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Thread: New Hearing assist devices better than hearing aids

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    The buds have a nice soft dome type fitting , and there is occlusion, sorry failed to mention that.
    The aid domes were fully closed and were just what I managed to find among my collection of fittings.
    It's fair to say that a bit of messing about with different domes , perhaps with a small vent , may be very rewarding.
    It's also important , in terms of what works where , to note that this test was not in a very challenging environment.
    It will be interesting to see how it all works over a range of noise levels , particularly on hard surfaces in modern buildings.

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    Seems pretty quiet on the hearing bud front atm.

    A few scattered reports suggest that the Bose Hearphones have some issues with feeed back and directionality.
    Interesting that the Bose Hearphones bear a stunning resemblance to the Mimitakara active which is currently heavily discounted on Amazon.
    Mimitakara make several devices and all are heavily discounted atm (It's a tough world for evolving tech products )

    Perhaps Bose bought the design.
    Having the mikes on or under your clothes seems a silly idea and this is supported by the amazon reviews.

    It's a dynamic market atm and a category killer may take a while to evolve as the technical demands are extremely challenging.

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    The global market for Bluetooth-connected and wireless earbuds and headphones will be worth $40bn by 2020,

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    @tgh. Have you been using the nuheara buds? I'm wondering what your thoughts are about them after a few weeks of usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d'Wooluf View Post
    @tgh. Have you been using the nuheara buds? I'm wondering what your thoughts are about them after a few weeks of usage.
    Yes, I too would be interested in how tgh is going with them. I tried them off and on for a few weeks and here is the write up I did for my audiologist who expressed an interest in them….

    Well, they work pretty well at filtering out unwanted noise so that I can hear speech better.

    I have tried them in a noisy pub and restaurant and I have to say, they are more effective than my hearing aids in this environment. Despite the changes made to my (Trax 42) HAs by the Rexton audiologist, I still find I hear better without them when in a noisy place.

    With the IQbuds I just choose the location setting, e.g. restaurant, and hey presto, I can hear the person talking to me as all the other chatter etc. is remarkably reduced to virtually nothing!

    The IQbuds app is very simple to use – just 3 main adjustments: Volume, SINC and LIVE EQ.

    Volume – I find I need this set to max – the buds do not provide much amplification.

    SINC – this is an acronym for Super Intelligent Noise Control. This control is very effective. If I turn it to max it cuts out all the background noise. If there is no one close to me talking then it feels as though my ears are completely blocked as I can’t hear any noise at all. It’s a bit like when you are in a noisy swimming pool and how quiet it gets when you put your head under the water.

    LIVE EQ – this control allows low or high frequencies to be reduced. I haven’t found a lot of use for it yet but I tested it by crunching up a plastic shopping bag – you can definitely notice the noise less when you reduce the high frequency levels using this control.

    There are 7 pre-set location settings – e.g. restaurant, office, home, outdoors, driving. So, as you would expect, restaurant already has the SINC at maximum level. Others can be adjusted and the setting retained. E.g I work in a quiet office so I have adjusted the office profile to allow a fair amount of background noise.

    Locations can be changed via the app or your favourite four can be cycled through by tapping on the right bud.

    I must say, it is great having the ability to change these controls on the fly but really, once you have found the correct setting it can be saved as one of the locations. It’s a lot like the various programs with my hearing aids – the difference is if I want to change any of the HA settings it means a trip back to my audiologist!

    One other control which is usually only set once when you set up the buds (unless your hearing changes!) is the personal setting. There are 5 settings to choose from:

    1 for normal hearing
    2 for bass boost (most people will not use this as significate LF loss is rare)
    3 some HF gain (Nuheara suggest over 50s with slight hearing loss to use this setting)
    4 more HF gain
    5 most HF gain

    I have it on 5 although I can’t really notice a difference between that and setting 4.

    And that’s about it – all very simple.

    Now the downsides –

    1. Uncomfortable to wear – the buds are large and heavy (compared to hearing aids) although with the correct tip (a number of various sizes are provided) they don’t feel as though they are going to fall out.

    2. Naturally they block your ears so occlusion is an issue for me. I can’t wear them for long.

    3. Maximum battery life is around 2 hours between recharges. They are supplied with a charger which provides an extra 3 charges so you could almost get through a full day without needing to plug them into a power outlet. Battery life is not problem to me though, 1 to 2 hours is about as long as I would want to wear them at any one time.

    4. Using the buds for wireless streaming of music and phone calls is great however the BlueTooth has a very limited range. You need to keep the phone above waist height, e.g. you cannot have the phone in your pocket otherwise you receive drop outs and lost connections. Even with the phone on my desk I often lose the connection when I turn my head.

    5. I think my hearing loss is close to the level where these buds can help – I usually need the volume level at max and at that level voices sometimes sound a little distorted.

    The above was written a few weeks ago when I was about 3 weeks into the trial – I have since returned them for a refund. They were close to what I was hoping for and if the above “cons” can be addressed then I would be keen to give them another go.

    I am still not satisfied with my hearing aids and never wear them in noisy places. The IQbuds have made me question even more so why my hearing aids cannot achieve at least the same level of noise suppression.

    No answer to that from my audiologist yet – I will keep pressing.
    My Audiogram
    0250Hz R-45 L-50
    0500Hz R-15 L-15
    1000Hz R-15 L-15
    2000Hz R-15 L-35
    4000Hz R-50 L-55
    8000Hz R-80 L-70

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    Great report Grey Wolf, thanks.

    To answer d'wooluf, I have had little opportunity to use the buds and have nothing much to add other than confirmation of less amplification than expected
    I live a fairly quiet life in a rural environment and have no need for any hearing assistance in most of my everyday life.
    I will be travelling extensively later in the year and want to maximise my options so I have an audio appointment coming up.

    In my earlier report I said that my aids with heavy closed domes matched the buds.
    Subsequent use showed closed domes to be useless for normal situations as my aids are heavily profiled for my high end loss.

    I may try with my old Siemens centra actives fitted with heavy closed domes as an option for crowd noise hearing, living with the occlusion for short periods.
    I am also playing with a home made solution that may or may not work……

    What options have you tried with your aids Grey Wolf ?
    Have you tried closed domes ?

    I plan to write to NuHeara and ask them about increasing the amplification.
    The current release is an early iteration and more amplification may be available in the software or it may require a hardware modification.
    It seems logical that they would choose to adapt the product where they can.
    Did you communicate with them at all Grey Wolf ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Wolf View Post
    I am still not satisfied with my hearing aids and never wear them in noisy places. The IQbuds have made me question even more so why my hearing aids cannot achieve at least the same level of noise suppression.

    No answer to that from my audiologist yet – I will keep pressing.
    In looking at your audiogram, although it shows moderate loss at 250Hz, it looks like you have normal hearing from 500Hz up to around 2KHz. You also mentioned occlusion being a negative point on the IQbuds for you because they use closed domes, so I'm guessing that you're wearing open domes with your Trax 42. Of course correct me if I'm wrong.

    But if you indeed are wearing open domes on your Trax 42, that's probably why you can't achieve the same level of noise suppression as the IQBuds -> the open domes probably let all the noise in. That's why the IQBuds use closed domes in order to be effective with noise suppression.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

    KHz 0.25...0.5...0.75...1.0...1.5...2.0...3.0...4.0... 6.0...8.0

    Left ...10...10....10.....30.....70....75....80....95.. ..90....80
    Right .25...30....40.....55.....75....85....90....90...1 00...100

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgh View Post
    Have you tried closed domes ?

    Did you communicate with them at all Grey Wolf ?
    Thanks tgh and Volusiano, to answer a couple of your questions…

    I have tried numerous types of domes, open, semi open, closed, including molds.

    I found the molds uncomfortable to put in and take out – made of a hard material. I did ask about softer molds but my audiologist brushed it off saying they caused infections. The molds had a small vent but I still felt very occluded. I honestly can’t say I noticed an improvement with the noise suppression – they made things louder, that’s about all I noticed.

    I currently have a semi open (tulip) dome in my left ear and an 8 mm open dome in my right.

    I have been thinking of trying closed domes again and suspect with correct adjustments I might get a better result. I have to factor that against loss of comfort though. It’s a fine balance it seems

    And yes, I have been in touch with Nuheara. I reported an issue which was later fixed with an app update. I did receive a call from one of their support guys who confirmed that others had returned the IQbuds due to insufficient amplification.
    My Audiogram
    0250Hz R-45 L-50
    0500Hz R-15 L-15
    1000Hz R-15 L-15
    2000Hz R-15 L-35
    4000Hz R-50 L-55
    8000Hz R-80 L-70

  9. #159
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Milton, Ontario, Canada


    I have been interested in this thread for awhile now and I guess I am almost ready to try out a pair of IQbuds. The one problem for me would be the lack of volume. I have constant tinnitus on top of my severe hearing problem and find that low amplification devices are rather useless for me. The noise in my head usually is louder than the sound that the devices can produce. I still use Phonak Ambra BTE and they seem to produce just enough in a fairly low noise environment. In a busy restaurant they are quite useless. I am not sure the IQ buds would do the job, but since they are a lot cheaper than the $3K I spent on the Ambras they might be worth a try.

    Similar waveform for both ears

    250Hz…………40db 3000……………70
    500…………….45db 4000……………80
    1000……………55db 6000……………85
    2000……………70db 8000……………85

    Presently wearing Phonak Ambra SP hearing aids.
    I am also using the included Phonak ComPilot/TVLink package.

  10. #160
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    NW Indiana
    Blog Entries


    Gramps, I think the various bud are for those with a mild-moderate loss. Those of us with a greater loss will really benefit most from aids.
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