Adding my own 2-cents’ worth here - or maybe it should be worth 30-cents, considering that’s how many years I’ve worn aids! Being just 31 and SO deaf when I got my first pair, I took to them like a duck to water! My first pair were Starkeys, and the volume control was a wheel that I could adjust up or down independently in either ear. There was also a tiny screw-adjusted button set flush with the hard case that my aud-guy said I could move clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the overall gain (I think - but it’s been decades!). Crude as they were, I NEEDED them.
Flash forward 30 years, and I’ve tried a handful of brands (Phonak, AGX, Oticon) - all hard case ITE model. Until December, when I trialed and bought the RIE Oticon miniRITE. I can find something from each post here that resonates with me! So I know I’m in good, informed company!
While I definitely agree that one has to get used to the “new normal”, I also have become incredibly discriminating and not a little demanding in going back again and again until the sound quality from my aids best suits my needs. In that respect, I’m still not 100% happy with the Oticon Opns. I think for me, there is just a very noticeable difference in the QUALITY of sound one gets when the aid (mic, receiver) sit IN the ear cup. My 4-yr-old Agil Pros are still the best pair I’ve had in terms of sound QUALITY. They also have a perfectly good streamer, that lets me use the phone hands-free. Yes, in the perfect world, ALL sound would somehow stream right into my ears (from TV, laptop, cell phone, etc.,). In that respect my old Agil Pros fail: there is NO working TV streamer.
I LOVE how my Opns stream to the TV, but I have no external streamer for my Samsung Galaxy. I’m not interested in the IoT scenario, so wait patiently for Oticon to release a clip-on device for phone streaming.
However, I simply CAN NOT hear in crowds with these Opns as well as with my old Agil Pros! Case in point: a conversation with a couple started from about 20’ across at Raleys the other day. Hubs, the elderly gentleman and his wife could all hear each other A-OK. I got about 75% of the conversation from the distance at which I stood. I COULD, however hear EVERY OTHER BLASTED sound in the store: blathering conversation nearby, clatter of the coffee shop behind me, stir-frying at the Mongolian BBQ off to the side, someone burping in aisle 10 (ok, so I made up that last one). The point is, with the mic behind my ear pointing up through my rustling hair at the ceiling, it’s simply not optimal for sound to be fed into the receiver that sits in my ear.
Oh. And the walk over in 30F with a HAT on? LOTTA whistling, hair rustling, hat shifting irritation. Maybe I should bore two small holes through my nice wool had that point at the outdoors - snow comin’ down and all? No. It’s not a perfect scenario yet. Until and unless a POWERFUL aid can be fit comfortably INSIDE the ear, I will have to balance the pros and cons. I need the flexible dome on my Opns to aid in insertion first thing in the morning. They also sit beautifully lightweight (altho I’m still getting some sensation from the 2x4 receiver stuck in my ear canal). There is NO feedback under normal circumstances (when I’m not wearing a HAT!), which is not the case with my leaky-squeaky Agil Pro hard case aids.
Other points I relate to with the posts here: 1.) audis want the aids to do the “thinking” for us - never mind that the hearing test is flawed and the set-up program based on faulty data, and 2.) the HA industry STILL does not adequately evaluate the success of their product. It’s as if they say, “Lookee here! We’ve got an aid that lets you hear EVERYTHING - so get used to it, you’ll love it! Trust me!”
Here I am, articulate, experienced and SO willing to offer my feedback - I’ve told my aud-guy that 100 times. But no one wants to get this kind of field testing information. D’y’think it’s cuz they’d be back at that workbench like Geppetto for 50 years before they could release a truly exceptional aid?