Phonak Audeo S Smart is UNBEARABLE...HELP!

This afternoon I´ve gone to the audiologist to put a pair of Phonak Audeo S Smart IX. Well, initially the audiologist has had problems installing the software, but she called Phonak to help her (she did not know that software set up had to be done on both, her computer and the iCube too). Then when she got it done and ready to start to configure my hearing aids, and she has seen all options available on her screen, she said wuauuuuuuuuuuu! It has a lot of options … this is of course, bucause it was the first time she saw this program “Target”. I think she has set my hearing aids the most basic and simple way as possible. I have taken them until tomorrow, so I have 24 hours, until tomorrow noon, to decide if I take them or not (I have not paid anything yet).

When initially she tested them, I disliked them a lot, because they were so much loud…voices, backround and everything was initially very high and my voice was totally robotic. After lowering the volume and some other small changes (I think she has done nothing more), it was a little better, but still very weird sounds (which I understand may be almost normal at first). However, this is not the worst. I said that even in her office, the background noise was very loud, and she said that it was normal at first, but as the program was in automatic, it would change depending the kind of environment. It is supossed that in quiet environments the program slightly increases background noise, but in a noisy environment the program reduces background noise automatically.

THE TRUTH is that in quiet background the noise is high, and cover voices in most of times, but for example in the car, supermarket or in the street it is totally unbearable, and certainly I much better understand speech without the devices.

There are two annoying kind of sounds:
The background sounds, and the own backround produced by the hearing aids themselves (like when the TV is “gone” and show “snow” on the screen, well, the noise they make is similar, and it is all the time). I have a shympony in my ears all the time, horrible.

I guess this is not fault of the hearing aids, but the programming or lack thereof.

If someone has some advise to give me, so I can tell something to my audi tomorrow…it will be welcomed. Please help…they are unbearable…

PS: I had already tried other Phonaks for a few days (couple year ago), and while I listened to my voice a little metallic, the others voices a bit weird, and sounds and noises of the street, etc … a little annoying, the truth is that nothing like this. I’ve been wearing them just for a couple of hours and I already got a headache…!!!

This is my audiogram
…250 500 750 1000 2000 4000 8000
L…15 15 30 55 70 65 60
R …15 25 50 60 90 105 110

You only have a day to make a decision?

I’ve had the Audeo Smart S III for 2 weeks. I had my first adjustment since intial fit today.

So far, I really like them. My fitter did not think I needed the V or IX since my low frequencies are pretty good and I scored well on some kind of speech in noise test.

They were a little noisy at first but I gradually became more used to them. But today, she moved me up to 100% I guess on amplification, but did something to the sound recover (I think that’s what it was) which reduced sort of a reverberation effect with some voices and with things such as the chimes in my car. Also, I think she increased noise reduction. Right now they are really comfortable. The computer keyboard is not too loud, but I’m sure much better than unaided. Crumbling paper and whatnot is not at all irritating.

Maybe these type of adjustments would be helpful.

I think that she needs to get some training from Phonak on the Target software. My Smart “S” IXs - now traded for Ambras - worked pretty well with the initial software configuration by Target, as do the Ambras…

Target was new to my audi, too - but she was experienced with the previous iteration and she took a tutorial from the rep BEFORE she met with me!

At the very least, your audi needs to get the Phonak rep on the phone to walk her through it…

I have only one day to decide if I buy them or not, but I haven´t pay anything yet!!! I mean I haven´t buy them yet. If I buy them tomorrow, then I´ll have 75 days trial period from tomorrow on.

In other hand, there are two kind of background noises, the first is the “normal” environmental noise joined to the new sounds that I can hear now…these are annoying. The second is even worse, this is the background noise created by the hearing aids themselves, it is UNBEAREABLE. I think this second one should be easily addressed by an experienced audi. So, for now I can´t understand speech even in quiet environment!!! Because “the orchestra” in my ears cover any speech…

I don´t know what she did, but she didn´t make many changes on initial software I guess. I am not what to expect tomorrow, since I am not confortable with this situation. This audi is very costumer service focused, but she is very inclined to Resound, and she dislike Phonak service. This is why she is not very skilled on Phonak stuff. Definitelly I´ll tell her to call Phonak representative to help her to address this issues tomorrow, and if I see a very noticiable improvement, maybe I buy them. Otherwise, I´ll look for another provider more inclined on Phonak products. By the way, have you heard about Hearing Planet? It´s an internet supplier with agrements with local hearing centers to make all adjustments and follow ups. I don´t feel very confortable buying through internet…at least it is a tested company.

My experience is similar to others who have the new Phonak HAs in that Target software is capable of doing a VERY nice setting on its own. But that is IF the audi knows how to get basic information into the program. Hearing aids aren’t as “Plug and Play” as a USB thumb drive. Your audiologist is the source of your dissatisfaction. The HAs need to be properly setup.

It sounds also as if you are a new user of hearing aids which greatly increases your sensitivity to sounds which are not in your recent experience.

Good Luck,

Yes Terry, I am new user, but I had tested aids couple times before (during 2-3 days) and I can separate what are “new sounds” for me and what are weird noises and excesive background. I agree with you that the whole problem is generated because the lack of knowledge of my audi (on Target software).

Was the feedback manager run at the beginning of the first fit? It not only does the feedback, but also models the gain: it seems like your audiologist might not have appreciated that.

It should sort out most of the problems you are getting.

Thanks Um Bongo, into couple hours I´ll be going to visit my audi, so what do you think I should tell her? Just re-start again from beginning? Then she should reduce feedback using Feedback Manager tool? Please, explain as clear as you can. Thanks in advance.

I am in the exact same position as the opening poster. My hearing is poor in only my right ear, so I picked up one Audeo Smart S iX with an Ambra RIC last week.

The weekend was terrible. My voice sounds hollow, there is some cracking in others speech, and background noises were overriding speech to a large degree in all situations except when there was no other noise except one person talking.

I went back to the Audi yesterday afternoon, and things are better. My Audi is in the same boat as yours with most of her experience being Oticon based. She had the Phonak rep in during the early morning, but the rep was gone by the time I got there. My Audi seemed to know the software screens better, and we made some adjustments that helped a whole lot for me.

The biggest adjustment was changing the device sensitivity to what constituted a noisy environment so that it changed programs to the Voice in Noise program more easily. I am going to give it a few days, but I am expecting to up the sensitivity even more after taking my wife out to a restaurant for her birthday last night. We also made some minor adjustments at the fine settings level to push certain frequencies up or down a couple of Db, and I expect to fine tune that a bit more in the future as well. It will also be a big help once I get the MyPilot remote so that we can set up a couple of different programs with modified settings for some special environments I have to deal with daily like a noisy computer lab with a steady fan noise. We plan to dedicate a special program to that environment to drop most of the fan noise out completely once I find out the frequencies that are causing me problems in there.

The biggest thing I had to learn from my own research and from asking her questions is that there really is a retraining process that needs to happen in the brain with the new aids. Over the last 2 or 3 years my hearing adapted to the loss, and now it needs to adapt to all the extra noise. My good ear can easily ignore the sounds of general noise in a mall or restaurant to pick out a voice, but my bad ear needs to gain that ability back. So part of the problem is going to be giving it the time to do so without tweaking things constantly.

Good luck on your search, and just like you I am researching and learning so that the HA can start enhancing my hearing instead of making it harder to hear as it currently is doing in many situations. Being brand spanking new to this whole world means there is a lot to learn.

Get them to restart the fitting by running the feedback manager at inception, Don’t make any changes to the basic program initially, just add extra programs as needed.

Bongo - I am in the same situation as the above poster and find the aids are not cracked up to be what every one else is saying about them. In fact they will be going back if she can’t do something wonderful with them. I am sure that this is all due to my Audie not programming them right. When you say run the feedback manager at inception - what exactly do you mean? In another post I made the comment that my Audie had already run the feedback manager before I even turned up to pick them up - mmmmmmm I did ask her to run the feedback manager while they were in my ears but this was after she had fiddled with them and altered them. I had to leave them there the first time as she had run out of time. Just between you and me she is not really receptive to me telling her things and I try to do it nicely - but as soon as I say “Could you please run the feedback manager etc.” you can see the hackles rise on the back of her neck and you can see she gets aggro at me telling/asking her things.


My audi swears that the feedback manager is a bad thing and will cut down the quality of sound. Should I be convincing her otherwise???

This whole thread makes me kinda sick. I’ve been wearing the Audeo S Smart IXs since they were launched in Canada (2 months) and they are remarkable. The problems described in this thread are completely caused by a few audiologists who don’t know how to use the new Target software properly and are fumbling around and making a big mess.

Trust me…these hearing aids are really excellent. If your audiologist doesn’t know what they are doing, find another audiologist. Call Phonak and ask them to point you to someone who is fully trained.

Ugh!!! I hate reading these kinda stories. I suspect stories like this will slowly diminish as the audiologist community gets properly ramped up on the Target software but in the mean time, Phonak needs stop taking orders from audiologists who have been trained. Crazy but true…

Be patient…


I did contact Phonak and they completely ignored my request. It is just so frustrating as I followed your journey with interest Jordan and had such high hopes…only to be dashed.:frowning:

Well, this “kind of stories” is my life, it´s my reality. I don´t understand your atitude. I don´t know you, but you sound like if you were paid by Phonak. I want to believe that these aids are very good, for that reason I am making a try on them (otherwise I had tested others, right?). At this point I don´t care who is guilty, if Phonak for not training audis or audis for not asking for training before sell anything. Maybe Phonak is not customer service focused, maybe audis only think about money, instead the client. Anyway, I want to hear, understand, and interact with other people, and until now I can´t do it, because Phonak or audis are not doing their job. So, finally I came back to my post, where I was asking for help, and sorry, but you are not helping at all. So, if you are not being part of solutions, maybe it would be better you don´t answer these kind of posts, so you are not getting sick again… I guess there are (as per I have read) many people with same problems than me. For your information, I had already posted in this forum several days ago an ad asking for a good audi in Orlando. Unfortunatelly nobody has answered yet.

Well gmlr if they are not working as you would expect send them back. Or at least ask for another 1 month trial if you think the audi will program them correctly.
I believe your audi has not the skills to do justice to the aids yet, judging from your comments.

As for your request asking for a recomendation for a good audi in Orlando maybe there is no one one on this forum from Orlando yet with a recomendation.


Well GMLR, I share your opinion.
Trying the Phonaks since October 2010, we are on the same level since the end of november. emails were answered once and then no answer any more by Phonak.
My audio finally called help. Phonak ist near by my city.
So tomorrow is the day of the last chance, because an audio directly from phonak will do the fitting.
I am full of hope that the Phonak-audio would do a great job tomorrow, but my enthusiasm is gone.
Unfortunately I do not have the oticons to compare anymore.


Get an audiologist who knows what they are doing. You’ve paid a bucket-load of green for the top end Phonak product. You wouldn’t take a Ferrari into your local GM dealer for a service, would you.

I’ll say this once more.

Phonak Spice products have an in-built parameter check that runs within the feedback manager. This check evaluates the canal resonances and applies the appropriate levels of gain at initial fit. If you modify the physical acoustics of the aid (dome size/tubing/mould) at any point you need to run the feedback manager again to re-model the output of the aid.

In fairness to Phonak, they were explicit on this at the launch and I think we are now seeing why. As to the Audiologist who said that feedback managers were detrimental to the sound quality, that either shows a good degree of naivety or complete lack of knowledge WRT the several different methods of doing this.

I agree with you. Yesterday I returned the aids. Audi is going to call Phonak to get training, and then she will called me back. I don´t know how long it will take that, so I already contacted to another audi. I am waiting to get an appointment. Thanks.