New HA -- Trialing PHONAK Marvel -- Lack of Confidence with Audiologist


hello, yes, thats pretty much what tru hearing does. They have their own branded HA. But from my research, they are just re-branded Signia HA. from my coverage, these rebranded HA were $700 for the lower tier and about $800 for the upper tier version. I didnt really ask about those, as I was focusing on just trying to compare the PHONAK to PHONAK (apple to apple)… I can’t really keep lots of details in my mind at the same time. (or write them down). hehehehe

They offer other hearing aids at a decent discount…i think the discounts vary from insurance to insurance




thank you for the info/link.

it was easy, and I prolly shoulda looked first before asking. I got lazy. sorry.

I posted it. not sure if I should be bragging at how bad/good it is… hehehe

like I said, I was surprised as it was worse then my daughter who was deaf/hard of hearing since birth. wearing HA since 4 years old.

I used to show friends how deaf she was, (they wouldnt know why she wore HA, or they were just curious to understand how well hearing aids would work.). So, at times, when the daughter didnt wear them, (at the pool/beach, or just at some wierd time when she didnt expect it, I would have friends try to call out to her, or get her attention…

Yea, I was / am a jerk…But, it really wasnt an attempt to make fun of, but more to educate others.

anyways, I am marveled at how well I (THOUGHT) I could hear, and or get by. I did know I shut off people at bars/clubs, loud events. No chance of me trying to understand, and I knew I looked funny trying to communicate and nod or give non-sequitur replies…

anyways. I am upset at myself for letting it get this far along/bad… I will be more upset if I can’t get used to hearing again and have issues with hearing aids not really helping…

anyways, thanks for the help. and for reading my ramblings. (if u did read them)

bill b



I can tell you from my personal experience few points (when you are comparing with your daughter who wore aids since she was 4 years old)

  1. I had perfect hearing untill I was 22 years old. Lost my hearing (which I actually came to know many years later) due to certain illness. I lived my life with not much of a problem in communication within family or even professionally. As such, though I desire to hear as good as a normal person, my life was not much of a problem even with my moderate to severe hearing loss.
  2. When I started looking for aids since last few months, I observed that most of the audiologists tried to fit me with power dome so as to fully cover the hearing loss that I am having. Probably they are correct academically but it did not work for me.
  3. Finally I decided to buy a cheap set of aids (which in my case are Phonak Marvel M30-R) and try DIY myself. I used open domes and I am much happy person. My hearing loss is still not perfectly covered with present configuration but still it has helped me alot. At least to hear many conversations clearly which used to problematic most of the times.
  4. When I try to co-relate the reason I think following- Having lived life with much of loss for so many years, brain is trained to be in those situation. When the hearing is corrected to a kind of perfect level, and if I was using a power dome, my natural hearing is completely isolated and I hear fully using hearing aid. That comes with lot of noise which my loss of hearing was filtering out anyways. When I was wearing power domes, listening in noisy situation was hell. The hearing aid (or may be my brain) was picking up so many unwanted noises that a normal person’s brain would filter out natually. And I would not be able to understand anything at all. Now I have same HA with open domes. It may not cover my loss fully but at least it is covering many situations. I am happy that I am able to hear better with most of my natural hearing experience intact.

The summary of the long story is- Start using open domes. Your hearing will not be perfect but what you get is the best of both worlds with some compromise.



yes, so call tru hearing get referred to one of their providers , and then pick what ever you want to trial. Otherwise you are going to over pay. True Hearing with the discount is probably less costly than going to Costco . I had plenty of problems with my provider, that seems to be a common issue they don’t know much.



Most audiologists don’t do REM. I have severe profound hearing loss and when l got my Starkey digital aids in 2007, l was running production machines in lab where the next room was full of vacuum pumps, rotary pumps,etc. The issue was trying to lower background noise and hear speech. I have been to the same audiologist 11 times the first year for adjustments. A lot of audiologists mostly have clients that have moderate or mild hearing loss. Most have little experience in dealing with clients with profound hearing losses. I am getting Phonak Naida aids soon and can adjust programs if needed. I always use a full soft earmold unvented. It seals better to the ear.



Bill your hearing loss is not unlike mine. Your right ear is probably what you are surviving on without HA’s. And the left will be harder to compensate for. I use the Costco Kirkland Signature 8.0 HA’s which are essentially the top of the line Signia 7Nx model. I can’t say they work perfectly as I am still trying to get a fitting that works in my left ear. My suggestion would be to get custom earmolds right from the start instead of fooling around with the domes and sleeves like I did.

As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with Signia or other top brands on the market. They like to use all of these bells and whistles with fancy names to try and distinguish themselves from each other. However, at the end of the day, they are much more alike than different. There is no doubt they use their self invented advertising jargon to try and confuse the consumer and essentially prevent comparison between brands. The current Coscto Kirkland KS8 and Rexton Emerald 80, and Signia 7Nx are really the same hearing aid, but it is very difficult to compare them. And they don’t want you to be able to compare either as the Costco ones sell for $1600 a pair in the US.

If you have a look at this Signia Detailed Features document, you may be able to pick out which rebranded HA you are being offered. Often the number of channels and adjustment handles are used to distinguish between the levels of hearing aids. You will see from this document that the 7Nx has 48 channels and 20 handles, the 5Nx 32 and 16, and the 3Nx 24 and 12. This is really not a major factor in determining hearing aid quality, but it is an easy one to distinguish between one model and another. In any case you may be able to figure out which rebranded Signia model you are being offered.

If Costco is an option for you, I would not discount their service. They consistently do REM fitting while many other independents do not. If you go with the KS8 model I believe in the US you get up to 6 months to decide if you like it or not, and then get a refund if you do not.

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This is a common experience among people who are using a hearing aid for the first time, or people whose brand-new hearing aids are a big improvement from their old ones. For the first day or two with my new Phonaks — replace 10-year-old models — I heard lots of echoes too.

That stands to reason: with the hearing aids, you can hear things that have been below your threshold of perception for years, and that includes reverberation indoors. I find that after 2-3 days of wearing the hearing aids, the sense of echoing goes away.


Yes, you can have manual programs with your Phonak. But what’s really nifty about the Phonak is that it listens in one what you’re hearing and makes a very good guess about what you’re trying to do. If the Phonak thinks you’re in a car and there’s someone talking behind you, it zeroes in on that person. If the Phonak thinks you’re in a party and there’s someone talking behind you, it zeroes in on the person you’re looking at.

Occasionally, I notice when the Phonak is mistaken. When my Honda Fit — a fairly noisy car — goes over a pothole, I can sometimes perceive the hearing aids’ puzzlement. “Gosh!” it says, “I thought we were in a car, but that sure doesn’t sound like a car!” My audiologist tweaked the program so that it waits a little longer before switching.

This can be adjusted. Again: you’re hearing stuff you haven’t heard, and that can make initial impressions tricky. For the week with my Phonaks, I’d listen to symphonic music and mostly hear the middle parts. I also felt that the whole world had too much treble; it sounds like you have the same sensation. That, too, was a straightforward adjustment.

This is actually a nice question: when your hearing changes a lot, everything is bound to sound different! But you know how a piano is supposed to sound — and even if you’re hearing things you were missing, it may seem wrong. Give it a chance to adjust, and give your head a chance to get used to the new information your ears are giving you; after a while, you can tweak the programs.



so far all the advice I have recd has been awesome. I have been reading a lot of other topics too.

I did wear my hearing aids full time. I did like hearing all the sounds/noises I havent heard in so long. but, the last recent adjustment had the volume so loud it concerned me that my neighbors would complain about the noise I was making. ie turning water on, or closing microwave doors.

i know they werent really loud, but because of the hearing aid adjustment, they were totally loud TO ME



IM NOT FAMILIAR WITH DOMES. I know ear molds that my daughter USED TO WEAR. they were expensive ad looked gross after a year or so.

I think the recent HA i had used some type of DOME. but, it looked like like ear bud from my phone’s ear phone thing.

It lets a lot of UNAMPLIFIED sound into my ear. I would think that is better. but am guessing there is a situation/time and place were those might not be best.

I did see a different audiologist, shortly after getting the phonak, and he said I was ‘borderline’ as to needing those ear mold type of ear thingy.

sorry. just not sure how to reference / call them…

Im not sure if those are out-dated, or old school, or what how when to use them or not.

I do know when I was using the PHONAK, and STREAMING TV, if I covered my ear canal, things sounded better from the tv.

the PHONAK app had an adjustment to blend AMBIENT sound with the amplifed sound…cause i was having issues not hearing my phone ring or notifications, or if someone was knocking on my door, or any other outside sounds…

Ideally I would was some type of custom program, (if possible) to have one HA stream, and the other, not stream, or blend the second HA to mix streaming with ambient, but one HA just solely streaming.

At least, I think it might be better. not sure till I try. but I was told it wasnt possible, (by the audiologist)

anyways, thanks again for the awesome info



I am so confused as to the different models of hearing aids, m50, now Naida. Whats the difference? more programs? more features?

again, my audiologist told me PHONAK Marvel were the bees knees… they were one of two hearing aids that streamed. the other being OTICON opn1…

I can understand m30 or m50 or m90 as being more power or more programs. but why so many other different models…

how can a consumer know what is newer, or better, or more features, other then to rely on a shoe salesmen, who may know one model better then the other, so they tend to recommend what they recommended last week, last year, etc



btw, how is hearing loss classified as to profound, severe, moderate? Im sure those adverbs / adjectives, (damn, I forgot which is which), are not medical terms and as such not really relevent. but for some reason, I would like to know if I am moderate, severe, or profound?

not that it makes a difference to what you all would think or relate to me… hehehe



thank you very helpful… maybe you or someone can explain the handles and channel thing…

Im guessing, (since Im a guy) that the bigger the numbers the better. but, I would like to understand how or why and what difference someone might be able to differentiate between something that has a lower number of channels/handles vs a higher number of channels/handles.

It is akin to processing speed or computer instructions? Not that I know that much about electronics old micro computers.

I am smart enuf to confuse myself…and it seems you may have touched upon what really makes a difference in the hardware of HAs.

I would ASSUME. that most hearing aids are mfgd and assembled using very standard parts. I would fear that all newer ha have the ablitiy to use max channels/handles, but are somehow LIMITED by software as a marketing ploy…btw, I HATE THAT, and there should b a law against that.

but, from what I do know, there arent a lot of mfg options for buying components for this use. Im guessing most mfgs buy the same components from the same manufacturers. Maybe some mfgs get better pricing due to volume purchasing agreements, but other then that, Im guessing Signia uses the same microprocessor or same resistors, capacitors. Even the same circuit board.

I doubt the deaf market isnt large enuf to support multiple design options for microprocessors to be made at different mfg’ing plants in different countries of the world



very good info and similar to what I was thinking. I do have a question. When the autosense is ‘puzzled’ or figuring out which program to use, does it make a noise, or can you tell? Is there a slight delay, or a small second or two of silence while the HA is figuring stuff out?

the second question is regarding ‘what am I used to hearing’.

prior to wearing HA, I could/CAN hear things. maybe differently, but I hear things. I can hear the sounds of music. I can hear the piano, almost full range. the higher range/freq are maybe subdued a little bit, but I could hear the tinkling of the keys.

with the hearing aids I had, I could barely tell a piano was playing in the mix of random sounds I was listening to.

at the same time, I could not hear the bass guitar. I can tell there is a bass guitar somewhere in the background, but it sounds more like a muffled bass drum. more of a singlular thump thump in a bass guitar rhythm . I know what or how the song/music is supposed to be, (or at least what I was used to hearing.

Im not creative enuf to superimpose music/instruments into these songs…

ultimately, music sounds like it is coming from a cheap single speaker (2" speaker) that has no quality sound response at all.

if i had to choose between no HA and hearing better, then with HA and having sounds sound like they are coming from an empty tin can… I know which I will choose every time… even if it means upsetting everyone I try to talk with by saying WHAT a bazillion times



Click on anyone’s avatar, including your own, the slowly move your mouse up and down over the audiogram. I popup will show you the ranges for slight, moderate, severe, and profound. Just move the mouse slowly up and down.



Bill, I think you are going through what I went through few months back. If you click on my name on this reply, you will see my audiogram which is very similar to yours (good hearing at low frequencies and progressively becoming worse at higher frequencies.)
Most of the hearing aid audiologists fitted me with power dome (that headphone kind of rubber/ silicone part that goes inside ear). It completely isolates your natural hearing. It does not let any kind of outside sound to enter ear. You listen only through your hearing aid receiver as source of sound. The experience was so worse that i told audiologist that I wouldn’t even take these aids even if they were given free.
So, I decided to take things in own hand and bought the cheapest Phonak Marvels (M30-R for 600USD for pair) and programmer. I used open dome though I fully understand it will not perfectly cover my hearing loss in the full range. However, as per the software, it is able to fully cover my hearing loss upto 2khz and then progressively giving me less than required amplification.
What I have done may be not ideal but it helped me much more than using hearing aids as per ideal fitting scenario.
I would suggest you to visit your audiologist and request them to:

  1. Fit using open dome
  2. Confirm them that you understand it’s not ideal but you want to give a try.
    I am confident that you will be definitely like even the cheapest hearing aid when fitted this way.
    Once you use this kind of setup for a few months, you can go more closed variety of domes and they come very cheap. That too, if at all you wish to.


Channels- Digital HA can device sound into multiple chunks. A cheap one will have may be 8 channels. So for example it will make 8 chunks covering 1khz, 1khz to 2hkz … upto 8khz. It will analyse the sound in each chunk and apply it’s digital algorithms in each channel. It can also amplify in each channel as per your loss. Usually, there is very little gain for more than 8 or 12 channels. However, more channel HA also has more premium features to make you hear better in difficult scenarios. So, more that merrier.

Handles are similar to channels. It given control to audiologist to make adjustments. More the number of handles, more fine grained adjustment are possible. Here also more that merrier.



Rather than confuse you more, I would go for latest technology. For your kind of hearing loss, Phonak marvel is all you need. Hearing aids come in various style and powers. They also come in various budgets. Hence so many models for a given brand.



ok, thank you so much.

this is one more then what my audiologist told me about.

and yes, I understood some to be compatible with ios only… what a shame…


bill b



The number of channels and handles is not something to get hung up on, especially as a measure of quality. It is just a convenient factor to use to distinguish between the models being offered for example in the Signia line, and to match to other brand names that are essentially the same.

A Channel is just the frequency band that the HA can process independently. The more channels the more finely the incoming sound can be analyzed. That is the good news. The bad news is that the more channels the more processing power is needed, and if the manufacturer does not back up the number of channels with more processing power, the HA can slow down and have time delays. But the better manufacturers do generally match the power to the channels, so it is indirectly a measure of processing power. Handles are just the bands that the fitter can adjust like in an old time equalizer for a stereo system. Having more channels than handles does not seem to make sense, but more channels can provide a smoother response across the frequency spectrum even with fewer handles.

In any case I gave you that example so you could possibly identify which Signia manufactured HA you might be offered.



wow. very cool. technology is so cool.

btw, / fyi (*not sure which or both?) I do have two different audiograms. They are almost exactly the same. the second audiologist wanted the audiogram from the first, I told him that I would be glad to give it to him after, to make sure the results were completely independent…