analog hearing aid frustration

Manufacturers, Please Make a Power Analog Hearing Aid!

By Lolly Wigall

I really like being an audiologist.  I enjoy helping people hear well.  I appreciate the technological changes that have taken place over my many years working as an audiologist.

I like doing hearing tests and explaining the test results to patients and their families. I especially like selling and fitting hearing aids.  I really enjoy the listening part.  I appreciate hearing stories from patients about their mis-hearings and their mis-adventures with their hearing loss and hearing aids.  I find great satisfaction in finding the correct product for each person and then fine-tuning it to their needs and wants.

 

Changing Technology: Analog to Digital

 

In the 40 years since I earned my master’s degree in audiology, the technology our profession uses has changed enormously. The most dramatic change occurred in the 1990s when the era of digital hearing aids began.

At first these came with volume controls.  But, gradually, as manufacturers made more sophisticated software, the hearing aids were supposed to react to the environments by themselves, so volume controls were eliminated.  More recently, manufacturers have started to include volume controls in many digital hearing aids to give the wearer more control.

Digital hearing aids were primarily designed for people with sensorineural hearing losses ranging from mild-to-moderate to severe, and most such patients were able to hear and understand speech well with them.  Digital hearing aids have become Bluetooth-compatible.  When a person wears two hearing aids, the aids communicate with each other.

 

Fitting Profound Hearing Losses

 

zenithYears ago, patients with profound hearing loss used body-worn hearing aids with cords that attached to receivers attached to custom molds.  The cords came in different lengths depending on how the person used the aid.  There were unilateral cords, and Y-cords.

As other hearing aids got smaller, so did power aids, which allowed even people with profound hearing loss to wear behind-the-ear hearing aids.

Even after digital aids became standard for most people, many power hearing aids were still analog.  People with profound hearing loss were used to the sharp, clear sound of analog signal processing.  And, with their profound hearing loss, they didn’t need subtle, sophisticated signal processing; they needed loudness and clarity.

Nevertheless, a few years ago manufacturers decided to stop making analog hearing aids.  They were able to build more powerful receivers that, laboratory testing showed, should make the hearing aids “strong enough” to accommodate even profound loss.

However, because the hearing aids were digital, the sound seemed very different to a wearer accustomed to analog devices.

 

“Linear” Fit Processing Often Not Good Enough

 

dispt
Disappointed by digital…

Interestingly, many manufacturers now have a “linear” fit in their most powerful hearing aids.  This linear processing is supposed to resemble an analog hearing aid.  But, I can tell you, many of my patients have not found this to be satisfactory.  I have at least five clients who are trying to replace their old analog hearing aids with the latest digital devices, but they are not happy. They are not hearing well in noisy places, and they are not hearing environmental sound cues as well as they did with their analog aids.

I understand that these are only anecdotal reports, and are not scientifically tested.  However, they are very real to my patients.  I have tried several manufacturers and their linear settings.  I have called for programming help from the individual companies, hoping that I may be doing something that is inconsistent with their philosophy of programming.

I am sure I am not alone in my quest for fitting my patients with profound hearing loss.  I am open to suggestions.  Please help me help my patients!

 

*images courtesy New Generation Hearing, Wikimedia Commons, IGoByPlane

 


59 Comments

  1. My Analog hearing aids ran for 2 weeks on size 13 before running down but, my new Phonak Audeo Q50 312 run for just 3 days on size 312 before running down. I’ve thought about getting the Phonak 312 NIMH batteries but, I’m not to sure they run all day on a single charge before ruining down because they have a very low power density compared to Zinc Air.

  2. For $6000 my dad bought me 2 set’s of Phonak Audeo Q50 312 aids. One set as a backup. Phonak doesn’t make them anymore. Phonak replaced the Audeo Q series with the Audeo V series. The digital aids don’t sound at all anywhere near as good of sound quality like my analog aids did. Those digital aids make everything around me sound like a very low AM radio quality compressed MP3 recording with the sound of an air conditioner in both ears. The audiologist said I would just need to get use to them. Been using the same analog aids for 30 years before the transistors in them completely wore out. Got those analog aids back in 1988. Only bothered using digital aids in the first place because they stopped making analog aids some time ago.

  3. I am a different than most people here. I have very mild high frequency hearing loss, but I am a Mom and I have a shy 4 year old that mumbles and I can not hear her. I recently went to my Grandmother’s and she made a comment that my daughter is always talking but no one is listening. Heartbreaking! I have tried digital hearing aids the ones that are $5,200 for the set and they make my daughters voice sound like a robot and when the baby fusses yikes. Very irritating I really truly want natural sound just a little louder that is all. I feel like my daughter would not be as shy if I could hear here and interact with her better. I feel like my relationship with her is slipping away because I can’t hear her and that feeling like no one is listening is making her insecure. Beyond frustrated.

  4. Punch in “analog” hearing aids on browser, you will get websites that sells reconditioned hearing aids, analogs. Bought mine on line 10 years ago, still working, no repairs. I was worried at first but got it right away, it cost less than $400. Been profoundly deaf 68 years, since infancy. Tried digital, o dear, happy to see on here that I am not the only one who is frustrated and felt alone.

    1. I think we should all contact the guy who started Starkey, he would seem maybe the most reasonable person and efficient to helping all of us. Millions of us are in the same boat, I physically cannot wear them or I’d end up comatose with seizures yet with an anaologue aid I hear just as well as anybody else, so now I have to learn sign language, I love the deaf culture I just don’t know any, and starting to learn sign, but my last 2 are gone, completely dead.

  5. Finally, plain speaking, knowledgeable ha users who question/hate digital. I am relatively happy with the almost analog programming, feels like I have been released from a bubble and have rejoined the world. I have lost about 10 years of better hearing and I am mad. Will visit some more.

  6. I am so sick of the fact that companies are not listening to us that require the old Analog Hearing Aids. I am lucky that I did find a couple of the old type but given I have been wearing Analog for more than 47 years the Digital ones just don’t cut it. I was only given a trial of a new digital one the other day and straight away it distressed me to the max and said no they don’t do a thing for me. PLEASE COMPANIES LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL OF THIS PLEASE.

  7. I purchased a digital hearing aid a year ago. I absolutely hated it. I suffered from severe headaches and vertigo. Sounds that I knew were completely changed or nonexistent. It was very upsetting. I took the damn thing back. Got my money. It was pointless for me to have it. I was never going to wear it. When my analog bites the dust. I’m just gonna go without. Screw it.
    Anyhow, I’ve done a bit of searching, maybe I’ll purchase an analog from eBay. Or find an audiologist who uses Prairie Labs. This is the a manufacturing company that I’ve found that makes analog and digital hearing aides.

  8. I have been without a hearing aid for nearly a year and a half. My family constantly berates me because I don’t have a hearing aid. I’ve tried digital twice…both time it was disastrous. I would get a migraine within seconds of turning on the hearing aid. The room would start spinning and I would have to reach for a waste basket for fear that I would see my lunch again.

    The second try, the audiologist attempted to get the digital to “mimic” an analog but wasn’t successful. When he got it to the point where I could tolerate having it in my ear, I couldn’t hear anything worthwhile. If anyone talked, the hearing aid would click…thus rendering the entire conversation pointless because it was like someone was hitting the mute button every with every word that was being said. It lacks the constant stream of sound the analog provides. It didn’t matter if it was someone else or if it was me that was talking, this is how the conversation was from my hearing perspective with a digital hearing aid in my ear…CLICK “Hi” CLICK “you” CLICK “How” CLICK “the” CLICK “aid” CLICK “for” CLICK “now” CLICK

    The most frustrating thing is that…for me and my experience at least…hearing aids are NOT covered under health insurance. I’ve had my hearing loss since birth…thus by definition, it is classified as a preexisting condition. We were told with the ACA that preexisting conditions are covered. I, and many others who were born this way, are living proof. If they can cover prosthetics for people who have had limbs removed, then they should cover hearing aids since they are, in my opinion, a prosthetic ear.

  9. I got digital hearing aids a year and a half ago after 33 years of wearing analogs. I STILL miss the natural sounds of analogs. I am now struggling to hear those closest to me. Not because of volume but lack of clarity. I am hating communicating with people now more than ever (I also have high functioning autism). My isolation from others has increased as a result. My loss is severe to profound. Manufacturers and audiologists, PLEASE be more willing to make and fit analogs.

    1. Lloyds Hearing, Idaho, check out their website, they sell analogue. At least your close to me, I’am up in Canada where no audiologists will admit they know of anyplace that fix or sell analogue, and when the last company was they still wouldn’t tell me.

  10. Ohmygosh! I knew there was a whole population of folks out there like myself who cannot hear on a digital aid & a few of you have posted here. What in the world can we do to get manufacturers to listen to us?? Just a few hours of wearing a digital aid gives me a pounding headache. The sound is distorted, there is no clarity. My loss is profound & without the aid I am deaf (only have one hearing ear). I wear an Oticon power aid but live in fear of the day it malfunctions. I travel with an old backup that used to get me by until the other one was repaired, but now I don’t know what I will do when repairs are necessary. Please, please won’t someone listen to us & bring back the Analog aids!!

  11. I’ve also bought a digital hearing aid. All I hear is noise and boats of the time it reduces the sound significantly and I can’t even hear my lectures. So, could anyone please give me some names of analog hearing aid manufactures.

  12. I been wearing analog aid for over 30 years and I never a had big problem until digital aid…. I would pay more for analog over digital any day!!!! please bring analog back!!!!!!

  13. Maybe we should boycott digital hearing aids until manufacturers lose enough money to LISTEN to the DEAF!!!

  14. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it! I have been wearing analog for years and I tried using the digital and they are terrible! Sharp, high shrill and I develop a very bad headache after wearing it for only a couple of hours. What is wrong with the manufacturers? Is it because they are so into “Technology World” that they forget that technology doesn’t work for everyone? Please, please bring back the analog hearing aids and you will do a wonderful service to all of us who can’t stand digital hearing aids!

      1. So totally agree I got yelled at for wearing an old analog hearing aid and was told they couldn’t replace a tubing for the mould because I was not wearing a new hearing aid and boy was I angry and gave the hearing centre my 2 bobs worth of words grrr. Please please manufacturers listen to the people and bring back the faithful old Analog Aids.

    1. I so agree!! I also get headaches after a few hours of wearing a digital aid. I have a profound loss & nothing but Analog works for me!

  15. I was born deaf on left ear and started use analog hearing aid and raised at residential oral deaf school..I have always appreciated using analog hearing aid until several years ago the dispenser try the digital one..I wasn’t able to control it..it control my ear..and I have tried several digital hearing aid..ever since I have always frustrated with it..I feel the manufacturer are very selfish and greedy . .they think and decided the digital hearing aid should be fit for their ear..you are wrong totally..born deaf people’ ear decide which hearing aid fit for them..not you !!
    Please please make some analog for those who still want it not digital one.
    Very much appreciated for you to listen and respect them instead of ignore them for being greedy .
    Thank you,
    Anthony

    1. LOVE analogs. HATE digitals. I buy mine on EBay from China. That is how much I really LOVE analogs. It is hard to find them nowadays in the States unfortunately.

  16. I have been wearing a hearing aid since I was 7now hitting 74, just got an digital hate it, my hearing loss is from measles, only wear one , on the good ear. Which is 60%hearing, one of my worse experience, was glad to see I’m not alone..bring back the analog…

  17. I have commented here earlier on and now see that there are more comments here from people everywhere that are in the same boat as me trying to get used to Digital hearing aids is just not happening to me. I am trialling that now with very little success and seems that no one knows how to set the aids to what I am trying to tell them. I am from Australia and am wondering if any of these manufacturers are listening and reading this and whether they are going to do something about making the faithful old Analog hearing aids for all those out there that simply can’t stand the digital technology. I find this all very very very stressful. My Audiologist says she will try and see if she can find some Analog aids for me but I am definitely not convinced that she will have any luck at all.

    PLEASE MANAFACTURE ANALOG AIDS FOR US COMPANIES – PHONAK

  18. I have been wearing analog BTE AIDS since I was 16 years old, I am now 61 and have tried digital. I must say I hated digital because I was so used to analog it was devastating. I had to stop and think about what I was hearing, noises were so different. My hearing aid consultant who I have used for so many years said my brain is actually trained to hear with analog because I was so young. Please bring back the analog availability. I have a significant loss and cannot imagine what I am going to do when the AIDS I have wear out. Please help those of us who prefer analog!

  19. It is not about “adjusting” to the new characteristics and features of the power digital aids for those with across-the-board frequency range loss. What you are REALLY doing is settling for the degraded quality of sounds because the HA “engineers” think they know better than you or me what is best for me.

    I’ll explain… Imagine that you worked at a venue where the PA system was going great for several years, and then finally, it broke, and it had to be replaced. Now, imagine that with the old system, you were able to hear everything, very clearly. What the music sounded like live or a person speaking/singing live in front of you would match what came over the old system. Now, you have a new PA system, and you’re trying it out, the latest stuff. It doesn’t sound right… The music doesn’t sound natural and warm (like in the days when we went from vacuum tubes to solid state electronics), and the voice is difficult to understand. The nuances in the vowel shifts (diphthongs), or even the distinction between the vowels a, e, i, o, u, etc. are gone. The person is difficult to understand, even when the speaker makes the effort to enunciate clearly. It doesn’t sound right. Suspecting something, you realize that the drumstick on the cowbell, the plastic striker on the wood block, hand clapping, and the wood beater on a piece of a metal sheet has exactly the same attack sound.

    That is exactly what has happened with digital hearing aids. This is a fraud made up to make more money per hearing aid, and it destroys our ability to function as well as we could with analog equipment. It is common sense… I know how things are supposed to sound to me across the air, because I have stood in front of amp stacks or even music trucks in India capable of forcing me back beyond 15 feet because it’s SO LOUD (I have a loss exceeding the hearing test equipment limits in a significant portion of the frequency range), so I know that what I hear across the air is not faithfully replicated in the digital hearing aids, even with the speech enhancement and noise reduction turned off, whereas it was faithfully reproduced in the analog aids. The voice in a conversation no longer has the vowel clarity, so I have to lip-read 80% of the information coming to me.

    It was NOT necessary to stop making analog hearing aids. They could have kept the analog models open for those of us with broad-spectrum profound loss and give the engineered fake sound to the hard-of-hearing who have enough hearing to make sense of the heavily-process digital signal.

  20. I have been getting my analog hearing aids through Lloyds Hearing Aids located at 4435 Manchester Dr, Rockford, IL 61109. Their phone number is (815) 964-4191. The first time I went through them three years ago, they nailed it my first try. I love the hearing aid they gave me. It is a custom made analog hearing aid done through Audina. Lloyds is no longer working with Audina so I’m currently working on getting a “back-up” to my current hearing aid before I begin to have problems with it and need to send it out for repair. We are trying a hearing aid through Rexton now, but I’m not as satisfied with this one as the Audina. I live in rural Riverton, Wyoming so the audiologists here don’t care about what works best for me. At least the audiologist who posted above seems like he genuinely cares about his customers. Out here, we have one audiologist per town and each sells one type of digital hearing aid (Starkey or whatever). They will only sell the one type of hearing aid and they cost up to $9,000 each (3k-9k each). I have the platinum of insurances through Cigna (as I am a college employee), but they will not cover the cost of hearing aids or any type of hearing services. Besides not being able to afford the digital hearing aids, they simply do not work for me. I’m borderline severe/profound hearing loss. I’ve tried the so called latest/greatest digital technology in about a dozen different types/companies and none have worked for me. I get sick of being told I need to give it a chance and allow my brain to retrain itself. I know what I hear and the digitals simply do not work for my hearing loss. Everything they claim to do, does not work. I get feedback from wind, cannot hear in noisy environments like restaurants, cannot hear on the phone and then it takes forever to find the stinking microphone behind the ear. Phones are major for me since a large portion of my job takes place on the phone. It is imperative that I be able to hear on the phone with the phone wedged between my shoulder and ear so I can type and look up info for customers on the computer at the same time. The programmable aids are a pain when you have to keep pushing the darn button to find the right program and then the programs suck and don’t work right any way. I fear I will lose my job if forced to go to a digital hearing aid. I’ve tried so many and for many months at a time so it’s not like I haven’t given them a chance. Bottom line, I feel your pain and wish somebody would listen to those of us with the actual hearing loss instead of doing what they (with their perfect hearing) think is best for us. I appreciate the post from the audiologist on this site and hope that my info for Lloyds can be of help to others who are struggling as much as me.

  21. Hi my name is Karen Stockton (UK), I am the person that was in the article that Dan Schwartz, Hearing Blog referred to in one of the comments. I have been trying to adjust to Digitals for 17 very very long and stressful years, I have even gone to the private sector to try and get digitals set linear etc etc, done the whole lot of fiddling etc… and I have come to a final conclusion to save…. 1. my sanity and 2. my health which has suffered much from “persisting and persevering” until one morning after another bad night I said to myself that is it! I cannot continue doing this… I am nearly 47 years old, I have put my nerves and my brain through some horrible stuff I cannot keep doing this. I realised that I have to at some point “listen” to my brain (excuse the pun) and accept there is a PHYSICAL problem (not psychological!!!!!!!!!) and for whatever reason no matter how many hours an audiologist will put into setting them up its no good. DIGITAL processors cannot give what my brain needs. I will add though I am still wearing a Digital pair of hearing aids that DOES work the Phonak Aero 211 I knew the moment it was set it was right. For the life of me I cannot understand why this cannot be repeated, to me these are the closest to the analogues (but not better) I have actually had a couple repaired to give me some extra years of listening and I give thanks to the Hearing Aid Repair Service in Kent, Uk linked to Mary Hare School. Thank goodness for people like them who are working to help keep the older hearing aids going for as long as possible. But there will be a day when our hearing aids will either break down or we cant get a new hook and so forth what happens then. I have accepted the fact that I may have to live without hearing aids if nothing is done about this for us. There is a generation of people who has been forgotten. Why are we not being listened to? Just search the internet, read the comments here and attached to the Limping Chicken Article on me, you can see people all over are just struggling. I know many have just “accepted” digital as second best or are just living without them. I know for many its fantastic I accept that, but I am speaking here for those who cannot adapt, we still need a resolution and fast!

  22. Oh please please bring back the good old BTE Analog hearing aid I have been wearing them for over 46 years (started when I was 7 years old) and the BTE aids since I started high school in 1977. I hate these new Digital Craps and have been on a big wideworld search for more of the old BTE Phonak Superfront PCC-L-4 aids. Currently trialling out new Digital aids and no one understands my distress and issues with them had a fitting today and the guy says trial it but I say it’s not right my voice is too deep too much hissing on ends of words etc. I have heard it is much harder for someone to change from Analog to Digital and that is so right. I love new technology but hearing aids forget it. Give us back the old faithfuls and the technicians that can fix them too please please.

  23. just brought a used analog us80 of ebay been with digital for 20 years and analog 20 years before then,my audiology said being profound i am best with digital load of crap i now can re hear over the phone thanks to analog its taken 20 years of embarrassing moments having digital. bring back the old way bte analog please.

  24. Help I have the phonak naida v sp hearing aid but I came from an old phonak analog that sounds so much better. I’m looking to go back to analog sound. I need help please I have profound hearing loss. Email is helliex@hotmail.com

  25. I don’t like the digital aids either! Tried it for 1 week, ugh! what a nightmare! Been wearing analog hearing aids for over 45 years.
    I just got me some very good (2) reconditioned analog Omni (Starkey) 675 BTE on ebay.
    There are several hearing aid repair shops that are bringing back the analog aids. Some will also buy your old ones for parts.
    Also will be checking ebay for another pair to buy, parts for these aids will become obsolete.

    1. I still wear Oticon analog with duck tape on them.I have profound hearing loss. I tried 4 different digitals. I have given up in the hearing world. What’s the point of living if the companies can’t leave 1 analog on the market…

      1. I have a severe/profound hearing loss and I miss my analog hearing aids. My digital hearing aids have been adjusted several times and still not right. There is a company called lloyds hearing aid that sells analog hearing aids. They also sell BTE digital with trim pots to adjust the gain hi/low frequencies. You can send your audio gram to them and they will fit you with a analog HA

  26. Please bring back the analog hearing aids. Three of us in the family are profoundly hard of hearing and legally blind. The digitals are not a good product.

  27. Three of us in my family are profoundly hard of hearing and legally blind. Analogs are the best hearing aids with ‘volume control’. Digitals may look good on a drawing board but not in real life. Please bring back analogs!!

  28. i am looking for manufacturer of analog hearing aids for long time hearing aid user with severe hearing lost.

  29. Lolly – Have you find anything yet that finally satisfied your patients hearing from analog to digital? I am having same problems and its so hard to explain what is the difference in sounds that I do like and dont like. Even different sounds I cant tell like soft, sharp, etc. I discovered that I like the normal sound for talking in digital but like the analog for sounds like sirens where it is low or listening to the radio in the car.

  30. I’m looking for an analog earing aid like the old Unitron. The digital hearing aids are not powerful enough with someone with servere hearing loss. I don’t care what they say about the new digital. Why can’t they just keep making a good analog for people that want them. Where can one buy one? People that want the analog knows what’s best…they don’t want all these different levels & sound feedback…they just want to hear!!

  31. I just read a long article about the Wydek superpower 40. It’s main caviatt was convincing the patient that this was the way to better hearsound. My reaction is “A-Hem”, who is spending the money to get better hearing? Why can’t we get these researchers to set up analog aids and work at keeping the levels safe and feedback elimated. Who is the hearing aid God that decided that we would hear sound better with a zillion filters, algorithms, compression arrangements and screwing around with frequency input to narrow the range of input. Give me straight sound, as it was meant to sound, and do your darndest to make it work. Right now, I have a couple of very nice Phonak digital Naida 9 aids. But, the audiologists are at a loss how to set them to provide best speech. Meanwhile the stupid aids decide to play notes when they feel overwhelmed. So, while I’m trying to navigate traffic with my guide dog, my hearing aids are playing sweet Chords.
    Please give us back pure sound and keep the frills for your fancy research papers!
    Thanks for reading.

  32. I am profound with only 2 frequencies left in the midrange/bass area that has remain unchanged for several years. I currently wear Phonak analog from 1992. I just tried a pair of Starkey digital aids today and I’ll tell you one thing……they are NOT powerful, period. My audiologist tried to tell me that they are the most powerful digital aids on the market. I didn’t buy that story. Those digital aids felt like I was missing those power, the punch, and the bass/midrange seem to be absence.

    Come on manufacturers….WHO ARE YOU KIDDING???? None of those manufacturers can CLAIM that their digital aids will work on profound customers!!! I don’t care how much testing they have done, they MISSED THE BOAT BY WIDE MARGIN!!!!!

    I might as well turn my smart phone into a microphone, install graphic equalizer app, find a suitable amplifier to hook into it and get me a pair of custom monitor earmolds and I’d be good! No more depending on them manufacturers who have lost their way.

    Lolly…..have you found any analog aids yet??? I’m still interested.

    1. Ralph

      I agree with you. It is so frustrating not to be able to fit profoundly deaf individuals with analog hearing aids. And, the body aids have gone the way of the dinosaur too! I have not found any analog behind the ear hearing aids. Digital aids just do not have the same punch as the old powerful analogs. Lolly

  33. I agree with that. I work in a original manufacturer with eleven years experience. We believe many people just want a physical and convenient hearing aids as a solution to the hearing problem. Our company supply various models including analog BTE, analog power body worn hearing aids, which can help people hearing simply and live simply. :)

    1. Hi Robin Im the same been wearing Analogue hearing aids for 30 year’s since I was 7years old and they were wonderful never had a problem. My right one broke and then my left now I am lost. Saw a private Audiologist who try me on digitals Phonaks lll up they are called and they were awful harsh muffled clashing sounds with metallic undertones! I wore them for half a day then I realised my tinnitus levels were very high and then I experienced a sharp stabbing pain in both ears. I took them out and I’m not ever wearing them again. So desperate for Analogue and willing to pay any price I love them. Can you please email me your address and telephone number and details please. My email address is samibexy@gmail.com. Please help. Kind Regards from Becky Smith

    2. Hi Robin from Newsound I’ve been wearing Analogue hearing aids for 30 year’s since I was 7 years old. My right one broke followed by my right one. I loved Analogues they were a lovely natural consistent sound, I never had a problem with them. Tried Phonaks lll up on trial and they are awful! Harsh, muffled, crashing sounds with metallic undertones, after half the day of wearing them I had loud tinnitus and sounds got more and more distorted then I experienced sharp stabbing pains in both ears. I took the Phonaks out and I’m not trying any more digitals. I’m willing to buy Analogues at any price cos I love and need them so much! Please let me know if you can help, My name is Becky Smith and my email address is samibexy@gmail.com. Desperately hope you can help.

  34. I wear digitally programmable analog hearing aids. It has telecoils, WDRC (wide dynamic range compression) program, manual volume control and is behind-the-ear. it is fantastic with my 70dB hearing loss. It is 15 years old and each hearing aid has be been repaired once for only $100. Phonak quit making this hearing aid several years old. I have heard sad stories about these “digital hearing aids” from other people. I can hear my cat eat his crunchies with both on.

  35. You’re in the right ballpark, and almost right on base, wanting linear power hearing aids; but not quite for the reason you think. Profoundly deaf people — and people who have ANSD — lack temporal resolution (such as what you measure on the gap detection test) — and instead rely on speech envelope detection as an adjunct to lipreading.

    For various pure tones a normal hearing person will have a gap detection time of 4 to 9 mSec; however for profound deafness and ANSD these gap detection times can climb into the hundreds of milliseconds.

    What you refer to as a “digital” hearing aid actually uses Ed Villchur’s wide dynamic range compression (WDRC), which is essentially logarithmic amplification. While this works very well for up to moderately severe losses where you have to squeeze audible cues into the user’s narrow dynamic range, it also squashes the speech envelope [Cue “You Always Hurt The Ones You Love” by the Mills Brothers.].

    For much more on this, including the one truly linear super power digital hearing aid that truly mimics “analog” aids, please see, “Speech Envelope Detection vs AGC Attack & Release in Hearing Aids” at:
    http://thehearingblog.com/archives/1536

    And then for a more detailed explanation, please see, “First Person Report: Not Everyone Can Adjust to Digital Hearing Aids After A Lifetime Of Analog(ue)” at:
    http://thehearingblog.com/archives/2689

    1. Dan

      Thanks for the references. I will check them out. But, do you have any suggestions for aids? I have a number of patients who find that digital aids are not clear enough or as they say “not enough punch”. Suggestions? Lolly

    2. Dan thanks for the descriptions and explanations, but the problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a power BTE for those “power junkies” who love to feel their head vibrate so they can hear! And, I have a patient whose cochlea never developed completely so implant is not an option, and his hearing is worsening. What to do? He bought online a “digital” aid that was tuned with trim pots. The label said Siemens, and it is an international model that is not available here except on the internet. Warranty is one year and no L&D. Hearing aid sounds great. But I would love a manufacturer here to offer the model.

  36. General Hearing Instruments continues to produce an ITE, Class B Push Pull (50/120) for these very reasons.

    1. What are you talking about. Many in the ear hearing aids do not have telecoils. What does Class B Push Pull (50/130) mean. Never heard of General Hearing instruments. Thanks for your explantion.

      1. Hermine,
        In-the-ear hearing aids can have telecoils in them. It is simply a feature that must be requested at the time of build. Size of the requested unit, of course, can be a limiting factor.
        “Class B, Push Pull,” is an industry description for these types of analog, power circuits. This particular product has a maximum output of 50 dB of gain 120 dB of output.
        General Hearing Instruments is a 30 year old hearing aid manufacturer (located outside of New Orleans) that produces a variety of digital and analog products in addition to tinnitus sound generators and combination units.

      2. Hi

        In the ear hearing aids can be ordered to have a telephone coil, depending on the person’s ear and amount of space. Almost any aid can have an active T-coil. The Completely in the canal aids may be too small to have room for a t-coil. Lolly

Comments are closed.