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Old 31-12-2016, 06:27   #46
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Old 31-12-2016, 06:30   #47
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Old 02-01-2017, 09:01   #48
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Does anyone know about Oticon
Yep, sure do. I had the Beltone "in-the-ear" aids for some 7 years and was always going back for adjustments . . . batteries lasted about 2-3 days. . . . very expensive (8 boat bucks). Decided to go to a audiologist and get a pair fitted since Beltone told me they couldn't make mine go higher in volume (2007-14 units) which I needed since NO ONE freakin' enunciates anymore, let alone speaks plainly, we all slur and slang our way through life way too much. Anyway, she recommended the Oticon, so I requested a trial period which they "mumbled about" but acquiesced. I got the ones behind the ear with the little tube that goes into the canal to the "plug". MAKE SURE THEY HAVE VENT HOLES (in the plug)! otherwise, any pressure changes can make'em pop like when jaw moves (like eating). Get a small plastic thread to clean those holes too cause they get crud in them . . . all of our ears are really dirty, did you know? I didn't. At least I didn't know they were THAT dirty. Batteries now last about 8 days (#312 in mine, fairly inexpensive but readily available) . . . sometimes the wires break cause that's how you have to pull the plug out of your ears by using the wires and (I think) it pulls the connections loose so get spares (they were all free for that part of the purchase but it's an absolute pain to have to schedule the apt and then get in to see them and then they have to order them cause "mine" are not the sizes that they stock . . . ) . . . . but - love that they're Bluetooth (Connect hangs around your neck and the "necklace" is the antenna [different lengths too] and volume is adjustable with side button press, press front button to answer phone without ever pulling the phone out of pocket [DOT drivers love'em] and has other options too. NOT WATERPROOF!! (don't know of any that are, other than FBI or CIA stuff maybe) . . and yes, sweat will sometimes make them blank out on you but wiping them off and letting them dry works every time (don't ask how I know that ) . . I would recommend buying a Global Dry&Store device for them. There's a blue sterilizer light and a desiccant cartridge inside (120V) which helps to eliminate corrosion (biggest issue with hearing aids) inside the units. Also, you can turn the volume up or down depending on where you are very easily - there's a small button on the back on the units that hang on the back of the ear and the right one turns the volume up and the left one turns it down (like when there's wind) . . . . wow, guess I just told you volumes there, huh?
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:04   #49
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

How do you listen to TV via Blue Tooth? I hate the new style of sound mixing on TV and movies where the music is loud and the actors think that mumbling is adequate projection. Where are the actors that started on a stage with no amplification?
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Old 02-01-2017, 19:03   #50
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Earmold and Hearing Aid Spray Cleaner

Forgot to mention. The sterilizers are neat as noted in a previous post. However, I use Audiologists Choice (available from Amazon as the local audiologist sells it in very small packs at horribly high prices - works great!) Cleans and disinfects buds and tubes. I bought my first spray bottle two years ago, and use it most every night. Still on that same first bottle. No more itchy ear canals!

Also put my aids in the Hearing Aid Saver every night. Great dehumidifier for the aids!
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Old 02-01-2017, 20:45   #51
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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How do you listen to TV via Blue Tooth? I hate the new style of sound mixing on TV and movies where the music is loud and the actors think that mumbling is adequate projection. Where are the actors that started on a stage with no amplification?


If the hearing aides are BT there is a gizmo you connect to the tv. The hearing aides link to the gizmo that sends the sound to the hearing aides.
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Old 03-01-2017, 16:25   #52
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Derfy, Is there a Costco near you. I went the "bloody fortune" way once and paid $5000 for a pair of non adjustable hearing aids. When they went bad and replacements were needed I shopped around. I bought my hearing aids at Costco for $1800 for the pair. They can be adjusted with your Iphone using an easily downloadable app. They also have a small button for a basic manual adjustment. They are behind the ear nearly invisible. Same thing as my $5000 ones and work better. They have a 2 year replacement warranty that includes if you lose them...which I did, within a week I had my replacement. I have not had a problem sailing with them. Including off shore, 35 knot winds, water over the deck and into the cockpit. I highly recommend!
Hi Jack. Yes I have a Costco nearby. I appreciate knowing they have some that might work. I will check them out.

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Old 03-01-2017, 16:31   #53
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Dear All,

Derfy here .. the OP.

I've been off line for a few days, and have just now been able to read everyone's thoughtful replies and experiences to my original post. This is just what I was hoping for from the CF. You guys are great!

Several brands mentioned are ones I am considering, and there are a few I will check out that I did not know about.

Several problems reported are ones I have feared. I appreciate the advice and workarounds.

After I have made my choice and lived with the results for a while, I'll send an updated report to this thread.

I really appreciate all the comments and replies. Hope you all have a great 2017.

Derfy
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Old 03-01-2017, 17:13   #54
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

The new Oticon "Opens" are reportedly overcoming a lot of the normal objections relating to "noise". Fascinating technology advancement. Ask your Dr or Audiologist- they come in several levels. They have only been available for part of 2016. Not cheap may may be worth it. Most states have 30 day return by law.
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Old 03-01-2017, 17:32   #55
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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The new Oticon "Opens" are reportedly overcoming a lot of the normal objections relating to "noise". Fascinating technology advancement. Ask your Dr or Audiologist- they come in several levels. They have only been available for part of 2016. Not cheap may may be worth it. Most states have 30 day return by law.
These are one of the models I have tried in the audiologist's office. I tried the high-end device. They sounded very good, even when she played a very high level of recorded background "restaurant noise". They cut through it pretty well. Also, unfortunately, this one of the ones I was referring to in the OP as costing a "bloody fortune".

I will probably do a 30 day trial on these.

They look fragile and high-maintenance. I suppose most hearing aids are.
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Old 03-01-2017, 18:01   #56
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

derfy- I've been through part of this fun and games several times with family and friends. Aside from Costco, the AARP has deals with some chains, I think HEARUS was the primary one. And from my friend's wife, who is an audiologist (lucky for him, he's going deaf) I learned that hearing aids, even the best of hearing aids, really are dirt cheap pieces of electronics that could be sold for $50-75 a pair. That's all the value the hardware has. ALL THE REST is partly justifiable in R&D, but mainly pays for marketing and some really obscene markups for the "hearing doctors" and chains.

Very much akin to the way eyeglass chains made a 75% price reduction in "eye doctor" and glasses prices, except the hearing aid business has so far kept out the competition.

Any reputable source will give you a 30-day moneyback trial period, and encourage you to come in for adjustment at least once or twice after the initial fitting. And of course, part of the high price is that they do have some returned.

One friend had both hearing aids (expensive ones) chewed by the dog. And repaired at no charge under warranty. Dog did it again this year, cost several hundred bucks this time.

But about that competition? The FDA is allowing another route. You'll see adds for "boost your hearing" and other devices "not a hearing aid" but at least an amplifier that sure looks and sounds like it is being sold as one. They are out there. Obviously the electronics, the algorithms, the parametric equalizing, will not be the same. But there's a company now called "HEREONE" www.hereplus.me that is making something very interesting. $300, 30 day return at no cost. A set of two big "plugs" that fit in your ears, or in a small recharger case. They can be used as high-end bluetooth earbuds, but, they allow the user to control how much ambient noise they pass, AND how they filter and select among different frequencies.

Their first production run sold out to great acclaim. They're taking orders for the next batch, eta this spring, now. I want noise reduction. I want some good earbuds. And I've got some trouble understanding conversation when there is lots of background noise. So yes, I'm expecting a package in a couple of months.

Those might work for you too. Bluetooth, rechargeable, user programmable...and at a price that isn't trying to hide a thousand dollars worth of marketing and two thousand more in profits for a white jacket.

Just an idea. Money-back. Great reviews. Not much risk there.
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Old 03-01-2017, 19:52   #57
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

FWIW, got a pair of the behind the ear aids from Costco. Don't remember the brand but they offered four pre-programmed settings that could be set for volume and direction. They worked okay though weren't night and day for understanding conversations in noisy environments. Used them mostly in the forward receive setting which cut out a lot background noise. They were unobtrusive, most people didn't know I was wearing them until I told them. They weren't supposed to be waterproof but took a number of showers with them on and even snorkelled for a couple of hours wearing them without a problem. As you can see they were so comfortable I'd forget I was wearing them. The big problem with them was they kept disappearing. They'd fall off and I wasn't aware that they'd gone missing till it was too late to backtrack and look for them. They had a one time replacement policy but at a $1,000+ after the first replacement I gave up.

Hearing hasn't gotten any better so have been thinking about trying 'in ear' which hopefully won't be so easy to lose. Anyone tried eargo.com?? They are a bit more affordable and their in ear suspension system looks like a winner.!
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:08   #58
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
derfy- I've been through part of this fun and games several times with family and friends. Aside from Costco, the AARP has deals with some chains, I think HEARUS was the primary one. And from my friend's wife, who is an audiologist (lucky for him, he's going deaf) I learned that hearing aids, even the best of hearing aids, really are dirt cheap pieces of electronics that could be sold for $50-75 a pair. That's all the value the hardware has. ALL THE REST is partly justifiable in R&D, but mainly pays for marketing and some really obscene markups for the "hearing doctors" and chains.

Very much akin to the way eyeglass chains made a 75% price reduction in "eye doctor" and glasses prices, except the hearing aid business has so far kept out the competition.

Any reputable source will give you a 30-day moneyback trial period, and encourage you to come in for adjustment at least once or twice after the initial fitting. And of course, part of the high price is that they do have some returned.

One friend had both hearing aids (expensive ones) chewed by the dog. And repaired at no charge under warranty. Dog did it again this year, cost several hundred bucks this time.

But about that competition? The FDA is allowing another route. You'll see adds for "boost your hearing" and other devices "not a hearing aid" but at least an amplifier that sure looks and sounds like it is being sold as one. They are out there. Obviously the electronics, the algorithms, the parametric equalizing, will not be the same. But there's a company now called "HEREONE" www.hereplus.me that is making something very interesting. $300, 30 day return at no cost. A set of two big "plugs" that fit in your ears, or in a small recharger case. They can be used as high-end bluetooth earbuds, but, they allow the user to control how much ambient noise they pass, AND how they filter and select among different frequencies.

Their first production run sold out to great acclaim. They're taking orders for the next batch, eta this spring, now. I want noise reduction. I want some good earbuds. And I've got some trouble understanding conversation when there is lots of background noise. So yes, I'm expecting a package in a couple of months.

Those might work for you too. Bluetooth, rechargeable, user programmable...and at a price that isn't trying to hide a thousand dollars worth of marketing and two thousand more in profits for a white jacket.

Just an idea. Money-back. Great reviews. Not much risk there.
Thanks for this. Looks like a very interesting product. The technology is advancing quickly, and with Apple's move to eliminate the mini-jack, I think we will see more bluetooth earbud solutions.

Another lower cost option I am looking at is this one ... www.embracehearing.com. This looks like a full-featured device, but purchased over the web.

So far I have tried Oticon, Phonak, and Miracle Ear in office visits only. Oticon is in the lead with best noise reduction, but it is a "bloody fortune".
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Old 01-03-2017, 17:17   #59
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Dear All

It has been a few weeks since I originally posted this thread.

I appreciated all the replies and experiences from everyone.

I just wanted to report that I am now using a set of hearing aids from Audicus (www.audicus.com), and they work extremely well.

These were purchased over the Internet, but Audicus required that I send in an audiogram from an audiologist. My insurance paid for that exam, and Audicus programmed an advanced device manufactured by Hansaton (Germany).

I included a Bluetooth option for my phone, and a base station for listening to my TV audio (handles RCA, mini-jack, and optical). This all works really really well.

This setup was about 1/5th the cost of retail devices offered locally by professional dispensers, and was actually less money than Costco, for example. The Bluetooth was also much lower cost.

This is a real hearing aid, an advanced digital signal processing device with 3.7 GHz radio signal linking each ear, with 20 channel programmed frequency compensation. It is not a audio amplifier.

Mine works really well in restaurants, and when driving the car, etc.

But, I am sorry to report to all you sailors that they are quite noisy in the wind, if the wind is coming from straight ahead. From the side or back they are fine.

If you wear a watch cap or headband over your ears, then they are ok in a headwind. I wore them all day skiing the other day.

I am one month into initial usage, and am blown away by how much better I can hear. So far, no problems, but it has only been one month. If I have problems, I will come back and report.

Cheers and Fair Winds

Derfy
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Old 01-03-2017, 17:53   #60
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Glad you found something that works well for you.
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