It has been almost 2 1/2 years since switching to the Starkey Soundlens from an RIC model. The left was good from the start, but it took three times of sending the right side back to Starkey before it was an acceptable fit (I wanted them really deep, the way they should be). Come to find out, I have more of a bend in the right canal and it is shorter than the left. It took 2-3 weeks to really toughen up my canals, to not feel the HAs once installed, and about the same to become proficient at installing them (Now, I usually forget I have them in).
Wear/Comfort - I have really enjoyed being able to take my sunglasses on and off without disrupting anything behind my ears. At first, I would still remove my sunglasses very carefully, forgetting nothing was behind my ears any longer. I keep my hair really short most of the time, but in between hair cuts, my hair would ruffle on the microphones and it would bother me for a week or so until the next barber visit. I am outside a good deal of the time, and regardless of what type of wind noise reduction my HAs had, it was never enough. With the IICs, I have no wind noise issues. Wearing the RIC HAs, I would periodically (about 5-6 times a day have to push the dome deeper into my canal, regardless of what type or size dome I had on, it would work itself out). Talking on the phone seems much better too. I am able to put the phone directly on my ear as I did years ago. I almost forgot, because it is not a big deal to me, no one knows you are wearing HAs.
Negatives - Battery life is only good for 4 days. Any changes that need to be made have to be hard wired with a loop attachment around your neck at the Audi’s office. Putting them in takes practice and some amount of finger dexterity. According to what I have been told, they don’t last as long and have more chance of problems (I had none), due to the environment of which they sit most of the time (hot, humid and etc.) Currently, they are only good for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
All that being said, thanks to good insurance, I am eligible for new HA’s. My Audiologist stated my most recent audiogram shows a little more hearing loss than three years ago, but it would still just allow me to keep wearing IICs if I wanted to go that route, which I did. Her recommendation was to try the Phonak Virto V90 Nano HA and not the Starkey Soundlens 2 series. We ordered the right one, and will order the left one in January of 2016 (better for out of pocket expense).
Anyone have any comments on the Phonak Nano V series or the old Q series would be greatly appreciated. How did they fit out of the box, how do they sound, how was it working with Phonak (for getting them to fit properly if needed to be sent back), etc. I would also be willing to try to answer any questions for those considering and IIC HA.
Thanks in advance.