Phonak Audeo new P50 vs old Q90 - has the tech really not improved that much?

I’ve had a pair of Phonak Audeo Q90 that I bought in 2014 and they have served me well. I’ve just gotten around to trialing some new Audeo P50.

However I am having a really hard time in background noise environments. The noise is just flat, with no feature and I can’t distinguish any points. My own voice is quiet, too. It’s just not as good as my old Q90. I’ve tried all of the myPhonak settings and they make only minor improvements.

I’m using a different audiologist but I’ve had my records from the old audiologist sent over to the new one to compare the settings. The autosense curves are almost identical.

My audiologist is basically saying that my 8 year old hearing aids are just better in that environment and thinks it’s just because the Q90 aid has more channels.

Me, I’m in disbelief that the technology hasn’t improved more in the intervening period.

I really can’t work out what the problem is here; the settings or my own expectation?

I would really appreciate your advice.

If it helps in any way, I have the ‘cookie bite’ hearing loss (I forget the medical term for it).

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Phonak is a fantastic brand. However, I don’t have much experience with Phonaks, so I can’t comment directly on your situation. But what I can add is that Oticon technology has improved quite a bit since I bought my Nera2 (around 2016). The Oticon More 1s are fantastic and life-changing, at least for me. Also, the Philips 9030 (Costco Brand/Model) is pretty dang good too. Maybe try a few other brands other than Phonak and see how it works for you?

Also, please add your audiogram into the profile section of the forum so we can see your prescription. This helps us understand your unique hearing loss. Welcome to the forum!

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Yeah so it’s not uncommon for this to happen, people compare old to new and just aren’t impressed with the results, but honestly you should be able to get them at least close to how you like things to sound, but regardless of all the different settings that you could try, I’d ask your audiologist to let you trial the P90, and then compare the background issues your having.

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Might just be you’re trying the P50 which has less features to help in background noise.

To compare your Q90, you need to try the P90 really.


Just like what Zebras said, comparasion should be made with the same level hearing aids.
Off topic but I want to add
I’ve gone from sky V70 sp aids to paradise UP P30 aids. Although P30 is essential level , I’ve had much better hearing in noise with paradise than premium level sky V70.

@Um_bongo may give better advice

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I thought after 8 years there’d be a bit of trickle-down in the technology but it seems to not be the case. I’ll see if I can trial the P70 or 90 and re-evaluate the finances.


Thanks for the welcome. This would be my 3rd Phonak in a row so I definitely agree with you about the brand! In the past I’ve tried a few other brands, and this time I tried the Widex Moment but didn’t find it to match me very well.



Pretty sure the only features on the P50 are NoiseBlock and WindBlock.

SoundRelax, EchoBlock and Speech in Wind feature are only on the P90 level and possibly more features that I don’t know about.

I have the Phonak V70 and M70 but I have all features turned off so could have got away with the 30 tech.

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I’d suggest you trial the new Phonak Lumity L90. The higher (90) level might have the exact features that would help your speech comprehension in noise, as @Zebras says. And at least one reviewer has suggested that the Lumity line is significantly better than the Paradise line.

IMO, if at all possible, you should seriously consider spending the extra money and getting the newest and highest-level HAs you can. If you routinely keep your HAs for eight years, spending that extra money now might make a big difference in your quality of life for the rest of this decade. Good luck!


Earofthetiger, I posted a comment recently comparing my old Q90’s with my new M90’s. The extra bells and whistles are fun to use but I still feel that in everyday situations the Q’s were better. So I agree with your comments.


I wish I could try the Lumity but they’re not available where I live but I’ll try and find out when it will arrive.
I think you’re right; I don’t earn as much as I did when I bought the Q90s, but if I can make them last 8 years then the cost over time equation is not too bad.

I can offer some thoughts as I have he L90, P90, and my Original M50’s. I bought the L90 and P90 off of facebook used and more or less programmed them with the default settings for my audiogram which sounds like it is similar to yours.

I always carry the M50’s as backups because they are the only ones that are not rechargeable.

In the end, I don’t think there is really much difference if you are using the same receiver setup. I would say the L90’s are better in the car than the others, but sometimes around the house, the M50’s seem better because they are “dumber” and do less auto switching around. I would suspect if you don’t like the new ones, the new audiologist might have set something up diffferently.

Streaming is the same, but the P90 and L90 can connect to two bluetooth devices at once which occasionally is very handy when doing zoom calls on your computer. On the flip side, the P90 has the worst bluetooth connection problems the new L90 and older M50 seem better.

Hope this helps. I never had the Q’s so can’t comment on that.

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My experience with my P90Rs has been different - Bluetooth connection to the app, my phone, my watch and my TV Connector has been very reliable (and life-enhancing).
As for the original question, as others have indicated, you have to compare like with like - I’m not surprised that there’s not much of a perceptible difference between the Q90s and the P50s.

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Thank you everybody for the comments. I have been holding off replying until I got the confirmation that from next week I’ll be trying the P90. I look forward to giving feedback of my comparison between the two.

I also considered waiting for the Lumity, but I think the 18hour battery is not enough for my lifestyle just yet. If in a few years the battery tech has improved and it can get to around 30 hours, I think that would be enough.