Unbiased Recommendation

Todate I have met with four HA providers. Two Audibel franchisees and two independent Oticon dealers. All four have immediately recommended near top of the line units. I have a feeling that these recommendations are primarily based on profit margin rather than functionality.

I’m looking for advice on how to deal with my situation. Also, are there any recommended online firms that can provide unbiased recommendations?

Money is an issue but I will pay whatever it takes to obtain the functionality that is needed to deal with my moderate to severe high frequency loss.


this is my advice,
currently there is only one wireless hearing aid from oticon, so if the budget is tight - Epoq has to be the choice - this might change as it is usual for oticon to launch new products @ the UHA (the german congress)

On the other hand, oticon (as many other manufacturers unbundles its products)- that is it offers the same product with less features. Case in Point
tego and tego pro, very similar but with minor differences.

My favorite products to fit in a tight budget are Tego and delta 4000, i would suggest to ask your provider and walk out in the street and try it so you can get an idea, Do remember that you need to match your expectation according to the limitations of the aid, hearing loss, try to seek good dispenser

hope this helps

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Its funny how most dealers will recommend the top of the line product. I have found that the vast majority of people only need a mid-line product to correct their hearing loss.

They just make more money on the top of the line product. Remember Audibel is owned by Starkey and because they exclusively sell Audibel and have heavy franchise costs and marketing costs, their prices will be higher.

Oticon doesnt market as heavily as Audibel, however, they too only exclusively sell one product. This means they have to make more money per unit sold rather than sell a variety of products and attract more consumers.

My recommendation is to go to a hearing professional in your area that sells a variety of products and can give you a better recomendation. You can also go to some of these online sites and ask if they can refer you to a clinic in your area, they might have more products too.

try some value products such as

GN - Pixel or Plus 5
Phonak - Una or extra
Oticon - Go pro or Tergo

this are great instruments with little cost…


Lot of good advice on the above posts.

If you want an excellent very low cost aid with all the essential features look at the Siemens Intuis. Suitable for uncomplicated high frequency loss only.

Cost $450 new on Ebay with no service, $775 on the Internet with some service, and around $900 with full services and back up from a local licensed dispenser. Ed

use the service of a local audi,
there is more work than a first fit usually, try it for a week
to see if it is a good choice
i would also look @ the Phonak Una and the Oticon Go pro
good choices, the Phonak una should be a bit more expensive
but it has some high end features…

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My biggest problem with now 4 tries of hearing aids is, lesser cost meant less power, no feedback programmed controls, and a poor result, and I absolutely cannot stand OCCLUSION of my ears! I never could adjust to the use of IN the EAR or CIC, or shell covered over the ear canals or IN the ear canals. They drive me nuts, even with a vent. This was always my biggest problem. Lower costs aids were Phonak half-shells,no good. The glorified audiologist here in town who makes a fortune selling ONLY STARKEY as the best, is a lie. Starkey did not prove good for me either. She used a complete or CIC tiny aid that I took back in 6 weeks only to lose 1000 of my 4500 invested over that short period. (They required the aids returned “within 30 days”! I cannot evaluate the total picture within a few weeks…Starkey Destiny CICs,for me no good! Then, gathered the courage to see a local hearing aid dispenser of 29 years, who felt Audina Sparos would help my high frequency loss adequately without high cost…2800 down the drain.
OK,by now I’m fed up with hearing aids, but decided ONE more try. A local newer dealer of some 5 years or so, called Hearing Research Institute,a small outfit with Otometrists who charge NO fee up front until a satisfactory result is obtained. This was the most informative man I ever met on this matter. But he determined with much more testing with background noises that ONLY 3 hearing aids would meet my needs: Either a Phonak Eleva, a Phonak Savia, OR a slightly less expensive Unitronic Indigo Power aids. So he went with the Unitronic at 5200 dollars as the only way to go and still be under the costs of the slightly more expensive Phonak high-end aids with the only types of feedback programming features. Now, some 6 weeks later, many appointments, and he decided last week with some minor feedback and background noise that I HAD to have an ear mold with custom addition of a canal fitting with a vent. This is driving me nuts. I hate these inner ear molded occluding fits with vents. It is not good. That’s my story. I’m takin them back next monday.

I purchased a pair of Freedon SIE hearing aids from America Hears about 45 days ago and am happy with them. You can check them out on their website at americahears.com.

I have no affiliation with them. You can send me a personal email if you would like more info.

May I suggest you visit the website:www.pissedconsumer.com and click on Medical Equipment and Alternate Medicine as there are so excellent postings on Hearing Aids.

GOT TO BE CAREFUL, the distinction should be POORLY FIT hearing aid vs bad hearing aid.

DO REMEMBER, most mid price instruments do offer open fit, noise reduc, fed back canceller, SO THEY WOULD on average do a good job…

ONE MUST realize that not all hearing professionas are equal…

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Its been my experience with both Audibel and Beltone that they are only after your money and they did indeed get a considerable of mine before I found that my HAs were being tampered with so they could sell me more…

im pretty sure they booth have good audis maybe
you had poor luck… Overall most companies have products
which can do OK fittings…
I think Admin will concurr


One, I don’t think either has a degreed audiologist working anywhere in the US, only distributors (salespersons)
Two, are you saying that these type of practices are to be condoned?

Dear 3put

to dispense in the US you either need to be an Audi or a HIS, while a HIS do not have the same amount of University training, there are some really good HIS. Any case they need to have a valid state liscense - it is often not hard to pass. It has been my expereince that generally are supervised…

Out side the US, most Hearing aids are dispense by HIS, for example
in spain there is little requirement to dispense aids, as a consequence
There are a lot of Optical stores that sells hearing aids like a side business…


dear 3 putt:
i have no moral authority to condoned any dispenser- audi at all.
However, generally the market takes care of them…
The only way to growth is to do a good job and get a strong word of mouth…
for example 50% of my practice comes through referals, I can not afford
a client which is not happy… I would tend to think that most of my collegues follow a similar pattern

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Then you must live in an urban area with competition. I live in a smaller community, not much competition here. I did visit an audi on a trip to the midwest. I was trying to get the tubes changed in my units I was willing to pay a Beltone distributor to do this before my trip, and left with the only one she touched in 3 pieces. The audi in Kansas was able to piece things together and then after some discussion told me that he thought it was a regional thing as he had recently talked to someone from the same general area as I with basically the same problem.

The pressures on people who work for the big chain dispensers of hearing aids, are probably not much different than the pressure to maximize gross margins in any national sales outfit. These people are paid on a commission basis…sell the high priced aid and receive more commission and maybe even a spiff (an additional lump sum).

Have you tried Costco? Their dispensers are state licensed and are paid a flat salary. In my experience some are adequate and one I tried was as good as any audiologist with a Doctorate.

Have you considered on line purchases? Genesis for example is reputable and sells the good brands at 30% to 40% less than the typical local guy.

Have you checked out America Hears? They have a superb reputation and sell their brand at 50% less. Ed

…my entire point was that I suspect that both Beltone and Audibel encourage their distributors to “maybe” change the programing, or other adjustments in units after a given time in order to sell unsuspecting clients their latest models. I firmly believe that this has happened to me.

this is highly unethical not to mension illegal…
I like to give them the benefit of the doubt I dont think they will be that dumb to do this…

This is why i always give my client a copy of the settings of the hearing aid, gain, etc and keep one hard copy…

I have meet people from the GN headquarters (taaskrup)
they had never suggested anything unethical…


Uh, just what part of “there is low lifes out there that prey on the aged and hearing impaired” is it that you do not understand? You as a distributor defending your territory is to be expected, and my contention that Beltone and Audibel stoop to any means to keep up sales stands. My one hope is to get the message out there that these people use, as you said unethical, and probably illegal, means to promote more sales.