Waterproof Hearing Aids! A Review of Siemens Aquaris

Review of Siemens Aquaris: fully waterproof hearing aids

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.

Siemens Aquaris: A Waterproof Hearing Aid

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
Sexy beast! Bring on the beige, baby!

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.

siemensaquaris_spec_blk_4Sound 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
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
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@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
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18 Comments

  • Dear Meriah:

    I’m the scientific marketing manager at Signia, formerly Siemens Hearing Instruments. I was thrilled to see your review of our Aquaris hearing aid! I’m so glad that they’re able to put your mind at ease now that you don’t have to worry about your hearing aids getting wet, but it’s too bad that wearing them when swimming or showering bothers you so much. Listening in water does take a bit of getting used to! 🙂 Just out of curiosity, do you have a Water Program set up in your Aquaris to use exactly in those situations? The water program typically cuts down on the excessive noise and distortion audible when in water.

    Rebecca

    • Hi Rebecca,

      No, I don’t think I do have a water program set up with the Aquaris… I wasn’t aware of such a thing. Would it be something that my audiologist would specifically do on his/her own or something I would have participated in?

      Thanks,

      meriah

      • Hi Meriah:

        Yes, adding a water program is something you could ask your audiologist. Reducing compression around 1-2k Hz may also help. Of course without knowing more about your hearing loss or listening needs, these are just very broad suggestions. Your audiologist will be able to help you best. Water moving across the microphone membranes will cause noise, just like if you move your fingers across them. They won’t be completely eliminated. So to an extent, it is something that you have to learn to get use to. But these are just some very general suggestions how the hearing aid settings could be adjusted so that it may become more tolerable to you.

  • Does it have a volume control…so you can lower the volume when you want to and also raise it when you do? Like the older hearing aud models? I hate the ones that you cannot change the sound levels…that you only could click doen or up a few clicks then when theres a loud noise it shuts off then you have to redo the volume. A big pain. And how strong is the sound volume?

    • No, it doesn’t have a volume control.. 🙁 But I’m not sure how they could because the casing is completely solid and smooth, so it can go in the water. You can’t even switch this one off or change the phone settings – it’s just on or off. That’s it.
      The sound volume IS strong though. I’m at the highest level of the sound setting – I’m profoundly deaf – and I can hear (not as well as with my phonaks or even my really old Siemen’s).
      The good news is that if you have insurance, even standard government health insurance like Medi-cal, you can get these either fully or partially covered. If you have backup hearing aids already, then it’s a good call to have something you can get wet.

  • These hearing aids are HORRENDOUS. I rely on these for lifeguarding, teaching aerobics, teaching swim lessons, etc. and these hearing aids shut off when air cannot reach the battery, (every 10 mins from entering pool, and every few mins after this point) These hearing aids may be water-resistant, but NOT water-proof. They are submersible to 6 ft for 30 mins. (again, not water proof) 2 weeks after purchasing the hearing aids i tried them in water, and they kept shutting off continuously, and would not turn back on. Assuming it was the fault of the battery or battery door, I put it in the other way, which caused the battery door to break off. Siemens sent me a new one (yay…) then today, during teaching swim lessons The battery door broke off the other, and water entered the hearing aid on the other ear. Causing more damage. These hearing aids have a known issue with the battery doors, and while i did appreciate siemens sending me the first replacement aid, it’s certainly not helping now that i’m going to need THREE of these darn hearing aids in only FOUR months. I am using another kind of battery, however, it still doesn’t work entirely, when the hearing aid is broken. It really is such a shame a company could market these hearing aids as waterproof when they ARE NOT. I am patiently waiting for Oticon to make a pair that ARE.

    (unlike the article, this comment is NOT sponsored)

    • Morgan, maybe you didn’t read the article: I said it WAS NOT sponsored in any, shape or form. NOT SPONSORED. So in that vein, I’m glad for your comment because we all want to know as much as possible about them.

  • My daughter wears the Aquarius (she’s four years old and has had them for 2 years).

    We have found them fantastic for exactly what you say – we don’t need to worry that she’s playing under the hose, we don’t take them out in the bath or when it’s raining. We have found, however, through experience that full water submersion just isn’t as reliable as the marketing claimed. We’ve had two different aids go dead on us through battery corrosion and moisture damage — so now we take them out for swimming or hair washing, but leave them in for light moisture exposure.

    Thanks for the review – it’s nice to hear from a more adult perspective how this all works. These are the only aids my daughter’s ever worn and her spoken language has an interesting high pitched tone to it. This might just be her voice, but I do wonder now that I’ve heard you mention how tinny the sound is, that perhaps she is hearing a very different version to what we hear.

    • Hi Lacey,

      Thanks – it’s interesting to hear it all from YOUR perspective too! While I don’t think the sound quality in these are as good as my Phonak’s, I would probably buy these over Phonak’s for a child because of the ability to withstand SOME water. I’m wondering how they compare with the water-resistant Phonak’s though? Have you heard or been able to try those out?

  • Thank you for your posts! I really appreciate it! My ten year old son has been wearing oticon, but he’s always getting so sweaty playing that in the last year the HAs have been repaired 4 times due to corrosion, from sweat! Gross I know, but also truly inconvenient. I’ve been looking at these, and it’s nice to hear the nonbias stories of others. Thanks again!

  • I was excited to find these reviews and experiences! I don’t suppose I’d ever shower or swim with these after a lifetime of never doing so. I would likely spend most of the time in a panic that I was going to damage them. However, for sweat, humid days, rain, or those accidental times when people think it’s funny to playfully spray you with water, all worth it to me! I’m curious what level of hearing loss you have? I have mild to moderate, so programming hearing aids hasn’t been a difficult thing for me in the past. I’m wondering if sound quality would be less noticeable to me than what you noted.

    This hearing aid also advertises being shock proof. Have you seen any evidence of this? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clumsily dropped my hearing aids over the years and then begged and pleaded that they are still working when I put them on. So many times they have stopped working or gone on the fritz after a short fall from a table. I’ve had many brands of hearing aids in the last 26 years and all of them have been unforgiving to shock.

    • The hearing aids are shockproof. Provided water does NOT get into the hearing aid. Out of the many times I’ve broken them due to the flimsy battery doors, water has gotten into them causing a horrendous static. It did not shock me, however I do wonder if it still could if it had more water damage. In my experience the sound quality was worse than my Oticon digital ones. But they do work well for lifeguarding. In the water, not so much. I’ve been going without them. (Which defies the purpose I bought them) there are rechargable batteries I’ve used that don’t use air to power them. But they never had enough charge for even 2 hours or got damaged by water so they wouldn’t work. (They’re about $50 some for the charger and $30 for batteries)

    • YES. I have dropped these babies numerous times, including on our concrete floor, with no problems.
      I wear them for exactly the reasons you talked about – the accidental/play spray, humid days/rain – and the lack of stress over water is honestly really worth the fact that I like the sound quality of the phonak’s better. Now if Phonak made a “waterproof” type of hearing aid like this…. yeah, I’d probably switch.
      Question though: have you tried the iPhone hearing aids? The ones that are supposed to be compatible with iPhones?

      • Not sure if the question was meant for me or not, but I’ll answer it anyway. Lol I have tried using Bluetooth with my oticon hearing aids, and they ended up not being loud enough. And it’s nice to have the streamer, but I preferred using earbuds instead. The streamer also needs to be placed in the center of your chest for maximum clarity. Makes it difficult for running, walking, etc. it’ll cut out when it moves. If it’s something someone would like to have it’s nice, but I personally don’t use it.

  • I have severe hearing loss and a hearing aid user for over 30 years. Currently I have 3 year old Bernafon Chronos aids. They are wonderful except they crash in mild exercise or humidity situations requiring repair by the manufacturer or local audiologist. Looking to move to Florida where humidity is high.

    I am investigating the Aquarius “water proof” aids and appreciate the user feedback. Has anyone utilized the bluetooth capabilities of these aids… like TV, phone, etc? What is the warranty length? These are not cheap aids… at $2K each. Comments?

    • I don’t think they are bluetooth capable. I haven’t been able to turn it off/on, so I use my Phonak’s when I need bluetooth. DEFINITELY cumbersome. These are great with the humidity, etc, but not with any kind of phone compatibility (T-Coil/ Bluetooth, etc).

  • I have been wearing hearing aids for almost 10 years and I desperately want some that are waterproof. I love to paddle board and kayak – but I never wear my hearing aids in case I fall in. I recently moved so I called around to find someone who carries the Aquarius after reading your blog. The one linked to Siemens’ website told me that they no longer make this hearing aid. I am still looking – let’s hope this first place I called is wrong. Thanks for your blog – it told me exactly what I needed to know.

    • Wow, they said they are no longer making it? I hope that’s wrong.
      Have you looked into the Phonak water resistant hearing aid? It’s not waterproof, but I think it might be the better option overall, coupled with the hearing aid sleeves (“condoms”) because of the sound quality and if you did fall in, it should be okay for a bit.
      I’ve heard mixed reviews on these ones being really and truly waterproof – people have complained about them breaking with water. Because of that, I stay away from full submersion and mostly use the waterproof features now with getting caught in the rain.

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