Unitron Quantum Pro 20 - First Impressions!

Just picked them up this past Tuesday. Audi did a little fine tuning while I was in the office before I went outside to the sounds of New York City. I purchased the CIC Model. Love how small they are and how free my ears feel and look. First time I wear two aids since most of my life I’ve only worn one really old BTE Aid on my left ear. The old aid as I mention in other threads is an Oticon 300P which is ancient yet super powerful. (I just can’t seem to let go of the Analog “Natural” hearing this device has provided me for most of my life, yet cosmetically it really annoys me in terms of looks, but that’s just me)

About the new Unitrons…I’m not liking the overall sound which is very tinny like and I’m having to put the volume very far up since I am missing out on many soft sounds such as people speaking nearby in a library or bank branch whereas my old Oticon aid easily picks all of that up. Plus, since I have the volume almost at Max, anything remotely close in front or around me, or even my own voice, is very loud!

My biggest complains right now are the tinny like sounds for everything, not bassy enough and natural sounding like my old analogs, and the fact they cost $5 Grand! It’s only week one of my 45-Day Trial but my Audi scheduled to see me in two weeks which in my opinion is very far out. I’m not even wearing the new aids since I put my old one back in last night and I’m ready for some more fine tuning. I don’t need two weeks time between visits. I can know in as little 24-48 hours what sounds I like and don’t like to go back for another adjustment. I don’t want to give up so quickly on these like I did 3 years ago with the Siemens Pure 700 and Phonak Audeo Yes IV.

I’m going to try and be a little more optimistic this time around mostly because I really want to stop wearing this old and huge aid and move on to something almost invisible and finally in both ears rather than just one. Otherwise, I’ll continue to save money until I get to my $20-25K mark and just go abroad for the regeneration of hair cells procedures that are available in other countries. That’s a whole notha subject though, lol.

There are a few issues that i see with this situation. Allow me to explain.

Problem number 1 - Compared to your original bte the cic doesn’t have the power that you are used to. It really never can have that type of punch. So your expectation of the cic is really never going to be satisfied. Aside from that, the CIC that you are using is doing things based on environmental factors that potentially result in less gain, which takes away from your environmental perception. That said, I wouldn’t have picked this hearing aid for you simply relying on your previous experience. I would have picked another hearing aid that did not do as much processing.

Problem number 2 - if you do want that punchy sound from modern hearing aids, the conventional method of fitting hearing aids should essentially be ignored. Conventional methods will always underfit you… resulting in a tinny and flat sound quality. To get as close to your old hearing aid sound as possible, have your dispenser read off the data in a hearing aid test box and program a new hearing aid based on those results.

I hope that helps.

Sorry it took me a few days to respond but yes this definetly helps! I guess deep down inside I knew this all along, I just never had another professional tell me this before and wish someone had told me long ago when I started trying the “Conventional” method back in 2009.

My first follow-up appointment is next Tuesday which I will share with him these findings and see if he will be up to the task of this new approach. When the Audi reads the data off my old aid, ultimately, will I still be fitted with “Digital” aids rather than “Analog”? Not sure who makes analog aids these days anymore.

Off the top of your head, what aids do you think I should start taking a look at? I’ll be happy to visit the company websites and get a feel for what might be coming my way and what styles they have such as CIC or not.

Again, thank you for your input, I had a huge sigh of relief when I read your post as this exactly explains why I always had my doubts. The flat and tinny sound will never be acceptable to me and I don’t want aids that have so much advanced tech in them such as sound suppression, conversation mode, dining room mode, meeting room mode, and all. I’m not a fan of that stuff to be honest.

Ideally you should be looking at another BTE or RIC model. The RIC is also behind the ear with the speaker in your ear which is connected by a thin wire. You want nothing less than the power reciever for your loss.

My honest opinion though is that you should really be in another BTE. An example of one I would pick for you is the Oticon Ino Pro Power BTE. This is essentially an upper entry level model which has some automation with respect to directionality and noise reduction as well has wireless potential for use with bluetooth phones and various other accessories. There are other hearing aids that would work for you, but i think this is a great option for you to try.

I spoke with my Audi about what you said when I was at my 4th Fitting yesterday. So far, the aids have the power, lots of it. I’m now only going up about to or three notches on the volume to level 8 or 9 max out of 12 being the highest. Now it’s just a matter of the quality of sounds and yesterday my Audi went outside with me so that I can give him live feedback and we can make further adjustments. We made those adjustments and then we played music in his office. I didn’t like the way the music sounded at all. One minute it was metallic sounding or tinny or no bass or too bassy but quiet overall or too high pitched and hurt my ears.

I then put my old hearing aid on my left ear and kept the new one on in my right ear. The music sounded great in my left ear and not so great in my right ear. My Audi said I need to give them time for my brain to retrain to the new sounds I’m hearing. Great and valid point but I have one final question.

I thought about this on the way home while listening to music on my phone using my standard Samsung in the ear headphones (I just remove my hearing aid when I want to listen to my headphones). How come headphones sound normal to me, just like my old hearing aid does. These are the same headphones everyday consumers use! This means the way the sounds are being perceived from these everyday headphones are not any different from what you guys hear which brings me to ask…why are these digital aids soo horrible sounding and all of a sudden I need to retrain my brain to new way of hearing???

Even today’s music headphones are advanced audio with more clear sounds than ever and when I wear them, I don’t have any problems with the way music sounds whether I’m wearing headphones or my old analog hearing aids. After thinking this yesterday, I think I’ve finally convinced myself that new hearing aid technology just isn’t for me. I’ve tried so many and in my opinion they all sound very new and weird. I’m not saying it’s bad technology, I’m just convinced now that I’ll never be happy with it I guess.

I’ll start saving so that I can one day afford to get the procedure done for regeneration of hair cells even if I have to go abroad.

You have a relatively flat loss, so just amplification is satisfactory for music. Several months ago, my son told me that I don’t have enough music in my life. I started thinking about that, got a new audiogram, and found out why. Now I have a t-coil music program, t-coil earhooks, and an MP3 player-- I could listen to music all my waking hours (except when talking with people), and am now dealing with anxiety much better. I claim that my HA’s are fully functioning earbuds, but have to go in for another fitting appt (hopefully it is just that) to get it even better.

Flat losses are less expensive to deal with when it comes to music.

Your question is a fantastic one. It is one that links all of us, hard of hearing or not. All broadcast sound, be it from tv radio or media device is identical for all of us. Whether you are hard of hearing or not, all you have to do is adjust the volume to your preference and all is well. This is why I am not a believer of retraining the brain. Frankly, I think that is nonsense unless you have been living in isolation with little to no noise and then suddenly you need to move into a noisy place.

Here is the primary issue. Todays hearing aids are set up using various formulae which is based on your functional hearing thresholds for frequencies ranging from 250Hz - 8KHz. This does not address your preferred levels of hearing speech. This theoretically addresses the functional part of your hearing capacity and trys to squeeze all sounds into that range. Again… this is purely threshold based rather than preferred speech levels.

This is where we run into problems with people who have been conditioned to the analog/linear amplification method. Modern hearing aid fitting methods are entirely contradictory to what you have ‘learned’ with your analog hearing aids. With your analog aids, you simply turned up the volume to your prefered setting and all was well. At best most analog hearing aids had a bass and treble control to address certain efficiencies/deficiencies with your hearing thresholds, but not in a great amount. So even if you did nothing with those controls, if you set the volume to your preferred setting, things were pretty good.

Modern hearing aids need to be fit entirely differently for people like yourself who are used to hearing in your own way and perhaps even gently weened off that method. But to suddenly change would ultimately result in an unhappy user like yourself saying that digital hearing aid are terrible. I assure you and all those like you, that the digital hearing aids are not the problem. Your success entirely depends on the way we fit them.

Regardless of what hearing aid you are fit with (as long as it has enough gain) your audi should complete speech mapping verification testing with your old aid at different levels of speech (especially soft speech) and try their best to match the frequency response of the new device to your old one. The best way to do this is to measure the response in your ear. Also, the Unitron Q20 is a great aid but too quiet for you (meaning it does not amplify soft sounds).
I would recommend a Phonak Naida III or V CRT with a SP (super power) mini earmold. This aid has an adjustment to allow you to hear many soft sounds around you including speech cues from people two stalls away from you at the post office. It will also have enough power to meet your hearing loss and is much smaller and more comfortable than your old BTE. I fit a lot of Unitron and Phonak aids and this is the route I would have taken for you (I’ve seen other clients in the same situation many times). Best of luck, hopefully yoour audi with try the verification with old fitting and make the comparison. The Q20’s will always sound “soft” to you though.

Thank you to all three of you for your feedback. Tomorrow I will go back and try a few more adjustments as well as look at other options based on your suggestions as well as my Audi’s suggestion. I knew this wouldn’t be easy and I have to be patient. The hardest thing for me is the cosmetics of all this. I’ve been told by several people that I would need to do the custom mold rather than domes. I would rather domes since they go in my ear and are hard to see but I guess occlusion and feedback become a problem??? Again, for cosmetic reasons.

I’ll post more feedback later this week after my next appointment.

After the last adjustment, I decided that I want to try something new. Bottom line is I do not like the manufactured digital sounds at all. Also, if I’m trying to make $5000 pair of hearing aids work like analog, then no reason to spend 5K right? So I asked my Audi for his next recommendation and he said the Quantum Pro 6 is from the same family but their entry level version. To me, this is basically the same hearing aid but with less features. Doesn’t this mean that it has the same audio algorithms as the Quantam Pro 20 aids? My take is that if this is true, the sounds will still be tinny and horrible.

My Audi said to stick with Unitron for my next aid since they already have my impressions so I guess we are going with another CIC which I don’t mind since cosmetically I like them but I’m not ready to go through the same sound samples as before. This will just frustrate me more.

Yes, the Quantum 6 will sound the same as the Quantum 20. Your loss is pretty flat so 20 channels was way overkill.

ABerri, see my signature. I think you need to try a different brand.

That’s exactly what I assumed. Not sure what the Audi is expecting by trying to put me into basically the same thing. I’ll know from the very first visit this time whether I want to be patient with the new Quantam 6 or not.

I completly agree with you. I’m ready to try something different and was hoping my Audi would have a much better perspective after these past 4 weeks. Your signature was very helpful. Sounds like Unitron just doesn’t have the best overall sound noting how you felt about them as well.

Question to all: If I decide not to pursue buying aids from my Audi, he gets to keep my $500 deposit since it’s 10% of the Quantum 20 downpayment that is not refundable. Now if I go with a cheaper aid, shouldn’t my deposit amount be altered? I am now going with a much lower cost hearing aid and therefore should only stand to lose a smaller deposit if the next set of aids do not work out.

What’s the consensus on how all of this works?

I can’t help you with the deposit issue, but personally I don’t know how anyone can stand Unitron aids. I see there are many somewhat satisfied users, but I wonder if that’s because they never tried another brand. I found the Unitron’s full of ridiculous features that distorted the hell out everything I heard. For me the first rule would be good quality basic sound (good receiver and mic, clean signal path), then add noise reduction algorithms, etc. I could never get the former, so the latter was wasted on a crappy sounding instrument. Your mileage may vary.

Read your thread, and I agree with the other people who have suggested trying a different company - not just another unitron HA. I expect the second unitron HA will sound similar (or worse) than the first one you tried…it just may not be the right manufacturer for you.

If your previous hearing aids, that you loved, were Oticon’s then that’s what I would suggest you try. It seems to me that spinning your wheels on the unitron HA’s is a waste of time though.

I’m going to try and be a little more optimistic this time around mostly because I really want to stop wearing this old and huge aid and move on to something almost invisible and finally in both ears rather than just one. Otherwise, I’ll continue to save money until I get to my $20-25K mark and just go abroad for the regeneration of hair cells procedures that are available in other countries. That’s a whole notha subject though, lol.

good luck with that idea

I wear Pure Carats (ric) with w/HP receivers and custom molds no one notices the aids or the molds. The custom molds are so much more comfortable I would never consider going back to domes even if I could.
Why would you want new technology aids to sounds the same as 10yo aids? Ask to trial a pair and have them use the nal2 fitting formula and turn SoundBrilliance off. The sound you will get with custom molds is far superior to domes.

Yet, I get some of the highest satisfaction rates of all the hearing aids I have fitted.

They are more than ‘somewhat satisfied’ with their results, and Unitron have actually been one of the few companies to prove that their noise management/directional tools are effective - by handing over the management of this to the end user, they have also made the decision making of the wearer integral to the process. The efficacy of this process has been borne out by Phonak adopting the same Automatic structure in their newest product launch for binaural zoom.

In this particular case they might not be appropriate: unfortunately we don’t sell silver bullets; so like the good Doc says above it might make sense to go back to the Oticon system they were happier with.

I’m trialing a pair of Unitron Moxi Pros right now. 6 weeks as of tomorrow, and they have been working quite well. They put the Siemens Centra Actives they replaced to shame. Natural sounding and the feedback system is amazing. Reading about the new Phonak Quest platform model’s features, it sounds to me like these Unitron Pro aids already have the new binaural smart focus system. (That indeed works really well)

Thank you everyone for your feedback!! I completely agree that I should be trying out a different brand. Today I go back to start trialing the Quantum 6 and don’t want to say anything to my Audi just yet until after I put them on. I’ll know right away if I’m going to be experiencing the same issues as I did with the Quantum 20s or not. If so, I’m going to tell him straight up that I don’t want them and we need to try something new.

In the meantime on the side, I’ve been looking around for Analog CIC hearing aids and have come across 2 different companies I like. I’ll discuss this in the proper forums though. Thank you again everyone!

I’m in my first week of trying out the Unitron Quantum 6 and yes there is a big difference now from the Quantum 20. This time there is a lot less processing going on but I’m not too happy with the sound quality. To be short and simple, everything is very boomy bass loud, my voice is very loud and boomy, I’m constantly hearing a deep whooshing sound when in quiet environments (must be the furnace) and the TV and music sound as if you are placing a pillow over the speaker or boombox where the sounds are there but suppressed yet deep and boomy.

When my wife speaks, I hear her normally, loud, and clear with my old Oticon 300P Analog aid but with the new Quantum 6, she is very soft spoken and I’m asking her to repeat. Anything directly in front or around me such as my voice, or if I’m closing the fridge door, or closet door, or just tapping my fingers on the table, it’s very loud and deep bassy sounding.

If I lower the volume, then the surrounding environment will become too soft sounding and I won’t hear much except for my own voice. Gonna try and go in tomorrow for another adjustment.