New hearing aids are life-transforming!
I want to thank SILICON CHIP and Ross Tester for the article on the Australia Hears hearing aids in the July 2011 issue. I have just completed my first week with a pair of Australia Hears LOF models and the companion PC programmer. My life will never be the same!
The first time I wore the devices I heard my canaries singing downstairs, the front gate opening and closing, my car turn indicator merrily ticking away and a hundred other sounds and noises I had almost forgotten. Most importantly, I could understand everyone around me, even those talking behind my back.
I have been suffering from a gradual but devastating hearing loss for many years and have been searching for a solution for a long time (I even built the Jaycar/Electronics Australia “Super Ear” kit so that I could attend meetings and lectures without appearing to be the village idiot).
Unfortunately, most solutions were beyond my means or had serious technical or ergonomic limitations. I was repeatedly told by people whom I trust that the minimum I needed to spend to get a decent result was $6000 to $7000 – per ear! I also needed to make repeated and expensive visits to a clinic to set up and tune the hearing aids after I had purchased them.
Without Ross Tester’s article I would never even have looked at a thousand dollar hearing aid, let alone buy it. Everything Ross wrote in the article has proved to be true. The units were powered, programmed and tested within half an hour of arriving. I have spent a small amount of time since then tweaking the frequency response but other than that they work well and I am slowly getting used to wearing them. The hearing aids, programmer and associated kit have many small touches, too numerous to list here, which make them easier and more pleasant to use and it is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into their production.
I cannot overemphasise the importance of the programmer and the associated software in making this solution work. Not only does it allow me to tailor the output exactly to my needs but it also future-proofs my considerable investment. I am sure that my hearing will change over time and being able to track it by simply plugging in to a PC and altering the device parameters will allow me to use these new hearing aids for many years to come.
Finally, I want to mention that my small interaction with Australia Hears (two phone calls and two emails) has convinced me that they are a rare breed – a company that cares. They even rang me from Melbourne to inform me that my parcel had been misdirected by Australia Post and that it would be a day or so late. They apologised profusely even though it was obviously not their fault. As promised, I received the parcel the next day.
I have been reading your magazine for many years and have constructed many of the projects featured. It has been an entertaining, enlightening and rewarding experience but now it has also become life-transforming. Thank you everyone at SILICON CHIP and thank you Ross Tester.
Bondi Junction, NSW.