I’m most of the way through a trial of Phonak Audeo S SMART RITEs with domes (not certain I have exactly the right nomenclature here). For reference, my previous aids for about 5 years were Oticon Syncro BTEs (i.e., with receiver in aid, tubes, and earmolds).
I find that the wax guards become plugged almost as frequently as the batteries need replacing. This seems odd if not disappointing to me because I keep my ears quite clean (violate all the no Q-tips deep in ear rules) and I don’t perspire much.
As a new user of this type of aid, it was initially hard to diagnose why the affected aid was suddenly nonfunctional. Replaced battery even though I heard no low-battery warning tone. Audi had not given me replacement wax guards, so I removed and cleaned them with very fine wire, magnifying glass, and strong light (not easy). Then affected aid worked.
My old earmolds were easy to keep clean. My guess is that Phonak and Oticon have different approaches to this RITE aid problem. The Phonak Agil RITEs that I trialed had domes that were very hard to clean, but the little filters (i.e., wax guards) never got plugged. These Phonak Audeo RITEs have domes that are easy to clean, but I’m concluding that the downside is that they let more wax get through to the filters. Also, with respect to something so basic as filter plugging maintenance, the Phonak manual says “See your hearing care professional.” Why don’t they just explain wax guard replacement like they explain battery replacement.
Phonak Audeo RITE useds (and other RITE users): How often do you replace wax guards? Do you do this as “preventative maintenance” or do you do it any time the aid stops working and you know it’s not the battery? Experiences? Opinions?
(Hz) L(dB) R(dB)
250 40 50
500 55 65
1K 55 60
2K 60 60
4K 70 70
8K 90 100
L: 88% SDat80dB
R: 64% SDat85dB