Help

Jeffrey Sirianni audioman at hctc.net
Sat Dec 20 14:00:41 EST 1997


stevej at pacbell.net says:

>>Can anyone help me compare the relative merits of the Widex Senso CIC
>>with the beta test devices being sampled by ReSound?

whitneyb at erols.com (Brad) responds:

>I am just a hearing aid consumer but I am also faced with a 
>purchase decision concerning the Widex Senso CIC vs Resound Aids.
>
>I am not familiar with the beta test units but I have a few clues that
>just might help.
>
>While researching Resound's aid I found the Price Club (Costco)
>carries the Resound Tradition Line of aids at a very attractive
>price. A competeting audiologist to me the Tradition Line of
>aid was an old, obsolete product so I called Resounds's Help Line
>for more information. Resound's audiologist told me the Tradition
>line is a brand new line using a new, smaller circuit. During
>the conversation she indicated they were working on several new
>aids with this new circuit, my guess would be a true CIC.

I would highly recommend that you stay away from anything in the
ReSound Tradition line.  It is NOT a true programmable in the sense
that it cannot be electronically adjusted in the audiologist's or
HA dispenser's office.  ReSound sends the device with a pre-packaged
circuit that the person fitting the aid "adjusts" with a screwdriver.
If your hearing changes beyond the limits of the pre-packaged settings,
you are looking at having to send it to ReSound for re-packaging which
willccost you a few hundred dollars per aid.  IMHO, I believe that
ReSound introduced this product for any fitter unwilling to purchase
programming equipment, or for those who simply cannot understand
electronic programming technology.  Again IMHO, ReSound introduced this
product to fill a niche in their product line, but for what you get, it
is too expensive.  Any other two channel, WDRC, non-programmable aid
would cost you less money.  If price is an issue, look into the ReSound
Encore products (electronically programmable technology, two channel,
WDRC, one memory, no remote control) which is only a hundred dollars more
than the Tradition products.  The Encore line of ReSound is probably my
most popular products, especially for persons over 70 years of age.

(And who says audiologists are dishonest....)

whitneyb at erols.com (Brad) continues:

>Several users of the Senso have emailed me how wonderful they
>are, but have warned me about two "features" that do give them
>problems- The compression logic keeps changing the volume in
>low sound situations. Several users said it takes a while to get
>use to this problem. Second, the Clamp logic to limit loud noises
>stays active for several seconds after the noise has stopped, causing
>missed words in conversation. Additionally, I have been told the
>Senso's main benifit, the ability to remove steady noise, usually
>ends up removing speak frequency as well, creating unintelligable
>speech.

The "Clamp logic" that you describe is called attack and release
time.  The attack time is the time required for the aid to respond
to a loud enough sound to invoke the compression of the signal.  The
release time is the time required to return the compressed signal back
down.  With a long release time (300 ms or more), users sometimes
complain of missing words when the hearing aid cuts down.  New users
with low tolarance levels depend very heavily on fast attack and long
release times in order to use the aids properly.  When I say properly
I mean that their only other alternative is to turn the volume/gain
down and thus missing a lot more of the speech signal.

>I asked Resound's audiologist to compare the Senso with their aid
>but she gave me the canned response that she is not that familiar
>with competing products.

ReSound is set to introduce a digital product in Feb. 1998.  Heard
this from my ReSound Rep. this afternoon.

>Speaking with two audiologists, each offer's both products, they
>have told me the Resound is more flexable in their programming
>options. For what its worth, both advised me to go with the Resound aid,
>echoing many audiologists from this newsgroup. 

It's a great product, either in the Premium (two memory, remote control)
or Encore (one memory, no remote control) line.  The long-term
adjustability (is this a word?) and flexibility is worth the money
spent over traditional fixed matrix aids that run nearly half the cost.
For those with active social lives (attends meetings, social gatherings,
frequents restaurants) I recommend getting one of the Premium products.
For those with a quieter lifestyle, consider the Encore line, which is
quite a bit less expensive.

>I have tried the Resound aids in the audiologist's office and was
>impressed. Given Senso's price and compression logic problems I
>am reluctant to jump on the Senso bandwagon. Additionally, I have
>received email indicating several companies are getting ready to release
>second generation digital aids.

Good luck in your information gathering.....

Jeff


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* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A                      *
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