Need advice on aids - trouble with female voices

I am in my late 40’s and have been wearing aids now for 9 yrs due to hereditary hearing loss. I now have Beltone BTEmini Mia Oria (2005). I these are rated at 134max output/60 max gain and have 12 channels according to a fact sheet I found online. I have earmolds with no vent. The past 6 months I am having more trouble with comprehending the voices of my female friends. I was tested (hearing a little worse than 17 mos ago) and the Tech says these can’t be adjusted anymore without causing feedback. I have no feedback problems now except when someone hugs me. She tried to sell me a new set that I have researched and do not feel will be strong enough for me and will not be going back to Beltone, so we don’t need to talk about them. (Equivalent to ReSound be5 CIC remote Mic)
Through TruHearing discount program from my BC/BS ins, I just visited a new audi. Of the aids on TruHearings list that will cover 60 dcb, he suggested Unitron Latitude 8 BTE ($3290/set) with skeleton mold. Rated 125/60. Isn’t this like what I already have? Is 5 yrs newer going to be better? He doesn’t think I need to pay more for the Latitude 16 due to my fairly flat hearing, but the smart focus feature sounds interesting. My aunt just bought Microtech aids and is very happy. I don’t know her hearing chart though. I mainly want aids that are going to improve my hearing with females. Any opinions/suggestions on the Latitude, Microtech, or something else? Would like to stay with $4000 budget for the set. I think Microtech would be more $ but is it worth it? BTE ok but like the mini. Any help greatly appreciated!

My hearing test from Beltone:
250hz: R 50, L 55
500hx: R 60 L 60
1000hz: R 65 L 65
2000hz: R 60 L 60
3000hz: R 65 L 65
4000hz: R 55 L 60
6000hz: R 70 L 75
8000hz: R 80 L 80 (Test from new audi had 70. Rest of test close).

The aids you have might still be adjustable to match your loss.

So you get feedback with earmoulds with no vent? Hmmm …

Maybe try a new tighter fit/larger earmoulds before spending money on new aids?

Once the f/b is fixed then retune for more HF gain to catch female voices.

I do not have feedback now. Only when someone hugs me and gets close to my head. Otherwise none so feedback is not an issue. I have the standard rubber earmolds now. I don’t think they can get any bigger. Tech gave me a program to switch to, to help with female voices - louder and less background, but doesn’t help too much with the voices, but makes loud sounds too loud, (dropping a spoon on the counter). Thanks for your reply.

I agree with ED. It may seem like your molds can’t be any bigger, but they can be tighter, which would help with the feedback issue. How old are your earmolds?

dr. amy

Could be a tuning issue.

You clearly have lots of gain set up somewhere - but you need it somewhere useful : soft high frequency sounds.

Without seeing the fitting screen & data sheets who can say what’s going on?

My earmolds are also from 2005. Very stained due to my waxy ears. Ears moist most of the time due to wax and no venting. I feel they fit tightly though. No feedback while wearing them! New audi called Resound to find out what equivalent aid is for the Beltone Oria so he could maybe adjust them. They couldn’t or wouldn’t tell him. I did some online searching since then and see that the ReSound Metrix is the same except one step up in performance. Maybe this would work on new audi’s laptop or have to go back to Beltone to adjust, again. Would there be an advantage to get a skeleton mold? I don’t know anything about these. I guess you both feel that new aids aren’t going to do any better?

A 5 year old earmold is very old and not as ‘functional’ as new since it is most like harder (thus not sealing like it should), along with the tubing (which may have or developed cracks). The ear has most likely grown in size as well, from daily earmold use.

I agree with the others that the earmold should be addressed first, then re-tuning the h/a.

Should you decide to go to a new aid, you’ll need/want new earmolds as well.

I agree. It’s not that new aids wouldn’t help you, but I think all efforts should be exhausted first before spending the money. As ED said, sometimes its just an adjustment (or earmold) issue, which are FAR less expensive to address.

dr. amy

Thank you all for your input. Tubes have been replaced pretty regularly about every 6 or 9 months.
Any recommendation of type of earmold, skeleton have benefits over standard one?
If I get new aids, liking what I have read about Smart Focus on Latitude 16 where I could adjust for more speech clarity if the need arises. Has anyone had good performance with these?

These may be great aids… But my audi just doesn’t know how to program them. Does anyone out there know an audi in central Fl
who can?

You could offer yourself as a case to Med-Rx (Seminole/Treasure Island) to have your hearing adjusted during their next training class. Mike Poe might even take you out to lunch.

This is why states allow at least a 30 day return. Ask for a full refund policy in writing. If they don’t agree then you should go somewhere else, since it doesn’t say much about their confidence in being able to help you. Then, once you have that in writing, trust your professional. Too much information without the proper knowledge will get you nowhere. So stop wasting time and simply trust your professional.