Hi, I have worn hearings aids for around 37 years and Widex ITE aids for the last 20 at the 330 level. The last two pairs I had were difficult to set up due to feedback issues & took months of tweaking. I just tried the ITC as more power and pretty much only whistled during tv so big improvement, but couldn’t hear so well with one microphone. I also didn’t like getting text message alerts directly into my ears & that whenever I connected up to my phone when running (to listen to music), it changed to music programme automatically and then traffic noise is much too loud. I wore BTE aids up until the age of 15, but am very reluctant to go back due to the noise of my hair on the microphones and not being able to tuck hair behind ears. How do previous ITE users find BTE ones ie pros & cons? However am not sure if I go for the ITE’s again, if there will be lots of feedback issues. My hearing loss is bi-lateral sensori-neural nerve deafness, moderate-severe, ranging from 40-80 db, the hearing chart starts at around 40 both sides, dips to 80 on high frequencies and then back up to around 40. Any advice would be appreciated. Also how many months do people take to get theirs programmed up right? I always find it a very difficult and lengthy process.
well if you have a cookie bite then yeah it is always the hardest to set up. same here. I have a similiar loss and ITC was not powerful enough for me and feedback was a big issue. I switched to RICs with the same mold as a ITC, called C-Shell and that is the way to go imo. Far better, more power. Testing phase with domes sucked.
I struggled going back to BTE myself after wearing CIC for 20+ years. Recently I trialed the Unique series, both CIC and RIC. I ended up going with the RIC (in the Beyond flavor) because having the dual microphones made a huge difference in sound quality, especially noise performance. RIC is better than the old BTE with air tubes and plastic molds, I’ll say that much. Their mCIC was tiny and convenient, I’ll say that much, but with only one microphone, a number of features just didn’t work as well.
I am thinking I will have a go at ITE again and if no good then the RIC. Does the RIC cause a lot more microphone noise and could you wear headphones over the top of them rather than use Bluetooth connection? Also do you find that the experience of people fitting your aids varies drastically?
yes you really need to find somebody you can talk to, if he/she is annoying you or wants to get rid of you , i.e. says everythings ok when you think it isn’t, go look for another fitter. Generally speaking I prefer streaming over headphones any day.
I have not used headphones wit my RIC yet, but I assume headphones will not be near as convenient with it as they are with CIC’s. I have not noticed a whole lot more microphone noise, although wind and hair noise is a factor, but not as big as I was expecting.
Your HA fitter and his/her skill is a major factor. I will request a specific fitter, and have walked out on ones that don’t know what they are doing.
Okay, thanks everyone that is very useful. It’s a stressful business & really good to have this information. Fingers crossed for the next attempt!
I recently switched from wearing CIC (for years) back to RIC because the particular model I wanted is only available in RIC. Plus, like JeffBowser was saying, RIC has 2 mics per HA and it makes a big difference in versatility and effectiveness when it comes to noise performance and sound quality because one of the mics can pick up sound from behind you much more easily compared to the CIC configuration where the pinna effectively blocks that ability naturally to some degree.
I find that I can wear headphones over my RICs just fine, with no feedback, as long as the headphones are the type that completely covers over AND around your ear, so that the HA is covered/surrounded by the headphones as well.
For smaller headsets that only sits over the ear and does not completely cover it, it’s not so effective anymore because the HA and mics are outside and behind your ear and not inside the canal anymore. You have 2 choices here. You either move the headsets up and back a bit so that it’s positioned right over the HA and mics. But this is still not very effective because you lose all the bass reproduction of your headset. A much more effective choice is to move the HA back inside of your ear well (as seen in this picture link
then put your headset over the ears like how you normally would. This is very effective for me and it preserves all the excellent bass reproduction that my headset can deliver.
Of course this workaround is contingent on your being able to run the feedback test on your HA and suppress all feedbacks. But most decent HAs should be able to suppress all feedbacks just fine anyway, although it still depends on which type of mold or dome you wear and how vented it is.
As for the experience of people fitting aids vary or not, in general I think it varies depending on where you live and how long the dispenser has been in business. You can reduce that factor a little bit if you target newer HAs that may be designed to be easier to program.
Thanks that is interesting. The ITE has two microphones which is what I have worn for last 20 years, so am going to try that again and if we can’t sort out the feedback then go to the RIC. The picture is good as my son has ITE aids and wears “can” headphones but gets whistling so will suggest this to him. As I have long hair & tuck it behind ears, I find the microphone noise difficult when wearing something behind my ears but all this information really helps. I am in the UK and wish we had a site like this as I’ve never had the opportunity to see all this information. I always thought I was just a tricky customer but seems hearing aids are just very difficult to fit!