Starkey/Microtech /Audibel is there a difference besides name

I currently have Micotech Vector IM 24 hearing aids–have never been able to get the left aid adjusted correctly with two different fitters–going to a 3rd next Friday who actually uses REM and also retests hearing with hearing aids in( as opposed to talking to you in a sterile room and saying “can you hear me now”). Have considered upgrading to Starkey WI due to their soundpoint technology which allows user input into the fitting process–I would love to just have software on my home computer to dial in what I see fit–know that is available through Hearsource and others but not fully trusting of the internet hearing aid process yet though as my frustration builds it may become an option. Have looked at Starkey Wi–Microtech Mobility and now Audibel range—other than the name–is there any difference. All have Starkey as parent company but did not know if there is any qualitative difference. Thanks.:smiley:

No, they are identical. However if you buy Starkey it is ‘unlocked’ in the software. This means an Audibel or Microtech dealer could easily program the hearing aids.

However, if you buy the Audibel version, it is software locked, this means only an Audibel dealer can adjust it, a Microtech dealer (unless he had the Audibel software loaded on his computer) would not be able to adjust it.

So if you are talking about a tangible advantage, one could argue that Starkey is going to have more flexibility in terms of who can make adjustments for you.

I will admit that I have not needed to have a patient use Soundpoint yet, call me arrogant but I see it as a last resort for a situation where I cannot understand the needs of my patient and translate that into a programming change on the aids.

As for the success of the Wi product, I’ve had patients with better aids than you remark on the amazing sound, especially the binaural spacial mapping. When you are getting a demo of these aids, ask to leave the test area and try them in a real world situation. The binaural spacial mapping only kicks in when the aids are not talking to the programming computer. So if you want to experience it, you need to get 40+ feet away from the computer or have them exit the programming software.

I’ll second the previous posters reply. The products are identical except for who can access the software.

If you do happen to have a Starkey product that has locked software such as Audibel or Nu-ear and want someone else to program it then Starkey will usually unlock it so that someone else may program it if the patient isn’t having luck with their current specialist. They are usually pretty understanding about that type of situation. The downside of that is that the aid must be sent back to Starkey for that to happen.

I’ll also second the endorsement for the Wi products. A patient almost suffocated me a few weeks ago while hugging me so tight because she was so happy at how well she could here the television :slight_smile: That doesn’t have anything to do with the binaural spatial mapping but still a great user experience.

As far as Soundpoint goes. The last Starkey meeting I went to the speaker indicated that most patients that utilized soundpoint ended up at a setting VERY close to where the specialist had it. Its almost more of a psychological thing for the patient because its “their” setting and take some ownership of it. I’m sure it can be a useful tool at times though.

Good luck

Appreciate the input. Will find out more on my appt on Friday.