I have a chance to get a pair of Unique Fusion 330 aids for a discount, however they have an S receiver which is a little shy on higher DB that I need. I contacted Widex and they said I could replace the S receivers with P or M ones (reprogramming is of course just required)
Can anyone confirm that his is doable? Also, will and audi re-program them for a fee or resist doing so since they didn’t make the sale?
I’m an IT professional, can I re-program them?
Any input would be appreciated. I’m out of work right now so every buck saved is necessary but also realize that there is return on investment reality (shot to the foot) that needs to be realized.
Basically don’t assume anything. I’d suggest confirming how you’re going to implement your plan before moving forward. If you’re going to use an audiologist, confirm that they are willing to adjust hearing aids that they did not sell. If you’re going to try to do it yourself, confirm that somebody will sell you the appropriate receivers (Widex is not a big fan of DIYs) Read PVC’s DIY guide. (DIY section at bottom of page–click on links in PVC’s signature) Make sure you can get Widex software. It doesn’t look like it’s easy to get ahold of. Curious, how big a discount are you talking? Hopefully they’re less than $1000. You could manage new for probably less than $3k and other good solid aids for under $2k.
Replacing the receiver is easy, you can even find them online. The programming, however, will be your challenge. The software can be found (from a Chinese source), and you’d have to buy a USB link (from a German source) that is $300 or so. Not sure where you live, but getting an audiologist to program for you could be an even bigger challenge, but you never know until you start calling around.
Retail audi quoted me $2100 and $3100 each for the upper two Unique Fusions (330 440). The receiver on the ones I’m considering just barely hits the 65DB area and you can see from my numbers that may not work. I’ve found receivers to hit the numbers I need, but have not researched local audis that would (or not) reprogram. They are less than $1000 for the pair.
You can do $1650 per aid from Zip hearing. You can get a pair of decent RICs from Costco for $1700 (not Widex) Don’t just compare the dB rating to your audiogram. Find the fitting curves for the receivers and see how your audiogram fits in the curve. A quick search didn’t find fitting curves for the Unique, but it looked like the S receiver in the Dream might very well work. Sounds like a pretty good deal, but there will definitely be other costs. At least several hundred dollars to try self programming, assuming you can find software. Have no idea what an audiologist would charge. Good luck and keep us posted.
Thanks again MDB. Will certainly keep people posted on my experience.
I found the 4 fitting curves to the various receivers on the Unique fusion 330. The S receiver is FLAT left to right at 60, and fades out to high 60s. The P receiver goes to about 75 over to about 1K and dips further to 85 over to 8K. If I’m understanding my audiogram, the minimal 1k to 8K on the S below 60 would not be effective correction.
Good that you’ve looked at the fitting ranges. The fitting ranges I saw from Widex had some variability down at the bottom (different shades of grey)I didn’t see a key. In other hearing aids, I’ve usually seen a key specifying what kind of dome: open, semi open, closed, power or custom mold with the more closed domes allowig the aids to be fit to a more severe loss. However, I don’t know how Widex does it.
You’ve made remarkable progress in a day! I would agree that the S is marginal. Have you worn hearing aids before? If so, do you know if you like a lot of gain, or if you were finding things too loud? If you’re new to hearing aids or have problems being too loud, it might be reasonable to try the S and advance to the Ms at a later time. Also fine starting with the M.
The high priced audi let me roam about for a while with the Unique fusion (I think it was a 440 not a 330 though). They had a minimal amount of programming, and only 2 presets on board and a tulip dome. They were a bit loud and sharp, but in the 45 minutes I had them, I missed ONE word from conversation with the audi and going into the lunch room for a burger.
The overload of so many conversations was unique, and I head every word of someone checking out at the register 15! feet away. I don’t doubt it would be a new world when fully/properly fitted.
Yes, I had an aid (one ear only, all I could afford) back in 2009 from Costco. It was in the shop more than my ear, and would fade to nothing after a few hours with a fresh battery. Very disappointing wast of money.
I think from what I’ve been reading that part of the “adjustment” is how open the dome is in regards to compensating for a lot of gain? Letting some of the natural sound in to soften what your getting from the aid.
Another point of wonder. When I gave up the demos and the audi started talking, I thought I had some compression in my ears (like descending for a landing in a plane). It was not the case, I was just back to my old hearing ;-). And for amusement, I was walking along when I first left the office with the demos in and checked my phone. Wow, that’s cool the phone linked itself to the aids via Bluetooth (phone was in my hand 15 to 18 inches) and is transmitting the clicks of the screen touches!!!. Then I realized that it would have had to be paired for it to do that. I never knew my phone was making clicks when I hit a button.
A more open dome is used for people with less impaired low frequency hearing. I don’t think a fully open dome would be good for your loss, especially the right ear. A lot of the adjustment is just your brain getting used to things. Do you know what receivers and domes you were trying? Any idea what fitting formula the audiologist used? (Likely a Widex proprietary, but perhaps NAL-NL2) If you go the self programming route, you’ll want to look at classes on audiologyonline.com They’re free unless you want CE credits. Also I saw some instruction on fitting on Widex’s website. Since you’re essentially new to hearing aids, I suspect you’d do fine initially with the S receivers if you want to save some money initially.
I was aware that the open dome would not be the route to go. My research suggested a closed dome with two “vents” instead of one (though I’ve not been able to find those for Widex). The ones I demoed were tulip, and I did not know to look at the receiver at the time.
I do not know what fitting formula they were programmed for, but a kind person in the DIY area re-posted the Widex software that was hard to find. I come from and IT background and found the software to be very user friendly and hand holding. Once i had entered the model and my audiogram the software would overlay the receivers ability on top of it. The S receiver is apparently doable, with the M being recommended.
Someone posted a link in DIY for a company that has receivers for $43, and the wireless USB hardware for $108. This means I would be in a position to program them for about $100 and if needed change out the receivers for a reasonable amount. Would of course get new domes regardless.
Thank you for the tip on the classes, for about $100 with the ability to tweak on my own when I wanted to, I don’t think I could get hurt.
The only thing I can see that would change between the S and M is if I started losing more at 4K and above
Wow, $108 for a wireless programmer is fantastic. (must admit I’m skeptical, but you seem pretty careful) If your voice sounded reasonable with the tulip domes, those could work fine. They’ll allow for you to be able to take advantage of more high frequency amplification (if you want it) without feedback and allow for better noise reduction management.