Widex Evoke HA's The Best?


#43

Hi Neville, I understand your point here but think it may oversimplify things a bit. Yes, manufacturer first fits all vary. Real Ear Measurement or other adjustments can make their sound more similar in the provider’s office. Once the patient leaves, though, each manufacturer’s proprietary sound processing algorithms kick in, and the sound the patient hears will vary again brand to brand. As an example, Widex is constantly classifying environmental sounds into one of its “sound classes” (Quiet/Quiet With Speech, Classic/Contemporary Music, Urban, Party, Social, etc.) and then making adjustments to what the user hears. Brands like Oticon do this, too, trying to preserve speech intelligibility AND still provide a lot of the environmental cues. Others tend to kick noise reduction programs in more aggressively. Each of these different approaches starts to change the overall quality of sound that the user hears from brand to brand.

When I was listening to all the various brands devices, I used Real Ear Measurement to try and best normalize the sound so that I started with the best apples-to-apples comparison. There are differences, and each person will likely have a best brand for their brain and the way they want/need to hear. All the brands do a very good job, and I would venture that each is likely better for most patients who need amplification than nothing!

Chris


#44

I think the ones of us that have been wearing hearing aids for say ten or more years get use to the sound of one brand over the others. I have been wearing hearing aids since 2005 and have worn three different brands, and I find Oticon sounds the best too me. I have friends that love Phonak, and others that love resound. I believe it is all about what we are use too and maybe it is also just about being comfortable with a brand we know. I also find it is also true about finding an Audi that we feel comfortable with.


#45

I have no evidence, but from reading personal accounts I think there’s something to this. It seems like each hearing aid company has a “flavor” and people get used to the flavor they’re familiar with. It’s this belief that makes me very reluctant to suggest somebody change brands unless there’s a compelling reason.


#46

Good. You were in a better comparison place than most people here. The vast majority of descriptive words for comparisons on these boards sound to me like fit words. Too tinny, too echoy, soft speech too quiet, soft sounds too loud, unclear, etc.

So, you compared the automatic programs of a bunch of comparable era hearing aids fit identically in identical environments? Would you say, then, that the sound quality of the various aids were so different that it warrants a new patient trialing every device before deciding in order to get the best sound “for them”?

I don’t know. I’ve done the same thing and noticed limited differences, but my hearing loss is really too mild for it to be generalizable. I’ve done the same thing with patients probably two dozen times now (never trialing eight at once, mind you, but two different brands at once), and so far they have never reported more than minimal differences. Two dozen is not enough, I know that. And I haven’t done it in a systematic way. And it certainly isn’t blinded. (I’ve done tons of sequential comparisons, but there are so many confounders there that I cannot draw any conclusions.)


#47

I wonder if one has had one’s ears cleaned recently before trialing a set of HA’s makes an important difference. When trialing different HA’s is a provider careful to look at the state of ear wax and recommend a cleaning if needed? (asked as someone who has very waxy ears and thinks that could make a difference). Also, given my own experience in trying different domes, I wonder if in the trials it would be best, if possible, to reuse the domes favored across trials, unless one is going for molds right from the start, just to allow for differences in occlusion, the way a dome might squish into a shape, etc. If one is trialing HA’s with molds, perhaps the quality of a mold can make a difference (or someone illuminate my ignorance on this score: are HA’s always trialed without the benefit of custom molds and those come later if you stick with that device?).


#48

My experience has been that providers were pretty good at checking out my ears for wax before attemtping to fit a hearing aid. The dome could certainly make a difference. I’m guessing with molds that the practice varies. I’ve heard of people trying an aid with a dome when they know they’re going with molds, but I think some wait for their molds.


#49

Hi Neville - first of all let me say thanks for all of your contributions to the boards. I really value them and appreciate your perspective and expertise. To answer your question, I wouldn’t say that the sound quality of the various aids were so different to merit every patient trialing every device before making a decision. Most of the brands do well and would work for most patients, especially if using Real Ear Measurement to get the best fit possible. That said, I’m a geek and somewhat particular, so I really wanted to try at least a few brands to see if one was a better fit for me. I hadn’t done that in the past and learned to regret it!

I believe that a provider’s expertise and familiarity with the various brands should play a major role in the recommendation as to what brand or brands the patient might try. That expertise is critical in enabling the provider to knowledgeably program, adjust and troubleshoot for the best outcomes possible. In my opinion, it would be difficult for a provider to have deep expertise across all the brands given the continual evolution in both the hearing aid platforms and the software itself.

Also, the provider’s conversations with the patient will further hone the recommendation of brands. Some patients don’t care about the app, for example, or don’t want to fiddle and tweak. They just want things to work! Others, like me, really want great sound and a level of control over things.

I cast my net wide in trying many brands just to see what was out there as I’m in learning mode and want to gain more knowledge as I will be shortly working with patients on my own. Ultimately, I think I’ll hone in on just a couple of brands that I believe will have the best outcomes for a range of patients and then really focus in on developing my expertise there.

Chris


#50

Folks,

Many thanks for the great feedback. Your information and ideas were thought-provoking.

I decided to initially test out the Widex Evoke 440’s. My audi downloaded my raw hearing test results to the 440s and I tried them out with straight voice, voice with a recording of loud restaurant sounds playing in the background, and straight music. The results were very promising. My first fitting is tomorrow.

In parallel, I’m going to another audi and try to test out another brand - maybe Phonaks. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll report back.

FYI - my latest hearing test results are in my profile.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. My rotator cuff surgery is next Wednesday. Given that, I hope to test out at least two HAs before then. This may be pushing things a bit, but I’m hope to stabilize my health issues before the surgery.


#51

It looks like you have a cookie bite hearing loss, plus some asymmetrical loss between the two ears. It may be more critical to pick out a professional who knows how to fit both cookie bite and asymmetrical hearing loss well, than worrying too much about picking out which brand/model.


#52

my first pair of ha’s are the widex beyond 330 and to me the world sounds exactly natural

like i am not wearing hearing aids but just hear the world better

i have gotten in the shower with them twice so, so far :)) and put them in the dryer and they work beautifully so they are fairly robust

my only complaint is that they use the low power bluetooth spec which i find frustrating as it gets staticy if you move too far from your iphone, unlike say the airpods which sound great at long distance

i don’t listen to much live music and i do wish music sounded better from the iphone but all in all they are very good ha’s


#53

I think for ReSound what can detract from the user experience once you leave the office is not so much that proprietary algorithms kick in but ReSound perhaps gives users too much freedom to fiddle with settings when they shouldn’t. Perhaps the app in combination with the HA’s should be smart enough to advise (like Clippy?!), “I see you have set Noise Reduction to Strong but there is speech in your environment. We recommend no setting higher than Considerable in speech environments and Moderate is the default setting.”

Having been given the freedom to crank up Wind Reduction and Noise Reduction, I think I cranked them up to the maximum setting wherever I could. After taking the ReSound Audiology Online Advanced Features course where the lecturer recommended no noise reduction higher than Considerable when speech is involved, I dialed noise reduction and wind reduction back to their default settings for the various basic programs and actually felt it improved the overall sound experience - that I was more entering Oticon territory where I could hear both speech and noise more clearly with the noise suppressed enough that my brain could just discriminate. Neither my provider nor the ReSound literature advised me to look out for overdoing it with the settings available to me and I guess they just trusted my experimentation to take me to the right place but somehow, at least for me, intuitively thinking that I might want less noise reduction never occurred to me - it was crank it up to the max all the way!


#54

I’m not sure what you mean by test out but it would take a lot longer than that to get used to one hearing aid. I don’t see how you can try two at one time.


#55

I also have a cookie bite hearing loss and have been wearing Widex Beyond 440 hearing aids for almost 2 years now. They are significantly better than my older (cheaper) Resound aids. Honestly, they have been life-changing for me. I often have conference calls for work and would struggle to hear others on the call prior to getting these aids. Even though these aids are made for Apple phones, I have been using a streamer with my old Galaxy V Android phone and have no trouble hearing on conference calls. My audiologist provides free batteries for these aids, which is also a positive. I have to get a new phone soon and may post a question about this myself. Good luck to you!


#56

But not all users play and experiment like you do. :sunglasses:

But to your point about cranking things up, that’s why I like the SoundSense learn feature of the Evoke. The app presents changes in sound by offering two choices and then you have four options for preference from no difference to significantly better. And you can keep going for up to twenty options. Also they just released an update for the app asking about the enviironment with 12 available selections and then 9 more options about the goal i.e conversation, music, phone and so forth.

Or you can just go the equalizer and volume controls and blow your brains out if it suits your fancy. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#57

I just got a pair of Evoke 440’s replacing Beltone Firsts. They are much better at everything. I am not doing much fiddling while my brain gets used to them. I have a question about the parameters soundsense changes. Is it only the equalizer and the volume or also noise suppression, feedback, and others?


#58

I have not noticed a change in feedback, but you will notice a myriad of variations and combinations of sound, volume and suppression.


#59

SoundSense sounds like a great feature! ReSound should shamelessly copy it in their app! (a cheaper solution for me than trashing my Quattro’s and getting Evoke 440’s!)


#60

As @Mark_Chambers says, it does change a lot of different settings. It does apparently change other bits on the fly although only shows equaliser settings in the app.

Semi unrelated, after speaking to Widex a few days ago, the volume control also directly impacts comfort audibility/noise reduction/speech enhancement (I think they call it preference control rather than volume despite the app label).

It seems to be much better on current firmware 6.0.6 compared to 4.0.16 so they’ve definitely improved things since last October!


#61

Hi,

I’m new to the forum. I’m a long time Widex customer. In the past my hearing aids were called Fusion 440 and now the name is changed to Evoke. I just recently purchased them again. As someone that loves music I have to say that these have been the best for clarity of speech and sound overall. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


#62

Great review today by Dr. Cliff: