Thursday, May 20, 2010

Phonak vs. Oticon

I've worn Phonak hearing aids since I became deaf at age 2, and have always been happy enough with their products (until I tried out the Naida for 3 months a couple years back, which I didn't much care for). Now I'm just wondering how the Oticon products compare to Phonak. I currently am wearing Phonak's Supero 413AZ, and have been looking at the specs of Oticon's Sumo (Sumo's MPO and gain is just slightly higher than the Supero's). Just wondering if there's much of a difference between Supero and Sumo, such as any difference with feedback control, how the aids work in noisy situations, etc. I've had the Supero since May 2004 (so 6 years). It still works fine, but nowadays it seems I have to take the hearing aid back to the audiologist for more repairs than ever (telecoil setting went busted a couple weeks back and just now has been sent back to audiologist's office after being sent to Phonak for repair; battery cover broke and had to be replaced for the first time ever last month, etc. etc.). I'm just curious about the Sumo.

How does Oticon's FM products compare to Phonak's FM? I've quit using the old Phonak T-Mic FM transmitter since it broke/quit working frequently and have resorted to using the Hatis Epic silhouette earhook for listen to music. How about DAI? I tried DAI with the Phonak "shoe" on the Supero and directly connecting to iPod, etc. and I didn't like the way it sounded (static-y sounding) but perhaps I needed to have the audiologist do some adjustments to the Supero to make DAI work properly. Not sure if I will actually get a new hearing aid anytime soon or not. Just something I like to think about every once in a while. Maybe I just need to trial a Sumo and see if there's any difference; will have to see if something can be worked out.

Also curious as to when people generally replace their hearing aids. 6 years? 10? Do some people wait until the old hearing aids are busted/un-repairable before getting new ones? Just curious. The Supero I've had for 6 years now, the Claro (before I got Supero) 4 years; purple analog Pico forte 8 years, beige analog pico forte (before I got the purple ones) 7 years.

Still trying to get left ear implanted, it just may be a while longer yet. Now Medicaid insists that I score 40% or worse with the word recognition testing of the hearing test at best. I scored around 52% in the right ear the lest time I was tested (last year). It doesn't matter that the left ear is at 0% and it's the left ear I want to implant, Medicaid won't cover the implant with my 52% scoring of the right ear. From I was told, Medicare says person has to score 40% or worse in the ear that is to be implanted, and Medicaid generally follows Medicare's guidelines, but Medicaid will have their own specific guidelines. It's kind of frustrating, but what can I do. My right ear's scoring has been pretty consistent too (last year's testing, and the testing in 2006?, right ear scored 52%).


Miss Kat's Parents said...

We replace Miss Kat's hearing aid after 5 years. Medicaid covered it.

EmmaVerdona124 said...

I think Oticon AND Phonak is the best!

I wore my Oticon Gaias since Janauary 21st of 05 and I had the Phonak FM system since 4th grade
now, I got hooked up with the Inspiro on March 18 of this year!
my Phonak Campus S was old on me LOL
hearing aids are supposed to last 5 to 7 years since my mom found out that my backup sets was old already
U might wanna try the smart, zoom and easy link
here's info of the Sumo

BTW, my backup sets were Simens Infinti S1 and had them since I was 6 months old but if you want U could try Siemens!
FYI, I'm moderate-severe since June of 06, was mild-moderate b4

Kim said...

Sounds like you are between a rock and hard place with the implant. I'm right here with you.

Normally I replace my hearing aids ever five years, but this last time my Siemens were so good it was ten years(!!) before I replaced the. The Siemens are still running strong, but so many advancements had taken place I felt it was time to upgrade.

I would suggest you try the Sumo. I know several people who like that aid. Personally I have never liked the sound of Oticon aids, but that's just a personal preference. You never know until you try it, and by law you can try it for 30 days.

I am currently wearing Phonak Naidas which is a great aid for me because of the frequency transition technology. These are the first pair of Phonaks I have ever owned.

CDM said...

I'm glad the Naidas are working for you Kim. When I tried it, it was just more problematic and trouble than it was worth heh. I don't know if the Naida's have improved since they first come out.

But yeah, am considering trying out the Sumo. I had a Resound loaner hearing aid a few months ago, and I didn't like it (but then again it wasn't "perfectly" programmed for my hearing loss).

funnyoldlife said...

I had Phonak Pico-Forte then Superos, and loved them. Then I switched to Oticon Spirit SP3 - supposedly an upgrade - hated them and got so frustrated that I asked for a cochlear implant assessment. Oticon was much quieter than Phonak but that may just be my perception. I scored 52% in my CI word test and they asked me to take it again, when I scored 43%. I had my CI switched on 2 months ago, 3 days later, I was hearing more sound than I've ever heard before (I was born deaf).

The CI is worth it but it's hard work. Voices still sound strange but they are getting better. I was able to hear a little on the phone this week. Music sounds pretty good (depends on what it is!). I can hear the birds even with my windows shut, they make me smile every morning and evening. I love to listen to the rain and the clocks ticking in my office.

If you have questions about CI, scoring, and ossification, you can ask on Hearing Journey. Perhaps a different insurance provider will have lower test scores. Perhaps you can ask for a retest.

Hope you find something that helps.

CDM said...

Thanks for your input funnyoldlife. I'm still pursuing the cochlear implant for the left ear. Just want to do some "experimenting" with the right ear.

I don't have any other insurance aside from Medicaid. I am trying to make a trip back to Denver for a retest to see if there's any difference in the scoring, but things have been a bit nuts lately (moving, visitors, etc.).