Where to start looking for a CROS aid? New to hearing loss and hearing aids

Over the last two years my left side hearing started to degrade, accelerating to very pronounced loss in the last year. Vestibular Schwannoma confirmed to be the cause a few weeks ago, and it looks like I will be heading for a CROS style pair of hearing aid devices.

I am in the fortunate position that my insurance will subsidize up to $2500 towards hearing aids every three years, and that I live in Florida where the law dictates that hearing aid purchases be accompanied by a 30 day trial period with money back guarantee.

Budget? As I mentioned, my insurance will kick in up to $2500 and I am mostly willing to match if it is really worth it. I’m not wealthy by any means, but if the difference in performance merits it I will find a way.

Features? Any type of wireless connectivity with my phone for configuration, hands free calling, streaming music would be fantastic. I am currently an android user but would consider switching to apple if it made any difference here.

Struggles? I mostly struggle to hear in noisy environments. I suspect that is pretty common around here.

Where should I start looking? I really appreciate any input here… my mind is still swirling from this diagnosis and it’s been difficult to shake the feeling that I am somehow no longer whole. Really happy to find a community like this for guidance and support. Thanks in advance.

Jay

1 Like

No experience with CROS or BiCROS, but I am aware that Signia and Rexton have wireless ear to ear solutions that use a lower frequency than Bluetooth for reliability. Ear to ear wireless basically has to go through your head and the higher 2.4 GHz Bluetooth does not do that well. The Signia and Rexton hearing aids also do direct wireless streaming with an iPhone, which I would recommend. Here is a link to look at. I am sure there are other options, but this happens to be one I am aware of that does the streaming and has the special ear to ear communication technology. Signia and Rexton are sister companies basically offering the same aids under two different brand names but under one owner.

Signia Nx CROS Hearing Aids

1 Like

Oticon Opn S from this month too.

Full MFi and streaming too.

1 Like

Thanks!! The Oticon solution looks really good, but the CROS device doesn’t appear to come in rechargeable form. How much less convenient do folks find it to have to change batteries compared to a rechargeable model?

I do like that their clip-on mic accessory would allow me to do streaming/calls from an android device.

Thanks!! The Oticon solution looks really good, but the CROS device doesn’t appear to come in rechargeable form. How much less convenient do folks find it to have to change batteries compared to a rechargeable model?

Replaceable vs rechargeable is often debated. I went for replaceable batteries and don’t regret it. Yes you have to change batteries every 5-6 days, but as long as you carry some spares, you are never out of power. Worst is that you have to take a minute to change to a new one. Rechargable is more expensive to buy, and if the batteries fail can be expensive to replace. Replaceable batteries are so cheap at a place like Costco that you never make up the extra cost with saved batteries. The other issue is drying the hearing aids at night. Some chargers also dry the hearing aids, but some do not. With replaceable batteries you just open the battery door and put them in a desiccant jar. Simple and reliable. When you travel you need to bring the charger and have a place to plug it in. So many pros and cons, and it comes down to a personal choice.

On the Oticon I would check on exactly how they get the signal from one ear to another. Bluetooth uses a 2.4 GIGA Hz signal, and does not go through body parts well. The Signia uses a proprietary 3.5 MEGA Hz signal, and it does go through body parts. If you do a wireless ear to ear CROS you need the signal to be reliable.

2 Likes

Thanks Sierra!! Sounds like it’s mostly a wash on the pro/cons of rechargeable.
Shopping around online, I have noticed that some providers like ziphearing are significantly less expensive compared to the pricing directly from the audiologist I was working with. There is so much information to take in and digest! I also plan to call the costco hearing aid center - seems like people on here have good success there.

I edited the post above to say you need to watch the ear to ear technology wireless used. Signia have been doing this for a while. Costco to my knowledge does not do CROS unfortunately.

1 Like

There are three products that will work with your Android device and be truly hands-free. The older Phonak B-Direct, the current Phonak Marvels and the Costco KS9’s (which are slightly de-featured Marvels). Most of the other products will have the Apple connectivity.
Costco has a 6 month trial period where you are.
I have a friend that lost a hearing side due to a tumor. He tried aids but didn’t like it. He just makes do without sound location. The aid in the dead side doesn’t help for directionality as everything comes in one ear anyway.

1 Like

Thanks z10! I believe I am in the same boat as your friend - benign tumor on my left side. I am hoping that wearing aids will help my speech recognition and noisy places and keep me from having to crane my head around to point my good ear towards people in conversation, but also prepared for the possibility that I won’t like them.

The Phonak’s look really nice, but it looks like you use the connectivity for streaming/calls when you use the CROS device with them =( I assume they are repurposing the bluetooth connection as a dedicated CROS link leaving you with no channel for a streaming device to use.

I’ll leave technical functions to the likes of the very helpful Um_bongo above.

Yes my friend will always try to position himself so that his good ear is towards the people he’s with. Other than age, I believe he hears fine with it. Obviously being down an ear will make general hearing less than ideal. Maybe you’d be fine with the CROS concept throwing everything into one ear.

If you’ve had a test and have the audiogram then you can enter it into this site if you like.

1 Like

Thanks! I am hopeful it will work.

Is there a specific place I should upload my hearing test results? how-to/instructions? Thanks!!

Just having this interaction on this forum is helpful.

I am pretty sure that the Phonak devices use Bluetooth for ear to ear communication, or at least that is what they do with the Marvel. I would avoid that for reasons I posted above. Not sure about the Oticon and what they use.

1 Like

If you click on your avatar at the top right of the screen there should be a link under Preferences (gear) to where you can enter your audiogram results.

1 Like

Thank you Sierra!!! I really appreciate it =)

I think you are right about the bluetooth. Seems to be prevalent with these CROS accessories and I am glad you mentioned the problems with it as I otherwise might have made that mistake! Oticon OPN S seems to use a different channel so it can still bluetooth to an iPhone. Wish it supported Android but looks like the clip-on mic allows that capability and that accessory is relatively inexpensive considering the overall cost of the aids.

If you look at Oticon be sure to ask about delivery. Their parent company Demant got cyber hacked and apparently it is having an impact on their ability to deliver product.

1 Like

Or way up top in the blue bar on the right side…My Audiogram.

2 Likes

Thanks! I’ve entered it! =)

Do you hear in the 3 kHz to 4 kHz range with your left ear? If you hear in that range, I am not sure you need a CROS solution. Normal hearing aids should do the trick, at least with the current loss. With most aids if the loss gets worse over time, the gain can be adjusted up, and if necessary the receiver changed for one that can handle more power. Your current loss fits quite comfortably in the lowest power standard (S) receiver capability now. Medium, Power, and Ultra Power receivers are available above that.

1 Like