Phonak Audeo Q90- sounds closed, with reverb distortion

Good day fellow hearing aid wearers,

I was fitted with a demo Phonak Audeo Q90 2 days ago. My earlier hearing aids are a Seimens Pure 500 fitted May 2009 with most of the features turned down or off due to the effect they had on overall sound (effectively like a music program). In fitting the Phonak Audeo Q90 my audiologist (who has been excellent so far) has turned down these most of these advanced features to minimum (but not entirely off). I have the Sound Recover turned off as my higher frequency loss is at/above 75 dB threshold (my audiogram is flatish - Left ear severe between 70 to 90 dB loss, Right ear moderately severe 60 to 85 dB loss). My audiologist agreed that given my word recognition was near normal I may not need the high end features in the hearing aids.

My experience with the Audeo Q90 is that listening to music overall is generally quite pleasant with more bass than my current aids. However some of the sustained vocals and even the voices on the radio have a slight distorted reverb sound effect. Additionally I found the sudden switch to different sound management systems in the middle of watching a movie or listening to the radio annoying. I can definitely appreciate the benefit of what Audeo Q90 does in difficult listening situations in a noisy restaurant. However these other aspects are somewhat bothersome. My old hearing aids sound sharper, more open and less distorted by comparison.

Has anyone had similar experiences? Is this a Phonak sound issue or need for further fine tuning? Any ideas as to what is causing the reverb distortion effect?

I am considering trying the Bernafon Acriva 7 or 9 given the open channel type technology and hopefully less sound distortion. Is anyone aware of any reliability issues with bernafon acriva?

Any responses and suggestions would be most appreciated.


I think 2 days is too soon to make changes. I would give them a week and then go back for an adjustment. Describe what you are hearing and your audiologist should be able to take care of your complaints.

i have Audeo Q90’s also and have gotten 3 adjustments so far. Each adjustment gets me closer to where I want them to be, and Im just picking nits at this point because Im picky (im a music lover and audiophile).

You have one of the best hearing aids on the market. Give your audiologist a chance to fine tune them.

Two days to too early to make changes unless you are getting too much feedback. It takes about two weeks for your ears/brain to get adjusted to your new hearing aids.

That sounds like something I didn’t like about my Siemens Aquaris 7i - the way it would jump around between programs in challenging environments. My audiologist for that aid said he couldn’t change that feature. Hopefully your model can.

Thank you for your responses Palmfish, Terost and JeffBowser. After searching this forum more carefully what I figured out is that the vibrato effect I have been getting is probably due to the high feedback suppression. I get the same vibrato effect when I whistle. I notice also how closed up the sound feels. Feels and sounds like middle ear effusion in some ways with sounds constantly dampened and partially suppressed. I am having trouble continuing to wear the phonak audeo Q90 until I get the vibrato effect sorted out.

Yes, JeffBowser the frequent program changing gets annoying sometimes especially in the middle of a movie or radio program. I am going to ask my audiologist to set a couple fixed programs specifically for movies and music. That way when I can listen and/or watch something without interruption. That is one way you could consider.

Let you know how I go. I’m starting to wonder about the Siemens Pure micon 5 or 7 especially given the slightly smaller size and possibly a little more water resistant. Will keep you posted.

My Siemens is strictly for boating days, I don’t have any programs or a remote for it. I have a Widex CIC that I have tweaked to as close to perfect as an HA can get. It doesn’t hop between programs. In fact, I have left it in the default program mode now for months, I’m no longer sure where my remote even is. I’m funny that way - I expect my HA to just work. I’m not inclined to chase programs, volume changes, etc. Sometimes its a compromise, but usually its a relief - just shove that sucker in and go about my day.

Your audiologist can adjust the “sensitivity” of the switching threshold. I leave mine in Auto StereoZoom 90% of the time and my aids never switch modes during music or movies. Mine switch most often when Im driving as my speed/road texture changes and when I go into a loud restaurant or bar they clamp down.

I do also have a “Music Program” for listening to music.

Hello Terost…you sent me a PM about Compass (I cannot answer PM because I dont hAve +15 posts on this forum).

Also here is my answer:
You have A complete compass, the same as any Audi has. (“Demo” is a complete professional program)

You cannot save settings in Compass; only in your HA’s can you save the settings!
Save settings of more HA’s is only possible for Audi’s, who have a data-base for their clients.

After finishing your settings, you must disconnect the HA’s before close Compass! Just open the batteries or disconnect the USB link.
Your new settings wil be set in the HA’s.

The next time you want to change settings in finetuning, Compass wil ask if you will use the existing settings from the HA’s.
(dont go in adjustment; Compass wil clean up all your settings en you have to start all over again…)

hope you understand my worse englisch,
greetings from the Netherlands,

JeffBowser, yes I’m inclined to have an aid that doesn’t noticeably shift and change too much. How do you find the Widex sound compared to other aids? Widex is falling behind some of the other brands currently so haven’t considered it much.

Palmfish, there are so many potential functions on these high end hearing aids! Good in many ways but also a little overwhelming. Yes, no doubt my audiologist will make some fine tuning adjustments.

Will keep you you all posted on my progress.

Hi Frans:
Using the demo I have, I can make adjustments to the aids and close the program. After closing the program, I open the batteries in my aids so that it is set with the new adjustments. When I start up the program, it asks me to use either the HA or Compass data and since the program can not save the HA data, I always let the program use the data from the aids. To go back to default settings, I click on the new settings on the program menu.
I don’t think I should disconnect the aids before closing the program because the program will display a dialog box that it lost communication with the aids.
The demo program has the curves disabled.(program menu)

Hey Terost, i use this “demo” compass a year now, very sucsessfully, it works perfectly. (using the USB link)

At the Close page, choose left above: continue current storage, than all settings will be saved and you can step out Compass.

An other way is to disconnect the HA’s before closing compass, (by open batteries ore take off the USB Link; all settings will be saved too.
And correct: the program will display a dialog box that it lost communication with the aids. (that is wat you need!)
Just confirm and close compass.

The next time i always start up in “finetuning”. (If you choose “adjustments” and make a change to the basic settings, compass will erase all the finetuning settings present in the HA’s!

Note: The Compass filename “Demo” is intended for the graph of the audiogram, (you can adjust this graph only if you have a clients-database like an audiologist has)

Please look around in this forum, you will find an compass startup question and more posts about working with “Demo” Compass…

greetings, frans.

Leeanth … Did you solve the problem ? Very curious since I have same issue exactly. Hate it. I’m thinking I need to go to a different brand.

I only just logged on now for first time in a long time. Yes, I ended up being quite happy with my Phonaks after that was sorted. Turning almost off the whistle block fixed the problem.