Widex Evoke HA's The Best?


#1

Good evening. I’ve been a member of this forum for a while and much appreciated your feedback I received before buying my current Rexton HAs (from Costco) to replace my previous Oticon’s. That was about 3 year ago. Overall, the Rextons served me well for three years, but now it’s time to move on to new hearing aids. I’m missing words and phrases during discussions at the office, I’m tired of missing dialogue in movies and TV, and my wife is tired of me saying “What?!?”.

My knee-jerk reaction was to go back to Costco for new hearing aids. They are a good company and sell fine HAs. However, it appears that they don’t sell the top-end of HA vendor’s products. For example… From research, it appears that their Resound Vida HAs are similar to the Resound 3D Linx but minus a few features. And that doesn’t even consider the new top-of-the-line Resound Quattros.

Althought there are other good reasons to get new HA’s, I decided that my career depends on ACCURATELY hearing every single word during work discussions. So even though HA cost would be much higher at an independent audi, I decided spending more for the best HA’s for me would be worth the extra cost.

So my search restarted a couple weeks ago… After much research, I walked into a local audi this morning with a bias towards the top end Resound Quattros. And walked out with a totally different bias - toward Widex Evokes.

The audi had strong opinions about different HAs:

  • Oticons - Nice HA’s but an older platform.

  • Phonaks - Very good HA, but not his preference.

  • Resounds - NOT reliable or high-quality (he was very negative about Resounds).

  • Widex - Excellent HAs. Easy to fit, great sound, great for speech, and music. Solid and reliable, and good software for iPhones (I have an iPhone).

He made a compelling case for Widex’s, but I’m cynical. It could be that his profit margin is higher with Widex’s. Or maybe he’s more knowledgable with Widex’s. Or maybe his support effort is lower with them. Maybe easier to fit. I don’t know.

I read a lot of reviews today and reviewed a large number of posts here on Hearing Tracker. I noticed a trend - It SEEMs like the number of posts complaining about problems is higher with other HAs and lower with Widex HAs. Lots of good features in many HAs, but appears that the hassle-factor is lower with Widex’s.

Is that reasonable? Are the Widex Evokes that good? Great fit with minimal hassle? Have good features that work well and are very reliable?

What is your opinion? Am I missing something? Smokin’ too much of the good stuff maybe? :sunglasses:

Thanks,

Dan.

p.s. I have a cookie-bite hearing loss - about 70% down at 1500 hz, but low-end and high-end are OK. Speech quality is extremely important. Hearing in noisy environments is very important. And music is also important (I’m studying piano).


#2

Hi Dan - I’m still in research mode but probably will test the Evoke versus the Phonak Marvel - though I’d like to see Phonak come out with a power aid in the near future. With that said I’ve worn Widex HA’s for a number of years and been told the following. Widex HA’s probably offer one of the best pure (incoming) sound hearing aids around. By that I mean “natural sounds” and “natural verbal communication”. I’ve also been told by a few AU that once you use a Widex HA for a number of years, its an adjustment to switch to another HA, since other aids will sound different. Not sure why that is but I guess I’ll find out if I trial Phonaks.
Widex also has a very good (dependability record) with aids lasting five years plus if you take good care of them. Mine have only been in the “shop” one time in six years though I’ve had to replace receivers three times. Where Widex might fall short is in dealing with background noise, since I think other HA’s have more channels or fine tuning adjustment capability to deal with noisy situations. But for the mot part most HA’s really don’t do that well in background noise. Widex will probably be more expensive then Phonak but its a quality brand that has been around for a long time. Also Widex just merged with another (HA conglomerate) but from what I’ve read Widex headquarters and name brand will probably still stay the same. I would definitely give them a try and see if you like them.


#3

The evokes are great.

Ask whomever you are going to whether they have fit other cookie-bite or reverse slop losses. It takes a bit more wrangling than typical sloped loss.


#4

I think in general you can’t go wrong with the big six: Oticon, Phonak, Widex, Resound, Signia, Starkey (not really in any order of preference here).

I think asking the question of which brand/model is the best is a futile question. People who wear Widex will probably tend to answer yes to your question. Other who wear other brands may say differently.

Since you’ve decided to pay a premium price for a premium hearing aid through the normal(ly more expensive) audiologist channel, I think you just ought to try out at least 3 of the big six brands/models and decide for yourself.

I think released in 2018 are the Phonak Marvel, Resound Quattro, Signia Styletto, Widex Evoke and Starkey Livio. Oticon is the only brand that still has not come out with a newer model from its OPN release in 2016. But it doesn’t automatically mean that an older platform chronologically is not as good as a newer platform. For all you know, if you ask an audi who has a preference to sell Oticon (and there are many of those around as well), they may very well spin to you that Oticon’s platform was ahead of the curve and now everybody is just catching up with them.

I wouldn’t make selection based too heavily on reliability right up front, like what your original post seem to make it out to be. I’d look to see which brands/models have been the most popular in the last few years, and also the popularity of the more recently released models, and maybe start out with those.

Almost (or maybe all) of them (?) offer 3 year warranty anyway, so reliability shouldn’t be such a huge issue in the first place. Surely if you don’t have to pay for repair after the 3 year warranty is up, that’d be nice. But I don’t recall your criteria being a reliable brand/model. I recall your utmost criteria is being able to understand people at work more accurately. So what if a less reliable brand/model can help you hear and understand people the best (based on your own trials, not based on what people tell you)? Are you going to dismiss it up front because it’s not as reliable or gives you more hassle (of warranty and repairs, etc)?


#5

I have been in the Evoke 440 F2 for a little over 2 months. I am absolutely thrilled with them. Speech in noise is terrific. Music is fabulous. Overall sound quality is great. And the app, which allows me to fine tune them to the condition I’m in and save the program is icing on the cake. The app and iPhone connection is flawless. I get 8 days with a 312 battery. I’m a fan.

But I’ll be the first to tell you that there is no best, one brand fits all hearing aid. Sound preference is subjective and others prefer other aids. The only right aid is the one that works best for you. My loss is not your loss and your mileage may vary. But for me, I can’t imagine anything better.

As far as cost there was little difference in the top of the line aid from any of the brands at the clinic I use which carries 5 of the 6 major suppliers. They don’t carry Resound.

I probably should add this because of what you included in your post. Their not carrying Resound has nothing to do with the quality of the aid but an issue that took place between them and Resound. She would not elaborate further. Also she has no preference in which aid she fits.


#6

It all depends on what you want. What is best for your hearing issues or bragging rights to the lates and greatest technology. I for one want to hear as close to what is natural as possible. The brand is only important to me because I have been wearing hearing aids long enough to know which brand has sounded the best to me.

For what it is worth that is what I believe.


#7

dan_public, you said you think your career depends on your ability to hear at work. With that much at stake I think you ought to try as many top-of-the-line HA models as possible, even if you have to visit two different audis.
You say music is important too, but it seems to me that if you genuinely believe your career is at stake, you ought to use speech comprehension as your only criterion. In other words, if a particular HA is best for speech comprehension but not so good for music, that HA should be your choice, rather than a HA that is second-best for speech comprehension, but is much better for music. Just my two cents worth.


#8

I am a musician who has worn Phonak and demoed Starkey, OPN, and Widex 440 Beyond. For me, the Widex had the most natural sound and none of the problems associated with playing wind instruments the others had. The app is terrific and my Comdex work well with my android phone. I’ve worn them for 13 months with no problems. Changed my life.


#9

youbgone,

Thanks for the feedback. I’m in research mode too. And I think I’ll test the Phonak’s.

Your comments seem to reflect what other Widex users are saying. From research, it seems like Widex focuses on sound quality, and less on lots of features and accessories. That said, the Widex features look good enough for me.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. Apparently the merger with Sivantos was delayed and has been reopened. And is now scheduled to occur in Q1, 2019.


#10

Neville,

Thanks. Yep, I’ll definitely ping my audi about fitting for cookie-bite hearing loss.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. During my meeting with this new audi, he mentioned that the Rexton HAs were fitted incorrectly - too much high-end. Not definitive, but it seems like a good start.


#12

Volusiano,

Much thanks for the detailed feedback.

For me sound quality for speech is my top concern. I’m a less concerned about realiability or paying to have it fixed, but more concerned about hassle - having it fail at the most inoportune times or require lots of tuning by the audi. That said…

Your point about getting the one that provides the best speech recognition is well taken. I’m going to expand my search.

Regards,

Dan.


#13

Mark,

Points well taken - especially about which one works best for me.

Your comment about Resound struck a nerve. When I asked my audi about Resound, his comments were negative. However, it was his reaction struck me as odd. Unlike his response to the other HAs, he reacted emotionially about Resound. I think the issue that your audi had about Resounds might be the same for my audi.

While the Resound quality may be fine, if there is an issue between Resound and audis, that makes me concerned about Resound after-purchase service and support. If there isn’t a forum post related to this, I’ll post a question to see if we can’t some visibility to this.

Thanks,

Dan.


#14

cvkemp,

Thanks for the feedback. In terms of sound quality, understanding speech is critical even if the HA’s sound is not quite as natural as I’d like. , I’m studying the piano. My current HAs are extremely poor playing the piano. Painful actually. So an important but non-critical need is good music quality, especially the piano.

Regards,

Dan.


#15

ziploc,

Your point is extremely well-taken. Thanks for helping me focus. Hearing at work is #1. Music is #2.

Best regards,

Dan.


#16

Jazzpete,

Thanks for the great feedback. This reflects what I’ve read from other musician.

Regards,

Dan.


#17

Unless he verified the hearing aids in your ears or in testbox, he doesn’t really know. Further, reverse slope losses generally require more high and/or less low than expected based on targets for sloped losses.


#18

Neville,

I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but the audi gave me a hearing test and compared that with a copy of my previous hearing test from three years ago. Would that make his comment valid? Or should he have made additional tests prior to expressing an opinion?

Thanks,

Dan.

P.s. I’m still getting back up to speed with the latest audiology terminology.


#20

He couldn’t make that determination from looking at your hearing test. He could look at the software and say “this hearing aid appears to be providing you with more high frequency amplification that I would typically prefer”, but unless he is measuring the amplification that the hearing aid is providing at your eardrum (or in testbox) and comparing them to the prescriptive targets that the original audiologist used, he can’t say the hearing aid is set up “incorrectly” unless the software is really doing something wacky.


#21

Neville,

Thanks for the good feedback. I’ll question him about his comment.

Regards,

Dan.


#22

dan_public, once you get your new HAs, ask your audi to set up a separate program for playing music. In the your HAs’ music program all the speech enhancement features like compression should be turned off. Feedback control, especially, should be set at the absolute minimum setting necessary to avoid feedback. That will probably make music sound better to you.