Thanks to all in this forum. It is truly a vital resource with all the great sharing of information. This post is a vent and action plan validation request.
I got my first set of aids 4 years ago. The initial learning experience was frustrating as each audi (four) I went to would just recommend their top of the line and when asked for an explanation why, the answer was always "They are the best". I could never get a clear explanation or comparison to another brand/model with pros/cons to justify the cost. I did a lot of googling, reading and lurking here. I eventually ended up at Costco and purchased a set of KS4s as they seemed have a good feature/performance to cost ratio. They definitely improved my situation, but I was never confident they were "the best for me".
Over time my "what?" frequency has increased, hitting the darling spouse's threshold again. With the deterioration of my hearing and age of devices (which might require some repairs soon) I've decided its time to start the process for a new set of aids again. I visited one of the few local audi's that I didn't visit in my first round of exploration for a hearing test and recommendation. Otticon OPNs were recommended. When I asked which model and what other options exist, I once again heard get OPN1s "because they are the best". I failed again to get clarity as to what made them best for me or what other options there were.
Unable to find an audi I trust, its up to me to educate myself the best I can with the resources available and find what is "best for me". With that in mind, I'd feel better with a little validation of my planned action plan.
My hearing test results from the latest test were:
- Primary need is to lower the "what" frequency at home and on the phone
- other needs are to improve speech recognition noisy environments
- a desire to try streaming (e.g. tv, music, phone)
- a desire to improve music listening experience. primarily recorded music, but I sure would like to revisit listening to live music.
- budget constraint: without insurance coverage, this will be out of pocket cost. I'm willing to pay it benefits my needs/desires, but I need to understand the trade-offs to justify the cost.
- equipment constraint: I have a recent android phone, so all the made for iPhone features are of no value to me.
- audi constraint: I'm burnt out trying to find local independent audis to trust. I visited most locals. My Costco experience was a mixed bag. One audi/specialist was experienced and knowledgeable, others were not.
Start back at Costco and leverage their extended trial period on the KS7s or possibly something else. After a month or so, engage with BuyHear.com or other online retailer to see what they recommend (possibly OPNs?) and test their recommendation.
How does that sound? Any specific aid recommendations I should look at? Any changes to my approach?