I tried 4 and found "the one" - Phonak Audéo B R B90

I have typical moderate to severe high frequency hearing loss I’m 59 and had to make the jump. It’s been a good, yet frustrating summer - good in that I hear birds chipping again, frustrating in that hearing loss is really hard to correct (it seems) in a way that feels natural.

I started out with Unitron Tempest Moxi - From what I had been able to read they seemed to be the “best” - of course as I quickly learned there in no “best” - only what works for the individual. I really liked the rechargeable/standard battery option - in fact this was a prime motivation along with the small size - at first I was pretty happy. I went back to have the edge taken off sharp woman’s vices and to see if a little more natural bass sounds could be found for music. (I’m a late blooming musician and music is very important to me). This was not a successful adjustment and in fact seemed to cause a riff with my audiologist as I asked for more flexibility and to use the program settings to add music, wind noise, crowd setting - the Untrons did not handle crowds well at all, the bass became distorted, woman’s vices still sounded sharp. At this point I lost confidence in my audiologist, my take was she was not motivated to help me get these working properly and seemed to lack the ability to use the Unitron software and made a switch (within the clinic organization). My new audiologist has been fantastic - very motivated, knowledgeable and pleasant to work with. We set up the programs and tweaked things in a a couple visits. At the end of the day I found the programs to not be very distinguishable other than the wind noise setting worked well. Mostly I did not like the music settings, I found phone conversations very frustrating and crowd settings to be difficult, and they would squeal a bit if something got near my ears. At the end to the trail period I decided to make a switch - I was sure something must be better than this.

I went to the new Starkey Muse - same rechargeable/standard battery option and advertised as a GREAT music aid. Well for me the Starkey Muse was terrible, the feedback and squealing was terrible despite a couple adjustments. - the one thing that I really liked with the Starkey was the Jazz music reproduction, but rock and blues had a lot bass distortion. The Starkey’s where by far the worst when it came to feedback and screeching - I once had them go “ballistic” getting out of my car… on multiple times rip the aids form my ears due to feedback issues. The Starkey’s also had a tinny or echoed quality that did not sound natural. The overall quality feel and comfort was excellent. I really wanted to like the Starkey’s - I live not far form where they are made and have a friend that once was a engineer for them, if they would have been at least equal to the Untron Moxi I likely would have kept them and called it a day. I took the Starkey’s back after about two, maybe three weeks - I quickly became very disappointed in these - overall I’d give these a distant 4th in my rating of the four aids I tried.

I also tried the ReSound LiNX II demo aids that where available. The ReSound where in side by side comparisons with the Starkey a much more natural sounding aid. I also learned that ReSound (in the LiNX III model) had a rechargeable/standard battery option available - in fact it had just come out that week. The fit and finish of the ReSound felt cheap to me, they worked pretty well, and at one point I thought I might go with theses in a LiNX III with the rechargeable/standard battery option however the more I used them the less I liked them with regards to the quality sound - more a general tininess, but again next to the Starkey they compared very well.

When I took the Starky’s back I picked up a pair of Phonak Audéo B R B90

The Phonak Audéo B R B90 right out of the box struck a great balance with all sounds. I was hesitant to go with the “only” rechargeable option as I travel a lot and liked the idea of being able to simply switch over to standard battery’s and not carry a charger. Phonak also had a promotion and I was able to get the streaming remote, a mini charger, and a power pack to power the charger for a week if I could not plug in.

For me the Phonak Audéo B R B90 is by a pretty substantial margin the best overall - the quality of music, wind noise, crowd and background noise are all well balanced and natural sounding. They do not give feedback or squeal even if I touch my hair or brush them with my hand. The only knock I have with the Phonak is they are “kind” of big and when they do an auto-adjustment I notice it - they seem to drop off just a bit as they change…not anything that is a problem, but at first I thought they might be shutting down.

My personal ratings
A distant 4th Starkey Muse - terrible feedback and hollow tin sound. Best fit and finish but a clunky shape.

A close 3rd ReSound LiNX II - adequate, not an overly impressive sound quality, some feedback issues, nice small size - I may have felt differently had I tried the newest technology (LiNX III) but once I tied the Phonak I was satisfied that I had a winner.

2nd - Unitron Tempest Moxi - I wore these the longest (trial) and in Unitrons defense may have lost my way trying to tweak them - music reproduction was frustrating which is what pushed me to try other aids. minor feedback issues. A decent hearing aid in most situations.

1st (for me) by a pretty substantial margin -Phonak Audéo B R B90 - Best sound quality on balance. I have the remote to steam phone conversations and it works well, it has to be close (collar clip). I just hope the internal battery does not haunt me down the road when it needs to be replaced.


The Audeo B-R are excellent. The only suggestion I have is that you should have tried the newer Resound Linx3D hearing aids instead of the Linx II.


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Great review. The Unitron Moxi Fit R is on my list
Open or closed domes?
Were you streaming the phone with the Unitrons or just putting to your ear?

It sounds like you went for the Audeo B R and not the newer Audeo B Direct? (muddling through the marketing names I think only the Direct has the newer SWORD chip)

Ah yes - marketing names - I have the Phonak Audéo B R B90 - I did not have the streaming option with the Unitrons and the “magnetic connect” option would very seldom connect - in fact I can say only once did the beeps go off to tell me the aid found the phone magnet. The domes where the standard Unitron double cone things. Not sure if they would be called open of closed, but I did have to change one to a smaller single cone for comfort.

Hi Jordan, Yes - I agree, but I was getting inpatient and once I tried the Phonak I was happy to go with them rather than wait to get a newer version of the ReSound…that said, the rechargeable/standard battery option would have perhaps been worth the wait and give the newer tech a try… so far the rechargeable only tech of the Phonak hasn’t caused me any heartache - I am traveling for work next week and will try the power pack on my charger case.

Like I said, the Phonak B-R are excellent hearing aids. They were my second choice. I’ve been a very loyal Phonak customer for years and but the direct to iPhone capabilities of the Resound Linx3D were a game changer for me. If Phonak would have adopted Apple’s MFI protocol, I would have purchased their product again. I will say the rechargeable feature of the Phonak B-R is excellent and it took away the stress of stashing batteries everywhere (office, car, bedroom, etc).


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I did not know that…I’m still in the trail period - I can see that as a game changer for sure. I really do not like having a remote to carry and clip onto my collar.

I may have to try them after all… hear that? It’s my audiologist dropping her head on the table :wink:

If you’ve got the Audeo Directs, you should have direct streaming to your cell phone. You shouldn’t have to clip anything to your collar.

He is trialing the Phonak Audeo B-R (with the rechargeable batteries) not the Audeo Direct. They are two different models. The Audeo B-R needs the Compilot Air to connect.


He mentions in one of the posts that he does indeed have the Audeo Direct.

“Ah yes - marketing names - I do indeed have the Audeo B Directs”

Well I hope we get to the bottom of what model of Phonak he’s using now, cuz I am sitting here wearing my Phonak Audeo B-Direct aids, and they stream directly to ONE ear for cell phone calls only. Based on what jim_w says, it appears that I could also get a clip-on streamer to stream to ALL other Bluetooth-enabled devices then? If so, I will ask my aud-guy about that at my next app’t on Monday.

For me Android cell-phone streaming was the decision-maker in my going with the Audeo B-Direct model. I am picking up the TV streaming unit on Monday. But that said, IF I could also get a clip-on streamer to stream to my laptop, it might be worth my spending a couple hundred more.

Verrrry intriguing! I hope jim_w checks the user guide that came with his Phonaks and let’s us know once and for all if he’s got the B-Direct or the B-R. Cuz as far as I can deduce looking at my user guide, these B-Direct aids ONLY stream cell phone calls - no other device; and NO clip-on streamer is even mentioned in the booklet at all.

jim_w: thanks SO much for your thorough review of FOUR models of aids. I totally resonate with your experiences to an eerie degree! I also tried Starkeys a couple years back and found them a distant fourth: very unstable performance in the gym, cycling randomly through programs cuz the aids got wet (yeah, that’s what we do in the gym: SWEAT).

I also trialed the Widex Unique cuz that was recommended for MUSIC specifically, and like you, I appreciate hi-fi and a broad range of music. Gonged 'em cuz the music sounded terrible: flat and tinny.

I had been wearing the Oticon Opn miniRITE aids for 9 mos and found them very stressful and completely unacceptable in crowds of any kind, or wherever there was ambient noise (cars, malls, offices, stores, restaurants, airports).

I am also fortunate to have a very patient aud-guy I’ve been to for 10 years now. He has me trying out the Audeo B-Direct aids, which I LOVE. Like you, I found them noticeably the best in sound quality right out of the box. It took a 2-min adjustment to get them sounding just right to me. Music also sounds very good, so I will likely keep these.

It may seem funny, but what I notice and like about these aids is that they sound a LOT like the ITE Oticon Alta Pros I used to wear. It seems that the Phonak BTE engineering has somehow been able to replicate a richer, fuller sound such as I’d hear with an ITE aid that sat right INSIDE my ear. The ear’s natural cup shape enhances sound in a way that a mic pointed up at the ceiling can simply never do - or so I thought.

It really boils down to individual listening preferences. And you and I are incredibly lucky to have been able to try out all these models till we find one that works. The analogy I gave my aud-guy is that it’s an expensive investment, and like test-driving cars, we should ALL be able to try out a range of models and see which one works best for us.

Hope you clarify: are these Phonak Audeo B-Direct (that stream to ONE ear only); cuz my aud-guy said nothing about a clip-on streamer that would be compatible with them … Hurry up and let us know! :-:grinning:

Yes - I indeed have the Phonak Audéo B R B90 - and have Com…Air to stream

Phonak Audéo B R B90 with a ComPilot Air remote

Sorry had it wrong - I went to my warranty card to be sure - I have the Phonak Audéo B R B90

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If you like the Phonaks, why don’t you change to the Audeo Direct, then you’ll have direct streaming to your phone.

I just checked w/Phonak to be sure - they do not offer a rechargeable option in the Direct

Well I decided to try the ReSound LiNX 3D rechargeable.

My audiologist is great, she will got them ordered and has me set on 10/20 to make the switch, also she can hang on the Phonak so it will be easy to go back if I don’t like the sound of the ReSound in the newer (than I tried) technology.

While I still think the Phonak have the best sound of any I have tried (including the ReSound LiNX 2). I really do not like the mic required for streaming and the fact that I do not have a standard battery option for travel. I often do extended trips on a motorcycle every cubic inch of packing space is precious…also it seems the Z100 technology is the future and will offer more flexibility as battery tech evolves. Of course you are also not without your aids when the rechargeable battery dies.

More “fun” as I get to the “promised land” :slight_smile:

Interested in your comparison of the two. The Linx3D iPhone integration is well done but Phonak’s sound processing is top notch.


Perhaps Sonova & GN Resound should merge and produce one aid with the best of both?