Based on 7 User Reviews
This has been my first experience purchasing and using hearing aids. As I began to research the major HA manufacturers and providers I was overwhelmed by all of the different styles, features, options and costs involved. After determining Starkey is one of the major manufacturers with a good reputation, I contacted a local Starkey provider, had a free audiogram and was able to try out a pair of Starkey hearing aids.
After learning the pair cost over $6,500.00 I decided to keep looking. Continuing my research, I came across ZipHearing while comparing features of other major brands as well as the prices and terms of other suppliers similar to ZipHearing. Since ZipHearing carries many of the top brands I contacted them and was referred to a local provider who is located only 5 minutes from home.
My local provider was very knowledgeable about the various brands I was interested in and helpful in explaining the differences and options available, and I ended up purchasing the Signia Pure BT 7 along with the optional TV transmitter. They arrived very quickly (as I recall, in two days) and I returned to my local provider for a fitting and initial configuration of the devices.
Since mine was one of the first sales made by my local provider through ZipHearing (who also represents other companies similar to ZipHearing), he was clearly impressed with ZipHearing’s pricing. So now I had my new hearing aids, and although I could hear much better, I was unhappy with the irritating quality of the sound I was hearing, finding it to be overly “tinny”, i.e. way too much treble and not enough bass. My provider explained that mine is a common reaction for new HA users but I would adjust over time. After all, I had not been hearing those higher frequencies as I normally should be.
My hearing loss is mainly in the higher frequency range making it difficult to hear speech, especially women and children. Since the devices are highly configurable, he suggested I try them for a couple of weeks and then return to refine and adjust the settings (three free adjustments are among the services included with the purchase). The devices are able to store up to six “programs” each with different settings such as for music, noisy environments, TV, reverberant rooms, etc. Not only are the prices among the best I found, the terms and services included with ZipHearing are also generally better than other suppliers I contacted (in terms of things like return policy, no restocking fees, 45 day trial period, adjustments included, etc.)
While still well within the 45 day trial period, an unexpected expense suddenly arose and I was forced to seek a lower cost alternative. There are several products available in the $600 to $800 price range. After researching the devices in that price range I chose the iHEARMAX because it is the only one that has an optional accessory for configuring the devices by myself. Basically, the hearing aids connect through an interface device to a computer which runs a program capable of conducting a hearing test as well as programming the devices. It was my hope to program a more appealing sound quality than the Signia model was producing. Although the iHEARMAX does have the self-programming option (which I would say is mandatory for most people since the factory settings are not matched to your particular hearing loss, however, for an additional $99.00 you can send the company your audiogram and they will program the devices for you), unfortunately their do-it-yourself software has a very limited feature set.
After connecting the hearing aids to the computer interface and while wearing the hearing aids the program has you respond to and adjust volume and clarity (in some cases) for 1) loud male voice, 2) soft male voice, 3) loud female voice, 4) soft female voice, 5) birds chirping and 6) overall volume level. The resulting sound quality still had way too much treble and not enough bass. By calculatedly “lying” to the program I was able to manipulate less treble and more bass and ended up with a more tolerable sound quality. The end result was sound quality that was not quite as good, but was fairly similar to the Signia. I could never completely eliminate the harsh, even distorted sound of certain higher frequencies. The iHEARMAX also had a thicker (more visable) wire and did not fit into the ear canal as well as the Signia. It has a single button which advances through four settings, 1) normal, 2) noisy environment, 3) enhanced speech clarity, and 4) volume boost, whereas the Signia has a single rocker switch that lets you adjust both volume and program changes.
I met again with my local provider to see if further adjustment could improve the sound quality enough to justify the difference in price between the Signia and the iHEARMAX and explain about the unexpected expense forcing me to reconsider my purchase of the Signia model. Rather than adjust the Signia devices at that time, he suggested I switch from the 7px to the 3px model at about half the cost. The main differences between the 7x and 3x are features I can live without and so I decided to switch to the 3x. They arrived quickly (one or two days) and I returned for fitting and configuration. There was no charge whatsoever for switching, not even for shipping. As someone with not only a background in computer programming but also music production (recording, engineering, mixing, etc.), I can tell you the program for configuring the Signia device is a sophisticated professional level program way beyond the capabilities of the iHEARMAX program.
This time I requested changes to the graphic EQ settings of some of the programs. I even included both the default music program and the same music program with my suggested EQ settings. I don’t notice any significant difference between the sound of the 3x and 7x and the new EQ settings are resulting in better sound quality in terms of less irritating treble. I would like to return for additional adjustments to see if I can add more bass, especially to the music program. As a final point, the 3x fits me much better than the 7x. Not only did I switch to a different style tip but the wire on the 3x seems slightly shorter and as a result it hugs snugly up against my ear becoming almost invisible. The 7x wires had a small visible “loop” where the wire did not totally hug the ear. Whether due to the wire or the tip, the fit is much better now. Update: I returned for one final adjustment and this time abandoned attempting to use the various different programs mentioned earlier.
In practice, I found there was not a significant difference between the various programs and ended up rarely using any of them. This time I asked to adjust the “Universal” setting, lowering the treble and boosting the bass bit by bit. The idea was to have a series of settings that provide a gradual shift toward less treble and more bass on each subsequent setting which we saved into most of the six available slots. I also set one slot to a “car” setting, which simply lowers the volume quite a bit in the left ear so the sound of passing cars are not as loud when driving with the window down. That actually works. These settings are giving me the best results so far. Now I can gradually dampen the treble and boost the base step-by-step through the stored settings until the sound is still clear without being as piercing as it was before. This works well for me when watching TV or when I am in a noisy environment like a restaurant. Final conclusion: Unfortunately today's hearing aids are simply not capable of producing a rich sounding low end. Period. Over-boosting the low end produces an unpleasant and unusable sound quality, not really more low end. So for that, I will still watch TV using my wrap-around Sennheiser headphones.
Thanks to ZipHearing and to my provider for working with me in order to obtain the best possible results for me. I reduce from five stars to 4.5 only because as a musician and recording artist I am frustrated that no hearing aid devices are capable of producing a pleasant sounding low-end.
I am very pleased with the performance of these hearing aids. They are a vast improvement over my 6 year old set of Starkeys.
The hearing quality is excellent on the new hearing aids. They fit comfortably and are easy to handle both inserting them into the ear and removing them. I am very pleased and would definitely recommend ZipHearing to others.
Sound quality is excellent. I am very happy with these new hearing aids and the great service that I am receiving as well. Five stars!
The sound quality of my new Siemens Pure 3PX hearing aids is excellent - I can now hear things that I have not heard in many years. The hearing aids are so comfortable that I do not even notice that I am wearing them. ZipHearing is VERY easy to work with and does everything they can to help their customers. All in all, I am very satisfied with the product, ZipHearing company, and the service which I have received from the local store which works with ZipHearing , and am already recommending ZipHearing to my friends who wear hearing aids.
Good sound quality..this aid (Signia Pure Primax 3) works for me , ZipHearing is fantastic, great warranty with Signia, can not be happier with Zip Hearing because of excellent customer service, expert advise (my questions and concerns were quickly replied to with a thorough, complete e-mail from Jeff at Zip Hearing who knows everything about hearing aids and the business). Also, Zip Hearing provided free batteries (about one year worth) with my order. Also, perhaps the best part, Zip Hearing saved me 50% ($2500) by ordering thru them! With Zip Hearing you get to go to a local provider, get tested (the test price is reimbursed) and get local service for a fantastic savings.
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This is the only way to buy hearing aids! Most any kind of model you might desire can be purchased through the ZipHearing network - and I saved a significant amount of money, about $1400 - and got a year's worth of batteries at no cost. Explore the site and then call.
I would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND ZipHearing.com. They saved me $1,300 and connected me with an excellent local company, plus gave me a year supply of hearing aid batteries. I am a completely satisfied customer. Highly recommended!
I contacted ZipHearing and received a great pair of hearing aids for way below the cost that the hearing center was asking. It's a great way to save a lot of money on state of the art products and I'm glad I found them before paying full price. Service is excellent as well.