Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

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heartwood
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Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by heartwood » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:13 am

I'm starting a new thread after I posted a question on the Bose Hearphones in an old Hearing Aid thread. The responses were all about HAs and many about Costco. I guess I should have expected that since that was the original thread title.

There was a segment on CBS News Sunday Morning (8/11/19) on hearing aids. Only 20% of people who would benefit from hearing aids actually buy them.

It mentioned the changes in federal law that will allow OTC hearing aids sometime in 2020 which might allow Sony, Apple, Bose, and others to enter the market currently globally controlled by 6 companies selling in the $5k per pair range, except at Costco.

The segment also highlighted a few products in the less than $500 range available now, including Bose Hearphones ($500 at Best Buy and at Amazon).

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/reviews/bo ... ck/5886100

https://www.amazon.com/Bose-Hearphones- ... B06XYPJN4G

I've been waiting for Moore's Law to catch up in hearing aids for years. We have smartphones that can do so many things. The price for conventional hearing aides might be attributable to the need for doctors, audiologists, etc, and the 6 company monopoly.

They're not hearing aids but are intriguing. Probably not worn 24/7. Not custom fitted as actual hearing aids are. Generally get high review ratings except for inability to replace batteries after 500 recharges (2 years?). Anyone here have experiences with the Bose Hearphones? Respectfully, no hearing aid posts needed; there are many threads that focus on them and on Costco.

neilpilot
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by neilpilot » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:52 am

After viewing the Sunday Morning segment, I decided to buy an inexpensive HD as a trial. I'll be trying the device below, costing only $100/ear after discounts, in one ear. I'll then decide to either use this HD in one ear, purchase the same device for the other ear, or scrap any consideration of an HA for now. I think my hearing loss is marginal, and while I've so far been happy not to do anything I'm also curious on what I might not be hearing.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HD ... UTF8&psc=1

Edit: changed HA to HD
Last edited by neilpilot on Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mrb09
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by mrb09 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:16 am

I have not tried any of the inexpensive ones, I have profound hearing loss which requires frequency compression, and right now I can only get that on higher end hearing aids. But chiming in to note that Apple already has a "hearing aid" accessibility option in the iPhone which I have hooked up to my Costco Resounds. This lets me stream music and phone calls from the phone, and I can also use the phone as a directional mic. I can also personalize my settings for noisy environments, etc. So I think "hearing aids" and "personal hearing devices" are already getting blurred together, especially with using a smart phone as a controller.

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onthecusp
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by onthecusp » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:53 am

Buy em. If they help, you are better off than doing nothing. If you have moderate loss and want to fiddle with frequency settings you might get 90% of the benefit with 20% of the price.

I have Costco sourced HAids and they work for me. I have fairly moderate hearing loss but the idea that my default setting is at least somewhat matched to my actual loss gives me comfort and a starting point. The app lets me change a "3 band equalizer" and that helps compensate for certain situations better than the default. More and more I am leaving it at the default even though I like fiddling. The two situations I most always adjust for are certain TV shows and noisy restaurants. There is no good solution to current (loud) restaurant design IMHO.

deikel
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by deikel » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:41 am

onthecusp wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:53 am
Buy em. If they help, you are better off than doing nothing. If you have moderate loss and want to fiddle with frequency settings you might get 90% of the benefit with 20% of the price.

I have Costco sourced HAids and they work for me. I have fairly moderate hearing loss but the idea that my default setting is at least somewhat matched to my actual loss gives me comfort and a starting point. The app lets me change a "3 band equalizer" and that helps compensate for certain situations better than the default. More and more I am leaving it at the default even though I like fiddling. The two situations I most always adjust for are certain TV shows and noisy restaurants. There is no good solution to current (loud) restaurant design IMHO.
There are directional settings on higher end HA that can help you focus on one person in an otherwise load environment....I think the notion that you are 'fitted' to your specific hearing loss is what keeps this industry going at high prices when in reality its a lot of either fiddeling or getting used to. You basically just amplify the frequencies that speech occupies and do NOT amplify all losses equally....that is ultimately so simple that anyone could do that on their own really...and probably will sometime soon.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

deikel
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by deikel » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:47 am

The bose suggested by OP certainly do not hide or are small - so anyone looking for hidden hearing aids would certainly not be served well with these ...not saying that is the goal for all, but the stigma of hearing loss is quite real and these sets are certainly not hiding

But I agree that this industry is ripe for disruption sooner then later and the only barrier is an artificial one. The need is there, the current pricing is ridiculous and the actual service provided is minimal once you understand how the fitting really works. Audio technology has come a long way and many market participants have the know-how to enter and operate in this area
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

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onthecusp
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Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Post by onthecusp » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:56 pm

deikel wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:41 am
onthecusp wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:53 am
Buy em. If they help, you are better off than doing nothing. If you have moderate loss and want to fiddle with frequency settings you might get 90% of the benefit with 20% of the price.

I have Costco sourced HAids and they work for me. I have fairly moderate hearing loss but the idea that my default setting is at least somewhat matched to my actual loss gives me comfort and a starting point. The app lets me change a "3 band equalizer" and that helps compensate for certain situations better than the default. More and more I am leaving it at the default even though I like fiddling. The two situations I most always adjust for are certain TV shows and noisy restaurants. There is no good solution to current (loud) restaurant design IMHO.
There are directional settings on higher end HA that can help you focus on one person in an otherwise load environment....I think the notion that you are 'fitted' to your specific hearing loss is what keeps this industry going at high prices when in reality its a lot of either fiddeling or getting used to. You basically just amplify the frequencies that speech occupies and do NOT amplify all losses equally....that is ultimately so simple that anyone could do that on their own really...and probably will sometime soon.
I find the directional setting on my Resound to be pretty useless. Maybe I have not fiddled enough or can still discriminate sounds well enough anyway.
I agree if you are a do it yourselfer a more generic product will work fine and make an improvement for simple hearing loss, but honestly feel that a professional evaluation and setting of many narrow frequency bands is optimal for something to be worn all the time.

In addition, there are many conditions that can be helped with frequency shifting / compression / physical differences that are completely different from the simple amplification that works for me. Different strokes, if only 20% of those who need one get one I'm all for options.

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