Saw this post on another forum:
I recently trialed the Sebotek and the Phonak Micropower hearing aids. This will be long but I feel like I was treated right by my audiologist and I think the good guy or girl should be recognized too. I am new to this board but not new to hearing loss. I started wearing a hearing aid 40 years ago when I was in my teens with a behind-the-ear Zenith Moderator. I purchased my last two sets of CICs; Starkey and Oticon, from my present audiologist in Dallas. A few weeks ago, my new puppy ate one of my aids so I went to the audiologist to find out what I could do. My present aids were 4 ½ years old.
I asked about the Oticon Deltas but she explained and also showed me on her computer that they would not work with my loss. She suggested that I try a pair of Seboteks. I was fitted with the aids and they were adjusted. She did not ask me to sign a contract as she wanted me to try these with no obligation. I had more volume and better hearing with the Seboteks as compared to my CICs. I did not like the ear pieces that were not custom fit. They kept slipping out and when they were not tight in my ear, I could not hear as well. It might not have been fair or correct, but I did not feel that the Seboteks offered the quality or current technology that other brands offered. As a positive, I really liked the small wires connecting the aid to the receiver and I felt like the receiver in the ear was the proper use of technology. On my follow up visit, I explained that I liked the receiver in the ear and mentioned that it was a shame that other companies have not done this yet.
She told me about the Phonak Micropower. She was up-front that this was a new aid and that she has not fitted these yet. Again, she offered to let me wear these for a few weeks without signing a contract. The Micropower has fitted ear pieces that house the receiver. For the trial, they have a few sizes of non-fitted ear pieces. She programmed and adjusted the Micropowers in the office. Since I was going on vacation, she suggested that I take the Seboteks also, in case I did not like the Micropowers.
There is a world of difference between the Seboteks and the Micropowers. I have always been a person that put my aids in my ears and then I forget about them until I take them out at the end of the day. I do not adjust the volume or make any other adjustments. The Micropowers have a remote, but I decided that I was not going to mess around with the remote; either the Micropower can automatically adjust itself for the sound environment or it was not for me. Like some other new aids, the Micropower is always working to find voices and trying to reduce background noise so that the voices can be understood. The initial adjustments were close to ideal. On the first follow up visit, my audiologist and I worked together to make the adjustments. She did not make a change unless I understood what the change was supposed to accomplish and how to listen for the changes. She took impressions of my ears to have custom ear molds made that will house the receivers. I also ordered new Micropowers in the color that I wanted.
On my second follow up visit, I picked up my new Micropower aids and returned the loaners. The ear molds were a perfect fit, but were longer than necessary. We agreed that she would have Phonak remake the ear molds shorter. In their advertisements, Phonak bragged about their small and discrete ear molds, so we are going to hold them to it.
I work in construction as a manager and can be around noisy machinery while listening to people talk. We fine-tuned the “voice in noise” settings to help improve voice comprehension around loud machines. Again, we made the adjustments together. It was a team effort using her experience in improving hearing and my knowledge of what I want to improve. She spends over an hour each visit discussing how the Micropowers work and discussing the adjustments that can be made. I did sign a contract now and my “official” 30 days has begun but I don’t have a concern about it. First, I was able to try the aids I wanted to try and secondly, I know from experience that my audiologist will work with me until I say it is perfect. We have another follow-up scheduled for next week and right now I would not make any changes to the program. My hearing today with the Micropowers is the best that I can recall. Putting the speaker right next to the ear drum makes sense to me. Of course, that that one of the positives of the CICs which I have been wearing for the last ten years… The Micropower allowed me to keep the “receiver in the ear” benefit while permitting more power from a Top-of-ear housing. This might sound like a commercial. In the past I was pleased with my hearing aids, but I love the Micropowers.