How to Self-Program Your Hearing Aids Like a Pro

How to Self-Program Your Hearing Aids Like a Pro. Self-Programming Your Listening to Aids like a Professional! Physician Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founding father of Utilized Listening to Options in Phoenix Arizona, exhibits you learn how to program your individual listening to aids with out the assistance of a listening to care skilled.

How to Self-Program Your Hearing Aids Like a Pro

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39 thoughts on “How to Self-Program Your Hearing Aids Like a Pro”

  1. Awesome video! Thanks for sharing! Also I'd point out, if your audiologist doesn't use real ear measurement machine, indeed they don't have any better tool than you do, and that's famous 'how do you hear me now'. And taking into the account that their office is usually acoustically isolated, you're indeed better off with tinkering in your own home and environment, because you'll tweak until you find that sweet spot.

    It's cumbersome, definitely. However it's also cumbersome to do it at the clinic which doesn't have the equipment, plus you need to manage your schedule and travel there.

    With 'how do you hear me now' technique by fitter you can waste a month or two if weekly visits, and still won't get it fitted properly even for their ideal acoustic office. And you need one single fitting with fitter who has the equipment to get the really good baseline eg 'in quiet'. And then you spend subsequent visits on seizing that tech inside the aid, noise situations and other.

    And a lot of people get tired of 'how do you hear me now' visits, not to mention it's really hard to describe what's wrong with your hearing so that the fitter can actually make adjustments.

    When fitter is using instrument, you'll get the proper fit in half an hour (I'm speaking only about fitting process once you have your audiogram and other tests done and aid chosen).

    And in 'how do you hear me now' someone has to pay for fitter's hours, and that one is you.

    Not to mention that comparing several models/different manufacturers takes the SAME 'how do you hear me now' process, maaaybe a bit shorter, but it's not a given.

    In short – if you're living a acoustically dynamic life, spend your time finding a fitter who follows best practices, even travel to other country to do it. Further tech adjustments can be done remotely anyway.

    Or invest a ton of time and learn how to tweak yourself. Because fitters without equipment will just run through manufacturer's initial fit, and that one is done automatically by the software anyway, I mean, yes, you'll do waving hands for audiogram (yes some even do audiogram through the aids only), and that's it. Then 'how do you hear me now' starts.

    But refuse to pay high amounts of money for people to basically waste your time.

    Let's push the industry into demanding high quality care we'll pay for, they can do more people in less time if they have right equipment, so it's utter BS that it's too expensive. New aurical in Germany is I think around 20-30 with sw. That's the price of fancy car. If they don't want invest in providing quality care, they don't deserve the money. For the comparison, 'how do you hear me now' office wanted around 6k eur for phonak marvel/paradise 90. I found a rare fitter (of 2 in whole Berlin, plus one chain but they're not taking time) who has the equipment, who gave me discount based on the fact that I told him right of the door that I'm sick of 'how do you hear me now' fitters, and I'll do it myself and buy aids on ebay, but if he can show me how real ear measurement is better, I'll buy with him. He accepted the challenge. He only did REM based fittings for me, and I played with amount of noise cancelling and different environments. Deal was to keep him in the loop what I'm doing, and basically he'd download my programming every time I came, so I have dislocated backup for free 😀

    Be open and honest with your fitter. We both learned a ton from each other and I did some back to back comparisons, since he has a normal hearing and cannot really personally test/feel it.

    I moved to Switzerland and at the first glance it seems there's no REM offices… So I'll travel to Berlin if I can't find someone equally cool and wanting to help me hear my best. That's 10-12h train ride overnight.

    You want someone who will work with you, and you have to work with them. Paying premiums to have aids sit in the drawer is not worth the effort nor money. But if you want to hear your best, learn, understand equipment (eg external mics might be better solution for your loss than higher tier tech, because if you need a lot of help, even highest tier can't deliver), spend time to find someone you can work with.

    Trust me, if fitters can avoid tons of your (bundled free) visits for little tweaks because you'll do them yourself, they have every incentive to do so 🙂

    Just be responsible, honest, and careful. Small single tweak, and make notes over several days, then proceed with new tweak. Otherwise you won't know what each option exactly does, nor which thing helped and which made the sound / comprehension worse.

  2. When I first made the switch from analog to digital, it was such a hassle and I wasn't sure how to verbalise what changes needed to be done on the EQ. My audiologist actually helped me get the required equipment so I could spend the time at home tweaking the EQ until I found something that worked. I'd put on some music I was familiar with and did adjustments and eventually got it to where I was finally happy with the sound.
    Definitely was lucky to have such an awesome audiologist and if you can find someone that good, it's a great idea to have them get the hearing aids setup properly and then you can do little tweaks. Although nowadays a lot of hearing aids have apps where you can tweak the EQ yourself which would have been extremely helpful when I first tried digital.

  3. Unfortunately, I understood everything but I'm not an audiologist nor do I want to program my hearing aids. I told my audiologist to give my telecoil setting a 300 Hz to 3300 Hz bandwidth with 3 dB gain per octave and a six dB gain bump at 2100 Hz over the prescription settings. Lows below 300 Hz and highs above 3300 were attenuated and the microphones were attenuated 3 dB. It was really good for communication work.

  4. You should probably clarify that you're talking about HCP's in the USA when talking about only 30% of providers following best practice guidelines. The USA is like the wild west in terms of audiology practice. Many other countries have much higher and more consistent standards.

  5. Got to hand it to him presenting accurate information with a straight face, knowing that it’s beyond do it yourselfers ability and budget. Instead of saying this is what audiologists do , cost to them, and why you need them.

  6. I think we have to come to the realization that more and more people will be self programming their hearing aids. It is best for audiologists to accept this and use it to their advantage(i.e., less time person will spend with audi with adjustments, etc.). I have been self programming my hearing aids after my audi does the first fit. My audi is aware that I tweak my HA and is very accommodating when I have questions about the programming. I do not recommend first time HA users to do the programming and leave it to the audi. Those who have learned or have become familiar with the programming, do it with caution. And best to let your audi know that your are doing this. I think most will understand and be accommodating. In any case do not forego the experience of a good audi when self programming.

  7. I was T-bowed on the driver's side (left side)in 2010, I had a lot of auto glass I'm my face and a Subdural hematoma. I needed 7 months of vestibular therapy . I've had 4 hearing tests afterwords and passed them. But, I decided to go to an ENT last week and I flunked it. The Dr. said my left is much worse than my right. Is it possible the accident did something to the bones in my ear?

  8. You can buy a noahlink new off of Amazon, at least I did. They may be out. Best decision I’ve ever made but I’m not suggesting for others do it. I have an odd hearing aid and I don’t use “domes” or “wires” and I can do an “in-situ” audiogram(I have all of mine for the since 1985 anyway). I’m a jazz musician and pc geek, the pdf guild lines for fitting the device suggested it should be done and encourage and “quick fitting” or something like that. I had been back and forth to the audiologist 7 times in the last year, probably lost around, $3000 in wages and gas. My first left the office for a research position inside the devices company and I was added to another one who didn’t even know how to use the software. Then my device broke and my umpteenth replacement wasn’t programmed. The software was on the companies sight(not anymore… lol). And considering how little I cared for the programming, my family being out of PTO, and the rest of the reasons…… I grabbed the noahlink. Granted I’m an obsessive self learner. Your video got me excited even though I had already been there.

  9. Hello doctor, my daughter 3 1/2 years old who is having profound hearing loss. Kindly advise me which hearing aid will help her to hear better quality and start talking as early as possible

  10. I don't really want to do a complete re-programing of my old back up hearing aid. All I want to do is make a few minor changes in the settings via the software. That's really all I want to do! Why would I pay all that money for equipment, if all I want to do are simple things: turn on/off a feature, turn up/down startup volume, change the number beep tones when the hearing aid start up, change the notification sound for when the battery is about to die, etc. If I can get just little more control, I'll be very happy. I don't want the audiologist job. I just want to be able to do minor tweaks in my hearing aid just like I can do on my Macintosh. Trust me, my new Macintosh is more complicated than my old hearing aid!

  11. My insurance provides non-audiologist dispensers only who do not do most of what Dr Cliff suggests, and the hearing is so distorted which I hear better without the hearing aids. My solution was buying 2 Chinese hearing amplifiers on Amazon for about $40 each (amplification could be adjusted), and use the insurance thousands worth of hearing aids as souvenirs.

  12. Interesting. You should have talked about backing up the existing settings before changing any programming. That way if you mess up you can always reload the previous programming.

  13. I am not sure whether to thank you or not for this very careful though altogether overly detailed explanation of the protocol you both recommend to interested patients and, hopefully, follow with those of your own.

    Perhaps I am missing something here, Cliff, and I sincerely hope so because this rather tedious…and for the most part useless explication of the audiologist’s craft serves little purpose but to have patients and potential patients appreciate even more the work you and your colleagues do and, as a result, possibly complain less about the very high price tag associated with those, albeit very valuable, services.

    Something to ponder from the real world…

    My brother has received a very thorough and detailed evaluation by a Doctor of Audiology with more than 20 years of experience. Thanks to the generosity and professionalism of this doctor, he was able to try and thoroughly evaluate four pairs of aids, including the top of the line units for each brand…Oticon, Widex, Phonak, and Resound for a period of about 3-5 weeks each.

    In the end, he said that for his ‘mild to moderate’ high frequency hearing loss, the Widex and Phonak models were the best, with the Phonak P-90 being his standout choice.

    With a PhD in Physics, I shared several of your excellent “intro” videos knowing full-well he would process the information quickly and that it would help him through the buying process maze.

    Having seen several of your videos overviewing the Costco process and products, he found a store with a Au.D. on staff and repeated the process of retesting. In the end, he found their “Kirkland Signature 10.0” model to be every bit as good as both the Widex Moment and the Phonak P-90.

    Everywhere he looked, he found that with few exceptions…and none that he could either detect himself or determine during several lengthy calls to Phonak Customer/Technical Support, there were no real differences between the Phonak P-90 and the Kirkland Signature 10.0. How, he asked, could this be possible?!

    *Can you explain the actual differences in these two instruments?*

    A Buyer’s Dilemma…

    He likes and respects the audiologist with whom he began his journey, and in a sense feels obligated to purchase his hearing aids from that respected doctor, but…

    As a skilled and very detailed buyer, without evidence of important, impactful, and measurable differences between the two offerings, my brother feels he would be I’ll advised to spend $6,200 more for the P-90 (c. $7,600), when Costco’s Kirkland Signature 10.0 is only $1,400.

    In spite of all the many steps outlined and delineated in your above overview (I have not shared this new video with my brother yet) and necessary in order to select, test, and properly use REM to fit hearing aids, that $6,200 delta is nonetheless a ‘bridge too far’ for even a well-heeled consumer. And what then of the rest of us?

    What’s your take?

    Many Thanks!

  14. I can see why hearing aid professionals/manufacturers like to keep it harder than necessary to program hearing aids but I’m actually very surprised there hasn’t been a company to come out and just give you the program and allow their aids to be more open. I feel like there’s probably a pretty big market for something like that.

  15. Thank you! There's no HearingUp providers anywhere near me and noone does REM around here. I've been to 3 heading aid peddlers trying to get my first pair of hearing aids, and I stuck with the third because she's an actual audiologist, among other reasons, but she still doesn't do REM. I'm also having lots of trouble with my current pair of hearing aids. I certainly think the next pair I get, that I could do a better job than the providers in my area and for a fraction of the price. PLUS not be limited to the brands the hearing care providers decide to offer (which is a problem specific to my current provider).
    Hearing care is such a shady business IMHO


  16. As a DIY enthusiast I took the time to listen to this a number of times, and will again.
    I also spent most of my life in the music business, and after I was fitted for my first aids, back in '16, I shined them on for the better past of the next four years. They gave me a Resound model, forget which, but the treble was so far up I could hear someone eating tortilla chips across the room, and not much else. I received them from the Veteran's Hospital in Reno, and if I wanted to change the EQ, I had to bring the aids back to them for reprogramming.
    So the next upgrade, after I learned a little about what was available, was better, and my programmer, hearing professional was much better and listened to what I kind of expected. Besides working as a musician, I did sound reinforcement as well. 1990 at the Cotton Bowl Texas State Fair, The Steve Miller Band was my first experience with in-ear monitors with no amplifiers on stage, all underneath. I understood that each musician had a discreet mix, which is similar but different than a mix coming through a floor or flown monitor. So I was familiar with graphic and parametric frequency modulation, essentially, every room, venue is somewhat different and sound reinforcement is tuned to each environment. I also did some recording and was familiar with noise gates and compression, limiters. On one of my sound gigs when I was pitching my hearing aid idea to the company owner, he said, "oh yeah, they exist. I bought a pair for my mother, at $5,000."
    So, once I got that across to my aid programmer, things began to improve. She fitted me with a Resound Quattro. Not the highest end model, but a good one. The Bluetooth capabilities and mix and adjustment capabilities form my iPhone were interesting enough to keep me engaged, satisfied for the most part, and interested in the future. I'm looking forward to further integration with household devices and A/V without the need for extra hardware.
    Most likely I'll upgrade to the Resound One, or the latest model, and keep lobbying for the high end model. My audiologist is partial to the Resound hearing aids, maybe because of the programming, I'm not sure. And she is engaging enough to warrant an office visit as opposed to an online reprogramming.
    So, long story short, yeah, bring on the music, audiophile features!

  17. Just a random thought: Are there still any States out there wherein it is technically illegal to program you own hearing aid? That is, only the purview of a licensed dispenser?. How about a do-it-yourself-er who helps a friend? With us being on the threshold of OTC's is it in all practicality the Wild West out there? Does Lively make their customers sign some sort of waiver?

  18. Thanks for this Cliff! I am a musician with mild hearing loss. So far I've seen 6 different audiologists in several different clinics and none of them understand what I actually need from hearing aids. Simply programming them to my audiogram is not enough. If all I needed was speech reinforcement, any hearing aid would do, however live music performance has a completely different set of requirements. Getting it right has been a complete failure so far. To date I have sampled over $20,000 in hearing technology and actually kept none of it.

    I fully understand sound how reproduction works and even though I may not have a string of letters after my name, I do have over 50 years of experience in audio production, and know what I'm talking about.

    The most difficult thing thus far is in finding someone who will LISTEN rather than Tell me what I need.

  19. Glad to hear what all goes into programming hearing aids. I see people talking about programming their own, and they make it sound simple. It apparently is NOT and while cost is still a factor for me, I'll let the professionals handle this for me.

  20. I love this video. It's like all those Apple's Right to Repair videos that I've been watching in the last few weeks. Thanks for such an entertaining video that actually provides an outstanding service to those of us who want to program our own hearing aids. I'm ready.

  21. Does the Noahlink Wireless work with the latest Phonak Audeo Life hearing aids? Looks like finding the software is the biggest hurdle. As a guy with a DAW I know enough about compression, nr, eq, etc. to do this and want to.

  22. How anyone would still want to program their own hearing aids after watching this is beyond me. It may not have been your intent, but this presentation was the most convincing plug for visiting an audiologist who follows best practices in order to take advantage of their skills and experience to do the job correctly.

  23. I know your goal was to overwhelm the viewer to show how complicated all this is, but I actually found this to be really informative. The sad truth is that most audiologists don’t really do all these things. The don’t give a crap about any audio while streaming, I would say 50% don’t do real ear measurements. Even things like the occlusion effect are just brushed off with a “how does that sound”. It really is hard to find a good audiologist, and your network doesn’t list any in my area. There really is a shortage of good audiologists.

  24. Is he for real, just potentially spend 13-20k to program your 3k hearing aid. Then spend the same is 5-6 years when you buy new aids and find that equipment won't work on new aids. 🤦


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