Hi, my dad is getting a new hearing aid. His current one is 12 years

Hi, my 83 yr old dad is getting a new hearing aid. His current one is 12 years
old and the new audio test says his hearing is MUCH worse in both ears
and that he could benefit with 2 aids - 1 for now because of the cost - right ear.

The audiologist - who i asked to keep the cost down if possible -
prescribed this aid:

Phonak Una Sp

It seems like a good entry level digital aid and i think would make a
big improvement over his current old analogue aid. Current cost =
$1200 - $500 - Canada Gov’t pays - $100 discount = $600 would be his

My question is would the Phonak Una Sp AZ - which has this autozoom
extra feature - be a better aid?

Would the audiologist’s test show that he would benefit from the
Autozoom feature or did the test show that he wouldn’t benefit from it
hence save cost?

How much more would the Autozoom cost?

Should i forget about the more expensive Autozoom and buy 2 of these cheaper models ? Or buy just the one and try it then buy another if he likes it?


right O - left X
.25 = 70-70
.5 = 65-80
.75 = 70-75
1 = 90-70
1.5 = 75-65
2 = 70-70
3 = 70-70
4 = 85-70
6 = 90-80
8 = 100-90

right < - left >
.25 = 40-40
.5 = 55-55
1 = 55-65
2 = 65-70
3 = 70-70
4 = 70-70
6 = none-80
8 = none-90

speech Threshold
Severe, Profound, Sensorineural, Mixed - Severe, Sensorineural, Mixed

The UNA SP AZ has audioZoom, which is a directional microphone, which the normal SP does not have. Directionality allows the user to hear better in background noise than the omnidirectional microphone found in the normal SP model. This is however a manually activated setting, so your father has to remember to push a button on the aids to put it into this setting when required (groups/noisy situations). So if he has poor memory or dexterity issues he may not find benefit if he cannot manage these controls. In this case he may need an even more advanced (auto switching aid like the Phonak Extra range of hearing aids) which is more expensive - if he finds himself in social situations (more than 4 people at once) often.

A user will almost always be better off with two less expensive hearing aids than only one more expensive hearing aid, when cost is an issue.

It has been my experience that people make poor judgement when switching from directional to omni, and those who do tend to do it so much…
Now to be honest- Phonak do have very nice remote controls so
doing those changes might be easy to do them having a remote control…

I do not know if it is true but. Generally an instrument with direc microphone has less power. so that means less reserve gain

The Una has a BassBoost function that compensates well for the low frequency rol-off XBulder speaks of. Unfortunately there is no Remote option for the Una. And Yes, a manually switchable direction mic only works if the user remembers to use it, which is why an automatically switching aid is often better, but tends to also be more pricey.

So the AZ feature which uses a 2nd directional mic uses more power hence shorter battery life + user must remember to turn off - on.

Yes i’m thinking also 2 of the prescribed cheaper Phonak Una Sp’s.

So we’ll let him try just one for now, his right ear, for the
30 day exchange / return policy and if he likes it then get the 2nd
left ear. Also i figure for these older people it’s best to keep it
simple, so just a volume control.

Another question if i may. Do these aids have a feature to receive signals wirelessly so that he can have a tv transmitter that transmits directly to the aid without wires? He now uses regular wireless tv transmitter and headphones but their getting old.


ps he has a parrot and they like to chew and bite on everything and i get the feeling that the small tube that goes from the BTE to the ear mold will be a prime target for the bird -). Would those tubes be costly to repair? His old aid is in the ear style.

If you get a telecoil in his hearing aid, you can use the tcoil setting and then run a loop system around the tv area or get one of the loop pads. (ex: http://www.tecear.com/Loop%20Kit.htm )