I tested the phonak versatas, the oticon agil pros and the resound aleras.
You can look up my other posts on this board and you’ll see a few notes, but to specifically answer your questions:
I don’t think anybody has made a hearing aid that sounds right for conversation AND for watching TV or listening to music without changing to another program.
When I watch TV or listen to music I switch to an alternate program. I do not use an interface or ALD, so it’s still just the mics in the hearing aids.
That said, when in TV/Music mode, the aleras were best, the oticons a close second and the phonaks trailed third.
For telephone use, I separate this into two categories: Holding a traditional phone up to my ear vs. using an interface.
When directly using the telephone, I felt that the phonaks had the edge, the oticons were close and the resound aleras were more troublesome.
When using the interfaces, you have to separate what I heard vs. what they heard.
Oticon streamer: I hear great. They don’t hear me well unless I hold the streamer very close.
Resound unite: I hear ok, with significant crackly dropouts and extreme sensitivity to clip placement and small movements of the head. They heard me ok if I was in a quiet room. Anywhere else, they couldn’t hear me well.
Phonak iCom: I heard well but with occasional interference. They could barely hear me at all, many complaints.
It is important to note that with all three brands, when you switch from the built-in mics to a bluetooth or TV streamer, the hearing aids will change from whatever program you had selected before to a special program. In every test I’ve done so far, the advanced filtering & processing systems are not available when you switch to that accessory mode. It’s a big shortcoming, but nobody has a competitive advantage- just minor workarounds.
The bottom line is that there is no best- only a best for you for now. You’ve got to decide which listening environments you’ll be in most often, and it’s important to understand that this is likely to change once you’ve been wearing HAs a while. All three of the hearing aids I tested were excellent in some categories and poor in others, so a lot of the challenge is in predicting how you will use yours. Make sure you understand your options for trying a set and returning them if they don’t work out. You don’t want to get stuck paying for something that doesn’t work for you.