When I got my first pair of hearing aids, I was hesitating between a smaller and slightly cheaper model, and a somewhat larger and more expensive one. I honestly wasn’t sure the sound quality was better in the more expensive one. I thought it was, but I wasn’t sure.
What tipped the balance was that the more expensive hearing aids had a button that I could use to switch between programmes. And I wanted that. I was frustrated by the lack of control I had as a user on the hearing aid settings, and so the idea of having programmes I could switch between gave me something to hang on to.
Normal, noisy environment, quiet environment, mute.
When I tried Phonak Quest and then Venture, I got extra programmes. I was super happy! My current line-up is something like: normal (AutoSense), calm environment with nothing fancy added in, super zoom for loud environment, 360 zoom, speech in wind (for sailing) and music. Mute is in addition to all that. And the “normal” setting itself actually contains a whole bunch of programmes that the OS switches to automatically.
In reality, I almost never use my programmes. I do use mute (when working in a café, I’m happy to “turn the sound off”, or in public transport), but the programmes? The only times I really use them is when I’m struggling, and this usually results in me cycling through the programmes without really finding anything more satisfying than the initial setting.
For me this means two things:
- the automatic programme (AutoSense) is doing a pretty good job selecting the most appropriate setting for the acoustic situation I’m in, and as a result I’m rarely in trouble hearing;
- my desire for programmes has more to do with my peace of mind than with my actual necessity for them — something I suspected since the beginning; it reminds me of the disconnect between what you think will make you happy and what actually makes you happy…
If you have programmes and actually use them, I’d love to hear about it!