Phonak autosense behaviour

Hello there,

Being new to this forum I feel the need to introduce myself prior to raising a question.

So fasten your seatbelts, here I go:
My name is Eric. Iam a 49 yr old male,living in the Netherlands.
I am wearing hearing aids sinds I was a boy of 5,so yes, by now 44 years of experience. Started with these fridges behind your ear, but thank heaven, things got smaller since then.

I had a rough time stepping over to digital devices, for reasons I will come with in my question.
At this very moment I use Phona Dalia MicroP devices. Well, I use one, the other one is leaving me down. My losses are between 35 and 60% dependent on which frequency you look at :wink: . Also I have pretty small ear tunnels, so not everything fits in (goodbye In ear devices)

Furthermore: married, 4 kids, working as IT tech (devops engineer), love playing the guitar (yes, in spite of my hearing loss even on stage), riding motorcycle with my wife and someother things most of you will like as well.

My hearing cisrcumstances vary. I use phone and video a lot because covid-19 (haven’t been in the office sinds march 23), I attend church(where I also play that guitar), I ride the motorcycle( I would love to be able to use a communication device will on my way)and I train Taekwondo, which is in a sporting hall with the well-known echoic acoustics over there.

So, instead of trying to have a 5yr old MicroSP repaired I think I will opt for new devices.

My problem with digital devices is this… I really, REALLY can’t stand hearing aids that do audible adjustments. I mean,like, muting frequencies so only the voice stands out. You know, like, you hear the voice, but all other sounds sound like coming through a bale of cotton wool.

Tried that, but it made me crazy. Also I cannot stand clipping and audible ends of compression. All digital hearing aids I tried until 5 yrs ago failed my tests, so I had them set up lineairily (no clipping, little compression as possible, no automatic adjustments)

So If I get digital devices that makes it own decisions on adjusting sound, It should do so in a way I nearly do not notice.

Now onto my question. For replacement I am looking to the Phonak Paradise series. The P90 has several autosense functions. I can imagine a function like windblock, to muten a lot frequencies of course. That is no problem. But,suppose I am listening to music, or being on a conference or something, I don’t want the device to constantly audible adjustments whenever a human voice is detected. Also, When owrking or talking in a group of people, you dó want to hear the one who speaks, but you do not want EVERYTHING to disappear in the background. I hope you understand what I mean.

Does anyone can share his or her experience on this part?

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I’d suggest trying oticon, since they afaik praise on not having automation.

Phonak has the heaviest automation there is. I definitely wouldn’t start with them.

I am not sensitive, nor musician, and I am definitely aware when paradises switch, maybe not switching moment but when they alter the sound. I like that very much since they really well cover my environments.

Lots of opinions about Phonaks AutoSense. It really is a pretty slick system when set up correctly.
The trick is getting a good fitter. My wife has the Costco KS9 (Phonak Audeo M90) aids, her first ever aids and she loves them. Some people hate AutoSense but I suspect these aids were not set up correctly for that person.

All modern aids are really good when set up right.
Good luck.

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I had that exact experience with Phonak Marvels! My loss is a cookie bite which is moderately severe in the mid frequencies and better in the highs and lows. I couldn’t stand my experience with Phonak Marvels because I could hear the switching on and off of Autosense in many environments even without speech present. My audiologist tried to dial it back but it wasn’t something I could ignore. Maybe it’s my unusual loss pattern or maybe it’s Autosense but Phonak was by far the most dramatic with noticing the shift between on and off. I’ve trialed 4 different brands over the past several months. I noticed this problem to a lesser extent with Signia and Oticon OpnS. The ReSound Ones, which I’m trialing now, I don’t have this issue with. My last trial is meant to be Paradise but I’ll rule it out fast if it behaves the same as the Marvels.

I am am very curious to your trials with the paradise. Please keep us informed? Also I am happy to read I am not the only one who has a problem wigh the constant adaptation in de devices.

BTW, if the Resound does not have that issue, then why testing Paradises as well? Any other considerations on that Resounds?

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Right now, I’m finishing out the ReSound One trial and I’ll see my audiologist this week for some adjustments. I’m not sure if ReSounds are available to you but the sound is considerably different to that of Phonak Marvels.

I can totally relate to having difficulties with the adjustments. In fact, I’m not sure my brain can handle the adjustments to any more trials. It takes a lot of energy switching between all of these to decide what’s best. In the end, there’s only so much to pick from and nothing’s perfect. Right now, my contenders are ReSound One vs. Oticon OpnS. If I’ve got the patience I’ll try Paradise for good measure.

I’m having some Bluetooth issues that I need to work out with the ReSounds. Also, comfort-wise the receivers are bigger on the ReSound Ones, so they’ve taken some getting used to. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker for me but it’s taken a month to get used to the feeling and sound.

Oh, I understand. Testing is hell. When I start using a new device the first week there’s only headaches.

I used to test a Resound about a decade ago. Did not like them at all. Prior to the digital age, my favorite brand was widex, with a little step-out to Danavox ( now Resound, or at least part of it). Both failed to impress after going digital.

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My gut reaction was that you might like Widex.

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The last two I purchased were Widex. My current practice doesn’t carry them. I’d been hoping to test Widex’ latest technology but I’d really liked the new audiologist and I figured I’d give the other brands a try.

Again I understand. A good relationship with your audiologist is priceless. Had mine for almost 20 years but this year he sold his bussiness :frowning: Must find another one. Will be difficult since the one I had was very patient. One time my total trialperiod was nearly half a year.

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Good luck on the journey. I hope you find another patient audiologist. Having someone you can talk to and will take the time to work through issues that arise is so helpful. Update when you select a device, I’ll be interested to hear what you choose. Fingers crossed the ReSound Ones are the endpoint for me.

I tried both paradise and marvels, hearing wise they had the same colour of sound and same autosense behaviour, its expect to be the same with you, assuming they’re both fitted in a same way.

I compared them back to back on the same minute of the same Youtube Video, so, no memory or notes involved, same sound color.

I don’t hear autosense clicks, but I have it on fastest transition time. I notice after switch happens but switch itself is equally silent on both.
Maaaaybe paradises are a tiny better with categorising environments, but I got used to them so it might be that as well.

In short, I wouldn’t expect that p will be any different than m for your issues, so you might save yourself some energy :slight_smile:

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New HA technology is great - if it works properly. I’ve heard autosense works relatively well in quiet settings but not well in background noise. When you think about it, it must be extremely hard for a haring aid to “autosense adjust” with competing sounds from all directions, along with people talking, background music, etc. Maybe Phonak can pull it off but one has to wonder in noisy settings if autosense might overload or possibly non-function-able. I also wonder how autosense mode might hold up over a period of time, if the marvel/paradise is constantly switching or adjusting to incoming sounds. Could a hearing aid wear out quicker or malfunction earlier then expected due to autosense always working overtime? Don’'t know, but maybe we find out as Marvel aids get older.

eric, I would approach the problem from a different angle: which HA provides the best speech comprehension for you? If it turns out that Phonak provides that best speech comprehension, then I believe an audi can set up a program other than AutoSense as your default program.
However before choosing Phonak I would be sure to give your prospective Phonak HAs a rigorous trial while playing your guitar. Phonak used to (and possibly still does) have a lower dynamic range than Widex or Oticon. This lower dynamic range can make your HA s distort right at the input stage when exposed to loud or close-up sounds.
I’ve been playing my guitar recently while wearing my back-up Phonak Audeo Q90 HAs from 2013. I kind of like them for speech recognition but they are terrible for playing music. My current Oticon Opn 1 HAs are much better for playing music.

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I really like the autosense, it works well and I rarely notice it switching. I do have a dedicated program for music so that when my wife comes into the listening room and talks to me I don’t get switched out of the music program by autosense.

Jim

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I NEVER notice my AutoSense changing with my Phonak Marvel but when I had Phonak Quest, I was always noticing it changing.

@ziploc Thank you for your input. Nice to hear a fellow guitar player. Gosh, I am so glad I found this forum. How do you describe to overall sound color of the Oticon compared to the Phonaks?

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@Jim @zuikoholic
It’s not really the switch I am afraid of, although I indeed read some people experience ‘clicks’. But it’s merely… it’s hard to describe, being locked out from certain frequencies. We have autism in the family , so maybe it’s just a matter of me not being able to handle quickly chaning hearing characteristics, but… well, that.

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Eric, the Oticon Opn1 HAs sound more natural. The Phonak Audeo Q90’s sound sort of cheap and tinny, especially when I wear them after having worn the Oticons for a long time.
But…there are times when I could swear I understand speech better with the Phonaks. Also keep in mind that there have been four generations of Phonak HAs released since the Q generation HAs I have. The Paradise HAs are almost certainly much better.
The Phonak Q90’s are almost unusable for use while playing music. Once you achieve any substantial volume they will start to clip the signal upon input. So the HA is then processing and amplifying a clipped signal. Maybe Phonak has increased the input headroom in later generations. No one seems to know. But the limited input headroom is a huge issue, especially if you play electric guitar with a band. This does not happen with the Oticons.