This will be my first new post, looking for opinions on a few HA things. My audiogram is in my profile, moderately severe high end hearing loss. Getting my first HAs. I’ve been reading voraciously here for weeks. Now I would love opinions and I know I am going to ramble a bit, forgive me. I know as I seek info, the more I prove the better feedback I get. This forum is wonderful for those of us seeking more knowledge before laying out ~$4-6K for hearing aids. Thank you to the those who built and maintain the site and all those who contribute. My heartfelt thank you to all!
I’m 69 years old, fit and physically active all my life, stayed fit in spite of previous heart issues, cancer and broken femur (hit by car) I’m a techno-geek (some say a technoweenie). Highly computer literate, gadget geek, not intimidated by new tech. Android enthusiast, I volunteer as a Recognized Contributor on XDA Developer Forums, use a Pixel 2 XL phone. I’m a music enthusiast, high quality home stereo usually playing most of the day (helps distract my tinnitus). I usually stream music via Nuheara Boost IQBuds earbuds 4-6 hours a day while outside for hours at a time (I love listening and the tinnitus distraction). I do watch TV in the evenings, usually ball games and / or a movie. I have a streamer from TV or computer that can switch between speakers or BT for headphones / earbuds.
Here is the meat - demoed Starkey Halo IQ 3 days and Widex Beyond 5 days. They had the “normal” profile and a “music” profile, set up for my loss, but no fine tuning. I know many issues below can be addressed by the audi with fine tuning.
Starkey Halo IQ (open domes) observations - no feedback, good wind suppression, worked well for speech in noise like coffee shops, busy BBQ restaurant, and a smoothie blender place (extremely noisy with Vitamix blenders). No real downsides except ability to stream unknown with no intermediary device with no good Android options.
Widex Beyond observations (tulip domes) - excessive feedback anytime a hand or hat or glasses got within a foot, wind noise suppression not near what Starkey could do. They did well in speech in noise and hard to say one brand was better than the other.I found the Widex overall sound better, especially music, even if a bit “crisp” or “harsh”. I understand I need to let my brain adapt to the new hearing sensation that have been missing for years. The Android streaming option is better.
I go a a clinic that has 3 ENT physicians (one handled my cancer treatment and I know as an acquaintance before the cancer go round - we are both MTB enthusiasts). The clinic also has 2 AuD., I’ve worked with one and really like him and feel comfortable and connected. He is a MTB rider as well, years of experience as an audi in a VA clinic, has a background in music audio processing and mixing, now at this clinic.
The options now are Starkey Muse IQ with the Surflink Mobile 2 (no Android app and the Halo has no acceptable Android option) or the Widex Beyond with the Com-Dex. The audi is checking to see if we can order both (pay for one) and let me have them to demo for 45 days, then return one. The clinic carries Phoneak and Oticon also, though I had no demo and the audi says they will not work for my hearing loss, which I find odd. It was the end of the day so we ran out of time to discuss more. Opinions on why he might say that, based on my audiogram?
I’m also interested in the ReSound LINX 3D based on other posts here. It appears that the ReSound HAs might sound better, have good feedback and wind suppression and their combo of Smart 3D app (really like the remote programming ability) and the Phone Clip+ would suit me better than Starkey or Widex options. There is another audi that my (minimal, laughable, but hey!) insurance will cover visits and some costs, however they are a couple hours away which is why the remote programming ability is appealing, with my phone / gadget / app / computer confidence.
Thank you for those who get this far and offer opinions, it is very much appreciated!