I am a 70 year old first time wearer and am currently trialing a set of Phonak Brio 3s from Costco. I understand these to be their top of the line product.
My cost was $1599 each plus $260 for the tv link and Compilot II for a total of $3460 CDN or roughly $2768 USD.
They are ok but the ball and chain (ComGarrot) around the neck is intolerable.
Have price shopped the Marvels around town and have agreed to purchase the M90 R for $5300 CDN a pair or the M50 Rs for $3700 CDN a set.
Thats $4240 and $2960 USD respectively.
The 90s are 20% off this month and the same price as the 70s.
I will start with the 90s for two weeks and then go to the 50s probably for good. I am a retired engineer and am betting there will be little pervieved difference in the two, at least to my ear. Im almost positive that if there is a noticable difference it wont be worth $1600 to me.
Given the advance in the technology, the M50 Rs are certain to be superior to the Costco Brio 3s for a few hundred more. Peanuts. Costco has lost its edge.
Having reviewed the literature, I believe there may be an advantage to the M50s in that its 12 channels vs 20 for the M90 will result in less load on the cpu chip and thus faster processing to reduce time lag between actual sound arrival and processed sound delivery to cut down distortion and echo, as well as increased daily and lifetime battery life.
A few programs are not available on the 50s but some I have on the Brios and am not impressed. Apparently, when the Music program is handled by Autosense, it is forever cutting in and out with talking. With the 50s, the program is manually controlled which gives a superior experience, Time will tell.