I recently fit a client with a set of hearing aids and after two months or so of continuous adjustments and tinkering I was just unable to get the hearing aid to sound "right". The background noise was either too harsh or speech was not distinct enough when she was at her bridge group or in the dining room at Berwick. Sometimes, simply changing models to another hearing aid manufacturer can work wonders, and in this case, I switched to a ReSound Linx 2 product and it made all the difference in the world. My client could manage in even the noisiest of settings and could hear much clearer in general.
There are six major hearing aid manufacturers and while the electrical components that comprise the hearing aids are indeed very similar, the engineering of the hearing aids vary greatly. That is, the researchers, engineers and Audiologists from each manufacturer have some very different ideas as to how hearing impaired individuals hear optimally. This is reflected in the programming of the computer chips that power their hearing aids, and as a result, Hearing Aid Company A can sound VERY different from Hearing Aid Company B. It's almost like shoes in a sense--a Nike size 10 can fit very differently from an Adidas 10.
Every person's hearing is individual to them. Cognitive ability, loudness tolerance and sound quality preference can vary greatly. It's definitely more work staying on top of developing technologies and keeping up to date with product training, but this is why I choose to carry all of the hearing aid brands. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimenting between brands before we find the hearing aid that 'fits'.