Customer Testimonials

Hearing Instruments Like No Other

I have been using a SeboTek Voice-Q 720 hearing aid for ten days. The experience is as close as I am likely to get to the miraculous.

I have been legally blind all my life, but had excellent hearing until about ten years ago. While my vision complicated my education, I was able to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees and spent my professional life in university teaching. I retired in 2000 as a professor of sociology and head of a Department of Sociology and Social Work at a regional state university. From 1992 to 2000 I also served as the university’s consultant on assistive technology. I provided information on the availability, costs and appropriateness of technology designed to assist people with disabilities involving vision, hearing, motor skills and cognitive deficits such as learning disabilities.

In 1995, I was diagnosed as having a hearing loss severe enough to merit the prescription of in the ear hearing aids. In 1999 I received a second pair of in the ear aids which were slightly more powerful. In 2001, I experienced two episodes of significant blockages of my inner ears. In each of these two instances, I experienced an increased hearing loss. Neither local specialists nor the Mayo Clinic was able to determine the cause of the episodes. An audiologist fitted me with behind the ear digital hearing aids. These aids enabled me to hear, but my comprehension was severely limited. I could no longer use a conventional phone, and even with specialized amplified phones I could only understand some people some of the time. I also had trouble with voices. While I could understand my wife if she was facing me, I could not understand my daughter, son-in-law or my grandchildren. My wife had to repeat anything that was said. I could understand some other people, but these were mostly men with low voices.

Several weeks ago, my audiologist told me about Sebotek digital hearing aids. Because of the severity of my hearing loss, she was not very optimistic about whether these devices could help me, but she arranged for a trial. I tried the Voice-Q 720 aids in both ears for a week. In evaluating the aids, I drew upon my experience with scientific method and in evaluating products for people with disabilities. I quickly determined that the hearing loss in my left ear was too severe to be significantly helped by the Sebotek aid. My right ear was a very different story. From the minute the audiologist inserted this aid in my right ear, I heard things I have not heard in years. I spent the next week, trying the hearing aid in as many environments as I could. I would alternate the Sebotek digital aid with my existing top of the line digital aid. I made it a point to randomly determine which aid I used first. I also tried to keep the time intervals as equal as I could for each device.

After a period lasting between two and three days, I stopped using my existing hearing aid and concentrated on the Sebotek. The difference in my hearing and comprehension was so great that additional comparison was pointless. During the rest of the trial, I concentrated on trying to find difficult conditions under which to try the Sebotek aid. I learned a number of things:

  • First, my general comprehension with the Sebotek aid was greatly improved even with my wife. She had to do far less repeating.
  • Second, I could understand my wife even when she was facing away from me.
  • Third, I heard sounds that I had not heard in the last four years. They included rain, certain bird sounds and high pitched squeaks in the hinges of our storm and screen door.
  • Fourth, for the first time in four years, I was able to use a conventional telephone. I cannot express what this means to me. When a phone would ring, I would have to answer and immediately ask the caller to hold. I would then get my wife or go to another room where I had an amplified phone that I might be able to use to understand the caller. I really came to appreciate the Sebotek about two days into the trial when our kitchen phone rang and my wife wasn’t close by. Without thinking, I switched to the voice coil setting on the hearing aid, picked up the phone and answered. I could understand the caller.
  • Fifth, I can understand my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Once again, I cannot adequately express what this means to me. I am also able to understand other people. So far, I have not found anyone that I cannot understand.
  • Sixth, in outdoor environments strong wind is not nearly so disturbing. With my previous hearing aid, I often had to shut the hearing aid off in strong wind conditions because it made the hearing aid too uncomfortable. We attended a neighborhood picnic on a day with a twenty mile an hour wind blowing and were sitting at a table facing the wind. I could hear the noise in the Sebotek aid, but it was manageable.
  • Seventh, initially Sebotek did no better than my old aid in environments where there were groups of people talking and or where there was a lot of background noise. At the end of the trial, I reported this to my audiologist. She programmed a setting into the aid that makes it highly directional. This not only solved the problem but also solved a related problem. We own an SUV which is fairly noisy. I have usually had trouble hearing my wife or even the radio on the vehicle. The new setting has eliminated this problem.

My experience with the SeboTek Voice-Q 720 may be somewhat unique. As a legally blind person, in my case, someone who cannot read conventional print or drive, I have depended on my hearing to compensate for things that that are lacking from my limited vision. For this reason, my hearing loss has been deeply troubling to me. The Sebotek has given me back sensory abilities that I thought were gone forever. The net result is that I am satisfied on all grounds. My only disappointment is that Sebotek does not currently make a hearing aid that is powerful enough to help the hearing in my left ear.

If they ever do, I will be struggling to be at the head of the line to be a user.

Daggett, MI