Will audiologist service hearing aids bought online?

I just purchased a pair of OPN1 online. The company offers programming within 60 days. I’m concerned they will not be able to program as well as a direct visit to audiologist. Will an audiologist make additional adjustments for HAs not purchased from their office? I understand ill need to pay a fee, I’m just not sure if they’ll actually do that or not?

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That is the rub. The more responsible one will do it for a fee – typically around $100. . Money hungry ones send you packing.

If that happens to you, try an ENT office with an on staff audiologist. Mine has helped me out – at least up to this point.

If you like the audiologist they give you, find out what future services will cost. Do it before the return period expires. Price that into the transaction.
You may wishes to visit, update testing etc. annually

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Not sure why you’d worry about programming by online sellers; there’s no reason to believe the result will be worse. What company is this you’re talking about?

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There has been some discussion about this going back on this forum. A forum member asked around about this and some audi told him yes (for a fee) and some told him no. So it really depends on the audi you talk to.

I wouldn’t worry too much that the online channel cannot program the OPN as well as an audi can. As far as I know, the OPN is very easy to program so I’m sure the online channel can get it done well for you.

Even after the 60 days have passed and you still need further adjustments, if this is BuyHear, my understanding is that you can still get them to send out the programming device and do further programming for you but you may have to pay for shipping of the device out to you.

Many forum members, myself including, have opted to buy a MiniPro kit from BuyHear so that we can do our own programming/tweaking/firmware update of the OPN if we want at anytime. If you bought your OPN from BuyHear, the cost of this kit is only $175 to you (the cost of 2 or 3 local audi visits for your OPN adjustments would have paid for this already). I’ve seen the Genie 2.0 programming software for the OPN and I think it’s very easy to use. You can always consult with the online folks on how to make adjustment as well. I think for $175 it’s a worth while investment to have.

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Factory Direct Hearing

I bought from Factory Direct Hearing . They were a few hundred $ cheaper than Buyhear. I hope that wasn’t a mistake

I remember there was a forum member who bought from FactoryDirectHearing and reported back here with very positive review about it. So I wouldn’t worry too much.

I did notice that they have had the OPN1 a bit cheaper than BuyHear. If I were you and I wanted to buy the OPN1 online, I would have done what you did and gone with FactoryDirectHearing, too. The only concern I would have had was whether they have it in stock or not, but if they do then it’s all good.

I also notice that BuyHear now doesn’t publish prices for the OPN anymore. It’s now Call For Price. Don’t know why.

Buyhear quoted me at $3998, but was pushing me to go with the Sonic, at $2998. I’m guessing they’re running low on OPNs.

Oticons are harder to get; on the other hand, The Enchant 100’s are very very similar in my experience. I wouldn’t have any problem saving the $1000 and going with them.

I did a lot of f research. And so far I’ve found nothing compares to the OPNs. For my reverse slope hearing loss, they help the best, per me. So I decided to just stick with them.

I hope they wouldn’t let me complete order if they didn’t have them in stock…yikes!

I assumed you did already but if not, you should give them a call to confirm that the OPNs are in stock. If not, when they expect them in.

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I also have a reverse slope hearing loss and wear the Opn 1. One of the reasons the Opn work well for us is because of Oticon’s proprietary fitting rationale, VAC+. This takes into account that with a reverse slope you need less gain in the lows and some in the mid and highs. It’s very counterintuitive. Oticon has a nice podcast explaining how to properly fit aids for a low frequency loss.

https://www.oticon.com/professionals/audiology-students/education-and-information/podcast-program

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Finally someone with my same hearing loss type! Thanks for sharing!
I literally cried tears of joy when I got my first set of OPNs… everything was so much clearer. I tried to save a few bucks by switching to KS7s, but I’ve learned my lesson. I will pay a little more for OPNs, but purchase online going forward.

I checked Open1 prices at Buyhear, Factory Direct Hearing Aids, and Hearstore and the Factory Direct one was the cheapest by about $50. There was one other site I found that had really good pricing with a fitting, but I can’t find it anymore. I got on chat at Hear Store to see if they would match the price since I’d prefer an audiologist fit them, and they said yes. I was really worried about getting them programmed correctly. Also thought about the Phonak recharging but my neighbor swears by his Oticon Opens. I should be ordering soon, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Yes, in my opinion the OPNs are the best. I bought the OPN2 from my audiologist for $5k. She let me wear a loaner set of OPN1 as I waited for my set to arrive. I absolutely loved the OPN1, but being new to HAs, I was sold by Costcos cheap priced KS7. SO I returned my OPN2, bought the KS7 and realized that was a big mistake. Luckily, I discovered (from this forum) that you buy OPN1s online.
So my long story will hopefully end well. Just waiting for my new set to arrive. I will not switch brands again.

Licensed hearing aid folks do the programming at BuyHear (and probably other internet resellers); I sincerely doubt the average bricks-and-mortar programmer would do any better or give better service.

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Thanks for sharing these podcasts, Tony. I wasn’t aware of them. I think some of them are very interesting to listen to.

I particularly like the 2 on “Why is noise so difficult?” and its sequel “Hearing aid technology and noise”. I highly recommend anyone who’s curious to listen through them both. It’s well worth your time in my opinion, especially if you have a difficult time understanding speech in noise, which is probably just about everybody I’ve heard complaining.

For those who don’t want to bother listening through them and want to just get a synopsys of what they’re trying to say, the gist of it is that in the case of competing speeches, it’s actually better to present all information from both the targeted speech and the competing speech(es) so that the brain can have enough information to let its cognitive function take over and pick and choose what it wants to hear, instead of letting the HA determine what to block out and what not.

I don’t know how long ago these podcasts were made (the speaker looks a bit younger than now), but what they said here seems consistent with their decision to go with the “open” paradigm. However, another podcast in this series, “What to expect from noise reduction” seems to suggest that these podcasts are from the pre-OPN days, because there’s no mention of the OPN noise reduction approaches in that podcast.

The “Fitting low frequency hearing loss” which you referred to is equally interesting. One thing I remember from your situation, however (@Abarsanti), was that you had an open dome fitting before (based on the subscribed notion that there should not be too much amplification on the lows even on a reverse slope loss), but it didn’t work out quite well for you. So what kind of fitting did you end up after all? I remember at one time you were even considering custom molds as well.

I ended up going with the bass domes - single vent. For me they are kind of the best of both worlds I guess.

I don’t think the issue is the initial programming, but over the period of time you will own the hearing aids, your needs may change, your hearing may change, there may be issues with the hearing aids, they may need to be repaired and other issues. I bought Alta Pros a little over three years ago. I have been back many times to my audiologist to have the aids tweaked and repaired, During the repairs, they provided a loaner. My hearing has changed somewhat in the three years of ownership and the aids have been reprogrammed for me at no charge. Yes, you will save money in the short term on the hardware, but it is a combination of the hardware and the audiologist’s expertise that will make or break your experience with the aids. For me, having an audiologist a short drive away is worth the extra cost. FYI, I tried programming my own hearing aids and after a while, I realized that I don’t have the time, expertise or gear to do it properly. My two cents!

I think it’s a matter of attitude. The gear is easy to purchase. Cost a couple of hundred bucks for the MiniPro, cables and flex strips and download the programming software online for free, and you’re in business. People say “If there’s a will, there’s a way”. Well, in this case, “the way” is already available and spelled out for you. Only question is whether you have the will or not?

If you buy your HAs online to save $, the will is already there. The “time” part should be insignificant. It’s not like it’d take you hours to do a programming session. Maybe 10-15 minutes or less once you know what you’re doing, no sweat. The time you save by programming on your own and not having to make appointments and drive to your audi will be more time saved than the time it takes to drive and sit through appointments…

Now let’s talk expertise. I will concede that the average patient doesn’t have the expertise the professionals do. That’s why the initial fitting, decision on which fitting to use (dome, mold, etc), and the initial programming until you’re satisfied with your settings, is done by your audi for you. After that part is done, 90% of the expertise is already dispensed by the provider for you. Subsequent programming on your ends would just be tweaking this and that, here and there, but always within the framework of the baseline that’s already been set up by your providers, and not straying too far from that. And even if you stray far from it, it’s a click of a mouse to restore your original setting done by your provider.

Nowadays there are plenty of resources online to help you understand the programming software you need to work with, so if you have the will and inclination, you can learn and understand how to operate the software as long as you have the “can learn” attitude.

Remember, we’re not talking about doing our own programming from day one. We’re just talking about using the provider’s service up front, and only doing programming to tweak things later on ourselves.