OK, the verdict is in. The Phonak Audeo - YES IX’s are in my ears. The iCom is plugged into my computer speaker and the music sounds great in my ears … much better than it did in the Tek.
So, got fitted last night and I absolutely LOVE the YES. Their name is appropriate … I’ve been saying YES YES YES!!! since putting them on. They are much more full-bodied sound than the Siemens Pure 500’s. The Pure’s were very hollow sounding, tinny even. These YES have great sound, much more bass, more natural to me … or at least much more pleasant.
My audi kept commenting about the disadvantage of having to carry two items with the YES as opposed to the “just one” with the Siemens. Keep in mind this is through HearX, which Siemens seems to have lots of interest in. OK, the Siemens Tek is bigger, clunkier, heavier. Although I like the multiple buttons for ease of selecting programs at one click … it swings like a pendulum when hung around your neck and you are walking. And to take a call, you have to look at it to find the green button. The iCom, on the other hand, is slimmer, much smaller than the Tek, hangs flatter around your neck. It doesn’t do the pendulum swing, and can be worn under your clothes without someone asking what that lump on your chest is. The iCom has much better sound on the cell phone as well as when listening to music via the computer connection. It only has one big button, easy to find and push to accept or reject a cell call. The Tek did come with a bluetooth transmitter to connect to your TV or stereo, the iCom does not. But the iCom does support one if you wish to buy one, and it also supports FM if you wish to go that way or already have it. I do not have the FM transmitter and do not intend to buy one at this time. For late night or early morning TV or PS3, while my wife is sleeping, I can use my Bose headset … or, and I haven’t tried this yet but can imagine it would work … just plug the long extension cord for the headset into the iCom. Although if I’m going to get out the 25 foot extension, might just as well use the Bose for their superior sound … superior to anything else I’ve ever tried.
The iPilot has much more control than the Tek, another big plus. Yes, you have to use a menu system. But, the lcd multicolor screen is clear as can be. Where the Tek had only 5 volume positions, the iPilot has 10 above and 10 below the center comfort level which is set for your default sound level. There is no treble adjustment, but I’m finding the sound quality itself is so much better with the YES and do not miss the treble adjustment at all. Also, the iPilot lets you adjust both sides simultaneously, or individually. So if you want one side to be slightly louder, you can do so. However, with the IX version, you also have Sound Zooming. Zoom allows you to select which direction the mics should enhance the most. It is quite neat, and works quite well, allowing you to set the sound stage to be the person directly in front of you, or to the side when driving, etc. The iPilot is also slightly smaller than the Tek, and flatter. So it fits in your pocket easier. It has the time and date displayed on the screen, and even has an alarm clock you can set to send a set of tones into your aids … how cool
I won’t be able to test the iCom with the Jabra A7010 bluetooth adapter until I go back to work Monday, no rush on my behalf for that. I am anticipating that it will work as well, if not better than the Tek which I have to hold directly in front of my mouth for the Jabra. One other item is that the YES do not have any control button on them. The default program is Automatic. Using the remote, iPilot, you can change the programs between Speech in Noise, Speech in Comfort, and Music. Automatic is supposed to automatically switch between variations of these programs depending on the conditions. Right now, the remote is displaying “iCom Streaming”, and I can still hear other sounds in the room as though it were natural. OK … I LOVE THESE!!!