Widex Clear 440 - telephone problems?


I just wanted to get some advice on using hearing aids with telephones…

To sum up my situation, I’m 29 and work in finance and started to develop a hearing loss about 3-4 years ago. I have a cookie bite loss and first tried out Starkey CIC’s in July 2010, before trying Oticon Agil’s (RIC) and then deciding on Phonak Spice RIC’s in early 2011. These served me quite well and the telephone was ok when using the telephone setting which allowed me to switch off the microphone on the ear I wasn’t using which was helpful.

I still had quite a lot of problems at work though and felt like the Phonak’s weren’t working so well for me after about 9 months. My audiologist confirmed that there was a drop in my hearing when I had another test in November of last year (around 5dbs and mostly low frequencies) and ever since then I’ve not quite been able to get things working well again.

Having been with a private audi, I went through the NHS and have some Oticon Spirit Zest aides, which I find distort some sound as they are quite loud and again, clarity seems to be the issue. The Telecoil setting also doesn’t seem to help me as the clarity of words seems to get lost and I get distracted by the humming sound that seems to be in the background!

I started trialling some Widex Clear 440s (RIC) about 3 months ago and am finding these better in everything with the sound feeling much more natural, but the phone issues continue! I have an M Dex which works ok on my mobile but my biggest issue is using the telephone at work (it’s an IP phone).

I went to see Connevans in Surrey and they managed to get me a simple phone amplifier which allows me to connect the M Dex to my work phone… however the problems with clarity continue!

Does anyone have any similar experiences / recommendations as to using the telephone with hearing aids?

This whole situation has been going on for a couple of years now and I think work are at the end of their patience and I’m really getting stressed about how to manage this at work and wondering if I am being over ambitious / naive in thinking I can continue doing this same job with this hearing loss :confused: . I’m not sure if there is a solution or if I’m just not going to be able to use a phone with the hearing aids.

My audiologist seems stumped at the moment so any advice would be greatly welcomed - thank you! :slight_smile:

I’m going to attempt to post my audiogram but forgive me if it doesn’t make any sense - I’ve not done it before!!

250Hz 500Hz 1k Hz 2k Hz 4k Hz 8k Hz
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I have no idea about phone use but as far as I am aware, the aids that you are trying, are only suitable for people with near normal or normal low frequency. You are the opposite. Your low frequency is around the moderately severe to severe mark.

Receiver-in-the-Canal aids are very small behind-the-ear-style devices. Sound travels from the instrument through a thin wire to a speaker in the ear canal. These aids leave the ear canal open, so they are best for mild to moderate high-frequency losses where low-frequency hearing is still normal or near normal.* Advantages include being cosmetically invisible, and a sound quality that is very natural.
RIC Special Features

This is what google came up with.

I’m not a Widex expert but with that low end loss you will need a custom mold. I don’t see a problem with the RIC if you us a custom mold.

I have found that what works best for me with all phones is wearing CIC or ITC aids. I have a more severe loss than you and can hear on virtually any phone. With telecoil enabled I am able to hear certain people (for example in India), who before were almost impossible to understand. It doesn’t solve your problem as you are wearing a RIC, but you might want to consider having two pairs. I have BTEs and use them for listening to music and sometimes watching TV, but otherwise I wear the CICs.

The Clear will comfortably fit down to a 70dB or more low frequency loss with the power RIC and power domes.

Google isn’t your buddy here.

Doc Jake: you might want to try a couple then - as the original poster says, they are working fine for her/his low frequency loss.

OP: see if you can get a Plantronics bluetooth headset/mic system to as your ‘source’. Once you have a decent output as bluetooth, your MDex ought to be able to handle the rest. I don’t deal in IP telephones, but integrated bluetooth and IP are possible - many traders/dealers have them.

There are also some cheapie Binatone sets on the market with a built in bluetooth headset for home use too.

Your best bet is to get bluetooth aids and set up a BT transmitter on the phones. I have this with my Rexton Bridge aids and it pumps the voice into both of my aids and the sound is very clear. Telecoils are very old tech, and crappy, unless a lot of time is spent EQing them properly. You’d be better of, non Bluetooth, by setting a a phone channel using the aids’ microphone…

Thanks for the replies.

I have an M Dex which I can connect to my mobile with bluetooth but somehow the clarity seems to be getting lost with this. It does feed the sound directly into both ears and I can cut out background sound, but I’m still struggling to use the phone.

As I’ve already tried the Telecoil setting and not had any luck with this, my audiologist is suggesting this is the end of the road and I am just not going to be able to use a telephone. This is really not the option I want as its going to mean I have to change jobs but not sure of any other options?

Could this work with a different hearing aid that has similar bluetooth technology instead of the Widex that I have?

I have already tried the Phonak Audeo S Smart but no joy with those either.

What are other people’s experiences with the telephone with Widex?

There is a Phone+. See your manual. I had it turned off but I need to turn it back on again. My previous audio was “challanged” my the Widex SW. I have another appointment next week with a different audio. My problem is I can’t get the my M-Dex and BB to communicate. The clear 440’s are the best HA I’ve ever owned.

I’ve managed to get the Phone + program turned on to the Widex aids now, so when I hold it for 2 seconds it switches to that. Unfortunately that isn’t helping! I don’t find it as good as the M Dex in that whilst it streams to both ears, there is too much background noise, which I don’t get when I use the M Dex.

I met with my audiologist and a Widex representative yesterday which was really helpful but to be honest, despite them both trying numerous tweaks, we weren’t able to get me hearing clearly on the telephone.

Not quite sure what to do next!

I also had an appointment with my NHS audiologist today to make some adjustments to my NHS Oticon Spirit Zest aids and set them up with an Oticon Streamer.

I have to say that music through the Oticon streamer with the Spirit Zest aids is much better than the Widex Clear 440’s and the M Dex!

But neither seem to be working out on the phone.

I have heard that there are some new Oticon aids due out at the end of the year - does anyone know anything about that?

The trial on the Widex 440’s is about to end so I need to decide whether to work out how to manage with the Spirit Zests and wait and see what else comes along by the end of the year that may help, or shell out around £4400 for the Widex aids and just accept I can’t use the phone.

My work place are aware of the situation but I think their patience is wearing out so I am in course of trying to get moved internally to a role that is less client facing and doesn’t involve as much telephone time.

I am thinking of applying for the Access to Work scheme and seeing what they can do, as I’ve read about services such as Remote Captioning which could really help me out with the conference calls - but I think they are expensive! Does anyone have any experience using Access to Work in the UK?

Thank you!

Not sure this is a viable option for your loss but what about getting a high volume phone for work and not using aids while on the phone. You could use your mdex with your cell phone.