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


I’d like to hear your feedback after trying them both. You have a nice loss for the Opn. Keep in mind that from a pitch/richness/sharpness perspective they can be made to sound very similar, so I’d recommend focussing on your speech in noise experience. Oticon put a huge amount of marketting into their “open” platform, and Phonak is turning around and saying that what Oticon is saying is a bunch of BS. Would be nice to hear from users.


I think we sometimes tend to over complicate things and I am telling from my own personal experience. There are things you can control and there are things you cannot control. Just relax, trust your instincts and break it down as follows, as these matters the MOST. Rest are gimmicks.

Things you can control:

  1. Speech audibility - are you able to understand speech well
  2. To a lesser extent, are you able to understand speech well in the presence of noise and multiple people - either via the default mode or via speech in noise programs
  3. To a lesser extent, are you able to hear music at a comfortable volume and without clipping. All of us enjoy music to varying extents - its one of the pleasures of life and transcends boundaries, regions, religions, etc.

Things you cannot control:

  1. Audis programming both HAs differently which affects your perception above. This will be there and you cannot control it and there will be no end to the variations. It will be a lifelong learning exercise as it has been for me and you just need to see what ‘end to end’ solution works best for you as far as speech audibility is concerned. You simply will need to trust your instinct and see what delivers most to you.


For what it’s worth, I tried out the OPN first based on my provider’s recommendation and I stopped there because I was happy enough with it in the end and didn’t feel the need or curiosity to try out something else out of fear of “missing out” on something that I didn’t know about yet.

My provider was willing to switch me to something else when I initially didn’t understand how the OPN works and had the wrong expectation about its performance and expressed my concern with her and she couldn’t address my concern. But after I did further research on it afterward and reset my expectation properly, I became happy with it and decided to stick with it.

I think it’s worth sitting back and think what your goal is. To achieve/restore good hearing, or to find the best hearing aids? If the earlier, then you can stop as soon as you find one you’re happy with. If the later, then no matter how happy you are with the first or second one, you probably shouldn’t stop until you’ve tried out all the 6 major brands’ premium models.


I just learned something rather unsettling from my new Audi. Namely, many Audis are given set-up stipends needed to begin or to sustain a practice by one manufacturer. But, there is a proviso in the contract between the Audi and the manufacturer that the Audi must sell at least a minimum percentage (something like 66%-80%) of that manufacturer’s brand to the customers. Thus, a contractual bias to talking up only one brand (and perhaps denigrating other brands) as part of the sales pitch. “The answer is money; now, what was the question?”


Not a not unusual. It happens in all types of businesses. For a new start up business it is common practice.


As always, thank you for your comments. My audi is not new to the business; she’s a single-cell (i.e. one person) operation and I believe she has a good reputation and is a knowledgeable audiologist. I don’t believe there is any means by which to know if an office is “pushing” a particular brand for reasons unaddressed. But I believe it may occur in some places.

In terms of what my goal(s) is/are, what you are suggesting are good ones, Volusiano. I do want to achieve the best hearing I can and I want to find the best hearing aids that will help me get there. I don’t think my motivation is a fear of “missing out” on the next great gizmo – maybe it is, but I don’t think so. And I certainly don’t wish to trial numerous models just to try them.

I also don’t wish to be pushed into a HA model without at least the prospect of trying another that offers features I think might fit me better. I’m more than willing to discuss this with my audi. And I’m leaning towards interviewing another audi group to see how I feel about them and how accommodating of my plans they may be. As to what the end result is – guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Finally, if I am able to trial both the Audeo M and Oticon OPN, I will share my experience. It may be a bit, tho’ as I hear the Marvel t-coil isn’t going to be available for a while. [crossing fingers]


Keep your options open. I have been using OPN1 for a while now (and paid a ton for it too) and now I am trialing Phonak B50 for a few days. Good Lord, the Phonak and Autosense seems like revelation to me. There’s such excellent focus on speech audibility in a very clean manner, that it sounds almost analog to me. I am able to hear my wife’s speech so clearly now, and video lectures over the headphones sound with much more clarity. I am now listening to music and I am able to pick out the words cleanly and the music doesnt sound clipped at all…

I will be very interested in Audeo M when its time.

Of course perceptions vary, and lot of it can be a result of programming and programs. The point though is that, both are good hearing aids and you MUST definitely try them both out.


You need another audiologist. I’ve been able to demo at least 4 different hearing aids for comparison.


ALWAYS follow the MONEY. No one in business is a Humanitarian, it’s about the money. Sales people will always steer you toward the make, model where the profit margin is the highest.
It would be nice to know the actual cost of HA. Any Audi’s on the forum care to tell us? My guess is somewhere in the $1000 range.


I don’t know how true it is but I get my hearing aids from US Veterans Admistration and I have been told that the VA pays 10% of market value for the hearing aids and extras as well as supplies.


Can be quite a bit higher than that for top range for a private audiologist. At least here in Canada–I suppose one has to account for conversion rate. Price can be substantially affected by a practitioner’s relationship with the manufacturer, as manufacturers will offer significant volume discounts. Costco, VA, WSIB all pay dramatically lower amounts for hearing aids, much to the frustration of private audiologists who would like to be able to offer hearing aids to everyone for those amounts.

I disagree with your basic premise. I try to steer my patients towards the cheaper option, given a particular style/level. That being said, I have no idea what our margins are, by design. Also, I don’t consider myself to be working in sales.


Since you’ve been wearing Phonak HA’s you might have trouble switching to Oticon because your used to the Phonak sound. If your audi is unwilling to provide you with several different Ha’s to try it’s time to move on to someone else.


You failed to mention are you an employee, which answers the profit margin question. If you are an owner, then you didn’t answer the profit margin. I’m just trying to get an idea of the profit margin, which IMHO is quite high.


Employee, yes. No commission. I try to keep myself away from the financial end.

From what I gather, I would probably be a bad owner and my clinic would not thrive. :rofl: