My mother wore Miracle Ear analog hearing aids for about 15 years--the completely in-the-canal type--they were very reliable, required repairs infrequently, and she got excellent customer service from the franchise owner. She really had no complaints about either the hearing aids, her hearing, or the people she was dealing with. Her selection of the completely in-the-canal style was based on vanity--she didn't want anyone to be able to see she was wearing hearing aids.
Then the franchise owner switched from carrying Miracle Ear to Rhapsody, made by NuEar. At that point, my mother wanted to try digital aids, so she bought 2 in- the-canal (but not the smallest all the way inside the canal) top of the line Rhapsody hearing aids (they were $5200 for the pair almost three and a half years ago). She had problems with them from the get-go, and so did the people selling them. They had to adjust them using a computer program they were unfamiliar with, and they had great difficulty tuning them so she could hear speech, hear the TV, hear the doorbell, etc--the aids weren't automatically adjusting properly for different types of sounds, as they allegedly were supposed to do, and they weren't adjusting properly when she held a phone to her ear. Nothing that was done ever corrected all of the problems--she has continued to have problems hearing some types of sounds, or hearing in some situations. The numerous, somewhat frustrating, initial visits to get the adjustments made went well beyond the 30 days. They finally had to send one of the aids out to a lab to get the phone problem fixed because the aid kept giving off feedback no matter what they tried .
I wasn't happy with what was going on from the day she got the Rhapsody/NuEar aids, and I would have preferred she return them. But my mother had known these people for a long time, she liked dealing with them, and my mother isn't assertive about complaining. These aids never performed the way they should, as described, or touted, in their promotional material or by the seller. I think my mother actually has more difficulty hearing in a restaurant with these state-of-the-art digital aids than she ever had with her old analog Miracle Ears--the new ones pick up too much ambient noise, which is the opposite of what they should be doing. For $5200 my mother really got no improvement in her hearing over the analog aids she had been wearing previously. She also had far more repeated repair problems with one of the aids than seemed reasonable for a new device, but at least it had an initial two year warrenty that covered the charges. That hearing aid completely stopped working two months ago, and, since the warrenty had by then expired, the repair bill was $375 which included a new one year warrenty, but that's a lot less expensive than buying a new hearing aid.
I don't know whether the claims made for some of these hearing aids, like the Rhapsody/NuEar brand my mother purchased, just don't match what these hearing aids can actually do in terms of performance. I can't blame the people she purchased them from, because they've been in the hearing aid business for a very long time, and they did everything possible to try to address the issues my mother was having with these particular hearing aids. And my mother apparently wasn't the only person having problems because the hearing aid place she deals with seems to have dropped the Rhapsody/NuEar line and they are now acting as the franchised dealer for another make. Had Rhapsody been a rousing success I don't think that would have happened.
My mother's problems seem definitely related to the performance of those digital Rhapsody/NuEar hearing aids, and not to her type of hearing loss--she never had complaints about the old Miracle Ear analog aids. And she's always worn in-the-canal type aids. Whether she would be similarly disappointed with another brand of in-the-canal digital aids I don't know. But, I do know she had been promised she would experience a dramatic difference in her hearing, in all situations, when she shelled out her $5200--and that never happened. And, in some situations, her hearing was worse, and still seems worse, with these digital aids as compared to the old analog aids. But, she's learned to live with them, she definitely hears better with them then without them, and that's what's most important. She's going for another hearing test soon, so we may well be in for another round of adjustments and re-adjustments.
Allegedly, Rhapsody/NuEar is owned by Starkey, a major manufacturer of hearing aids, with a very good reputation, and Starkey circuitry is in the NuEar aids. Only about a handful of manufacturers make most of the hearing aids on the market, although they are sold under different brand names, so there really aren't radical differences in technology that should make one brand stand out over the others, or one brand drastically worse. I think most of the dissatisfaction, apart from possible poor customer service by a particular dealer, might simply be that these devices promise much more than they deliver, particularly at the high end of the price range. And, when people's expectations are high, and the aids can't deliver as promised, and the cost is high, you're going to hear a lot of complaints.
But I definitely agree with the article I linked to in my last post--a 30 day trial period is ridiculously short. At minimum, it should be twice that long.
I really hope you can find a solution that works well for you, littlek, whether it's a different model hearing aid, or a different make, or just some further adjustments to the ones you have now.