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Thread: New here and new to hearing aids

  1. #1

    Default New here and new to hearing aids

    Last January I finally asked my physician for a referral for a hearing test. I've known for a while my hearing was deteriorating and I couldn't put it off any longer. About that time, I started lurking up here and spending a lot of time on the internet educating myself about hearing aids. I appreciate the wealth of information available, especially on this site.

    About a month ago, I was fitted for a pair of Hi Health Innovations hearing aids I got at a discount through United Healthcare. They are BTE hearing aids with an optional telecoil and hard plastic lines into my ears, with a single dome with two small holes to allow lower sounds to go through. Overall, I'm very satisfied with them and I'm finding it relatively easy to adjust to them. I occasionally drive a very loud drag race car, so I'm used to wearing ear plugs, but only for a few minutes at a time. I expected the same occlusion with these hearing aids, so they've been a pleasant surprise. It doesn't feel as though my ears are blocked off completely. My wife says I only ask her "What?" about 10% as often as I used to, so I have to say the aids are working. I am able to use my cell phone and watch TV well without using the telecoil, so that helps make it easier to adjust to the new aids.

    My only real complaint about the Hi Health aids is the fact that I had to pay $298 extra to extend the factory warranty to three years, which seems to be typically included with most other aids. They were still quite cheap ($1566 for both including warranty), but that brings them close to the cost of Costco KS7's. The Costco aids seem to have a wider frequency response than the ones I've got, so I have an appointment with Costco tomorrow to try out and probably order a set of KS7's to compare. Since I have no previous experience with aids, I thought it would be good to try at least two. The Costco aids have the receiver in the ear and I'm interested to compare that with the plastic tubes.

    I will report back with a comparison of the two sets of hearing aids when I've tried each for about a month. Again, I appreciate this site and all the information available here to a new user.
    Audiogram



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  2. #2
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    Default

    Definitely keep us posted.
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

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  3. #3

    Default

    Welcome to the forum! I always thought that the plastic tube technology is usually reserved for more powerful BTE HAs that need bigger receivers that can't be easily fit inside the ear canal, hence built-into the HA then transmitting through the plastic tube. For your level of hearing loss, I think an RIC (Receiver in the Canal) like the KS7 would be more effective because the receiver is inside the canal, much closer to the ear drum, for more direct and better sound delivery. Plus I'm sure the wire going to the receiver in the canal would look much thinner and more discrete compared to the tube which has to be big enough to carry the sound wave. Also, with the receiver in the canal, the HA can be made a bit smaller as well, therefore more discrete and lighter.

    Also, with your level of hearing loss, you may be able to get by with a much more vented open dome on the KS7 compared to just 2 small vent holes in the Hi Health aids' domes -> much less occlusion.

    And I believe the KS7 offers Smart Connect streaming option to your Bluetooth devices. Does the Hi Health HA have such option?
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volusiano View Post
    ....
    And I believe the KS7 offers Smart Connect streaming option to your Bluetooth devices. Does the Hi Health HA have such option?
    The Hi Health ha's don't offer any streaming options, but I don't need them at this time (I still have a Motorola "dumb" phone). I've been able to talk on the phone and watch TV with the new aids on with no issues and no special connections.

    I may have left the wrong impression on the plastic tubes. They're not rigid. They're thin tubes that are very flexible and discreet. The Hi Health aids offer the rigid tube option, but that's not what I got.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hadn't hear of the aids so found this: http://www.asha.org/Advocacy/hi-Heal...aring-Benefit/

    Tube (BTE) aids, as mention, are typically reserved for those that have a great loss because a larger speaker can reside in the unit. You are a typical loss and likely to be fit with an open fit mold that should give you better understanding.

    I'll bet you'll find the Costco aids better for your purpose. Also, compare both in noisy situations -- not the track car though.

    From what I read you're getting a rather unsophisticated aid from United. I wouldn't be surprise if it was a number of generations behind. That said, it may serve those with a mild loss in an adequate manner where they don't need noise suppression at the level a more active person would require.
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  6. #6

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    The Hi Health HA's are made by Intricon (something I had discovered with a search up here). When Hi Health first started, they apparently did everything through a call center, but that has changed. They seem to have a network of local offices now. I went to the office in Tucson and had a very professional and thorough fitting session (I already had hearing test results).

    I was concerned about the manufacturer, so that's why I felt I needed to get the 3-year extended warranty coverage (which also covers loss and damage to some extent). I also suspect--but don't know--that the Costco KS7's may be a better fit for my hearing loss. I look forward to comparing the two. I'll have another five weeks on my Hi Health trial period when I get the Costco hearing aids.
    Audiogram



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  7. #7

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    With that audiogram you certainly don't need BTE tubed aids. I suspect you will like the KS7s.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Jake View Post
    With that audiogram you certainly don't need BTE tubed aids. I suspect you will like the KS7s.
    I had my Costco appointment today and ordered a set of KS7's. The hearing test was somewhat more extensive than the one I had taken a month and a half ago as a result of the initial referral from my physician. Two things impressed me today about my appointment: (1) the HIS actually inserted probes in my ears to check how the trial HA's were working and (2) I noticed there was no sound interference between my glasses and the HA's. With my HI Health aids, when I move my glasses at all, I hear it through my aids. With the KS7's I don't hear this at all. I'll get my KS7's in April and by that time I will have used my current aids for five weeks, which should set me up for a fair comparison.

    I will report back.
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  9. #9

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    Did they allow you to test them on your own though the store?
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nimailni View Post
    Did they allow you to test them on your own though the store?

    They offered a walk-around, but I declined it. I'll have plenty of time to try them in different surroundings. I knew going in I would order a pair for comparison to my current aids.
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