Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03.05.2014, 13:06
MrVertigo's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 3,200
Groaned at 86 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 5,788 Times in 2,254 Posts
MrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond repute
Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

The problem
My father (now in his early 80s) has been experiencing significant hearing loss in the last few years. It now reached a level that it starts to have a direct impact on quality of life when interacting with people, grandchildren or my mother. He finally accepted the idea that he needs hearing aid. I decided to help him in the selection process.

The context
Our constraints were efficiency, invisible hearing aid, easy to use and budget. Exploring the products and available services in Switzerland I found out that the cost will range from 2000 CHF up to 5000 CHF per ear!!!! Clearly something way beyond his budget (no insurance coverage in CH for my father). The costs are mainly due to the acoustician (40%), device (40%) and handling (20%).

The solution
While investigating I came across the company Sonetik. They are around in switzerland for 3 years and are disrupting the market. The founder was an executive at one of the big manufacturers based in CH. He claimed in media that the devices costs only 50CHF to produce and that unnecessary virtual costs are created by acoustician since most is paid by IV insurance. He wants to change the game by 3 innovations:
- the acoustic test is computer automated and does not require specific skills
- the distribution channel is pharmacy and not acousticians.
- hearing impairments are classified in 4 categories and devices are preconfigured for these 4 categories (no tuning work required and handling).

the result: it costs all inclusive 495CHF per ear!!!!!!

I went through the process with my father: he was able to test during 1 week for free the Sonetik devices. We spent 1 hour at the shop with a consultant who gave great and accurate information and we left with the hearing aid devices for testing. Similar reports from different people confirm that the quality of devices are as good as those several thousands CHF devices. It has also 2 years warranty.

So if you need hearing aid do consider one of these Sonetik devices before investing several thousands of CHF. I can provide the name of the shop I dealt with in Bern if there is interest.
Disclaimer: I have no link or any financial interest in Sonetik. I wanted just to share my experience in avoiding being switzerlanded.

Here are some links for your own investigation:

- Sonetik AG
- TV report on swiss TV SF1 (german)
- Berner Zeitung article (german)
- Forum discussing hearing aid for elderly (german)
__________________
Resist, support, donate: ACLU
They tried to bury us, they did not know that we are seeds (Mexican proverb)
The following 14 users would like to thank MrVertigo for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 03.05.2014, 13:15
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rolle
Posts: 125
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 27 Times in 24 Posts
Kristofolo has earned some respectKristofolo has earned some respect
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

That's really cheap. For that price did you really get an invisible, in-the-ear hearing aid?
  #3  
Old 03.05.2014, 13:30
MrVertigo's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 3,200
Groaned at 86 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 5,788 Times in 2,254 Posts
MrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Quote:
View Post
That's really cheap. For that price did you really get an invisible, in-the-ear hearing aid?
We did the test with relatives who were not informed that my father had hearing aid devices. They did not notice anything except that my father didn't ask them to repeat when speaking. You don't see it if you do not pay close attention. I am sitting 2m away from my father and I don't see them. If you look closer to his ears then you see it (my father has also spectacles).
This user would like to thank MrVertigo for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 03.05.2014, 13:40
MathNut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kt. Glarus
Posts: 4,417
Groaned at 34 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 10,952 Times in 3,253 Posts
MathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Interesting. I guess this is sort of the hearing-aid equivalent of reading glasses, then? Might not perfectly match the wearer's "prescription", but for 10% or so of the cost, close enough could be good enough - certainly miles better than none.
  #5  
Old 03.05.2014, 16:37
MrVertigo's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 3,200
Groaned at 86 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 5,788 Times in 2,254 Posts
MrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Quote:
View Post
Interesting. I guess this is sort of the hearing-aid equivalent of reading glasses, then? Might not perfectly match the wearer's "prescription", but for 10% or so of the cost, close enough could be good enough - certainly miles better than none.
From what I read it seems that 95% of people fall in one of the 4 categories identified by Sonetik. If your acoustic profile shows that you don't fit in the segments then you need to buy a more "traditional" device.

Some other comments and remarks:

- the competition tried to lobby to categorize the Sonetik device into the "amplifier" category in order not to benefit from IV insurance coverage
- the federal administration actually included the device as "hearing aid" in the list of supported devices by the IV insurance (i.e you may pay nothing if it's a prescription from your medical doctor).

all sources in german:
- Price comparison on "hearing aid" performed by federal administration.

- List of supported devices by the federal administration for IV insurance
__________________
Resist, support, donate: ACLU
They tried to bury us, they did not know that we are seeds (Mexican proverb)
The following 4 users would like to thank MrVertigo for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 03.05.2014, 18:27
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,489
Groaned at 413 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,422 Times in 10,577 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Excellent info, thanks.

I hope we get similarly great news about other stuff needing competitors pushing the prices into reasonable scale: dental services, dental implants, a little more complicated glasses than just simple reading glasses, some meds, etc. I am tired of outsourcing abroad, but one saves a fortune.
This user would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 03.05.2014, 18:38
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

My first real job was at the uk's largest hearing aid co. Doing there IT. The cost then where around £35 for the actual hearing aid, the big costs where making the individual mould for the aid to go in, and the commission for the audiologist and of course the companies spend a fortune on advertising.

At the time the most expensive aid retailed at £5k, I know the cost price was £60, we charged more for the warrantee then the aid cost us.

Of course you can get cheap generic ones but they won't be moulded to your ear.
  #8  
Old 03.05.2014, 19:13
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 10,982
Groaned at 34 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 25,906 Times in 8,018 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Mr Vertigo, may I ask if your father is happy with how the Sonetik hearing aids work with the telephone?

My mother wears traditional hearing aids but says she cannot use these on the telephone due to feedback noise, so we are looking for alternatives. (At the Sonetik price, I'd be willing to roll the dice...)
  #9  
Old 03.05.2014, 19:40
Mélusine's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lutry
Posts: 3,900
Groaned at 32 Times in 27 Posts
Thanked 5,530 Times in 2,226 Posts
Mélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

My grandmum has sever hearing loss. She invested (with some help from her insurance) in one of those overpriced hearing aids, paying several thousands francs for it.

She used it about twice, decided it was too uncomfortable, partly because of background noise,and now the thing sleeps in a drawer...
This user would like to thank Mélusine for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 03.05.2014, 19:44
MrVertigo's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 3,200
Groaned at 86 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 5,788 Times in 2,254 Posts
MrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond reputeMrVertigo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Hearing aid: how to avoid being "switzerlanded"

Quote:
View Post
Mr Vertigo, may I ask if your father is happy with how the Sonetik hearing aids work with the telephone?

My mother wears traditional hearing aids but says she cannot use these on the telephone due to feedback noise, so we are looking for alternatives. (At the Sonetik price, I'd be willing to roll the dice...)
no audio feedback or Larsen effect when my father uses mobile phone or any other phone. He only had to get used to placing the phone's speaker a little bit higher as the hearing aid's microphone is behind the ear. Other than that no problem at all so far (1 month usage so far).
The good thing is that it's Sonetik's policy to let customers test the devices for 3-5 days for free.

Last edited by MrVertigo; 03.05.2014 at 19:59.
The following 2 users would like to thank MrVertigo for this useful post:
 

Tags
acoustician, costs, hearing aid




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Being "Switzerlanded" Caleb Daily life 158 30.07.2014 21:22
How to "restore" a wood table surface without sanding or "too" much effort? Chuff General off-topic 14 06.11.2013 09:13
Ways to avoid "looking American" DesertDweller Introductions 108 03.09.2012 11:32
"Swiss banks step up efforts to identify, quarantine, avoid US citizens" Curt Permits/visas/government 54 02.07.2012 19:42
How is "doch" on it's own an appropriate answer to "how are you?" MaryThomi Language corner 12 22.03.2010 21:47


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:06.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0