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Hearing Aids - Specsavers

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PMNGPMNG Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie

Specsavers Advanced Elite 39 R Li hearing aids (March 2020 after wearing them for one month).

·      Pros :

o   Excellent Speech in Sound

o   Excellent Spatial 360 sound location

o   Very good all-around performance

o   Bluetooth for music and phone calls extremely good

·      Cons:

o   Some occlusion with power domes

o   Specsavers provide no technical information

 

I wrote this review as Specsavers give so little technical or other information out regarding these hearing aids. Previously I used Phonak V90 hearing aids for five years and decided to save some money (£750) and purchase the Advance Elite model 39 Li aids which I believe are manufactured for Specsavers by Phonak.

Walking out of the Specsavers store I was immediately surprised and impressed by the 360 spatial awareness of sound direction. After one month I am still very impressed with this feature and it helps you appreciate the wider environment you are in. Handy too when you think you’re in a pedestrian only location and hear the bus and taxi bearing down on you.

The first week I went to the opera (Don Giovanni) at the local theatre. The singers on stage came across very clearly and again their location on the sound stage came across very well. I also appreciated the distinction and clarity of individual musical instruments with their different timbre and tone.

My first moderate-to-hard test was the pre-football match pint in the Flowerpot pub along with my fellow supporters. So, a noisy busy pub filled with older men drinking real-ale and waffling football tactics incoherently at each other. Normally I only catch 1-in-3 words at best and withdraw into the corner with limited conversations due to hearing difficulties and getting the conversations wrong. But, the Advanced 39’s performed extremely well, and I could understand and participate in the general conversations across three table (12 people) within a larger noisy bar area with many fellow football supporters. I was shocked at how much I had been missing out. There was some occlusion when it came to my voice, not too bad and a small price to pay for the benefits and social inclusion they gave.

Then onto the very hard test – the Spitfire Lounge/Bar located within the local football ground. This typically has 150 – 300 noisy post-match supporters with families and children running around. A large hanger-like bar area where the bar staff serve the hoards piling in for a pre or post-match pint. On the wall a very large-scale projector usually shows with blaring sound the football or rugby to the drinking aficionados. So, basically hell for hearing aid wearers and typically I converse with sign language and by shouting very loudly, as does everyone else to be fair. Remarkably, the Advanced 39’s coped well in this location and I could hear clearly my fellow supporters within my immediate area (12 - 20 feet radius. Trouble was they had trouble hearing g me and each other so carried on shouting and asking everyone to repeat themselves. So, a real turn up for the books.

The downside was the occlusion impact on my voice which made it sound like a Darlek. However, clearly the firmware within the hearing aids was working extremely hard in a very noisy venue. Compared to effectively having to stop communication before I got the new hearing aids, so a small price to pay.

In everyday conversation both inside and out of normal environments the hearing aids performed brilliantly and I have now stopped saying pardon and asking people to repeat themselves as I hear them first time clearly.

I found the Bluetooth feature a real boom especially when receiving phone calls to my iphone and also when making calls out. It took a bit of time to get this working correctly with the hearing specialists at Specsavers. It is well worth having as it also streamed music to the hearing aids. Music having plenty of depth with good bass, so no need for ear buds or headphones as the sound is very good.  

I also really like the rechargeable feature, just putting them in the recharger each night. I have never heard the battery low audio warning since I brought them, and I wear them typically from when I get up until bedtime (16 hrs). I also liked the 90 day money back guarantee and a good lengthy 48 month guarantee.

My only minor complaint is that Specsavers fail to provide technical specification information (number of channels, microphone features etc.) so it is difficult to compare them against other manufacturers offering. 

I found the Specsavers staff in my local Maidstone store to be excellent, very professional and patient with the customers and their explanations. I hope this of some use to anyone thinking of buying these hearing aids which I highly recommend.

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Replies

  • JordecJordec Forumite
    1 posts
    Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    This is an excellent review, thank you. The issues you mention in pubs and large groups are the same issues that I have and my hearing aids (Siemens Advance 815s I think) are now 4 years old and not working brilliantly anymore. I have been using a lanyard to enable Bluetooth, so it will be great to bypass this. I can’t thank you enough for going into this level of detail. I feel like I will be making a well informed choice now and will book an appointment to replace my old aids with the new Advanced Elite 39 R Li hearing aids. Thank you,
    Dec
  • onesixfiveonesixfive Forumite
    385 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I have just had some free NHS hearing aids for 1st time.
    After a few weeks they are gonna have to go back to be "tweaked", (but due to C-19....!)
    Am reluctant to pay what appears to be thousands of pounds for Specsavers or similar aids - what's the main difference?
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    41.9K posts
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    I'd say the service - I don't have private aids myself but my siblings have done so. You get to choose your appointment time, it's as long as it needs to be, tweaks are done until you're happy, regular tests are carried out - and all without you being made to feel that you're more demanding than you ought to be. 

    Sorry, I'm perhaps slightly jaundiced at the moment - my experience with NHS has been that getting adjustments made takes time, and I don't get much choice about when I go. And as for suggesting that I really ought to have an annual check - why do I think I need that? Do I think my hearing has changed? Surely I only need a test when I feel noticeably deafer? Err, no, I'd quite like to know if the rate of loss is increasing, because I might not (probably won't!) notice unless it drops off a cliff. I'm due for my annual check now, but don't think it's worth asking for it right now. 

    Having said that, in our area NHS aids are all provided via the hospital. I think another of my siblings getting aids via the NHS is seen through SpecSavers, and their experience of appointments is better than mine. 
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
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  • missilemissile Forumite
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    My wife has both NHS and Specsavers hearing aids. She feels Specsavers are worth the money.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    What kind of cost are you looking at with hearing aids from Specsavers?  I ask because my wife had a hearing test at Boots and they were pushing her to buy aids costing several thousand pounds.
  • in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
    1.1K posts
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    A great review, I'm pleased you are happy
    My mother has NHS hearing aids from Specsavers and they work very well, however, the part which goes into her ear is damaged by wear and tear. A part I would think could easily be posted. This happened just after lockdown and I have been unable to contact Specsavers to help with a replacement/repair. I have emailed the shop which fitted them, my local shop and head office 5 times and have yet to receive any sort of response. 

    Love living in a village in the country side
  • missilemissile Forumite
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    TELLIT01 said:
    What kind of cost are you looking at with hearing aids from Specsavers?  I ask because my wife had a hearing test at Boots and they were pushing her to buy aids costing several thousand pounds.
    £1100. Expensive maybe, but wife thinks they are worth every penny.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home :iloveyou:
  • AlfrescodaveAlfrescodave Forumite
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    A small price to pay for such an improvement to your quality of life.
  • digglediggle Forumite
    75 posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Are the Advanced Elite 39 RL an in ear / unnoticeable hearing aid ? The ones my husband has  now have a battery in ,and in crowds he struggles to hear because of the imminent background chat of others ,he does have Tinnatus also .
    They sound just what my husband is looking for . 
    The review above is superb and precise .
    How much do these type cost please ? 

  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    I was interested in your comments on phone calls. I have to use the ear without an aid. How does the Bluetooth work. I did look at settings on my mobile, but they wouldn't link. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
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