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Brad whitneyb at erols.com
Mon Dec 22 15:50:54 EST 1997

In article < at hctc.net>, audioman at hctc.net 
>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.

I talked with a Resound Customer Service audiologist Friday and she
clarified the Tradition Line.  Jeff's comments are generally correct
except that the Tradition line is fully FACTORY programmable.  The
factory takes your hearing test results, feeds a computer, then the 
computer uses the Resound database of ten's of thousands of previous 
Resound fittings to build seven programs for your type of loss.  If none
of the seven programs fit your needs, they can simply program seven
more.  This process is free during the initial fitting process, and
they charge "a modest fee" outside the initial fitting.

The big issue here is if the initial factory guesses at the first
seven programs are incorrect,  does the dispenser that you are
working with know enough about the Resound parameters to recommend
changes to the factory?  This may be a concern.

The Encore line is about 40% more expensive in the Washington DC area
than the Tradition Line (quotes for ITE from a one dispenser and one
audiologist).  Additionally, the Encore line uses an analog circuit 
that is two generations older than the Tradition, and I am told this 
circuit produces slightly more noise than the newer circuits.  
One audiologist expressed his concern with this noise
issue because I have normal hearing up to 2K hz, and he has had
complaints from users with good low freq hearing using the Encore

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

First, and most important, most audiologists are very caring and 
honest people with sincere feelings for their patients needs.

There are many that freely give their time supporting hearing
impaired people directly or through their participation here
on the Internet.  It is not a profession that makes a great
deal of money.  I would like to thank all of those that 
have helped me through a confusing time learing about hearing

The biggest issue I have found with audiology is that there is
little agreement as to how to correct a given hearing loss.
For my loss I have heard sincere recommendations for and against
CIC vs BTE, K-Amp vs. WDRC, digital vs. analog, etc.  This initially
generated a great deal of confusion, and made those audiologists
recommending the more expensive solutions to appear dishonest, or
money hungry.

Now having talked, or emailed, with many informative people, I am 
beginning to understand the reasons for the different recommendations.
This includes the conclusion that some dispensers/audiologists
either refuse to, or can't afford to, keep up with the technology.
Many consumers that will not take the time or effort to research
hearing aids prefer to label audiologists as dishonest.  

>whitneyb at erols.com (Brad) continues:

... snipped ......
>>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.

Resound confirmed last Friday they have new aids coming out in 
Jan-Feb 1998.  Among them I am told is a CIC, and digital.  They
would not clarify if it was one and the same aid until the
press release due next week.

When I told the Resound customer service audiologist that I was considering
a Senso CIC, she highly encouraged me to wait until January, as they
would have a competing product.

Now, nearly every hearing aid company has a full digital aid about
ready for release.  Hearing aids have entered the Personal Computer
market problem, the next great aid is always just announced, but
not available for several months.  The marketing hype makes the older
product (i.e. Senso and DigiFocus) look obsolete, and what
consumer wants to pay Senso's price for an obsolete aid?

>Good luck in your information gathering.....


Brad H. Whitney

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