I am new to this board and new to hearing loss. I discovered I had a hearing loss when my wife brought a new clock home and remarked on how nice the ticking sound is. I couldn’t hear the clock and thought she was pulling my leg, but I could hear the ticking when I stood directly in front of and within arms reach of the clock, so I scheduled a hearing test and the audiologist determined I have mild/moderate hearing loss and my left ear is worse than the right.

I have a few questions:

She has recommended a Phonak Extra BTE device. I was shocked that she recommended a BTE device. But, I was amazed though at how small the aid is and I am now leaning toward that particular device. Does anyone here have any experience with that Phonak model? What is the consensus of BTE aids in general?

Does anyone have any experience with aids and convertibles?

With aids for mild/moderate hearing loss?

I am also still on the fence as to whether or not to proceed with hearing instruments, although I am leaning in favor of the aids

extra is a goods instrument… but if U use a convertible
get something better with wind noise reduction
like a savia art or something

The Exelia has even better wind noise reduction than the Savia, but is more expensive. The Extra is a pretty basic aid compared to these, but still capable (within its limits).

Ask your audi if she’s allow a day trial with the aids. The earpiece (mould) may not be as comfortable as the real this, but at least you’ll get some idea of the sound and initial benefit.

it is obvious you have both fit exelia and epoq,
can you please write what you like from one
what you like from the other…

Isn’t this a basic leap in price from $1800 (Extra) $2600 (Savia) $3000 (Exelia)?

To put it simply the Extra and Savia is from the same (now previous generational family), The Savia being the premium level from that generation with a LOT more features, particularly geared towards hearing in noise. The Extra is a mid range product,which is much defeatured from the Savia, with another line, The Eleva, between it and the Savia, thus the price jump. The Exelia basically supersedes the Savia and adds some awesome features to improve significantly on the Savia and does so by being a whole generational jump (Normally when a new generation - based on a whole new and faster chipset - is released, the manufacturers release the top-range first). There will be mid-ranges and entry ranges based on the next generation chipset within the next year or so.

I must admit that since the Exelia has been released I have not fitted Epoq’s as technically the Exelia seems technically much more advanced than the Epoq. Most of my Exelia clients are still being followed up, but the initial responses have been almost incredible.

For Example I had an 80 year old lady with severe bilateral sensory neural hearing loss for a fitting (not interested in iCom, but more interested in hearing in noise as she’s very active). She had been wearing Phonak Perseo’s for 4 years with some success. I after verifying the Exelia’s on Rem she immediately said she could hear the ladies speaking in the front office 10m away (through the AC vent in the door) - I could also hear them as they were a bit loud, but she could also understand them. She was amazed by this and so was I as her Speech discrim is only 54% on her left (towards the door) and 76% on the ear furthest from the door. I then proceeded to show her the insight (demo) of the Soundflow etc. I played her 70dB FF party noise and we watched the monitor. I was intrigued by it’s shifting and began thinking out loud, while turned away from her. To my surprise she could hear every word I said, even though I was facing away from her and sitting about 2 1/2 m away from her - with the noise speakers pointing right at her. She also found the myPilot remote much easier to manage than the WatchPilot (she had before) due to the colour display.

Epoq’s responses have been positive, but I have never experienced anything like this. It could just be my excitement about the level of tech so a bit more time would allow me to see the whole picture more clearly and be less biased (maybe more - time will tell).

The other issue before a fair comparison can be made is the as yet to be released iCom. Technically it seems better than the streamer again, but what you see on paper does not always translate into practice. So I’d say give a month or so and ask me that question again at that time, to be entirely fair to both products.

Oticon is raising the bar real high in terms of price and performance…
I had always complained about the lack of features in the mid price instrument… It is somewhat anoying that we do not have an mid price instrument that has datalogging, but from what I seen from the Vigo and Vigo pro (vigo pro only has VC learning), is an instrument that will outperform
all oticon product line (except epoq) and most previous generation (like extra, savia, etc) with the price being a bit closer to a tego pro

That said, It is not hard to see that Phonak will launch a mid price instrument with wireless features. Phonak usually pack more punch - when they launch the extra- it had more features than the tego pro… With that in mind
I would expect across all manf. very stiff competition with very good products…

What is your view hearnow?

The Vigo Pro looks good, but I can’t really see what would make it better than current gen top range as even though it is based on the RISE platform, it is essentially a significantly defeatured Epoq without Bluetooth or wireless capability. The Unitron Next looks like it should definitely outperform the Vigo Pro with many more features than the Vigo Pro and probably much cheaper (knowing Oticon’s propensity, at least in AU to overprice for any level of tech.). Again only time will tell. Oticon seems to like launching first with less features just to be first, while other manufacturers release a bit later, with much more mature tech. Hopefully Oticon will prove me wrong this time around. We have to however be happy that we will have all these wonderful products coming available to better serve the hearing impaired.

you are correct in that they are the first and other take more time
and add more stuff. But this time, they have refocus to try to compensate for their lack of dsl 5, and they have introduce dsl 5 in all their newer products. Which is nice for all the people who dispense HI for children.

From what it was leaked @ Hearing review (notice it was pullback imediatly)
it does not lack anything at all, it is value for the price…

With Unitron getting there, all others will follow quite soon…

COuld we expect cheap, Gn instrument with natural directionality - thay would be nice

they have been significantly stalling on their power products,
while others such a Phonak for example have quite nice features

I’m sure any manufacturer that wants to play in the game will have to do something in 2008 otherwise they’ll be left faaaar behind.


I have a question:

Here you made this statement:

Yet in this thread you state “Extra is a pretty basic aid” and “…within its limits”

I’m not trying to be judgmental or critical I’m just trying to better understand what was recommended for me (the Extra). What are the limits you refer to and am I reading too much between the lines; did you intend for both statements to mean the same thing?

The choice and technology (with its associated limits) are closely linked to the individual’s lifestyle. So if an Extra is suited to your lifestyle it is a good and quite capable aid.If you have a very busy lifestyle and/or are unable to accept limitations then the Exelia may be a better choice. Each individual is different and has different expectations. The Extra is suitable for an individual who likes an automatic aid, but it will not perform nearly as well as an Exelia in crowded or windy situations. If your lifestyle is limited to small groups and you can cope not always hearing in more crowded situations then the Extra is a good choice and has good features for the price. If your finances allow and you don’t want many compromises, then the Exelia would suit you better. It comes down to the value the aid gives a particular user. The Extra is a good aid for a mid range device, but not as good as an Exelia which is a next gen Premium device.

I hope this clarifies things a bit, rather than confusing the issue more. In the end it comes down to the needs and lifestyle assessment done by your audi to determine which device might suit you best.

Yep, a great help. Thanks. I am still in a mild state of shock after learning this week I needed HAs and due to the wealth of info I have limited my online research to hearing loss, tinnitus, and the Extra. My audi recommended the Extra and I guess I’ll start the trial period with that model.

If you find they don’t work for you, (they may be just what you want and need though) then make sure your audi will allow a change to another model by only paying the cost difference. Usually this is allowed within the first 30 to 60 days of being fitted with the device (Check this at your next appointment). Allow at least one or two adjustments with the Extras before deciding to change to another device as the brain learns and adapts as you go and often small adjustments can make a big difference.

Also let us know how you go, it’s always interesting to learn of other’s experiences in real life situations.

She is giving me a 30 day trial period and said that she has requested an additional 30 days in the past and that the additional time has always been granted.

I believe I have know for a while that I had some hearing loss and in the last few months the tinnitus has grown worse in my left ear (also the ear with the greatest loss), but I never suspected I needed HAs and now I’m sliding from mild shock to slight depression, but I suppose this is normal.

Do you have tinitus? if it is so you might need a HI with a good bandwith, to mask effectively the tinitus, I dont know the bandwith of the extra…
Perhaps you need a higher technology instrument…

I have some tinnitus, but not enough to keep me from going to sleep at night, and it doesn’t interfere with any other aspect of my sleep. I can’t hear the tinnitus over the TV or if I go outside.