Hello, I need to choose hearing aids to try soon. It’s been 10 years since I got my last pair. I’ve narrowed choices to the Oticon Opn S 1 rechargeable or the Phonak Audeo Marvel M-R. I have mild to moderate hearing loss and tinnitus. I’m also an iPhone user, so I don’t need Android connectivity.
They both offer a dizzying array of features. My audiologist said the Oticon sound quality is probably best, which is probably the most important consideration. But the Marvels seem to offer a lot of convenient features. Any other thoughts from those of you who’ve had either? Can anyone comment on the tinnitus programs?
Thanks for any help. Choosing a pair is like trying to buy a car without actually seeing it, sitting in it or driving it.
You definitely need to test them both before buying! Otherwise find another dispenser.
Do not compromise on that, it’s your money, your time, your hearing.
From what I gathered is that various people mean different things when they say sound quality.
It could be better bass, so loudness. It could be less filtered and processed so more realistic. Or it could be speech clarity.
One thing is most important - they both have to be fit following the best practices in order to give them fair comparison.
And to be really able to say which gives what type of quality. If any. I got same word recognition score in booth from marvel m90 (I have to pay additional 1500 eur and insurance gives 700)nl and lowest unitron which i could get for free (insurance covers completely, cost around 700 eur). But both were fitted using REMs. How they behave in the real world and solve my problems is a different story. That’s the point of trialling.
Because otherwise (not using REMs) you’re at risk of having dispenser give more effort to the one he earns more from and not the one that solves your problems.
Check this site and top link to file with best practices.
If they don’t follow that, run away.
Or file directly
Special emphasis on using REM (real ear measurements) for fitting.
That’s how babys and kids are fitted in order to give them how the sound really sounds like, so they can develop properly.
Why not everyone does it? Because people still pay for subpar service of ‘do you hear me now’ and endless visits and then toss the HA in the drawer if they don’t serve the purpose. Dispenser doesn’t care, he made his profit.
I only own the OPN 1, no Marvel, so I can only comment that the OPN has a tinnitus program. But the Marvel probably has one, too. I don’t see why not.
If you own an Android phone, the Marvel has the edge that it will work with Android phones without requiring an intermediary device. But if you only use iPhone and iPad, then that edge doesn’t matter to you.
You can probably get the Marvel equivalence at Costco with the KS9 for much less. It may not be the top equivalent version and may not have the tinnitus feature, however.
If the tinnitus generator is there, it’s currently masked. I have the KS9 aids with the 2.0 marvel update.
Tinnitus therapy is a little more complex. I’m sure the audiologists at Costco could certainly do the configuration with great results, but fitting times would likely increase a lot. Costco isn’t making money on the fitting, only the sale of the hearing aids. Either the cost would be increased for all customers or the model would need to change.
I would recommend the marvels based on my experience. The Marvels are a really nice hearing aid and depending on your hearing loss can make great improvements if programed properly. I am always cautious when I say a brand over another. As hearing loss is as different as people and what people are looking for in a hearing aid is as different as well. With that said, there is a lot to like about the Marvels and some things that need a little help. What I like, about the Marvels is their rechargeable model I trailed it had just about everything in it. It was rechargeable, Bluetooth, could be used with Android, and came with a t-coil. The T-coil was a very important feature to me. With the Oticon I had to choose to get a set of hearing aids that didn’t have all that in one. The one thing I really liked about the Marvels was the app. I liked the ability to adjust my hearing aids settings in the environment that I am in right on the spot. I did not have to wait and have the audiologists do that a week later. This ability was not available to me as an option with the Oticon and is very important in my line of work where I can be in a tricky hearing environment very quickly. I also like he Roger devices that where compatible with the aids as well. The table mic was a good example. I also like auto since 3.0 that was used to program the set of hearing aids I had. It adapted automatically to settings rather then thumbing through a set of programs. The oticon where good with there opn concept but the lack of flexibility of on the spot adaptations and that given that there app was buggy at the time really was a big strike against them. The marvels app was better because it offered more choice and adaption to the environment then the Oticon did. In the area of tinnitus the Marvels where similar to other brands. My audiologists had it set to a background noise. This was the same for the Oticon which I used the red rose setting in my trail period with them. In the end though, I choose a different company who had a better fit for my hearing loss and tinnitus. It was a tight comparison the marvels where that good. I wish you the best in what ever hearing aids you choose and hope this was helpful.
I went with Starkey Livio AI Edge. The major reason was the Edge Mode. If you have ever had the opportunity to hear in a challenging environment using Edge Mode it is a real treat. It is also on the hearing aids so I don’t need to have my phone on me to use it. The thrive app also allows for changes to be made and saved like the Marvels do. It tries these changes to the location so I don’t have to change programs it does it for me. This is in addition to many other features it has. I also like the tinnitus feature as it can run in normal mode while I use the hearing aids to hear. It has provided a great deal of relief from the tinnitus. If you don’t mind me asking did anyone talk to you about the new Widex moment hearing aids. The only reason why I bring them up is when I was trying out my hearing aids I noticed they had a great tinnitus program. In my humble opinion it was one of the strongest parts of the hearing aid. Don’t get me wrong I really liked the marvel hearing aid a lot. Their are a great value and where very close to the Starkey. If not for the edge mode I would have gone with them. The edge mode was what made the difference in fitting the hearing aids to my hearing needs best. I hope this answers your question. Thank you for your time and have a great day.
Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to reply! Lots of great info here. It’s also nice to know there are so many others with hearing loss out there to trade notes with. When I first needed hearing aids, in my early 40s, I knew only one other person who had them.
I have this model of the Starkey Livio AI. They are pricey let me be up front. They are different from any hearing aids that I have ever had. Their biggest advantage is they are rechargeable. The recharger area is on the outside of the hearing aid. The charger is very easy to use. It has a magnet that places your aids on the charger in the right place. It is very simple to use you simply drop them carefully on the charger and the magnet dose the rest. No fuss no must just clean and charge. This process is very easy you don’t have to place them in a slot or a hole. They just rest on the charger held by the magnets. It also uses puck dehydration system. This will help dry out the hearing aids by passive mens. It is important to me to keep my hearing aids dry as I hope to keep them 10 years like I did my last ones. I know I will have to change the battery in three years but that is okay. They have great features some you may like some you may not like or use. How do you feel about using apps? This hearing aid is very dependent on its app for it features. It can translate in your ear from any language to your dominant language. It sluggish but workable. It is a very techie hearing aid and took time to get use to both technology wise and hearing wise. In the interest of full disclosure I have a RIC model as well as an in the ear cannel models. I like the RIC better for my hearing loss and it is very discreet. But they are both excellent though. With that said back to your question. The biggest thing I like is the ability to adapt to the hearing location. This is important to me in that I can find myself in a tricky hearing situation fast due to my job and active life. The ability to modify to the hearing location is great. It saves it by location and switches to that setting when you return to that location. Again no fuss no must it does it for you. The biggest advantage is that Starkey has AI. This is great because it learns about your hearing environment and adapts It over time to make the hearing experience better. I know that is subjective but it adapts to your hearing need based on the hear landscape. It more then directional and machine learning. If your interested check YouTube out it has videos that are great. It also comes with a line of hearing devices like the table mic. They too can make your hearing experience better. By offering more flexibility. I Hope this answers your question. Have a great day.
I really thought about it but I do really trust my Audi, he told me that after wearing Oticon for over 10 years that I would not like the sound of most other brands. Plus I am really enjoying the fact that I have my main hearing aids and my backups that sound very close to each other and all of my extras work with both sets of aids. It really makes it easy switching back and forth when I need to. I wear my OPN1 ITE aids when I go hiking because of the low hanging limbs that I am afraid will pull my Rite aids off of me.
Thanks again for all the info. I was able to try both the Oticons and Phonaks in the audiologist’s office (though I had to press for this — I don’t understand why this option isn’t more readily available).
I really liked all the Phonak features, such as an onboard mic for answering calls, and had planned to get them. But I found the Oticons’ natural sound quality a much better and more comfortable fit for my needs.
The Phonaks, for me, had a sharper sound and overly amplified my own voice. I worried I would want to take them out after a few hours, like I do with my old Bernafons. That said, I didn’t like the Oticon noisy-environment program and will seek to customize my own program with the audiologist.
Anyway, it underscored the importance of trying before buying. Sound quality is so subjective. I’m looking forward to getting my new Oticons next week and will see how they work out during a trial period.
That definitely will improve on the “open format”. That’s the one thing I didn’t like about Oticon but my audi has toned that down. In fact, the last tuning she went to far, I don’t hear enough of what’s not in front of me.
Because of the open paradigm on the OPN by design, you’ll never be able to get rid of sounds around and behind you so that you only hear the sound in front by making fine tuning on the gain controls. That’s why as soon as the audi starts fine tuning in the gain control, you’ll start losing out on what you can hear, because you’re not just cutting gain behind and to your sides, but you’re cutting gain all around you, including in the front.
It is just like that by design, it’s not because it’s lacking noise reduction. It actually does (but very subtle) noise reduction on surrounding sounds (they call it sound “rebalancing”), nevertheless, its main focus of noise reduction is by cleaning up the speech clarity in front from the noise, but not really by removing surrounding sounds.
I would suggest to top out on the Max Noise Reduction setting for both Simple and Complex environments in the OpenSound Navigator screen, and just start letting your brain to get used to the surrounding noise so that eventually the brain hearing will do the tuning out of the surrounding sounds and focusing in on the speech in front. If this is your expectation, and you don’t keep trying to fight it by making your audi turn down the gain controls, you’ll have much success with the OPN. Otherwise, your audi will never really be able to meet your expection with the OPN of trying to block sounds from around and let sound in front through. That’s just not how the OPN is designed to function.
If you really dislike the open paradigm, you’ll probably be better off with the Marvel.
Initially turn down the volume to gradually get used to this. There’s a feature called Automatic Adaptation Manager that you can enable 3 phases of volume control, like have the period (maybe a week or two) with lower volume, then period 2 with medium volume, than period 3 with full volume. This way, you don’t need to manually adjust it each time you put the aids on. This is a very common issue for first time wearers and eventually will become a non issue given enough time, even if you think you’ll never get used to it.
There’s a Transient Noise Management feature where you can set to Low/Medium/High to tell the aids how aggressively to suppress true and sudden loud sounds, like slamming of a door, popping of a tennis ball, fire crackers, hammering, loud diesel engine, running water, etc. The advantage of this is that you don’t compromise by lowering the normal gain. It has the smart to detect loud noises and suppress the volume to give you more comfort.
Then there’s the Sound Controls in the Fine Tuning section. One parameter is Brightness Perception control. You can set this between Fuller on one end and Brighter on the other end. To avoid sharp bright sounds like paper crumbling, water running, screeching sounds, set it to Fuller to reduce the brightness. The second parameter is the Soft Sound Perception. You can have it set for Comfort or Details or in between. But this is not for loud sound. This is for soft sounds, like the female voice for example.
In the Fine Tuning, you can adjust the Gain Controls for sounds at 3 volume levels, Loud, Moderate and Soft sounds. So you can just reduce the Gain Controls on the Loud sounds, and leave the gains in the Medium and Soft values alone.
BUT, controlling and softening loud sounds is NOT the same as trying to tone down the surrounding sound (behind and on the sides) but preserving the front sounds. In my earlier post, I was just saying that the OPN is not designed to do the later (surround sound control) very well. But your audi can certainly tone down the Loud sound levels and leave the Medium and Soft alone to appease to your volume sensitivity.
As long as you have the proper expectation that if your audi softens up the Loud volume levels, not only are the loud noises reduced, but the loud speech is also reduced. But medium and soft speeches are not reduced. I’m just saying that don’t expect the audi to automagically block out surrounding sounds on the OPN without having the same blocking effect the front. While the Marvel can do that, the OPN chooses not to do it by design.
Well actually, with the S (but not with the original OPN), they added a new feature on the ON app called the OpenSound Booster. It’s actually supposed to block more surrounding sound and boost the front speech. However, some people reported that they don’t notice much difference with it turned on, although some others said that it does help them. Actually it’d be the first thing I’d try to see if it’s helpful to your expectation or not, before trying out anything else suggested above.