New Hearing Aid User: Need advice


#1

I have moderate mid and high range hearing loss and clearly need hearing aids. I believe they call it ski slope loss. Starts at 1000 Hz and slopes down from there. Lowest is 80 Db at 8000 Hz.

I’ll get a copy to put in my sig.

My audi suggested so called RIC aids for my loss as they will allow for “directionality” and other features he feels are important. Says in ear aids don’t have enough microphones etc for streaming or directionality discrimination. I am very active physically (gym, mountain bike etc) not so much socially e.g theater, concerts etc. if that matters

I currently use an Android phone and everything I read says I phone is in some ways better as i will not need an intermediate device unless i get the Audeo Direct however this only streams into one ear with Android.

So i have really just 3 questions:

  1. As I have no loyalty to Android am i better served getting an I phone to allow for seamless streaming of phone and music (say $600-800 for phone) or do i spend say $300 for the intermediate device? I hate the idea of “needing” to carry yet another device and have heard the streaming is more reliable with I Phone. Worth the difference to get I phone?

  2. I have watched videos and read reviews as well as looked at both consumer and professional literature for most of the major brands. Looks like they all offer the same features such as own voice recognition, directionality etc at their respective highest level of devices. Of course some claim they are better at what they do. In a sense I feel it’s like Ford vs Chevy.

I need to make a decision i have boiled it down to the Oticon OPN, Starkey Halo, Resound Linx3d and Signia (not sure which model).

Many reviews claim Linx and OPN offer best voice and streaming features. However looks like the Linx offers me more control via phone app if i should want to alter volume, bass etc. Seems like Oticon does not want me messing with the settings. FWIW Linx allows my audi to remotely change settings but audi may want the office visit fee or may not use that feature for other reasons. Have not asked him to date.

In the beginning I’ll let my audi do the tweaking but at some point I may wish to change things here and there.

I have the standard 45 day trial but I just don’t want to spend 3 or 4 months trying every aid on the market.

So my simple yet difficult question is which brand? Smaller is better so a smaller aid with less battery life is fine with me. Assuming I don’t lose features. I do not require T coil

Yes we all have loyalty but how to best narrow down? Any glaring red flags with models I have suggested?

Lastly please recommend Signia model which will compare to the Linx, OPN or Halo?

Thanks for all your help.


#2

You’ve done a remarkable job of getting the lay of the land for a newby! Thanks for doing your homework. The Signia model you’d want to look at is the Signia NX. It really is Ford vs Chevy, but my own biases would be to exclude Starkey. In surveys I’ve seen they seem to be less reliable, but I’m sure you’ll hear from Starkey fans saying that this isn’t so. The Oticon OPN, Resound Linx 3D and Signia NX are all great aids, but they’re different too. Kind of like ice cream flavors. Think about what problems you have hearing that you’d like “solved” and share them with your audiologist (and try to have them ranked) Your audiologist is likely most able to help you make a decision. And the nice thing about it is whatever you pick, it’s likely to work.

If you want to stream phone calls and music from your phone, then I think getting an iPhone is worth it. However, consider how much you use your phone and if you currently have any difficulty using it. I love the idea of streaming, but I don’t use my phone much and I don’t have any problems hearing on the phone when I do.


#3

MDB: Appreciate your thoughts.

As far as Signia I see the NX but I think it only comes rechargable so size could be bigger.

Signia has an aid designated as Pure 13 BT. Said to connect to I phone but doesn’t the NX also connect?

It looks like NX is newer tech as far as directionality but really it’s a lot of research at this point.

Funny you mention Starkey as my audi said he is a big Starkey fan. i want the best for my loss not what my audi likes to work with. i think that is reasonable sine I am paying well over 4K for the aids !!!


#4

NX comes in a battery model (either 13 or 312) and rechargeable (the Charge&Go) The Pure 13 BT is older technology and the NX is a made for iPhone hearing aid.

Oh and buyhear.com is an easy way to see which models are available. Sometimes hearing aid manufacturers sites are too complicated!

And definitely don’t take my word as meaning much on the Starkeys. You might want to inquire further about what he likes about them. Have your BS detector engaged. There are lots of reasons why an audiologist might like one brand better.


#5

I like my ReSound LiNX 3D 961’s and plan to shell out the money for them this week. But about the Android app:

I’m on record that the Smart 3D app for Android is infuriating, because it needs to be force-stopped all the time. But there’s a worse problem with it:

While using the aids with Android during my trial, I noticed that the program names in the app were changing. For example, “Music” started showing up as “MusicMusic”, and “All-Around” as “TV/Micro-M”. I didn’t make a big deal of it, because the pictorial symbols were still ok, and the non-technical world shrugs off quirks like this, and the most important thing is that I can hear better.

But when I got my iPhone this week, and connected the aids to the “MFi Hearing Devices” section of iOS, I found that it picked up corrupted program names from the aids (different on each side). The Android app altered the program names in the aids themselves, and power-cycling them didn’t restore the correct names. Now, If it did that, who knows what else it could change? Any of the zillion parameters in there, maybe? This is potentially a huge problem, and IMO ReSound’s Android app isn’t fit for use.

There was a time when I would have stood on principle and said I won’t trust a company that would release an app like that. But I’m too old for that now. The aids are helping me and the iPhone app seems just fine, so I’ll keep them.


#6

Only the Signia brand has Own Voice Processing as far as I can tell. Nobody else has this.

The OPN doesn’t really do directionality well, but that’s on purpose because Oticon promotes a different paradigm which advocates openness and letting the brain decide on what to focus and what to tune out. So it’s not really like Ford and Chevy when it comes to comparing others against the OPN.


#7

Only Signia calls it OVP but do not others have similar tech albeit under a different name?


#8

Not that I know of. (regarding others having similar to OVP) I really don’t know how much of an issue this is for most people. It certainly is not a common complaint on the forum that people can’t stand their own voice. Ice cream flavors may be a better analogy than car brands.


#9

I’m pro-Bluetooth device. I have an Android phone but not really pro-android. But, I need office phone calls to go through my hearing aids, and work related laptop soft-phone calls, and for my convenience I want laptop and tablet music and videos going through my hearing aids, and I currently have a secondary TV with a Bluetooth transmitter. All those things require the Bluetooth intermediate device, which I wear on a lanyard, under my shirt.


#10

I’m in a similar situation to you, “ski slope” loss, very active physically gym, mountain bike, trail work, hiking, limited social events, but a tremendous music lover so I attend some concerts, especially outdoors in the summer (yeah, California). I also research extensively before I post for advice, and spent months here reading first, and scouring the 'Net. I am an Android enthusiast, have a newer Pixel 2, that has an incredible camera. My phone is my brain, calendar, contacts, music, medical data (I have 6 - 12 visits each month) on and on. If I really need to I will get an iPhone since streaming music is as important as hearing well for me, but will try other options first.

I have been working with an Au.D., and in two weeks, will trial a Starkey Muse IQ for 45 days with a Surflink Mobile 2 to stream calls and data. I will use it with cellphone, TV, PC, tablet, and laptop. I have an appointment with a HIS at Costco in four weeks and want to trial the ReSound Forte 8 (same as the ReSound LINK 3D) with a Phone Clip+.

I had a three day demo of Starkey Halo IQ with no streamer and five day demo of Widex Beyond, no streamer. I liked the no feedback of the Starkey (extreme in Widex) but overall sound was better in Widex. Each had the “normal” and a “music” profile with minimal processing and I attended on outdoor concert that is held here every Friday aftenoon in the downtown plaza.

The Widex and Starkey were quoted at ~$6400. The Costco ReSound are $2800.

My one uncertainty is the difference of working with a trained Audiologist with much experience and a strong background in sound recording and processing as well as audiology vs a NBC-HIS (National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences) at Costco who I just met briefly as I made the appointment. I will give the HIS a try, given half the cost and she has a good reputation from some who have gotten HAs at Costco

Good luck in your quest and keep us updated, that shared experience is helpful.


#11

I agree with MDB here. I think OVP is a problem only Signia invented and tried to solve.

ONLY new users complain about their own voice when they’re not used to it the first time. Once people are used to it, it becomes a non-issue.

Signia says that they automatically detect user’s own voice, then automatically adjust (reduce) the volume and maybe the tone as well? when the user speaks. And when the user is not speaking, then the volume resumes to the normal default setting.

Sure, it’s a nice to have. But probably is a “nobody cares” effort. The effort can probably be focused on improving something else for better ROI.


#12

If your going for RIC and your very active lifestyle you might want to keep in mind that HA’s and moisture/perspiration don’t mix very well. I had RIC’s that were forever in for repair, apparently due to moisture. I don’t lead an active lifestyle like you. You will need a high IP in your HA’s.

I’m a streamer/Bluetooth/iPhone fan. I love the fact that calls come into both my ears.


#13

About the Signia/Rexton Own Voice Processing, your own voice in an occluded fit is a big problem because you can’t hear anything else if you are saying anything, clearing your throat, chewing, or making any type of sound. But the OVP did not help me with occlusion. I still hear my voice as loud as ever.

Supposedly the OVP recognizes your voice and only turns that down. It doesn’t turn down other sounds or voices.


#14

Why would you need a phone to stream the voice to both ears? Virtually everyone only holds the phone against one ear.
It might pay you to wait three or four months. It’s been posted, here, that a huge upgrade is coming to android that will enable it to work much better than anything now out there with HA. I just got the Phonak Direct B. quality on my end is excellent. Quality on the other end is about 70% - compared with the over the ear BT headsets I used to wear for over 10 years. I am on the phone a lot during the day for business.


#15

miket: I asked the same thing a while ago and I was enlightened that for some people and their particular hearing losses that hearing all and as much as possible in either or both ears is better than just the one. Maximizing their chances as it were.

It remains to be seen how long, if at all, HA makers will take to adopt the new standards. Some say of course they’ll jump on it to increase their market. Some might say they wouldn’t want to affect their intermediate device sales.

Remember it’s a two way street. It’s all fine that the phone can talk to “something” but that something has to be able to talk to the phone.


#16

Hi, I am a person like you with the similar situation. Im a hearing aid technician for over 25 years and I have hearing loss too. Believe me I tried most of the brand hearing aids offers the world, and I see today’s hearing aid technology doesn’t help me much! Right now I wear a simple and basic hearing aids with only 8 Channels and I feel very comfortable. The more channels you use, more complicated make your life.