Oticon Safari vs Phonak Nios V

I am new to the HA world. My daughter had surgery to build a canal (she was born without), and now we are looking for a HA for her. Right now I am looking at the Oticon Safari or Phonak NIOS V. I can’t find much on either of them. I think it is because they are so new. She has normal hearing in her L ear, so it will only be for her R ear. Her last audiogram showed
She is 5 years old. She was also born without an ear, but has had one reconstructed. There is not much room behind her ear, so smaller is better not only for looks, but also in order to try to get it to stay in a very small space.

If anyone knows of some other aid, or advice on the ones I have listed, I would greatly appreciate it! If there is a better place to find pediatric information, please let me know!

What sort of information were you looking for? There is a lot of info on the Phonak website, a downloadable brochure and a downloadable user guide, but maybe you were looking for more in the way of people’s own experiences? Or perhaps you didn’t know that was all there. If you look down the RH side you can run through the different options.

Phonak’s own online training for audiologists describes the Nios V as the paediatric version of the Versata, and it is basically a Versata with Sound Recover added on, plus some paediatric options in terms of size. Perhaps you could widen the search to look at the Versata also in terms of how people have liked the product, as most adults will have had the Versata version. Though most options will be locked down for such a young child you do want to have the ability to grow with her needs, as there is a whole different fitting protocol for 8-14 and she’ll be ready to use some of the functions.

I am looking at the Nios V for myself, as I wanted the Versata but really wanted Soundrecover and was steered towards the Nios as it gives a lot of flexibility for me and for future needs, so if I get a chance to trial it soon I shall let you know what I think. :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply. I might now have all of the knowledge yet to ask the right questions, so your response helps me. I am still trying to figure out what is important in terms of different brands/types of HA. Now I know to look for the Sound Recover feature. It is difficult to figure out what makes each type stand out, and what features are not standard but special to each unit. Our audiologist is very good for our daughter’s medical needs, but I was a little disappointed when she didn’t have a lot of input on hearing aids that would be good for her type of needs (especially since she is physically shaped different).

I am definately looking for people’s own experiences since my daughter is so young and may not be able to describe what she is hearing. If you do get the aid, please let me know.

There is a fundamental diference between Nios and Safari. Phonak recent mantra is frequency compression - which does indeed work well when there are cochlear dead reagions (the probablily is high once you have a hearing loss over 90dbhl -or was it 100)

Your son audiogram is well under those values and therefore, it should not have
cochlear deadregions- therefore sound recover should not be the most appropiate.
phonak now applies sound recover to everytipe of loss.

Oticon on the other hand, proposes higher bandwith instruments. Moore (i think it was him) where he had describe the benefits for extended bandwith. There is no surprise that the entire industry is going towards higher bandwith currently Oticon, Siemens, Rexton, Bernafon, widex have all 10hz bandwith.

I think your child would do better with anything that is higherbandwith

I have been able to find the bandwidth for the Safari, but I have not been able to find the same information (even in the detailed specs) for the Nios. From your post, I would guess the Nios does not have the 10hz bandwidth, but can’t confirm that. Would you know where to find that information?


Caution: Frequency transposition or compression is NOT recommended for children.

Research on candidacy for Soundrecover seems to be very varied, but it has recently been demonstrated as beneficial even for moderate hearing losses. Obviously the original design was for profound high frequencies, dead regions, etc. but it’s certainly shown to be helpful in a number of different types of hearing losses. In any case I certainly didn’t mean to say that Soundrecover is of any particular importance, just that it’s the only difference between the Versata adult product and the Nios V paediatric product, so essentially you can look at data about the Versata also.

Not sure where you are located, but do you not have a trial period with each hearing aid? Although your daughter is a bit small to give you any detailed feedback on her experiences she might still have preferences, and your audiologist can take Real Ear Measurements (a measurement of how the hearing aid performs in her actual ear) of both and recommend one over the other in terms of which is a better match on paper. Particularly important as she’s likely to have a rather unusual ear.

You may also have a preference in terms of your own handling, which is easier to manipulate, which looks more comfortable on her ear, does she mess with the settings on either one, can she open the controls or battery door by mistake. Nios has a locking battery, not a whole locking comparment so kids can open the compartment but cannot remove the battery inside, so it might get annoying if she can flip the cover open and expose the most delicate inside of the aid to moisture. There’s no substitute for trying things.

It occurs that if your audiologist seems to have little to offer on the subject then you might want some second opinions. If you are restricted for insurance reasons it might still be worth going “off plan” and paying for some advice from someone with the experience to talk you through the products with your daughter’s specific medical history in mind. If you aren’t restricted to this audiologist I’d look to shop around for someone who can give you convincing reasons for preferences between the two aids but is happy to offer you a try on either one or both. If your original audi is sensible he should know where his expertise ends and be perfectly happy to continue working with you on the other aspects of your daughter’s care while you go elsewhere to look for more on hearing aids. It’d be a bit rich if he went all put out about it if he’s not able to talk you through the products.

I don’t know anything about bandwidth! :wink:

EDIT: this one appeared while I was writing

I find that very interesting as it’s been described in other research as “the most important advance in paediatric audiology in 12 years” (I may be hazy on the actual number, but it was a large number of some kind). It was added to the Nios when left off the equivalent adult product because it was considered so vital for children. Sounds like there is some considerable disagreement in the industry! I think that’s what makes it so important to read around, take all the advice you can and see who is saying what and why they are saying it. Are Phonak just selling the benefits of this feature to sell more hearing aids? It’s certainly a possibility that has to be considered.

Frequency range is HERE(<100 - 7100) near bottom left of document.