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  #1  
Old 12-22-2010, 07:22 AM
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Hearing Aids.


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Sorry. I know that this isn't a hearing aid forum. I wear hearing aids and was wondering if anyone else here does. If you do, I'm curious as to what brand and type you have. I'm in the market for them. I tried a new pair. I hate them and am going to return them to get my 3600 bucks back.

I go to a hearing aid forum, but either they are dealers or the people are just interested in the next best thing. I'm hoping (a long reach I suppose)that someone here has any recent good experience. I'm just trying all of my resources.

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  #2  
Old 12-22-2010, 08:03 AM
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If you judge from my Sticky about hearing protection, I know a little bit about this topic.

Frankly, the best hearing aid dealer now is Costco. They do really detailed testing, sell privately branded but major maker aids from several sources, sell them at a very small profit margin and give free batteries and service - and a no-questions-asked return policy.

I advise people to avoid national chains simply because they can only sell you their brand of device. It's like being in a Ford shop when a Chevy would suit your needs better. I can't advise which brand might be best for you - only a good independent audiologist can do that. But in general, the open-ear devices now out are far superior to the older in-canal ones. If you specify it in advance, you can even get different tips and tuning to use them while shooting. Ask.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:16 AM
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No problem asking on the forum. It surely is gun-related, if it's noise induced hearing loss!!!!

There's got to be plenty of members with the same problems and questions. Thanks Rocky for your info.
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2010, 10:53 AM
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I know that the BTEs (behind the ear) are "better" than the ITEs (in the ear). But growing up with the BTEs and then switching to ITEs (children almost have to have BTEs so they can just remake the molds for the growing child without much fuss), the ITEs was such a huge improvement to me, that I'm not sure I can go back to the BTEs. I still have a fairly physical job, and sweat and rapid/hard movement are no friend to the BTEs.

That said. I moved from the dealer that I used for literally decades (and was happy with him) and now I feel like I'm back to square one when I was 4 years old all over again. I know that I'm not happy with the new and "improve" Starkey S series. They cost more than double what my old Starkey CEs cost. 2200 dollars more just to get less performance. 3600 dollars is a bitter pill.

There is no Costco near me. They nearest one being nearly 3 hours away. Maybe BJs or Sam's club have the same thing near me.

Or I'll try Octicons or some other brand. I don't really care. I was never loyal to Starkey so much as I was a loyal customer to my old dealer. One of the pitfalls to moving. Losing your old and trusted contacts.

Oh, before I forget, thanks Rocky Raab.

Last edited by GMFWoodchuck; 12-22-2010 at 10:56 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2010, 11:21 AM
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I got mine thru the V.A. Hospital. One of the benefits of serving I guess. Anyway, mine are made by PHONAK. They go IN my ears. I'm pleased with them too. The only thing I resent about hearing aids in general is that you have to take them out when going shooting. I bought a set of hearing protection that has an automatic shutoff when a loud noise goes off. They work great. I can hear the range officer and the rifle shot is just a "whump".

The hearing aids themselves were at no cost to me. They even send me a supply of batteries that they replenish every six months. Wax traps too. Typically, I have to change the batteries every two weeks. The Tech that outfitted me told me this particular hearing aid costs a bit over $4000. My only income is Disability so if I had to pay for hearing aids out of my pocket I'm afraid I'd have to learn to read lips. And these hearing aids are quite comfortable. They just took some getting used to, thats all. Good luck with yours. And get a pair of shooting muffs that automatically block out loud noise.

You veterans out there, consider the VA for your medical necessities. I qualify because I'm poor, I guess. And it's the best medical treatment I've ever received in all of my 64 years.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:36 PM
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Oticon is a very good brand. So is Siemens. Starkey used to be, but over the past ten years or so, I hear more and more negative comments - I'll reserve judgment.

I'm a vet but neither disabled nor poor. If and when I need hearing aids, I'll probably go to Costco. That's not everybody's situation, so do the best for yourself that you can; your hearing is truly priceless.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:39 PM
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I wear behind the ear Siemens. I was warned not to wear them while hunting as they would amplify the muzzle blast. When hunting, I now use the sound amplifying hearing muffs that amplify normal sounds but block any noise over 82db. Good amplified muffs are stereo so you can tell where the sound is coming from and adjust the level till you can hear properly.
Go to a good ear, nose and throat doctor. He will have a registered audioligist working for him to test your hearing.
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2010, 08:29 AM
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I recently purchased one of the Walker behind the ear units.
My hearing is reasonable, but diminished enough that I don't hear the rustling of squirrels or the crunch of a deer walking through dry leaves. I hear normal speach just fine.
With the device, I can manually turn up the volume to the point that the rustling of my clothes while walking seems too loud, but I try to keep it loweer than that.
I use only one and it does help block the loud report from my high power rifles.
The only thing I don't like is the piece that is inserted into the outer ear canal. It's a squeeze and insert soft foam. I am looking at having a molded piece made, since many folks have said thos are more comfortable and have lss of a tendency to come out when you move your hat or glasses.
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2010, 10:23 AM
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Yes, a molded piece is MUCH better. When you go to have an impression made for one, be sure to insist on a soft material like silicone or they'll make you one of hard material meant for a hearing aid. Those transmit a lot of sound and can be uncomfortable if only worn occasionally. You ought to be able to get a single soft tip molded to your ear for about $50. They are essentially permanent, though.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2010, 10:33 AM
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Hearing aids designed for shooters have a mechanism to shut off loud sounds (gunfire). Normal hearing aids do not have this shutoff feature.

After my dog ate the ones for shooting (I understand this is a common problem as dogs supposedly like the taste of earwax),

I got a regular pair (Seimens) at 3 times the cost with which I have not been satisfied - I've taken them back for replacement of parts under warranty about a half dozen times during the year and a half I have them. The extended warranty is still good for another year and a half, I don't know what I'll do after the warranty expires.

The warranty I have now covers being eaten by a dog while the warranty on the shooting version did not.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:59 AM
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I think I may have a good pair coming. Basically they're the same as what I already have. But newer. One of the ones I'm using was made in 1994!!!! In any case, They didn't add the telecoil (so I can use a phone) so it'll be a bit before I can actually start using them. The only trouble is that now they're "custom." So they still cost a fortune. But at least I liked them at the office where I tried them out.

And so if any of you are wondering, they're rated for 127dbs. Quite a bit more than the el-cheapos out of Bass Pro Shops. Each 10 dbs is 10 times louder. So a 40db is actually 100 times louder than 20dbs.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Last edited by GMFWoodchuck; 01-20-2011 at 07:02 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2011, 11:06 PM
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I also have a Starkey In the Ear model that the Army issued me in 98'. They also gave me a backup behind the ear one but have only worn that one once. I only have a high freq. hearing loss in my left ear. Only wear it when home with my wife as I don't wear it down range. When hunting I have a set of electronic muffs that I wear.

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