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What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
The Veteran’s Administration has contracts in place with six major hearing aid manufacturers - GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens (Signia), Starkey, and Widex. The VA uses the manufacturer’s premium levels of technology-the same hearing aids that sell for the highest prices in the private sector. There are several styles of hearing aids available, from... Read more

I am looking to get hearing aids for my grandmother, but I was wondering, are there any traveling audiologists that will come to her? Or does she need to go to a audiologist’s office with a sound proof booth?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
Great question. I think it largely depends on where you are and whether there are any audiologists that provide "home visits" or "home care" in your area. You have a couple of options. 1) Go to Google and search for "{your city} audiology home visits" or something similar. 2) You can also check out the Hearing Tracker listings in your area to see if... Read more

What are the best hearing aids?

Tom goyne aud
Thomas Goyne, AuD
Several factors come into consideration when considering what hearing aids to choose from. It is important to find a knowledgeable and experienced hearing health professional -- an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser -- to help you arrive at the best devices for you. The case can be made that finding this professional is the most important part of the... Read more

What are best practices in audiology?

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Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD
Best practices are a set of professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing aid balance disorders.  They are determined following years of clnical and laboratory research.  For example, the American Academy of Audiology lists standards and guidlines here.  Best... Read more

Does the Resound LiNX2 have a hands-free capability of talking on iPhone without bringing the iPhone up to the mouth?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
It absolutely does, but requires the Phone Clip+.  The Linx2 allows audio through the iPhone wirelessly, but still requires you to use the microphone of the iPhone.  The Phone Clip+ becomes the microphone.  It additionally allows you to make program changes, volume changes, mute functionality, and answering/rejecting an incoming phone call.

Is it true that some hearing aids are locked? I am considering purchasing hearing aids at Costco, but want to be sure I can have them adjusted elsewhere (in case I move, etc).

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Duane Smelser, HIS
Yes.  At Costco, the brand that is has proprietary software is Kirkland, which is made by Resound. Other proprietary brands available elsewhere are Miracle Ear (made by Siemens), Audibel (made by Starkey), Oticon aids purchased from Avada (corporate owned stores).  There are probably more but these are the ones I'm most familiar with.  It's important to... Read more

Does Phonak make a hearing aid with Bluetooth, telecoil, and rechargeable batteries?

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Recently, Phonak launched their new platform that should be shipping out as we speak caled the Audeo Belong Rechargeable or Audeo B-R.  According to the materials that we received from Phonak they are claiming that the hearing instrument charges very quickly with about 24 hours of batt life.  They also explain in their documents that the hearing... Read more

What can cause a hearing aid, such as the Phonak Virto v90, to raise and lower volume randomly while watching TV?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
Most new hearing aid technology now features automatic analysis of your listening environment to react to background noise and take measures when this occurs in order to optimize speech intelligibility for you.  As an example, when you go from a quiet room to a restaurant, the hearing aids may react by initiating its directional microphones to limit the... Read more

What's the difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
The primary differences between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist (or "dispensers") is their level of training and scope of practice.  Audiologists have either a masters degree or doctorate in the field of audiology ( total of 6 - 8 years of higher education), and as such have an extensive amount of training in just about everything... Read more

What do hearing aids sound like?

Tom goyne aud
Thomas Goyne, AuD
For first-time users, hearing aids will often sound “tinny” or “amplified” or even seemingly too loud for the first few days of use. This is because for most first-time users, their brains have forgotten what it is like to hear normally, which is part of a process that is often referred to as auditory deprivation. However, after regular use of the... Read more

Does Medicare cover hearing aids?

Tom goyne aud
Thomas Goyne, AuD
As of March, 2016, Medicare does not cover hearing aids, nor does Medicare cover hearing tests done solely for the purposes of hearing aid selection and programming. However, Medicare does reimburse for hearing evaluations performed for medical purposes.While Medicare does not cover hearing aids, there are some secondary coverage plans for individuals... Read more

Why do hearing aids whistle?

Tom goyne aud
Thomas Goyne, AuD
Similar to a public address system, a hearing aid can hum, whistle, or ring when amplified sound comes out of the hearing aid’s loudspeaker and is picked up by the microphone and re-amplified, over and over again. This creates what’s called an acoustic feedback loop.Possible causes of feedback include:Improper insertion into the user’s ear.Improper... Read more

Does barometric pressure affect hearing?

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Natalie Phillips, AuD
You may experience some brief hearing loss and pressure in the ear with the change in atmospheric pressure, however, hearing may be affected permanently if there was damage to the ear due to barometric pressure changes. Cilck here is some further information.

Who fits hearing aids?

Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
Hearing aids are fit by licensed professionals, usually audiologists or hearing instrument specialists. An audiologist has typically completed 6-8 years of higher education and holds a Masters or Doctoral degree in Audiology. A hearing instrument specialist has typically completed licensure requirements as defined by the state in which they practice.... Read more

I have a cochlear Baha 5 SuperPower implant on my left side and wear a ReSound hearing aid on right side. Would there be a noticeable improvement by having a second Baha installed on the right side?

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Lynn M Firestone, AuD
It would depend on the hearing loss in your right ear. That is something that you should discuss with your provider.

Is Costco's ReSound Cala a "made-for-iPhone" aid?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
If you look at Apple's official made-for-iPhone (MFi) compatible device list you will see that the ReSound Cala is not listed. The only Kirkland Signature device listed as MFi is the KS 6.0. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure whether Apple's guide is updated. If you take a look at ReSound's Cala guide, you will find the following: "You can... Read more

What hearing aids are easiest to use for an elderly person?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Purchasing hearing aids for a person of any age or lifestyle requires a significant amount of consideration.  The "best" or "easist" or "most durable" hearing aid depends on the person's hearing acuity, communication needs, lifestyle, dexterity, vision, cognition, and preferences.  Many patients, of all ages, like the option of rechargeable batteries for... Read more

Are there any differences between the Resound hearing aids sold at Costco and other Resound hearing aids?

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Daniel Caleb Dowell
Based on a visual comparison, the ReSound Cala is the same as ReSound LiNX2. Unfortunately, ReSound doesn't allow independent providers access to the technical specifications of their Costco line of hearing aids. In fact, Costco purchased hearing aids are software "locked" and can only be adjusted at Costco hearing aid locations. Typically, Costco... Read more

Why is it difficult to understand words with hearing aids?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Hearing loss is categorized into three types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.  A conductive hearing loss means there is an issue in the middle ear space (ear drum and middle ear bones) causing the hearing loss; a sensorineural hearing loss means there is an issue in the inner ear and/or beyond, and a mixed hearing loss is a combination of a... Read more

Is nerve damage to the ear due to loud noise reversible?

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Douglas Brown, MS
As has been noted in the other responses, noise can damage the auditory system.  The amount of hearing loss can vary due to not only the level and duration of the noise, but can be complicated by other factors such as genetics and whether you are a tobacco smoker (higher occurence in smokers than non smokers), or have a medical condition such as diabetes... Read more

What is the Roger Pen, and how can it help me hear better?

Noreen Gibbens, AuD
I had a recent fitting of  Roger Pen that I want to share.  The patient is well into her 90s, with a moderate to severe flat loss and poor word understanding abilities. She came in to see us because she was continuing to struggle, despite having what many would  describe as "premium level" hearing aids.   I was a bit concerned that the Roger Pen... Read more

How do I remove earwax?

Rebecca Gomer, AuD
In ideal situations, the ear canal should not need to be cleaned as cerumen (earwax) acts as a self cleaning and lubricating agent in the healthy ear.  However, at times the canal will develop an abundance of cerumen that will need to be removed.  Especially if you are experiencing pain, loss of hearing in that ear, itching or odor from the ear canal, or... Read more

If removing earwax does not improve my hearing, what is the next step?

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Kristen Armstrong, AuD
You should visit an audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. If your hearing decreased suddenly, it is a medical emergency and you should contact an ENT right away.

Is there a difference between the Alta2 Pro and the Alta2 Pro miniRite?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
The Oticon Alta2 Pro was offered in the following behind-the-ear form factors (or styles):Alta2 Pro miniRITE (reviews)Alta2 Pro designRITEAlta2 Pro RITEAlta2 Pro miniBTEAlta2 Pro BTE13 and BTE13 105 (Power aid)Each of the styles is slightly different. Some are smaller, some are larger, some offer more manual control (push button and/or volume control),... Read more

Which hearing aids have the best directional microphones?

Dr. timothy c. steele  audiologist
Timothy Charles Steele, PhD
Technically, I believe all manufacturers use the same microphones but the algorithms that each digital hearing aid uses for processing vary greatly.  I think it would be difficult to answer exactly what "directional microphones are best in which hearing aids" because each manufacturer has their own proprietary hardware and software that is responsible... Read more

Where can I buy a Soundhawk? Has the company gone out of business?

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Mark Bogner, HIS
The company has ceased operations. A brief statement can be found on this Soundhawk's support homepage.

Is there a product I can purchase to reduce the chance of losing my hearing aids? I lead a very active lifestyle, exercise often, and hike with a hat that covers my ears. My hearing aids are Resound LiNX LS961.

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I would also recommend EarGear.  The other recommendation would be to have custom earmolds made to put over the end of the reciever.  These will help keep the receivers (speakers) in you r ear better.  Your hearing care provider should be able to get them for you.

What is ReSound Cala?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
The Resound Cala is currently on sale at Costco, and looks to be the newest product offering from Resound (superseding the previous Costco-only Sola models). Many compared the Resound Sola to the first generation of Resound's LiNX hearing aids, which were one of the first Made-for-iPhone hearing aids to hit the market (and a hugely successful product for... Read more

Who makes Voyage hearing aids? The ones sold at CVS.

Harriet B Jacobster, AuD
Rexton manufactures the Voyage line of Hearing Aids sold at CVS.

I am looking for a BiCros hearing aid. Currently on trial with Audibel A4i Platinum and trying to find the right hearing aid. What manufacturer is recommended? Any other suggestions?

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Sara Carnevale Fearon, AuD
Hi - as other's have already mentioned, both Widex and Phonak have excellent BiCROS devices you could try.  Audibel is Starkey - so you are already demoing that system.  Although the device you choose is important, choosing the professional you will be working with is just as important, if not more so.  Make sure you are working with an audiologist who... Read more

What is the quality of Blamey Saunders hearing aids?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
I cannot personally vouch for Blamey Saunders products, but here's what I was able to dig up on the internet:"Australia Hears is now known as Blamey & Saunders. Their aids are made by America Hears, who happen to use ADRO which was developed by a company started by Blamey. The CEO of America Hears is listed as a team member on the Blamey &... Read more

Does Starkey plan to market a TV streamer for Halo 2

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Currently there is no accessory/TV streamer option for the Halo 2. Starkey's accessories run off a 900MHz wireless technology, which work with all but their Halo 2 devices. The Halo 2 devices run off of 2.4GHz wireless technology.

Does Oticon Opn allow me to stream calls directly from an iPhone like the Linx or Halo aid?

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Kristen Armstrong, AuD
Yes, Oticon Opn works with iPhone. You can stream phone calls and audio directly to the hearing aids from iPhone 5 and 6 devices. There is also an app that can be downloaded to iPhone, as well as several android devices, that will allow the user to adjust their Opn hearing aids for various environments. The app includes a way to track your hearing aids... Read more

How long do the batteries last in the Halo 2 hearing aids?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
My experience with the battery life for Halo2 hearing aids is that they last about 7-10 days, based on full-time use (12+hours per day).  This can be affected by the amount of streaming use (i.e. cell phone, other app).  If you are a heavy cell phone user or watch movies on your iPad, the drain could be even higher.

How well does the ReSound LiNX2 9 RIE 62 work with an Android smartphone? Are there any limitations compared to an iPhone?

Sarah Chipman, AuD
Dan Schwartz's answer was very thorough. The shorter answer: any cell phone will work with the ReSound LiNX or LiNX2 wireless hearing aids if you have a ReSound phone clip. You can use them for phone calls with Samsung Galaxy or Note phones with Bluetooth 4.0, but you won't hear anything else through the hearing aids without a phone clip. You can hear it... Read more

I have a 60% hearing loss in my left ear and no hearing in my right ear. What kind of hearing aid can help me? I also need one that will connect to my smartphone.

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Goutham Gosu, AuD
I would suggest trying a BICROS hearing device; a couple of different manufacturers carry these kind of hearing aids which are smartphone compatiable. I would reccomend researching Signia (Siemens), Phonak, & Starkey. At this given time those 3 have the most updated technology when it comes to BICROS devices. 

Why does my hearing aid beep while I'm chewing food?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
When you chew, you hearing canal actually changes shape. You can test this yourself by placing your pinky finger into your earcanal, then opening and closing your mouth (make sure you take your hearing aid out first). When your earcanal changes shape, this can often lead to amplified sound leaking out of your earcanal around the sides of a custom-molded... Read more

What does a seven-tone "tune" coming from one of my Oticon Alta 2 hearing aids mean?

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Kara Norcross, AuD
I spoke with Oticon.  They stated it is likely the Start-up "jingle" meaning it is the tones that come one when the hearing aid is first turned on.  If you are having the tones happen after you've worn them a while, it indicates the power is going off and coming back on.  You can change the battery. If it is a new battery you probably want to try a new... Read more

Over the past week, I have been experiencing imbalance when I walk. It’s worse when I bend over. What’s causing this, and is there anything I can do?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
As Kristi indicated, a full audiological evaluation is warranted.  Your primary care physician should be notified and you should request a referral to see an audiologist who specializes in vestibular (balance) testing.  Just a disclaimer that I am not specialized in this area of audiology but I frequently refer patients experiencing extreme symptoms like... Read more

I get a lot of moisture in my ears from my hearing aids and I get a bad smell and have to use ear drops frequently. Would the Eargo help to prevent this problem?

Clemmons nc
C. Scott Mills, AuD
I am familiar with Eargo and the idea behind it is to allow some ventilation around and through those little tendrils that cover the end of the hearing aid. It's a good theory and certainly may create less surface contact on the skin in the ear canal. As others have noted, your underlying problem may be a skin issue that needs to be treated. The... Read more

My mother uses hearing aids that are 14 years old. She is having difficulty hearing, but is covered under Medicare. Are there any programs that could help her afford a new pair of hearing aids?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Depending on her household income, she may qualify for Starkey's Hear Now program. She can contact the program directly to obtain an application at 1-800-648-4327, or she can call them and ask for a referral to a local provider who would help facilitate the application and provide testing, dispensing, and follow up care. Another option would be to seek... Read more

Is Phonak Audeo V a significant upgrade to Audeo Q ?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
In addition to quicker processing and bandwidth which leads to brighter sound quality and understanding in a non-distored inner ear, the Venture line of Phonak devices has better understanding in noise. This includes car noise and background noise. All of the features available in the device does depend on the tier/level of device that an individual... Read more

Why doesn't the hearing aid push button change the sound when I press it?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
There are 2 reasons why a pressing Push Button may not alter the sound quality: (1) The button has not been programmed to control anything or (2) If it has been programmed to control volume or a specific environment, it may need an adjustment to work better for you.  Let me elaborate.  During a hearing aid fitting with a new user, I typically don't... Read more

Why does my hearing aid keep beeping? It's not the low battery sound.

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
There could be several reasons that device is beeping and this may be dependent on the type of device that you have. Reasons could include: losing connection to it's partner, a button being stuck and changing the settings, poor battery contact, intermittency, damaged module, etc. I would recommend calling your provider's office to solve the problem.

I have had ringing in my right ear for about 2 weeks. My ear feels plugged up with partial hearing and no pain. What should I do?

Abram bailey
Abram Bailey, AuD
I don't typically answer these questions, but my personal opinion is to seek medical attention immediately. Your symptoms may be caused by something as simple as an earwax blockage, which can be easily remedied by your local doctor. However, the worst case scenario is that you're suffering from a case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is... Read more

I am 62 and new to hearing aids. My test shows loss in mid-range freq. I have to turn the TV up and lose words in conversations, etc. I want the best hardware - small, light-weight. Which will work better for me Signia primax 7px or Oticon Opn?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
Both of these devices can be excellent. Which one is better for you would depend on a variety of factors that you would need to discuss with your audiologist. I have patients using both products and each is happy. I agree with Melanie that you may want to try both in the office and see which you prefer. They can both be lightweight and small but they... Read more

Where are hearing aids manufactured?

Kurt mooney
Kurt Mooney, BC-HIS
It depends on the manufacturer.  Starkey, for example, is an American-based company that manufactures their devices in the United States.  Oticon, ReSound, Wydex, and a few others originate from Denmark.  There are hearing instruments produced in many other countries as well.  However, almost every one of them has a state-side office where... Read more

What iPhone apps are good for people with hearing loss? What are you recommending to your patients?

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Gene Woodard, PhD
a great app i stumbled onto is called TUNITY and it is FREE - the best kind of app!  it is strictly for television listening and streams the audio signal from the tv to a smart phone.  IF the smart phone is also bluetooth connected to hearing aids, the user can stream realtime tv audio to the hearing aids via the phone.  it is a simple app to use.  there... Read more

Are the new Oticon Opn hearing aids really that much better in background noise? I am considering upgrading from Alta2.

Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD
We have only fit a handful of patients so far. But, so far the feedback (no pun intended) has been great for hearing in noise! We all have different abilities to hear in noise and from my standpoint, this is a key factor in personalizing any solution.

What is sensorineural hearing loss?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
Sensorineural hearing loss is a reduced sensitivity to sound from damage, malfunction, or malformation in the sensory and/or neural auditory pathways. This can occur within the cochlea (organ of hearing) from damaged stereocilia, hair cell bodies, nerve connections, or the 8th cranial nerve itself. It is not necessarily nerve damage itself but this could... Read more

Which in-the-ear hearing aids are best for moderate-to-profound hearing loss? I'm a 45 year-old long-time HA user who must hear well in board meetings and on the phone. Price is not an issue. My audio in both ears is 45-60-65-75-85-90-95

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Christopher Hamilton, AuD
The hearing aid manufacturer is not nearly as important as the professional you choose. Of the many brands of hearing devices available, many can and will work well, assuming they are programmed properly using standard verification methods. I would recommend focusing on finding an excellent Doctor of Audiology and the everything else should fall into place. 

Are LiNX2 ITE hearing aids more susceptible to moisture than Phonak Virto hearing aids?

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Custom hearing device products do not have IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, only behind-the-ear devices do. For moisture, the highest score a product can receive is an 8, which means it is waterproof. Custom devices between ReSound or Phonak are likely to be similar, with a rating of 7, which means it can be submersed in water for up to 30 min and still... Read more

Are there any differences between normal Phonak hearing aids and the Phonak hearing aids sold at Costco, in terms of quality and performance?

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Sara Carnevale Fearon, AuD
The Phoank Brio is the line available at Costco. The new Audeo models (Vs) run on a newer/faster computer chip and therefore give better sound quality. They have some other new features including a wind noise reducer (one of the biggest hearing aid complaints is wind noise). Basically, the Brio is an older version of Phonak's technology - depending on... Read more

What can be done to help nerve deafness?

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Teresa Burns, AuD
"Nerve Deafness" is a term which people sometimes use to refer to sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss due to damage to the cochlea (inner ear) or the nerve connecting the cochlea to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetic conditions, ototoxic medication, illnesses and other... Read more

My husband was tested at AccuQuest this week for hearing aids. The cost is $5800.00. Can you tell me if AccuQuest is ripping consumers? We didn't think they would be this expensive.

Are hearing aids from the VA locked?

My ENT recommend Soundhawk to help with tinnitus is this possible?

My grandparents are in their 90's and are interested in hearing aids, but they are also nervous they will buy them and end up not using them. I would love to hear other patient's and healthcare professions experience and ease of use once adjusted properly

Are the voyage hearing aids from CVS locked? Or can they be adjusted elsewhere?

What are the differences between the Resound Linx2 9 and Costco Cala 8?

What are the upgrades from Phonak Brio R-312T?

Is Phonak Audeo B a significant upgrade to Audeo V?

I'm suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss of maybe 10-20%. Would the Oticon Nera2 would help me?

Is there any point to getting the Resound LiNX2 962 model to have the telecoil?

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Juliette Sterkens, AuD
Absolutely! I highly recommend you obtain hearing aids that offer Bluetooth and telecoil technology. I have personally fit thousands of hearing aids with telecoils and worked with consumers around the country that have benefited from this feature.  While hearing aids have come a long way in the last decade, they do not give you normal hearing and most... Read more

I am considering upgrading from the Resound Verso to the Resound LiNX2 962. How much improvement can I expect in noisy situations, without using the remote mic or iPhone app?