6 hours ago, I was fitted with my first ever hearing aids at Costco. I had selected the Jabra Enhance Pro 20 HAs because the choices in behind-the-ear HAs at Costco are the Jabra, the Philips 9040, and the Rexton (I don’t know the model), and I had raed good things about the Jabras and the iPhone app that can be used to control them.
I am obviously a newbie, so keep that in mind as I present my initial 3 hour findings, because I have barely stepped onto the learning curve.
Note also that I chose getting the optional (NO extra cost) M&RIE “3rd microphones”, which are located inside the ear canal, in addition to the 2 LH and 2 RH microphones located behind the ears. The HAs were fully charged and waiting for me at the appointment. Sport locks were already installed on the HAs, and the HCP told me that at this Costco at least they put them on all behind the ear HAs simply because they are so easy to use without any special effort, and help people to not have the HAs fall out during vigorous activity. I had no issues putting on or removing my eyeglasses, withiout dislodging the HAs. I simply kept the eyeglass arms close to my head and moved STRAIGHT rearward or forward and straight down or up.
The session with the Costco HCP lasted over an hour. he did the Real Ear Measurement process. I asked for, and got, a full color printout of the results. During the process, he detected some feedback with the open domes (Remember, I chose the M&RIE option), so swapped them out and replaced them with closed domes.
I detected no issues at all with the closed domes. No feeling of occlusion or any other issue.
He showed me how to properly install and remove the HAs and my eyeglasses. We snapped photos of the correct installation on both right and left ears,
The HCP set up the Jabra app for me on my iPhone (I had downloaded it to my iPhone in advance). He paired the HAs to my iPhone, and configured everything. He explained each step as he did so. He confirmed thta outside of the demo mode, the 2 TV streamers were not available for configuring until the app detects their first time presence. Synchronization of the right and left HAs was activated.
He was not prepared to set up online services for me, as they normally don’t get clients wanting it - clients strongly prefer in-person appointments apparently. I am guessing this is because most of the clients are elderly and not very tech savvy. But since I expressed an interest in having the online services option, he said he would be prepared to enable that when I come back in 2 weeks for my first follow-up appointment.
He did call me from his cellphone, from another room, The call was successfully transferred via Blueooth to my HAs. We conversed with volume in the HAs again being just right.
He provided, explained, and fully demonstrated the use of the cleaning cloth, cleaning brush, and the initial supply of wax filters. He said the frequency of cleaning needed would depend upon my rate of ear wax production.
I found the initial volume settings to be just fine. No adjustment up or down was needed.
I could generate sounds when brushing my hands against the HAs, but nothing troublesome. In all the 6 hours since installation, I have not experienced any popping, crackling, or whistling.
As for comfort, I have forgotten several times so far that I am even wearing HAs.
While still inside the Costco store, I called my wife, and the iPhone successfully transferred the sound to my HAs. The Bluetooth-enabled conversation was 100% reliable and very clear. I also then called a government agency 800 number that has a long string of pre-recorded messages that you need to select in sequence via the phone keypad to get the routing you want. Before making the call, I noticed that the refrigeratiuno compressor in the Costco fresh flower cooler had snapped on, so I deliberately positioned myself within 6 feet of the cooler, and of course the HAs detected and amplified the already loud compressor noise. But, the HAs also made the recorded messages VERY clear and, using its pre-programmed smarts, 100% understandable despite the loud compressor, and I was able to route myself through the planned string to the call destination I wanted. And, this was in “All-Arounf” mode, NOT in “Hear in Noise” mode! Nicely done, Jabra!
I also noticed for the first time ever, that I could hear the wheel noise made by individual separate Costco shopping cart wheels as shoppers walked past me. Incredible. I also could now hear and understand shoppers’ conversations as they walked by me several feet away.
I deliberately visited the Costco public bathroom just to hear how its “hard surfaces echo chamber” features would affect the HAs. I found ZERO adverse effects. No echos or other disturbances. Running water in the sink and hearing flushes nearby exposed no faults in the HAs.
When I stepped outdoors, no issues. It was pretty windy here today , and of course I heard that wind, but it was not bothersome enough to warrant chnaging modes to the “Outdoor” mode. (That was not the case later, and is described below).
Driving home, I detected no adverse effects. I actually was able to forget that I was wearing hearing aids. The clicking of the winter tire studs on the pavement was a bit louder of course (because my unaided hearing loss had gotten to be notable). But everything else sounded much like it used to sound.
Back home, I needed to walk to the community mailbox to check for mail. Our home is pretty much in a wind tunnel, because, despite being within a city suburban neighbourhood that is 8 years old, it is right across the street from a multi-acree horse pasture where 4 horses live out their retirement years while the owners wait for a purchase offer from some developer that would be large enough to handle the capital gains taxes that would be triggered by a sale. So, we get VERY strong winds coming right at our home on windy days, and today the wind was howling there.
I walked out to the community mailbox with the HAs still set on “All-Around” with whatever wind noise reduction capability that setting has built into it. The wind noise was pretty loud. Before walking back to the house, I changed the setting to “Outdoor”. THAT made a HUGE difference. Th wind noise was VERY much decreased in the HAs.
The sound of my own voice via the HAs did not change from how it sounds to me when unaided. This was a disappointment, as I had hoped that perhaps this miracle of modern electronics could make me sound like Jack Palance (the guy who played the very old cowboy in the movie “City Slickers”, and who had a deep voice that every other man would envy!). No such luck.
I recieved a call from a buddy in anothe province about an hour ago. The iPhone had correctly kept the Bluetooth connection “on standby”, and properly trabnsferred the ringing to my HAs. My iPHone (version Xs) is too old to do “hands free”, but I forgot that I COULD have answered it by simply doubletapping either ear (merely either EAR, not HA), and so answered by tapping the phone’s answer button instead. The call quality was fine and again the volume of my buddy’s voice was fine.
6 hours is obviously way too short a time period to draw meaningful conclusions. But, I would say that this first 6 hours has at least yet not shown me anything that would displease me. I look forward to continuing my testing.