Thoughts/comments about (new) Eargo Neos?

Hi folks… I’m new to forum, and to HAs. I will appreciate any thoughts or comments about the new Eargo Neos.

Background … recent hearing test indicates mild to moderate loss in 2K-6K+ range. Slightly more impact in left ear. I’m in common position with rest of us – high frequency loss from age (early 60s) and unprotected noise exposures over lifetime. Approx audiogram numbers: 1K, -30/30; 2K, -30/40; 4K, -55/60.

I started my HA journey with audiologist, and tried new Phonak Marvels. Wore for an hour or so, it was interesting. I’ve also been down the Costco route and tried out new Kirkland 9s … yes, I know these are the same as Marvels. Wore these for 2 hrs in the store … noisy environment, it was also “interesting” but I could definitely hear better, my wife was smiling!

I return to Audiologist in two weeks, will start further (several days) trial with Phonak.

In the interim, I’ve also started on 30 day trial (through B8TA store) with Eargo Neos and have now been wearing them for couple of days. The new versions with “palm, vs. fibers” are much more comfortable for me. Insertion and wearing them works out fine so far. I am getting 16+ hours on a single (rechargeable) charge. Their phone-based support so far has been excellent … but then again, I’m only a month into the whole HA space and don’t have broad perspective!

I fully understand that Eargos have 4 pre-set programs and aren’t programmable - for me, the 1st and 2nd aren’t effective, and I’m landing on #3 and #4 as a better fit. If, during my trial, I find sufficient benefit from these devices and think that they’ll hold up over 2-3 yrs, then this might be a good choice? I would be lying if I didn’t admit that vanity is a factor … but only one data point of many in final choice.

As mentioned, I’ll return to Audi in two weeks and pick up Phonak trial pair for couple of days or hopefully a week. I’m looking so far at model 50. I’m thinking that I should know Eargos well enough by then, to next try (programmed) Phonaks and can best see for myself if the more expensive Phonaks (1300 premium for 50s, mod 70/90 are much more) provide that much more value to me, or if Eargos can be of sufficient help.

So … would appreciate thoughts from those of you with much more experience.

Is this a decent strategy to determine my first HA choice? Am I kidding myself that Eargo Neos without customization can work well enough? Am I missing a huge dimension with Neos, by not having BT connectivity for TV, phone, etc, as the Phonak Marvels have?

If useful for the group, I can post further on my experiences with Neos and Marvels. Thanks!

Very interesting devices. Here is a video link on the Eargo Neos done by Dr. Cliff. I can’t say I agree with all of Dr. Cliff’s videos, but I think this one is pretty fair. I would however suggest he kind of understates the limitations of these devices, in my opinion. These are not real hearing aids. They are just sound amplifiers with some options on how much amplification you get. They are not providing an amplification based on you hearing loss. Dr. Cliff goes into a lot of detail in the video on this, but the bottom line is that while you may get some benefit, it is not going to be nearly as optimized as what you would get with a real hearing aid programmed to your specific hearing loss. They also seem very expensive at $2600 or so for a pair. They kind of have some neat tricks for “programming” but do not stream to your ear like the Marvels would do with either an iPhone or Android. I wasn’t clear about how you switch programs? Slap your ear…?

My second thought is about why you would be looking at the Model 50 marvels over the $1500 KS9’s which are Model 90 Marvels? Seems to me to be an easy choice to take the more premium model for a lower price.

My thoughts are that is seems a shame to pay such a premium for a device that is not really a hearing aid, when you can get a premium real hearing aid for much less in the KS9. I think you are going to be much happier with the correction provided with the real hearing aid.

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Thanks for comments, they are appreciated.

I have viewed lots of stuff from Dr. Cliff, he’s highly helpful.

I understand about the customization to my hearing loss part… I’ll experience that further when I trial Phonak in two weeks. Hopefully by then, I’ll be out of the initiation phase where everything (!) sounds bright/loud … all the stuff I haven’t heard for a long time, like water running, etc. Then I can better discern differences.

Changing programs with Neos gets easier with practice … yes, you tap (slap!) your ears twice :slight_smile: .

I understand your thinking with KS9s and Marvels. I’m so far liking the rechargeable option, but will continue to check out all options.

I’ll update with experiences when I’ve had a chance to use both Marvels and Neos.

Thank you for your comments, pckretz and Sierra. We’d like to respond with our thoughts:

The FDA defines a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) as a “wearable electronic product not intended to compensate for impaired hearing.” In other words, PSAPs are amplifiers designed for individuals with normal hearing. They amplify sounds in the environment for a number of reasons, such as for recreational activities, and will not help if you have a certain type of hearing loss.

While PSAP products make all sounds louder, Eargo products amplify select high frequencies for clarity while an open fit allows customers to hear low frequencies naturally. Additionally, Eargo’s four Sound Programs are available to customize via the Eargo app; all based on research using thousands of audiograms that address most high-frequency hearing loss cases. Alongside lifetime support from an Eargo hearing professional, these tools allow customers to adjust background noise and feedback support.

Products from Eargo are Class I, FDA-cleared hearing aids that have been clinically tested for individuals with mild to moderately severe, high-frequency hearing loss. We view high-frequency hearing loss as a natural part of a life well lived. Our hearing experts can talk you through the details of our device at 1-800-375-8058 or hearinghelp@eargo.com.

My issue with the product is that it is not customizeable to the specific hearing loss of an individual. It does not matter if the product suits thousands of other people, if it does not suit the person that buys it. The second issue is the price. I don’t understand why one would pass up on a premium real hearing aid at Costco like the KS9 (Phonak Marvel) for $1500 a pair to pay $2600 for a device that is just a generic amplification device.

Clearly, this is not for everyone with hearing loss. OTOH it appears to be much more than just a generic amp device. I had never heard of it before this post but I would have given it a try. For me, Bose Hearphones out performed many of the "premium " HAs. (But not my new M90s)

Our products are pre-programmed based on studying thousands of audiograms and years of researching high frequency hearing loss. Many of our customers prefer an in-the-ear device rather than traditional behind-the-ear devices, and are unable to wear custom fit CIC or ITE due to the occlusion that can occur. Eargos may not be suitable for everyone, and we are glad you found a solution that meets your needs.

Sending some further comments about my experience. I’ve been in trials over past month with both Eargo Neo, and Phonak Marvel (Mod 50). Both HAs work well as described, both are comfortable for long wear periods, and both definitely improve my hearing and comprehension.

For setup and support, the Eargo support folks are responsive and very good - remote (phone) support in this case works quite well. My Phonak support is through a local independent Audiologist, and she’s great too. We did successfully take advantage of the remote support and update capability for both Phonak and Eargo … the way of the future! Phonak remote support is thru the app, which launches a video call - nice!

Streaming with Phonak (Android - Galaxy S10) works great. Phone use for answering and having calls is wonderful. Music streaming is also top notch. I didn’t use the TV streaming device … will do that in future. Eargo Neos are not BT enabled, and don’t support direct streaming.

I like the innovative design of Neo, but in the end (in my case) I am finding higher value with sound quality delivered by Phonak and RIC. In my experience, the specific customization enabled the sound to be more natural. I can hear significantly better with both devices and comprehension was much improved, but I prefer the more natural (neutral?) sound from RIC device.

Over couple of week trial period, I reached a status with RIC where I didn’t notice I was wearing HAs. Eargo Neos were comfortable over long haul, but through delivering a “brighter” sound I always knew I was wearing HAs.

I expect to update my HAs in 3yrs or so … will definitely want to look again at status with Eargo, i.e. do they then have customizable sound profiles, and streaming support?

My current direction - Costco KS9s (equiv to Phonak 90s) are looking very attractive!