When your audi offers only one HA choice -- what to do?


#21

Eh, not dumb ass. Maybe you’ll be one of the people who have no problem at all! And when rechargeables work well, that freedom from worrying about getting a low battery beep when you are in the middle of something important is really nice.


#22

Maybe. But being on the road a lot I’ll probably be using regular 312s a lot anyway. I keep them everywhere. Live and learn. Of course at my age if I haven’t learned by now the chances are slim.


#23

You can manage disposable battery changes to avoid low battery beeps also, right? Once you’ve established your usage pattern so you know how conservative an interval to use, anyway.


#24

Batterirs are cheap. Mine get changed every 7 days. And I’m never without spares.


#25

Lots to learn here. Again, thank you all. Sounds like, as said, there is no standard in terms of Audiologist’s who allow trialing multiple HAs and those who do not. My summation of what has been offered by you all is that I should either start out with trying the Oticon’s (making sure that I have a refundable agreement) and see how I like them and/or trial another HA as needed OR look around for another audi that is more accommodating. And then, of course, there is the issue of whether rechargeable batteries or t-coil option or Android preference make a dent in my preference. Yes, lots to learn and lots to think about.

Of course, it would be an easier decision if the Marvel were already out and I could ask for reviews. If, for instance, the unit is still in the rough stage, that would make this decision more simple. Equally so, I do not know if I will find another audi that is a better fit for me. Guess I have some work to do.


#26

I would find another Audiologist, You would not go to an Optometrist if they only had 1 style or brand of frames. You are spending your money to improve your health and well being not making their life easier by giving you one option.
Just My 2 cents.


#27

From a sound perspective, the Marvels will be similar to the Phonak Belongs, which are already excellent. They adjusted their automatic switching slightly, added subprograms for music vs speech streaming, and reduced their high fequency gain for first fits. The streaming quality has improved, but I’d otherwise expect the sound of them to be pretty indistinguishable from the Belongs. So you could certainly look at Belong reviews and mentally add bluetooth connectivity, and some of the problems with the rechargeables fixed.


#28

Thanks for all your advice. I had hoped this would be easy, but since I am not willing…yet…to just go with what’s being offered offered without some more looking and reviewing of what is available to me, it will be just as complex as I choose to make it.


#29

alias4cat, I have had the same issue as you for many years … until I shared with my aud-guy that buying expensive aids is like test-driving a car. One would never expect a person to drive on a lot and drive away with just ONE model of car driven. I think that resonated with him.

Yes, it involves extra effort on the part of your audi - and perhaps she resists your “test driving” more than one model because 1.) it’s a waste of time, and you’ll accept her first recommendation anyway, or 2.) she’s not trained to fit any other model, so she’s picked a super popular one.

I would let her know that given the cost of aids, you really feel it’s your right to try more than one model. She should at least be consoled by the fact that you’d ultimately buy one from HER. But if she is not able to meet your needs as a customer, consider asking another HA fitter. And make that your first question - Will you let me try out more than one model?


#30

Part of the tension here is also that many audiologists do not consider themselves hearing aid salesmen–they charge for their services and the cost of the hearing aid is additional to that. If someone is willing to pay the fitting fee for every hearing aid they try, I can’t imagine it being a problem. But if they are not, the are essentially saying, “please provide your services for free.”


#31

Neville, you make a great point IF the hearing aids are priced separately from the audiologist’s services. However, at least in the U.S., most audiologists only offer a bundled price. The OP didn’t say which level of OPNs, so it’s hard to tell the pricing, but it’s probably in the $4K-$6K range, which certainly would cover the cost of two fittings. The various audiologists I initially talked to would also charge a fitting fee (in the $250 range) if I didn’t purchase any hearing aids from him/her.


#32

Maybe. I imagine most bundles are accounting for an average number of visits over a specified period of time and predicting average service costs. However, I do not run my own business and I stay far from the finances, so I may be very naive.


#33

I have worked with many audiologists - both standalone, and Costco. All my HA purchases have been after demos of quite a few brands and I have never paid a restocking fee. The Audis I have worked with always have a few preferred brands (not just one). I stick to what they are familiar with (its a lot of investment of their time and knowledge to know so much about so many brands). If I want to try a different brand, I go to an Audi who is comfortable with that brand. I have multiple follow up visits.

I typically live in big cities with access to volume/variety to make it a good symbiosis for both sides. I guess your problem is that you are living in a relatively smaller town with lesser choices. I have typically found Audis to be friendly and supportive of your need and want to hear the best. I would hope you would be able to find someone else who’s more familiar with a few brands (not all and not just one)


#34

Maybe with the premium HAs, the providers make plenty enough profit margin on a pair that it should have been enough to cover the service cost to fit two or 3 pairs for the patient.

So if the provider is competent enough to match well the first time and make the patient become totally happy enough with the first pair, as a keeper, then the provider gets to earn a bigger profit margin.

But if the provider can’t quite keep the patient happy with the first pair and must accommodate a second pair on the patient, maybe there’s still enough profit margin in there for the service costs of 2 different HA fittings.

By the time it goes down to resorting to the third pair, maybe the profit margin thins out a bit and this will be the last pair the provider will accommodate the patient before starting to charge additional fees for the patient to try out more than 3 pairs.


#35

This conversation about trying more than one set of HAs has been illuminating. And I can really see both sides of the issue – that audiologists deserve to be paid for their time and expertise and that clients want to have some voice in their very expensive purchase.

1Bluejay, I like your analogy of driving more than one model before buying. And that, indeed, is what’s driving my concern (ha, a pun!). This will be only my second pair of HAs. I am an android person and will not be switching to all things iphone just to make the interface (ConnectClip?) with auxiliary units (phone, tv, microphone) easier. But that’s not to say that using an interface to connect to all these is a deal-breaker; it’s not, particularly if I love my new hearing result. But…the model suggested, the Oticon OPN 1, is not geared towards android. And I’ve loved the Phonak Audeo Yes IX models I currently have (although they are dated and I have been told that any new model will show me a far more enhanced range of hearing). So what I would like is the opportunity to try both – the suggested model and the Marvels.

Here’s my concern – does this make sense? I trial the Oticon and think it’s great. I can “deal” with whatever is needed to make it work. But later, I have the opportunity to trial the Phonaks and realize that this really is a better fit for me, both in sound quality and in mechanical interface – that really lessens my happiness with the Oticons. Of course, to be fair, I might try both and still prefer the original suggestion (Oticon), but at least I’d feel like I had something to compare it with.

Unless they both suck (a technical term, indeed), I’m sure to purchase one from my audi and it seems to me that I should have that opportunity. So at this point, I’m setting up a free consultation with another audi business and I’m going to ask my current audi if she handles Phonak, because I really don’t know if she can even offer me the option of trying both. I’d like to give her my business, if possible.


#36

There’s another aspect you need to consider if you want to try out at least 2 different brands/models. Unless you can find an audi who’s willing to let you try out two pairs consecutively, going to 2 audis to try two different pairs may present the issue that you’ll have to try them out in parallel, because you’ll most likely be given only 30 days to try them out, and because you can’t make a decision until you’ll have trialed both.

This can be difficult because you can get confused switching them back and forth and not be able to have given neither of them time to “sink in” for you. Usually the trial period is about 30 days (or even shorter), so that’s barely enough time to get readjusted and acquainted with a pair of HA…


#37

You clearly want to try more than one, so go ahead and do it. I’d encourage trying to think about how you’re going to compare them in advance though. You might find the post I have on sound quality interesting and the video that is linked to it. Any premium hearing aid should be able to notably improve your hearing. Heck, getting your old aids readjusted would likely be a major improvement.


#38

MDB, good point. My Audi did adjust my current HAs about one year ago. And they are better. But she says that’s the best she can do on them. She wanted me to get new HAs a year ago, but I was not ready. Now I am.


#39

Yes, that’s the issue – how to compare two different brands/models. Or rather one of the issues. The first is to find, if I can, an audi that will allow me to trial more than one HA. I want to be upfront about that in the beginning. And the second issue is doing it. I think I’d like to trial the Oticon first, particularly as the Marvel with t-coil won’t be available until Feb (so I read). I’ve not had a t-coil before and it was recommended to me. It’s not a need, but I am interested in having that potential of hearing.

I am not in a rush; just trying to get the pieces in place.


#40

My audiologist (in a multiple Au.D office) offers 60-day trials with no stated limit on the number. I tried two, and stopped there because the ReSound LiNX 3D had what I wanted. But she didn’t pressure me to stop there, not at all. The price for a pair of 9-level aids was $5600, which is on the low end for full-service offices from what I’ve read on this forum. That includes one year of professional services. And this is in a pretty high cost-of-living area. So apparently it is possible to make money while providing the selection and service that we need. But I imagine it isn’t easy to build a business like this.