Not too happy with Phonak Exelia art Micro

Happy to have found a forum about hearing aids! :slight_smile: I just wanted to share my experience with Phonak Exelia Art Micro BTE models I have.
I am 33 years old, and have been wearing HA’s since I was 5. First off, I made an emotional decision to purchase these models instead of a rational one. When my audiologist mentioned I would be able to hear my cell phone & listen to music through my hearing aids without having to take out my HA, cough ipod ear buds* cough* I was sold. My previous models were Phonak 311 Perseo BTE’s and they worked wonderful for me, just they didn’t have the added capabilities I needed. ( I talk on my cell a lot for my job).
I get the new models and the first thing I notice is that when I whistle, or hear any high pitch sound, the Exelia’s cannot compensate and all I hear is the HA’s fighting the high pitch to prevent feedback. The best way I can describe the sound is if you were to take 2 musical instruments and have them play the same note, but one instrument is a tad flat or sharp, you notice that the notes are not on the same wave length. Does that make sense?
Second, whenever I am near a refrigeration unit or ANYTHING that has a constant humming noise, my HA’s tend to zoom in on that noise and ONLY that noise until I walk out of the range. Basically turning these high end models into high end ear plugs.
Third, these models are supposed to be able to shut out background noise and focus on people talking. Nope, doesn’t happen. Good example would be right now I am sitting in a coffee shop and whenever the barista fires up the expresso machine, thats all I hear, even while trying to focus on someone else talking.
Now you are all probably thinking I need to get a readjustment. Been there, done that 3 times. 3 times!! My audiologist (bless her heart) was at a loss that she arranged for a meeting with a Phonak rep who could take a look at my situation and hopefully remedy it. He takes a look at my chart and my current settings and tells me that I am what they call “A Power User” since I harken back to the dark ages of analog. I ask why is it with my old Perseo 311’s that they do not have any trouble with high frequency noises, blotting out background noise or focusing in on random refridge units and they were digital? His only response was that “Phonak has decided that this is the new way things will be heard in digital and that people like you a.k.a. “The power users” would complain and you will just have to accept it.” Talk about condescending attitude! It’s like they know whats best for me. To add insult, HE wasn’t even able to fix the issue.
I am a loyalist and I know Phonak does not share the same attitude of that a**hat rep, but I am at my ropes end here with these Exelia’s. I just wish I could have that neat software my audiologist uses when configuring my settings so that I can tweak it on my own without having to pay $50.00 a setting.
Ok, so rant is over. I hope my story will advise others who are wanting to know more about the Exelia’s. My 2 cents is Phonak needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.:frowning:

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What is your hearing loss? Did you get Live speech mapping?

Since I have no idea what that is, I am 100% confident that is a no. :slight_smile: Let me get back with you on my numbers.

With Live speech mapping, you can “see” what you hear, by using a software and a microphone placed in your ear canal while you wear the hearing aid. The results is the output of the hearing aid plotted against your hearing loss and you can identify the frequencies where amplification is too much or too little. Then adjustments are pretty effective and straightforward.

Thanks Arni. I just realized this post should be moved to Digital Hearing Aids section and there is a post regarding the Micro Exelia Arts where everyone there likes theirs. Perhaps a mod could move this post over there? Thanks

Welcome to the forums!!! :slight_smile:

To your first problem—
You could try turning the whistle control off—it is an antiphaser that commonly cuts into sounds you actually want to hear

Secondly—(and your third concern)
Perhaps turning the voicezoom off may help—try using the instrument on a fixed directional…
Otherwise I would recommend trying to use the mypilot. It has a wonderful feature called ZoomControl where you can control the directionality of the hearing aid (front, back, left and right). You could also use the mypilot to control the hearing aid to function automatically with “soundlfow” or play with it in other configurations until you find one that best suits you.

I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

Your audi is charging you $50 each time you go in for an adjustment. That’s BS. and sounds just a tad like a conflict of interest. Since the Phonak rep can’t fix the problem tell your audi you want a complete refund on the aids, and move on. You’ve given them enough chances to get them right. When you get your audiogram print it up.

I tried a 30 day trial on the phonak yes model, and while my audio guy was helpful, I first needed to go to a smaller speaker in the ear, and even that did not seem to help as my left canal seems very small and I had difficulty getting it in and keeping it in. Also, the sounds were tinny and the noise of my sneakers and the wind was very disturbing. I also had trouble in restaurants with the background noise seem to be twice as loud as normal, and the automatic level to cut off the second mic did not seem to help, ( if it actually worked).
Does any one seem to know of any that use only a bud in the ear and not a speaker, and have thay had suceess with that. some audios are suggestinga CIC, but If the speaker in the ear was a problem, won’t the cic be as big if not bigger problem.
i have necer worn aids, so this is my first experience

Can someone tell me what the importance of this speech mapping is?

What is the person has bad speech results?

Does that change anything?

That is just unconscionable! I’ve worked with Phonak’s for years. Many have been the Exelia Art Micros. I have and wear a pair. I also have pairs of Exelias and Exelia Art M’s. Bottom line: I’d learn to self- program my own. Take a look at this paper on the subject:
(Contact me for the link… won’t let me post it here) Or Google mlprestwich-dotcom/hearingaid-information
I also realize that conveying one’s hearing objectives and needs to an audiologist, one who typically did not have hearing loss, was much like a blind man trying to convey to normal “seeing” person what they don’t see… . It is the old “how can I know what I don’t know if i don’t know it?” Yes, there are mechanisms to “refine” the restoration of hearing such as COSI or ICOSI, a means of quantifying such issues, but in the final analysis, the person best in a position to achieve what I wanted to achieve was myself. Thus began the journey that has brought me to this point.

I personally can’t see how any audiologist, no matter how well intentioned they may be; and many are very well intentioned, can possibly spend the the time or have the understanding of how you hear and then accurately “fine-tune” any individual’s hearing aids and fitting to the degree they truly can be perfected; just as I have with mine by doing my own “tweaks”, adjustments and experimentation through my many different pairs of different aids as I have experimented and learned.
These aspects, in my opinion, are clearly why so many aids end up unused in a dresser drawer somewhere. They are then donated or sold as used with little or no use, but are still often very current or near current state-of-the-art devices. Many, if not most people just give up in frustration.”
Don’t give up. It is easy to grab an ICube, learn iPFG and roll your own to your personal satisfaction. Contact the guy above for technical details –Mr Forrest

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All hearing instruments are designed to be most effective with a frequency response (to simplify - the bass and treble settings) based on the type, degree and configuration of the hearing loss and the technology within the hearing instruments. The problem that arises is that each ear has its own unique physical characteristics which influence the frequency response. A smaller ear canal will increase the power of a hearing instrument (which results in uncomfortably loud amplification) and a larger ear canal will decrease the power of a hearing instrument (which results in unusually quiet amplification). An REM or Digital Speech Mapping will precisely measure the power created or deleted by your unique ear canal characteristics allowing the audiologist the opportunity to precisely correct for it with the hearing instrument software. Simply stated, without an REM you may not acquire the most effective benefits of amplification and you may be unsatisfied with your hearing instruments. The signal used to test with REMs is a pure tone sweep, a simulated speech signal, a music file, or simulated listening situations (such as a voice in noise or a restaurant situation).

There has been much current research on verification of amplification once the hearing aid is placed in the patients’ ear. Some researchers and clinicians will do speech mapping instead of REM, as an actual speech signal is used to assess the gain one receives through the hearing aid

If the hearing aid wearer has poor discrimination scores they should expect to have more difficulty than someone that has excellent discrimination. Speech mapping gives both the hearing aid wearer and fitter a detailed display of what is happening in the patients ear in real time at the eardrum and if the aid is “matched” to the patients hearing loss or not. It is a great place to start in any hearing aid fitting and patients report higher satisfaction if this procedure has been done with them. I should also add that it is not the only thing that should be done for a successful fitting.