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Our Success with buying and using hearing aids  Jan 2008

There are a great many hearing aids on the market, ranging in price from $300 to over $4,000 each.

Here is a PDF file with quick overview of many of the products as of Fall 2006

We wanted hearing aids which we could adjust, rather than having to bring/send them into the provider for electronic or mechanical adjustment.

We learned that your hearing can be tested almost anywhere for about $75 and the test results can be used by most providers.

We ended up selecting America Hears. www.americahears.com - and are very happy
  Only $1000/ear - for any of their hearing aids - we got the Behind The Ear (BTE can have the most amplification, and thus not have to be replaced if the hearing gets worse)
  great fast service (DHL) - great for RVing
  fairly high end capability: 30 channels, 4 memory (programs), directional microphone
  you can adjust its capability:
     1) with your own computer (even in your RV)
            - adjustments are made in real time - while wearing the hearing aids
     2) they can remotely adjust it over the internet, or
     3) you can send it in for adjustment
  2 year warranty and only $124 to repair their hearing aid anytime after that.
  full refund if returned in 60 days - It is rare that a hearing aid supplier provide a FULL refund like this.

The hearing aids were a little too large - but a couple of trims with a dremmel tool was far easier than bringing/sending the hearing aids back for trimming.

Apparently more ear wax builds up with the hearing aids - you can clean out your ear wax with Hydrogen Peroxide 2 times per month.

America Hears provides about 2 years worth of batteries.
The aids have 4 'programs' which can be selected.  Possible program names:: normal, restaurant, telephone,
   You can use either the button on the back on some of the hearing aids or their magnetic want to select the program

Interesting item: There are many companies on the internet which will 'fix' ANY (analog, digital, etc.) hearing aid for just $99.
    Makes one think that completely replacing the electronics in a hearing aid must cost about $99.

Avoid Costco Hearing Aids

I was very mislead into buying hearing aids at Costco, Issaquah, Wshington Dec 28, 2007

1) Was told that the devices had 12 frequency channels – and later found on the web that the aids being recommended and purchased only had four channels. 
Note: a good digital hearing aid typically has at least 20 channels.

2) When I commented on the seeming lack of directionality while my father-in-law was trying the hearing aids the salesperson did not disclose that the aids she recommended did not have the directional microphones which are standard on good digital hearing aids.

3) I tried to understand why the hearing aids being recommended were not in the extensive catalog.  I was told that the company had been bought, but I was still unable to find the brand name of the aids under the new owner’s listing.  The very high gloss but low information brochure had very few technical details. Not until I was able to surf to the manufacturers corporate web site was I able to fin how low-end the hearing aids were.

My father-in-law compared the performance of two models of hearing aids she suggested against his current analog hearing aids.  He failed to notice much of an improvement, but we bought them when told that his brain had to adjust to using the digital hearing aids, since he had 27 years of experience of using analog heading aids, which had very different characteristics.