A bit of a rant here. Just my opinion, others my differ and that’s ok with me.
Background, retired Electrical Engineer. Owned electronic manufacturing business. Age 75. Moderate to severe hearing loss with typical Ski slope. Heredity and old age. Seems to be stable for only moderate increasing loss for past 10 years. Hear well in quiet environment but crowds, movies, parties etc wipe hearing understanding out. Hobbies- Musician, brass inst.
I’ve been looking for a hearing aid that meet my needs for the past 10 years. Finally just found one for the first time and bought it. By my needs I mean one that worked.
Buying a hearing aid is akin to buying a car,new or used. It’s all a sales ,marketing hype and the dispensers who like to call them selves Doctors know absolutely nothing about electronics. Nothing seems to be taught on this subject and they are quite unable to make a good decision on who makes good equipment. No different then a car sales person selling selling the worst of the worst, they simply want to make a sale. Beware of the manufactures who sell though franchises is good advice in my opinion. High pressure, distortion and lies are my experience.
As I said, for the last 10 years I have been trying to buy a hearing aid that worked. Every 2 years I made a search. Finally a brand new unit just out had the design features I needed. Out of all the ones I tried only this one Brand worked for me. So I bought it after price shopping. Just like a car, the List price means nothing. Quoted $5K by the Hospital Hearing Clinic I bought it from an independent for $3k. Could have done even better but felt this dispenser was better at programming and played fewer games. The Dispenser at the Hospital was totally incompetent and couldn’t even run the tests correctly. One Dealer even tried to screw up the program on the model I liked to make their favorite brand sound better in comparison. Caught them red handed on that because I’m well familiar with the system. They claimed it was a simple mistake. I’m sure it was. The old bait and switch is alive and well by some dealers. Advertise a low price for one aid only is common or a low price and then say that one won’t work for you. Mail order specials, Try to buy the one you like and get switched. Your in a jungle here. Scary.
I worked in the industry a couple of times before digitals came out. Analog was hopeless and I didn’t waste time on them as a designer and found other employment. The last Analog chips I played with were from a Canadian Company, Gennum. I think thats the spelling as I remember. They just left the industry as Digital became to involved and analog died.
As I designer I decided over 30 years ago what was needed was a BTE unit with a receiver(speaker) located in the ear canal. A DSP was needed to do all the sound processing. The ear piece should be flexible silicon, no ear mold, and sealed. For many technical reasons this was not made until just recently. Not enough room here to get into the why of this.
So I bought the GN ReSound Dot 20. It works for me in crowds, parties and movies. Minimum feedback but not perfect yet. Lots of bands and the DSP software is the best available. imho. Brand new design and better on the way. In a few years the 3-4th generation design from now, kids will be buying these things to wear at the Clubs so they can talk to each other and understand. Cost? About the price of a Boise noise cancellation head set. Want to hear something neat? Listen to a good CD played through a Boise NC Head set. You have forgotten what good sound was.
I can find little info on the HA unit like number of bits. Would you buy a computer without knowing how many gigs? Can’t find out zip in the hearing aid industry. The brochures read like a car sheet. Lots of flash with pretty happy faces and that it. Strictly a sales/marketing hype. A Lexus or Chevy? Sales guys are all the same breed.
Why does a Hearing Aid cost so much? There is a very good reason or better yet a very bad reason why. Since I worked in the industry and know were the bodies are buried I’ll tell if you ask.