Does Phonak AutoSense OS 3.0 work for you?

Very informal observation: the more times I switch to “my” program, the less often it falls back to AutoSense.

But I also sense that in quiet situations it doesn’t care; louder situations make it want to switch. Do not have proof of this.

Then another reason to get Target and look at all the settings. I don’t want to bypass my audi (yet) but he clearly does not know all the settings and I can’t afford to pay him to study all of it. I can look-around for free, circle settings of interest, and discuss with him.

I’ve had the M90-R for over a year and this has been an extremely interesting discussion. The Marvels are my first HA. When I first got them, I had my audiologist add several of the additional programs as I thought they would be useful. It was fun and interesting switching around and comparing what they did. As I tried switching to the additional programs in various environments I soon found that AutoSense 3.0 was accurate enough in switching that I didn’t bother using the additional programs much at all.

Being an accomplished classical pianist, the program I did use whenever I was at the piano was the Music Program. For playing the piano, the Music Program for me was an absolute necessity. I had my audiologist remove all programs except for the Music Program, mostly because I didn’t use the others much at all and whenever I changed back and forth between the music program and AutoSense 3.0, I had to cycle through all the programs one by one using the HA buttons unless I was choosing individual programs with the myPhonak app on my Android phone.

I found the comment about the Marvels changing back to AutoSense 3.0 without staying on a selected program to be interesting. When I choose my Music Program, it stays there until I decide to choose AutoSense again. When performing on the piano there is absolutely no way I could have the Music Program automatically decide to switch back to AutoSense 3.0.

You can look at my audiogram and see that I have a fairly standard ski slope loss and apparently that’s why AutoSense 3.0 works so well for me.

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If you are switching to a built-in manual program, it will stay until you switch back or until the hearing aid is reset by opening the battery door or putting into the charger. I believe that at this point the custom programs that you build on the app will only stay in place while the app is open and connected. If there is one you use regularly, it is probably worth getting it set up as a built-in manual program. Note, too, that adjustments to the hearing aid will wipe out all of your app custom programs.

For many people who are bothered by the automatic switching, it’s the speech in loud noise sub-program in the 90 level autosense that they are noticing. It can be turned off in autosense, and then if you want it it can be dropped into a manual program. If the autosense program bothers you, try that first.


Regarding “autosense” program in general I wonder if the program actually performs better with a lower range Marvel hearing aid, versus the M90? Obviously someone that’s using the M30 or M50 has better hearing than someone using the M90. Yet you’re also requiring a M90 HA to perform more adjustments (hearing wise) in autosense program, than a M30 or M50 would have to do.

With that said if “autosense” is offered with new Naida Marvel SP, I wonder how the program will auto adjust with someone with a serious hearing loss. You probably will see more autosense switching back and forth that might not necessarily improve one’s hearing level.

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The way it was explained to me when I got my Marvel M90-R a year ago was that as you went lower, M70, M50, M30, each step eliminated some of the Programs included in AutoSense 3.0 and the cost also went down for each step. The actual performance of the Marvel for each grade stayed exactly the same. I chose the M90 because I didn’t want to miss out on any of the Programs and because the Marvel was my first aid, I didn’t want to regret not getting the M90.
The attachment shows the different Phonak levels of hearing aids concerning AutoSense 3.0.

My understanding of AutoSense is it is simply a monitor/control of a group of programs. Pending on which level of aids you have there will be more or less programs for AutoSense to pick from in any particular environment. Each of these programs can be tuned with great detail for an individual. AutoSense itself can be adjusted to be sensitive to environmental sounds or less sensitive, quicker or slower to change programs within the aids level of programs it has.

AutoSense doesn’t have to be the default control at hearing aid start up. Other manual programs can be set to come on at start up if desired.

Tuning each program that AutoSense controls can be very rewarding for most environments.


I think we are saying: that’s what we expect, but not what we observe.

Maybe we are yielding control back to AS without realizing it. Or maybe there is a bug (this is very new software).

What AutoSelect, Sound Flow, AutoSense do is described in this paper:
AutoSense OS - Benefit of the next generation of technology automation .

Can we adjust a sound system for “better sound”? Yes, I used to be paid to do that in PA and recording. Pep-talk, brass band, dramatic reading, different settings.

Can a computer do my job of detecting the acoustic situation and selecting an appropriate set of settings? Probably, if we accept occasional mistakes. If the mistakes are mild, the computer may do a better job, on average, than a user constantly fiddling with teeny buttons.

The raw data in that paper is mixed. The statistics in Fig 3 show benefit. The text spins 1.3dB (not much) into “20%” (sounds like more). Fig 4 shows a good preference for Auto in Car, otherwise not; but this does not factor the convenience of machine-magic versus teeny buttons.

I have a suspicion that the future for most is AutoSense7, and we AS3 users are collecting data and observations for improved algorithms.

Then something is wrong. I haven’t heard of this issue at all, despite fitting piles of these devices.

However, my population is not typically made up of app users. The app used to (still does?) come with it’s own useless programs that were still not built-in programs. I recall that there was a restaurant one and something else. I wouldn’t expect those to stick either. The ones that should stick are the ones that were set up in the software and that you can access with a long press on the button.They should stay where they are until you switch or until you re-boot.

Oh, however, here’s a thought–streaming may also count as switching. My users aren’t big streamers either. If you are in, say, a dedicated music program, and then you phone sends you an indicator for a text message, does it flip back to the auto program? Because for a second it may have been in the bluetooth music streaming program.

I think Neville is onto something. While streaming TV yesterday through my TV Connector, if I got up and went into the kitchen, my aids would lose the signal and revert back to Autosense, even though that was not the program I was in to begin with. In Target, streaming is listed as a separate program, and is entered automatically when the TV connector is detected. So, it seems that the aids switch back to the default, Autosense, when they leave another program. I did find the place where you choose which program is default. It doesn’t have to be Autosense.
Back in my original post, I lamented how Autosense was worse than no aids at all. I might have found the reason. It seems that I might have had noise block turned up too high, hoping to eliminate some background noise. Sound Relax might also have been set too high. I am going to try the revised settings a while to see how much difference there is. The best sounding by far is the one in which I turned off all the special digital magic, and had just straight amplification. I find that there are things that Target just won’t let me adjust. And, in the page where it shows the gain vs frequencies, there are all kinds of dips, humps, and various squiggles. I would have preferred a more even line. I don’t know what purpose all those humps and dips serve.

I have a pair of Marvel M90 312 and I’m mostly very happy with them and with Autosense 3.0.

I had tried them a few months ago (the 13T model) with an audiologist and had no luck whatever with speech recognition. He did an audiogram and used REM to set up the aids but I found I could hear, yet not make any sense of what was being said, so I returned them.

I spotted (miraculously) a pair of M90 312 being sold at a good price by a gentleman whose father had died soon after getting them. They have the medium receiver and power domes. I did an in-situ audiogram with the Phonak Target software and let it set up everything as default.

I was amazed at how well it worked. My speech comprehension is now better than it has been for at least 5 years. Without custom moulds I don’t have enough bass for decent music streaming, but within that limitation, Autosense works well for me. I do use the Android app to adjust, e.g. for “comfort” in noisy restaurants, and I’m surprised to find that I can still understand speech from people close by.

I’ve also played with the tuning but I keep coming back to the default settings. My only real change is to adjust the volume on phone calls so the other person can hear me.

By the way, my in-situ audiogram is fairly different from both of my last two audiologists’ measurements, probably due to the twisty little passages that are my ear canals. So that’s probably why I got on better with my own programming. Chalk up another reason to DIY.

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Autosense mode to me is still a quandary. How fast does the Marvel adjust in autosense mode to correlate to really improved hearing/word recognition? I know Phonak claims Marvel analyzes sound every 0.4 seconds but how does that really interact with someones hearing process - brain/sound correlation? And really how well does autosense work in different hearing environments? Is autosense program practical in a noisy restaurant? Is autosense comfortable in a car, with constant outside noise? Long term HA users are used to (or should I say wired to) having HA’s provide “stable” incoming sound that really only adjust by turning up or down volume. Sure there are other programs but for the most part a HA preset mode is what you live with 70% of the time.

Phonak claims a 60% improvement in speech understanding by zooming in on a single voice in a noisy environment – versus without hearing aids. I’m not sure exactly what that means (with or without hearing aids)? But in any case I found autosense to be pretty much useless in noisy settings since background noise seems to blend in with table conversation - thus cancelling each other out. Maybe others have had a more favorable reaction. And maybe autosense just takes time to get used to and I’m presuming (a lot of Audi adjustment) to find right setting. But for me the jury is still out if any HA can really self adjust so fast, that your hearing level improves every 0.4 seconds or what ever.

Which volume are you adjusting, and how, exactly? I didn’t think there was a way to increase the microphone volume.

myPhonak shows AS3. I changed Vol EQ and NR, saved that as “2”. I leave it on 2, don’t do much (no stream-- ah, maybe the text-message dingle), but an hour later I don’t like the treble, look, and AS3 is shown as active.

Hmmmmm… It is much too easy to hit this phone’s volume buttons. That sends a ‘dink’ to the phone audio, and thus my HA. I JUST noticed it switches to “BluToot Stream + Microphone”! Then it switches to “Calm Situation”. I’ve never seen it do that. I am suspecting the next loud sound will trip it into AS3?

There’s AS, 13 pre-sets (only 4 directly selectible), and my 3 personal settings. Some require hardware I’m not likely to get.

The software has good intentions but it is too clever for me.

You can program how fast Autosense responds to sounds. I have mine set to “fast”, which I seem to remember being 10 seconds.I never hear the aids actually switch programs, though the soundscape varies considerably. I found that increasing the low frequencies a good bit helped the sound qualities considerably. Before, it was very much high frequency accentuated. I have been streaming a show on Prime today and the aids actually helped me understand the dialogue a bit better. Most of what I heard still came from the TV speakers, but the added sounds from the aids did help. I now have SR2 turned on for streaming, but it doesn’t seem as noticeable as before. My problem is that after I make adjustments, I will think things are better until I go out into the world and encounter a situation where speech understanding is critical. Then, I realize I am no better off than I was before without aids. I am glad Marvels are helping others, but disappointed that I am not among them.

Well your hearing loss is not as bad as mine but as you say the “proofs in the pudding” when you out into the real world. The M90 did not cut it with me, though the aid’s fitting chart seemed to be within my hearing threshold. I think at some point you just have to pick a HA that does one or two things well and then let all the other stuff slide by the side. Especially when one has a size-able hearing loss.

Personally I’d take a hearing aid that let me hear close to normal in quiet situations (home, backyard, park, neighbors, etc.) versus some how dealing with background noise. Now if I was in my 20’s to 40’s, single, etc., I might want things the other way around. When I was younger I just locked into Starkey HA’s and didn’t even consider testing another aid. Come to think of it - I’m not sure testing other aids (other then the one in hand) was an option back in the 80, 90’s, forward. You pretty much relied on your Audi’s suggestion and bought what ever he or she said.

Now you have more choices but I’m not exactly sure in sixty days or so if you can truly know if you have a “home run” hearing aid or not. In my case I’d settle for a double, if I knew my new HA was a decent improvement over what I’m currently using.

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Yes. ANY “dink” or “tap” kicks the Marvel from a user-selected program to a Stream program, and the fall-back from that seems (now) to be “Calm”.

As the app “taps” when closed, I can’t keep a program going when I close the app.

Disabling all my dink-taps leaves my program in effect.

I want to close the app because battery life seems short (but my first battery) which makes sense because BlueTooth was not made for micropower devices.

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I misspoke when I said that Marvels returned to Autosense from streaming. They go back to which ever program was active before. I don’t know about how they act with the app. I can’t get it to work with mine. I somehow turned SR2 off in Autosense, so now I am using the telecoil program until I can get hooked back up with Target. I found that I can hear nearby high tension power lines when the T-coil is active. Of course I don’t actually hear 60 Hz. marvels can’t reproduce that low of a frequency. I am pretty sure what I am hearing is the 3rd harmonic, 180 Hz.

Typical power lines have LOTS of harmonics at levels higher than a telephone handset’s speech field. 0.1% distortion on 20,000V is 200V, a thousand times stronger than a telephone (but hopefully 1,000X further away). So also 300Hz 420Hz 540Hz 660Hz 720Hz… (A familiar sequence to audio-techs.)

In “flat” audio the higher harmonics tend to fall off. But with ski-slope correction your HA may be boosting about as fast as the natural harmonic fall-off. You may have tizzy buzz far into the kHz.

With your level of hearing loss, I would expect you to struggle in noise regardless of which hearing aid you use. Realistically, modern hearing aids alone can maybe give you a 6 dB boost. Many severe/profound users need a 12 dB+ signal-to-noise ratio to be able to hear the target speech. If the environment that you are in is loud enough that SNR is 0, hearing aids aren’t going to get you there.


Target 6.1 --> Streaming Programs --> Phone call + mic --> Hearing aid microphone