Has anyone trialed both Oticon More and Phonak Paradise?

Hi All,

I am a first time hearing aid user who that has had mild hearing loss my whole life (on the lower frequencies), but got by without hearing aids thus far since my speech recognition was still relatively strong. But I had a sudden bout of labyrinthitis earlier this year resulting in sudden hearing loss in my left ear, which is now considered moderate to moderate/severe loss, so hearing aids are now a necessity.

I am in the midst of trialing the Oticon Mores. Prior to this trial, my audiologist had let me use a demo pair of Paradise P90s for about a month (the P90s were just calibrated to my hearing test, no REM, whereas the Mores have gone through a full initial first fit). I am hoping to get any feedback from people who may have tried both out to see if anyone has had some of the same issues as me, as well as just to gather some input!

My initial impression, albeit a small sample size, of comparing the two is that the Mores do a little better job in noisy environments and I was able to understand the people I was trying to hold conversations with (restaurants, slightly more crowded outdoor spaces) a bit better, which is what I had considering one of the more important benefits of getting a HA. With the Paradise, the background noise was a bit more subdued, but I still had different issues with understanding people. The first example is I was trying to check in for a doctor’s visit in an office with 3 different receptionists who were all speaking; the one checking me in, one talking on the phone, and the third once speaking with a nurse. I was barely able to understand the person talking to me as all the different voices were just blasting in my ear simultaneously. I actually took my right aid out and was better able to communicate after that, which seems rather counterintuitive! Another problem I had was understanding someone that was softer spoken that was standing right next to me in a dog park with a louder conversation going on 20 yards away, but I could still pick up the subtle sounds of jingling dog tags right next to me. However, speech in noise aside, I find myself preferring the general sound of the Paradise more. The Mores also seem to have significantly louder ambient noises, which I honestly haven’t decided if I like that yet. A fan in the room, for instance, is much more prevalent, or if the windows in my house are open, it always sounds like there’s a distant waterfall that I keep hearing, and I actually find myself turning my HAs down so it’s quieter. (I have considered the possibility that the Phonaks will also give me more of these sounds once they are tuned a little more precisely with REM vs. the loose calibration to my hearing test.)

But my biggest issue thus far is actually the Bluetooth connection with the Mores. I have an Android phone (Samsung S20+), and I spend a good chunk of my day walking and streaming. I find that with the phone in my right pocket, the left ear gets pretty choppy, and sometimes if I even turn my head to the left, the connection cuts off altogether. But If I leave my phone stationary on a desk, and walk into the next room, the connection is fine. So maybe it’s something with both phone and body in motion that makes the connection weak and unstable? Has anyone else experienced this issue, particularly with Android, or do I maybe have a faulty set of HAs? The Paradise had zero issues with the connectivity, and it really is a bummer to be experiencing this with the Mores. I always thought that dealbreakers would be pertaining to sound quality/issues! On another note, with phone calls, the Paradise were louder for me. I could leave the volume somewhere a bit above the middle setting, while on the Mores, I have to turn the volume all the way up on my phone.

Throughout the process of considering which HAs to get, I always figured that the speech in noise would be the biggest factor, as that’s the scenario I struggle with the most since my hearing loss on my left side (in a quieter 1 on 1 setting, I can actually still get by OK with no HAs), so my short experiences so far have left me conflicted. I would be relieved if a lot of people responded and said that the Bluetooth issues might be specific to just my HAs and can be fixed.

I plan on officially trialing the P90s still, with a fine tuned initial fitting, so am interested to hear what some of you have to say with speech in more complex environments, particularly if you have direct comparisons with the Mores! (I may actually see if the Audeo Lifes are available, but I would expect them to essentially be the same as the Paradise.) I know that each individual will have different perceptions of what sounds best for them and there’s no easy “this is definitely the clear better brand/aid” decision, but again, just trying to gather input and feedback!

It was a long read, sorry, thanks for actually getting this far!

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My previous pair were OPN 1s… I then trialed the More 2 and then More 1. I also had disappointing issues/disconnects with them too regarding Bluetooth connectivity - the same as you describe. ( I made posts about that back in the early part of this year if you are interested).

I then trialed the Phonak P90s. I, too preferred the sound of the Phonak p90s and also the Bluetooth connectivity was absolutely fine. I have now had them just over 6 months and do not regret it one bit.
Others on here are big More fans - I am sure you will be hearing from them soon….

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I assume that you’re using direct streaming between your S20 and the More? Or are you using a ConnectClip as an intermediary device? If the earlier, then you can try streaming using the ConnectClip and your S20 as a temporary workaround until Oticon works out the bugs with their new Android ASHA support (Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids). After all, this capability has only been available since the More line is released earlier this year. It may be an issue with your S20 ASHA implementation as well, not necessarily just an issue with the More, as it’s new technology for both. If you had an older Samsung Android model that doesn’t support ASHA, you might have needed to use the ConnectClip with it anyway.

The Paradise communicates to Android phones and other BT devices via the old BT standard so that’s why it’s more bug-free.

Using a ConnectClip as a workaround until they work out all the kinks on both sides (the phone side and the HA side) would not be a waste if you have a laptop or something else with only the old BT standard that you’d need the ConnectClip for anyway.

By the way, you should include your audiogram to your avatar so we know what kind of hearing loss you have. It’s usually very helpful to discuss things knowing this information.

And because my initial post wasn’t long enough, I wanted to add a quick impressions of the apps.

I find the Phonak app UI to be terrible considering the year we’re in. However, design aside, the accessibility and features are there. It’s nice to be able to customize and make adjustments to the sound profiles, though I did find a small glitch. If you decide to make your own sound program (not Autosense), and have it set to active, and then stream music and use the tap feature to pause, the HAs revert back to Autosense instead of the selected program. But if you stop your music directly via phone, the program reverts to whatever you had set.

The Oticon ON app is visually much better, but I found you can’t really do a whole lot re: sound profiles themselves. But I will say that the best feature is that I can adjust volume and switch programs directly from my phone’s lock screen widget/toolbar which I think is fantastic. It’s nice not to have to go through the motions of unlocking the phone and opening the app, particularly if you don’t want to appear rude while in a social setting but want to adjust your HA sound a bit!

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I tried the P90s and the More1 and had the same experience as you and similar hearing loss, though maybe slightly worse than what you described. That said, after wearing the More for a couple weeks, the background noise didn’t sound loud anymore and things sounded natural.

I loved how you could manually control the NC with the p90s to focus on speech but I’ve found that I actually prefer the more in noise environments. I can hear people so much better with them and the more boost thing in the app lets you beam form to focus on the person you’re facing and helps with multiple voices being amplified.

In terms of Bluetooth, the oticon has been a big letdown where the phonaks were perfect but I prefer the sound of the more and will just deal with using AirPods like I used to rather than my HAs.

Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with either one. You’ll want to have multiple follow Ups with your audiologist so they can tweak the settings for you but stick with the one that sounds best to you and helps you to hear what you want and go with it. Lots of people here will have reasons for why both are great aids but either one will be great once properly setup.

Just read through your posts and resolved not to answer, because I have no experience with the Oticon More. But…in case it helps…heres my response.

I am grateful that I got 2 Phonak Paradise rechageable hearing aids just over a month ago. I’ve used hearing aids for about 20 years.

What I’ve learned is that the audiologist has been more important to me than the hearing aids I have. It’s the setup that counts.

And more importantly, they have to ask the right questions then LISTEN to my answers.

I just had a follow up visit. Essentially he listened then turned up the gain on my auto sense program. have another visit scheduled.

I hope this helps.

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@jcw11: Welcome to the Forum!

I’ve been wearing Oticon More1s since the beginning of April, and More3s for a month prior to that. I’m delighted with how my aids perform for me.

I can’t comment on your findings, really, because you haven’t explained what performance you expect and require from your devices.

For me, being able to hear non-speech sounds in a quieter environment is much more important than my being able to understand, say, speech in noise. I require 360 degree omnidirectional sound most of the time, and I need to discern soft sounds.

My environment is such that strong noise suppression isn’t a requirement.

Within my theatre of operations, I can give Oticon’s design concept and More1s day-to-day performance top marks, because my personal expectations are being met.

I have no idea whether Oticon’s philosophy or product would satisfy your needs, because I don’t yet know what they are.

I liked the paradise better than the oticon more. It fit my hearing loss better. I still didn’t like as well as the Starkey Livio Edge.

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Thanks for the welcome!

I suppose part of the reason I don’t have some sort of performance requirement list or specific expected outcomes is even I’m not positive of what they might be. As mentioned, I am a first time hearing aid user and these products are a new world and experience to me. I am already shocked at how different brands can sound so different to me (nevermind the pricing of the major brands!). The difference in spatial awareness with HAs (pinpointing where sounds are coming from exactly) vs not having had the need prior, the wall of sound without nuance… all new. My immediate need is to be able to hear more than generic louder sounds from my left side. I can be seated at a table and be completely unaware that someone to my left is even speaking to me, but if someone dropped a glass on the floor I would be able to hear that. The biggest effect my new hearing loss has had on me thus far has to do with understanding speech in semi complex to advanced listening environments, which is why I alluded a little more to it in my post. And decent Bluetooth capabilities has cropped up as relatively important too (which prior to really starting to research HAs I had assumed it would be a nonissue). Outside of that I’m still in processing mode, hence asking for general feedback on the experiences with said HAs. I’m just trying to absorb information; scenarios and environments that I may not have even considered or thought of that are important, feedback on the initial likes and dislikes of the aids, etc. These sorts of things might set off light bulbs for me as I move forward in considering which HAs to purchase, the Ah-Hah moments that make me think, “Oh yeah, that will probably be important or useful for me,” or “OK, I can live with or without that.”

Thanks for the response! I’m definitely gathering that once of the, if not they most important factor is the audiologist himself or herself! So far, I’m happy with mine as he has stressed that the whole process will take time and multiple sessions of tweaking, so it doesn’t sound like he’s just trying to usher me in and out of the office with a single visit and sale.

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Yes, direct streaming. Ideally, I would like to avoid the need for additional accessories. I am completely new to the HA world, and had always assumed their wireless technologies would have been on par with headphones/earbuds, the Boses, Jabras, Beats, etc. Imagine my surprise to learn they’re not, though I am quickly learning a bit more about LE and such so that battery life can last all day and so forth. I had also been interested in trying Widex until I learned they can’t even stream with Android yet!

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Can you try out Starkey evolv AI? It was announced a month ago. It would be interesting to hear your comparison between evolv AI and More.

Yeah HAs are smaller and must last all day uninterrupted so battery preservation is a big issue to consider, hence the low energy requirement. Your typical Airpods or other equivalents don’t have to last all day like the HAs.

Beside almost all HA brands being able to stream directly with the iPhone MFI via the Apple proprietary BT LE, only Phonak has made the decision to not wait for the Android ASHA protocol, but instead to go ahead and develop a chip that can stream directly with the classic BT protocol. The Audeo B original SWORD chip could only do monaural, but the Marvel version on up can now do binaural streaming.

Other major HA mfgs seem to prefer to wait and support only Android ASHA going forward instead. I guess they were making a strategic decision that their intermediary streamer can tide them over with their user base who are the Android phone crowd until Android ASHA is supported by newer Android phone models. Meanwhile, Phonak gets their ROI on the SWORD chip by picking up new Android phone users who don’t want to wait for ASHA support or deal with an intermediary streaming device anymore.

So I guess you gotta make a decision on the BT streaming issue. If you like both equally, then it may be a no brainer to pick the Paradise because they have classic BT protocol support that’s more proven and stable. If you favor the More more, then you gotta ask yourself whether you’re willing to wait for the Android ASHA support to get refined or not, either by putting up with the quirks temporarily, or putting up with wearing a streaming accessory temporarily.

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Here’s a general observation that I believe applies to many newcomers to HAs (and applied to me, as well). We tend to become easily overwhelmed by the plethora of technical information because we have no filters based on our needs to help is make sense of things. We spend a lot of time trying to sort through all this information about devices, features and specifications, encountering many frustrations along the way, because we don’t know what’s important for us to hear, and what’s not. We simply haven’t spent enough time trying to define what’s relevant to us, before opening the floodgates of information about hardware.

We embark on our hearing journey with an unclear idea of where we want to end up, and what alternate routes are available to get us there. It’s also easy to forget that out final destination will not be “normal hearing, as it was before our hearing declined”. This is why defining our new expectations is crucial, since there’s not a hearing aid made that can give us back everything that we’ve lost. (We need to keep that fact front and center, as well!)

Eventually, when I found myself going in circles, I resorted to cataloguing the repetitive scenes in my daily life made problematic by my hearing loss. I then gradually fine-tuned my descriptions such that they became useful to both me and my audiologist for the purpose of fitting my aids (and even of evaluating the various brands and models that were candidates for my treatment).

We initially prioritized the scenarios, since there were too many to address in one sitting, and we keep referring to my “filters and performance criteria” to the present day, as we make adjustments based on changes in my hearing and lifestyle. This approach has been working well for us (me and my audiologist).

A similar tactic might work for you.

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Great suggestion for approach, much appreciated! Yes, it’s easy to get overly immersed in some of these threads, particularly on some of the Oticon tech posts which I’ve found myself perusing through (fascinating stuff, and impressive with the amount of technical knowledge a lot of people have! And doubly impressive that so many people can articulate how the tech transforms to actual personal hearing application beyond wondering if all the terminology is just gimmick and buzz wordy. My initial read is that Oticon really does use an unconventional approach when it comes to sound processing for HAs, which is why there seems to be so much more discussion at a technical level on this forum!). But interesting read aside, I have to decide whether the HA will be suited for me long term, and remind myself that others’ needs and experiences will always differ from mine, even if they have the same hearing loss and product.

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@jcw11: Exactly. I’ve worn only two makes - Unitron and Oticon. I’m sold on the Oticon approach for my needs.

I’ve learned a lot about Mores from wearing them … and from the Forum’s Oticon gurus. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you.

@hearing-love_loss This is the first I’ve heard of them - I’ll ask my audiologist about them at our next appointment!

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@jcw11
I had a lot of concerns when I first started out.

One HA? Two HA? I could only afford one…but a friend later told me that using one hearing aid affects balance. He had a cochlear implant. I should have listened but that’s another story.

What brand? Audiologists tell me they can sell any brand.

How do I pick a good audiologist? Yellow pages? Internet? I found an expert to talk to. At work. We have 150,000 kids in our schools. So we have hearing experts. Phonaks office is in town.

A lot of this was needless worry. But i did it anyway.

Back a while Costco didn’t sell hearing aids in town. They do now. If i was buying my own I would have been cost conscious and Costco wins that one. Theres about a 30% saving.

I was a pro photographer. If someone tried to choose my camera gear I would have lost it. I think buying a hearing aid is like buying an SLR camera system. Lots of choices. They all work or the companies wouldn’t be in business. But we all have our own needs.

DaveL

This is a great question: my own answer is similar. Talk to somebody who deals with hearing impaired clients. For me, the whole identification and selection process has been hit or miss.

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I’m considering the exact same hearing aids that you are.

I’ve just completed a trial of the Oticon More 1s, without REM, but I was able to self-program them to the point where I felt I was getting the most out of them.

I will be picking up the Phonaks (Costco Kirkland Signature 10.0) later today.

Previously, I had ReSound hearing aids, so I may eventually try the newest model from ReSound as well.

A brief summary of my experience with the Oticon More 1s: I actually did like them once I got things tweaked the way I like, which is on the minimal side of processing and also requiring minimal intervention from the user to switch between programs, etc. (Quite honestly, this was surprising to me since I did not like Oticon hearing aids when I trialed them several years ago.)

Initially, the increased level of environmental sounds and higher frequencies (which I didn’t previously have in my older hearing aids) were jarring and it took me a few days to get acclimated. But after about a week, I was ready to begin tweaking, and eventually got everything to the point that I like.

I agree that Oticon’s Bluetooth is absolutely terrible, which is really annoying since I do a lot of remote meetings and streaming throughout the day. I’ve had dropped connections when my iPhone is just two feet away sitting on the desk in front of me unobstructed, which is obviously ridiculous. I also think the binaural communication between the left and right devices is flaking out occasionally, too.

The streaming is also a killer on the battery life as I am not able to make it through a normal 16-hour day when I am streaming heavily.

I will report back when I have more info.