Program the Hearing Aids yourself

Anyone look into programming the HA yourself? I have the Dot 20 and was amazed at how easy the programming was. In fact, after inputting in my hearing test results, the Aventa software programed the HAs automatically. Aventa is a free download and all you need is the interface (Speedlink or Noah - which is difficult to obtain). How hard can programming these things be? Wouldn’t it be nice to tweak them yourself? Didn’t the old style HAs have volume controls? It seems this would be similar except you can control it all the way across the band.

To me the Avanta software looks intuitive and user friendly. Why wouldn’t the manufacturers offer this as an option which would greatly reduced the price (see - thanks Jay) and in-turn their sales? Surely there will be plenty of people to keep the audi’s in business because they don’t know how to turn on a computer.

Any audi’s out there have an opinion on this? Be gentle!

That’s the America Hears model -

They sell you the aids, programming link, software, and starter set of batteries. You can then use the fitting software to tweak the aids yourself, or like I did, call them up, explain what you need, and a couple of hours later be able to download new programming that they do for you.

If their open fit SIE model had a little bigger fitting range and was more like the GN Resound dot 30, I’d be all over. The open fit LOF model has the fitting range, but it’s a physically larger aid like the GN Resound Pulse I was wearing.

There is more to it than, simply typing the audiogram, conect the instrument and program it… . A poorly fit HI or impression can cause harm, I wonder - Who would take the blame?

Aventa is so so (i think GN has done a better job with the Solus)… I think the new Phonak ipg is far better (i dont sell phonak)…
I also happend to like the old Oticon software platform the new for epoq is so so

I agree. For my first BTE’s, I drove to Bristol, PA, and checked out the America Hears office. They did a hearing test (the audiogram was almost identical to the one my local audie did), and did the impressions for the molds. Later, when I ordered ITE aids, they used those same impressions. They fit great, better than the ones my audie had done. But I’d have never tried making impressions myself. With open fit BTE’s, it’s not an issue.

The great thing about AH is that you can discuss your needs with them, they can do the programming, and you can download and program the aids later that day. That beats all heck out of having to schedule an appointment for 3 weeks from now, driving to the audie, having the same discussion, getting the programming done, leaving the office, then deciding you liked it better the other way or need a tweak. With AH, it’s another phone call (or you can revert to the last settings anytime you choose), etc. etc. that same day. With the audie, it could be another three week process.

Exactly my problem. I don’t mean to offend any audies on this site some of whom I’m sure have put alot of time and effort into helping people in this forum (me included). I’m just trying to find a more efficient way to do this. The programming literally takes about 2 minutes.

Great discussion. I just got my first aid about a month ago, so I needed to see an audi to understand all of the parameters. As xbulder says, there is a lot to it and there are things I probably still don’t have knowledge of even though I’m an engineer who has some understanding of DSP.

However, even after watching my audi make the adjustments and hearing the results, I think I could benefit greatly from being able to tweak. I may consider America Hears next time if it works out with my insurance.

As was stated, there are still plenty of people who will want to visit an audi. I think we tweakers are a small minority, but it’s nice to have the option.

is the issue is Gain, pick an instrument that has lifelearning (VC learning)
that way it could be fairly customize with out the need for an Audi

It’s not just gain for me. During my recent visit I asked for more low-end and less high-end but it was over done a bit and now I have to go back. My original program was done by the audi who just clicked on “auto program” after inputting my test results.

I think Dave’s points are on the money. Also, once the HA settings are perfect, maybe my excitement to do my own programming will diminish. On the other hand, I have to live with these for the rest of my life so it may be worth investing my time in learning the program esp since I enjoy doing this stuff and I can save some money in the meantime. Apparently, from seeing the pricing out there, the Audies time is worth about $1,500 for a pair.

I just spent $489 to have a plumber install a new flush valve and flapper in a toilet. The parts at the hardware store would cost about $50. Time spent by the guy about an hour and half.

Training necessary to do that kind of work is minimal.

Contrast that with a Audiologist with a 4 year college level degree as a minimum. And an office with all that entails.

I don’t blame the Audie’s it’s the system of retailing aids that burns me. Simple aids for most uncomplicated mild to moderate losses could be sold over-the-counter with self programming built in for a fraction of what a professional must charge to cover overhead and amortization of their education.

As result of the system, 80% of the American hard of hearing don’t wear aids. Stigma…yes…but mostly because of cost. $4000 to $8000 to a retired school teacher, etc. is just too much.

Audie’s with their expertise should be handling the severe/profound, the children, the complicated losses, the infirm, the diseased, and those with affluent bank accounts. Just my opinion, Ed

My plumber (pun completely intended) sure gets around! I had a disposal that had worn a hole in itself replaced just after the holidays last year. :stuck_out_tongue:

I do my own plumbing so it’s no surprise that I also want to be able to program these hearing aids.

On Ed’s point, there are many jobs out there that have changed or have been eliminated because of advances in technology. I used to get $250 for a very simple tax return - now people are using Turbo Tax. I agree though with your assessment of the mild to moderate cases. For my mild situation, the DOT 30’s I’m looking at are $3,000 - programming by mail or, $5400 - local Audi in NY. The difference of $2400 just seems too much for the amount of work involved.
Contrast that to an ENT doctor who gets $275 from the insurance company for a tonsillectomy (trust me, that’s what they get paid). Perhaps part of the problem is that most HAs are not covered by insurance. If they were, the insurance companies would keep the pricing in line. Hey, can we start a lobby group? :smiley:

Please do-- for the love of god. I don’t see any legitimate reason they aren’t covered in the first place. (I know it is a cost issue… but if they aren’t going to pay for medical equipment, then why the heck do I have medical insurance?)

I’m okay with that, but only if the same law change forces the insurance companies to behave in an ethical manner.

Some insurance does cover hearing aids (or at least a portion of them).

The last claim I did was Blue Cross Blue Shield. A major national company.

My secretary, who used to work in a doctor’s office and is an expert at filing insurance claims, filed the claim in December 2006. She had to re-file the paperwork eight times. Each time they would lose it, make up a lie, or insist it needed to go to another office. We finally got paid in July 2007.

If most insurance started covering aids, and I had to file claims for all my patients along these lines, I would literally have to close my business.

If you really want to get annoyed about insurance consider this. The ‘efficient’ American insurance system spends three times more per capita on paperwork, than that horrible ‘socialized medicine’ system that Canada uses. That’s right, three times more expensive than a government run system.

So I welcome the hard of hearing getting the help. But only if the insurance companies are brought into line with strict penalties for deliberately screwing with professionals.

Oh, and for the record, Blue Cross stiffed me for about $400, which I gave up on in the end.

These days, I just don’t take insurance. It’s just not worth it to me. Although I will help a patient file their own claim. But I would say at present less than 5% of them have any coverage at all.

My insurance covers aids every 5 years up to $6000. Six years ago, it was full coverage, now I have a 10% deductible.

When I got my first aids 6 years ago, the audiologist’s office filed the paperwork. It took almost 3 months and an escalation through my company’s HR department. Like ZCT, my audiologist no longer accepts insurance.

When I filed myself for the aids I got last year, it still took almost two months, two filings, several calls and an escalation through the insurance company to get it paid.

Wow, I am surprised they cover that at all. That’s really good actually-- not the trouble they put you through, but rather the coverage-- I have had a few different insurers and none of them cover any hearing related stuff (not even hearing exams done by an audiologist)-- thus why I wish so badly I could figure out how to program my aids myself… I can not afford both insurance and the doctor’s appointments; which is totally messed up.

(Oh, to be clear-- the insurer I had when I was identified as need HAs when I was little, gave a little bit of money for HAs… but only if you were over 50. While I am all for them giving money to adults who need aids, don’t you think they should give some priority to children who need the aids to learn/develop speech?)

I’m lucky and grateful to work for a company with, all things considered, pretty good health benefits.:slight_smile:

I program my own hearing aids and LOVE them. Got them from, including the programmer, software, cords, everything.

I had tried AH and found the software too much for me. I like the HearSource aids and the software makes sense to me. I can’t say these are better than AH, cause I really didn’t give AH much of a try, I just couldn’t get the software figured out.

Easy software. 12 band equalizer, 4 ch compression, adjustable ambient noise reduction, automatic feedback cancellation, etc. All the toys for less than two grand.

I travel alot and have the programming software on my laptop. the programmer is smaller than a pack of playing cards.

I win. :smiley:

Help! David Gibson its nice to see someone else with hearsource hearing aids. I too have bought the Freestyle hearing aids. I’m not very good with computers so i was having some issues with the hearing aids. Since you’ve had some good experience you obviously know their software well enough. Mabe you can help me? The hearing aids now sound like things are really sharp. When somebody says “S” sounds it really is loud. I did the auto setup with the software based on my hearing loss data. I pretty much stuck with what the computer said I needed. Do you have any advise to help me. Thanks


My thought is to go to the equalizer and bring down the high frequencies, maybe in the 3 k band, or 3.5 k band or so. I have found a little dab will do ya on the adjustments.

Hey isn’t this cool, talking about adjusting your own aids? By the way, how do you like yours?