Meriah Nichols: What it’s like to wear waterproof hearing aids!

Posted on August 13, 2016

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Waterproof hearing aids are a big deal.

I mean, huge. HUGE! I don’t think you are actually likely to understand unless you actually use hear-wear. It’s enormous.

Just to kind of give you a glimpse, though, think about all the times in which water is around you: the shower, the pool, hot tubs, hot springs, ocean, rivers, RAIN?

Maybe it’s a bigger deal for me than for someone living in say, Kansas, since I’ve spent my entire life so far around the Pacific Ocean, but there is no denying that for any of us, all of us, water is a part of our lives.

Water is always in the back of my mind.

Someone turns on the sprinkler? DAMMIT! get that away from my hearing aids! Or the hose, or those sudden-dousing “fun” things? Boats, canoes, kayaks, all of that usually has me in anxiety.

My choice, you see, has always been to either participate in something that relates to water and take the chance of killing my super expensive piece of hear-ware OR participate with them off, rendering me unable to communicate, thanks to my lack of signing (parents; this is why you need to teach your kids ASL, okay?? so they are not stuck like I am now).

So I just about swooned when I saw that Siemens has a new TOTALLY WATERPROOF hearing aid out.

I know, for those of you who know hearing aids, this really does sound like an impossibility, doesn’t it? I mean, where does the battery casing go? The microphone? How can the microphone work if it’s encased? Doesn’t make sense. But I was so excited about the possibility, I went for it anyway.

These are the hearing aids:

siemensaquaris_battdoor_blk_4

They are clearly way smaller and lighter than my backups – my ears are grateful for that. They have no volume control or adjustments; completely digital. I’m fine with that, and used to it too, since my Phonak’s operate the same way.

I am not even using the phone anymore – too stressful – so I have not tested them for bluetooth/T-coil capacity.

Sound quality

It’s always a brain-bender to get used to a different sound system. The overall sound quality for the hearing aids is fine, it’s this strange sort of echo-y, tin-tastical-laced voiced sounds that kind of wanked me out. It’s like a dim, raspy-yet-clear- megaphone going straight into your ear canal. Does that make sense?

I think that the sound quality in Phonaks or non-waterproof Siemen’s models are better in terms of clarity.

The Water Part

1.Swimming

I went swimming with Mack and Moxie and wore them – and it was WEIRD. It was actually not fun because I’m not used to hearing all that and it kind of freaked me out. The water sounds crinkly and metallic and rather than a lovely silence that goes with the feeling of water, it’s this jarring bunch of sound. And people in pools are NOISY – I didn’t know that (or like it).

So… the hearing aids work fine while swimming. But I won’t be doing that again unless I absolutely have to.

2. Showering

I took a shower with them in and it was just… ugh! How can hearing people stand to listen to shampoo like that? It’s TERRIBLE! That lathering sound is excruciating.

While the sounds of the actual shower were like nails on chalkboard to me, I liked being able to hear Moxie scream from the yurt (- or did I?), I liked the measure of safety that I felt being able to hear as I showered, but… I gotta be honest, I’m not doing it again. I much prefer my silent showers, so I’m not sure I’m going to be using them in the shower unless I absolutely have to.

Overall

I’m a few months in to using these hearing aids as my primary hearing devices. I love them because here in Humboldt County, it rains a lot and I am never nervous anymore about getting my hearing aids wet outside while walking or hiking. That’s an awesome feeling.

I also like them while on the beach or river, because again, no worries about water accidentally destroying them.

But I won’t go swimming or shower with them in unless I have no choice. I can’t stand the unfamiliar sounds and much prefer my silence.

While I do think that the sound quality in Phonaks or non-waterproof Siemens models are superior to the sound quality in these, these bubbas are waterproof. I’m not getting the best quality sound, but since I’m a pretty active mom of 3 very active kids living in one of the rainiest parts of California with a lifestyle that revolves around water, I’ll take it.

Note:

This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I purchased the hearing aids through insurance and am only writing this review for other hear-wearers out there who might want to know about these. Questions? Please ask in the comments or message me. I’m happy to share more.

Meriah Nichols is a deaf Humboldt Housewife. She lives in a yurt off the grid, has a lot of chickens and blogs via satellite. She has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and tries hard to get all the dishes done. Stop by anytime. She’ll be glad for the distraction. (http://www.meriahnichols.com)

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

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