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Thread: New to this, selecting a hearing aid is not easy!

  1. #1

    Thumbs up New to this, selecting a hearing aid is not easy!

    Brand newbie here.... Just bought my first hearing aids. Hearing loss first noticed 25 years ago with inability to hear piezo chirps, but over time the loss point came down the frequency scale until it began to seriously interfere with speech understanding. Finally gave in, got tested.

    Expected a high price, but was amazed at the quotes... over $7500 for a pair of Oticon Agil pro's. Being a prudent shopper and good researcher, I set out to get educated and do better.

    Finding qualified info to compare aids with is quite difficult, and I see by reading here that most people would agree. I did find a lot of insightful posts here. One pointed me away from what had been my first choice. Another helped me realize that the RIC was likely to give me the most acceptable result. Overall, I probably got more useable information here than from any manufacturer or provider's website, and I thank you all!

    Came to the point where I felt ready to make a decision. Today I ordered a pair of Hansaton Auriga 701 RIC's with the TEK remote, from a seller found online. I called (multiple times) and got straight, logical answers with no hassle or pressure. I asked about adjustments and service, and got good answers there too. I said too bad I can't do my own adjustments, and he asked if I was computer skilled- I am. He said I could order the same software and transmitter they use to program and do it myself I wanted to- and so I did that too, adding $400. Total price $2849, easily a $5K savings over a local provider and substantially more to my liking.

    Of course I'm hoping I've made a good choice. I will no doubt post more about these units when I've had a chance to use them, and perhaps I will be able to share some helpful information too.


    Very good and useful forum!

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    Is it Siemens Pure?
    What equipment you are going to use to make programming?
    0125.HzL-30 R-30
    0250.HzL-40 R-40
    0500.HzL-50 R-50
    1000.HzL-85 R-80
    2000.HzL-100 R-100
    4000.HzL-105 R-100
    8000.HzL-115 R-115

  3. #3

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    as a first time HA wearer you are going to program your own? good luck.

    I just picked up a pair of Siemens Pure Carat 701's and they don't look like those.

    would be interesting to see your audio-gram.. if your hearing is in the 701 power range I would think molds might be in order.
    Last edited by Mick Shu; 02-29-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #4

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    The Auriga is a siemens pure 701 in terms of electronics. However it's not rechargeable as the Pure is, it uses standard batteries. The units will be programmed to my audiogram by the provider, but I will be able to modify that using the factory program and transmitter on my own computer. These are exactly the same tools as a provider would use.

    I own a company that manufactures a computer peripheral running variable profiles set by a software control panel I designed. This is not unlike the HA programing software, so I'm basically familiar with the process. I feel I will be able to use this to advantage and if I'm unhappy with a change I make, all I have to do is revert to the original program set by the provider.

    Thanks to a comment here, I learned I should buy more capacity then I need now to allow for future loss. Thus the choice of the 701, to have reserve.

    I appreciate the feedback!
    Last edited by spiritgide; 02-29-2012 at 08:16 PM.

  5. #5

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    Keep us updated on how it works out.

    I don't think this is for everyone, but then, no one solution possibly can be best for everyone, right? I like the idea and the concept and think we do need inventive pricing and service models to compete with the current ones. I don't know whether I could pull this off with my first pair, but maybe with my second or third. It does require a more actively involved participant, someone who enjoys learning about settings and taking responsibility for them. A lot of folks don't want to or won't effectively do-it-themselves--they want more of a plug-n-play experience, and are likely to blame the manufacturer or retailer if they don't like the sound. I can't even get my parents--one of whom wears aids, the other on her way--to get their DVD player connected to their "new" HDTV, and only one of them will use e-mail unless held at shotgun.
    2013 Audiogram
    Hz250.....0500...1000...1500..2000....3000....40 00...6000....8000
    L...20.......15........30........40........40..... ..45.......40.......55........65
    R...15.......20........30........40........40..... ..30.......55.......55........65

    Speech disc:
    L: 100% at 60 dB
    R: 100% at 60 dB

  6. #6

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    Update!
    The aids and supporting items arrived this morning. More stuff than I expected, so I have a lot to digest. Plugged in the batteries, put on the ric cones and put them on. Been wearing them all day, and so far fairly pleased. Not as good as natural hearing, but I suppose I'm not sure what that is anymore. Also got the factory programming installed and my audiogram data entered. Made myself familiar with the software as much as I could without plugging in and doing an actual adjustment, and I think I will be able to use it easily. Won't try any adjustments for a week or so to get a better appraisal of what the shortcomings are and how to tune in an improvement.

    Overall, very pleased. The aids are Hansaton Auriga mini-x and they are tiny, even smaller than the Agil pros the dispenser was selling. The remote is easy to use, batteries easy to install. Most important, very comfortable in the ear, and virtually invisible with the tiny BTE. On of the features is virtually no feedback whistle. For example if you cup your hand over your ear, there is a whistle but the system detects and tunes it out in about a half-second. The Agil pro did nothing in that respect.

    When I get to the point of using the programming software to make adjustments, I will report the experience and result.

    Added up the various costs, but can't include the factory tuning software as I couldn't buy that from the dispenser. But the aids with remote, full warranty and lots of supplies came in$5500 less than the dispenser wanted for theirs, which had lower retail values too. Awesome.
    Last edited by spiritgide; 03-07-2012 at 07:21 PM.

  7. #7

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    but can't include the factory tuning software as I couldn't buy that from the dispenser what software are you using?

  8. #8

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    Great start! About as good as you can hope for. I think you're taking the right approach on setting the aids to your audiogram and then giving your brain some time to adjust before tinkering with settings. That's what audiologists do with us new users as well. (Just curious: Did the seller also advise that? Or did you just get that idea from lurking here on the forums?)

    Anyway, I hope it continues to go well and that you'll continue to share your experiences with updates.
    2013 Audiogram
    Hz250.....0500...1000...1500..2000....3000....40 00...6000....8000
    L...20.......15........30........40........40..... ..45.......40.......55........65
    R...15.......20........30........40........40..... ..30.......55.......55........65

    Speech disc:
    L: 100% at 60 dB
    R: 100% at 60 dB

  9. Default Source

    Thanks for the update

    Where online did you purchase the aids and related equipment?

    Tommy
    250 500 750 1k 1.5k 2k 3k 4k 6k 8k
    L 25 40 55 55 55 55 60 65 65 75
    R 30 40 55 55 55 50 50 45 45 50

    SD

    L 72
    R 100
    BI 96

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjmay View Post
    Thanks for the update

    Where online did you purchase the aids and related equipment?

    Tommy
    I got them through a large online hearing aid marketer called "Fix your ears" in California. They market many brands, and they have a number of websites such as openfit.com. I found them on Ebay under the the seller name "bidbybid". If you go to ebay and search for hearing aids, they will be the dominant listings. You can also do an advanced search for seller name bidbybid.

    I called them direct, and the personal service as well as knowledge was very good. They sold me the complete package. Includes the TEK remote with bluetooth. That serves not only as the remote for the aids (adjust volume, switch pre-programs, link to cell, turn on/off) but also links them to TV, cellphone or auxiliary input. The sending unit and wiring for tv/auxilliary was included too, along with about 70 RIC cones of various size and types plus 40 batteries. Everything is full factory pack and original with 3 year warranty (including cards) and one year loss replacement, and a thirty day return/exchange policy. I don't see anything I will need to buy extra. They pre-programmed it all to match my audiogram, and apparently got it right. Their phone number is 1-877-577-4327.

    The Aurigas were on a sale then, and are $200 higher now.

    I asked how a person could do their own adjustments, and he suggested getting the factory system, same tools that a provider would use. That was $400. Included two cd's with the program, bluetooth dongle, a direct transmitter that links the hearing aids into the process, battery charger and all required cables. Took about 30 minutes to install and browse through it. As I said, I won't try to make any actual changes until I've got more time in.

    This is the second day, and I've been paying attention to the effectiveness. It's a very good improvement in conversations. TV is not as good as with a headset product I had been using, but that one shut out all noise other then it's own. Including wife.... and she does like it when I hear her the first time.

    So far, they are totally comfortable too. Usually don't realize I have them on, and that was something I had been concerned about. Now If I can just always remember to remove them before showering!

    I'll get back and post more when I've put a week on them. I'm new to this, so I have a lot to learn.

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