I finally got around to purchasing a new pair of hearing aids: the Widex Mind 440.
When I was trying to make up my mind I did a search to see if anyone had written a review of this hearing aid. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I did.
What I originally tried was the m4-m-CB model, which is a micro BTE with a thin tube. I really covet that thin tube, but my hearing loss is just too much for it. My disappointment was compounded by a poorly fitted earmold taken by a less-than-competent audiologist. I sent these back, but your mileage may vary. This model might be a great option for someone with a milder hearing loss, and who is willing to tolerate the smaller batteries in favor of a less-visible aid.
I still wanted a Widex BTE, so I wound up getting the m4-9 model. These are a larger BTE and so they have the larger size 13 batteries I wanted. They also have the larger tubes, which are ugly, but such is life. I got half-shell earmolds rather than the full (skeleton) shell, which makes them a bit smaller and more comfortable. The smaller shells are really quite nice, though again, someone else’s hearing profile may require a different solution.
So here’s my review of these new aids: they’re fine. Really. Just fine.
Do I like them? Yes, I do. They work just as well as my old ones, and I adjusted to them easily. Do I love them? Eh. Not really. I don’t notice anything groundbreaking about them.
Here’s the deal. When I was doing this research, everyone I talked to emphasized how much better hearing aids had become in the five years since my last purchase. All the audiologists and manufacturers made a point of telling me that the technology had gotten exponentially better in the past five years. I was prepared to have my mind blown.
You know what’s gotten better in the last five years? My iPod. Five years ago I had an iPod with a scrollwheel and a black & white, text-only interface for choosing music. Today, I have an iPhone 4 with a touchscreen that has the sharpest color interface I’ve ever seen, and it can play videos, games, and other apps in addition to playing music. Heck, it will even make phone calls if I stand in just the right place and hold it in just the right way!
Has Widex improved its product over the past five years to the same degree that Apple has? Not even close. Frankly, I can’t even tell the difference between my old hearing aids and my new ones. But the new ones? They’re just fine.