The Best Hearing Aids Are Only Fit by The Best Audiologist
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re searching for the best hearing aids. You’re trying to figure out which one helps the best in noise, or has the best iPhone features, or has the best sound quality. Well, we’re here to tell you…
Because there are no “best hearing aids.” But there are best audiologists. And a hearing aid is only as good as the audiologist who fits it.
It Starts with Quality Control
Your hearing aids will never sound right if they never worked properly. So a quality hearing aid fitting relies heavily on good quality control before you even pick the hearing aids up. We perform a thorough listening check and visual inspection of every instrument. This inspection includes:
- Checking that the serial number matches the packing materials.
- Verifying that the warranty information is correct.
- Listening for any distortion from the hearing aid.
- Checking that the directional microphones are facing the right direction.
- Verifying that the manual controls (volume, push button) are working.
- “Pinch test” to ensure that the battery contacts don’t disconnect from the battery.
We then put the hearing aid in a test box to measure its output, gain, distortion, and battery drain. Those measures are compared to the manufacturer specifications. If it doesn’t measure up, we send it back and order a new one.
The Best Audiologist Uses the Optimal Setup
The physical fit of a hearing aid is even more important than the programming. It can have a serious impact on the acoustics, the sound quality, and your comfort. You’ll notice differences in the loudness and quality of your own voice and other voices depending on how the hearing aids are set up on your ears. The best audiologists know to make sure that the physical setup is done properly before programming.
The Best Hearing Aids Are Always Verified
There are standards for fitting hearing aids. They should be set to a specific volume based on the degree of hearing loss at each frequency. Your hearing aid has manufacturer-recommended “targets” built into the software to account for this. But those targets are based on the average ear, and no one is exactly average. Real ear verification is a tool that we use to make sure that your hearing aids are giving you the volume that they should.
We insert a microphone tube in your ear, down near the eardrum, and actually measure how loud your hearing aids are at different pitches and with different input volumes. Those measures are compared to industry-standard targets for hearing aids based on your hearing test (Ex: NAL-NL2 or DSL v5.0) and adjusted to meet targets. Our audiologists do this test on every hearing aid that we fit.
The Best Hearing Aids Are Fit For You!
Everything we do is based on averages, and no one is exactly average. So once your hearing aids have been set to targets and fit properly, they will need adjustment to personalize them for you. Your audiologist should know and understand how to do this. You should never hear “You just have to deal with it.” Because there is some adjustment required, but remember that you are a customer and should not just be dismissed when you have serious issues. Give yourself some time to adjust and work with your audiologist. But make your issues known so that your audiologist can fix them.
Because the best audiologist wants feedback to make sure that your hearing aids are the best hearing aids for you.