Left the Audiologist at 11 o’clock so when I say first impressions they are only that.
- Very first impression is how quiet they are. Though I learned to ignore it, EIN in the Alta2 Pro was something I found very annoying. There is no sign of it with the Evoke. They are virtually silent. I am EXTREMELY pleased about that. They are almost worth the change for that alone.
- A lot has been said about how natural sounding the Widex are. Do they sound natural? How the hell would I know? Natural is what hearing was like when I had normal hearing and I haven’t had normal hearing in ages. Do they sound pleasant? Yes with some things I have to get used to. They are very clear; individual words are distinct with no loss of vowels on the front and back end and it’s accomplished without being overly bright. I am actually surprised by the clarity of fricatives which I often lost, especially at the end of sentences when people’s voices usually tail off in reduced volume. The ‘S’ was particularly noticeable, as if the speaker held it a bit too long, (yess, lasst, pluralss). But I seem to have adapted to that already as it has almost disappeared.
- On the other hand (and this is not a bad thing) they definitely have a different sound than the Alta2. Having worn them for three years they are my ‘normal’ and the change will take some getting used to. Not just the difference in sound but I am now hearing things which were gone or at least far less pronounced. It’s not quite like the first time I ever wore aids but the effect is similar. Typing on the keyboard, the fan on the laptop, the normal house sounds of fridge and furnace, plates set on the counter, doors opening and closing etc, are far more noticeable. And my own voice is quite loud with the slight fish bowl effect that I had three years ago when I put my first pair on. I’ll have to adjust to that again but it’s already less pronounced. My wife noticed that I am talking much quieter. I told her she sounded loud and I was told that’s what it took to make sure I heard her.
- The App. The app is very nice. It connected immediately and it doesn’t disconnect. The Oticon app was prone to disconnect when other blue tooth devices the iPhone was paired with were there. It was almost useless in the car. Anyway it installed without a hitch and immediately did a firmware update on the hearing aids. Took about 15 min. I have only the universal program and the music program set up presently. The doc asked, other than for music, that I stay in the universal program and settle in to the aids for two weeks. After that she’ll add whatever I want and I can play around as much as I want.
- Streaming in stereo is nice. Not like a set of Sennheiser’s but nice. I won’t stream music a lot as I’d rather hear it live or from the stereo.
- Which brings me to the reason I was attracted to the Widex in the first place, music. And all I can say is it’s fantastic. I am hearing cymbals, triangles and all those things in the upper registers that weren’t there. I can pick out the instruments of the orchestra. There is no distortion. There is no feedback. But what I find most surprising is the bass response. I can hear the bass violas and bassoons and tubas in a way that was missing from the Alta2. There is a fullness and warmth that has been missing for three years. And I made it better by using the SoundSense program in the app. I opened the equalizer and compared the settings I had chosen with the standard setting in the music program and found I had boosted the bass and upper registers and reduced the midrange. I spent almost two hours listening. I listened to some Christmas music by the Robert Shaw Singers (an acapella choir) the third movement in Rachmaninov’s 2nd symphony, a group of Strauss waltzes, and a few from the Nut Cracker Suite. Then I cranked the volume up and did some Hendrix and Cream and they passed my “no distortion” test.
Anyway enough for now. Things will change over the next few days as I notice more I’m sure but that’s where I am now. They’re a winner so far.