Both new and existing hearing aid users want the ability to hear and better understand speech in noisy environments such as restaurants, social events and parties. Gardner Audiology, a Tampa Bay hearing health company known for it’s consumer satisfaction research, did a hearing aid comparison study of the new Starkey Muse wireless hearing aids in 2017.
Gardner Doctors of Audiology offered 98 patients a free loan of this new technology in exchange for sharing sharing their perceived improvement with hearing speech in noise. Both custom in the ear and receiver in the canal style were offered. Patients were evaluated and the prescription fittings were validated using live speech mapping. Patients wore the hearing aids in the field for 2 weeks and received follow up care during that time. The average was 2 post fitting appointments and sometimes 3.
Participants were offered a choice of either the 1600, 2000, or the premium 2400 model. Audiologists recommended that participants choose a model that accommodated their lifestyle and budget. All three levels of Muse technology are designed to manage noise depending on patients’ lifestyle. The 1600 is economical and performs well for those with quiet lifestyles. The 2000 was better for people with casual lifestyles who struggle to listen in small family groups and quiet restaurants. The 2400 is better for active lifestyles because it has premium speech enhancement in presence of noise such as diverse restaurant environments, noisy work places, social events and parties.
Thirty-three of the participants chose the entry level 1600, twenty-one chose the 2000 and forty-four chose the 2400. Those who chose the 1600 rated a 40% improvement with hearing speech in noise. The mid level 2000 got a 56% improvement rating. The top of the line Muse 2400 received an outstanding 83% improvement rating.
These post fitting results correlated with patient comments during follow up and the doctors’ perception of patient satisfaction. It was common for a patient to start out with the 1600 or 2000 model but because of their curiosity or desire to hear better in noise they upgraded to the 2400. The improvement they received from the premium 2400 was outstanding and amazing compared to the previous model.
Consumers shopping for hearing aids want better hearing and the best value for the money. Their perception of value is based on cost and degree of hearing improvement for their lifestyle. Hearing healthcare providers cannot predict a consumer’s perception of value. In the case of the Starkey Muse wireless hearing aids, hearing providers can assure patients that they will have improved ability to hear speech in noise. Impressive and optimum results are delivered with The Muse 2400 model