"Echo Block" - any benefit? Is it just hype?


I’m curious as to whether Echo Block (that’s what Phonak calls it) is a feature worth activating or if it is just hype; or even if it makes sound worse.

I have it activated right now, but I have new hearing aids and haven’t had an adjustment yet and so I can’t say whether it works or not.

In the past, I never had it activated. When I had my hearing aids programmed, it wasn’t activated, and when I asked an audiologist about it, in his opinion, he said it didn’t do any good for his clients. Now, other audiologists have different opinions.

Since these new hearing aids have not been adjusted yet, I haven’t asked about it.

But I’m interested from other people… does it do anything, is it worth having it on? Will it make speech understanding worse in some situations while it reduced echo?

Thank you,


Hi Partick,

Like all features in a hearing aid it only applies to the sound comming through the hearing aid system and has no effect on the sound comming through your ears in an open or vented fitting. Thus if your fitting is completely open using a dome or open mould, then there will be a less noticable effect. If you use a completely blocked mould, the effect will be more noticable. You can see whether is has any benefit for you by creating another copy of the speech in noise program and turn it off in this program and keep it on in the automatic program and then experiment with the two in a reverberant situation with background noise.

It is unlikely to affect speech perception as this is the second iteration of this feature, first found in the Savia, and Phonak will not allow a feature that is detrimental to speech clarity to be re-used.

Echo block operates by identifying a reverberant “tail” in the acoustic signal. It is highly unlikely that this algorithm will function well in a small reverberant space or when speech is the primary signal. It is reasonable; however, to expect that this process could improve comfort for some signals in large reverberant spaces such as auditoriums or gymnasiums.

There is no expectation that this processing affects speech understanding, positively or negatively.

siemens seems to have similar feature which works under the same principle