Switching hearing aid brands

I have had Widex hearing aids for years but I’m now looking into upgrading. I thought of switching to a new brand – maybe Oticon opns. But I have been told by an audiologist that the Widex algorithm is very unique and in her experience people who have grown accustomed to it tend to have a very hard time switching to another brand. Has anyone had the experience of switching to a new brand after having Wdiex? Am I stuck with Widex forever?

I am a relatively new user of aids and have tried only a couple of brands. But, to be frank, I would suggest you are being given salesman speak advice. Kind of like if you drive a Ford, you will always have to drive a Ford. There are 6 main manufacturers, and they all produce quality aids. The bells and whistles may differ in some degree, but they are all designed to do the pretty much the same thing, if they are set up well. In fact the industry has a few different fitting formulas that are used by all of them. They may have a proprietary formula that differs a little, but if there was any real magic in it, the others would copy it. Much of the hearing aid fitting process is about doing proper testing. Aids should be set up using Real Ear Measurement, and not all fitters do it. They also need to ensure the proper domes and vents are used to optimize your hearing. There is more in the proper fitting than the particular brand.

My suggestion is to go with what sounds good to you. That said unless you have some particular issue, there may not be much if any upside in going to another manufacturer. Widex is certainly a good brand. These days a lot of the differences between manufacturers is in how the aids connect and stream to smart phones.

Short answer - no my opinion is that you are not stuck with Widex.

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I’ve tested five brands, four of them flaghip (Signia, Phonak, Oticon, Resound) and one second brand (Unitron, a brand from Phonak). All them will give quality, I agree with @Sierra on this matter, you must find a good audi to fit your HAs. In my experience, some HAs have their unique characteristics, as Oticon, which I like a lot. When you change you’ll hear their differences, and will get used to them fast.

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If you go into things eyes (and ears) wide open to the fact that there may be some adjustment as you move from one brand’s unique approach to sound to another’s, you’ll be fine. Agree with everyone else that - properly-fitted - all the major brands will do well for you.

I’ve recently tried every brand’s flagship device and Widex sounded the best to my brain, and I liked the amount of control I had over the sound via the app. The combination was unbeatable for me.

Everyone is wired differently and has different goals/expectations and needs, so I definitely recognize that while Widex was my choice, others might do better with another brand.

Chris

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I’ve worn Widex for over 20 years and tried a couple of other options but they sounded much harsher to me. The Evokes have been amazing and I can’t see myself ever wearing anything different now. They have a very precise set up which makes it extremely accurate and lots of comfort features automatically built in. I have always bought the top spec, 440s. My son has the F2s and my Dad has just bought the 440 ITC Evokes. I can honestly say we are the only people who seem to really love their hearing aids where I am. It does depend on an experienced fitter too.

I’m a new HA user since Dec 26, 2018. I’m a classical pianist and have a 7’ 5" concert grand piano in my living room. I play several hours every day. Obviously a prime concern for me is how an HA handles live music.

When I first researched different brands I discovered that at the time I got mine there was only one brand that connected directly to my Android Pixel 3 XL phone without requiring that I wear an intermediate device around my neck and that was the Phonak Audeo Marvel. I also understood that the major brands differed primarily in connectivity and little else. Streaming music and streaming phone calls in high quality stereo to both ears was also a priority. So I decided to go with the Phonak Audeo Marvel M90-R for connectivity reasons.

When I asked my audiologist about the Widex and its reputation for being accurate, she set up a pair of Widex Evoke 440’s for me and I took them home and was able to make direct comparisons with the Marvels. Being a musician, high quality sound is vitally important to me and I could honestly not tell any significant difference between the Widex and the Marvels. Both were excellent when playing my piano. I kept the Marvels because of the connectivity with my Android phone.

In my experience I would have to agree with others on the forums, that having a quality audiologist is much more important than choosing a brand of HA’s. My audiologist works in a Medical ENT Clinic and has a doctorate degree in audiology.

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Just out of curiosity, when you say “looking into upgrading,” what do you mean? My only experience with Widex was bad, but that was due to the audiologist, not the brand, and my understanding is that top of the line aids from several brands are pretty equivalent.

I don’t think you’re “stuck” with Widex. I do suspect that you’d find them easiest to get used to after initial programming, but if you give yourself time you should be able to adjust to any brand of hearing aid.

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means he’s looking at new hearing aids! (I’m looking too but that won’t happen after I have a birthday)

Historically, Widex and Bernafon were known has having more unique sounds that were harder to switch out of. Seems less true lately.

Hi

I too think that your audio is not being straight with you. My experience has been the opposite to you. My provider is inviting me to go and be assessed for the new Oticon Xceed UPS, and it’s the same provider who fitted my last two or three sets of Phonak aids. The last two sets have been the Naida UPs.

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good luck getting assessed for the Xceed! (I gotta do the same too soon hopefully after I turn 25) kudos to having insurance rolling over in the new year

Switched from Phonak to Widex Beyond 440 (top of line at the time). Love the sound of music with these hearing aids. My audi tells me that she hears good comments about the various manufacturers from her clients but that the Widex wearers tend to be even more enthusiastic. I don’t know what level of Widex you purchased or about your hearing professional either. Those two variables could be a factor in your experience.

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I concur. Do not feel locked in with one brand. I place high priority on the choice of audiologist. Be sure to get some references. I, too, agree with the Real Ear Measurements. That allowed my audi to set up my new ReSound HAs perfectly the first time around 4 years ago, now, and I am very pleased with current performance. Also check out the bells and whistles that you will be using. Some of the new apps are very good. ReSound produced an app that eliminates the need for a remote. I confess to being a nerd, but, it really works for me.

LRA

Got an appointment for this coming Friday for a test and assessment for Xceeds.

holy crap, GOOD LUCK!!! :smiley: I really should do the same

What’s stopping you? Is it the waiting for insurance? I can understand that if it is.

I’ll let you know what they are like if I get them.

I usually wait until after my birthday which is this month (mine is 12/30)