Hearing aids connect me to my family and to the world.
Thanks for this great article. I've been wearing hearables for three years now and it has definitely improved my quality of life. Your post reminded me to pair my new phone with my hearables, and I noticed the app has some new features. I have the the Costco house brand (KS9.0) model made by Phonak. Costco has pretty good hearing aid centres with certified audiologists. They cost just under $1000 after the subsidy from our provincial health insurance (OHIP). May I ask about the cost of the Starkey ones?
Your post on sidewalks did not strike me as the thoughts of a "grumpy old man." What you described is equally disturbing and unsafe for anyone with "mobility" issues, including parents with strollers, and little ones. Grumpy old people often speak well for everyone, so keep it up!
This makes me so sad, because the trend of connectedness in hearing aids (and medical devices more generally) come with security and privacy implications. I work in a secure facility and they rejected my request to buy a pair of Phonak Brio 5s. I've been using Phonak for a long time and had the sort of features you described nearly 5 years ago! Except without any of the excessive wifi and apps - I had programs configured on the device that I could switch to by pressing a button, including my lost favorite that narrows the cone of amplification to a 30 degree width for focusing on just the person in front of me.
The miniturization also worries me because usually I need to use the larger BTEs to cover my moderate-severe loss, and I'm skeptical of these tiny things actually sustaining the power needed. They also are taking out support for older compatibility technologies like T-coil. I can only hope that with the OTC expansion we'll see these features retained as their competitive advantage is less likely to erode so quickly.
Cheering you on as you flip the switch! And also chiming in to confirm real-life observation of the grumpy old man effect: My husband's grandfather transformed from a grouch to a delight when he finally got some hearing aids that worked. It turned out he wasn't a grump, he just couldn't hear anyone for years.