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Unread 07-28-2011, 02:22 AM   #1
shantip
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Any recommendations of which digital aids best resemble analogue?

I have been wearing analogue Phonak hearing aids for nearly all my life (30 years). When it was time for me to get new aids I was frustrated when told they no longer make analogue aids any more and that I am going to have to switch to digital aids. As I am covered under the Australian Government Office of Hearing Services scheme for Pensioners I have been issued with 2 BTE Siemensí Motion aids.
Personally, I hate the digital aids. I find that loud sounds become louder, such as traffic sounds and clanking of cooking pots and soft sounds like birds have become softer. Furthermore, there is less clarity to the sounds, so speech is not so clear and I have to really concentrate when someone is talking to me to understand what they are saying (this was never much of an issue with analogue). The several audiologists Iíve been in contact with have fiddled with the settings to try and match them to my audio-gram and to address the issues Iíve had and all, but Iím still greatly dissatisfied. I am aware that there is an adjustment period to allow my brain to get used to hearing sounds differently, but with the new digital aids, I have felt more profoundly deaf, while all my life with analogue, I had only felt partially deaf.
Has anyone else had similar issues of having to switch to digital hearing aids after having used analogue for so long and if anyone has any suggestions as to which digital aids resemble analogue the best? Also, does anyone know of any companies who may still make analogue?

My Audio-gram:
Freq..250..500..750..1k..1.5k..2k..3k..4k..6k..8k.
L........40...45....50...70...75....75...75..55..5 5..60
R........50...60...NA...70...80...80...75..60..55. .60

Thanks
S.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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well you can try Phonak, Oticons and other brands
I think digital is pretty cool since you can get all the neat stuff

I also did kept an analog for backup which is dead, but it's still functional and it's also Siemens which I grew up with from 96-05 (I was a kid)
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Unread 07-29-2011, 03:46 AM   #3
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Has anyone else had similar issues of having to switch to digital hearing aids after having used analogue for so long and if anyone has any suggestions as to which digital aids resemble analogue the best? Also, does anyone know of any companies who may still make analogue?
Like you, at first I was severely frustrated with digital HAs and wanted only the analogue.
But I had no choice, had to make a switch, like you I have Siemens
only it's Nitro 700 SP.

But what made all the difference and convinced me the digital can be as wonderful HA if not better than analogue,
is the audiologist who was very patient, very calm and
very accommodating to my needs,

and who took endless hours and number of days days to find the right program suitable specifically
for my type of hearing loss and frequencies I felt comfortable with.

It took me 4 or 5 visits, each time about 3 hrs or more, adjusting the sounds.

We both were extremely tired but at least I got the sound I wanted.
If I wanted to, I can always make another appmnt and adjust my programs further.

Think about it, maybe that's the key to you having the perfect pair of new
digital HAs!

Good luck!

Fuzzy
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Unread 07-29-2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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Digital aids can be programmed to sound like analogue, just keep going back and tell them how you want them to sound. I used analogues from 1971 to 2008, at first digitals sounded quieter but after several visits to the audi and me adjusting to the new sound quality I wouldn't change back.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 04:23 AM   #5
shantip
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Thanks Fuzzy

That does offer me some consolation. With my current audiologist, they act like they don't want to spend the time and just twinkle here and there and then send me on my way. I'm going to have to shop around for a different fitter.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 07:52 AM   #6
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I don't know exactly which hearing aids to recommend, but I do know that there are some digital hearing aids that can be programmed with "MTV" mode.

MTV mode is "music television" mode. Yeah, I know you're probably thinking about the MTV channel, but the concept is basically where it disables anti-feedback.

Why mention this? Analog hearing aids are simple and don't really drown out background noise, static, or high pitched sounds. You basically hear "everything" with it. Since hearing people can use selective hearing to focus their listening skills, they made digital hearing aids to function almost like that.

Most digital hearing aids have anti-feedback to give you better sound and block out (or drown out) abnormal sounds in the background such as static, high pitch sounds, etc. This becomes a problem when you're listening to music or shows on television. Music can be seen as high pitched sounds (or club music) and can be drowned out. Television usually has music and sound effects, which is also drowned out.

My digital hearing aid has 3 modes... regular, crowd, and MTV. Regular is as it says. I use it for everyday activities. Crowd is for noisy crowded places like at a restaurant, bar, club, etc. It attempts to drown out everything except for what's in front of you like a person you're talking to. MTV is what I've just explained above. I use MTV when I'm in the car listening to my DVDs or when I'm in the movie theaters.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 04:48 AM   #7
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Digital signal processing is quite different from analog signal processing. Specifically, DSP alters a signal through complex software, while ASP alters a signal through the use of hardware. The internal implementation, such as compression, operate similarly in both strategies. As long as the sampling rate is high enough a digital amplifier will sound exactly the same to the human hearing system as an analog. Particularly with speech. For years audiophiles hobbyists have claimed they can tell a very high quality analog from a high sampling rate digital signal. But in actual scientifically controlled conditions no one can consistently tell which one they are hearing. Just my very experienced opinion.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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programming

hi , as technology changed we opted digital with clarity ,its only programming problem some times. but i suggest you to wear ALERA 961,761 OR 561, RIC MODELS,u can have remote in hand also,u can change programme ,adjust volume or its automatic change,keep trying
ravi
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Unread 10-23-2011, 01:34 AM   #9
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Hmmm...I am being fitted with digital hearing aids for the first time. I've never had hearing aids of any sort before. Not even sure if they will work. I go Nov. 8 to get them and have them adjusted or whatever they do. I don't even know what brand they are. I only hope that they work even a little bit and I can possibly hear music again. If the hearing aids don't work then my audiologist wants me to consider implants. My hubby and another friend listened to what the sound quality of cochlear implants sound like...and both think they sound horrid...like fingers nails across a blackboard or a static-y am radio station that can't pick up a station properly; and forget about music with them. I am leaning towards a big fat NO to the implants if it comes to that. I'm not convinced they would be an improvement.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 03:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mizwytch View Post
Hmmm...I am being fitted with digital hearing aids for the first time. I've never had hearing aids of any sort before. Not even sure if they will work. I go Nov. 8 to get them and have them adjusted or whatever they do. I don't even know what brand they are. I only hope that they work even a little bit and I can possibly hear music again. If the hearing aids don't work then my audiologist wants me to consider implants. My hubby and another friend listened to what the sound quality of cochlear implants sound like...and both think they sound horrid...like fingers nails across a blackboard or a static-y am radio station that can't pick up a station properly; and forget about music with them. I am leaning towards a big fat NO to the implants if it comes to that. I'm not convinced they would be an improvement.
From my understanding, the implants may sound terrible at first (computerized, robotic, Donald Duck-like, whatever), but over time, as your brain gets used to how the sounds are being processed through the implants (and with further MAPping sessions), everything starts to sound more "normal". This is what I've learned from multiple CI recipients. Just throwing this out there. The CI recipients I've spoken with online, they all say the computer audios of what the CIs sound like, the actual CI really does not sound like that.



As for digital hearing aids, it is an adjustment to get used to after being used to analogs. I've worn analogs until 9th grade, then I got my first digital. Took me a while to get used to, but not too long for me. I found that things sounded more clearer, and I liked that the digital HA would bring down the background noise a bit. I'm onto my 3rd digital now. With each new digital I get, I always think the new one is a big improvement over the previous digitals I've worn.
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Unread 10-30-2011, 11:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cdmeggers View Post
From my understanding, the implants may sound terrible at first (computerized, robotic, Donald Duck-like, whatever), but over time, as your brain gets used to how the sounds are being processed through the implants (and with further MAPping sessions), everything starts to sound more "normal". This is what I've learned from multiple CI recipients. Just throwing this out there. The CI recipients I've spoken with online, they all say the computer audios of what the CIs sound like, the actual CI really does not sound like that.



As for digital hearing aids, it is an adjustment to get used to after being used to analogs. I've worn analogs until 9th grade, then I got my first digital. Took me a while to get used to, but not too long for me. I found that things sounded more clearer, and I liked that the digital HA would bring down the background noise a bit. I'm onto my 3rd digital now. With each new digital I get, I always think the new one is a big improvement over the previous digitals I've worn.
Hmmmm...maybe since I have never had any sort of hearing aids before I will adjust quickly to the digital ones. I truly hope they do help. While the little buggers don't come cheap, they are still far less expensive than the implants. I have only just recently been granted SSI/Disability....and not sure if Medicaid/Medicare will even cover the cost of implants and "installation" fees if the hearing aids don't work.

I would happily try stem cell therapy if that were offered as an option...not only is it far less expensive...but in the research I've done it has proven to be pretty effective in people fortunate enough to be able to get it.

Ah well, I guess I will cross the implant bridge if I come to it. In any case...keep your fingers crossed that Nov. 8 will be a good day!
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Unread 10-30-2011, 11:31 PM   #12
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check with your state's medicaid program, they might be able to help cover the hearing aids for you. Medicaid paid for my new hearing aid and I didn't have to pay a cent. I was real glad Medicaid covered my hearing aid, I don't make much money and most of my money is spent on rent and bills. Hope the new hearing aids work out well for you!

Just for info, Medicare does cover implants, 80% of the cost; so you would need secondary insurance will cover the remaining 20% (like Medicaid if your state's Medicaid covers the implants).
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Unread 11-25-2011, 06:44 AM   #13
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I was told same thing one and half years ago when I went to get fitted for a new Hearing Aid. I had a phonak Superfront and it was on it's last legs and couldn't be repaired so I was told as they do not make Analog anymore.

I was fitted with BTE Siemens Digital which I eventually had Tuned back to Analog. Two weeks ago I went back in for new moulds and was told I qualify for new HA's as well.

I declined offer as the Siemens was/is working fine but my Audi asked wouldn't I like and prefer new Analog phonak Superfronts ? Eh ? I thought Analog weren't in production anymore, passed over for Digital !

My Audi said Phonak are again making Analog Superfronts as to many people have complained of not being able to use Digital. I jumped at it and now a have new Analog Superfronts. Go to Australian Hearing and ask them about it, that's were I got mine. Cheers and good luck !
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Unread 11-27-2011, 09:24 PM   #14
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Wow. Thank you Analogue.

That made me feel better and has given me some hope.

I had recently been fitted with another Siemens BTE Motion aid which was first tuned to resemble an analogue as close as possible. It was alright, but voices were still a bit too soft, and other sounds too loud. As my audio started to add digital features to address the first lot of issues, I started to get really bad feedback ring to most sudden sounds. Furthermore I was hearing a constant high frequency electrical humming/ringing sound when outside, near traffic or in shops. The sound I described as a high frequency cricket (the insect) sound. I felt as if I was picking up sounds that only dogs can hear! Then I was starting to get really bad tinnitus, and that constant high frequency cricket sound was present all the time, even with the aid out. I had persevered with this particular aid for 6 weeks, had 4 audio appointments in that time and got to the point I was exhausted from the whole process. I said to my Audi I need a break from it and will try again in the new year. So I'm back with my trusty 11 year old Phonak analogue aid and loving it!! They really don't make things the way they used to.

But I will suggest to my Audi when I see her next about the Phonak Analog Superfronts. I'm already with Australian Hearing.
Wish me luck.
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Unread 11-27-2011, 11:15 PM   #15
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FYI, you can still buy analogue hearing aids via the internet. My wife's old hearing aid died, and I looked on ebay for an exact replacement, but found some brand-new ones made in Hong Kong, ordered one for $200, got it in five days, and it has been working great for over a year now. She is very happy with it, sounds exactly like the old Oticon E28P.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 01:02 AM   #16
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Another good suggestion, thanks green427. Some time ago I did conduct a search on the Internet if could buy analogue aids and saw many made in China. However, I believe part of the success of getting aids (digital and analogue) to better suit you is the adjustment to settings that your Audi does to the aids. But I'll do another search, perhaps on ebay as suggested.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 01:32 AM   #17
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I really wonder what the real costs of hearing aids are if you can buy them from Hong Kong for $200. It cost $6,000 USD for my pair.

I miss the analog ones too. Apparently, my audiologist needs to set my digital ones up better.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 01:46 AM   #18
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I really wonder what the real costs of hearing aids are if you can buy them from Hong Kong for $200. It cost $6,000 USD for my pair.

I miss the analog ones too. Apparently, my audiologist needs to set my digital ones up better.
Good old American skyrocketing and unreasonable medical costs.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 01:56 AM   #19
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I really wonder what the real costs of hearing aids are if you can buy them from Hong Kong for $200. It cost $6,000 USD for my pair.

I miss the analog ones too. Apparently, my audiologist needs to set my digital ones up better.
now I wonder too.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 09:35 AM   #20
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Digital aids can be programmed to sound like analogue, just keep going back and tell them how you want them to sound. I used analogues from 1971 to 2008, at first digitals sounded quieter but after several visits to the audi and me adjusting to the new sound quality I wouldn't change back.
Several problems here... One, the frequency range on the models I tried is nowhere near what I have on my analogs, so the bass notes in music sounds like motor noises, and I can't hear the alarms at work (Phonak, Oticon, Siemens - YOU BETTER BE READING THIS!). Two, the sound processing is simply not anything resembling analog in the result that comes out of the speaker. I couldn't understand people in front of me, I couldn't understand pages, never mind tell you if that was a man or a woman making the page. Excessive sound processing was cutting sounds in and out instead of allowing them to happen naturally, as in music.

Here's a real-world test. Wear your analog HAs, listen to a singer or announcer's voice at a rock concert, and then take off your HAs and step right up to the Marshall stack (amplifiers) and listen to the voice again. It should be the same. I mean, how many people go to an opera to listen to a world-famous operatic singer sounding like a computer or singing through a vocoder?! That is what digital HAs sound like. I know because I have done this test myself.

These HAs are sold to people who do not have a sufficiently developed hearing cortex to be able to tell that what the HA is putting out is not what is really happening out there in the air. The fact that your digitals don't sound right to you tells you that you need to trust your intuition - you are being sold something that was made for the sake of being made and training the engineers how to design and make circuit boards and for money. You ARE right when you sense that the hearing aids don't sound right. There's not an "adjustment" you have to make in your on hearing perception. The companies are relying on the fact that some people's hearing is so bad they can't tell the difference - I can tell the difference, with a 98% comprehension rating on the simple "Say the word" test. Again, how many people buy a PA system, and the sounds end up being nothing like the way the person sounds naturally, and you can hardly understand them, and then you say, "Awesome, great! We're ready to go for the presentation!" And nobody ends up understanding a single word that is being said. Questions are taken at the end of of the presentation, and the first question from the audience is, "Umm, I don't know what was the question you just asked us, but we have to say, 'What in the world were you talking about? I didn't understand a word you were saying the entire time!"

The situation with the digitals is like the hand hitting the opposite shoulder twice with a stupid look on the face.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 09:51 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by shantip View Post
Wow. Thank you Analogue.

That made me feel better and has given me some hope.

I had recently been fitted with another Siemens BTE Motion aid which was first tuned to resemble an analogue as close as possible. It was alright, but voices were still a bit too soft, and other sounds too loud. As my audio started to add digital features to address the first lot of issues, I started to get really bad feedback ring to most sudden sounds.

Make sure they are using the thickest earmold tubes possible. I've had that problem which is solved by using a thicker tube. The sound levels are so high that the sound feedbacks right through the tube. It's like you can put up a sheet of plastic to divide a room in half, and yet you can understand the person on the other side of the sheet. How about when you build a standard stud/drywall wall? Problem solved.
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Unread 11-28-2011, 09:48 PM   #22
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Another good suggestion, thanks green427. Some time ago I did conduct a search on the Internet if could buy analogue aids and saw many made in China. However, I believe part of the success of getting aids (digital and analogue) to better suit you is the adjustment to settings that your Audi does to the aids. But I'll do another search, perhaps on ebay as suggested.
You are 100% correct.

If you are daring like I am, you can open up the adjustment dials on your old aid and look at the arrows. All analogue hearing aids have two or three dials, and if you get a new analogue aid, you can match those dials up, which is what I did.

I used to collect old hearing aids and scavenge parts to make one good one.

Unfortunately, most hearing aids are now made in China or Hong Kong. Still, you can get a new Siemens digital aid via ebay for less than $500. Problem is that you need to bring it to an audi for programming, and they will not be happy about that.

(sarcastically) You should pay $4000 for a new aid anyway...the corporate CEO's need new sprinklers for their Bonsai gardens.
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