I don’t know what your features mean

I was reading a press release today for a new hearing aid from a well-know manufacturer. It struck me that despite reading the entire thing I had absolutely no idea whether this aid would be good for me. Would it be better than the one I have? How much better? I have no idea.

The new aid has features with impressive sounding names like (and I’m making these up as I don’t want to name the brand):

Spatial Sound Matrix +

Noise Wizard 2.0


Field Spot discovery

All this on the company’s website too. From their PR and website and can get the general idea that these features let me hear better in noise, they reduce feedback, better clarity, perfect localisation, etc, etc and so on. All hearing aids do these things.

As a customer, how do I decide if one manufacturer’s Spatial Sound Matrix + feature is better than another’s OptaEnhance feature?

I can’t. I have no idea and no information to go on. The only thing I can rely on is a recommendation from a vendor or audiologist, a recommendation from a friend or some info on the web. A vendor or audiologist will only recommend products that they supply. A friend’s recommendation might be worthless as their hearing loss is probably completely different to mine. There isn’t much on the web in terms of comparison between aids.

So all these cool sounding features mean nothing to me. They have no context and they don’t help me make a choice between brand X and brand Y. I want to be able to buy a TV instead.

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