New member, getting first HA, seeking opinions Oticon, ReSound

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#43

Moved idea to proper forum, sorry for going OT in my own topic. :open_mouth:


#44

AFAIK, there’s been no development regarding a forum ignore function since that discussion. (If people feel the need to discuss it, it would be nice to discuss it in that other thread so as to keep this thread on topic.)


#45

Here is an update on my HA quest. I saw a second audi yesterday who is in network for my insurance, paltry as it is. This man is in his 60’s, has a PhD in Audiology and one in Hearing Sciences. He taught at the university level, ran a university hearing clinic, worked for hearing aid manufacturers as a researcher and as a representative to audiology clinics.

This Audi ran numerous tests - pure tone thresholds (with masking white noise in non-testing ear), bone conduction, speech reception thresholds, most comfortable loudness threshold, word discrimination, speech in noise, and tone decay. He also ran a frequency generator to identify where my tinnitus occurs. I have a copy of the testing and the full evaluation analysis he kept in writing during the tests. His tests shows my loss as steeper and narrower than previous tests (he had copies from previous ENT), so a little harder to compensate for the loss, he stated.

One item of particular interest is my tinnitus is almost exactly in the frequency and range where my worst loss occurs (70 db between ~2800 to 5500Hz). I’ve updated my profile audiogram, his tests have more frequency divisions than the one here.

We then discussed the aids themselves. He now carries only Oticon, though he has carried others in the past - ReSound, Starkey and more. When I asked, he stated that Oticon OPN sound processing is by far superior to any other HA brand. Based on many reviews and comments here, I went in interested in the ReSound LINX 3d aids, but he no longer carries them even though they are on the clinic website.

OPN 1 quoted @ $7987 pair!, OPN 2 @ $5897 pair! and OPN3 @ $3997 pair!. Since I use Android, he offered the Connect Clip at no charge (retail $395 on searches). All visites, testing (he mentioned REM in 2-3 months), adjustments are no cost as long as I have the HAs. Trial period is 45 days, which he explained as a California law. This office is 20 miles away, in a very ritzy coastal town that has a high proportion of wealthy retirees, that may explain the pricing. I suspect going to Beverly Hills for HAs would be similar. :open_mouth:

There was no urgency to sell, just answered my questions. It is a small office, one Audi, one receptionist, one office manager (HA user) who does some adjustments with the Audi guidance, both there for over 20 years. He says that the OPN 2 will likely do all adjustments I need, based on the testing and questions about my lifestyle. He does not think the OPN 3 would work, and we can go to the OPN 1 if needed during the 45 day trial period.

I still have a Costco appointment in 2 weeks that I will keep. I’ll let them lead the appointment and see how they compare to the two Audiology clinic visits. The idea of paying just under $3k for ReSound Forte vs $8k for Oticon still rocks my boat. I want to get my hearing as good as I can. All the strong positive posts about the exceptional natural sound processing of Oticon OPN has me leaning that direction, even with the scary costs.


#46

$8k for a pair of OPN 1 is outrageous. Most practices sell them for around $6k. I’ve read that hearingrevolution.com sell them for $3900. They hook you up with a local audi. Check out this link Help starting out where a poster mentioned this.

If you’re a self motivated DIY, and it sounds like you are based on what I’ve been reading here, I can tell you as an OPN 1 owner myself who now program my own OPN 1, the Genie 2 program for the OPN is fairly simple to use and easy to understand. And there’s a good size OPN community of users here who can help you with DIY questions.

So if I were you, I’d try to go 2 routes: the KS8 at Costco first, and if not happy with it, the OPN through an online discount provider who hooks you up with a local audi and charge you around $4k for a pair of OPN 1.

If you’re still not happy with that local audi from them through the initial setuo, start learning to go the DIY route with the OPN yourself. If you’re technically inclined, you can learn to do your own programming and take charge of your own satisfaction. To me, the DIY route had made it 10 times easier to get my OPN 1 fine tuned to exact what I want and how I want it to perform, compared to relying on my own provider to get it right for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still maintain a good relationship with my provider because I still need them to provide warranty service for me. But the DIY route eliminates the need to find a truly competent audi to service me in the first place. A so so audi would be enough for me


#47

I recently started wearing HAs and have the OPN1s. I am super pleased with them as far as the hearing quality and how easy it was for me to adjust to them. Initially I was also very excited about being able to stream music from my Android phone. My audiologist let me borrow a ConnectClip (I wanted to stay with Android and I accepted the fact that I would need an intermediary device). I had no connection problems, BUT the quality of the music was terrible! Sounded like I was listening to a 1960s tiny AM transistor radio! I have found it far superior to either listen to external speakers (I have open domes) or wear over the ear headphones (over my HAs). I have read comments where some people have feedback problems with headphones over HAs, but I haven’t.

So, before making a decision, I suggest you actually listen to the quality of the streaming music on whatever device you think you might use and see if you’re okay with it. I stayed with the OPNs because of how natural and clear they seemed to me. I am fine using a phone by holding it up to my ear. Perhaps down the road when I replace the OPNs with something else, the whole streaming thing will have improved. I just really liked the clarity of the OPNs, and that was a higher priority for me than the streaming.


#48

Color me cynical. He walked away from a tenured professor’s chair? Nobody would do that without big promises. Certainly not to a one man office at the end.

As for REM, why the wait? There is no client educating need. You sit looking straight ahead and not saying anything. You could actually do REM on a well-behaved chimp. His plan has you living with distortion for those months.


#49

Based on your audiogram, I would guess that you are fitted with open domes. That is the reason your streaming audio sounds tinny. Most of the low frequency sounds generated by the receivers escape through your domes’ open vents. That’s just the negative side effect of wearing an open dome when streaming audio.

If you want to fix the issue, you’ll need to make a compromise and use the bass dome with single or double vent. That will minimize the leaking when streaming. You can also ask your provider to boost the Power Bass setting in Genie 2 for your iPhone and Connect Clip and TV Adapter to high for additional bass perception.

But if streaming audio is not important to you or you’d rather get the better sound through headphones or speakers, then that’s fine, too.

Also, even with the bass dome, the receiver is no match in sound quality compared to the much bigger headphones or speakers.


#50

Yes, Volusiano, you are correct, I have open domes. Thanks for your feedback. What you say makes total sense.


#51

I have OPN1s via hearingrevolution.com. They are $3700, fitted through a local audiologist. Streaming audio is a conundrum, I switched to double vented bass domes so telephone call quality was acceptable, but fitted a little small in the canal so they’re still pretty open. I change domes to listen to music on commute or while traveling, dome packages are about $10 for 10 on eBay so you can experiment.


#52

ReSound doesn’t have a @Volusiano on this forum. It won’t be me, but I’ll speak up in favor of ReSound here.

Here is ReSound’s presentation on their technology for letting you hear everything around you:

https://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/introducing-resound-linx-3d-future-20213

I hear all around me with my ReSounds, unless I want directionality, in which case I go into the Restaurant program and choose how narrowly I want to hear. When I’m in All-Around, which is 95% of the time, I can choose to favor noise filtering or speech clarity, while still hearing all around. In the subway, say, I can reduce unpleasant sounds without lowering overall volume and putting myself in a bubble. Or in other environments I can choose to temporarily tolerate more noise for the sake of speech clarity. It’s nice to have the control.

My audiologist recommends ReSound or Widex for patients who will use an app, and Oticon for those who won’t. Her prices are around the same for all of them at highest technology level.


#53

Volusiano, KenP, buchman.bob, chazas, x475aws - Thank you for the replies, I appreciate the feedback.I am usually a confident buyer doing my research first, but the way HAs are sold is convoluted, not unlike car sales techniques with little transparency. The help on Hearing Tracker is priceless! I will read the links provided and ponder more. Yes, my interest in DIY programming is growing, I’ve downloaded a few programs to see.

Some comments on my area, I’m halfway between LA and SF, in one of the most beautiful and desirable places to live on the California coastal area. very low population, very rural. I have been here for 30+ years, while it has grown from sleepy quaint communities to one of the most expensive places to live in California.

The appeal is low population, low crime, most amenities. There are many medical and wealth professionals who cater to the growing Boomer population. However, due to high cost of living and low population, there are still few providers. Within 50 miles, there are four true Audiologists, all others are HIS.

This recent audiologist moved here years ago from a large Midwest city to buy a home he wanted with land to have horses, and the open lands that allow one to ride them. There are actually National Forests and Wilderness areas less than 25 miles away where one can hike or ride a horse. That is very common to meet people like that here, who choose rural lifestyles over higher paying city living with lower costs.

I felt very comfortable with his manner and knowledge, feel confident to buy from him, the high price is just a tough pill to swallow. I’ll call Hearing Revolution and see if they have someone here, many of the online sites I have tried do not have referrals to providers here, most are 100 to 250 miles away.


#54

A huge Thank You! to @Volusiano and @chazas for the info on Hearing Revolution! I have an appointment with an Audiologist on Aug. 2, Ironically they are about four blocks from the one who quoted me $8K for the OPN 1. Hearing Revolution quoted me $3700 / pair of OPN 1 with 60 day trial, 1 year followup, 2 years batteries, 3 year warranty. I asked about restocking if I do not keep them and that is $150 / pair to pay the Audiologist for their time, that is totally acceptable to me,

I will keep the Aug. 9 Costco appointment to compare, the ReSound Forte 8 (LINX 3d) is what I am interested in trying. So this is a parallel trial, but I think 1-2 weeks exclusively on one, then 1-2 weeks exclusively on the other is my plan. I suspect that I may decide on what to keep and what to return sooner than that however. I’m prepared to get various domes to experiment with streaming music and phone calls. I’m used to BT earbuds that result in near 100% occlusion and tolerate that fine. This is gonna be fun!

I have installed and looked at the Genie 2 program and am totally overwhelmed now, but I will keep after that too @Volusiano. Thanks to @x475aws for the Audiology Online link for the ReSound presentation, that was also extremely helpful!

Thanks again for the ALL the comments on my HA journey here, Hearing Tracker is a tremendous resource to the HA community.


#55

There’s an audiology online video that talks about Genie 2 if you want to watch it. Just search for it from Oticon. The online help from Genie 2 is also helpful.


#56

How interesting to read your story, one that to some extent mirrors my own. Shocked with my first foray into the hearing industry, bailed out and spent 3 months reading voraciously on the precursor to this forum, asking a pile of questions. I worked in IT for 20+ years, so also highly tech literate, so got deeply into a lot of the gadgetry ‘features’ that were on offer, the ever increasing range of channels each model had blah blah blah.
If I can offer any advice at all, be wary whether some of these features are either useful or make any practical difference for you. I ended up getting a number of these ‘protective’ features disabled, as all they did was give me dead sound, very unnatural, and once turned off, sound became normal. So all of that research on who had the most/best features amounted to little.
My new aids that I have on order I haven’t even bothered with the bluetooth aspect. But I wear CICs, so I know that will probably be different for BTE users.
As for channels - there are plenty of people here who can advise where beyond some number, it matters little, it seems to be more marketing than anything practical.
And Costco - yes indeed. I paid $7200 in 2010. Last Thursday I paid $3130 at Costco for pretty much the identical updated pair. I shudder to think what my previous hearing shop would have charged.


#57

I have a question for the OPN 1 pros. The audi placed the order for 60 receivers, but looking at the technical data sheets for the 60 and 85, it looks like my hearing loss is 65 and 70 at the 3-6 kHz range. My guess is that the 85 receiver would be a better choice. I’m new and learning, so I may be misunderstanding here, I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot by questioning the audi before I even get started with her. :slight_smile:

I called Hearing Revolution to pay for the aids, and asked about the receiver, and they told me 60 on the order.

Here is the 60 receiver data sheet.

and the 85 receiver data sheet.

Thank you!


#58

I’m not a pro, but if I were you, I’d pose it as a question in a polite way that you’re concerned that the 60 receivers are borderline for your loss on the highs and that you’d prefer the 85 to also insure against any future loss that makes you need the 85dB receivers for real.

My provider fitted me with 85dB receivers even though my loss in the highs exceeds 85dB. But the reason for this was that the standard pricing for the OPN only covers up to the 85dB receiver and the next step up would have cost more (or so I was told). So she wanted to see if I could get by with the 85 or not.

So technically you can get by with a 60dB receiver (albeit get a little less than the prescribed gain you should have). But if the standard pricing comes with up to the 85dB one, then why not get the 85 dB ones? Especially since you’re more than borderline pass the 65 range.


#59

Thank you @Volusiano, I was hoping you would respond. I also had installed the Genie2 program, but I added my user profile and audiogram today, then selected the OPN 1 aids, and it automatically showed the 85 receivers as the choice. I think that confirms it. :+1:

Now I need to talk to the fitter and see how she reacts, since I only had about 15 minutes with her after the testing was done to confirm the HAs I wanted and the Connect Clip. I guess if she does not like my asking that is a sign of how we will do as this venture progresses, huh? :thinking:


#60

A fatal flaw IMHO. Fatal.


#61

I had an incredibly positive testing today at Costco. This is my fourth time since May this year seeking to obtain HAs. I had a guy named Collin, an HIS with 30+ years experience, over 20 of that running his own dispensing clinic in Oregon and then Montana, now in California at Costco. He has hearing loss from birth defects and has worn HAs for years. I’d guess him to be mid-40s to early 50s.

He asked what HAs I had tested or researched, I mentioned ReSound due to recommendations here. I mentioned an online hearing aid forum with users sharing information and he said that was probably very helpful. I mentioned that I was technical and computer literate, he immediately stated that he really liked working with HA users like that and felt it allows hime to do a better job at meeting their wants and needs.

He then asked it I had looked at colors and types of HAs, I said I was thinking I want RIC with 13 batteries for streaming, and light color to find if dropped. He said we could experiment with domes at fitting to find a balance between occlusion / own voice sound and music. He said he would give me different domes to try as well. I asked if different domes needed different HA settings, he grinned, said “you are informed” and then stated yes, that is why we could experiment during fitting.

He did more tests in this session than I have had before:
1-standard pure tone thresholds in each ear.
2-bone conduction on both sides (I only had 1 at the 3 others, only on one side).
3-word recognition "say the word (two syllable) in each ear.
4-word test with one syllable getting quieter until I could not understand in each ear.
5-most comfortable loudness of tones in each ear.
6-loudness comfort with voice (someone reading until it was too loud) in each ear.
7-someone reading & I could ask for louder / softer until I found the preferred volume level in each ear and then both at once.

He asked about my lifestyle, activities, where I had issues now with hearing now. When I mentioned listening to music now with earbuds 3-6 hours a day he talked about MFI and when I mentioned Android, he pulled a Phone Clip + demo from the cabinet to show me. I asked about sport locks and he said he had noted those due to my active outdoor activities.

He asked why I had come to Costco after the three Audiologist. I said I did not feel that they really listened but were used to people who had no understanding of hearing aids and needed to be told what was best, and did not listen to someone like me who had lots of questions and ideas of what they wanted, rather than being told, “This is what you need.”

He admitted that in his own dispensers years ago he had not said good things about Costco HAs, that the choices were often one or two generations older. He said that now the Costco version were the same generation, and that the aids were locked for Costco brands on non-Costco versioned fitting software. I said that some ENT docs had told me not to go to Costco. He understood, but some now worked closely, referring patients to Costco with the state of the Audiology clinics in the local area.

I have the initial fitting in two weeks and an adjustment appointment two weeks after that. I was going to asked about receiver power, but when he handed me the invoice to check over, I saw he had MP receivers on it already. I had researched and ReSound has LP, MP, HP, and UP. I’m guessing LP is equivalent to 60 and MP is equivalent to 85, so he impressed me there as well.

I have not had a call back from the clinic fitter who ordered the 60 receivers for the OPN 1 from Hearing Revolution. I’ll pursue that tomorrow.

I was just wowed by the Costco HIS today, what a great start. I’ll see how this goes with the OPN vs the Forte 8, but Costco jumped out to a lead today, I must say.


#62

I’d say you got lucky with that Costco fitter. Mine was just so so.

Costco hearing aids used to be locked but it no longer is the case.