Time for new aids. Looking for brand advice


My health insurance covers new aids once every three years, and it’s time for a new set.

I’m currently wearing Siemens Pure 5bx. I have no complaints about the aids themselves, but I’ve had lots of problems with my EasyTek, which I outlined here.

I’ve also decided to try a new audi, for lots of reasons which I won’t get into here.

So I have an appointment on October 1st. Those of you who know me know that I always say the audi is more important than the brand, so the primary purpose of this visit is to evaluate the audi.

That being said, brand still matters somewhat. Due to the issues I have had with the EasyTek, I will be avoiding Siemens/Signia. The audi I am visiting deals primarily with Starkey, but says he will fit any brand. It seems to me that I have not really heard anything good about Starkey on this forum. Based on things I have read here, I am leaning toward Resound.

Bluetooth is very important to me. I talk to my wife on the phone daily, and want to do that hands free. Prior to getting aids I never used my phone without a bluetooth earpiece. I have an android phone, and will never have an iPhone. I don’t mind using an intermediary device, but @KenP once told me that the EasyTek’s neckloop antenna was somewhat primitive technology.

I used the app occasionally, mostly to narrow the focus when in a restaurant. Having an app is not extremely important.

I’ve read a little bit about the Roger Pen and find it intriguing, although I understand that this is a Phonak product. It seems that many manufacturers have a similar device.

So there you have it. I’m interested in your feedback on Starkey and Resound in particular, and any other brand which you feel may be a good fit for me.

Bluetooth streamers and battery life
New member, getting first HA, seeking opinions Oticon, ReSound

The Phonak B-Direct and its 2 other relatives are the closest you’ll get to hands free currently.
All kinds of options if, as you say, you don’t mind an intermediate device.


The Resound does a great job with iPhones and has a great app, but that’s not of much use to you. I expect it to do ok with it’s intermediary device. I too have heard little good about Starkey. As Z10 mentions, the Phonak is the only one that will currently give you hands free with an Android Phone without an intermediary device… My personal recommendation would be Signia nx. You’re used to the Siemens/Signia sound and the EasyTek has been replaced with a much more effective device. And Costco’s version, the KS8 is only $1599.


Costco doesn’t take insurance. I expect to be shelling out somewhere around $500, regardless of which brand I get.

The lady I spoke to at the audi’s office told me the Starkeys would connect directly to my android. I asked her where the microphone would be for phone calls and she said in the aid. I’m a bit skeptical, she is just the receptionist after all.

What is Signia’s new device called, and do we have anyone here using one?


Ok. I’ve grown tired of the long-winded, multi-syllabic word intermediate or intermediary.
I did a quick look and I didn’t see the use of the word in this context so…I hereby coin… “relay”.
A device that receives audio from a source (cabled, wireless or mic) and relays it up to the HA’s. A relay device.
Not an in-ter-me-di-ate device.:slight_smile:

How’s that? Of course I’d just as soon see them obsoleted by bluetooth standards.


I tried both Starkey Muse IQ and Halo 2 on very brief demos.

Halo 2 app will work with Android phone, but no way to have calls or music streamed to HA, not even with add on intermediary device, relay, dongle, whateveryouwanttocallit :wink:

Muse IQ will connect and stream calls or music to Android with a intermediary device, relay, dongle, it has no app that will work with Android.


Signia Streamline Mic. Okay, that’s interesting. Anyone here using one?


Aren’t they called “streamers”? That’s just two syllables. “Relay” has another meaning in the hard-of-hearing world.


I’ve tried one briefly, but not enough to assess reliability. It’s very similar in appearance to Oticon’s device.


Have you asked your insurance company if they’ll send you a check if you submitted receipts?


No I haven’t, that’s a good question. But I did go to Costco a while back for custom molds, and he never could get them right. No sense going there if money’s not really an issue.


Thanks @x475aws. I didn’t know there was another use for relay in this context.
I’m certainly aware of the streamer word. I kinda thought relay had a little more technical panache to it. :slight_smile: Similar I think to how intermediate sounds. A little more formal and technical.


Yes, I’m using the Rexton version (a Signia marketing brand that Costco carries).

I have also used, for many years, the Resound Phone Clip+, on a previous model, but I believe the Phone Clip+ is still their current bluetooth device.

The Resound Phone Clip+ has a more robust Bluetooth connection, meaning it drops less and seldom has sound quality problems, compared to the Signia/Rexton. The Signia bluetooth device, however, starts bluetooth quicker so I don’t miss the first word or two, and restarts bluetooth easier and quicker, like on something that produces sound intermittently (Google maps for example), without the misses and delays that the Resound has.

The Signia connects to one phone or device at a time and the Resound connects to two. With the Resound I would arrive at my office and if I got an office call I answered it with the Phone Clip+ and if I subsequently got a cell call I answered it with my Phone Clip+. With the Signia/Rexton, when I arrive at my office I turn off Bluetooth on my cell so the office phone will connect. Yes, sometimes I forget to do that.

I’m really happy with the hearing aid and if you are only one generation prior to that you may get some benefit from the new model, but probably not a shocking change. I feel like now I can hear everything I could expect to hear and it all sounds normal and natural, like I can actually hear.

I use the Signia/Rexton bluetooth device several hours a day on my cell phone, office phone, laptops including soft phone, and tablets. I also have the Rexton/Signia TV transmitter and one generic bluetooth transmitter. The drops and sound quality problems are centered around streaming bluetooth for music and video. Phone use is solid and has a good range (40 feet or so).


If you have insurance and only have to shell out $500 no matter which brand /model, why not go for a premium brand/model with an audi channel of your choice?


It’s not exactly a “sky’s the limit” situation, but close. I just checked my insurance and it looks like I’ll have about $550 left towards my out of pocket maximum. I have to pay 10% of the cost of the aids, but no more than $550.
However, on top of that, they only cover an entry level aid. To move up from that I have to cover the difference.
So, while not completely unlimited, I do have some freedom in choosing. Which is why I am here looking for brand advice.


Yes relay is taken as far as HOH folks are concerned. Streaming I think is a pretty common term for just about any media over IP. The other term I’ve seen is gateway device, but maybe the more hideous the term is, the happier we will be to see them go away. :slight_smile:


There ya go! That works for me.


@Don, that is exactly the kind of input I’m looking for. Thank you for the helpful info. Hopefully we can get a few others to chime in.


The ReSound Smart 3D app on Android, used on a Samsung Galaxy S7 (a supported phone), was unacceptable to me because of the bugs. However, ReSound came out with a new version of the app since I gave up on it and got an iPhone. @dannystroup is happy with the Android app, and presumably he’s using the latest version. Maybe he can come on here and say if he’s seeing any of the problems I did. They were 1) Needed to force-stop app the majority of times I opened it, to get it to connect to the hearing aids; 2) The app corrupted the program names in the aids, and could have corrupted other stuff that isn’t so obvious. Maybe dannystroup’s setup isn’t susceptible to the second problem, since he has the Costco version which doesn’t support Remote Assist, so the app might be blocked from writing config changes to the aids.

While the ReSound app has truly useful features to help your hearing, the aids would be perfectly usable without the app too.


The app has worked great for me. The only problem I’ve had, which happened a couple times is, if I open the app and change programs, then turn on the Phone Clip+ second, the app seems to fight with switching between the program and the Phone CLip+. In other words, it switches back and forth between the two, dinging and chiming and changing programs. If I turn on the Phone CLip+ first, then open the app, it doesn’t seem to fight. Other than that, I’m very, very happy with the whole thing.