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

I am not an expert by any means. Got my first hearing aid last Friday.

I have a ReSound LiNX 2 but I plan on taking it back for the LiNX 3D but will ask about Phonak options when I go in. The 3D adds rechargeable battery and better (still not great) phone support on Android. I say that because at least I will be able to control the program and volume via an app but phone use and streaming are still going to require the Phone Clip+. I was doing some reading on the Phonak and it seems like this might be the case as well as with those. One question I have for you though is what Android do you have? While Android support expanded with the ReSound 3D, it isn’t remotely close to any Android. For example, my Pixel XL is on the support list but the Pixel (same generation but smaller screen) isn’t. So watch that with whatever hearing aid you look at.

As far as rechargeable battery. I look at it like this. It is the end of the day, I charge my battery and my smart watch anyhow. I am used to that cycle as I go to bed. I haven’t had my HA very long but here is my first week. I got it Friday afternoon. It worked great all weekend. Come monday I head to the gym in the morning as usual and I notice I really can’t hear anything with the hearing aid. I mess with it and turn up the volume. Nothing. I was right in thinking it was the wax filter being plugged. They told me about it and how to change it but didn’t say how often. It depends on how much wax your ears produce. I think sweating in the gym accelerated it some. Really go no use of the HA until I got home and could change the filter which takes 10 seconds. Tuesday is day two. Tuesday is cardio day so off the gym and I was going to stream a podcast while I run on the treadmill. I have a hearing aid now no need for headphones. Just as I get started it starts beeping that the battery is low so it stops streaming. I was just starting out what should have been my second day and dead battery. So today was really the first day where the HA worked all day at work. Not blaming it, I know it takes time to understand how many days to expect and how often to change the filter. For me 3-4 days on a battery is what I can expect. I now have batteries and filters in my desk at work, and at home. With rechargeable batteries, you don’t have to worry about starting out your day and within an hour you get the low battery alarm. Charge them at night and they will last the day. Many are sealed better for weather protection. But it might mean more down time for a battery replacement. The 3D I think has a user replaceable battery though and they last about a year.

If you have 312 size battery, you would want to charge each night. Early version would barely make it through one day. It looks like that has improved somewhat. Size 13 might be relied on for two day. It is new tech so improvements/fixes are a likely possibility. But rechargeables are new and who knows how they’ll last.

All of the 312 size Z100 style rechargeable (Unitrion, Starkey, and ReSound) I tried made it for a full day (about 16-18 hours) - only the ReSound ever ran out - happened once at about 17 hours. As I understand it, streaming uses more power than normal use.

I charge my phone, iPod, iPad most nights. Any more and I won’t have enough space on the bedside table. I only have to change my 312 HA batteries every 7-8 days so it isn’t a big hassle. Rechargables are more needed if you have dexterity issues or young kids around for whom there is a risk of swallowing small batteries.

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OMG, I was looking for a stereo stream to both aids for calls and music, without any intermediary device required, and that would work on my Android. I quickly dropped the Android idea and conceded to the iphone. The Audeo B-90R information was clear as mud and I still don’t know if I can get the stereo stream,to both aids for calls and music using the MFI (made for iphone), and without the need for any intermediary device.
Does anyone have a pair of Adeo B-90R and an iphone who can answer this query?

I do not have the hearing aids in question, but they are not made for iPhone. The only Phonak hearing aids that will allow direct streaming from a smart phone is the Audeo B-Direct and it will not do it in stereo.

If you want aids that allow direct streaming to iPhone, among the choices are Widex Beyond, Oticon Opn, Signia NX, Resound Linx 3D and something by Starkey.

Thx so much MDB for clarifying.
Out of all the aids you mentioned, none has the quality of sound that is reported by phonak b90 & B direct users.
My audiologist has recommended the Benafon zerena 9, but their website doesn’t mention any thing about MFI, or distinguish when a intermediary device is required, or do they stream both calls and music in both ears. I cannot confirm if they’re the holy grail, but without the recharge function.
Love to hear from anyone with first hand experience with the Benefon zerena 9?

Thank you - I was not aware. I thought they where the same processor. Bunner

docflash, my own experience as a HA wearer for 30+ years is that I can simply not be in a position where my “rechargeable” aids go dead - for any reason. Granted, I do travel with a backup pair of aids on ANY trip where I leave home overnight, but picture this: you’re in line at U.S. Customs, coming in from Dubai. Your aids go DEAD. You can’t hear a thing. No backups. You try to explain that to a Customs official and see what the reaction is … naw, I don’t want to go there.

Much more reliable to have a package of batteries on your person ALWAYS, and even mark your calendar to remind you what day you need to change them on. On trips or important occasions, consider changing your batteries a day or so earlier just so the aids don’t go dead on you.

With my hearing loss, I’d need folks to write notes - there is simply NO getting a verbal message across with my poor lip-reading skills. I actually traveled to Japan with a gal whose rechargeable aids went dead, cuz the flight was long and she didn’t have any backup. She got to Canada and said, 'Don’t anyone talk to me. My aids are dead." Then she had to get through Customs to the U.S. Very stressful.

Not sure if this ever got answered. Regarding rechargability. To be clear, the Phonak Audeo B Direct is not rechargeable. Just the Audeo B R is rechargeable. Rechargeability is nice for somebody with poor vision and/or dexterity that would make it difficult to change batteries. If you’re careful you can get batteries at $0.25 each, or less so cost really isn’t an issue. Hope that helps.

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I’m new to wearing hearing aids and I just like the perceived convenience and “green feel” of rechargeable aids - no other reason. But I feel a rechargeable hearing aid needs the option of going to a standard battery if need be by using the Z100 technology.

I think the sealed aspect of the Phonak B R’s may be helpful for reliability (no sweat/dirt, etc.) but of course can easily lead to a helpless situation for the user. At the end of the day I really like my Phonak B R’s and hope that the B Directs will have as good of sound processing. I have to believe that Phonak will join the rest of the manufacturers and come out with a Z100 style rechargeable aid to offer the best of both worlds. I hope they do a retro-fit battery door to convert a set of B Directs to “B R Directs” :smile:

My hesitation on getting rechargeables is not that I might be caught in a compromising situation with my batteries gone flat, but that after the 3 year (or so) life expectancy the batteries fail to hold a charge any longer. The only option being that you would have to send them in to Phonak for battery replacement ($$$). Or ditch them and get new hearing aids ($$$$$$). My 5 year old Ambras are still working for me and doing as good a job as they can with the technology available when they were new. I can’t really complain about the way they perform even now.


I tried the Phonak B90’s. They were like a multi speed automatic transmission that were always shifting modes, not knowing what gear to be in a lot of times. Very annoying. Took a long time to figure what mode to be in (yes time to switch is adjustable), but that made it worse. Example, listening to music after a while it decides its music time, but then it might be over with by the time it switches to that mode, and then back to another mode she goes.
There are many many settings on each mode in this device. Chances are you will not know what mode you even need to have your audioligist tweek, and the time it would take to do it all would be ridiculous.
Only way I see to do it would be if you could program it yourself. You editing is the only way because its become too complex to even think an audiologist is going to spend the time to set it all up even if you can figure out what mode needs adjusting.
Its driving me crazy to find a good aid with good speech and music sound with simple settings, ie no warbling, sound recovery, etc etc etc.

Yes, I noticed “drop outs” as the HA self adjusted and it was annoying, but so far (and now including the Phonak Audeo B - Directs) the Phonak B - R’s have been the best sounding (substantially in some cases) of everything I’ve tried.

I too share your frustration trying to find a good speech, music, and “tolerable” in reasonable environmental situations - road noise, talk in moving car, wind flowing over the car, etc. Also I’d like something that works well on the phone.

The ReSound LiNX 3D - for all the cool functionality was a bust - always felt like I was chasing programs to try an make them sound better and yet no matter how many of the cool features I used I really didn’t seem to get “better” than the basic auto program of the Phonak B R …or perhaps more accurately I simply ran out of patience.

So far I find the best two set-ups (for me) have been is to simply use the “auto-programs” of the Unitron Moxi-Tempest and the Phonak B R 90 - drop offs and searching aside.

jim_W can you update your audiogram or post it in line so it will help to correlate others?

Audiogram has been added - thanks for asking, it prompted me get it done :slight_smile:

Well - Not so fast!

I’ve since tried the ReSound Linx3D because of recommendations here and the very cool app options and streaming. In the end I did not like the sound processing of the 3D’s and found the streaming to be less than “wonderful” - Streaming sounds like a cool thing, but I’m finding the actual application very frustrating. I also found them to be very uncomfortable with larger in-ear recievers, (*see below). The very flexible and cool app for tweaking sound was (for me) a waste of time and just added to my sound processing frustrations. I’m to the point that I really don’t care if I have streaming or not (that’s where I started when I got my first Unitrons)

I went to the Phonak B-Directs to try the direct streaming - the first pair “may” have been faulty, we did eventually (many calls to Phonak) get them working as advertised but by then I had a new set on the way at their recommendation.

I have decided that overall the B-Directs are not as good on sound processing as the Phonak B-R’s where, just not quite as clean, more “windy” sounding and I’m having serious word recognition issues that I’ve not had with any of the other HAs I’ve tried. Muddled speech.

Shame about the B-R’s “permanent” rechargeable battery locking one into at some point sending them back to Phonak for $$$$ battery replacement… I love rechargeable, but found having to carry a charger (well two) one for the HAs the other for the ComPilot was not something I want to do on motorcycle trips…ya, I know it’s not “much” space, but on a long distance motorcycle adventure it’s not cool.

I am currently retrying the Unitrom Moxi-R in the Tempest version…I can say with the UConnect remote (I did not have that last time) that the phone streaming quality on my first few tries has been fantastic. (way better than the Phonak ComPilot or B-Directs) The sound processing is giving me much better word recognition than the B-Directs. The Unitrom auto-processer seems to get “lost” once in a while in auto mode and drop out. Overall I’m liking them - but want to give them more time before I make my “final” decision. I’m pretty sure “we” just got too far off-track last time tweaking programs.

The Unitrons where my first HAs and I may not have been realistic about how things would sound - strangely I now find their music reproduction pretty good :slight_smile: I have to be driving my poor audiologist crazy…I do think that her technical skills may be lacking, to a point, based on how she interacts with the software interface and seems to not have a plan or direction to try, but at the same time she is really trying so very hard to make this work for me. I like her very much, I just wish I felt a little more confident about her skills - she’s my second one, the first I did not like from a more personal side of things, she was not pleasant to deal with at all and quite frankly I did not give her much of a chance - I can see that now. (you know how sometimes you just can’t connect with a person - I rarely have that happen, but when it does I move on)

The Unitron Moxi-R Tempest, good streaming (must carry a Uremote) love the Z100 battery option (charge or normal battery) and the sound processing is great in some environments - best voice recognition…but somewhat “troublesome with…drop out, the water in ear feeling at times, frustrating tin pan alley TV sounds…but these may be the ones based on battery tech. I am using the “power domes” - I think they really seal off my ear, perhaps causing the “water in ear” feel I get at times…I pull them out a bit and it goes away. I have removed the plastic support wires - I (finally) learned with the Phonak B-Directs that they push the corner of the receiver into my ear and cause pretty considerable discomfort after a day or two (*this has been a right ear issue with every HA) I have tried the smaller open domes but then I have a feedback issues…still, feel like I’m finally getting there - realistic expectations combined with just getting frustratingly worn out…I can say without hesitation I simply do not like wearing HAs, but I have no choice professionally.

I now see why so many retired people end up tossing them in a drawer and giving up…kiddies protect your ears! And if you must, wear HAs to protect your brain health when you get older.

I also have the B-Directs yet, I just gave up on the streaming, but a basic “easy” HA, decent sounding in general, but voice recognition issues are shoving them solidly to last place among these three.

What ever I stick with one feature that is a must have is separate (lt=lower - rt=rasie) volume controls, so I’m stuck with a remote and/or an IPhone app.

I’m only posting this as follow up info to my first post …I’m not really looking for comments, but that said, I’d love to hear form any professionals that can make suggestions that can help me help my hard working audiologist

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I don’t understand why you can’t have direct streaming with either one. Why give up one option for another. I have the audio b-r 90’s… sure do want the direct streaming to my cell phone. But I LOVE the rechargeable batteries. Just put them in the case at night and just stick them in my ears in the morning. No wondering when are the old style 312’s would go dead.

Two different technologies/platforms. The B-Direct has the new SWORD chip with new wizz-bang wireless technology. The Audeo B does not. Look at this post in the Brio 3 thread.

I am exhausted with trying to get this sorted out. I’ve been at this now for at least 7 or 8 months.

I am back to the Phonak B R B90 as the final solution. The Phonak B-Directs where no good for me and a second run with the Unitrons was pointless…HOWEVER - it seems we may have been working with bad info.

At my request my audiologists redid my audio-gram and in just one year I have had (in my mind) significant degradation. (I kicked my first audiologist to the curb - she seemed lazy and combative) So now I question if her test (my first that all my efforts to date has been based on) was done well…I guess I’ll never know.

Most notable was word recognition (Dec '16) Left 96% Right 84% in (Mar '18) Left 68% Right 76%

Low frequency - Considerable drop 15/20% loss at 500 to 30/40%; 35/40% at 1K to 55/60%

After 1,5K things are pretty much the same.

Color me concerned about the results of the March '18 test.

The good thing is now that we have good data the HAs are working much MUCH better. Now they are actually helping and not making me hate them.