This is my first post here, so please forgive me if it seems very naive. Actually, I live in Germany, but the forums which I found there do not seem as friendly and great as this one here is, so maybe someone of you can help me (or refer to another section, if that question has already been discussed; but I couldn’t find it).
My audiogram is currently at my audiologist, so I cannot post it, but I know that in general it’s the higher frecuencies I am missing. I am actually 27, but my doctor told me that my hearing would be “within normal parameters” if my age was about 50 years older… ok, so I went to an audiologist here in Germany who is actually really nice and helpful, takes a lot of time to explain me everything and lets me test the aids several weeks if I want to. So far, I tested two Siemens models and one from Phonak. The Siemens are the very new ones which just realeased on the market; that is Pure Primax 3px and 5px; right now I have the Audeo V70 in my ears. He also recommended me to wait for the newest Oticon model to arrive at the market (which I understood could be in about two weeks already?) to test these too.
However, I think I did now enter some kind of dilemma (one could maybe say “First World Problem”?? I am very aware that my situation is not very precarious, but choosing turns out to be really difficult), because there are some features which I like better about Phonak, while all in all I thought I preferred the Siemens).
First of all, maybe the least important feature, is the design of the bluetooth devices: I like the color and shape of the easyTek far better than the Phonak ComPilot. Since I usually were T-Shirts without any buttons etc, the ComPilot Air wouldn’t be much more comfortable, I think, because I don’t like the feeling of having something directly on my neck. I also think the small transmitter is way handier and more elegant than the TV Link.
Ok, but on to the really important features:
In comparison with the Siemens, I have the feeling that the Phonak speech processing works better for me. I can hear what people are saying even if they stand behind me or mumble. That is just great. Of course, the Siemens does this only slightly worse, but still worse.
Then, however, some other sounds do really annoy me now. For example, rustling papers or kitchen tools. Also, some female voices sound now very annoying and jarring to me. When I am outside, there are some sounds which do not sound any natural to me now, and sometimes even make me aggressive. All in all, thus, the Siemens experience was much more naturally and comfortable to me. I also like having more control: as brilliant and wonderful the Auto-program is, I prefer to click a button to change between “Speech” and “Music” etc.
But, the Phonak speech recognition still works just brilliantly; especially in a full train, or outside, etc.
Then, there is the thing about the domes. Okay, I could probably change to ear molds to solve this, but still: I think the Phonaks just fit better within my ear, and move less. On the other hand, I constantly feel them, and am always aware of them.
I also found it way more comfortable to have two buttons on every aid at the Siemens than just one on the Phonaks. I won’t carry the bluetooth devices around everywhere, so this is another advantage of Siemens. It’s just a bit easier to turn down the volume.
Now, the problem is: I am going to be a teacher. So, speech comprehension in noisy class rooms is essential for me. Right now, I am already teaching, but not on a very regular basis. So I couldn’t test the Phonak within the classroom yet. I do predict, however, that they will perform better than the Siemens, because there are some students which I still couldn’t understand with these ones the last time I gave class.
So, basically, I have to choose between comfort and better speech comprehension. What do you think? Is it worth to choose Phonak and just endure the shrill sounds I am perceiving, hoping to get used to them in a future; or should I stick to the Siemens and accept the fact that sometimes (of course, still way less than when I hadn’t had any aids at all) I still have to ask my familiy, friends and students to repeat what they said?
Or, and that is the other option my audiologist would let me take, should I test also the Oticon; but then run the risk that I will only complicate my choice further?
I hope, I managed to explain my dilemma to you in a rather understandable English.
I would be very grateful, if anyone who made similar experiences could tell me how they made their eventual choice in the end.
Also, I have already read a lot in this forum, which really helped me. I couln’t find a similar post, but if there is one, I would highly appreciate the reference to it.
Thank you so much in advance, and sorry to anyone who thinks my problem is just a luxury one. I am aware that many experiences more severe problems (that is the reason why I avoided on of the German forums I know, where some users would reply just this), but right now, this decision taking is really driving me mad.
As for what I read in other threads, there are so so many nice people here; and I hope some of you can help me.