Widex Super 440 SP vs Oticon Chili SP 9

Hello,

I have a bilateral severe to profound hearing loss and it’s been so many years using Oticon Sumo DM (Ear simulator data: peak full-on gain is 85 dB with input signal of 50 dB SPL, and the maximum output is 144 dB with OSPL90). The clarity of speech (in quiet environment) with Sumo is OK but not as good as my old analogue Oticon aids. I think it’s time to move on and try a new pair with high end technology in order to hear the speech without effort.

I’ve tried the Phonak Naida, it is powerful but I didn’t like the sound quality. So I am now comparing between Oticon Chili SP 9 and Widex Super 440 RITE SP. Will they fit my audiogram? I think Oticon Chili will not fit my hearing loss as the Widex Super 440 does.

-Oticon Chili SP9 Ear simulator data: (peak full-on gain is 82 dB with input signal of 60 dB SPL, and the maximum output is 143 dB with OSPL90)
-Widex Super 440 RITE SP receiver Ear simulator data: (peak full-on gain is 87 dB with input signal of 50 dB SPL, and the maximum output is 143 dB with OSPL90)
As you see, Widex Super is more powerful than Oticon Chili, this is why it is more likely for me to go for Widex.

Anybody who’s had experience with any of these 2 aids can please tell me his opinion (pros and cons)? Which one will be better for the clarity of speech (in quiet environment)? Will I notice a positive difference in sound quality by switching from Sumo to Widex Super 440? Are Oticon and Widex planning to release a new HA in the coming months so It’d be better to wait a bit?

Here is my latest audiogram:
125 Hz------> R:35db L:40db
250 Hz------> R:50db L:55db
500 Hz------> R:80db L:80db
1000Hz------> R:100db L:105db
2000Hz------> R:115db L:120db
4000Hz------> R:120db L:NR

Thanks in advance for your help

You and I are in the same boat hearing wise and I’ve used the Widex 440 Super for the last two years. I’ve only used two types of hearing aids since I started using them thirty years ago. Starkey then in 1990 switching to Widex. I currently use the largest receiver in the ear mold and am very satisfied with the overall results Widex gives me. Don’t worry about not having enough power with the Widex super. Its probably one of the most powerful aid on the market and it has a good track record. Widex gives users a natural hearing sound that seems to offer more clarity then other HA’s Its a great HA for quiet environment but not necessarily noisy environment. Personally I don’t think there is any HA out there that functions well in a noisy setting. More so if the user has a severe to profound hearing loss. With that said one of the big pluses with the Super 440 is the small hand control unit that can fit in your pocket (shirt pocket or pant pocket) to control volume setting and hearing mode (TV mode (useless) T-coil mode - good, directional mode - good, comfort mode - so - so and other channels/modes per your selection. You get up to five channels/modes to select and all work off the small control hand unit No need for some bulky control pad that you have to carry around because it won’t fit in your pant pocket. But bottom line - you can try the Widex out for free and then decide if you want it after a 30 day trial. So compare it with the Oticon, but I think when you are through you will go with Widex. It might cost a few dollars more but worth it when you hear better with the Super 440 verses the Oticon. Also suggest you get the full custom mold since these babies are powerful and a custom mold will prevent feedback - squealing. And when I say custom mold I including the air vent, for air ventilation. If you go half shell or ear bud you run the risk of a lose fit and feedback. Good luck.

Thank you so much Chris. I really appreciate your feedback. I see there are 2 kinds of Super 440, one called VS and the other called VSD (newer). The newer one has got an integrated DAI adaptor. Am I correct? Can I plug the DAI cord directly into the aid with no need to buy a DAI adaptor?

I currently use a Widex 440, although its the Dream. I believe all the 440’s process and sound the same. I’m really happy with it, the processing is pretty good, feedback control is good, and it just “sounds good”. The only drawback I have with it is they have made it larger by including Bluetooth crap that I don’t want, resulting in a CIC that doesn’t sit as deep, and lowered the battery life by a day or two. Nonetheless, the 440 technology is quite impressive to me.

Thanks Jeff for the help. May you please tell me what was your previous HA? I wanna make sure I will have a noticeable improvement when I switch from Oticon Sumo to Widex Super.

Prior to this I had a Widex Senso something or other, and prior to that the very first Widex digital CIC ever made, forget what its name was. That covers the last 20 years. I also currently have a Siemens Aquaris 7i I wear when I am in the water. While it sounds nice, I remove it and go back to my 440 as soon as practical.

Hey Jeff,

Dispenser here. I have a client with a very similar loss to yours that wants to try the Dream 440’s. I’ve never fit them, and wanted to ask a few questions. Are you using a remote or tv streamer, and if so, which one(s), and what has been your experience in terms of reliability, quality, battery life, etc. How well does the Bluetooth work? Would really appreciate your feedback on this, getting a “leg up” on this product from a current user would help myself and my client a bit.

Cheers

I don’t use Bluetooth or streamers. Having only one ear, I will not sacrifice hearing what’s going on around me for a laser focus on one thing. I have the basic remote for the music program, but I never use it. battery life averages around 6 days, and I wear 18x7. Quality-wise, I have had a couple mfg issues in 20 years, but they seem to hold up to the harsh environment well (I’m outdoor active, boating, fishing, camping in south Florida). They are pretty adjustable, it usually takes me several visits to tweak to best results.

Prior to them cramming bluetooth into this aid, it used to be smaller, and give an 8 day battery. Not happy with that, but I guess that makes me a minority among minorities.

Hi Chris, sorry if I am disturbing you again. Can you please tell me which type of custom mold are you wearing? the soft one or the hard one? If it is the hard one, is it with output extender or not?

Sam - You want to go with the custom full hard shell with output extender. You need to find a audiologist that sells a variety of HA, with Widex being one of the brands you want to test. Put down as little as possible for a test deposit then have a molds taken and test HA for 30 days. If for some reason the Widex doesn’t work out you can use the deposit towards another HA. But I think you will find the Widex will do the trick and be an improvement over your current HA. The Wides Super and Dream are both new HA’s so don’t expect anything new coming out for a few years. And if the past is a clue when something new comes out it many times a minor upgrade and not a major improvement in HA technology. Also don’t be afraid to ask for a extended warranty if you can get one. Seems several HA manufactures offer a three year warranty but if you can get a four year you are doing well.

Chris, Thanks a lot for your help. I really appreciate it. One more thing, can you please tell me how your hearing loss in the low frequencies is like? Mine is 40 dB, 50 dB and 80 dB for the following low frequencies respectively 125, 250 and 500 Hz.

From what I understood after reading the Widex features on their website, the Output extender in the earmold is used to boost the bass sound below 1000 Hz and provide more gain or output in the low frequencies (125, 250, 500 Hz) for people who have severe low frequencies loss. So, I think this is not my case. It will be useful for a person with more low frequency loss I guess. I think if I receive an excessive gain in the low frequencies, this will make the sound more echoing. Am I correct? If yes, then I should pick the hard earmold without the output extender. What do you think?

Here is a photo explaining the Output extender.

I have pretty bad low frequency loss, but what I have found in the past is that there is a lot of distracting noise at lower frequencies, and I do better in real life terms if the lows are not brought up as high as they should be. Things like motors, fans, traffic rumbling… got in my way of hearing speech…

Hi Jeff, what kind of earmold are you wearing? Does it have an air vent? Does it have the output extender bore? I think the vent can help you with reducing a bit the low freq gain

Who can make a photo of Oticon Chili side by side with Widex Super? I would like to see a possible differency in size of these models because my Chilis still big for me (even after Phonak Naida UP).

Hello Russian,

I think widex super is shorter in length compared to oticon chili. Moreover, the chili is not RITE (receiver in the ear). Widex is RITE, so there is no tube. It is just a thin wire that is connected to the hearing aid and goes in the ear canal.

Your hearing loss is a bit similar to mine. May you tell me please your experience with Chili SP9 in terms of speech clarity, sound quality? Do you hear well the phone conversations? Don’t you feel that Chili is less powerful that the other aids you were using (Naida) ?

Thanks

Hello Sam1977

For me Chili SP9 is much better than Naida V UP! Chili make speech much clearer and crisper than mumbling Naida. I can hear a phone conversation through Streamer but I have a speech discrimination from childhood so I cannot understand all words in any conversation (not only phone). Now about power - it is surprisingly but for me Chili is much louder than Naida! Plus one big, big difference - all Naidas have not permanent binaural link between two hearing aids so in noisy places Naidas sounding cacophonic when Chili can separate all sounds even in a crowd and restaurants!

One thing I hate in Chili - too soft rotating volume control wheels without wireless link - so they are switched off in my HA’s from first day of using them.

Hello Russian,

Thanks for your feedback about Chili. I am interested to wear hearing aids that have the new feature of binaural link. Unfortunately Widex Super does not have this feature, while Widex Clear does. It is called Widex-link. But Widex Clear will not fit my audiogram as it is less powerful than Widex Super. Anyway, I am going to try the Super and see how it goes. There are many good reviews about it. You can try it as well and compare it to Chili. Let me know your feedback if you are planning to try them. Thanks a lot

As I know Widex Super 440 have a binaural wireless link but Super 220 have not it. I think Chili is better for me because it is a BTE - I have a moisture drops inside earmould tubes at the end of each day - so I think RITE is not for me.