How does Resound compare to new Phonak Audeo-B Direct?

resound
phonak
hearing-aids

#21

WOW!!! I just returned from my aud-guy, pursuant to his having me try out the Phonak Audeo B-Direct BTE aids (or RIE, if you will). Could this be the FIRST TIME in my 30+ years of of new aid fittings that I have a “WOW!” factor going on?!?! I am cautiously WOWED with these aids. Here’s my quick take, just 3 hours into wearing them:

PROS

  • COMFORT: Right off the bat, the receivers fit more comfortably in my ear canal. The Phonak (L) power dome is significantly smaller and more conical-shaped than the giant, onion-domed Widex (L) power domes I’ve been squishing into my ear canals for 9 mos now. Comfort is KING. My aud-guy said that both Phonak and Widex have a slightly curved receiver “matchstick”, so it tends to go in the ear canal with less pushing against the walls in there. So far, so VERY good!
  • SOUND: After literally a two-minute adjustment to boost the higher freqs a bit and set the default volume 6dB higher, I am GOOD to GO! The sound quality seems instantly richer, fuller and with more bass & mid-range than my Oticon Opn aids. I did find I needed a bit more on the high end to get the crispness of speech, but I will also test these out with music tonight. NO prob with speech discrimination, as the Phonaks seem to eliminate the irritating, ambient PINK noise that my Oticons delivered non-stop.
  • BATTERY: Yes, this is also a HUGE factor. These Audeo B’s take a size 13. That means I should enjoy a good 10 days of wear before changing the batteries. By contrast, the Oticon Opn miniRITE took 312, which necessitated a change every 5 days MAX, given my TV streaming use.
  • EASE OF USE: I like that I can answer a phone or reject a call with just a press on my control button. I just rejected a crank caller from the Wash DC area - s’there! >:-)

CONS
PHONE STREAMER: This may not be a deal-killer, but as others have posted here: the Phonak Audeo B-Direct streams to ONE EAR ONLY! And here, my aud-guy & I collectively slapped our foreheads! What gives? Completely sub-optimal. The set-up program asked for “the good ear” and allows one to pick either LEFT or RIGHT ear to stream the phone - NOT BOTH. It appears that the aids are able to send radio freqs to communicate between R & L (for volume and program cycles), but NOT audio freqs. Do you suppose a gremlin rules the development lab at Phonak and is tasked with finding some critical feature that will NOT be built in? I can almost hear the creature cackling with GLEE: “Heh-heh! That should be FUN for the folks to struggle on the phone with single-ear streaming!” AUGH.

STILL TO TRY OUT
TV Streamer: My aud-guy didn’t have the TV box on-hand today, so that will be my next trial in a week when I pick that up and set it up at home. The user manual shows that the TV streamer does NOT require a clip-on streamer of any kind: audio will stream directly into … ONE ear? BOTH ears? I won’t know till I try it out.

Despite the comically A$$backwards thinking of having a phone stream to ONE ear, I am very impressed with these aids after just a few hours use. The sound quality is POWERFUL with my size 90 receiver. I tried out the phone streaming with my Samsung, and it works A-OK, altho I will have to adapt to the challenge of listening with one so-called GOOD ear (as if I had any good ears - isn’t that why I’m wearing AIDS?)

My aud-guy was in such disbelief about the one-eared phone streaming that he says he’ll call Phonak Tech Support to ask, “Seriously?” and see if there is a suggested work-around.

I was beyond amazed when my aud-guy said if the Phonaks work out for me, he’ll take the 9-mo old Oticons and simply hand them over to his sales rep. He said, “The guy OWES me, he will make this work for me - don’t worry about a thing. This will be an even trade.” This is why I’ve gone to my aud-guy for over 10 years now. Very very grateful for all he’s done and the time and customer orientation here.


#22

chattermail: perhaps you could go back to your audi and demand a solution or resolution! Only by taking a strong stand against a half-baked product can we force the development of genuine, total solutions. Most folks who wear TWO aids would like a phone streamer that streams to BOTH ears and a TV streamer that does the same. (ditto laptops, etc.,)

It appears that by taking a pitbull stand against Oticon myself, I will now get a new pair of Phonak Audeo B-Direct aids as a trade for the Opn miniRITEs.

Here I am, Day 1, hour 4, and my Samsung phone is streaming beautifully (albeit to ONE ear). I am very satisfied!


#23

Actually I DO find this comparison page helps!!! I am just logging on here after being out of town for 3 weeks. This comparison chart shows me at a glance what features the two brands offer side-by-side. Now what would also be helpful is some reviews - or even a section that might be more qualitative. F’instance, the fact that the Audeo B-Direct streams phones to ONE EAR ONLY could be a HUGE factor in one’s purchase decision. Or if the aid has only a clip-on streamer or even better (as in far, far worse) has NO available streamer for a platform - i.e., the Oticon Opn miniRITE aid’s complete lack of a standalone Samsung-compatible streamer.

What do you think?


#24

1Bluejay: I’ll be trying out a pair of Audeo B90 -Directs and if I like them, I’ll replace the OPN1’s. My concern is that I’ve never enjoyed the sound of the B90’s; I need to spend more time tweaking the programming (which in my case means turning off almost all of the bells and whistles).


#25

That IS a coincidence!! First order of business for me today was to tweak the frequencies on my trial Phonak Audeo B-Direct90s. That took just a couple minutes! Initially, I found the way they were pre-programmed made everything sound muffled - like talking & hearing through cheesecloth! So I think you may also find immediate improvement if you can get to an audiologist who will take just a few minutes to work on the frequencies. What exactly do you NOT like about the sound of your B90s?


#26

Thanks for the feedback @1Bluejay … this is actually great advice. There are certainly some data points that are just hard to capture in a comparison chart… So I’m thinking maybe just an abbreviated pros and cons list for devices would do the job. Then we could just put this lists side by side for comparisons. Do you think that would cover it?

Regarding reviews. This just takes time. We have plenty for the Opns, but the Direct is too new…


#27

I’ve got a fair amount of experience with Phonak programming, so I’ll give it a go myself. I can always fall back on the professionals if it seems to be required.

My problem with Phonaks has always been that they sound unnatural … processed, maybe. Whereas the Oticons have always sounded natural. Everyone’s mileage will vary, of course, so it’s possible I just haven’t spent enough time with the Phonaks. Believe me, I want to like them - I can’t stand iOS and would love to go back to Android.


#28

This could work - if REVIEWS is maybe a separate section on the message board? That way, one’s opinion (i.e., review) would not be lost in the body of a thread that touches on the topic of a brand of aids.

F’instance, my own post here about comparing the Audeo B with Resound’s aids is good for sharing info, but a separate REVIEW from a user-perspective could be organized alphabetically by manufacturer. Well, p’haps the entire topic is best noodled among us users for ideas?


#29

Tony (Abarsanti), a forum member who has a reverse hearing loss curve (a bit more reverse sloping than yours, while yours is not as reverse sloping but a little flatter), pointed out in reference to an Oticon podcast that Oticon sets their proprietary VAC+ hearing rationale on reversed hearing loss curve to not actually boosting up the bass & mid-range for this type of loss, which is counter-intuitive. But based on their research, this seems to help with speech clarity for folks with this type of loss. I wonder if that’s why you find the Audeo-B Direct richer in bass and mid-range, because the Oticon VAC+ rationale actually cuts down on the bass and mid-range for reverse slope loss.

I’m curious what you mean by ambient PINK noise? Are you just talking about any kind of noise in general that the OPN chooses not to block out, or are you talking about some self-generated noise (which I’m not aware of)?

Finally, I wonder if you have actually talked on the phone with somebody for long enough to get their impression about how they think you sound on their end? This is because the Audeo-B Direct uses the HA’s mic and not the Android phone’s mic for phone calls. So I’m curious how it’s working out in your experience?


#30

I wonder if this is why the phone call only goes to one HA? One acts as a speaker, the other the microphone?

Looking forward to more reviews from @1Bluejay - especially the streamer

Are ambient sounds still amplified in the non phone aid or does something change when you answer a call?


#31

Have you tried streaming anything other than a phone call from your phone? Like music or a video? Is it still one ear?
How about connecting to something else that is bluetooth like a tablet or laptop?


#32

HUM! Well I just paired the Phonak Audeo B with my Macbook Pro here and … NO sound streams into my left ear at all. I’m puzzled. On my laptop, under “System Preferences”, I selected Bluetooth, made sure it was ON, then just laid my aid on the laptop for a minute till I was prompted to click Pair to pair the aid with the laptop. I did that, and a pop-up window showed:
L-Phonak hearing aid
Connected

But it can’t be, cuz when the Mac’s volume is turned UP, I just hear it through the Mac’s speakers. Augh. I removed the device and re-paired it, and altho it shows that the L-Phonak aid is connected, the sound only plays through the Mac. I may have to run this by my Tech Kahuna hubs … unless anyone here has an idea what’s going on?


#33

I did the unmanly thing and RTFM (Read The Fine Manual)
https://www.phonak.com/content/dam/phonak/gc_us/en/solution/products/audeo_b/documents/029-0530-03_User_Guide_Audeo_B-Direct.pdf
on page 36 it reads

“The TV Connector can be connected to any audio source such as a TV, PC or hi-fi system.”

Next is to find the manual for the TV Connector to see how it connects to a PC


#34

^^^ So does that mean I need the Phonak TV streamer unit in order to stream my laptop to these aids? Makes NO sense! If I have to plug that TV streamer into the TV to stream a show, then unplug it and plug it into a laptop to listen to CNN, then unplug it and plug it into XYZ bluetooth device that’s LAME! Augh. <:- (0)

But THANK YOU for that link to the manual! The little quick-look booklet that came with these aids has very little info on the actual streaming capabilities. And my dear aud-guy is NO rocket scientist.


#35

Come to think of it, it appears that I am able to hear ambient sound PLUS have the call stream to my left aid when on the phone - and that’s actually a plus. I just got off a half-hour call with my mom and she said I sound WAY better now - streaming with my Phonak Audeos than I have for a LONG time, cuz I used to use the old Oticon Streamer Pro necklace and my Alta Pro aids. My mom said I used to sound very “far away”, and I guess that’s due to the old Streamer Pro technology. The good news is that the Phonak mic works BETTER for my listeners on phone calls. I like that!

I’ll still have to get used to listening with only ONE EAR but at least I’m managing ok so far, Day 2 of my trial. The real test is to go call Anthem Blue Cross. They are my ultimate guinea pig for ANY lengthy streamed call. Y’can’t get an answer from Anthem on any issue in under 45 min to 2 hours, so my new Phonak streamer aids will be the perfect laboratory test, heh! heh! >: - )


#36

By PINK noise, I mean all that extraneous ambient noise: heating, A/C, dishes clanking, wind blowing, noise in the mall, airport, all that STUFF that just seemed to make speech discrimination SO HARD for me with the Oticon Opns. By contrast, the Phonak Audeos seem almost dangerously DIRECTIONAL. F’instance, I can not hear ONE thing coming up behind me: a speeding car, a person, etc., so I have to be really careful to turn my head and point my aids in all directions. Maybe just a fine-tune fix?

And the GOOD NEWS: listeners find me much clearer to hear with the Phonak Audeo streaming vs the old Oticon Streamer Pro streamer. I guess one good thing about the streaming technology here is the mic. Now if only the dang aids would stream to BOTH EARS! Again, I have to question the reality-defying logic that would convince Phonak development that DEAF folks actually hear better on the phone with ONE bad ear instead of stereophonically thru TWO. AUGH. How to convince them otherwise? Make them run a marathon with a single sneaker? Why not!


#37

OK - LOL!!! I have that exact little booklet, and it is hardly a User Manual!!! One sentence does not tell someone HOW to connect to a laptop. It only shows the diagram of cell phone --> aid on person’s ear --> big screen TV. I’m going to need more than cave man drawings to figure this out. Feh.


#38

TV connector manual

Sorry, not great at multitasking any more. Trying to watch a movie, RTFM, read and respond to the thread.


#39

My take on what the manual is trying to say here is for any device that is not Bluetooth enabled, like a TV, or a PC (that doesn’t have Bluetooth), or a hifi system, then you can use the TV Connector as an intermediate streamer to hear from thos devices.

But the HA itself HAS regular Bluetooth capability, so like any other Bluetooth enabled devices like headphones, headsets, speaker system, etc, it should be able to connect to source devices (like PC or TV or tablet that has BT built-in) just fine.

But that’s in theory only. How well it works is another thing altogether. I had a RC Connect streamer for my old Costco Rexton CIC HAs and it works VERY POORLY with other BT sources. It only works well with its own transmitter.


#40

Having read all the manuals and most of the website, my take on Bluetooth connectivity differs. There is an obvious omission of connecting to anything Bluetooth other than a cell phone with the Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Phone) protocol or the TV connector. The MFA or Made For All marketing proclamation, might be trying to imply that it is similar to the apple MFi, yet the only similarity seems to be in Acronyms if it does not connect to other Bluetooth products.

I’ll check into this with my Audi as connecting to many things Bluetooth is an important feature for me.