Author Topic: Hearing aid tips and advice.  (Read 17466 times)

Beardy

  • Shedist
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #100 on: 18 January, 2024, 10:28:59 am »
Digitalisation has actually made HAs almost functional for me. Analogue (and earlier digital) HAs didn’t have the capability to meet my needs.

I agree with everything said above about just how crap the Oticon app is (I’ve no experience of others) and having managed to get the audiologist to switch on the buttons on the HAs at my last visit has improved things no end. One problem though, is that many (most in my experience) audiologists are not techie in any way and they are still struggling to understand the capabilities of digital aids, let alone how they might interact with each other and a particular users needs.
For every complex problem in the world, there is a simple and easily understood solution that’s wrong.

Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #101 on: 18 January, 2024, 11:43:56 am »
As a recent 'beneficiary' of the Phonak app (myPhonak) I have to say that I am less than impressed to the extent that I'm considering removing it from my phone. As Jaded says, the HA stops when it is receiving a signal from the phone. The sound quality when listening to, eg, the radio is awful. Certain notifications (I haven't done an exhaustive study) produce a tone in my ear which is far too loud and I can't see any way of turning them down. The equaliser setting editing functions are confusing and of limited value...

Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #102 on: 18 January, 2024, 12:03:39 pm »
Following on from my earlier post, I saw my audiologist this week and he was painfully aware of the failings of the Oticon Companion app. He offered me a loan of a new Unitron model, the Moxi V-R. (Unitron are owned by Sonova, who also own Phonak - there is, apparently, a deal of shared technology). On the face of it, the app seemed to do want I wanted and allowed for lots of customisation. Sadly, it's shortcomings were revealed very quickly. In short, it's rubbish. Sound is 'pumping', with the processor too slow to react to changes in ambient sound - eg sitting in a quiet room with the radio on, add in a sound like a door opening or wife talking, and radio fades and then pumps up and down while the app flails around trying to set a sound level. Also, as for the Phonak, switching between programs has an overloud bong, which can't be adjusted. Falls at the first hurdle -  for £3200, these people are having a laugh for sure. They must pay a lot for the guff written on their website ("Choice makes life beautiful") - it would be better spent on some decent app writers.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #103 on: 18 January, 2024, 12:12:48 pm »
One problem though, is that many (most in my experience) audiologists are not techie in any way and they are still struggling to understand the capabilities of digital aids, let alone how they might interact with each other and a particular users needs.

To me that seems to be well into you had one job territory, though I appreciate that the bulk of day-to-day audiology work[1] can be done with little technical understanding.

I'm used to people not knowing what 'digital' means, but you'd really expect audiologists not to be in that category.


[1] Which the NHS now seem to be outsourcing to highstreet optiquacks.  Nothing good can come of it.

Beardy

  • Shedist
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #104 on: 18 January, 2024, 01:03:18 pm »
The Oticon Companion App (on iOS) seems to be well thought out in terms of functions and has a reasonably well designed UI. It just doesn’t work fast enough, and nearly always needs to reconnect whenever you leave the app. It also routinely ‘forgets’ any setting changes you’ve made which is very very annoying.

Whether the problems are due to poor detailed design or poor coding I can’t say, but I suspect it’s a result of ‘off-shoring’ that part of the development to the cheapest bidder. One day, tech execs will accept that the brand hit they take costs more in the long run than the savings they’re making through off-shoring and ignoring the resultant crapness. What? I can dream can’t I?
For every complex problem in the world, there is a simple and easily understood solution that’s wrong.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #105 on: 18 January, 2024, 01:39:49 pm »
Ah. You’ve forgotten that the first responsibility a Board of Directors has is to its shareholders. Customers, staff, products, they come later.
It is simpler than it looks.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #106 on: 18 January, 2024, 02:52:41 pm »
Indeed.  And when it comes to hearing aid technology in general, innovation is driven by trying to sell things to rich Americans.  Which mostly means people with stigmatised age-related hearing loss who want things to sound as 'natural' as possible, and who don't actually want to twiddle things, but might see compatibility with their Mega-Global Fruit Corp products as desirable in abstract.  Or parents of deaf children who don't have to actually use this stuff.

I'll stop before I get to the Wet Willy rant.

Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #107 on: 20 January, 2024, 10:16:55 pm »
It’s all massively disappointing. I’m watching a Hannah Fry doc about earbuds, and it made me wonder again why Apple and Bose don’t get involved. Surely it is possible just to make earbud-shaped HAs with vastly improved (music) sound quality? Why can’t a HA have  diaphragm like a Bose earbud, fully user customisable for those users who want it via an app that works.

Just before posting the above, I see that Bose did briefly have a go but they were traditional BTEs. Now they work with Lexie:

https://lexiehearing.com/us/compare-hearing-aids

Quote
Powered by Bose, pair with the Lexie app, the first self-tuning mobile app that’s clinically proven to provide audiologist-quality customization.

They don’t stream though.


Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #108 on: 20 January, 2024, 10:43:32 pm »
The Lexie ones look interesting - I've read good stuff about them - the top model B2 does now stream to iPhone by bluetooth, but as far as I can see they are USA only for availability. Agreed ref earbuds, I've thought this for a while.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #109 on: 11 February, 2024, 05:38:43 pm »
My niece is an audiologist and she bought some of the hearing aids with her to try out on me as I was issued them 14 years ago and stopped wearing them about nine years ago Once I moved to Germany as I didn’t seem to need them here.

She redid my audiograms, and actually they were not quite as bad as the original ones, which she said could’ve just been one of those things on the day I was tested then. She then put some high-quality hearing aids in and it was amazingly different than my previous experience, where I just heard noise and crackling music was absolutely impossible to listen to. They seem really good, the only thing that sounded slightly weird was my own voice.

These were from phonak and she said the app is crap, but if the audiologist sets them up okay then they can be really good.  When she has fixed where she will be in about five months time I shall make an appointment to go and see her and probably buy some from her so she gets the commission. Interestingly, she said that people with moderate hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids seem to develop dementia, a bit sooner, possibly to do with having to concentrate extra to hear.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #110 on: 11 February, 2024, 06:03:59 pm »
Mum had analogue hearing aids until 25 ish years ago at which stage she was offered digital ones. Dad accompanied her to the audiologist and they hooked up the audio for him so he could experience the difference between the two technologies. The description he gave was useful for those of us without a hearing loss. The analogue hearing aids had been like listening to a transistor radio, he said, whereas the digital ones were like listening to a CD.

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #111 on: 11 February, 2024, 09:10:48 pm »
I've heard good stuff about Phonak's aids too. And yes, there is increasing evidence of dementia being a higher risk for people with moderate hearing losses, possibly not just the extra effort, but the isolation and loneliness and them having to opt out of social situations due to hearing difficulty.

Staffordshire hospitals tried to stop providing NHS hearing aids for anyone with less than a severe hearing loss and had to be challenged (and taken to court) by people citing the dementia evidence. Also if you don't get used to wearing hearing aids earlyish with a progressive loss you may never adjust once it is more severe or you are older and less flexible to change.

I know lots of people who find digital hearing aids much better an analogue ones. Even I do, but struggle cos I learned to hear with analogues and find a lot of modern hearing aids annoying to use, the buttons are unreliable, fiddly and take too long to switch mode which is annoying when trying to change modes in a hurry e.g. someone calling you or in a video call.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #112 on: 11 February, 2024, 09:21:07 pm »
...take too long to switch mode which is annoying when trying to change modes in a hurry e.g. someone calling you or in a video call.

I was contemplating that the impatience of hearing people waiting for someone to answer the phone has reached the point where the etiquette has inverted, and in these days of nearly universal CID, a phone call merely functions as a de-facto "call me back" request, with no expectation that one should finish peeing, wash the oil off your hands, fish the baby out of the bath or put your hearing aid in before answering.

Of course, it doesn't work in real life.  Couriers still give you less than 5 seconds to answer the door, and people will babble at you while watching you pick up the dropped battery, put your hearing aid in, and perform the universal mime for busy cursor, before getting annoyed when you ask them to repeat themselves.

Re: Hearing aid tips and advice.
« Reply #113 on: 11 February, 2024, 09:45:54 pm »
people with moderate hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids seem to develop dementia, a bit sooner, possibly to do with having to concentrate extra to hear.

I think it is more to do with relative social isolation and not being able to fully participate in conversation.

These were from phonak and she said the app is crap, but if the audiologist sets them up okay then they can be really good.

The app is quite crap. You can modify or set programmes but personally I find the only programmes I use are “full auto” and “raw unmodified”, for want of better terms. The latter for music. (Speaking of music, there is a huge variation in how different HA brands sound when listening to music, Bernafon being the best I have had). One of the main things that is crap about the app is that if you want to use it to change between programmes, you have to wait a bit for the app to connect to the HAs first. The app doesn’t allow you to adjust things that would be useful to adjust such as wind noise.

The Phonaks are good. The only negative for me is that, in common with every rechargeable item on this planet, the battery life is not as good as claimed. A night ride, if one is into such things, would require a recharge at some point during the day or evening before said ride, otherwise one will not experience the dawn chorus. As well as the charger / drier, I have a smaller charger which attaches to its own battery. Together they form quite a portable package, although of course you could connect any portable charger to it.

It is all about how they are set up at the time of purchase, a process that has been improved immensely by better fitting tools that have been around for a few years now: a mic is placed in the ear canal which picks up what the HA is delivered to said ear-hole, rather than relying on the user to, under pressure, identify what needs to be changed. I used to need 3 or 4 post-purchase adjustments before this equipment came along, and was usually left thinking that if I had a bit of time with the software I could do a better job myself. Now there is a good chance they will be right first time.