Phonak announces Naída B, Sky B, Roger Select, Roger Table Mic II

Media Release

Phonak to strengthen its market position by expanding industry leading rechargeable portfolio

Stäfa (Switzerland), February 14th, 2018 – Phonak, the leading global innovator for hearing instruments and wireless communication solutions, today announces the extension of its latest-generation Belong platform with Phonak Naída™ B and Phonak Sky™ B hearing aids. The addition of a lithium-ion rechargeable Naída B-R RIC, Sky B-PR and CROS B-R (a solution for single-sided deafness) further expands the company’s industry-leading portfolio of rechargeable hearing aids while bolstering its technology leadership position in the power and pediatric markets. Phonak is also announcing the debut of groundbreaking Roger™ MultiBeam Technology, available in the new Roger Select™ microphone as well as Roger Table Mic II.

“Around the world, hearing care professionals trust Phonak to deliver innovative hearing solutions that solve even the most challenging situations,” said Thomas Lang, Senior Vice President of Phonak Marketing. “Today Phonak builds on this legacy of trust by introducing products that redefine expectations in power, pediatrics and Roger connectivity. Our now-complete Belong platform portfolio means professionals have the flexibility to offer the industry’s most comprehensive rechargeable suite of hearing solutions to ensure the best possible care.”

Phonak Naída B: Introducing the 5th generation of the world’s most trusted power hearing aid

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 36 million people worldwide live with severe to profound hearing loss(1). Left untreated, these individuals have extreme difficulty communicating with others, often relying on lip reading and/or sign language.(2) One study found the societal costs of this degree of hearing loss in the U.S. alone to be nearly $300,000 over the lifetime of each person, most of this attributed to reduced work productivity.(3)

The Phonak Naída B product portfolio was specifically developed to address the unique and complex challenges faced by this client group. Now in its 5th generation, Phonak Naída B provides the flexibility to meet these clients’ sound processing needs with an additional dedicated fitting formula – Adaptive Phonak Digital Contrast. In addition, Phonak Naída B default first fit provides the industry’s best Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) results(4) for clients with severe to profound hearing loss and enhanced performance in noise when combined with Roger wireless solutions. For the first time, Naída comes in a rechargeable Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) option, offering the most feature-rich rechargeable hearing aid from Phonak, dedicated to users with severe to profound hearing loss.

Phonak Sky B: Unlocking a child’s full potential

Ears can be thought of as ‘doorways’ to the brain, and hearing loss as a ‘doorway problem’.(5) A child’s growing brain must have access to clear and meaningful auditory information for timely language development and academic readiness. In fact, children need to hear approximately 45 million words by the age of 4 years to be ready for school.(6)

Research tells us that providing children with optimal hearing solutions or ‘doorway opening devices’ from an early age directly impacts how well they will succeed.(7)

With 45 years of experience developing life-changing hearing solutions for children, Phonak through the Sky B along with proven Roger technology opens obstructed ‘doorways’ and provides the clear sound quality needed to unlock children’s full potential and ensure they succeed.

The Sky B portfolio features AutoSense Sky OS, the only operating system built specifically for children, and SoundRecover2 which gives children access to a broader range of sounds essential for speech and language development.(8),(9) Phonak now offers a rechargeable option, Sky B-PR, that gives children a full day of uninterrupted hearing on a single charge.(10)

MultiBeam Technology takes Roger to the next level

In 2013, Phonak introduced proprietary Roger 2.4 GHz wireless technology, setting a new benchmark for hearing in noise and over distance by transmitting a speaker’s voice directly to the listener. Five years later, the next generation of proven Roger performance and ease of use comes in the form of MultiBeam Technology (MBT). This technology uses three microphones to form six directional beams within 360 degrees. When a microphone with MBT is placed on a table, it automatically selects the speaker to improve the speech understanding in group conversations and noisy situations.

Roger Select™ and Roger Table Mic II are the first products to make use of MBT. Roger Select is a versatile microphone that uses MBT to help people with hearing loss hear better in noisy restaurants or other gatherings. Three distinct modes (automatic, manual, lapel) allow wireless hearing in a variety of conversations and environments. The Roger Table Mic II is the successor to the Roger Table Mic, now featuring MBT. The microphone is ideal for working adults who need to actively participate in meetings.

Also announced today is the Roger Repeater, which extends the operating range of any Roger network in the Roger for Education portfolio and is ideal for large school applications like auditoriums and gymnasiums.

The Phonak Naída B and Sky B will be available in the U.S. starting February 19th, with the rest of the world to follow in March. All new Roger products as well as CROS B-R will be available later in spring 2018.

Citations

  1. World Health Organization, Global estimates on prevalence of hearing loss http://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/WHO_GE_HL.pdf?ua=1

  2. European Group on genetics of hearing impairment. Martini A (Ed.), European Commission Directorate, Biomedical and Health Research Programme (HEAR) Infoletter 2, November 1996, 8.

  3. Mohr, P., Feldman, J., Dunbar, J., McConkey-Robbins, A., Niparko, J., Rittenhouse, R., & Skinner, M. (2000). THE SOCIETAL COSTS OF SEVERE TO PROFOUND HEARING LOSS IN THE UNITED STATES. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 16(04), 1120-1135.

  4. Field Study News under development. Full details available in spring 2018 at www.phonakpro.com/evidence

  5. Flexer, Carol (2018). The ears are doorways to the brain. Phonak Insight, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 19th, 2018.

  6. Hart, B. & Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

  7. McCreery, R. W., Walker, E. A., Spratford, M., Bentler, R., Holte, L., Roush, P., & Moeller, M. P. (2015). Longitudinal predictors of aided speech audibility in infants and children. Ear and Hearing, 36 Suppl 1, 24–37.

  8. Feilner, M., Rich, S., & Jones, C. (2016). Automatic and directional for kids - Scientific background and implementation of pediatric optimized automatic functions. Phonak Insight, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 19th, 2018.

  9. Rehmann, J., Jha, S., & Allegro Baumann, S. (2016). SoundRecover2 – the adaptive frequency compression algorithm. More audibility of high frequency sounds. Phonak Insight, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 19th, 2018.

  10. Stephenson, B., Omisore, D., Pedersen, H. M., & Taphuntsang (2016). The Phonak rechargeable solution. Field Study News, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence, accessed February 19th, 2018.

About Phonak

Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, was created in 1947 out of a passion for taking on the most difficult hearing challenges. Seventy years later, this passion remains. As the industry’s leading innovator, we offer the broadest portfolio of life-changing hearing solutions. From pediatric to profound hearing loss, we remain committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. We believe in creating a world where ‘Life is on’ for everyone.

For more information, please visit

www.phonak.com, www.phonakpro.com, www.phonakpro.com/roger-table-mic-II, www.phonakpro.com/naida-b, www.phonakpro.com/sky-b

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I’m guessing you wouldn’t be able to get the rechargeable options if you want to use the Roger system?

I’ve currently got the Phonak Sky QUEST UP hearing aids and use the Roger system all the time.

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The rechargeable models can be used with ComPilot II and Roger X receiver.

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It says here that the rechargable Sky can be used with the Roger 18 receiver. I wonder if it’s a misprint?!

I’ve just watched the Phonak videos on the Roger Select microphone and I’m really liking the new microphone. Definitely going to upgrade my Roger transmitter when it’s finally released.

Aside from the rechargeable model, and a name change, I don’t see any other changes. Oh, wait @Terost pointed out new Key Feature in the Nadia B;
Adaptive Phonak Digital Contrast:
With the new Adaptive Phonak Digital Contrast fitting formula we introduce a slow compression option. Through longer attack and release times, the spectral contrast, as well as the speech signal modulations are better preserved. This increases the envelope cues for speech compared to Adaptive Phonak Digital, so it is now possible to get closer to the original speech signal and make these lost details in speech more pronounced again. Audiological research shows that this leads to improved vowel recognition for some adults with severe to profound hearing loss.

Phonak Nadia V90/V70/V50/V30.pdf <-VS-> Phonak Nadia B90/B70/B50/B30.pdf

Nadia V90 Nadia B90
AutoSense OS:
Calm Situation Yes Yes
Speech in Noise Yes Yes
Comfort in Noise Yes Yes
Music Yes Yes
Speech in Loud Noise Yes Yes
Speech in Car Yes Yes
Comfort in Echo Yes Yes
Additional programs:
Max. additional programs 5 5
Speech in Wind Yes Yes
Comfort in Echo Yes Yes
Speech in Loud Noise Yes Yes
Speech in 360° Yes Yes
Speech in Noise Yes Yes
Calm Situation Yes Yes
Comfort in Noise Yes Yes
Music Yes Yes
Acoustic phone Yes Yes
Custom program Yes Yes
Streaming programs:
Max. streaming programs 4 4
Bluetooth audio + mic Yes Yes
Bluetooth phone / DECT + mic Yes Yes
Roger / RemoteMic Yes Yes
Audio jack Yes Yes
Features:
RogerReady Yes Yes
Roger and directional setting Yes Yes
UltraZoom Yes Yes
SNR-Boost Yes Yes
FlexControl Yes Yes
FlexVolume Yes Yes
DuoPhone Yes Yes
SoundRecover2 Yes Yes
BroadbandBooster Yes Yes
User Preference Tuning Yes Yes
Real Ear Sound Yes Yes
Finetuning Channels 20 20
WhistleBlock Yes Yes
NoiseBlock Yes Yes
WindBlock Yes Yes
EchoBlock Yes Yes
SoundRelax Yes Yes
Tinnitus Balance noise generator Yes Yes
QuickSync Yes Yes
auto Acclimatization Yes Yes

@Um_bongo I am wondering if you have any thoughts on the NEW slow compression option of the Phonak Nadia B that is described in the above post as Adaptive Phonak Digital Contrast. For your reference it is also described on page 6-of-8 under Key features of this Phonak Nadia B Product Information document along with research references listed as #6.

It all comes down to the implementation.

Fast compression techniques tend to be more responsive in that they can kick in and out between the peaks of fast syllabic delivery, whereas slower compression delivery means that the sound level is more consistent throughout speech.

The benefit of the faster system is that it claims to reduce more noise, but there is a slight loss of sound data on the ‘attack’ portion of each fast syllable. Whereas the slower mechanism tends to preserve greater signal integrity as the device doesn’t futz around with compression mid-word, due to the slightly longer release time. the downside of this is apparent if there is intense background noise that gets overamplified after the speech has finished.

In practice, it comes down to a couple of factors - where you’re listening and what your mental plasticity is like.

In a car, a faster mechanism is nearly always going to be better as there’s a high level of steady state noise, plus other ambient sounds, and you don’t mind the sound being a bit more clipped if you’re getting the intelligibility over the background.

In most other real world situations a slower system is going to sound smoother, even though you might compromise some intelligibility, the fact that your hearing isn’t being stressed by constant compression change might help too. Traditionally Widex adopted this approach, which made people who wanted to got to a different manufacturer after long term Widex wear, found the sound quite difficult to take on.

Phonak traditionally used faster systems as their processing power allowed better noise reduction as a result, but it looks like they have realised that a smoother sound appears to increase user acceptance even though there is a bit of a trade off in terms of actual noise reduction.

Most systems would by now be using some form of hybridised version which might be clever enough to switch when there is sufficient speech density over the local noise. Oticon used to use a variant called floating point linearity which maintains a 1:1 loudness growth at different longer term levels in order to stop the aid jumping about in terms of different amounts of gain during speech.

HTH

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Thanks for the information Um_bongo. I’ve found it very helpful. :smile:

@Um_bongo Would you know if you could turn off the slow compression on the Naida B?

Look in the software, the literature said it was an Option.

Sounds like you can disable it, however it seems like you’re losing some of the intended functionality in the process.
If there’s some form fader option thatwould be handy too. You’d almost want to be able to dial in the mental plasticity and experience of the patient as part of the delivery.

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Slow compression is better for those with profound hearing loss with weak WR scores. Fast compression is for those who higher WR scores and dont need maximum gain output.

As I understand it, Oticon use ‘Speech E Guard’ style compression in their latest aids which do not compress the speech signal except when there are loud sounds present, with the aim of improving speech intelligibility. If we accept compression reduces speech intelligibility this strategy makes sense, though how the brain will react to chopping and changing between compression and linear I can’t imagine.