Linx 3D or Oticon Opn choice and office phone usage


#1

Hi all,

I’ve known I have hearing loss and tinnitus for years, but also knew I could not afford hearing aids ($10,000 here in Australia for Opn1 or Linx 3D 9) so have never done anything about it in the past. However it’s gotten bad enough that it’s affecting my work so it’s time to bite the bullet and do something.

So I’ve been researching for the last week, and had a hearing test yesterday, which confirmed typical mild to moderate ski slope high frequency hearing loss. The local audiologist is encouraging me towards Opn3 aids, which she says is $5,000 vs $10,000 for Opn1 or Linx 3D 9.

I can purchase what look like genuine aids from overseas for about $4,000 for either the Opn1’s or Linx 3D 9’s, but I’d probably have no warranty and have to find a local who would support it and pay for every consult instead of some inclusions with a local purchase, so maybe another $1,000 in consult fees if no hiccups.

So that’s the background, now to my specific question. I work in a public school front office, among other things handling queries from parents, children and staff, face to face and on the phone. At bust times there can be 5 or 6 conversations happening at once within our small office area. I currently have a lot of trouble (and make embarrassing mistakes regularly) when I have to answer the phoen and cannot understand what they are saying. After asking someone to repeat themselves 3 times, you just try and make your best guess at what they’ve said, which isn’t always right. So this is one of the biggest problems I’d like solved by getting hearing aids.

My office phone is a standard PABX system supplied to government. I could possible get a bluetooth headset added, but that’s probably the extent of modifications available, and since I’m a bit iphone hser and will be relying on it’s bluetooth connection, swapping signals may be an issue. I also rove around the school and use similar phones in other classrooms too, but that is a more minor use to my office phone.

So, what’s my best options for improving understanding of phone conversations with the Opn or Linx 3D aids? Should I be definitely looking at the telecoil models to have that option, not knowing if our phone system is compatible? (We get a new system in 2020 so by then I could request it)

Given my hearing loss isn’t severe, could I drop the telecoil and go for the smaller models (such as the 961) since I also have to fit around my glasses so smaller aids may be better, and just try and hold the phone against the aid microphones, or would I be limiting my options without telecoil?

I really need to be able to hear phone conversations well to do my job properly. Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.

Russell.


#2

I use a Plantronics MDA200 with a BT300 Bluetooth dongle. There is a way to connect to the phone even if it doesn’t have a headset port. Works great and I use it several hours every day. For Resound you would need the Phone Clip+.


#3

So after the 10-minute tour of the 3 items you mentioned, is this how it works?

EDIT - found some more info
The desk phone line out plugs into the mda200.
The bt300 plugs into the mda200
The PhoneClip connects to the bt300 and the hearing aids via bluetooth.

EDIT #2

So it seems if I get an EHS cable to fit our phone system, it’s a 1 button pickup on the phoneclip if t all works properly. So that sounds like a hood solution for my office phone.

Now, what about when I’m roaming in the other buildings. Does holding the earpiece of the phone up to the aid microphones generally work at good enough level, at least in my case as if I wasn’t wearing the aids at all, which would generally be good enough. I just don’t want to keep pulling them in and out during the day.

Thanks.


#4

I can only speak about the OPN options.

If the phones at your school use the handset, it’s likely that they have the magnetic speaker that should be compatible with the Tcoil version of the OPN. This way, you’ll also be able to stream from your iPhone when needed just fine, and simply switch to the Tcoil program with a push of a button to answer the school phone.

If you can come up with a Bluetooth adaptation to interface with your school phone system, then buy the Connect Clip streamer to interface between this Bluetooth device and your OPN.

The OPN should be good for picking up multiple conversations going on around the noisy front office. Its open paradigm will eliminate the need for directionality to block out noises. You should be able to hear all conversations without having to be limited to hear what’s in front of you only.

The OPN 1 will have maximum noise reduction to keep the speech clean for better understanding compared to the OPN 3 which will have more limited noise reduction to help with speech clarity in noisy situations.

If you decide to buy from the lower cost channel, just learn to do your own programming by downloading the Genie 2 2018.2 programming software for free and buy the mini Pro hardware interface and necessary cables for around $250-$300 to hook up the OPN to Genie 2, assuming you have a windows PC. This is cheaper than going to a local provider and more convenient. I don’t think it’s hard to learn how to do your own programming. This forum is a great source of help if you need help with programming. You seem to be willing to investigate and learn and be inquisitive about things, typical for a DIY’er.

Most service issues with the OPN seems to be receiver replacement which can be found on eBay for fairly cheap (under $100). The one service issue that seems to require warranty service that needs to be sent in for repair seems to be issue with the mic in humid conditions. There has been a few reports of this on this forum, and it also happened to me.


#5

I would use the Linx 3D because they can be programmed by a audician at a distance: For instance from the Netherlands via internet, where the OPN 1’s are about 3100€, LinX 3D 9 61 are 3000€ and the LinX Quattro 9 61 is about 3800€.

To convert from Euro’s to Australian Dollar$ multiply by 1.7. So that would become 5100$ for 3000€. Rather a steep difference in price from the 10000€ you mentioned.
If Australia is that expensive, it’s worth it to shop in a different country.

Does anyone know whether Dutch prices are high compared to other countries? I googled German websites and found that they are a bit higher 3700€, basically the same the audiologist in my hometown charges. So it could be that those Dutch initiatives are just a bit better priced: Less care, I suppose. :slight_smile:


#6

Thanks for the feedback.

If the phones at your school use the handset, it’s likely that they have the magnetic speaker that should be compatible with the Tcoil version of the OPN. This way, you’ll also be able to stream from your iPhone when needed just fine, and simply switch to the Tcoil program with a push of a button to answer the school phone.

I’ve tried researching telecoils. I understand the technology, but am still confused about they actually work in operation. I need to find a video of someone using one to get a grip I think.

I don’t think it’s hard to learn how to do your own programming. This forum is a great source of help if you need help with programming. You seem to be willing to investigate and learn and be inquisitive about things, typical for a DIY’er.

My former profession before circumstances required a change was computer programmer, so I’m no stranger to technology, which is why my only real concern with sourcing from overseas is lack of warranty for mechanical failure. Doing my own programming would not be an issue, so once I get over the initial fitting, unless I need to be re-tested for changes, I’d be happy with making adjustments myself. I think I read elsewhere that the ReSound is similar in being able to do this too.

I really am leaning towards the Linx 3D 9 at this stage. The main thing that keeps me looking back at the Opn’s is really the IFTTT integration. If the Linx had that, I’d have made my decision already. Then for the Linx it’s just the decision whether to go 961 or 962 for telecoil.

To convert from Euro’s to Australian Dollar$ multiply by 1.7. So that would become 5100$ for 3000€. Rather a steep difference in price from the 10000€ you mentioned. If Australia is that expensive, it’s worth it to shop in a different country.

Yes Australia is that expensive, especially if you just shop locally where there is not much competition. Even shopping around for the best online prices within Australia, a pair of Opn1’s or Linx 3D 9’s is at least $8,000. In US$ that’s about $5,600 currently.


#7

Genie 2 has in-situ audiometry which is a way to retest your hearing for changes.

One drawback about DIY is that you don’t have the hardware to do REM.

I actually haven’t found much use for IFTTT myself personally, although in the future once IoT devices become more popular and cheaper, this may change.


#8

I’m not even sure my audiologist does rem yet. Im waiting to hear back from them.

IFTTT would mainly be a convenience thing for me at the moment, saving a few steps pulling out the phone to do things manually, but as you say, I see a big future as everything starts becoming internet connected.


#9

Just because they can be programmed remotely by an Audi doesn’t mean that they will be programmed remotely by an Audi. The Audi would have to agree to provide this extra service, and you can bet it will come with some hefty fees attached.


#10

@pvc Yes, I did mean buy them from an overseas supplier that is willing to program them as usual :slight_smile:

The shop I was looking at and linked to, does indeed give that care. When you live in the Netherlands the webshop offers you the choice between home visit or 7 location spread over the country (The Netherlands is a rather small country, so the closest location is only 30m from my house.) They also emphasize that Oticon OPN cannot be attuned by them over the internet and therefore they favour ReSound LinX.

Programming used aids runs up to 200€ in the Netherlands. Seems small compared to the price of the new aids. Not that hefty.

I’ll be testing the ReSound Quattro’s next. If they don’t pan out, I think I’ll use the webshop for the Oticon OPN 1’s. Really liked that I heard the rain on the roof and the pigeons at the train station :slight_smile:


#11

Yes, EHS cable for your phone is needed. I do one button answer and hang up. Sometimes the MDA200 hangs up and I have to click it to get it to quit blinking.

Using a handset you can position it over the microphone and use it that way. I’m not really good at doing that.

About t-coil, if it is a cordless phone it is not likely to have a large enough magnet to work like that. Most modern phones are not going to work with t-coil, but try it, if possible. It may trigger t-coil mode but not actually transmit, if that’s the right word. But try it.


#12

(Any extra hardware you need to hook into the school phone system should not be purchased by you, it should be purchased by the school. They need to accomodate you.)


#13

Yes Neville that’s also an unknown. The setup suggested by Don would be about $700 to purchase here.

With T Coil, my concern is the need to switch into and out of T Coil mode. While it may seem trivial, during rush hour at school, and swapping between talking to people and answering the phone rapidly and repeatedly, so I can’t be pulling out a phone and going through an app to change settings every time. (Note I’m considering getting an Apple Watch, but it’s more expense).

Browsing the Linx manual, I see the “Phone Now” feature might be a solution. It says it automatically engages your telephone program. Does that include activating a telecoil, or is it only for standard configuration of acoustic parameters?


#14

I use a magnet on my phone which automatically changes my HAs to the phone program when I put my phone up to my ear, I then hear the call in both ears.

Would something like that work for you?


#15

Yes, that is the type of thing I’m looking for as the simplest solution if our phones are telecoil enabled. The mda220 would be a nice option though, as going hands-free in the office would be much more productive, but cost is a factor.


#16

Go to Resound.com and look at the accessory line… Best accessory line bar none.

I have been saying that the OPN1 was the best hearing aid in and of itself. I may change my mind on that soon as I will be trying the Quattro.

For connectivity, Oticon cannot hold a candle to resound.

I would suggest looking at the multi-mic. That accessory is a clip on mic for a conversation partner, it is a 3.5mm stereo input, it has t-coil ability, it has euro pin receptacle for using a fm receiver and fm system. I have the appropriate Phonak receiver and a Roger Pen coming. People like to belittle Phonak about it’s prices on the FM systems…but they are very very good.


#17

I’m also in Aus, you don’t mention where you are exactly. I did a ring around several Audiologist establishments to see what prices the were asking for HA’s. But living in the city makes that easier to do. if you do live any where near a Costco store it might be worth a visit to them for a consult on the HA’s they supply before you sign for anything with your current Aud. Costco will be cheaper again. They generally have the same HA’s but renamed them with their own brand name. I like Phonak so cant pass any comments on OPN.


#18

I’m in Warwick, Qld. Being rural, there’s not a lot of choice close buy, and it also means thee’s not much discounting. I didn’t even realise Costco were in Australia now. Looking at their website, the closest to me is about 3 hours drive, and it seems they only offer the Resound Cala here, not the Forte unfortunately.


#19

The resound accessories look nice, but are all around $360 - $390 each here, that’s half the price of a new apple watch!

I am keeping an eye on Quattro news, but once again, price and availability will probably be the issue for me. Also wary of being early adopter of new technology when access to servicability may be an issue.


#20

Oh, something else I meant to ask with Opn vs Linx 3D. I like the philosophy of the open soundscape promoted by Oticon, but want to control my own destiny as well, which is why I’m leaning to the 3D with its customisation. However in my office environment, I don’t want tunnel hearing, as I need to be aware of everything going on around me.

So, the Linx 3D 9 model is the one required to get Spatial Sense and top level Bidirectional Directionality, which I think are the features providing something similar to the open soundscape the Oticons provide.

Is anyone able to provide any comparison between the two brands on this specific area (ie 360 degree hearing and directionality)? The other comparisons I’ve seen don’t mention specific differences in this area.

Thanks.