BAHA by Cochlear vs Ponto by Oticon - Which is better & why

Hi,

Due to the middle ear wax Im getting in my good ear, Im now being referred for consults with ENT’s about a bone conducting hearing aid.

In Australia the bigger player is BAHA, but I have to say Im pretty underwhelmed by their products accessories etc. So Im now looking for an ENT who does Ponto instead.

Wanted to open it to the wall for comments on which is better and why - perhaps someone in Australia has done both and can recommend?

Thanks

http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/au/home/discover/baha-bone-conduction-implants

Oticon Medical’s Ponto and Ponto Plus devices tend to have better signal processing in them (speechguard, at least a 2-stage feedback cancellation system) vs the Baha 3 sound processors. Cochlear has somewhat better implant technology, but there’s little difference in terms of surgical technique with neither system requiring soft-tissue reduction. The advantage of going with the Ponto implant system is that you can use either manufacturers’ processors, so if cochlear’s signal processing improves and their devices are better in the future you can switch later on. Cochlear’s implant system is only compatible with Cochlear Ltd products.

I am trying non-surgical bone-conduction hearing aids now. I tried the MedEl AdHear, Cochlear’s SoundArc and Otion’s Ponto 4 on a headband. AdHear had too much feedback and the SoundArc headband gave me headaches. Ponto does seem to me to be better sound quality and comfort.

I am interested in the Ponto’s implant compatibility with Cochlear’s BAHA - Is that the magnetic system (OSIA) or the abutment?

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Answering my own question - Oticon doesn’t yet offer the magnetic system. I’ll let myself know when they do.

Thanks for posting your experience as I’ve been reviewing similar non-surgical aids and your post helps.

Are these ones you’ve tried on your own or were through your ENT?

I’m not a fan of the headband as I would need to wear it at work so I’m leaning towards the SoundArc only because of appearances.

I got the trial demos from my audiologist. I actually still have the demo Ponto on a hardband. I think they forgot since it has been a month. The Ponto hardband is not a headband, it looks more like a very thin headphone. It is the same thing they use when you get a hearing test, it looks like a strip of metal banding. It looks professional. I would attach a picture if I knew how.

The headaches are getting better. I have a couple appointments at the Cleveland Clinic to explore surgical implants.

Thanks, that helps. I had seen the hardband you speak of but it’s been hard knowing if it was it or the SoundArc since they look similar and people didn’t label them correctly. Ponto has been more available to me which is good and appears I would be able to self-program it.

Having difficulty finding the hardband version. Keeps bringing up the soft.

I put a picture of the Ponto hardband as the image by my name

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The hard bands are new. My audiologist didn’t know they existed, I found out from the Oticon Territory Sales Manager (long story)

9-R Have you made any decisions? I go for a surgical consult Friday for two OSIA implants. I may chicken out at any time

I’m rather shocked this topic is still going 7 years later. Ponto 4 has the advantage in terms of size and signal processing right now. If you have normal or near normal bone conduction thresholds that’d be my recommendation. The power versions of the Baha 5 are based on newer technology than the power versions of the Oticon Medical devices. If you want direct wireless streaming then Baha 5 is the best option. Otherwise it’s Hobson’s choice.

I prefer the magnetic attachment to the abutment. I know the infection rates are down with the minimally invasive surgical technique but it still something. The Osia seems to have better technology than the bonebridge. If I don’t get the Osia I’ll just keep the Ponto on a hardband

Also note - the Osia is made by Cochlear and has technology advantages over their BAHA attract. The BAHA version 6 just came out.
The PONTO is attached by abutment and the BAHA can attach by abutment or magnet with the ATTACH
The PONTO now has direct wireless streaming.

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I did a ponto trial recently and they said you need a separate device to stream audio to it. Is it a particular ponto that now does direct streaming please?

Yes and no.

The new Ponto 5 model (Mini and Superpower) say that they have 2.4 GHz Bluetooth LE and can work directly with iphones via an app.

Streaming from Android or other bluetooth devices such as a computer require the ConnectClip. This may represent being too hard to test for compatibility across the many other devices and simply use the ConnectClip or maybe it works for some people and is just unsupported.

The BAHA 6 SuperMax has Bluetooth LE also and lists selected Android devices as being compatible but users are reporting that newer phones with Bluetooth LE work for them too. Just not officially supported yet.

I have an old Ponto Oticon Plus Power and am looking at switching to the BAHA 6 SuperMax (easy) or Osia 2 (hard). They are discussed in other threads here.

Happy to help if you have questions.

Good luck.