Phonak Audeo Yes versus the Oticon Dual

I have been trialing a pair of Phonak Audeo Yes V and finally got them working to my satisfaction. Not without several trips to the audi for a number of annoying processing artifacts that I simply could not live with. I would hear warbling and choppiness in speech, music and tones such as alarms etc. As is turns out all of these were related to the automatic feedback control (what Phonak calls WhistleBlock). With WhistleBlock turned off all of these artifacts are gone, and more importantly I don’t get any feedback. My audi says that Phonak has a very aggressive and unique method for suppressing feedback, that to my hearing was just plain annoying. Since these are my 1st HAs, my audi suggested I try a pair of the Oticon Dual XW, which I am currently demo’ing.

So here are my impressions.

Sound Quality
The sound quality of the two are nearly identical in all respects in my typical daily work day, which includes quiet office, standard meetings, teleconference meetings, noisy cafeteria, and a very loud ambient noise environment in our lab that houses several chambers with compressors. Both aides handle these situations well.

I would have to give the edge to the Yes, because it is slightly smaller, both overall size as well as thickness. The Yes works very well with my glasses, while I have a harder time with the Duals. My wife says the Duals are more visible, possibly because they are competing for the limited space behind my ears.

Both use the 312. I have been getting 5 to 7 days on the Yes, depending on how much streaming audio I listen to. Too early to tell on the Duals.

Streaming Audio (iCom versus Streamer)
I have the iCom with myPilot for the Yes and also got a Streamer to demo with the Duals. Audio quality is better with the iCom, since it uses a custom program tailored to my hearing loss. The Streamer audio quality sounds as though I am listening to music without my aides in (ie, very little high frequency amplification). This might be adjustable on the Streamers with program setting changes. Both are easy to use and require a neck loop to work well. Both handle either direct connection or Bluetooth connectivity for audio.

Bluetooth Cell Phone (iCom versus Streamer)
Both handled pairing and placing/receiving calls with ease. I give a slight edge to the iCom because the large single button is easy to use without looking - I find I need to look at the Streamer to find the small buttons to make sure I am pressing the correct one.

As for size, the iCom is square and slightly thicker, while the Streamer is taller. I would call the size comparison a tie. However, whereas everyone asks what the iCom is when it is hanging around my neck, the Streamer looks a lot like a MP3 player and doesn’t draw a lot of interest. The Streamer wins the style contest.

myPilot versus Streamer remote
There are definitely some tradeoffs here. The Streamer is both a remote as well as Bluetooth device, whereas Phonak requires you buy the iCom and myPilot. From that aspect the Streamer wins. However, I find the screen on the myPilot invaluable as I can tell at a glance what program I have selected or what volume setting I have made - no way to do that with the Streamer. In addition, the myPilot slips in my pocket and is with me all the time, whereas I tend to only where the iCom at work. If I want to slip the Streamer into my pocket I would have to detach the neckloop and put it somewhere, probably to get misplaced. The myPilot also includes an alarm feature (that I use every day as a reminder to call my wife at a certain time), time display (that I use all the time since I don’t wear a watch), battery status screen (pretty useless since zinc air batteries work a full speed right up to the very end) and the ability to independently control streaming audio volume, Bluetooth volume, separately from the main HA volume control (which is very convenient).

Program selection (Yes/myPilot versus Dual/Streamer)
The Yes has 3 programs that it automatically switches between depending on the background noise conditions, plus it has an additional 4 manual programs that you can have your audi set-up, which you can then select using the myPilot and is displayed on the screen. The 3 automatic programs are Calm Situations, Speech in Noise and Calm in Noise, each with settings for microphone mode (directional control), NoiseBlock, WindBlock, WhistleBlock, SoundRecover (frequency downshifting), and dynamic range compression. For my 4 manual programs I picked Speech in Noise (more aggressive than the automatic program), Calm in Noise (also more aggressive noise blocking), Music and Mute (mics off). There are also independent programs for Bluetooth and Streaming Audio that are automatically selected when you activate those modes.

I am less certain about the Duals as to how many programs they have in the automation scheme. However the Streamer lets you select from 4 program locations. From what my audi told me, I can select from two different automatic switching algorithms, one a standard setting and one that is more aggressive in terms of noise control. The third is for Music and the 4th I picked as a Mute function (mics turned down).

My preference is to the combination iCom/myPilot solution, even though it costs more. I feel I have more flexibility and control.

“My wife says the Duals are more visible, possibly because they are competing for the limited space behind my ears.”
Could be the color of the Duals. They are brighter compared to the Yes in color.

As to size these are real close to each other and would be classified as small for hearing aids. These HA’s are actually only at the most 1/3 of the adjusted size shown in your pics. For some reason i always thought the Yes looked thicker than the Duals but the pics show that is not true. When seen at their real size i think the differences would be very slim to none ? However the shapes are different and one may have a cosmetic appeal over the other ?
As to comfort i find my Duals really as good as it gets. I wear glasses only for reading so i have about three pair on the go. The comfort with my Duals vary with the shape of these 3 glasses. I have a pair that feel best with the Duals. But again really not an issue with any of the three glasses i wear for reading.

I am interested as to how YOU compare the two after wearing the Duals for awhile . Thanks for the pics and your thread.

I know the color is brighter for the Duals, but they also sit higher which makes them more visible.

And the pictures are real, so seeing them side by side are not as you say “the differences would be very slim to none”. The Duals measure 0.325 inches thick, while the Yes measures in at 0.250 inches. That makes the Duals 30% fatter, and for my situation it makes a big difference. With the Yes I find I can slip my glasses off and on without any trouble. With the Duals the glasses don’t slide past the HA and I need to readjust each one to have them sit correctly. Might not be that big of a deal for others though.

I love the iCom. And when someone asks, I just tell them it’s just what it looks like … my CPU. And that it runs cooler outside of my head. Gets some great reactions.

OK … so I’m a geek, what do ya expect.

Very interesting comparison. Great work! There should be more of these. It is interesting that the mid Range Audeo YES V compares so well with the top end Oticon Dual XW… I wonder how the Audeo IX with it’s auto music program, 20 channels noise reduction and processing v 16 channels in V, 33 band adaptive directionality v 12 in V, SoundRelax, echoblock and ZoomControl would fare. Are you quoted the same price for the V’s as the Dual XW (the Dual XW is about $1000 more each in AU than the Audeo IX!)?

Thanks again…well done

Yeah I agree…a better comparison would be the Yes IX v Dual XW.

I avoid the Oticon style for one reason, as mentioned by others … that is: VISIBILITY.

Background info: Many dispensers have a hearing loss themselves.

I attended an 800-dispenser event in the UK … and whilst walking around the meeting hall I noticed SOMETHING behind lots of attendees ears.

It turned out to be Oticon aids … the ‘sail’ of the plastic IS visible peeping above the ear in many cases.

Not pretty, so I now avoid fitting Oticon aids with the triangle shape of the Oticon Delta etc.

That might be a good point about visability. I have the Oticons and with my big head and mop of hair good luck finding them. :eek: Too tell you the truth i pick up on the tubes or wires usually for most hearing aid wearers. I follow the wire to the aid .

The real meat and potatoes is in how these two aids work and their repair rate ?

regarding the auto program on the Duals, Oticon decided to use artificial intelligence for their hearing aids, insteat of having aids that jump between programs.
The way AI works is that the instruments calculate in parallel different settings and
it picks up the one that provides the highest Signal to noise ratio.

Phonak soundflow seems to be an improvement on the right direction, it seems both approached have somes flaws…

Xbulder, would you care to comment on your views of the pros and cons of the two approaches?

My audi didn’t think I would notice any difference between the V and the IV, and it looked like the only thing I was giving up was the zoom feature, which didn’t sound all that useful to me.

Here is what I am paying for the Audeo Yes V: Aids = $2300 each, myPilot = $400, iCom = $250, grand total = $5250.

My audi quoted the same price for either the Audeo Yes IV or the Dual XW at $2695 each. I haven’t gotten a price on the Streamer yet, but expect it would be around $250. That gives a package price (aides plus remote/Bluetooth) at
Phonak Audeo Yes V = $5250
Phonak Audeo Yes IV = $6040
Opticon Dual XW = $5640

All of these include the fittings (currently had 6 visits), custom ear molds, first box of 60 batteries, and a cleaning kit.

Would I be incorrect in assuming that by “Phonak Audeo Yes IV = $6040” you are actually intending to say Yes IX? The YES comes in a 3, 5 and 9 model, III, V, and IX, but not in a 4 (IV) the last time I looked. :wink:

Hi Neilk,

You are correct - thanks for catching my error.

Here are the corrected totals:
Phonak Audeo Yes V = $5250
Phonak Audeo Yes IX = $6040
Opticon Dual XW = $5640

As I mentioned before, these include the fittings, custom ear molds, first box of 60 batteries, and a cleaning kit.

And I forgot to mention before, I also received a copy of the DVD training video LACE (Listening And Communication Ehancement), which I have just started to use.

My audi is a jewel to work with; in a very relaxed environement, carries multiple brands and at very competitive prices. Anyone in Seattle’s Eastside looking for a recommendation can send me a PM.

the dual seems reasonable price, it would be a good deal if it includes the streamer

I would second that.

Very nice comparison.

A few extra notes:

  1. Battery compartment on the Dual is designed to retain the battery even with the door open, and looks sturdier. The batteries fall out of the Audeo Yes readily, so there is a tendency to not open the battery door completely; sometimes the battery doesn’t disconnect, so the battery drains quickly.

  2. Audeo Yes can interchange either a normal or power receiver, unlike the Dual.

  3. Audiologist said that the Audeo Yes has more correction room, at least for my high frequency loss.

  4. Audiologist said that the Dual is more water resistant.

  5. Reports indicate that the Audeo Yes has a wider BT to HA bandwidth than the Dual, so those people using a BT with a television are less likely to notice lip sync delay issues. I haven’t tested this personally.

  6. The iCom sold with the Audeo Yes has a VERY sensitive microphone on the front of the unit that faces forward. It picks up wind noise (A/C in car, etc.) Found it works better worn backwards (facing body) under a shirt. By contrast, the Streamer has a less sensitive microphone that points up (toward the wearer’s mouth).

  7. Had an easier time hearing BT-paired cell phone calls with the Dual, but that might have been a software issue.

Forgot to mention:

  1. Dual XW has frequency range up to 10KHz, but Audeo Yes IX goes only to about 7KHz. Frankly didn’t notice difference.

  2. Audeo Yes has an odd warbling or fluttering or entrainment in noisy settings, constant tones (microwave beeps), and music. Audiologist turned the noise reduction to low, and still had same artifacts. Noticed same artifacts with Duals, but to a lesser extent.

  3. Spatial separation (ability to determine source and direction of sound) was a little better with Dual than Audeo Yes. Sometimes the effect was actually distracting, like the sound of a car passing you in an adjacent lane on the freeway.

  4. Audeo Yes “learning” software is quicker to adjust the settings, which can be good and bad.

  5. Directional zoom on Audeo Yes was not really very helpful; cannot realistically play with remote to zoom while driving or taking notes.

  6. The iCom transmits in stereo whereas Streamer transmits in mono to each ear.

  7. Audeo Yes would ocassionally lock up and had to be rebooted.

  8. Streamer uses a 2.5mm audio jack, whereas the iCom uses a standard 3.5mm jack.

  9. The iCom charger will charge a Blackberry (but not the opposite), whereas the Streamer charger will only charge the Streamer. One more thing to carry on the plane …

  10. The Audeo Yes has a smaller travel case.

  11. The Streamer seemed less likely to scratch up its surface.

Good luck.

Now I know much more about the two HA_kings.
I worry about the Audeo Yes IX and all the “funny” crazy sounds it can generate. But now I know the Audeo Yes IX has more amplification room for my particular audition losses and it is smaller in size than the Dual.
One correction to some sentence posted in this thread, the Dual can also accept a power dome, at least I see it in this link:
Nevertheless the fitting range is still weaker than the Audeo Yes IX curve.

A few corrections and clarifications to my earlier posts:

  1. The audiologists says that the Dual will accept a power “dome” (i.e., closed dome), but the “receiver” (i.e., speaker) cannot be switched out for a more powerful receiver unlike the Phonak Yes. She said this means there is less room for adjustment if your hearing grows worse or you need power receivers to start.

  2. The audiologist couldn’t find anyway to decrease the volume of the microphones on the iCom sold as a BlueTooth accessory to the Phonak Yes, and several people have told me that the volume is too loud (even under the shirt) and picks up stray noises (e.g., shirt, A/C air flow, etc.). The audiologist also said that the microphone volume might be affected by the version of BlueTooth used by the cell phone.

  3. I am still having BlueTooth connection problems with the iCom. I suspect that my Blackberry 8700c is the problem. It seems to randomly connect with any BlueTooth device with which it was previously paired. For example, as I am driving around on errands, the Blackberry in my pocket will first connect with the iCom, and then switch to the hands free system in my car, and switch back to the iCom. Does anyone have any tips on this issue?

  4. The audiologist says that the Phonak Yes has a SoundRecovery feature that shifts sounds from higher frequencies picked up by the HA microphones to lower frequencies coming out of the receivers (i.e., speakers). She said that audiophiles and musicians might find that distracting, but doesn’t seem to bother those people (like me) who cannot carry a tune.

  5. Still having problems with the fluttering, warbling, or oscillating effect of people’s voices (particularly male voices) in loud background sound. The audiologist put me on a speakerphone with a Phonak representative. The rep. said that Phonak’s anti-feedback system (WhistleBlocker, I think) is VERY aggressive and can produce odd effects. The rep. also said that the anti-feedback system is still active even when the WhistleBlocker is turned off, although at a lower level !!! So the rep. suggested turning the WhistleBlocker OFF and decreasing the gain about 5 steps on the lower frequencies that correspond to the male voice. We tried the suggestion; it helped in noisy situations, but noticed an effect like speaker clipping of male voices in quiet situations. So the audiologist: (1) “un-linked” the manual mode from the automatic mode, (2) returned the automatic mode to the previous settings, and (3) adjusted the manual Speak in Noise mode to turn off the WhistleBlocker and decrease the gain only 3 steps on the lower frequencies. The changes helped, but I am still getting some of the fluttering effect in the manual mode, so might need to decrease the gain on lower frequencies a little more in the manual mode. The audiologist put the manual Speech in Noise mode next to the Automatic mode on the MyPilot to make swithing modes easy. She is great !!!

  6. On retrospect, the spatial separation of the Oticon Dual might be more helpful to people with closed domes than open domes. I suspect that the open dome wears (such as me) hear enough directional cues through the open domes, and thus don’t benefit as much as closed dome wearers might benefit.

  7. Got it wrong. Neither the iCom or Streamer charger will charge a Blackberry 8700c, but all three will charge off of a standard USB mini-plug feeding of my IBM/Lenovo laptop. Go figure …

  8. Phonak sells a protective case with belt clip ($50 US) for the MyPilot, but it doubles the thickness of the MyPilot.

Hopes that helps.

WOW!!! That is quite a bit of information JF. Thank you for posting it all

OK, I like the fact that the iCom sends out stereo vs the Streamer’s mono … looks like I made the right choice for myself there as I prefer stereo … especially when playing the PS3 early weekend morns. I have to give up the surround sound as the wife is sleeping yet … but love the output directly into my ears from the iCom … and YES, it is definitely in stereo and gives some sound direction to what is happening on screen when the bad guys are shooting you and you haven’t spotted them yet.

I haven’t experienced the warbling effect that I’m aware of. I do have the power receiver as my loss is at the point where I pretty much needed them, mostly high frequency too.

I have found the Soundzoom to be marginal in performance, not totally omni directional. But the Sound Recover … WOW!!! That IS fantastic. I hear and understand people I could not hear before. I have a boss at work with a little girls voice, high pitched, and she does not speak up to top it off. And she knows it, and others have told her as much, especially during web conferencing as she hosts user group meetings on line. I CAN hear her now. And even better yet, I can understand her even. That amazes me as I had given up on her previous to the YES IX’s. When she spoke at meetings, I’d just tune out as it was frustrating trying to hear one word out of 100. Now I hear 99 words out of that 100, only missing the one when she totally drops to little girl :rolleyes: But thanks to the YES IX"s I can actually hear her better than normal hearing people can. :smiley:

I would like to see the battery doors fixed as sometimes the battery does seem to stick in the contacts, other times it falls out … both requiring you not to be lazy when dealing with it. I have never had the IX’s freeze up on me though?

On the Bluetooth issue, that would be the Blackberry experiencing the issue and not the iCom. The iCom just says “I’m here”, the Blackberry determines which source to connect to. I use an LG cell out of the office and a Jabra A7010 in the office to connect to my desk phone. When I get in every morning, I just hit Up and then #7 on the phone to get the Bluetooth menu. I then hit the left function button to turn off Bluetooth on the phone, and plug in the power on the Jabra. The iCom switches over by itself with no hassle. In the afternoon, I unplug the Jabra and hit Up and #7 on the LG cell and just hit the Connect to iCom option. The whole thing takes maybe 15 seconds and I’m switched from office to cell and vice versa with no hassle. Can you disable the Bluetooth in your car, turn it off, if you wish to use the iCom? If not, you will have both the iCom and the car competing for the Bluetooth. Or perhaps that is an incorrect wording as they do not compete for the connection. They both just announce their presence, the phone is what determines which to connect to.