Newbie here. First, I appreciate this forum and all of you. I have learned much in the past 5 mos. I began my journey five months ago. Went to a GP, than an ENT and had an independent audiologist give me a hearing test. I’ve been reminded during this journey numerous times that there are no such things as “stupid” questions and to keep going even though others may not understand your perspective or question. I researched and had my first trial of hearing devices at Costco KS 10’s. I was underwhelmed by the first HIS and the 2nd HIS and though they used REM, I was left wondering if the hearing device was optimized for my audiology report (mild / moderate, ski slope). And the KS 10’s appeared to work well except for a slight lisp I heard - I was really unsure whether it was worth my time and effort to trial others. However my main goals were to:
- have clarity of sound - the best clarity I could reasonably get.
- reliable product that worked with my tech platform
- ease of maintenance
- an audiologist that understood and valued the process and the work they do
- determine if a disposable battery hearing device vs rechargeable was the way to go. I believed the disposable battery would generally be more advantageous with my work and lifestyle, but I was open to both.
After trialing the KS10’s, my biggest issue was whether or not it was worth my time to see other audiologists and trial more hearing devices. And I have to say as the KS 10’s have been pulled from the shelf at Costco, this didn’t make me feel very comfortable long term with those devices - on the other hand they seemed to suffice.
I decided to keep going because if I didn’t I would never know if my hearing was optimized.
I researched once more and drew up a set of questions and vetted the audiologists. This was not easy and took time. I had a few questions I valued for the audiologists office and two of them were: 1) Did they use real ear measurements (REM) and did they use a test box. And often I wasn’t speaking to the audiologist themselves so I had to be tenacious to get answers. Most audiologist’s offices were helpful in answering questions and/or in calling me back. The upshot was that few used REM in the manner I came to understood it should be used. There was basically only one audiologist in town to call that maybe used REM properly from the get go and a possibility of another who used REM, but only after the person had worn the hearing devices for two weeks. There were other audiologists who used it but more on a case by case basis. That meant, to me, that they may not be as expert in using it if they didn’t use it all the time. I may be totally mistaken on that last point.
Ultimately I visited 4 audiologists or HIS including Costco. All used said they used REM. I made an appointment to be fitted with an independent audiologist and as of yesterday I have been trialing the Phonak Paradise Audeo P13T RIC. Basically I believe it is the same HD as the KS 10.
All the audiologists I visited / HIS suggested Phonak due to tech connectivity. At the appoint yesterday, the REM was done, the devices had been tested in the Test Box, by the end of the day the I felt “at ease”.
The new Paradise hearing devices were incredibly different. But why do I hear better?
Is it the dome? The audiologist during the fitting gave me a open medium dome to make better use of the low frequencies that I naturally hear. At Costco the HIS off the cuff said I couldn’t use the open dome had to go with Cap size due to the size of my ear opening. I wasn’t questioning domes myself, they offered what they offered.
Another difference was that this new audiologist set the hearing devices to 100%, rather than the Costco which set them at 90% which apparently gradually goes to 100% over 3 months time.
I think the REM might have been mores precisely honed, though I do not have enough expertise to know this.
The whole tone of the fititng appt, which took the exact same amount of time as the Costco appt, was different.
At the end of the first day I felt totally at ease with these devices.
Love that they use batteries - it is like icing on the cake. Disposable batteries are great for my work and lifestyle - so pleased with this. In fact, I loved the experience of these hearing devices so much that I was looking forward to putting them on immediately upon getting up this morning.
The word for this experience - so far is “ease” - all the way around with one exception: the devices are more expensive, and I can’t say the Costco KS 10’s were “bad” - not at all but the new devices are so easy to hear with and to use, the difference is probably incremental, but oh so important and helpful. I can hear without streaming with some of my tech devices - nice, very nice! When I say I hear better, things are crisper, clearer.
And, a funny thing when I take these hearing devices off, I notice right away the sound difference, but when I took the KS 10’s off where I also notice the sound difference, it was not as nearly pronounced.
I’m glad I kept going. Of course I am trialing these, so keeping an open mind is important. Really pleased so far with everything but the cost.
I am also pleased with the audiologist. They appear to be very upfront, open, and knowledgeable.
A big thanks to everyone who participates in the forum and the people who provide it as well. It is a valued source of information.