Category

Consumer Advice

Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Headphones for Hearing Loss – Review

By | Consumer Advice, Reviews

“To pair the headphones is very simple – you hold down the on/off button for 5 seconds and search for the headphones in your phone/Mac, whatever your device is. Usually the pin is 0000 and it will remember this for future and you will be able to connect immediately. The headphones are wireless and are open ear. The sound is sent via vibrations through the cheekbone which is good for your awareness of your surroundings. I think the vibrations certainly add to the experience however you do have to get used to it.

How do they sound?

Unfortunately I am unable to hear the music very well through them. I have a severe to profound bilateral conductive hearing loss and with bone conduction my level off loss is moderate to severe so I was expecting to hear more with these headphones than what I did. I can’t comment on the sound quality and it would be unfair with the level of hearing loss I have. I do like how my ear canals aren’t occluded and when out running the vibrations helped to keep my pace.

What are they like to wear?

I found them very comfortable to wear (I have worn them for up to two hours at a time). When out running however, the placement of the headphones often move so I am constantly having to adjust them to the correct position on my earphones. On the flip side, I have extremely small ears so it’s more difficult to get them to stay put. They are sweat resistant and I found that the connection doesn’t get lost – I haven’t had a problem so far.

When I wore the headphones with my hearing aids, I could hear the music clearly, however I feel this defeats the object of already having my Bluetooth hearing aids, (Oticon Opn). I feel these headphones would be more suited to people with a lower level of hearing loss. I do wish I could use these though!

 

Nuala, Senior reviewer

 

The importance of placing your ear mould correctly

By | Consumer Advice, Technical

When your hearing is at a level where it is necessary to wear behind the ear hearing aids (or BTEs), then the ear mould fit quality is crucial to the effectiveness of the devices.

By the way, when talking about BTEs, we mean hearing aids with thick 3mm tubing and ear hook. Those with thin 1mm tubes are termed THIN TUBE (commonly dispensed by NHS), and those with thin wires are termed RIC (receiver in the ear).

So, I notice certain common problems with severe to profound hearing loss fittings:
1. One is that the ear mould is aged (get it replaced if it is yellowing or orange colour, brittle, or in any way damaged);
2. The tubing is not being changed regularly (the ear mould tubing should be soft and pliant when pinched). If the tubing is brittle, discoloured, cloudy, torn or if it has debris inside, then you need new tubing.
3. The mould itself is too shallow. As a rough indicator, ear moulds should be extended down the ear canal if the hearing loss is severe+. For various reasons, many ear moulds in use are too shallow in the ear canal. This will cause loss of useful gain and increase feedback issues (whistling).
4. The mould is ill-fitting. Unfortunately, ears change shape through life, so it is quite plausible that your ear moulds do not fit as well as they need to (very snug, without being uncomfortable).
5. The aid itself over-compresses. Many modern digital hearing aids which may perform quite wonderfully for those with a mild to moderate hearing loss do not work so well for severe+ losses as they may adjust volume downwards when not required.
6. Loop / T-coil (and FM / Radio) function is under-utilised. There are additional features in most BTEs that can assist you to hear better in challenging environments. However, I’m continually surprised at the lack of awareness in this area.
7. The most frustrating problem is so common. It is the way the ear mould is situated in the user’s ear. If it’s not right, then volume is lost and whistling occurs.
 


These two photos above show the ear mould helix part (top) not fitted into the ear correctly.


This 3rd photo shows a great quality ear mould (Starkey Silicone E2108) fitted into the concha of the ear correctly.

We are experts in handling the complexities of severe to profound hearing loss. Call us to book an appointment with Jo or Alan.

How to be a good hearing aid consumer

By | Consumer Advice

Please do a little research before you choose a provider. This is crucial to your long term success with your new hearing aids, as the access to fine-tuning and new hearing tests in the future will justify the rather large fee that you pay in the first instance.

We, of course offer all new patients the opportunity to try new hearing aids first. This is now a prerequisite requirement to any hearing aid purchase. Individual opinion and experience is SO important in determining the outcome for the new wearer.

ONLINE REVIEWS are now the main way to check a company’s credibility, attitude, attentiveness to problems, etc. In google, just enter the company that you have enquired about plus the word ‘reviews’ or ‘complaints’. As we all do, read a few of the five stars, a few of the 1 stars and a couple of the 3 stars. Of course, some will be bogus or exaggerated, but in life, there is usually no smoke without fire.

ADWORDS is a way for a company to get to the top of the listings (you’ll see a little AD box next to the listing). Whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing for a local company to do, large multiples and chains will use this advertising method a lot. We advise that local independents tend to provide the best outcomes (as per the last 3 ‘Which?’ magazine surveys).

COMPANIES HOUSE (link) is a wonderful resource for consumers to check the legitimacy of a company. Try entering their name in the link provided – you’ll be surprised what comes up. Some simple things to check – lots of officers changing / resigning; associated officers belonging to other dissolved companies; lots of name changes etc.

‘ABOUT’ PAGE As stated before, the ‘about’ page should be fairly unequivocal about who it is you are dealing with. Any woolliness suggests you should avoid.

REAL BRANCHES As with all ‘personal’ businesses, you really want to establish the existence of a real branch, near you. Many companies avoid mentioning locations OR a common practice is to use ‘serviced offices’ as a ‘branch’.

 

Can you add to this advice? Please drop us a line: info@nottinghamhearing.co.uk

 

Robert