New phonak products for 2011 - phonak cassia and solana

Phonak Cassia – the entry level product family of the Phonak Spice Generation for those who appreciate value for money but still expect state-of-the-art design and the very latest technology.
Phonak Solana – the best-in-class mid-range offering based on Spice technology with unique binaurality, intelligent user interaction, and an impressive package of enhanced features.
High-tech Ceramic – the world’s first high-tech ceramic hearing aid housing. Durable, comfortable, and cosmetically appealing.
Phonak CROS – the ultimate solution for unilateral hearing loss offering full bandwidth audio transmission, a unique range and a compact design.

Two new product families complete the Phonak Spice Generation with entry-level and mid range hearing aids.

Stäfa, Switzerland (January 24, 2011) - Phonak is proud to introduce the Spice technology to the entry-level and mid-range segments. Phonak Cassia and Phonak Solana, thereby completing the new Spice Generation offering first introduced in October 2010 with the premium product family Phonak Ambra and the Audéo S family. Phonak Cassia will appeal to those who appreciate value for money but still expect state-of-the-art design and the very latest technology. Phonak Solana makes its marks in the mid range, with a unique binaural feature, intelligent user interaction, and an impressive package of enhanced features.
Both families are intuitive in use, compatible with a wide range of Phonak wireless accessories and easy to fit with the latest version of the Phonak Target™ software. Thanks to a completely new design approach the BTE housings are 20-30 percent smaller than the previous generation, each model being the smallest in its gain category. Further expanding the style offering is the new Petite BTE housing - the smallest BTE of all times - available for Phonak Ambra, Solana and Cassia.

Phonak Cassia - setting new standards for an entry level hearing aid
The new Spice chipset makes Cassia the most advanced product in its class. At an entry-level standard price Phonak Cassia features advanced functionalities such as SoundRecover, UltraZoom Standard, WhistleBlock and SoundFlow Standard. In addition, Phonak Cassia is equipped with NoiseBlock Standard for an even better suppression of noise without reducing essential speech information. Phonak Cassia offers full wireless access to the world of modern communication.

Phonak Solana - a mid range solution with an impressive package of enhanced features
Thanks to the new Spice chipset Phonak can now offer a business solution with unique binaural functionality, intelligent user interaction, enhanced directional innovation and full wireless access to the world of modern communication.

ZoomControl offers a truly exclusive end-user benefit - the ability to choose in which direction to focus hearing, to the front, back, left or right - without having to face the speaker. Phonak Solana comes with other exciting features such as UltraZoom Advanced, a sophisticated adaptive multichannel microphone system with a unique directional noise cancellation system called SNR-Boost.

Intelligent loudness management with FlexVolume and other key signature features such as SoundRecover, SoundRelax and WindBlock truly change the way a mid-range hearing aid is perceived.

The new range of custom products offers a wide choice of options. Selection is possible by battery size, shell style (five options: CIC, MC, ITC, HS, FS), receiver (M, P and SP), wireless or non-wireless functionality, microphone mode (directional or omni-directional), user control options as well as a wide range of colors. The new SP receiver further extends the fitting range for hearing losses of greater severity, while the small size permits an impressive anatomic fit rate of 75 percent for CICs and ITCs.

Phonak Petite - Introducing the smallest behind-the-ear of all times
After already miniaturizing BTEs in each gain category about 20-30 percent last year, Phonak is now introducing the smallest behind-the-ear model of all time: The Petite is available as Phonak Ambra, Solana and Cassia. This new design meets the users’ needs for a cosmetically more appealing product is compatible with the new Phonak PilotOne remote control.

My audi just ordered the solana’ for me…Im hoping they improve my speech comprehension Ive been having a tough time lately with my older aids. If they work for me after the trial, I will price the accessories, im sure they are going to be quite expensive.

I do not understand what could possibly be different. I have the Audeo S III, which I believe is Spice technology. What would be different whether it is called “S” or Cassia or Solana or whatever. At any rate the Audeo S III have been a tremendous disappointment. All I have is a HF loss. I have excellent discrimination scores, and I fare worse wearing them than not. I think Phonak must have made a mess of their technology or training fitters in Target.

My fitter gave me an extra 30 days (90 in total) and I’m confident that I will return them this week. I do not think I will try Phonak again I am so disappointed. I had hoped they would work. I have absolutely no idea what to do next.

I wish you luck and I hope I have better luck than you with the phonaks…
I have no HF tones in either ear and my hearing slopes down in the lower…my speech discrimination is 48…So im having alot of difficulty

Basically features which are in or out, number of channels, level of sophistication of the Soundflow and number of programs. The more you pay the more you get. Until now if you wanted the new chip you had to get the Ambra (top of the range) or the Smart, now you have more options. The Smart is a non-option for me because it doens’t have direct input, the Ambra is too expensive because it’s top of the range doing all sorts of all-singing all-dancing things that I don’t have any desire for, so this will be great for me if when they finally make their way across UK dispensers.

Not enamoured with the shapes, though, once again people who like a big hearing aid get run over by all those who want them small and the MicroP is tiny sigh and they restricted the patterns to half the body, specifically the half that is hidden by the pinna - who wants invisible zebra stripes on a tiny bit of their hearing aid? :confused:

I agree that the Ambra is expensive and is more than I want to pay. I guess it comes down to how many features you want on your HA. Technology is advancing so quickly that todays “top of the range” will in a short period of time, become bottom of the range. It does not make sense to pay all that money unless you spending on something you need or want.

I hope to change shortly and have negotiated a price for Solanas from my local Audio. Not quite as cheap as the cheapest on line but close enough for me as I am very happy with their service. Personaly size is not an issue to me as I am big and ugly enough for it to matter.

The ambra was way over my head, Im stretching to get the solana’s I agreed that the cassia probably wouldnt be enough for me and my local guy worked with me some. I have no great expectations, Im hoping for some improved comprehension over my old aids…we’ll see they will be in this week

lpast I will be very interested in your experiences and would be gratefull if you could update us/me as and when you can. Unfortunately I will not be able to obtain mine for a few weeks so your thoughts would be appreciated.

The Cassia, Solana and Ambra are the models with tubes (thin or otherwise) - BTE, while the Audeo S models (III, V, IX)are the RIC versions.

XBulder/Umbongo…I have a reverse slope loss…any input on me trying the Phonak Cassia with 6 channels or the Siemens Motion 301 with 8 channels for my type of loss would be appreciated…i have researched on the forum for about a year and am finally now able to afford hearing aids…these are the 2 my audiologist is suggesting I try…thanks for your help! rosie (Siemens would be about 3600 for a pair and Phonak 3400)

@ Rosie: Looks to me that your loss is gradually sloping and thus 6 vs. 8 channels should not make significant differences IMHO. Depending on your past experience with hearing aids care should be taken to set the bass gain. I find with most reverse slope losses that the fitting formulas tend to overprescribe bass frequency which affects clarity and background noise levels in a negative manner. The most important thing for your hearing loss is having an appropriate coupling (earpiece), too much venting will result in tinny and not “full” sound where not enough will result in too much bass and lack of clarity. I would probably select a vent-size of about 2mm for this loss myself, but this may be adjusted depending on length of mold or ear canal volume and what is possible with your ears.

Thanks Kadougan! I will go next week and may try the Phonak Cassia with 6 channels…that’s what my audi had suggested but then I asked about more channels and he told me about the Siemens…your input is appreciated!

They number of channels does not matter much above 6.

Here is an article about a study. http://www.audiologyonline.com/askexpert/display_question.asp?question_id=340

The key issue is that other higher end hearing aid features tend to only be available on the more expensive aids that have more channels. During my Phonak trials, my audiologist was surprised how well she could adjust the Cassia for my loss. She thought she wold need the 16 channel Solana aids. I tried them both.

From a user’s perspective, when I went from the Solana MicroP to the Cassias, the main thing I missed was the wireless functions and the volume control. With the Solana, I could change programs or volume on one aid and have both of them adjust, The Cassia did not have a volume control either.

I ended up returning the Phonaks because my audiologist could not adjust them so they sounded good to me.

I am convinced that the choice of a good hearing professional is primary. Unfortunately you cannot just look at their educational credentials to determine a good professional. After that, the choice of hearing aid model.

Assuming US dollars, $3400 for a pair of Cassias is good. My audiologist wanted $5590 :eek: for the pair I tried. That price included lifetime adjustments, etc.

At least those are my opinions & experiences.

Well, 3400 is a good price I guess…I have a reverse slope loss and he had thought these would help…I had a chance at maybe getting a pair of Phonak 16 channel aids (not sure the model) that someone had returned at the tune of 3,000 which was unreal…but he had promised them to a guy who ended up getting them…so now he suggested the Cassias…i am thinking the 6 channel would be ok but I know I will need a lot of adjustments with my loss…I did want volume control though…well I will keep you posted and thanks for your input!!

Hi, if you get the Cassia in the thin tube MicroM or the smaller variants, you can have Vc function on the button - up on the right, down on the left.

Thanks UmBongo!

Kadougan…I did get the cassias…my audi did what the program told him and had open venting and he didn’t understand why it would have said to have that with my loss…so the next day I went back with complaints of tinny sound and too much background noise and he put in 2mm venting…it’s better…I am not super thrilled with the earmold and he has shaved it down some…he was going to call about an earmold specific to reverse slope loss…(???)…at least I know I am with someone who is concerned and trying to find solutions for me and my loss…I do hope these aids work for me…I need to take them out after a couple of hours because my canal gets uncomfortable and itchy…I think I have to get used to it…I can’t imagine someone getting hard molds and not realizing they are even wearing them…unless mine are just not quite right…rosie

Rosie,
I have hard molds and I’m one of those people who don’t know the mold is in my ear. It took about a month of wearing them every day all day to get to that point. At first they where uncomfortable and at times they got itchy but over time it got better. All I can say is the only way it will get to the point of not noticing them is by wearing them all day every day and it will get better. Good luck!
Scott

Thanks Scott…I do think I need to give them more time and I have 60 days to trial them so if after a month they are still bothering me, I will try something else! I can’t seem to keep them in after 2 hours…I am on break from teaching now so I am home a lot with a very quiet house…I take them out most of the day because there is no one to talk to!! I guess I need to keep them in to get used to it…at least I know they can be comfortable after time…thanks! rosie