I’m new here, first let me introduce myself.
I’ve had a moderate binaural hearing loss all my life (60 dBHL @ 4khz, better in all other hz). When I as 8 years old (1983 or so) I had a single BTE which I hated and refused to use. When I was 12 years old the Norwegian healthcare system stuck a pair of CTC’s in my ears with no followup care. The poor fit, squawking, amplification of background noises, disgusting ear wax buildup and inconvenience contributed to my decision not to use them. Again, my hearing loss was not profound so I had the luxury of going without.
Since then I have not used hearing aids. I earned a college degree (and a half), worked ten years in software development and married a wonderful woman who put effort into speaking clearly and enunciating words correctly (her mother was an english teacher ). However, a recent career change has put me in front of customers from all over the world and communicating with them is becomming difficult. I can deal with poor spelling and grammar skills but it is difficult (and inconvenient) to constantly ask others to repeat themselves due to heavy accents, both regional and national. Don’t get me started about those who mumble and speak too softly, or even whisper. I also spend a lot of time on my cellphone.
Anyway, my point is that I am once again in the market for hearing aids, and I am starting to get frustrated with the inability to find the ‘right’ hearing aid for me. I have been working with a local audiologist who seems knowledgeable about hearing loss but doesn’t seem to know much about the latest hearing aids, so I am doing much of this research myself. Getting information without the audiologist is slow and painful.
I have two concerns.
The first is cellphone compatibility. I use a headset for comfort and so I can have both hands free for typing and writing. One thought was to get a CTC (or smaller) aid and simply use a phone headset over that, but my experience with anything close to the hearing aid results in feedback squeal, so that’s out. That pretty much narrows the search to hearing aids which have some sort of sound transmission. I have found two: The ELI DirX bluetooth unit which connects to a DAI Europlug and the Phonak Smartlink XS. I would prefer not to have an additional gadget to drag around, so the ELI seems like a good choice.
My other concern is frequency response. Human frequency response is 20-20k hz but most hearing aids only amplify 100-6.8k hz. I have adjusted the frequency response on my home stereo to only amplify the 100-6800 range and the music sounds like crap. My fear is that I’ll spend thousands to gain better speech fidelity and lose all enjoyment of music. The Sebotek, on the other hand, touts a 50-14000 hz range and a post auricular canal (PAC) design. However, it doesn’t have the DAI europlug.
At this point it appears that I have to choose either sound quality or cellphone convenience. Is this an accurate portrayal of my situation?