MDHearingAid FIT TekThing Review

Patrick Norton and Shannon Morse review the MDHearingAid FIT

Patrick: We mentioned in the opening of the show that we had a hearing aid.

Shannon: Yes.

Patrick: Somebody who does PR for the MDHearingAid Group called me and said, “Do you want to test a hearing aid?” I was like, “Sure, it’s digital”. The MDHearingAid FIT is inside of this case. It comes with 10 batteries, a bunch of optional tips and a single one costs $524.99.

Shannon: Wow.

Patrick: I think we can get a close up of it. There it is in an ear, right there. That is actually relatively inexpensive for a hearing aid. Let that sink in. $524.99. Look, if your headphones, your ear-buds, or your stereo, or you’re at a concert that is over 100dB for more than 15 minutes, you’re starting to permanently damage your hearing. You’re starting to take the little hairs inside of your ear and hammer them flat, and they don’t come back.

Most studies say that hearing loss is growing rapidly in the 12-19 year-old range, probably the 20-something range too. I’ve seen estimates as high as one in five.

Shannon: Oh wow.

Patrick: … And that it’s gone up considerably over the last two decades, as people go from Walkman to smartphones and wear them more often and play them louder. There’s more deaf people in the over 70 range in terms of years on the planet, but seriously, the longer people listen to smartphones or, before them, Walkman and Discman. If you’re walking by somebody, if you’re walking by a friend of yours in high-school or college and you’re five feet away and you can hear their ear-buds, tell them to turn it down, because they’re going to make themselves deaf. It’s bad.

MDHearingAid FIT, it is tiny by hearing aid standards, it’s in-ear not behind, it’s digital and traditionally the old-school hearing aids were analog so they elevated the volume of everything that hit the microphone on the hearing-aid. This has noise-reduction, feedback suppression, it has four different settings so you can taper off the low-end or the high-end or adjust it for different situations. It is not as good for a lot of people as custom range boosting or suppressing hearing aids, but those tend to cost in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

Shannon: I hope insurance covers those.

Patrick: In many cases it doesn’t, but we’ll talk about that in a second.

I’d use one of the sizing tips which is the piece you see on the end, the little rubber piece on the end. It was too loose in my big hawking ears,otherwise. It was funny because at first, I thought it sounded really grainy, but it turned out I had a setting on that blocked everything but the high-end. Again programmable sound settings to custom range, to custom tune for different ranges.

It’s not Bluetooth, which is something my neighbor loves. He did a lot of rock and roll studio work in his youth and a lot of machine work and between that, and a later incident involving a pressure change in a plane, lost about 80% of his hearing in one ear and about 30% or 40% in the other. He loves the fact that he can use his hearing aids Bluetooth connect to his smartphone and it’s also been really interesting to actually learn more about hearing aids, partially from my neighbor and partially figuring out how to review this.

MDHearingAid, Audicus kind of all sell direct. Kirklands/Costco have their own brand of hearing aids. If you want to learn more, there’s a really good article on Consumer Reports, their hearing aid buying guide, which just came out in September, 2015. Couple of things they recommend; get evaluated with a full hearing loss profile, i.e. they test your hearing, before you buy anybody’s hearing aids. If you’re a veteran, start with your local VA facility because you can often get hearing aids for free and most veterans say that their service was outstanding in terms of the process of getting the hearing aids.

Really, this works for $525. Try really hard to not destroy your hearing because this sucks, compared to hearing things directly. Nothing against MDHearingAid, and I think they’d agree, preserve your hearing. Hearing loss is cumulative and just wear ear-buds to concerts. We can give you recommendations for ear-buds that make music sound good and allow you to listen without destroying your hearing. Turn the volume down, especially if you wear ear-buds. Oh my goodness, if you run power drills, or if you run power tools, use ear protection, because you cannot get hearing back once it’s gone.

Shannon: I hear people on municipal buses, and things of that nature, all the time with their headphones on and I can hear the music all the way down in the same car. It’s terrible.

Patrick: Protect your hearing. That’s it. If you got any questions ask at tekthing.com.

Shannon: Rant over.

Patrick: I’m just saying. You only get your … Hearing is like teeth. You only get one set. One set of hearing and teeth…