New Hearing Aid

All right. I’m still undecided what to do with a theme for this site. But in the meantime, I thought I’d write about the purchase of my new hearing aid.

I got the hearing aid back in July. It is a Phonak Naida Paradise. I have the P-UP model as I have severe to profound hearing loss. I’m totally deaf in my left ear, but wear the hearing aid in my right ear.

Before getting the Paradise, I tried out a couple other hearing aids. One was the Sonic Link and the other was a Signia. However, both of them were Made for Iphones, meaning Android support is limited and I have a Samsung Galaxy S20 phone. The Naida Paradise has full support for both iOS and Android devices.

In addition to that, my previous hearing aid was also a Phonak. Both the Sonic Link and the Signia sounded weird to me. But the Phonak Naida Paradise sounded just perfect. Every hearing aid model processes sounds differently and I’ve had a Phonak for so long that it was natural for me to continue using one.

From day one since getting the hearing aid in early July, I was hearing sounds that I never heard before or at least, I didn’t hear as well before. They include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Cars on the street – I would only hear cars on the street if I was outside, not from inside my house, when I had my old hearing aid. But I was surprised to hear them from inside the house as well though it had to be quiet inside the house for that or if I’m in a room facing the street.
  • The refrigerator humming – I never hear my fridge hum unless I’m standing next to it. But first day wearing the hearing aid, I heard it from my living room while watching TV. It took me several weeks to get used to it and not notice it. Same with the car sounds though I still hear both if I’m paying attention.

The best feature of the Naida Paradise, for me anyways, is its Bluetooth capability. It can connect to many devices that broadcasts audio such as my phone, iPod and laptop. I can watch videos on my laptop or phone without bothering other people and I can listen to music on my phone or iPod as well. No longer do I need a neck loop to do that. With my old hearing aid, I had a neck loop that acted as an intermediary between the audio device and my hearing aid. That neck loop is obsolete now.

I’ll tell a story on how the Bluetooth capability came into play in a real life situation. I was at work and had a technical issue and needed to call tech support for that. While I could hear on the phone, I still couldn’t understand people on the phone, so I use a phone captioning app called Innocaption to caption my phone calls.

I rarely, if ever, use the app to make calls unless I absolutely have to. Texting is still my preferred means of communication. But in this case, I had to make the phone call. So I dialed the number and reached a voice menu. I heard the voice menu clearly in my hearing aid while reading the menu on the phone. I did the typical key presses on the phone to access the options I wanted before finally hitting the option for a live representative. As it turns out, the computer operator said I was 6th in line on the queue and the wait would be about a half an hour. So you know what I did?

I set down my phone near me and let the hold music play in my hearing aid while I did my work at my job. I didn’t want to waste any time while being on hold. I got my work done while getting regular updates like “You’re now 4th in line. You’re now 3rd in line.” etc.

When I finally heard a live actual human voice come on the line, I picked up the phone and started talking to the representative. Now the thing about InnoCaption, there is about a 2 second delay between the spoken words and what I read on the phone. But the representative on the other end spoke very clearly that I actually understood him at times and didn’t need to wait for the InnoCaption to transcribe everything the rep said. I would respond almost immediately after the rep stopped speaking. The hearing aid did very well in processing the live representative’s voice that I understood him for the most part and the InnoCaption app basically filled in the blanks for me.

The technical issue was resolved after about a 10 minute conversation and I hung up. I was impressed with both the InnoCaption app as well as my Naida Paradise in this situation.

The Naida Paradise is the best purchase I’ve ever made in my life and wished I had done it sooner, but then again, technology is evolving every day and chances are, if I had made the decision to get a new hearing aid sooner than later, it would not have been as good as the Naida Paradise.

I’m not done with improving the quality of life with this hearing aid. There are things like the Roger Pen that allows me to hear someone from a distance away like in a meeting room or class room. Then there is a TV connector that allows me to listen to my TV in private via Bluetooth as my current TV doesn’t have Bluetooth though somewhere down the road, I may just upgrade to a new TV that does have Bluetooth and I won’t need the TV connector.

Before I close out this post, I just wanted to give a big shout out to InnoCaption for the phone captioning app. Very well done and I definitely will be using it more often. And another shout out to Phonak for the Naida Paradise and their other devices that work with it.

I hope to write another post within the week. Stay tuned.