Quotes from the Audiologist I must choose from

These are the quotes from e-mails that I have from the Audiologist I have to choose from. The first quotes are from my local audi and the last are from one 35 miles away. If I need to go with another I would have to travel an hour for every fitting and adjustment so I really need help with my choice. Do you feel I could do well with my local audi. Both have the main concern about cost. Yet I can not put a dollar amount on my hearing. I will do what I have to do.
Here are the first comments I recieved.

Savia and Centra are both top of the lines for their companies. Think that they are probably pretty equal in technology. It is up to you which you want to try. With poor discrimination ability none will give you what you used to have and you have to get used to the new sound quality.

I am most familiar with Siemens Centra. It has a great little remote and the hearing aids are synched together in a way that the others are not. If it’s my choice, that is the one I would prefer.

These come from the local Audi who is a doctor in audiology. ANd now for the audi from 35 miles away.

In my opinion Phonak is pretty good for persons who tend to like more power (gain) and less noise reduction. I have fit several users and they seem to like them. HOWEVER, it is much pricier and you insurance may not cover the entire cost. At this time I am not a fan of Siemens. Their aids also tend to be pricey and some company financial ventures are designed to circumvent the audiologist to increase sales for the company. I prefer Sonic and Oticon becuase I work with them more frequently and am very familiar with them.

My concern with the second is she has issues with one company and appears to not know Phonak as well as I first thought. She also conflicts with the first about Siemens and this confuses my and shakes my trust level on both fronts. I have always worn Beltone or Audibel and blindly trusted a very good man who took care of me when I needed it most. But my research would indicate that I can do better than what I have always known.
I hope you can see my cause for concern and why I am asking a third source for opinions. My hearing is of up most importance to me and I take this decision VERY SERIOUSLY. I read daily trying to learn more and this is causing some of the confusion also.
By the way I am getting a lot opinions and info from a forum called http://www.hohadvocates.org. It is mostly hard of hearing persons sharing info but some are in the business and can give other angles on issues.
Your opinion is respected and needed to help make my decision before next month so please reply soon. THank you for your time and efforts.

It appears that it is more and more difficult for consumers to determine who to see and what to buy.

Most manufacturers in general have great hearing aids, such as Siemens, GN Resound, Sonic Innovations, and Phonak. Yet is is getting increasingly difficult to choose, especially as audi’s and dispensers tend to choose their “favorites”. And they really need to, because it would be impossible to keep up with the hearing aids from all sources.

One thing to consider in picking a professional…ask how they verify their hearing aid fittings. How do they determine how much they are really helping their patients?

The top professionals will use the following:

Speech Mapping (Real Ear Measurements that work with today’s digital processing systems and noise reduction).
HINT Test (Hearing in Noise Test, developed by the House Ear Clinic)
SIN Test (Speech in Noise Test)

If they use the above and can prove that whatever they recommend, be it a Siemens or a Phonak or a Sonic can do well in at least 2 of the 3 tests, then you have a good audi.

Now, as for the HINT/SIN Test…I will create a new thread, as I think it is important for everyone to know about these hearing in noise tests.

I created this forum becasue that other forum is, in my opinion, poorly setup and does not use commonly used forum software such as from V-Bulleting that we often are used to using.

In addition, I did not appreciate that it is a very very biased forum, where people are afraid of every mentioning any bad or negative about AH, etc and people are demeaned for saying anything that is against the general audience.

I wanted a forum where anyone can express their opinions and where one manufacturer and their employees cannot unfairly dominate the forum. I have vowed to delete any posts that demean other people’s posts and will ban such activity in a hearbeat.

I have tried to report these activities to HOHA in the past with no results.

I am thus hoping that more and more users with switch from such biased forums to our very new but growing forum here.

We appreciate all of our users and their opinions greatly!!!

I have to be blunt, I don’t like either of your options.

The local ‘audi Doctor’ is not very good at writing, and he is advocating a remote. That is SO old fashioned by todays standards. A remote control is a horrible idea, and the sooner companies ditch it, the better. I am also not a big fan of Siemens, they tend to be over priced and not all that great in terms of sound quality.

I don’t like the second opinion since she seems to think that gain is more important than the ability to hear in noise. I am not a Phonak fan either, I consider them just a shade better than Miracle Ear which is not saying much. She is probably right about Siemens, and Oticon is certainly a good brand.

I don’t really agree that you are going to do much better than Audibel. They are part of the Starkey family, making them one of the largest hearing aid companies in the world. A quality all American company that invests millions in modern hearing aid technology.

What ever you decide, make sure you get a nice trial period, and get a hearing aid demonstration before you buy.

I find our local Audi’s will stick to a couple of ‘good’ brands - IMHO most likely due to any or all of the following:

  • Dependability of product - so they don’t get returns
  • Responsiveness of the supplier to warranty issues
  • Price/profit potential
  • Benefits (ask your Audi if they have toured the manufacturer’s plant overseas - if so it was likely for free as an incentive for selling lots of aids)
  • Familiarity with the product line by the Audi

This site will be excellent for those of us actually using the many different aids out there - I hope I can find the right aid from the comments here before I have to pony up the $$$ to get one … or two.