Should I order a hard or soft custom mold?

For a behind the ear hearing aid. Going to take the dive and try the Widex 440 Super aid with SP receiver, but I’m uncertain which would be a better choice. A hard mold or a soft silicone mold? Any one know which would be better to prevent feedback problems. Also which of the two types are more comfortable and will a soft silcone mold hold up over the years verus a hard mold. HA dealer says Westone make a good silicone ear mold, but not sure how Westone coordinates things with Widex as far as installing the SP receiver.

In any case I would like to hear any pro or con regarding which type of ear mold is better. Maybe both do the job fine and with proper fit both are snug enough to prevent feedback. The one plus about the soft silicone is that they come in different shades of color and are totally clear, where hard type ear molds only come in a few colors and if you get a mold with a receiver inside you are limited to just beige when ordering.

I have never used a silicone mold but I do have hard molds. I have had no problems with the hard molds other than at first they were itchy at times but after the first month that stopped and now most of the time I’m not aware they are even in my ears. As for feedback, if the mold is properly made there should be no feedback problems at all. I believe the hard acrylic molds come in 3 colors: clear, translucent pink and translucent brown and they come in glossy and satin finishes. I have the trans pink in satin and it doesn’t really stand out at all and I’ve had people not believe I had HA until I showed them. I’ve got a friend who had silicone molds and they stood out like a sore thumb and they caused sores in his ears so he switched back to acrylic molds. The best thing is talk to your audi and see what they recommend and in the end choose the ones that work for you, since you are going to be the one wearing them.

I personally find soft moulds to feel nicer as your ears change shape when you speak and eat.

The soft moulds move with you when you eat and speak. I found hard moulds to be sore by the evening as they do not move with you while you eat and speak.

I have clear hard molds (RIC). They are super comfortable, never slip, no feedback, and as SEB said after a few minutes I don’t even know they are there.

I am trying a pair of Starkey Wi 110’s with the receiver in the ear. I am used to the soft molds, the new ones are hard and they feel like I have a pebble in each ear.

Appreciate the posts I’ve read. Its a whole new world now with RITE and the pros and cons of having a receiver in outer ear/ear canal. Though HA manufacturers don’t want it mentioned, feedback is a problem and especially so for the more powerful HAs. I’ve worn hard molds for quite sometime with no compaints, but never with a receiver inside. Now it seems as if most HA manufacturers are putting the receiver in the ear mold which make the mold fit extremely important. It appears to me the hard molds are limited in color (when using a receiver inside) and many time manufacturers will cover the face of the mold with a dark strip/cover to hide the receiver. So getting a clear mold or pink translucent mold is pretty much worthless if the face or outer portion of the mold is beige or dark brown. Silicone molds on the other hand should be able to offer all levels of color, since the silicone material is easy to color change. But I wonder if the cover that goes directly over the receiver, is the identical color of the mold (clear, pinkish, etc.) or if the cover is some darker color to hind the receiver.

Anyone ever order or use a HA mold through Westone. There website is impressive but I’m not sure HA dealers want to use them. Also I don’t know what the added expense it is to order HA mold through Westone, but I do know they offer a great selection of molds, verus just the few (lousy) colors Widex offers.

Just for your info, below is a picture of my mold. It’s pretty much invisible in the ear.

That’s exactly what I was looking for, but my audi claims I have to go the soft silicone route to prevent feedback problems. Would prefer hard shell for either half shell mold or full shell mold. If I can ask did the HA manufacturer provide your mold, or did you go outside to have it made. Also what type HA are you showing?

In any case its nice to see a clear acrylic mold with a receiver inside, and I assume no feedback problems. From what I’ve been told so far, Widex doesn’t offer any clear mold for the SP receiver, since Widex claims the receiver cap cover (removable) has to be beige or dark brown. Ugly


I have the Starkey Wi 110s, they made the molds. As you can see from my audiogram I have a massive amount of HF gain especially in my left ear. Also, not seen in the photo, I have large vents in the molds. I have never had any feedback problems and as stated earlier, they are extremely comfortable. There are no end caps it’s a solid molded unit. And I am with you, I don’t like any of the cadaver colored stuff. Maybe some of the pros will post and give you more information. Good Luck

I have molds make by Westone. They (hard skeleton) are super comfortable. I also had when I was trialling the Wi, the identical mold that DFPope has. I got a fair amount of feedback with the WI, and that was part of the reason I went with ReSound.

The Starkey-build mold moved around a bit too much, so for me, the skeleton mold is a better fit.

Westone, via Costco, is very inexpensive. Half the price I paid for the skeleton molds I used to have with my Destinys.

The Costco price I was quoted for skeleton molds was $40 each and I think that price is the same at all Costco’s.

Skeleton mold won’t work for a RITE. You need either a half shell or full shell mold to hold receiver, especially so if its one of the larger receivers. My assumption is most people wearing HA’s go acrylic route versus silicone, simply because most audie ordering the HA’s usually order acrylic.

I’m impressed with the Westone website and the selection they have of HA molds. They even have a DisappEar type mold that look impressive as far as being hardly noticeable. Has anyone on the board used Westone and do they provide a quality product? Also any suggestion what translucent mold color might be best shade, cover mold receiver?

one advantage of soft molds is the replacement of the tubing is a snap especially when being done every 3 months when the tubing get hard from skin oils.

What I would be curious to know is the ones with the receiver in the mold does the tubing get hard after a few months like standard mold tubing?

If it does get hard how is it replaced or is the receiver and mold piece also replaced along with the tubing.?

I have (hard) skeleton molds made by Westone for my RIC ReSound Futures. I have no issues at all.

There is no tubing in the RIC style. Just a thin wire which connects to the receiver. I have the 65dB recovers and they are not permanently attached to the molds. They (the receivers) are easily replaced.

However for the more powerful receivers, (Starkey, Rexton) they are not replaceable at the office. Replacing a receiver in this type requires they be sent back to the factory.

There are two basic designs of RIC shell.
1:The clear acrylic/soft sleeve micro-mould which just fits over the receiver.
2:The second type is based on custom made aids. The mounting tube allows the receiver to ‘float’ a bit. It’s nitrile rubber from memory which does deteriorate like the suspension tubes in ITE aids.

Interesting - I was not aware that (Westone) could place a receiver in a Skelton ear mold. There website only shows a canal aid, but I understand they also make half shell and full shell for receiver. It appears Westone offers a full line of molds and colors (with receiver), where HA manufactures only offer limited selection. Anyone know the cost of ordering two molds from Westone - say skelton mold with interior area for receiver?

I paid $40 each for my molds at Costco.

I have had Phonak BTE Audeo Smart V hearing aids with a more open black tulip ear piece. But now my hearing is worse and I’ve been told that I should get an ear mold to hear better since my hearing aids have reached their limit. How much do you think these molds will cost?

Costco doesn’t carry Phonak aids, but do you think they would do ear molds for mine anyway? I am a member there.