My Widex Dream 330 Passion experience

I’ve been wearing my Phonak Audeo Mini III RIC for a good few years now with decent results (one ear only). It helped me hear but with advances in technology and the fact that my Mini is a base model, I thought I’d try out the Widex Dream 330 Passion RIC aid with an open fit tip.

The good:

  • it’s small, slightly smaller than the mini and sits behind the ear comfortably
  • TV-Dex is amazing! Sound quality is superb and I can understand everything that is being said with ease - especially with room off function switched on. Shame you have to wear that stupid adapter thing around your neck.

The bad:

  • This needs a paragraph. I cannot get used to the sound of it at all. The initial program made it sound very loud and was just very uncomfortable to wear. Noise wasn’t suppressed at all and speech was getting lost completely. My audi did say that the noise suppression wasn’t Widex’s strong point but that speech enhancement was. He then made further adjustments to lower the volume and took down mid-range. While it’s better, it’s not brilliant. Still far too loud to be comfortable and sounds er… sound like they are coming from a tunnel. Is this all because of bad programming or a characteristic of an aid?

  • The other thing I don’t like is the way the receiver is held in the ear by that weird zip-tie loop thing - it’s eating into my ear and make wear not very comfortable

I have 60 days to change my mind about it but the way it’s going, it’s not looking good. Shame, because I love TV-Dex’s sound. The audi suggested that if I still don’t get on with it, I should try Phonak Q70 as the sound will be more like what I am used to with my Audeo Mini. The problem is, I don’t want to spend a small fortune on these devices just to make it sound like my old aid! It needs to be better in many ways. I hear that Compilot’s TVLink is nowhere near as good as TV-Dex…

Thoughts?

Get the aid turned down in the lower frequencies at the very least. When you have a Sensogram done it usually over estimates your prescription below 1KHz and under estimates above. This is a function of the size of your residual canal volume and the expected leakage from the dome/tip. Excessive low frequency will make nearly all background noise seem louder than the bits of speech which give you the most understanding.

There is also an option to maximise the speech intelligibility of loud or quiet speech sounds: I’d suggest that these need turning up while turning down the overall output of the aids.

Anybody fitting these ‘blind’ needs to take a look at a REM machine to evaluate what you are actually being delivered in the ear canal. I’d advise they use the REAR measurement for speech as it avoids the signal affecting the calibrating mic that open fitted devices produce.

Thanks Um Bongo. He did turn down the lower-mid frequencies and changed some other setting, which did make a difference for the better but it’s still quite horrible to distinguish sounds. And nowhere near the comfort levels of my Phonak.

Will have a chat with him and make a decision. Have quite a busy summer so don’t have a lot of time running to the audi.