Phonak iCube

Does anyone on here have a Phonak iCube I would be able to purchase or borrow (on some kind of arrangement). I just received new Naida IX’s, but final adjustment and tweaking of my HA’s is turning out to be a pain (one week to schedule audi appointments, time, and driving to make tiny adjustments that may or may not work b/c it’s impossible to test in an office). My audi says she wouldn’t mind if I programmed them myself (I think I know how to work the software better than she does), but refused to purchase one for me citing the ethics of her professional license (Phonak’s iron fist!). I have a working copy of the Phonak iPFG 2.4 software and just need a way to connect my HA’s. If there is anyone out there that could let me gain access to an iCube, please help me out.

~ Gary

citing the ethics of her professional license (Phonak’s iron fist!)

Phonak’s iron fist? What are you talking about? Are they the Mafia or something?

Quite simply, almost all professionals of any sort are subject to ethics based rules & regulations.

Break the rules, and that’s it … career over.

I just threw that in there for a little sarcasm (and perhaps frustration on my part). I actually applaud my audi for sticking up for her ethics as I have an accounting degree and have taken many courses regarding ethics. It would just be nice if Phonak could have provided a bit of self-programming capability (perhaps a stripped down version of iPFG after an initial fit by a qualified audiologist) for those of us who are tech-savvy. I am just looking for someone (a non-professional end user) who was fortunate enough to procure an iCube before Phonak cut off distribution. I would never ask a professional to violate any ethics or licenses as I will become myself one someday.

I too would like an iCube but they are scarce. You could do the Hi Pro thing like most of us have. The Hi Pro boxes are available as are the programming cables.

Good luck

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.

Regards, Forrest.

It’s all down to liability and support.

Microsoft have a rule: “No End Users” … and it works for them.

What percentage of users would use an iCube or iPFG? A tiny fraction.
What would the support costs and the insurance liabilities for these keen users be to Phonak? High!
The current system works for most of the people most of the time.

A silly example: you try asking BMW to provide you with an engine tuning interface! Sure, you CAN get one … but only from a back-street shop making boxes to hack into the BMW engine software.

99.9% of users want to jump into a car and simply drive off. That’s it.
Hearing aids and their users aren’t any different.

Calling BMW ‘driving Nazis’ or Phonak ‘iCube Nazis’ won’t change the reality of the situation.

Is it right or wrong? Is it fair? It doesn’t matter … it’s just the way the world works.

Now, if you buy from a hearing aid company which SPECIALISES in self-programming the story is a bit different: they have the required support & legal infrastructure in place. They will of course be a ‘niche’ company which will probably mean that they won’t have the Bluetooth and other high tech wizadry the Big Boys can afford to develop.

Legal: Ever heard of a “Hold Harmless” agreement? Bottom line - profit. Slice it anyway you like but the objective is to maximize profit. You are confused as well on Microsoft “No End Users”. Microsoft sells to end users. Just jump online and ask. They also sell to OEM’s (Dell) and retailers (Amazon). As for BMW… Hmmmm apples and oranges. As for your credentials, I understand your bias, but why not call it like it is - you don’t want your ability to monopolize the customer compromised… that’s called capitalizm and it’s the game we play. As for the wayt he world works? The grey market is always a source. If phonak and their dealers don’t wish to make the margin, there is always a source in the distribution chain that is more than willing to double the normal price and sell to whomever they desire, or is willing to pay the “rip-off” pricing. Notwithstanding all that, and the flawed “legality” issue that is easily resolved, I do understand your postion and thank you for that point of view.
Regards, Forrest

why cant someone who buy phonak icubes and fitting software sell them to pubic?

They would become what your name implies “INMATE”

It is illegal to sell copyrighted software and hardware without being licensed for distribution from the owner.

Watch out. I just bought an iCube and it won’t detect the HI in Ipfg 2.6. Any clues

The iCube is a bluetooth device similar to the iCom that is used by the audiologist with the Phonak software program to program the hearing aids. I think Phonak only allows sales to hearing professionals (audiologists).

here is the manual

Confusing issues of ethics with a clear profit motive is wrong-headed and ingenuous, especially when providing flexibility and usability to users might be profitable, if handled professionally.

Likewise, I agree that the issues of liability, etc. are a non sequitur; such problems are handled in other disciplines quite easily.

Finally, where do you get off saying that only a “tiny fraction” of users would be interested in such services? And how large is your “tiny fraction” 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people? In any case, what is it to you? I really object to people like you telling ME what everyone else thinks or feels; I seriously doubt that you have a study that differentiates resistance to such a service from the resistance to trying to deal with a non-negotiable policy that is based solely on profit motive.

I suspect that audiologists are losing clientele increasingly quickly because of this attitude and the increasing availability of “self-serve” hearing aid suppliers. It is too bad, the profession could choose to serve rather than to obstruct and, if done in a timely and clever way, maybe even profit from the transformation. Clearly, those audiologists who do change their attitude will be the ones who survive.

anyone using this for self programming?

current price is $309.99 + $12.99 priority mail …

Revolter you say “Anyone can buy iCube, here is link”

Why then does that link include:

This item is available to Hearing Professionals only. Shipping cost is $12.99 for this item.”

Don’t waste your time. Will only sell to hearing professionals.

They took my order and my money via paypal, but wouldn’t send the I Cube unless I could prove that I was a professional.

I’m curious how that was resolved.

Yes. They didn’t want to sell me.

Make sure Bluetooth is on and active and the ICube is paired. Inside IPFG ensure that the ICube is setup for the primary means of hearinig aid detection and follow any instructions to set it up (haven’t done this for a long time). Once this is all proper ensure that the ICom is on (sometimes takes a couple tries) and there are batteries in the hearing aids, also make sure the hearing aids are within the ICube loop. I have a temperamental iCube that can take 2-3 tries to get the hearing aids linked the first time, after that it is usually easier.