…if you really want what you say…you can get it.

That is an awfully interesting profile name you have. Why not be a real person?


Not really. Check out the DIY section in this forum. Buy your own programming hardware then download your hearing aid’s software and you can take control of your own adjustments.

Real-time frequency sweep of desired sounds? Not sure what that even means… Not sure if it’s even practical. Boosting frequencies is not the solution to everything. Many things like speech have a pretty wide spectrum of frequencies in the first place. What are you going to do? Boost up everything?

Sometimes you can’t hear your favorite sounds because there are noises (of the same frequency range) masking what you want to hear. Boosting whatever frequencies you want will boost not just what you want to hear but the noise in that same frequency range as well.

That’s probably why it’s not made available by manufacturers. The way to make adjustment is not real time. The way to make adjustment is to fine tune things over time to get it closer to your liking. If you do the fine tuning by visiting your provider, you probably can visit them half a dozen times or so over the course of several weeks before it becomes a real hassle, and you may still not be happy 100% in the end yet. But if you have the hardware and software to do it yourself at home, you can fine tune things yourself everyday much more effortlessly and can even experiment with things and not just fine tuning them.


Will your audi allow you to have two sets of demos to compare side by side? That really helped me with my final decision.


Depends on the audiologist. No hard and fast rule…


I myself am going into my 4th week with my Oticon OPN 2 mini. A huge adjustment for me and it took all of 2 weeks to begin feeling somewhat comfortable with them. I tried non vented domes which I need but simply cannot get comfortable with them yet. I am now on a double vented dome which is better for me but I have trouble using a house phone, very frustrating. My iPhone goes right to the aids so that isn’t an issue. I’m thinking I’ll need months to really get comfortable with them. Plus I’ve needed them for so long I still have trouble picking out some words when someone is speaking. They say the brain forgets


It’s not unusual to take up to a month or two to get used to the OPN. It took me about a month to get used to it and another month to feel comfortable with it. And I’ve been wearing hearing aids for a couple of decades. I had to get used to and then comfortable with the surrounding sounds around me and learn to tune them out when I don’t want to hear them. The main thing was to not let them bother me anymore.

I use single vented bass domes. If you’re having trouble with using your house phone on it, I would suggest using the Tcoil version of the OPN if you haven’t already done so. The Tcoil should pick up the sound from your house phone’s magnetic speaker much better than the microphone can because the mic is not ideally placed for where you apply the house phone to your ear. Another trick is to place your OPN shell inside your ear well before applying the phone handset to your ear. It’s a little cumbersome to do this but it’ll place the mic in a better position to pick up the sound from the handset, assuming that there’s no feedback issue with song this.

PS. Not sure why I can’t see your audiogram.