During the first consult with my new audi, I was very up front with telling her that I intended to do self programming for various reasons. At first she seemed quite offended, but said nonetheless she was willing to support me but couldn’t help me acquire the equipment. I thought it was important is was up front with her then.
Phonak is a beautifual thing because as far as I’m aware, they are the only brand which make the software and interface (icube) so easily available to the consumer. I purchased the icube for $350 and run it successfully with YES IX on windows vista and a USB cable.
iPFG is not trivial by any stretch, but it is very rewarding. The great thing is that my audi now spends most of our follow up time teaching me how to use the software and what it’s capabilities are. Then I go home and experiment. The whole process is extremely satifying. To know that you’ve explored the limits of compression, sound recover, tweeking the four gain curves, as well as a plethora of program options with ecoblock, noise cancelling, etc. has been quite an experience for me.
Compare $350 for and icube to $5000 for a typical pair of high-end HA. This is 7% of the cost! I think there is a theme on this forum that the fit is every bit as important as the HA. If you have an attentive audi, you are very fortunate. For the rest of us that are rushed through follow ups and then suffer for weeks until the next one, self-programming may be a good option.