Good day to you, following Helen’s visit on Thursday when she fitted me with a pair of these hearing aids, I am now in a position to give you some first impressions.
My previous experience of hearing aids, with Oticon OPN1s and Phonak Audéo B90s had been less than satisfactory, both of these having suffered from an audible (to my ears at least) processing delay or latency which gave many sounds a nasty rattling character.
In the interests of satisfying my curiosity I measured this (because I can) and found the delay to be approximately 8 milliseconds and 6 milliseconds respectively.
Furthermore, the Oticon devices appeared to be applying a frequency shift of approximately 10Hz to frequencies above 1.25kHz, presumably as a feedback suppression measure, and this sounded pretty objectionable to my ear.
The Phonak aids on the other hand were processing the higher frequencies in a way that imparted a weird unnatural warbling sound to, for example, birdsong and the beeps coming from my various electronic devices.
My immediate impression of the Widex Evoke aids was that they sounded much more natural. There was no obvious delay, nor were there any strange distortions of high-frequency sounds.
Although my ears were already telling me what I wanted to know, I measured the delay of the Evoke 440s and found it to be in the region of 1.6 milliseconds, ie five times better in this respect than the Oticon devices and four times better than the Phonaks. This level of delay is entirely acceptable, ie imperceptible, to my ears.
Further listening served to confirm that whatever measures Widex are employing for feedback suppression, they are not , to my ears at least, audible.
I then explored the possibilities of the equaliser and the SoundSense Learn feature of the Evoke app, which I found easy to use and capable of further improving what was already quite acceptable sound. This capability alone sets the Widex devices apart from the others I’ve tried, which only offer alternative programmes and a volume control. I think Widex are on to a winner here.
Another area where the Widex hearing aids win is wind noise. I had been standing on top of Otley Chevin for a few minutes this morning in the gale before it dawned on me that there were no objectionable noises coming from my hearing aids.
Speech intelligibility is as far as I can say just as good with the Widex aids as the others.
These hearing aids do still have to pass the test of time, but my initial impressions are very favourable. Widex clearly have a different view compared to other manufacturers of how to build a hearing aid, and I like it very much.
Based on my experience so far, I would say that anyone with a background in music, recording or sound engineering would be well advised to try these hearing aids. And anyone else too.
So thank you to Widex for making them (please communicate my experiences to them) and to Helen for fitting them, and best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year.
**Update – Follow up in the New Year and no adjustments needed, Mr. Holt was entirely satisfied.
Email by Rod H., Otley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Widex Evoke 440 Fusion
Hi Paul and Helen, hope you are both well. Just a few words to let you know how pleased I am with my new Titanium hearing aids!
What a difference they have made to my life. Although I am still getting used to them and trying really hard not to lip read as much, I am finding a them massive improvement. I have actually heard a bird sing for the first time in my life, I can hear a clock ticking on the wall (annoying at times!)
TV sounds a lot better and although I can hear without subtitles, I do still put them on at times for fear of missing out. This may take some time to get used to.
I love the fact that when I’m out in a busy music environment the aids turn themselves down to protect my ears!
I can have a conversation with my son when he is in his bedroom and I’m at bottom of stairs ( I no longer have to ask him to come to top of stairs so I can see his lips).
I can have group conversations a lot easier too, it’s not perfect just yet but I think from a lifetime habit of lip reading I need to learn to use my ears properly rather than my eyes!
I would like to thank Helen especially for assessing me in my home rather than myself having to travel 15 miles or so to where you are based.
This I found was a massive help especially being a nurse and working 12 hour days and nights, much appreciated. I have some new found confidence and I don’t feel as conscious as I did when I wore my NHS behind the ear aid.
Thanks again and I’m sure you will see me again sometime in the future. Best wishes, Sue
Email by Sue S., Brighouse, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak B90 Titanium IIC
Huge thanks to the team! My dear friend Charles who is 94 years old struggled to get his hearing aid working at 8.30pm Friday evening, he was left feeling very vulnerable and asked me to help.
I emailed Digital Hearing Care, whom Charles had purchased his hearing aid from, doubtful that I would get a reply until after the weekend, and to my amazement, I had a reply instantly, offering support and advice.
We posted Charles’ aid off first thing Saturday morning and by mid afternoon Monday, Charles was informed the hearing aid was not only fixed but on its way back to him.
The back up care that often lacks with some companies was certainly not the case with Digital Hearing Care.
Thank you so much to the whole team I cannot recommend this company highly enough for anyone looking to purchase a hearing aid.
Charles is happy and so am I that we managed to sort his problem out so swiftly. Thanks again.
Email by Lisa Duffield, Harrogate, North Yorkshire – Hearing aid supplied is Phonak Virto V70 ITE
Hi Helen, Paul and the gang, just to let you know all is going well with new Titaniums, I no longer have to watch lips to follow conversation, the Phonak Titanium are very comfortable and I don’t have a fear of losing them when the wife gets me in a headlock ha ha.
A very good point is that if I am watching a group playing loud music they automatically lower the volume, this is the same in other similar situations like loud traffic noise which I find brilliant.
My hearing is good in most situations including the phone, I struggle a bit with the TV but think this is due to using subtitles for such a long time, I need to start to concentrate more on listening.
As I live in the countryside I am surrounded by wildlife, lots of birds etc which I can now hear, something I have not had since my childhood.
All in all these Phonak Titanium have really made a massive difference to my life.
Only downside is I can hear the wife in stereo ha ha ha. Hope you guys are all good especially the lovely tea girls.
Best wishes, Gordon
Email by Gordon A., Brighouse, West Yorkshire and Spain – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak B70 Titanium IIC
I have worn hearing aids since I was 16 (private ones since I was 21). I wore the Oticon Alta 2 Pro mini RITEs with a power mould previous to these new ones and loved those.
When I saw the new Oticon OPN instruments, I couldn’t wait to try them for many reasons. Wearing a Streamer around my neck was always awkward for me with my job (Audiologist) and home life with a baby so when these showed completely wireless streaming I needed to try them.
The sound was immediately similar to what I was used to with the Alta Pros but with a twist. I could “feel” the difference with the sounds around me.
Whereas before I could hear in HD, it felt I could now hear in Ultra HD 4K!!
The little sounds around me were just different (in your face almost) but without overtaking the important speech sounds. The way the OPN works is a very different concept to any other sound I have heard and I have tried A LOT of hearing aids being an Audiologist myself.
It feels as if sound is coming to me rather than having to listen intently to the sounds to make them out well.
I had a few hiccups with the streaming at first when using Youtube but that sorted itself out after a few weeks without me doing anything.
Everything else was fine from the beginning. The quality of sound from any form of device or connection was great. Better than I remember with the Streamer.
As I commute by train, I watch things online and I never disturb anyone around me and I can always hear extremely well. Using the phone is so much easier than before as well.
The app is OK (very basic) but I don’t really use that for anything other than connecting the hearing aids to my phone.
All in all, I am very pleased with the technology. All that’s missing is android connectivity now.
Thanks Helen and Paul for sorting me out with these!
Email by Laura J., Castleford, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Oticon OPN1 iPhone Compatible miniRITE
Before I got my Oticon OPN2 hearing aids I struggled to hear higher frequencies (electronic signals, birdsong, etc), TV sound and my wife talking.
So far I’m aware of my hearing aids but am getting used to them, I find them good generally but still struggle a bit in noise, all the noise is louder, not just the person I’m trying to listen to. Telephone and TV are great!
Overall I find my Oticon OPN2 help me hear better. Hearing the huge array of birdsong in a simple walk out in the street was just amazing: I knew I couldn’t hear much by way of birdsong before but I didn’t realise just how much I’d lost and to get it back felt miraculous.
I can now watch most TV without subtitles and I only struggle on those programmes that I imagine most have trouble with – like those with pesky mumbling actors.
And my wife definitely feels the benefit of my not constantly asking her to repeat what she’s said!
Email by John A., Bingley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Oticon OPN2 iPhone Compatible miniRITE
Having worn a Widex hearing aid in my left ear for approx 10 years, which was fantastic, I began to struggle as my hearing became worse in my right ear.
I made an appointment with the fantastic Helen from Digital Hearing Care (where I had previously bought my first hearing aid) and she recommended two Widex Beyond, tiny behind the ear aids.
They are so comfortable I can forget I’m wearing them and they work directly with my iPhone which is fantastic!
They are great in all situations including in noise, on the phone and TV.
They are light, almost invisible and I don’t feel like I have to pull my hair over my ears to hide them when it’s windy!!
I feel so much more confident that they’re discreet but still powerful enough to help me hear ‘normally’!
As my hearing loss is severe, there was a little feedback, but this has been resolved by getting slightly bigger, and more tightly fitting moulds.
Email by Paula H., Keighley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Widex Beyond 440 iPhone Compatible RIC
I was struggling with higher frequencies, in particular I was unable to hear or differentiate bird calls. I struggled to follow conversations in noisy environments such as in a restaurant.
I also had some difficulties at times following conversations with the grandchildren, particularly when driving and they were in the back of the car.
I’m aware of my hearing aids but am getting used to them. The hearing aids are great in all situations including in noise, both telephone and TV are great!
My hearing is much more acute that it has been for many years. I can hear sounds I hadn’t really noticed were missing; running or splashing water is much richer, conversations are easier although I hadn’t really considered that to be a problem area previously.
TV and music is more enjoyable and I can now hear many bird calls missing previously….roll on springtime!
Only negative is I hear some wind noise in any conditions more than a very light breeze.
Email by Ian H., Keighley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Audeo B70-R Rechargeable RIC
Hi Tim & Paul, just a quick note to tell you about the great experience I had buying my new hearing aids. I went with the Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids.
Tim did a great job of testing my hearing and setting them up. He really listened to my needs. It was really good to be able to try a test pair first of all.
He was really knowledgeable about the instruments and able to give advice on connecting them to my phone. I was tested on Monday and picked them up on Friday which was great as I was going away the next day.
The devices are fantastic. I love the integration with the iPhone. It is so useful to be able to stream audio to the devices and good to be able to control them easily without having to remember sequences of fiddly button presses on the hearing aids themselves.
I was in a noisy restaurant the other night on table with 10 other people and I could join in conversations! That wasn’t possible with my previous hearing aids. The technology seems to have really improved over the last 5 years. I can generally hear so much more clearly than before.
They handle wind noise much better too. I spend a lot of time working outside so this is a real bonus.
Thank you to you both for all of your help.
Email by John H., Bridlington, North Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Oticon OPN 1
Overall my hearing aids have been excellent. Main areas I struggled before were television without subtitles, understanding people who I have not met before whether it be at work or just out socialising.
I also lacked confidence in situations like ordering food in a restaurant where possibly the waiter has an accent.
I feel now the hearing aids have given me a lot more confidence in social situations whereas before I would feel a little bit nervous of the thought of saying the word ‘what?’ a good two or three times.
They’re also small and discrete and many people said not noticeable, as I was worried people would point them out often.
I’ve been using my Phonak Compilot II with my mobile as I really struggled using my phone, especially when it was an unrecognisable voice.
It’s also very helpful with the microphone on top of the Compilot so it turns into handsfree. The sound quality is very good in my ears and have little problems hearing people. It’s also very handy using it while driving.
I can use the Phonak Roger Pen using a Roger X receiver with my TV and other devices that sends the sound straight into my ears which is a big help.
I play a games console a fair amount, not just for gaming but for streaming films and videos.
Where streaming apps like Netflix has subtitles, a lot of others do not. Before the Roger Pen and my hearing aids I wouldn’t even try to watch or stream something without subtitles.
I would miss about 70% of speech, again especially with accents even an american accent i would have struggled.
I have Sky TV in my room and recently discovered they do not offer subtitles when downloading films or programs, so again the Pen and hearing aids massively help.
Having something that raises the volume is one thing, but the equipment and the hearing aids I use certainly improves the clarity of speech.
Email by William P., Bury, Lancashire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Audeo B90-312T
Hello Helen, sorry for the slight delay in replying but it has been a busy few days.
I have cycled twice and walked in quite windy conditions the hearing aids have been excellent with minimum disturbance from wind noise, while now being able to talk with others properly and hear bird calls.
Socially I have been in several situations which could have been difficult but proved to be a joy. A dinner for two hundred people – very noisy- but I could easily hear and talk with all the people around me. Busy pub bars, a disco all absolutely no problem.
I ran the hearing aids for 17 hours on one over night charge without problem, so the claimed 24 hours certainly looks a possibility. Re-charging is so simple and in fact the charger gives a really good place to keep the aids over night.
The challenge for the re-charging will come in a few weeks when I am away but not in en-suite accommodation or with easy electrical access.
Any problems? Just one I keep forgetting I have got them in! Regards, John
Email by John S., Huddersfield, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Audeo B90-R Rechargeable RIC
Just a note to say thank you to Paul and Helen! I can’t recommend you highly enough.
I’m in my thirties and suffered hearing loss almost 16 years ago. Having lost all my confidence and given up my music I came across the Audeo 9, eight years ago.
They helped me rebuild my confidence and I began playing again albeit a new instrument.
I found myself in the fortunate position of being able to replace my hearing aids a couple of weeks ago but I needed a product that could ensure I can hear in conferences at work, in the office surrounded by people, at home with my husband and toddler and also on stage with our rock band! No easy task!
Paul and Helen worked with me to achieve all of this and I’ve even managed to watch an entire film without missing a word for the first time since I lost my hearing.
I cannot thank you both enough as the improvement in my life is incredible.
The Audeo V90 has made my already amazing life practically perfect. I will never regain my hearing but this is as close as I’ll get.
Thank you so much once again. Best, Tracy
Email by Tracy G., Keighley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Audeo V90 RIC
Hi Paul, I would just like to offer you my sincere thanks for your professionalism, and great customer care both during and after my fitting.
As someone who has worn hearing aids for approximately 15 years with a severe hearing loss I did not think it would ever be possible to find aids that were so good.
The Widex Fusion 440 RIC are remarkable. They are neat compact and comfortable, it is probably the first time I can truly say that I am not conscious that I am wearing hearing aids.
More importantly the speech clarity is exceptional, and as anyone who has a severe hearing loss will tell you the risk of feedback from powerful hearing aids is something you can expect, if only momentarily when making a sudden movement with your head.
Since having the Widex fitted, not once in any situation have I experienced any hint of feedback, which is remarkable.
Paul I will have no hesitation in recommending you should the opportunity arise, or indeed the Widex hearing aids.
Kind regards, Michael
Email by Michael R. – Keighley, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Widex Fusion 440 RIC
I have known Paul for over 11 years and he has always been there for me. Key to Paul’s success is he first understands the problem, and then finds the hearing aids that are right for you rather than adopt one solution fits all.
I have just bought my third pair of hearing aids from him – Phonak Virto V90 CIC. That alone speaks volume about his customer service and retention!
As for the Phonak Virto V90 CIC I am truly amazed by their performance and quality. You can tell when they are suppressing traffic noise whilst at the same time zooming in on vocals.
They surpass the performance of my already excellent Phonak Exelia Art CIC.
Email by Ajaz A., Bradford, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Virto V90 CIC
Hi Paul, purchasing the Oticon Intiga IIC 8’s last summer was the best thing I have ever done. I cannot believe what I have being missing out on by not wearing any hearing aids. I can happily communicate to people much easier with no need to lip read and can even manage a conversation with someone who is upstairs!! I no longer need the use of subtitles when watching television either!!
I use the hearing aids all of the time, even when I am playing sports such as football and golf. My confidence has improved drastically and people I have recently met do not even know I have a hearing problem, due to the aids being “invisible in the canal”
The service I have received from you at Digital Hearing Care is astonishing; whenever I need my aids tweaking you are there the same day to help me out. The deliveries of items I have purchased off your website are always next day delivery and are the cheapest I have found on the web.
One of my hearing aids has had to be repaired once due to an accident by myself, however you pulled out all of the stops to ensure I got it back as quickly as possible.
I admire all of your hard work you put in to Digital Hearing Care to ensure your customers are always satisfied and get the absolute best they can out of their hearing. Thanks for everything you have done for me Paul I look forward to dealing with you in the near future.
Email by Ben B. – Brighouse, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Oticon Intiga i IIC
After a poor experience with a national company I turned to an independent – Digital Hearing Care. The company clearly puts the customer first and nothing is too much trouble; how I wish I had gone to them first!
My hearing had deteriorated to such an extent that I had to rely on close family and friends in difficult hearing situations. When I finally took the plunge I was very apprehensive about whether hearing aids would help and how they would look. However, I was quickly put at ease by the sensitive and expert testing, support and guidance from Paul Minikin.
I believe that the care I have received is second to none and the Phonak Nano hearing aids are remarkable for such small items. They have made a significant improvement to my hearing of quiet, unclear conversations in rooms with an unsatisfactory acoustic. I can also listen to television programs without having the volume turned up and without having to ask my wife what people have said, who were not clear speakers.
In addition, the hearing aids are not visible from the front and they can only be seen when looked for so they have added greatly to my confidence in wearing them on a daily basis.
Digital Hearing Care has a comprehensive selection of hearing aids and I am sure that the ones recommended by Paul are the most effective ones for my particular type of hearing loss. The service throughout has been very professional and patient; after a fortnight minor amendments were needed and these were made promptly and efficiently.
I can recommend Digital Hearing Care without any reservation.
*Update* I can recommend Digital Hearing Care unreservedly to anyone. I bought some hearing aids from them 10 months ago and I have found their after sales service is second to none. Nothing is too much trouble and when I have needed some help and support it has been instantly forthcoming.
Email by C. M., Harrogate, North Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Phonak Virto V70 Nano
I originally purchased my hearing aids (Widex Passion) about 4 years ago from Paul Minikin at Digital Hearing Care.
In that time, they truly have been life changing in that muffled sounds were transformed into words from colleagues, friends and family. No longer did I have to give that blank look at someone because I missed what they were saying to me.
But like anything man-made, they need a little TLC now and again and I recently started to notice some degradation in sound quality. My aids are out of warranty so I knew I’d get a bill, but having my aids “fettled” by Widex only cost a very small amount compared to the price of a new set and they are sounding like new.
So thumbs up for Widex and an even bigger thumbs up for Paul and the service he provides. I work away a lot so the flexibility he offers in when and where he can meet to answer a query, help in fitting or tuning the aids is invaluable.
Only today, did I give him 5 minutes notice that I wanted to drop into his Keighley office to get my newly serviced aids tuned – and 20 minutes later I was walking away with newly adjusted aids, tweaked slightly to compensate for the additional loss I’ve suffered over the past few years.
5 star products and 5 star service!
Email by Paul M. – Haworth, West Yorkshire – Hearing aids supplied were Widex Passion RIC