Starkey Zon 7 review


I am Richard from Melbourne Australia.
It is the first time for me to trial a hearing aid. I have a mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears with moderate loss occurring in higher frequencies (2Khz to 8Khz is around 50db to 60db loss).
My word comprehension is 97% in one ear and 93% in the other ear (that is, out of 100 words I correctly pick up 97 words in one ear and 93 words in the other ear).
My life style is pretty much in a quite surroundings most of the time.

My Ear Nose Throat specialist was telling me that in his professional opinion I require only a one hearing aid and not two even though I have (almost identical) hearing loss in both ears.
Accordingly, and in the advise of the Audiologist, I am now trialling the Starkey Zon 7.
So far pretty disappointing. I have no benefit at all. I am aware that the programming of this aid is incomplete but I thought that I will already have some benefit from this top of the range hearing aid. On my next visit to the Audiologist he will further program this aid. For now however I was asked to trial this aid at home only. I find that I still need to turn the TV to the same settings as before. My wife still needs to repeat herself just as before. All is just like before really. The only difference is that high frequencies now sound too sharp and annoying (splash of water in the sink, plastic bags, turning on/off the power switch and so forth).
Can you please share with me your experiences with your hearing aids and is that all I can expect from a hearing aid?



Perhaps one of the professionals here on the site can address the one aid vs two aid issue. In my experience as a wearer, if both ears have a loss, both ears need a hearing aid.

I imagine the audi set your original settings at a very low setting to get you used to hearing some sounds that you’ve likely not heard for a while. Paper rustling, silverware rattling will seem startlingly loud at first. It does take some time to get the right adjustments. I’m still in a trial period with Azure’s and I’m keeping a log of issues which I’ll give to the audi at the next adjustment appointment - you might want to do the same.

Hang in there and let us know how you’re doing in a few more days.

When is your follow up appointment?

The question is, what did you expect from the aid? How did your doc prepare you for the first four weeks? Are you expecting too much, or is your dispenser falling down on the job somehow?

I’m talking to an audi about a Zon 5 in a couple of days. The question I have is whether it will have enough gain for my loss. In my right ear, I’m 80 at 4000 and above. Left ear 85 at 4000+.

I went to my Audiologist on Monday with my initial report which as I have already mentioned was a disappointment. He then did some calibrations to the hearing aid involving insertion of a tube into my ear while I have the hearing aid in my ear. After the hearing aid software did what it did he fine-tuned the hearing aid.

After all of this I still find this hearing aid, with respect, useless.
I am expecting a hearing aid to help me understand speech better.
It did not help me hear my wife any better nor did she notice any difference to when I was without the hearing aid.
Yesterday I went to work with my hearing aid for the first time.
I very much wanted the hearing aid to assist me at work and so I was even more alert than usual to potential conversations with other people.
To my disappointment, I found that I needed to ask my colleagues to repeat themselves just as I did without this hearing aid.
I spend most of my time in a quite office of a moderate size. The furthest person sits around 2-3 meters away from me; with the hearing aid and without the hearing aid we needed to come close to each other and even then I needed to ask her to repeat herself just as I did without the hearing aid. Yes, she does have quite and a soft voice but people with normal hearing can hear her load and clear.

Is my expectation that a hearing aid will assist me with speech is unrealistic? I sure hope it is not.
Yes, I can hear the keyboard loader when I type on a computer and I can hear the water loader when flushing the toilet but I am not going to spend thousands of dollars for this “privilege.”

I have today called my Audiologist and cancelled the trial with Starkey Zon.
I am now going to trial a different brand but left it to the Audiologist to find a brand that suits my needs.
I understand it may be the Audiologist and not the hearing aid but for now I still do not know that for sure.
I am going to see him on Wednesday next week so
stay tuned…

I’m not an expert… just a new user who’s been where you are. I started with the Widex Aikia (BTE) and had very similar experiences… I was really discourged. I was going into the audi every 3-5 days for tweaks. I found I had to be really careful and precise in finding the right words to describe what was going on… communicating what things sound like is really critical… and audi who listens carefully is also important. Every tweak just seemed to make things worse in different ways and I was sure I’d just wasted a lot of money.

In the meantime I did a lot of online reading and research here and on other forums and made a list of brands and models I thought might perform better. I took that list in and talked about each one with the audi… he was really open to trying other aids and together we decided to try the Widex Passion (RITE). When I put them in the difference was astounding… I had crispness and clarity I’d never had with the others and the background noises were at the right level, not overwhelming. We’re still adjusting, but my quality of hearing is so much better.

This is not a commercial for the Passion… as I understand it, all the major brands have comparable models. It is a recommendation for you to let your audi know what’s not working so you can try something that might work better for you. And keep at it until you’re satisfied. Hearing better is not an unrealistic expectation; it’s a right.

Hang in there… the right solution is out there… be persistent. And if you can, don’t wait a week between each adjustment… I was a bit of a pest, but for me it was just not okay to go 7 days between adjustments.

Good Luck!

250 R-35 – L-40
500 R-35 – L-35
1000 R-40 – L-40
1500 R-40 – L-45
2000 R-40 – L-45
3000 R-45 – L-45
4000 R-50 – L-50
6000 R-50 – L-60
8000 R-55 – L-65
SRT R-35 - L-30
Word Disc @ 70db R-80% - L-92%
Normal impedance
Sensoneural hearing loss
Eustachian tube dysfunction

If your hearing is indeed about equal in both ears, you will almost certainly do better with two hearing aids:

  1. You need less volume per aid, so things are usually more comfortable
  2. It is easier to tell which direction sounds are coming from
  3. Speech intelligibility is usually better with two hearing aids, especially in noisy environments

audigal is correct, i will also add Auditory Deprivation- basically in time
if you do not receive speech stimulus, your speech intell. could decrease…

Again, I would go by your audi suggest. as he probl has a better understanding of your specifics

Quite honestly, you’d be better off wearing two bottom of the line Miracle Ear hearing aids, than one top of the line Zōn.

Any research you do on the subject will show that the cancellation rate and satisfaction rate among monaural users is in the toilet (unless they only NEED one aid).

It would be like going to the eye doctor and being fitted with a top of the line Bausch & Lomb contact lens in one eye (assuming your eyes were about the same). But then your friend who has the same vision problem gets some cheap entry level glasses for both eyes and sees better than you do.

I can’t even imagine the logic for a hearing professional treating half of a hearing problem.

I respectfully suggest that it’s not the hearing aid, it’s the professional involved here. If I ever see a hearing professional recommend a monaural fitting for a binaural problem, I’ll run a mile in the opposite direction. Unless there is a REALLY good explanation.

Finally, I’ll say this. A mild high tone loss, is very tricky to fit. There is a lot of natural hearing still working, so just punching in the high frequencies, is not easy to do.

Quite honestly I have much greater expectations for a patient who has a 50% SNHL than one with 20%, concentrated mainly in the high tones.

Thank you guys for you important input.
Just to clarify something –
The use of a one hearing aid was suggested to me by the Ear Throat Nose specialist and not by my audiologist. Perhaps when it comes to medical recommendations it is a one thing and when it comes to satisfaction of hearing aid users it is another thing I really do not know. I do know that I very much asked my ETN doctor about using two hearing aids. My doctor, having looked at the results of the different hearing tests that I took (hearing test, conductive hearing test, word discrimination) and having examined my ears, did not believe that I have enough hearing loss to justify the use of two hearing aids.
My audiologist however believed that two hearing aids are better than one when hearing loss exist in both ears.
Nevertheless, based on your recommendations I have now asked my audiologist to trial two hearing aids instead of one. I have also asked to trial the ‘Widex Passion’ and see if that makes any difference.
I am going to trial those hearing aids next week
I will update you how it all went then…

I can’t comment without seeing your audiogram. But if you have an aidable loss in both ears, there is no good (other than medical contraindication) reason to suggest only one aid.

While I have to clearly defer to an ENT as having WAY more qualifications than I do. Most of his qualifications are as a doctor and surgeon. Hearing aids are rarely their specialty, and many of them (in my experience) lose interest once they see that no medical or surgical assistance is recommended.

But to get your original post, you basically trashed the Zon as ‘useless.’ All I am saying is that if it was not fitted correctly, it is hardly a fair review. It would be like me branding a Formula One car useless because I am unable to drive it. And if these new aids you are getting are going to be a set, as opposed to one, that’s not a fair comparison either.