Was just fitted with a pair of Phonak Ambra MicroM BTEs. I have a lot of HA experience over many years, ranging from analog aids through both trials and ownership of good digitals - all BTE with suitable earmolds and careful repetitive fitting. I have even tried some of the eBay Chinese cheapies, and the fit-it-yourself online aids. I have really $upported the hearing aid industry!
The Phonak Ambra is the best I’ve tried, so far.
It has some unusual features. The two aids share information via a radio across my head, which is supposed to combine computing power and optimize phase and time-of-arrival data, thus improving processing and making focus more accurate and acute. It seems to actually do all that.
During the fitting process I had a choice:
- Automatic program selection based on what the aids hear, with manual volume control (left aid button is volume DOWN, right is UP).
- Automatic volume control with manual program selection.
I chose option #1, which works well so far.
In the past, my wife and I picked restaurants, etc. based on ambient noise. These aids overcome such environments nicely, and we can talk comfortably when my head is pointed toward her. Excellent. And I can still hear enough of what’s going on around me so if there’s something interesting I can turn my head and the aids will instantly re-focus. It’s just as mother (nature) intended, augmented by technology and money.
Though they are new arrivals on the U.S. market, hopefully others here are using the same aids, and we can share experience and take advantage of it.
I return for a fitting in a few days, but so far don’t have much to ask for. Maybe a little more bass. In general, these are as far above my previous “advanced” digital aids as those were above their predecessors (first generation, single mic IIRC).
The Bluetooth interface was ordered today by phone, and the audiologist says it will automatically connect with my cellphone and with Bluetooth audio devices such as my laptop, an eBook reader, a module connected to the television set’s headset port, a microphone-transmitter placed on a lecturer’s podium, etc. If that all “works” it could become a life-changer.
These aids are already quite satisfying after the initial fitting, and I hope that with time and the addition of further capabilities they will get even more so.