Comments
iOS Brings Better Control To Hearing Aids
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Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
4/9/2014 | 12:35:45 PM
hearing aids
I was tempted to say, "it soudns like a great idea," but I wouldn't to be accused of making a pun here. Still, yes, it does seem to be a great way to improve the experience of hearing aid users. 
HearingTracker
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HearingTracker,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/9/2014 | 3:18:19 PM
"Made for iPhone" is trending in hearing aids
Many of you may be aware of the other recent "Made for iPhone" product releases. First there was the Beltone "First", then there was the Resound LiNX. The First, the LiNX, and the Starkey Halo are all relatively new hearing aids, so there aren't many consumer reviews, yet. I would highly encourage anyone with personal experience with any of these products to visit HearingTracker.com and submit a review. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 9:40:09 AM
Re: "Made for iPhone" is trending in hearing aids
That is a great idea, @HearingTracker. As we've seen from the success of other review sites, it's important for users to share their experiences -- whether on this site or another one -- to alert other potential buyers and developers themselves about improvements (in the tech, support, or service) customers want to see. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
4/10/2014 | 10:22:30 AM
Hearing aid
Many apps get released first on the iOS platform and later on on Android. What is important here is not on what platform the hearing aid is available now but the fact that something like this is available and will help lots of people. 

-Susan 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 9:41:59 AM
Re: Hearing aid
I agree, Susan. For a system this sophisticated, I'd imagine developers have to work on the dedicated platform. In this case, Starkey credits its close developer relationship with Apple for some features and capabilities. Given the size of the Android market, obviously the company expects to move into that space although it will be more difficult because of the number of hardware developers using Google's OS. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
4/19/2014 | 11:13:31 AM
Re: Hearing aid
Alison,

Precisely. Android will get it, but focusing on iOS first is a good step. We are not talking about just a game. Making this work perfectly in every platform requires time and dedication. (On a different note, very nice new picture. :D )

-Susan 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 9:25:41 AM
Re: Hearing aid
Precisely, @Susan! As we've seen from Laurie's comments, it's vital for all members of this community to work together closely. Just because products are integrated doesn't necessarily mean the patient will be satisfied. We all rely so much on our smartphones and tablets that it's critical to extend this capability to as many individuals as possible. (And thanks for your kind words about the pic, taken in my front yard!)
nrkmann
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nrkmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/27/2014 | 8:28:18 PM
These are a Beta versions at best
I am on my 5th set of digital hearing aids in the last 20 years. This is the third set that work with my iPhone, and the connection is by far the most inconvienient. I am ready to go back to wearing a fob around my neck so I can use my iPhone with my hearing aids, but the purpose was to get rid of the fob.

The best feature of the Halos is no feedback and no wind noise. After that it is all downhill. Next is it switching settings by location (see issues below)

Not good at canceling noise like a noisie truck or plane.

The sound is generally like being at the end of a pipe, kind of dead.

No assistance from Starkey... go see your audioligist. At the VA that takes four to six weeks. Then you are in that loop again for the next problem. How can you really have a support group without the manufacturer helping out? You don't and it shows when trying to get help using the internet.

Only partially works with the iPhone 4S. Starkey knows this but will not say it in any of their propoganda about how these are better than sliced bread or buttered popcorn.

     It broadcasts to only one ear.

     The three press on the home button does not work. Often drops the connection and the iPhone has to be rebooted to reconnect.

 

     Automated phone messages when calling are so garbled as to be unusable... the "Please press..." message.

     At the highest setting sound through the hearing aid is only usable in the quietest locations.

     My iPhone has to be recharged twice a day. If I want to change my settings for watching TV, or sitting on my deck, or when we entertain, I have to save the new setting over the old or carry the iPhone around with me without shutting it off. Once the screen goes off or you punch the button on top of the phone it goes back to its saved setting for your location.

Spent an hour and one-half with the expert at my Apple Store and they were also frustrated because they don't work as the Apple documentation says they should but laid no blame.

Alison: I would guess you don't use hearing aids nor does someone very close to you or have not been though several brands over time. This is such a personal type of tech that after the first paragraph you just become a parrot for the manufacturer. Pick a subject you can relate to next time.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 10:02:06 PM
Re: These are a Beta versions at best
@uh60avi8tor> I think that's a bit unfair towards Alison; to me (who does not wear a hearing aid, and is not around anybody who does) it was interesting to hear what one manufacturer is trying to offer, and I found the information interesting as it's not something I had considered before.

It does seem though from your feedback - assuming that this is a common experience - that there's a way to go before these systems meet the expectations of the users, and it sounds like the post-sales support is a really weak point for these devices, which is not a good thing when it comes to something so important to the owner. I truly hope for you and all the others out there who are seeking something better, that the manufacturers can start delivering on the features they advertise so that you can enjoy those benefits. I think that this is a step in a very interesting direction, and I'm glad that I now know something like this is around, even if not yet perfected.
nrkmann
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nrkmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/30/2014 | 7:26:36 PM
Re: These are a Beta versions at best
@jgherbert  Some items just have to have experience and hands on to have the expertise to report. I have the 10,000 hours on each of three other devices and several hundred hours on the HALOs. Yes, I am tough on reviewer because I need usable data, not the sales reps regurgitation. So far all the reviews on the HALOs are just marketing based on the design specs not the performance specs.

You may not see it but this is social contract. Want me to continiue to read your column? Give me actionable information.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 11:31:44 PM
Re: These are a Beta versions at best
@nrkmann> Maybe the choice of words is what makes the difference in perspective.

     "Yes, I am tough on reviewer because I need usable data, not the sales reps regurgitation."

 

Maybe this is the problem. To me this is a report, not a review. The author therefore is acting in the capacity of a reporter, not a reviewer, and on that basis I do not see a problem with the level of information presented, nor the perspective. The author was careful as I saw it to identify that she was reporting what the manufacturer had said. I don't see a recommendation this product is any better or worse than any other; it's just a look at a use for technology with a medical device. I completely understand why you might be looking for somethig else, but I don't feel that the author represented her views as anything other than a report from a manufacturer. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2014 | 10:19:49 AM
Re: These are a Beta versions at best
Thanks for your feedback. I am sorry you are having such an awful time with these hearing aids. I do have friends who  use hearing aids, actually, and their experiences vary. I think they are extremely personal devices so experiences vary widely. And they don't go to the VA, so care is different, too. 
lozza47
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lozza47,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 6:04:52 AM
IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
$800.00 state of the art  IPHONE 5S  and when put in Bluetooth mode and i have my LoopSet enabled and paired, i CAN'T get alert sounds from the IPHONE speaker for either messages or mail, ??? but DO get an alert sound from the speaker when i get an incoming call ???????? This problem is a norm with this type of phone, and is unfortunately not just a "glitch" with the software, the phones are produced this way. Have been all over the net looking for purhaps an APP or download "whatever" to try and recitfy the situation to no avail. Apple shop tech's are a dead end, most IPHONE forums are also dead end . Ant suggestions greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Laurie
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 9:43:58 AM
Re: IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
@Iozza, is this a problem with your iPhone and a Starkey hearing aid? Or is this a problem with the iPhone in general? If it's the first, let me know and I'll see if I can put you in touch with someone from Starkey if you haven't contacted them yet. If it's the iPhone itself, then I suggest contacting the store where you bought the device if Apple hasn't helped you.
lozza47
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lozza47,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 2:55:52 PM
Re: IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
Hi Allison, Thanks for the quick reply, just great to get a reply. I have been to the Apple store and been on numerous forum's to try and get info but all dead ends, Apple store people tell me the problem is with the phone, it is made/produced that way ???CRAZY !!!! How does a hearing aid wearer know when he/she has received a message or mail ???? You just got to hope you feel the vibration or you have to continually check the phone !!!!! They obviously don't have the Hearing Impaired in mind when they make a phone. .? Thanks heaps for your reply. Am selling phone and hopefully find a good or better phone than an Apple. Samsung might be the go ?? Thanks again Allison Regards Laurie
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 4:33:33 PM
Re: IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
You may want to check out some online communities that specifically address people with similar issues, Laurie. I cannot imagine you are alone in this frustration and, although I am no expert in this matter, some phones may be more hearing aid-friendly than others? I don't know if this site will be helpful, but the president commented on this story and shared some details about the site with me via email. Called HearingTracker.com, it includes users' reviews of hearing aids -- and surely some of those reviews include their compatibility and sound quality when used with various phones? I hope you find the right phone to suit your needs!
lozza47
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lozza47,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 5:29:45 PM
Re: IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
Hi Alison,

Thanks for that,

Have been to that`web site, and i appreciate your suggestion, but (bear with me here) i get the same response from the Apple shop, and from the various forums and the phone shops, "contact the manufacturer of the Loop Set" or "pay a visit to your Hearing Specialist" or "get your hearing aids checked" the same thing over and over again. There is nothing wrong with my hearing aids or my Loop Set, both are functioning very well. The problem is the phone. And of course at Apple, it is my hearing aids or the loop set that is at fault, or not compatible with the phone, bla, bla, bla. Like i said "bear with me here" i am not having a dig at you guys, but yes I AM FRUSTRATED.

Once again THANKS HEAPS

Regards

Laurie

 

 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 9:23:20 AM
Re: IPHONE 5S and hearing aids
@Laurie, your frustrations and experiences underscore how important it is for phone makers, developers, and healthcare providers -- in this case, hearing aid-makers -- to closely partner, not only on development but on support. We're talking about a health device, not a game or even a business app, and so ensuring the patient's satisfaction with the end result is vital. 


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