Why so few programs with new hearing aids?

Soon I’ll be trialing a new HA with just 4 programs. I tend to think 4 programs is very limited and just wonder if it’s the “standard” when buying new HA’s. If you add a T-coil program then we’re just talking 3 programs which is rather bare bones. One would think new HA’s (2019/2020) would have more program versatility and a lot more “selection options” then just three programs, excluding T-coil.

In any case if you add one program for “normal mode” and then another for “background noise” and a T-coil, that leaves just one other program to choose from. All this for a $2800 HA?

1 Like

I have found that with my Widex, their universal program works best in nearly all situations. The “universal” freely switches itself amongst all available modes, regardless of whether you have specific modes programmed for you to change to manually. Not having more modes specifically programmed for you to change to does not limit the HA.

6 Likes

I only have my automatic program on my Phonak’s plus mute. I don’t need anymore.

1 Like

To be honest with you I prefer having my aids set up to be able to automatically determine the needed setting for what ever environment I am in. The less I have to thing about my hearing aids the better they are and the better I feel. Have been wearing hearing aids for 15 years, and have had aids with up to 6 programs and t really gets confusing and complicated. I would love just putting my aids in in the morning and forgetting about them until it is time to take them out.

4 Likes

I find the Phonak automatic works very well for me but if I need more there is the option of creating 35 specialized programs. Enough for you?

3 Likes

@hold4triple I quite agree with you. More programs allow for more testing and even allow for better tuned sub-programs for the automatic program. That being said, my Phonak Bolero B90 SP’s do have 5 programs next to the Automatic program and the streaming program and a phone program: 8 programs in total, IIRC.

After a year, I find I use the Automatic one a lot, the streamer program, music for speakers, music for piano, comfort in noise, speech in noise and 3D speech in noise. So I don’t have a spare for testing without sacrificing the comfort program.

Of course, if we would be able to tune the HA’s via the mobile, we could store extra programs there…future wishes…etc… No idea, why they would limit the programs.

However, seeing the replies in this thread, I am beginning to understand, why the number of manual programs isn’t a big selling point for HA’s.
Recalling the problems my mother (80) has with remembering which program is which and where she is at, there might even be a reason why some audiologists don’t even program manual programs unless you twist their arms.

1 Like

What? Is this the Marvel series only? Can they all be active at the same time?

No. Autosense switches amongst a ton of different modes depending on the sounds the hearing aids are picking up. Then you can have three additional manual program slots.

Sorry - I don’t buy just (one) program or shall we say “normal setting” fits all. That’s pie in the sky thinking. So you’re telling me your basic (normal setting) allows you to hear music just as well as a HA “music program”? And you’re telling me your one normal setting does just as well in background noise, versus a noise reduction program? And your normal HA setting hears voices behind you just as well as “reverse directional microphone program”?

If all your other programs (properly set) can’t outperform you basis HA setting then either your hearing is so bad you can’t tell the difference or you have a lousy hearing aid. And I’m not saying “such and such program” makes a night/day difference (from regular wear mode), but it should improve your hearing capability for what ever program you’re in.

If you can get by with autosense with your Phonak great, but you’re also wasting four or more programs just letting them sit idle. Hope your Audi is giving you a discount Zebra just letting autosense do all the work and ignoring the other “important” programs that came with the hearing aid.

1 Like

I do it every day and make it great. It is all in how great an Audi you have and how well your hearing aids are adjusted. And how determined you are to make it happen.
My very first hearing aids didn’t have a volume control or program button and not remote either. So I learned to work with hearing aids that you put in your ears in the morning and forget them. I hav had aids ever since that had volume controls but not program buttons, until my ads I wear now, they have both. I do adjust the volume but not change programs. But the but comes in handy if I decide to mute my aids. I do use a tv adapter, and had tinnitus relief but they are easier to set using the smartphone app

My AutoSense has music, speech in noise and speech in loud noise + many more so why do I need extra programs?

6 Likes

No. Hearing aid automatic switching is pretty good now, often better than users who will switch into a program and forget to switch back. The magical power of AI! You bring up some good examples for manual programs, but not all users need them. A musician needs dedicated music programs, but the auto music program is (these days) pretty good for people who aren’t “music people”. Heavy t-coil users can get cramped these days for SURE–ideally for those guys I’d like to have three different t-coil programs. But a huge number of people do not use T-coil at all. Backwards mic is automatic now in some manufacturers and not others, although you can often anchor the mic backwards with the app. For people who aren’t in wheelchairs and don’t drive cabs, backwards mic isn’t necessarily that useful. And yes, the auto program does pretty well in noise. There are a lot of people who find manual programs more cumbersone than useful, and if their hearing aids can work reasonably well for them automatically would rather not fiddle. Given the direction the industry is going, probably the majority.

A lot of functionality is moving into the apps, though, which is what Psych must be talking about with 35 programs.

4 Likes

Yes I am one that prefers to not have to mess with my aids once I have them in and the volume adjusted up for the day. I know I shouldn’t even have to adjust it and that hopefully will be taken care of in just under 2 weeks when I go to the clinic.
I personally don’t want to have to remember what program I need and any moment. I want my aids just set at an moment and just go about my day like someone with normal hearing. I am very close to that now. But never will totally that way more than likely. But yes hearing aids are getting smarter all the time.

1 Like

Well for (one) autosense is not offered on all HA’s and (two) its a HA feature that’s mainly set up for someone with a minor to mid level hearing loss. I also feel “autosense” by itself doesn’t properly address background noise - and that’s from testing M-13T. Others on HT have also commented that autosense did not work out for them, when trialing Phonak HA. So some people like it and others don’t. But I’m still in the “group” that says a specialized program (specifically programmed) by an Audi to deal with background noise will perform better then basis auto-mode. To each his own but when you have a serious hearing loss - autosense is not what you want. On the other hand it might work out well for someone with a limited hearing loss.

I don’t think you fully understand what AutoSense is. The Speech in Noise part of AutoSense is exactly the same program that can be added as an additional program so why would I want an additional program?

3 Likes

I have severe hearing loss and the fully automatic programming works great, to the point most of the time I don’t even need my TV adapter streaming to my aids. Now once I get tired then that is when the streaming of the TV is important. But I will say this to each their own medicine. We all are different and that is what makes the world go round.

4 Likes

I’m not going to over analyze AutoSense. In theory the function allows the HA to make immediate adjustments to various sound settings as they happen “live”. Probably looks good on paper - in real life depends on user’s experience and their level of hearing loss. Autosense did not work out for me - and the Phonak app adjustments on cell phone (for noise reduction) was of no help. Personally I think someone loses “gain” when using Autosense thus its a better aid for those with a minor hearing loss, possibly mid-range loss.

It would help us understand if you posted your Audiogram. And so much depends on how well your Audi did on fitting your aids to your needs. I have found out with hearing aids it is about 20% the hearing aids, 40% the Audi’s adjustments, and 40% the hearing aids user’s willingness to work with the Audi to insure that the aids are adjusted to his/her needs.

3 Likes

Yes, exactly. So you can tweak a manual program to your liking and insert it into your Autosense. However, there remain a lot of situations in which another program is used, than the one I prefer. In those instances I am glad to switch to manual…if only I remembered to switch them back, before I stop understanding people.

It would be nice if future iterations of Phonak software would allow for a learning mode: Situation in which you switch to a manual should be logged and the autosense should also be learning in that respect.

3 Likes

@hold4triple

I agree. It’s all down to how your audiologist fit’s the Phonaks.

It’s nothing to do with how bad someone’s hearing loss is.

I’ve got a friend who is profoundly deaf and wears the Phonak Sky V70 UPs and she loves AutoSense.

I personally do not notice AutoSense changing.

1 Like