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Getting Things Done When You Can't Hear

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Orange County, California
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    209
    Quote Originally Posted by hearlady View Post
    Camper and Don have you tried "TV EARS"?. They stream the television signal right into your ears via headphones. A company called Clearsounds sells them. Also Sony has a model. I have some patients with expensive hearing aids who use these devices as they say they are very clear for tv-better than the aids.
    Like Camper6, I have hard wired headphones to my TV. They do make speech more understandable than my hearing aids, which seems strange considering the cost of the aids. Maybe it's the room acoustics. What's really difficult is when they play background music while someone is talking.



    The hearing aid business is weird. I've had mine for 11 years. The other day one of the little tubes broke off. I took it in to where I bought them and they fixed it and re-tested me and it didn't cost me a dime. They only make money when they sell the aids. So, of course I got a sales pitch.

    Don

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SURPRISE, ARIZONA
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    6,648
    Quote Originally Posted by hearlady View Post
    Camper and Don have you tried "TV EARS"?. They stream the television signal right into your ears via headphones. A company called Clearsounds sells them. Also Sony has a model. I have some patients with expensive hearing aids who use these devices as they say they are very clear for tv-better than the aids.
    My wife uses this one https://www.walmart.com/ip/Wireless-...&wl13=&veh=sem It works great for her.
    We are either growing or dying.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Grampa Don View Post
    Like Camper6, I have hard wired headphones to my TV. They do make speech more understandable than my hearing aids, which seems strange considering the cost of the aids. Maybe it's the room acoustics. What's really difficult is when they play background music while someone is talking.

    The hearing aid business is weird. I've had mine for 11 years. The other day one of the little tubes broke off. I took it in to where I bought them and they fixed it and re-tested me and it didn't cost me a dime. They only make money when they sell the aids. So, of course I got a sales pitch.

    Don
    Haha the hearing aid business is weird. I know my patients don't want an annoying sales pitch every time they come in.
    I do tell them I won't assume they don't want to know what's new out there. I like to educate.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Corte Bella, AZ
    Posts
    1,245
    Got my latest hearing aids at Costco about a year ago. $1800 for the pair. And once I downloaded their app to my smart phone, the aids act like a Bluetooth devise, and are synced to the phone. So I can actually hear better on the phone than in person. They make a similar device that plugs into the TV so that the sound goes directly to the hearing aids, but I haven't tried that yet.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Northwestern Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,662
    I can't make out what anyone is saying over a microphone and loudspeakers.

    I wish there was an app that would connect to the speaker system.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    209
    Hearlady -- Since you are in the business, maybe you can tell us why hearing aids cost so much. Admittedly, they are amazing devices. Inside is a chip that includes one of more analog to digital converters, a digital to analog converter, digital processor, programmable memory, and output amplifier. And it runs with very little current from a tiny 1.4v battery. But, with today's technology and mass production, that chip shouldn't cost more than a couple hundred dollars. Allow another hundred for parts and assembly and you have a production cost of about $300. That would make a pair of them about $600.

    I was just quoted a price of $6,999 for a pair of top of the line aids. They would give me $1000 for trade-in, making the real price $5,999. You could buy a pretty big TV set for that. Who is making all this money? Does one company have a monopoly on the chips?

    I will note that I get flooded with ads for competing brands and dealers, as does my wife who doesn't need them. Maybe competition will bring prices down.

    Don

  7. #22
    The hearing aids themselves likely don't cost much to produce. The engineering to fit the components into a tiny device that is exposed to sweat, moisture, and earwax is part of it. Marketing of course to get you to come see me in the first place. Training so that when you do come see me I know what I'm doing. That involves a year apprentice, being licensed in your state, board certified which really means another big ole test of my knowledge and skill.
    Then the lifetime aftercare. That means I will see you at least 25 times in 5 yrs to clean, service, adjust your aids to keep them working as well as possible. With some patients that means 10 yrs or more as they want their aids to last as long as possible.
    That being said.
    There has been a bill passed to allow over the counter hearing aids to be sold. Lobbyists, Hearing Loss Association of America, AARP to fought for this as a way to lower the cost for people with mild to moderate hearing losses.
    There has been much debate in the industry over this decision.
    For me, I want people to afford hearing aids. I try to help people get something affordable. However, with this bill they may waive the FDA rules that we use when we do an evaluation to rule out any medical issues that need to be referred. Also, there is a lot of information that helps understand your hearing loss that will be missed.
    My worry is that people will buy an OTC , try it without proper counseling and fitting,put it in the drawer and say "I'm so glad I didn't buy 6000 dollar aids because they don't work!" Then they may never treat their loss.
    That being said it will likely cause prices to come down and be unbundled. We'll see.

  8. #23
    And you're right they are amazing devices!!

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    209
    Hearlady -- Thank you for responding. In the 11 years I've had my aids, I've been back for service or testing maybe 5 times. Most of those were due to being bugged by the dealer. Yet, I was charged the same amount as someone who goes in every 6 months. Yes, your service is definitely worth something. But, making it part of the purchase price doesn't seem fair to me. At least, it should be an option. By the way, even though a simple repair like my broken tubing was free, if one really died, I'd be out of luck. The warranty was for 3 years.

    I understand your concern about OTC aids. It would be much better to have them adjusted by a trained audiologist. But, the common perception is that hearing aids are way over priced, and that's going to result in this sort of thing. I would not rule out someone like Amazon coming out with hearing aids with free software that allows them to be adjusted by the user. It's a big market and they could easily do it. There are a lot of people who need hearing aids but just can't afford them at current prices.

    I found this article from 2010 about consolidation in the hearing aid chip industry. I wouldn't be surprised if more of this has been going on since then.

    Don

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