Audeo YES IX - my experience

Hey everyone, I wanted to post about my experience with my new Phonak Audeo YES IX hearing aids.

I previously had the Phonak microPower hearing aids. I really liked these and can attest that I hear even better with these than I did with my hearing aids previous to those, the GN Resound Canta 7’s. Of course, the microPowers have a better chipset than the Canta 7’s, but “technically” my hearing loss went beyond what the microPowers could amplify to, in the high frequencies.

However, when talking to my audiologist (still talking about the microPowers), after my audiologist mentioned the regular BTE Phonak Savia (this was years ago and the Savias were the newest aids available), she understood how I wanted a hearing aid that would be smaller than a BTE.

To be blunt, I was sick of the tubing and replacing the tubes and was intrigued by the CRT technology.

She agreed to give me these as she said that due to my profound high-frequency loss, I would probably not be able to be helped more by the regular BTE’s. The benefit she said about the BTE’s is that because of their larger fitting range, experimenting with different amplification at different frequencies would naturally be more flexible.

But she had no problem fitting me with the microPowers.

I had an amazing experience with them and do not regret my purchase in the slightest. I do not feel that I sacrified audibility because of the narrower fitting range as I heard better than I ever had. I have had amazing audiologists and my audiologists have also changes over the years as they have left the practice, etc. so I have had the benefit of working with many audiologists who have different ideas as to how to program hearing aids.
It was fascinating to me to try out different things with the hearing aids because of the different opinions of various audiologists.

Anyway, I had decided a while ago, when I first heard about frequency transposition, that perhaps I might want to try it out. At first, I was doing research and not going to the point of purchasing new hearing aids. I heard of course of the Sonovation hearing aids. (I don’t know if my audiologist sold these as I never brought them up, I just was doing research on my own and looking at studies.)

I also heard about the Widex Inteo… I was intrigued by these as this seemed to be the first application by an established hearing aid manufacturer to incorporate some sort of frequency shifting/transposition.

These seemed to be mentioned briefly and then went away, it seems like. I know the frequency shifting was more primitive than say the SoundRecover Phonak now has. These hearing aids as I recall, just shifted frequencies so they would overlap other frequencies and thus cause a lot of distortion. Bottom line, I heard that for speech understanding they did not help, but to Widex’s credit, Widex never marketed these for increased speech understanding but rather for overall increase in environmental sounds.

I usually buy hearing aids every 5 years or so, and these hearing aids from what I had read at the time and the fact that they were regular BTE’s did not warrant an extra purchase. I kept them in the back of my mind however, but since then I didn’t hear more about them, etc. etc. and just stayed with my Phonak microPower IX’s and adjusting these as I was happy with them.

I continued investigating CRT hearing aids and frequency shifting/transposition/etc. hearing aids. Then, Phonak came out with SoundRecover with their Naida hearing aids.

I was intrigued once again by these.

The thought of wearing a behind-the-ear instrument for “ME” (I am talking about myself, people can make their own decisions), was an option I wanted to avoid if I could. I felt almost spoiled with the CRT hearing aids as they had a thin tube (well, thin wire) and were not really visible.

Nevertheless, I investigated these hearing aids and talked to my audiologist about them. She had fit many people with them. The technology was still new and so there wasn’t much information on how good they were. But almost immediately, I kept hearing about how good they were and how they were changing people’s lives. - who had a large hearing loss.

To clarify, I have mild-to-profound hearing loss. I barely have loss in the low frequencies and the high frequencies as they go up become more and more profound.

I was hoping that speech understanding would be improved as well as my own speech, as your speech is not only what you gain from speech therapy and practice but also what you hear - the cognitive aspect. My audiologist at the time mentioned how patients were loving hearing more in general, but she didn’t know about speech understanding.

Thus, I didn’t want to purchase new hearing aids yet as if I were to purchase hearing aids with SoundRecover or the next generation perhaps of frequency transposition, I wanted speech understanding to improve.

Phonak posted testimonials about how one’s own speech was improved, but I didn’t know whether it was just going to be hype or not. I wanted to know from audiologists who had fit the hearing aids whether speech was improved.

Eventually, actually in the middle between my move from Seattle to Los Angeles, I was able to trial the Phonak Naida SP - SuperPower (the newer ones - originally Phonak just had the Phonak Naida UP - UltraPower. I was a candidate for the SuperPower version and so trialed them. I should mention that I had just gotten off the plane and was going to go back on the plane in about 24 hours so I really got to trial them for just part of a day - and I had plugged up ears from flying. ;-).

The first time I put them on though, I was shocked when I heard the “s” sound so clearly. I was amazed by these hearing aids. I had never previously been able to hear that and it was an AMAZING experience.

I was still turned off by the large tubing as even though I had good low frequency hearing. Because of the high frequency amplification required, I would not be able to use the slim tubes, most likely. Of course, I could try them if I wanted to, but I was told that the feedback would be an issue with the thin tubing.

In addition, because it was a quick trial, I didn’t have custom earmolds, and thus had to wear foam ones. The tubing really stood out, especially because of this fact.

Also, the hearing aids themselves were large and similar to other BTE’s. I had a tough decision to make… when I went to LA, would I consider trialing the Naidas? Maybe I would get used to the tubing once again?

I saw that Phonak had the Audeo YES but it wasn’t in my fitting range; in fact the fitting range for amplification was the same as the Phonak microPowers.

I wished for a CRT hearing aid that would have SoundRecover that I could wear.

I finally made an appointment to see an audiologist in LA at the House Ear Clinic (part of the House Ear Institute)… on the phone I specifically said I wanted an audiologist familiar with Phonak and the SoundRecover, I also mentioned the Naida name as SoundRecover became synonymous with the Naida (of course I do realize SoundRecover is in so many Phonak aids now, but Naida started the entire “phenomenon”). The receptionist said that I had an appointment with the audiologist there who was the most experienced with the Phonak and Naidas.

I was thrilled, as the SoundRecover is a new aspect of hearing technology and it’s a learning process for audiologists too. So, if I had someone who had fitted patients with SoundRecover, I could ask him questions and get his opinion regarding the technology.

I went in for a full day of appointments at House Ear Clinic, with a doctor who gave authorization for hearing aids, (required in CA as well as WA, I just wasn’t used to it as I had first been fitted with hearing aids when I was very little and had actually gotten the authorization but for Washington). He got rid of excess wax as well.

I also had a hearing test done (it was about time for another yearly exam anyway) so I could have a full audiogram and hearing test on record there. I was prepared with my previous audiogram and my current hearing aid settings, as well as the settings for the 24-hour Naida trial just in case any of these things would be of interest.

They did ask if they could make a copy of my previous audiogram since I had it and they could put it in my file. I of course said yes since I had brought it there just in case they would want to put it in my file. I asked for a copy of my own new audiogram and got it as well.

Anyway, it was interesting and quite convenient that the House Ear Clinic had all these things together, in one place, so I didn’t have to go to another Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to get the hearing aid authorization and wax removal.

I finally met with the audiologist. He had fit many patients with SoundRecover and really liked the technology. He was perfect as he was interested in helping me and also realized what I was there for. I should mention, I have a tendency to have conversations with doctors/audiologists/etc. that end up cutting into my appointment time so it was good to have someone to keep my mind on track LOL.

I told him my situation about wanting the Phonak Audeo YES because of it’s discrete sizing and the CRT technology. I explained how I had trialed the Naida for 24-hours and had been amazed at what I could hear immediately. It wasn’t an uncomfortable adjustment for me (it was and is an adjustment but not one I cannot handle, which is good because I really wanted the benefit of the SoundRecover).

I explained that my Phonak microPowers were working well for me and they were the best hearing aids I’ve ever had. (I’ve had “super-power” hearing instruments that technically fit my loss better than the microPowers, but I honestly hadn’t had better speech understanding; thankfully I had experience with all kinds of hearing aids to be able to come to this analysis).

I was nervous as I really wanted the Audeo YES hearing aids. I was worried I wouldn’t be a candidate. Just in case, I brought in the fitting ranges for the microPower, the Naida, and the Audeo YES. He had my new audiogram since I had already completed that part of the appointment.

I was thrilled when he said that he would be happy to let me try the Phonak Audeo YES’s. I was so happy! He said that since the very high frequencies were likely cochlear dead regions, not much amplification would do much for me in those areas. Also, those were the frequencies that would be transposed and thus benefit from the SoundRecover. I asked him if the Audeo YES had the same amplification as the microPower except that they had SoundRecover (so basically would they be an upgrade). I asked him this because I noticed a very-slight variance in fitting range when looking at the fitting range of the microPower versus the Audeo YES.

He got a Phonak rep on the phone immediately and asked them if the Audeo YES had the same amplification as the microPower, since I had done so well with the microPowers and wanted to try the SoundRecover. The Phonak rep confirmed I could get the same amplification with the Audeo YES’s. I was so happy to hear this.

My audiogist proceeded to say he would have no problem fitting me with the Phonak Audeo YES and in fact because of the better feedback suppression, if I needed to, I could perhaps get more gain than what I currently got with the microPowers.

I said I would call him the next morning with a confirmation and I ended up buying them!

My audiologist said that because they were newer than the microPowers, the components and wire would be improved, etc. He had never seen the Phonak Audeo YES before; he had fit people with the original Audeos. And of course, he had fit many people with the Phonak Naidas and had gotten wonderful results.

Before purchasing, I asked him whether my speech understanding would improve and whether my own speech would improve and he said yes. He said that because of the increased audibility due to the SoundRecover, these two factors would definitely improve.

I can honestly say, in the short time I’ve been wearing them (less than a week; it seems longer!!!), that yes I do understand conversations more and the “k” and “p” sounds are more distinct.

I am on break right now, but I attend an acting conservatory. At this acting school, we learn the fundamentals of vocal production and work to get to a “Standard American” dialect. Basically, once you are able to get this dialect, you can work in stage/film without any dialect and in second year (which I have been invited back to!!!), you begin work on dialects. I should state that you do not “lose” your natural dialect, but you’re able to speak in a neutral way… think of the way actors and actresses spoke in the 1950’s, etc. Of course, these days, the dialect taught is not as “strong” as it used to be… the way it used to be is referred to Stage Standard / Elevated Standard.

I’m trying to make this part of my post concise as it is difficult to describe in a short way the vocal training, etc.

We also learn the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is essentially a new alphabet. If something is written in IPA, you know EXACTLY how to say it. If you need to have a dialect, you can write your lines in IPA and know exactly how to pronounce everything. If you are at an audition and you are told your character name is such-and-such and you are told that it is pronounced a certain way, then knowing the IPA really does help as you can make a note to yourself, writing down the word as you heard it in IPA so you can refer to it and not make a mistake.

Anyway, I made an appointment to see one of the Voice and Speech teachers there who has an amazingly sharp ear. I was waiting in the room as she was finishing her session with another student and I already realized I was able to understand more of what they were saying! When she worked with me a little and we got to the “p” and “k,” I mentioned how distinct these sounds were with the SoundRecover (I had told her about my new hearing aids).

For me as well as so many other people, working on speech with a therapist is exhausting and I want to achieve the neutral dialect if I can and I Know I can! Doing so requires hours and hours of daily work. My thought is if I work on my speech further, I will be able to continue training my brain with the new sounds available with the SoundRecover and thus be able to progress even more and more and not regress as much if I get sick and am unable to practice at length. This is because the cognitive aspect of my brain will benefit from hearing, for example, the “s” sound rather than guessing each time I say it.

Thus, I look forward to speech that is more consistant.

To everyone who struggles with speech, even when an audiologist-based speech therapist says that you have gained all you can, if you want to, you should continue to work and stand your ground! I am speaking from experience! Speech therapists have been amazed at how far I’ve gone and they say that most of the time they wouldn’t continue working with me, because I can be understood which is usually the goal, but many have been supportive and have seen my drive and have been willing to work with me more. I’ve gotten better and better and with SoundRecover, I only see this improving!

This has been a long post. I wanted to share with everyone my experience and share details.

It is my hope that at least one person will be able to benefit from what I’ve written. I’ve surpassed many challenges (I prefer challenge over obstacles). I’ve fought for my rights the entire way and I want people to benefit from hearing about my own experience.

I will get Standard American speech no matter what people say.

When I was very little, my parents were told by a very well-respected doctor (actually, I don’t remember what position she held) that I might as well give up trying to speak and learn sign language as I would never be able to speak). I’ve worked all my life, ever since I was 2 years old in a school for the hard of hearing before being successfully mainstreamed to work through my struggles.

I won’t lie and say I haven’t had bad days where I ended up crying; but that is part of life and I’m proud to say I’ve made it this far. Are my struggles over? No, not by a long shot. Everyone has struggles but I choose to work through them and become an actor and dancer. I’m considering becoming an advocate for the hard-of-hearing community because I want so much to inspire others and tell people to not give up!

I’m never giving up being an actor. Never. Mark my words. I promise. I may do other things such as even become an audiologist if I have the time, but acting will be a part of my life.

Thank you for reading! I appreciate your time! :slight_smile:

~Patrick

I wanted to add that the Audeo YES’s wire/tube is even smaller than the microPower’s. Also, they seem slightly smaller overall.

One thing I did not know about until after I started trying them is they don’t come with a telecoil. I realize manufacturers are pushing bluetooth and I believe it when people say it has better audio quality than the telecoil, but I must say I enjoyed the simplicity of the telecoil. I had it for my microPowers and used it while on the phone many times. I also used it with headphones. It minimized annoying background noise and I was able to use my headphones and phone with more peace.

Manufacturers mention phone capabilities but the word telecoil seems to be disappearing from their websites as they promote bluetooth.

With bluetooth, some aids have it built in. The Audeo YES’s do not. You have to buy Phonak’s iCom, which costs hundreds of dollars.

I actually hear better on the phone in regular mic mode with these than I did with the microPowers, so I’m thinking it’s a sacrifice I will put up with, because I like these hearing aids so much.

Wow, very good post. I am sure it will be useful to many.

Being an early lover of the Audeo YES IX’s, and an avid poster of such, I’m glad to bump into someone else who has fallen in love with them. You also have much more experience with aids than I do. Your post is verification to me that I am not crazy in saying that my speech comprehension is quite improved since using the IX’s. Sound Recover DOES work, despite the naysayers here.

Thanks for posting such an eloquent piece.

I’ve had a patient who complained that phone is hard to use with the Yes…we’ve switched him over to the Exelia Arts and he’s enjoying them quite a bit–The Duo Phone system is great!!!

You can configure a DuoPhone-like mode in the Audeo YES IX …

I use the YES IX’s with a multiline office desk phone via the Jabra Bluetooth adapter 8 hours a day on the job, as well as with my LG cell phone when off the job. It is beautiful being able to hear phone calls loud and clear in both ears, especially so when doing tech support with a client. There must be a setting that was being missed with your patient as the YES and iCom work perfectly in tandem.

I have also read about the DuoPhone mode being set up, the one English mentioned, though am not familiar with where it is or how it sounds or works as I’ve had no use for it thanks to the iCom.

E.D. please explain how to configure the “duo phone like” mode in audeo yes IX…
another question what is the difference between “voicezoom” and “digital audiozoom” in phonak naida and audeo yes…is voicezoom better? thanks…

Sorry for not clarifying…patient is not using the iCom…and doesn’t plan on going that route (no matter how much I push! LOL)

I didn’t read your whole post but this caught my eye. I think you got something mixed up.

I explain “frequency transposition” vs “frequency compression” in my post below and probably wrote more about it in other posts I’ve made.

http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showpost.php?p=18111&postcount=10

Anyway, the sonovation at first claimed that their impact aids used “frequency transposition” but later on they advertise that their aids are actually performing “frequency compression”. In other words they were trying to pass off a lesser technology as something better.

http://www.audiologyonline.com/interview/interview_detail.asp?interview_id=9

Phonak uses the same technology as the sonovation aids. Actually not the same exact technology. Sonovation applied frequency compression on the entire sound wave, whereas phonak only apply it above a certain frequency threshold.

Widex Inteo and now the mind I believe does true “frequency transposition”. where you move the sound from one frequency to another.

From a technical stand point “frequency compression” should be a far better technology than “frequency compression”, on paper. But in the real world I don’t see people raving about widex’s “frequency transposition” solution. people however are raving about phonak’s “frequency compression” solution.

But I think many are attributing their favorable views of the phonak aids to their soundrecover technology when in fact it’s other things about the aid that they are really raving about. Phonak savia yes ix is a 20 channel aid. Inteo I believe is 15 channel aid. plus phonak is known for their directional mics. A person who never tried aids or have been using some 3 channel aid will be blown away by a top of the line phonak aid. 20 channels will make sounds sound great. but to the new users this seems logically better but to more experience users this is just superficial as the real question is how the aids sound in noisy situations.

I believe I’ve read that some people actually have the soundrecover feature turned off on their aids. And I bet some had it turned off by their audi without them even knowing.

IMO it’s important that we clearly understand the technologies involved in these aids. So we can have a better chance of determining whether the actual technology is to blame or if it’s just a poor implementation of the technology.

I think you need to get your facts straight for starters. Phonak does use sound compression, but mixes it with frequency transposition to get the excellent results that SoundRecover produces. The following is a quote from Diane Hammel, Senior Product Manager at Phonak US.
Start quote:
Hammel: Yes, we’re very excited about the SoundRecover, non linear frequency compression. It is a Phonak propriety algorithm which is designed to compress and shift high frequencies into an adjacent area of audible hearing. This unique approach enables high frequency information to be compressed while producing a minimum of artifacts. As a result high frequency sounds, like fricative consonants, women’s and children voices, birds chirping and microwave beeping, to name just a few, become audible.
:End quote

If you wish to read the entire article, an interview with Diane Hammel by Audiology Online, click on This link to the interview

SoundRecover DOES work. Despite what you may claim, I am speaking from firsthand experience. I am not an engineer, I do not claim to know it all as some do here. I do know that I can hear and understand a high pitched soft-spoken voice better than people who are not hearing impaired, a voice that 95% of other people listening in ask the speaker to speak louder, a voice that I had given up on even trying to hear the past 6 or 7 years with my company using two previous sets of hearing aids. And not only can I hear her now, but I can understand her, as well as a neighbor who actually does mumble according to my wife who is not hearing impaired. Phonak Audeo YES IX’s have been an answer from heaven increasing my word comprehension appreciably, something the Siemens Pures I tried before them did not come close to doing. I am not an easy person to please, I’m picky, and tend to speak my mind. The Audeo YES IX’s have me saying YES! YES! YES!

By the way, I am a tech support rep for a databasing software company, so I am technically inclined, but have nothing personal to gain from bragging about how good the YES are. In fact, the only conversation I had with a Phonak employee turned me off on the company. He was a jerk who is supposedly in the west coast (USA) corporate office, or something like that, which is in a regular house, who wouldn’t even admit at first that he worked for Phonak and asked where I got his phone number from … duhhhh … maybe the Internet and the Phonak listings. “Oh yeah, this is that but we don’t talk to customers” :rolleyes: I don’t like the company … I LOVE the product though.

but we don’t talk to customers

So you expect to call Microsoft for end-user support?
Or your heart pacemaker manufacturer?
Or the people who designed the engine in your car?
(Can you speak Chinese or Korean?)

Phonak’s customers are dispensers and NOT end users.

If you want Phonak to support end users then expect a price hike because they will need to hire loads of extra support staff.

whoa! take it easy! you know I am a phonak fanboy (man) myself. I always tell people to try out their products. But why am I so critical about their soundrecover technology? because they should have gone the frequency transposition route rather than the frequency compression route. I believe a bunch of executives were involved with deciding this. unfortunately it’s up to us, hard of hearing to point this out. If we don’t point it out and just accept whatever we are given, why would they bother to invest in ideas that are more expensive to implement?

When this guy talked about “non linear frequency compression” he’s probably referring to the fact that compression is applied above a certain threshold.

Phonak has a great presentation regarding their soundrecover technology.

If you understand this technology you realize that it is doing something that we hard of hearing need to avoid at all cost. We need to avoid compressing sounds. Compression will always always always lead to the loss of information. This will lead to the loss of speech discrimination. Frequency Transposition avoids this issue whereas frequency compression treats as a necessary evil.

I am sure it does!

BUT transposition has the potential of changing the whole game.

Patrick, all that is old, is new again.

I first saw the AVR Sonovation frequency transposing hearing at the ASHA convention in Atlanta in 1992. It was a BTE ear-level unit connected to belt-clip processor the size of a 5-pack bag of Life Savers.

And guess what? The instant I plugged it into my earmold and the rep counted to six, I knew it would work for people like you with cochlear dead zones.

Oh, and did I mention, this was the summer of 1992?

I ordered one for my hearing aid engineering & dispensing lab, and called in a 26 year old lady who had a hearing loss like yours, and asked her to try it for a couple weeks, and tell me what she heard. Despite the hassles of the cord and body-worn processor, she loved it so much, she paid the $4000 for it.

By 1995, semiconductor technology allowed them to squeeze their device into a BTE; but I exited the hearing healthcare business because of burnout.

You betcha Phonak saw this technology; but instead of licensing it, they decided to wait until the patents expired,doing the R&D to fine-tune the technology… And Voila: The Phonak Naida appears amidst a blitz of marketing hype and perks to audiologists who dispense them.

Patrick, try this desktop thought experiment:

If you were as well served as you claim by your audiologists…
Then why did you have to wait 17 years (from 1992 to 2009) to try the technology?

Dan Schwartz
Cherry Hill, NJ
Host of The Telegraph Hearing Blog

Actually, you can call Starkey, Oticon USA (and most other US hearing aid companies) for end-user support. And, good dispensers welcome this, especially during the 30 day trial period, in order to make the sale stick and avoid an RFC.

Actually, you can call Starkey, Oticon USA (and most other US hearing aid companies) for end-user support.

Wow - you certainly can’t do that in the UK!

If you were as well served as you claim by your audiologists…
Then why did you have to wait 17 years (from 1992 to 2009) to try the technology?

Err … you could have tried the AVR Sonovation during that time period.

But surely it’s the manufacturers who are to blame (if any blame is in fact due), not the people who do the fitting?

Anyway, are we sure that patent issues have anything to do with this?

Doesn’t Phonak use a different scheme?

You can certainly attack many dispensers for greed & overcharging … but I don’t think they are involved in conspiracies against the Hard Of Hearing!

OK, I viewed the presentation … and maybe I’m missing something, or maybe you are, I’m not sure which. I hear what you’re saying about compression being bad … BUT… the compression appears to be used to make room for more frequencies to fit in where they wouldn’t otherwise fit … to eliminate overlapping. In which case, it would explain why it does work so great. Or at least it does for my loss, maybe not so much for other types of loss (?). I wouldn’t know that though as I wouldn’t experience it. My audiogram is viewable in my profile … and at high frequencies is where I suffer … or used to before the Audeo YES IX’s came along and filled in some holes.

English … despite what was said about being able to call the US OEM’s … I agree with you. It would result in additional cost to cover hiring more people, or outsourcing expenses, as is so popular here in the USA. And Phonak makes a better product than the US manufacturers, so I’ll stick with them despite the idiot who answered the phone in his home here in California … the West Coast Phonak Headquarters :rolleyes:

And good luck here in the US even trying to get help from Microsoft :rolleyes:

But then too, that makes jobs and income potential for techies like me who do outsourcing tech support, as I did in the past for Microsoft, and Toshiba, and others that hired the firm I used to work for. Now I work directly at/for a software company.

wow, this a fascinating insight. thanks for the post.

interesting that inteo and nadia, I believe, came out at around the same time.