Soft Molds, Hard Molds, No Molds (Domes)

I’ve been using Rexton Trax 42c aids with domes – not molds – and am wondering if I am missing out by not using molds of some sort. I an going to switch to Kirkland Signature 7.0 aids next week and would like to know more about molds before going to Costco for the fitting appointment.

Would those of you with experience along these lines please fill me in on the pros and cons of molds and discuss, if you can, the advantages of soft molds over hard molds, and vice versa.

Many thanks in advance!

I started off with domes, but they kept backing out. Went to hard molds with concha locks. Had a lot of pain to begin with, but my audi was able to polish them down to a (mostly) comfortable fit. After I broke one, I saw his partner to have the replacement installed. He was a bit surprised by how much he had to polish them. He then asked if I could wiggle my ears. I wiggled my ears and he said “yea, you guys are hard to fit!” So if you can wiggle your ears, this might be a problem. He didn’t get the fit quite right, so I went back to the original guy last week. It’s working a lot better now.

I asked him last week about soft molds. He said we could do that if I wanted, but he didn’t recommend it. He said the soft molds will yellow after a while, and that they are more occluding than hard molds. I have fairly large vents in my hard molds.

All-in-all, I would prefer domes as they were more comfortable. But the molds certainly stay in place. The domes backing out problem was extremely annoying. I work in a cleanroom with my head inside a hood, so 90% of the time my ears are not accessible to push the dome back in.

I’d be interested in hearing from others on my audi’s opinion of the soft molds. I know there are some users here who swear by them.

With your loss you would not need soft molds, so if you want to try molds talk to your fitter at Costco and tell them. Since it’s Costco, if you don’t like them, you probably can return them. I have used domes and then molds and will never go back to domes; once you get used to molds you will be a convert. Good luck!

Molds are superior. Custom fit = most comfortable. If you need canal locks, you have to have hard molds, soft just isn’t an option. Just be very, very picky about the molds. If they are not PERFECT send them back and get them remade. That’s the key to a really comfortable fit.

Evil.

Disagree here, if you have a dynamic jaw joint that’s not always the case - even correctly molded and properly fitted molds can cause all sorts of comfort/referred pain issues. The flexibility of domes for most losses up to moderately severe usually outweighs the need for molds. However, like you have subjectively observed, once you get used to a good set of molds the acoustic benefits are excellent.

I have the Rexton click soft molds and love them. I had problems with the double domes moving around and not keeping the receiver properly positioned in my ear causing pain and irritation. The soft molds have been extremely comfortable from day one and go deep in my canal with very little exposed. They also have the little locks molded in that surprisingly work great. The only issue is they developed a orange yellow staining that is impossible to remove. they are a matte finish so you cannot see the staining from the outside so It doesn’t bother me. After wearing hardshell in the ear aids for 20 years the soft molds are quite a bit more comfortable and less iritating for me.

Is there any chance you’d include a photo? I’m still trying to figure out what all these things look like. I’d particularly like to see how the locks work.

Thanks!

thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to write all that Neville, it was very informative.

Now that you mention it, I have noticed that my left mold has a distinctively flat shape to it.

I include a picture of the lock on my hard molds in this post.

Yes, I know you did, and I appreciate it. I was curious to see if there are other variations, and in particular what the Rexton molds might look like (since those are the kind I’d be getting).

I totally agree on this one.

After having trialed out the RS Lynx2 with custom molds, choice made by my audi, I am now put on domes with the Phonak Audeo V90 since a month. A world of difference for me!

The speech understanding is a bit less, but all the rest sounds much more detailed without being aggressive. It sounds natural, as it should be.

How do I post a photo on this forum?

There are two ways. I always click the Insert Image button in the editor, as shown in this image:


Click the From Computer tab, then click Select Files at the bottom of that window. I generally have to do a little editing first. The uploader often rejects my image files for being too big, and I have to crop and resize them until it accepts them.

Other people use a method involving online picture storage services, which will allow the picture to show up in the message.

http://www.hearingaidforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1100&d=1476641313 I hope this works. This is what the soft mold locks look like. For some reason it would only take 1 pic. http://www.hearingaidforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1100&d=1476641313 They don’t look like much, but they work.

Neville –

Many thanks for your informative and very complete response. With my hearing loss being mainly in the higher frequencies, since I am comfortable with domes, I think I’ll stay with them. It appears that there would likely be little or no hearing improvement by switching to hard or soft molds. If my hearing aid dispenser at Costco recommends to the contrary, I’ll certainly listen and consider what she says. She really knows her business and I have great confidence in her.

–John

Thank you! That, along with BlueCrab’s photo, makes things a lot clearer.

And, I seem to have found a solution to getting the domes (single, closed) to stay in. So for now I think I’m going to forego getting molds. I really am happy with how the domes feel now, and they seem to stay put.

Without concha locks, the domes just seem to come out. The concha locks don’t stay in place, either. The scapha of my ear (I think that’s what it’s called; I had to look this stuff up – see photo) is not very concave, so the lock just slides out. It then sticks out of my ear like a little antenna or something.

I made the lock longer, so the end now gets held under the inferior crus (as it seems to be called). This holds the lock in place.

Wow this is embarrassingly geeky. Anyway, it works. I have a bunch of “thin tubes” left over from my old Phonak aids. I just cut off a little piece of that and stuck it on the end of the concha lock. See the picture if you’re interested.



So based on what my audi told me, I assume the color is from use, and not the original color?

That’s pretty cool, because I do think the domes are more comfortable. Glad you got it to work for you.

Wow this is embarrassingly geeky.

Geeky is cool. :cool: Isn’t this really why we’re all here?

Anyway, it works. I have a bunch of “thin tubes” left over from my old Phonak aids. I just cut off a little piece of that and stuck it on the end of the concha lock.

That’s pretty neat. Is this going to work long term? That is, will those little tubes still work two years from now?

See the picture if you’re interested.

Plagiarism alert. Hope you don’t mind. I’ve downloaded the picture in case I want to use it in the future (the ear, not your tubes). That was extremely useful, thanks for posting it.

Bigger, better: http://healthlifemedia.com/healthy/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Ear-External.jpg

I think the little tubes are on there for good, and their material is probably more durable than the concha lock itself. So maybe this is a lasting fix. I hope so, because once I figured out how to get them into my ear, and got this problem sorted out, I’m totally happy with them.