Here’s the scoop. I am both a businessman and an EE. I know first-hand the power in the current generation Phonak platform (CORE) - IF the time is taken to fit it like a glove to the patient. That is something no audiologist can afford to do - believe me. I have 28 different major profiles I have created for mine in the process of optimizing my particular devices in my particular and UNIQUE environments. Sitting in the audiologist’s office listening to recorded sounds isn’t reality PHONAK!- Really! Who knows why the Phonak ICube Nazis decided to deprive those with technical knowledge the ability to tweak their own, but it is a major loss of the ability of their products to allow people to hear optimally. Maybe they just want to protect their audiologist network or such, but it seems like a poor, no, make that an absolutely stupid business decision. Ethics? :eek: Depriving a customer of the most they can derive from the Phonak product has to be about as unethical as anything I can imagine… :eek: like selling a programmer and software to those who can truly make use of it. What do they expect from a loyal Phonak customer - like going to go to AH or something? - NOT! Although if that were the choice - no self-tweaking my Phonaks or AH (Prairie Labs products), I’m afraid AH would win out.
So, I happen to own an ICube, but I had to purchase 2 Versata Micro’s to get it. I already have Versata M’s that I love and if I could find some reasonably priced Exilic M Arts, I’d snag those too. The Versta’s are absolutely amazing instruments and the ability to have total access to their programming is value beyond the cost of any aids on the market. Now for the good news. I also have an additional, brand new, unopened ICube and its own legitimate factory iPFG 2.5 software! I’d part with it, but it would have to be in a package deal with the Versata Micros. They were new when I received them a month ago and I have tested them for a total of about 3 days to see what I thought of the product. They will come with all the original items, including some fresh, new tips and tubes if we can cut a deal on them and the ICube as a package. I would consider selling the ICube alone if I could get enough out of it to offset the loss on the Versata Micros on EBay.
If you, or someone else is interested, contact me via email at ee “at” ladishes “dot” com and we’ll discuss.
In the mean time, even if you had to use a Hi-Pro, which the iPFG will talk to as I understand it, the ability to control you own world’s sounds via the response and programs in your programmable devices is invaluable. The ICube, being Bluetooth Wireless and controlling it and your Phonak aids from a notebook or portable computer lets you tweak in the real world, in the exact situations and settings you are in. So what if you are using your laptop at the coffee shop to set a program for soft female speech in noisy environments - it is sooooo cool to be able to optimize these in the actual setting without having an audiologist hand-cuffed to your left wrist.
So, that’s my soap box and pitch. I’d lots rather have Phonak see the light and crack loose with the ICubes and iPFG. Just tell the customer it is sold without support, or sell it to an OEM and packaged to a third party vendor and allow them sell it, but please don’t deprive us of the absolutely marvelous abilities of your current products!
Phonak: I’m the retied CEO of a number of our family owned companies. If you want an independent OEM, one of our companies will do the deal with you - just find a way to make the technology available for optimum use and the current ban on ICubes for laymen is not the way.