Phonak introduces Marvel platform and Audéo M hearing aids

phonak

#1

Media Release

Revolutionary Phonak Marvel hearing aids: the ultimate combination of exceptional sound quality and universal Bluetooth® connectivity

Breakthrough technology is world’s first to fully support binaural direct streaming from Android™, iPhone® and billions of other devices

Stäfa, Switzerland, October 16, 2018 – Phonak, the world’s leading hearing aid provider, introduces Marvel - a revolutionary hearing aid family that combines the benefits of exceptional speech understanding and reduced listening effort in noise with the ability to stream all audio content seamlessly from iPhone, Android smartphone or billions of other Bluetooth enabled devices to both ears in stereo quality. Marvel hearing aids are rechargeable and empower consumers to benefit from remote real time support via smart apps as well as real-time voice to-text transcription of phone calls. The Phonak Audéo™ M will be the first Marvel hearing aid to feature this breakthrough technology.

  • Clear, rich sound in any environment thanks to AutoSense OS™ 3.0 developed with artificial intelligence and providing a “Love at first sound” experience, namely:
    • Exceptional sound quality from first fit
    • Better speech understanding in noise
    • Reduced listening effort
    • Rich sound experience when streaming
  • Wearers can stream any audio content, including music, ebooks, and more to both ears from any Bluetooth device
  • Built-in microphones allow completely hands-free phone conversations from both iPhone and Android devices while the conversation is heard in both ears
  • Lithium-Ion rechargeable option available for a full day of hearing including streaming on a single charge
  • Smart apps enable remote fine-tuning and live voice-to-text phone transcriptions

Exceptional sound quality

AutoSense OS 3.0 was developed using artificial intelligence, to automatically learn, detect and adapt, providing the best hearing experience in any listening environment.

With Marvel technology, AutoSense OS 3.0 can even classify streamed media. In a recent study(1), Audéo M was top-rated for quality of streaming media against five competitors. The enhanced operating system also includes Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ into Marvel hearing aids. This highly-sophisticated four-microphone technology has been proven to significantly improve speech understanding by 60%(2) in noisy places like restaurants while simultaneously reducing the amount of effort by 19%(3) required to listen and understand.

“Audiology is at the heart of everything we do at Phonak.” said Martin Grieder, Group Vice President, Hearing Instruments Marketing at Sonova. “That’s why Marvel is such a game-changer for our industry. Marvel technology empowers people and provides a true “love at first sound” experience. We believe the sound quality is second to none, and it begins the moment the person puts the hearing aids on.”

Stream from iOS, Android and billions of Bluetooth devices

The Android operating system accounts for 86%(4) of all smartphones worldwide, yet until today, binaural (two-ear) streaming of phone calls, music, and other multimedia content directly to hearing aids has only been a reality for iPhone users, who only account for 13% of smartphone owners worldwide. Empowering all consumers regardless of the smartphone operating system has been a driving force behind Phonak. Audéo M is capable of direct audio streaming from virtually any smartphone around the world.

“For years, the hearing aid industry has waited for a single solution that streams phone conversations, music, and video content in stereo from both iPhone and Android devices,” said Thomas Lang, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Phonak. “Today, we’re proud to announce that the wait is over. Marvel technology gives wearers access to billions of Bluetooth-enabled devices, so people no longer have to think about whether their hearing aids will work with their phones or other personal electronics.”

Continuing the rechargeable revolution

There are numerous benefits to not having to change tiny hearing aid batteries, not only for people with vision or dexterity challenges. In fact, rechargeable hearing aids are cited as the top feature most likely to attract potential first-time hearing aid wearers(5). In 2016, Phonak released the world’s first lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids and set new standards for efficiency and convenience.

With Marvel hearing aids wearers can enjoy a full day of hearing - including streaming - on a single charge. The Audéo M rechargeable hearing aid turns on automatically when taken out of the charger. Integrated LED lights and a new mini charger provide the usability people expect.

Enhancing the user experience with smart apps

With Marvel hearing aids comes the introduction of a suite of convenient smart apps. The myPhonak app allows wearers to have their hearing aids adjusted in real-time, in any situation, anywhere via videocall by the hearing care professional. It also gives consumers the ability to rate their hearing aid satisfaction in various environments and directly send this feedback to their hearing care professional. Finally, the myCall-to-Text app provides live transcription of phone calls from the other party in more than 80 languages. This is an ideal solution for noisy environments, or for people who prefer additional visual captions when using the phone.

The Audéo M will be available end of November 2018 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA. The new hearing aids are also RogerDirect™ ready, meaning they can receive signals from Roger™ microphones directly and without attaching a separate receiver in the future for better understanding in noise and over distance. RogerDirect functionality will be available as a firmware upgrade in fall 2019.

Additional information, visuals and videos about Marvel are availalble at www.phonak.com, www.phonakpro.com/marvel or https://youtu.be/S9yU7buzcyc

(1) Legarth, S., Latzel, M., & Rodrigues, T. (2018). Media streaming: The sound quality wearers prefer. Phonak Field Study News, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence

(2) Field Study News about Phonak StereoZoom in preparation, available by end of 2018 at www.phonakpro.com/evidence.

(3) Winneke, A., Latzel, M., & Appleton-Huber, J. (2018). Less listening- and memory effort in noisy situations with StereoZoom. Phonak Field Study News, retrieved from www.phonakpro.com/evidence

(4) Global mobile landscape 2016, eMarketer, November 2016

(5) Marketrak 2015, asked of non-owners only (n=2099) – multiple responses allowed

About Phonak

Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, was created in 1947 out of a passion for taking on the most difficult hearing challenges. Seventy years later, this passion remains. As the industry’s leading innovator, we offer the broadest portfolio of life-changing hearing solutions. From pediatric to profound hearing loss, we remain committed to creating hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. We believe in creating a world where ‘Life is on’ for everyone.

At Phonak, we believe that hearing well is essential to living life to the fullest. For more than 70 years, we have remained true to our mission by developing pioneering hearing solutions that change people’s lives to thrive socially and emotionally. Life is on.


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#2

Wow, it’s fantastic!


#3

Ok, we knew this was coming. Though I wasn’t expecting for it to be part of the Marvel Universe.


#4

So glad we don’t have to buy extra Roger receivers anymore! RogerDirect looks awesome.


#5

Here’s my write up: Phonak Marvel Bluetooth Hearing Aid - Stereo Streaming and Hands-Free Calling

Thanks for beating me to it as usual @rasmus_braun


#6

This is great. I didn’t see anything that helped me understand how they did this. It sounds like they use regular bluetooth (not LE). If so how did the solve the power drain issue? What version of Bluetooth is needed? 4.2?
If anybody has any technical specs, would love to see them. Also vague on availability. Sounds like now, or sometime this month with rechargeables next month? Roger isn’t until Fall of next year.


#7

This looks like a good step forward but much will depend on how well the Bluetooth connection performs with heavy use. Apple’s rock solid MFI is very reliable but still suffers from interference, clicking and occasional drop offs. It will be interesting to see user feedback from this forum as people start to trial these hearing aids.

Even though I’m wearing Resound right now, I will say all my previous hearing aids were Phonak and they make good stuff. The B-Directs were a miss but this looks like they finally may have got it right.

Jordan


#8

I would also like to know what version of Bluetooth this requires and how long can most people expect to stream. These details seem to be missing which is very unusual for Phonak. They usually brag about how good their battery life is so it will be interesting to see what results people get. Nothing seems to be said so far about compatibility with old versus new phones. Old phones require older Bluetooth compatibility.

I am also assuming that cool features like find my hearing aids and geotagging locations are not included? I could have used the find my HAs multiple times so far and avoided some unwanted anxiety over the potential loss of expensive HAs.

Will they be available in replaceable and rechargeable versions? Or will sealed rechargeables take over once available. I am not interested in rechargeable as there are too many disadvantages for me. I work long shifts and would need lots of streaming calls plus retention of about 40+ hours battery life for at least a few years and I doubt that is possible yet. Sending them in for manufacturer replacement of rechargeables is not a great prospect either. I would hope they keep a replaceable battery version.

And what is their “artificial intelligence” ? I don’t need them to think for me.


#9

Cliff Olsen’s video is helpful. (linked from Abram’s post). They’ll have 5 models: 312, 312T, Rechargeable, 13T and a Rechargeable T. They become available the end of November, with Telecoil coming in February. It uses plain Bluetooth (don’t know what version and have no idea about battery usage. My reading of the artificial intelligence is that it was used to design them, not that they had it.


#10

More info: https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/products_solutions/hearing_aid/audeo_marvel/documents/leaflet_btb_phonak_audeo_marvel_028-1905.pdf

From a link from this site, it shows app compatibility as requiring BT 4.2 and Android 6 (or iOS 10.2)

Will also require a whole new version of Target (6.0) Also looks like Noahlink Wireless will be only way to program most of them, although HiPro and old Noahlink will work with battery telecoil models.


#11

As a long time Phonak user, this is what I’ve been waiting for. True streaming without wearing a separate streaming device. Currently wearing the Nadia UP. Wonder if they have a version that matches the power output?


#12

Power aid on the way later.


#13

If this really does work well it is a game-changer because it is what everyone wants. So then the competitors have to move up their schedules.

Actually, it is a game-changer even if it doesn’t work particularly well because of the pressure it puts on the other companies. It’s good for all of us.

I may have to return my Costco Phonak Brio 3 and find a local pro and try these. I’ve been a big proponent on the forum for having the intermediate device, for all the connectivity, but of course if I could get all the connectivity with just the hearing aids, I would jump on it. That it is Phonak is a plus for me because they already have very good speech in noise and other sound processing features, like deep frequency compression.


#14

No mention of a T-coil! Does this hearing aid have a t-coil???


#15

Yes it will have a tcoil as an option, but if I’m remembering correctly, not immediately. Tcoil will eventually be available in 312, 13 and rechargeable models.


#16

Kudos to Phonak for offering so many different form factors, unlike ReSound with their two Quattro models, neither of which is a 312. I’m sticking with ReSound anyway because they’ve been good for me, but I wish they took a page from Phonak’s book in this regard.


#17

I received a response from Phonak on a couple questions I had:

The lithium-ion battery life is 24h, 16h with 4h of BT streaming or 5h of TV Connector streaming.

Streaming uses Bluetooth Classic (HFP and A2DP protocols). We have tested to work with Bluetooth 4.2 and most older versions. Shortly the bluetooth.phonak.com website will be updated to have Marvel compatibility.


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#18

Probably don’t understand, but why would one need t coil now, as you now have direct connectivity?


#19

Fantastic! Love it that they’re still not in bed with Apples’ closed, proprietary world.
I still have about a year or so to go before I can use company benefits to update so by then this kind of capability should be reasonably settled down with even maybe some other competition. The Quattro’s are waiting. Phonak seems to have done it.

Yeah…battery life. And how big are they?


#20

Here is information on how a telecoil works with a hearing loop equipped venue such as a theater or church. Of course they work in a telephone without bluetooth too. A person who has bluetooth in all devices they use and does not have a concert hall, theater, or place of worship that has hearing loop installations will not benefit.
http://www.hearingloop.org/

Here is a another resource, including a list of places that have been looped in the USA.
https://www.loopamerica.com/