Whenever you buy hearing aids, they almost always come with a small plastic case. As I’ve been trying different hearing aids over the last couple of months, I’ve ended up with a reasonable collection of hearing aids cases, from different manufacturers. These have a range of features. Sometimes it’s a bit unclear how the designers expect you to use the cases, other times they’ve put a bit of thought into it. Below I’ve rated each of the cases I’ve received, along with a few notes on each.
I would use these cases whenever I need to put my hearing aids somewhere safe, possibly for transport – e.g. I might put them in my bag while swimming, or maybe while I’m riding my bike. Overnight I’ll generally store them in a drying kit, but other times they’ll be put in the case. The case should be able to safely store the aids, and ideally it will have a compartment for carrying useful accessories – spare batteries, cleaning tools, that sort of thing.
Here’s the collection I’ve amassed so far:
Let’s go through them one by one, in the order I’ve picked them up. First up is the small Widex case I got around 1999:
I like the relatively small size of this case, and the soft interior lid, which gives the aids some protection. Easy to put in the pocket. No place for spare batteries or tools though. Overall rating: Good
Next up is the case I received with my second set of Widex aids, around 2006-2007:
This is my current go-to case. It is bigger than the previous case, but it’s still small enough to put in a man’s pocket, if required. It’s got the hard outside, with softer inside that I like. It’s also got a little storage space to put spare batteries and tools. On the inside of the lid, you can see the pack of spare wax guard filters. It’s a nice touch being able to slot those in there. The designers have clearly put some thought into how people use these. Overall rating: Excellent.
Now, let’s move on to some of the cases I’ve received as part of my recent testing. Phonak really go to town, starting with a large soft case, which contains a smaller soft case, and a smaller hard-sided case. It has room for all manuals, tools, everything. Unfortunately this overall case is pretty large, as you can see in the earlier photo.
I’ve ended up with two of these, which is over-kill really. I don’t know who needs this great big case. I ended up with two of the smaller hard-sided cases from Phonak too, one slightly large, but both pretty small:
These are both very nice little cases. Nice and small, but still have some protection for the aids, and they have storage space for tools and batteries. Well thought out. Phonak also gave me this soft-sided case, but I have no idea where to use it, as it really offers no protection:
Overall, Phonak seems to be trying to cater to everyone. But they end up shipping a bunch of stuff that no-one really needs. Ultimately, I would probably only use the smallest plastic case, and everything else could be thrown away. Overall rating: Very good (would have been excellent, but they ship too much extra stuff)
Finally, the Oticon case that came with the most recent pair of aids I’m trying:
I’m not really impressed by this case. It’s a nice looking slide out case – not much chance of it accidentally flipping open, as the Widex cases are prone to do. But inside, it’s all hard edges, and there’s nowhere to put spare bits and pieces. It’s quite a large interior space, and they could have had something there, but they just didn’t seem to bother. Overall rating: Below Average
I’m undecided on keeping my Oticon aids. Possibly I’ll return them, and try the new Widex Dream aids in a few months, when they become available. I wonder what 2013 will bring for new case design from Widex?