Resound Alera 61 - suitability of open fit

So I’ve just been fitted with Resound Alera 61s, 9 series.

The wireless connectivity is great - phone clip pairing was relatively easy. I took a phone call and it sounded great. Music streamed via Bluetooth-enabled smartphone sounds unacceptably tinny, though. No bass whatsoever.

I’m replacing Widex Diva ITC aids purchased 6 years ago. I’m used to ITC aids that “plug up” the ear - the Aleras are my first open fits. I like the light, airy feeling but I feel like I can’t hear enough, and there is almost no bass. I just sat through a class where I missed 50% of the discussion. My audi turned up the gain to the upper end of the spectrum (just below the feedback line).

Looking for a second opinion so I can go back to my audiologist informed… is my hearing loss appropriate for open fit? Should I be asking for a custom mold, power plug, ITC hearing aid?

       R     L

250 45 50
500 55 55
1k 60 60
2k 70 75
4k 70 80
8k 80 95

audiogram

Your low frequencies are too far down for a true open fit. You need power speakers and a more oclluded dome or mould to gain full benefit. Doing so will also improve directionality and thus hearing in noise with the Aleras. This will also return the bass you require.

hearnow’s analysis makes a lot of sense to me, for you, petjam. I’m trying custom molds now with my new Alera 7’s. I have a different issue than you have. I have little if any low-end loss, but even with large domes and a good fit on the side of my head, open-fit RITE’s pop out and fall off my ears, so I’m trying custom molds to try and get better retention. I actually find them more comfortable than open dome which tickle and cause minor but annoying intermittent itching in my ear canals; that’s no issue at all for me with custom molds. One minor downside to molds I’ve noticed: occlusion is worse, especially a loud din when chewing hard food. You can’t get a free trial of custom molds, for obvious reasons, but you can probably get a pair of custom molds made for under $200 and decide. It’s easy enough for the audiologist or even you to switch your aids between open-fit domes and custom molds and back again if you don’t like the molds. (One reason to have the audi do it is the tube configuration may need to be reworked a bit.) But I bet given your previous experience and your audiogram in light of hearnow’s suggestions that you’ll like the sound much better.

Hi petjam, to be honest I would not waste your cash! Your level of loss is similar to mine, although mine is a wee bit worse! I got the Alera 9’s a couple of weeks back, with power domes! I loved the clarity, phone clip was excellent, TV streamer did not work, got it paired and ziltch, also it kept on dropping sync, was defo faulty! But, the bench mark for me was in an open office, they are simply not powerful enough, Audi had them set at the feedback line especially on the left, to no avail so I ditched them after a week! I am gonna take them back next week, there is no point in keeping them as there is no advantage as I hear better with my old aids…in the office at least! My audi did say resound would have a new more powerful Alera in January, based on the same chip!

I am going to try a different route and push my NHS audiologist for a set of Naidia’s which would be free and I will just buy the extra’s! £5k seems a wee bit OTT just to hear on a mobile phone!!! Cheers, Kev

Thanks for the advice… it’s not so much a financial issue since I’m committed to getting new aids before the end of the year (I have an insurance benefit that runs out then). I just want the best fit.

I’m thinking of trying Widex Mind instead… the Clears are not out yet here, and I agree the Alera’s wireless functions are cool but aren’t quite ready for primetime.

Hi petjam,

If you’re looking for a wireless solution, are you also considering the Phonak Ambra or Audeo S sereies?

I’ve also been waiting for the Clear 440s to be released in the U.S. (latest info looks like it MAY be around the end of the year), but I’m not going to wait forever. . .

I’m planning to start trialing the Phonaks and possibly the Aleras. Just thought I’d point out the Phonak option to you. Make sure you get the new series with the Spice chipset as they are reportedly significantly better than before.

jordank is trialing the Phonaks and writing about it in the Spice thread here (he’s just coming off of a trial of the Alera’s so he’s able to make good comparisons of both):

Chris