My current HAs are 3.5 yrs old which I purchased at Costco. I really like the channel free and automatic functionality of these HAs. I noticed I was not hearing as well for quiet sometime so had my hearing retested at the hearing center associated with the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. This was the 3rd time I have have had them perform the testing and have been very satisfied. Based on my test they recommended the Phonak Exelia (the iCom has caught my attention). I have searched this forum for posts regarding bluetooth HAs and thought it would be wise to post the results of my search for new HAs.
This week I went to Costco and free of change they replaced the tubing and open bulbs on the Symbios. I had them reprogram them according to my new tests and I must say that has really made an improvement from what I was hearing before.
While there they programmed a set of the new Kirkland Signature HAs. They are what I would call a hybrid Siemen’s Pure 700/500. The form factor is exactly the same and for a $1000 HA the features were pretty impressive. The show stopper for me is that it is not a totally automatic HA, ie you have to change programs based on the environment you are in. Also it does not work with the TEK. The great thing I have found about Costco is that they will reprogram the aids as long as you own them for no change as well as replace the tubing. I did walk around for about 20 min and other than noticing a slight difference in my own voice was pretty impressed. I have to admit I had no idea what listening program I was in so for all I knew it could have been voice in quiet which Costco at noon is anything but.
For those that might be interested here is the features of this aid:
Analyzes the listening environment and automatically adapts noise mgt, mic directionality and feedback control, automatic multichannel adaptive directional mic, sound location,automatic feedback cancellation, wireless binaural communication with one button program selection, soundsmoothing for rustling paper, etc, wind reduction, data logging and aquaprotection with nano coating and mic gore protection. So for a $1000 buck not a bad deal.
I have an appointment next week with another hearing center to see what they recommend. Also I may stop in at another center that is having an open house tomorrow.
So far in the running is Exelia (plus iCom) $5375, Bernafon ICOS $3200 and for comparison the Kirklands for $2000.
Here is my test:
Current Test Results:
250 L15,R20- 500 L20,R25- 1000 L25,R30- 1500 L35,R45- 2000
L55,R65- 3000 L65,R65- 4000 L60,R65- 6000 L50,R55- 8000 L45,R50
These results are generally no change or +5-10 db additional loss since
Aug '06. The exception is at 8k Hz where it is R +20 and L +15 db loss.