Phonak H2O vs Siemens Aquarius

I posted a few weeks ago asking about waterproof hearing aids, and aside from the Siemens Aquarius, there didn’t seem to be many options. I visited my audiologist today, and she brought to my attention the H2O series from Phonak.

Press release:
(add a www before the, can’t post URLs :()
Though it says Water Resistant, it claims that they are rated to IP67, which is waterproof at 1 Meter for half an hour. This would be AMAZING, especially for sailing. I’m having a hard time finding any information, though, but just wanted to see if anyone’s already trialed it, and what they think of them? My audiologist thinks that they would be perfect for me, but just wanted to get a second opinion before spending a couple grand on them.

I have Profound hearing loss in both ears.

Do I understand correct that Phonaks new h2o series do not come in CRT version?

H2O Naida S CRT :wink:

Just wondering if anyone had anything else to say?

My understanding of the claims from Siemens, reading the blurb, is that the Aquaris is a fully fledged waterproof device, so you could go swimming in it. Whereas, the Phonak claims are that it is just Water Resistant.

This could be a case of an extra bit of marketing by Siemens. On the other hand, it might be true that the Phonak aid is not quite as waterproof as the Siemens.

It’s accurate: the aid is waterproof to a certain standard, you have to get them serviced to get the seals replaced to comply with the warranty.

Phonak, on their web site, says that they have IP67 resistance for the H2O flavor of their hearing aids. Siemens, on the other hand, says IP57, so in theory, they have the same amount of water resistance, and the Phonak has better dust resistance.

On the other hand, the step between IPx7 and IPx8 is pretty significant, with IPx8 being 100 meters, so it could be that you could swim with the Aquarius, without being the next level up in water resistance.

One would think, though, that if the Phonaks had better dust resistance, they would have better water resistance.

It’d be nice if someone would shed some more light on this.

@Um Bongo, what do you mean by getting them serviced to get the seals replaced to comply with the warranty?

If you don’t get an annual Siemens service to replace the seals, they will not guarantee the ingression protection.

I’m guessing it’s probably the same for the Phonaks. I guess that replacing them once a year wouldn’t be a big deal, as long as I can get loaner HAs from my audi. I may not be able to sail then, but i can go for a week without sailing.

Phonak and Siemens aids are essentially the same as far as water resistance. You are able to submerge them under water for at least 30 minutes without any harm. They are better protected against dust dirt and moisture versus your typical aids. As far as I have been told, Phonak does not have any extra warranties like Siemens and doesn’t need to go back in for repair for the seals. I believe both are size 13 batteries.

Someone asked about CRT form. The Phonak Naida S CRT casing has the same water resistance as the H20, however, the receivers themself are not water resistant. This means you wouldn’t be able to submerge them under water without worrying about harming them.

The way the sound is amplified is completely different between the two. Personally I feel Phonak is a better company… Hope this helps

Thanks a lot tshea05. I’ve always been with phonak, and I think i’ll stay with them. Not to mention that their hearing aids are higher end than the Siemens.

I’m trying to find out more technical info on the Phonak though.

Are you sure about the seals? My audiologist claimed that Phonak guaranteed water resistency. She could be wrong though.

I actually spoke with a Phonak rep today (I’m an Audiologist). She stated that the water resistance between the two companies are essentially the same, but the dust resistance is better compared to Siemens. These hearing aids work best if you use custom molds with the thick tubing and not open fit or receivers. With open fit or receivers, water can get in to the hearing aids through that tubing possibly and the receivers have electronics into it.

You have to send in the HAs to Siemens once a year to check the seals, however, that is not necessary with Phonak. The only thing they suggest is to have the mic protectors replaced once a year which can be done by your Audiologist or HIS.

Previously I stated that the Naida CRT aids shouldn’t be submerged under water because the receivers themself are not water resistance. The rep today stated that if you get a custom cShell made with the receivers you could technically go under water but she still advised that problems could occur.

Having the option of water resistance is great for hearing aids, however, they are not perfect yet. I am sure over the next few years, the technology will improve tremendously.

Did you find out if Phonak will honor warranty replacements due to water damage?

I have looked into this and one of the main factors to consider is the effect of the water on the life of the hearing instrument. The IP tests do not take into account what happens to the hearing instrument after it has been submerged in water. So will the hearing aid corrode three weeks after being submerged in water? Also the submersion test is static and not under rushing water etc…the Test is extremely limiting in giving an idea of how products will truly perform when used as intended…but its the only test available to hold them to a standard.

The Siemens product has been on the market for about a year and none of the clients that swim with the hearing instruments or not have reported problems with water or corrosion and one pair even went thought a washing machine with no damage (confirmed by the tech)

I chased up the Phonak rep in my area and he told me it is only water resistant and not water proof and he did not recommend swimming in the product.

I would be interested to see the reports on swimming with the Phonak products. Ill ask some of my friends in the industry if they have had patients try them out.

sailing… salt water or fresh?

Not to mention that their hearing aids are higher end than the Siemens. really?

I was also wondering how they came to that conclusion.

Erm, wow, just checked back on this post. Sorry.

Salt water (I know, makes it more complicated)

And I meant that the hearing aids that phonak claims are waterproof in their range are higher end (Ambra M H20) than the hearing aids that siemens claims are waterproof in their range (Aquarius).

Would these assumptions be invalid?

I believe siemens DO HAVE a swimming program, and are actually submergible

Aquaris is a fairly BIG instrument

I was watching a siemens testing video and they subjected the aids to 360 pressure washer “passed”. video claimed pass, no way to know for fact, if they actually passed. What they did do was open the battery compartment and it was bone dry same with submerging test.

I had heard that these waterproof hearing aids were actually having troubles with the batteries because the Zinc-Air batteries require continuous oxygen in order to remain functioning. If you submerse the batteries and start preventing the oxygen from getting to the battery, then it may not break from water ingress, but it will also stop functioning after a time…

Just something I heard, so I can’t say much more than that. However, my first thought is that I wouldn’t really want to take my hearing aids swimming because I would be scared of losing them in the water! I’d hate to forget about them when doing activities behind a boat!