Phonak Marvel vs Bolero


I have trial pairs of B-90s (thin tube) and M-90s (R.I.C.). They’re both good; I can’t decide which sound better! The B’s are fuller and more natural sounding. The M’s are crisper and more detailed, but a bit tinny and “digitized”. The M’s definitely sound better when streaming music (the B’s were muddy sounding). The M’s are much better at handling wind noise. And they have the major benefit of direct-streaming from Android. But the most important factor is speech understanding in noise, and in that regard sometimes the B’s seem a bit better. I’m going back and forth, so I guess it’s a tie.

Has anyone had experience with both lines?

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And are the fittings about the same?




Very interesting your comment but are you talking about the a) Bolero or about the b)Audeo Belong-90. To me the B-90 is the Audeo Belong 90 and is not the Bolero.



Gsl, I think so but not sure. I will find out next time I talk to my Audi.

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Ok. Thank you very much for the clarification.



Phonak is definitely confusing as they have their RIC (Audeo), BTE (Bolero) and high power BTE (Naida) as well as a chip designation. I’ve heard of Q, V, B and now M. This combined that we’re often not super careful how we use the terms and it’s confusing.

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And also there is a Naida Ric!!!:hushed:

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@MDB I thought the high power is the SP variant for each series, e.g. Bolero B90 SP, such as I have. The Naida V70’s that I tested were indeed RIC’s as @Junkyard wrote.

@rex-hawaii To be honest as a person who is wearing the Bolero B90’s BTE: Go with the Marvel Rics. I wouldn’t worry about what sounds better: within a week or month your mind will have adapted.

Why RIC:

  • If your receiver dies on you, repairs are easier and cheaper. You can switch receivers if you find that you need it.
  • Now the BTE can compete, but you’ll find that the sound degrades faster than the three months that is prescribed for the change of the slim tubes. You usually don’t notice it, until your in a situation where you don’t hear enough and have to decide a change is due. Every change in the geometry of the slim tubes makes the expected distortion of the tubes less precise: The RIC’s don’t suffer from this at all.
  • My SP’s are heavier than the lightweight variants, so I find that the slim tube lengthens over time, making me wonder whether I shouldn’t get shorter slim tubes next time.
  • They are crispier because some distortion is always happening when a sound wave has to travel through a tube and an ear canal

Why Marvel:

  • It’s a new chip.
  • It’s faster, so when new algorithms are created that would normally take too much time, your Marvel can take advantage of them.
  • Tinny and digitized are things to feed back to your audiologist, so that s/he can fine tune. (Is this correct English?)
  • It’s going to be supported longer.

Too bad that speech in noise is not dramatically improved with the Marvels over the Bolero’s. One can hope, but a series that is marketed by its connectivity is not to be expected to be an improvement on that front. Sadly! However, I don’t expect them to be less, either. I would think that it is again a matter of fine tuning.

Be sure to test speech in noise as a separate program. Otherwise you’re testing the tuning of the Automatic program: Whether it jumps to Speech-in-noise if you want it.
Also test the 360degrees-in-noise in a separate program.*

In my experience they are both really good as long as the noise is not human speech :slight_smile: .

*I find that both are good at what they do, but complementary depending on the situation. If I am locked in conversation with one person Speech-in-noise is great. If the conversation is within a group with moving people, I feel like an idiot when I have to move my head to hear someone speaking. Moreover, I tire of it rather rapidly. 360o is than a lifesaver.



Yeah, what I keep in my head doesn’t quite match up with reality. Close, but no cigar. Anybody else have a way to briefly describe differences between Audeo, Bolero and Naida?



Junkyard, I just realized that the Bolero and Belong are the same thing. They’re called “Phonak Bolero Belong B90”.



Audeo is their RIC line, Naida is their power BTE line, and Boleros are their slimtube line. :woman_shrugging:



But as somebody pointed out there’s a Naida RIC.



Actually the B in B90 is B(elong)90, just as M(arvel)90 or V(enture)90 and Q(quest)90. All those older generations had Bolero series with either slim tubes or ear hooks.



I think they initially brought out the Naida RIC for patients who wanted FM boot compatibility in a RIC, but then eventually made the Audeo 13s compatible and soon will have the entire Marvel line compatible sounds like. Historical inertia.

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I feel a bit stupid for not mentioning this earlier:
If you want to compare Phonak Hearing Aids install Phonak Target

On the tab instruments>Hearing aids are all their specifics:

Be aware though, that sometimes features are included that are not mentioned. My Bolero B90 SP’s don’t have the feature Phonak Adaptive Digital Contrast in its description. However, I have programmed them with that fitting formula since I got them. I speculate that this is a later development that became available for the earlier series, too.

Comparing my Bolero’s to the Audeo M90, I see that the AutoSense is now described as O.S. 3.0. I don’t know whether the Belong series now has that, too. It seems that after reprogramming with Target this feature would be installed om them, too.
Own Voice Pickup is a new feature.
Environmental balance is a new feature.
Speech in car is not mentioned in the Bolero B90 description. However, I have a program in the Autosense OS with that name.
Real ear sound is a new feature.
And of course direct connectivity is different

@Neville You were quite right to type the Naida as power BTE. As I only tested the RIC the 2cc values of the Bolero SP slightly exceed the Naida. However, the BTE’s are 10dB higher.

So concluding I would like to know whether the Autosense OS 3.0, Real ear sound, Own voice pickup and Environmental balance are features that the older series will be enjoying, too. It would explain, why there is so little difference in the testing of the HA’s aside from RIC versus BTE and the connectivity of Compilot II versus direct.

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Autosense 3.0 is the improved automatic program, but as far as I know what has been improved is the automatic switching. No extra programs, no change in noise reduction algorithms, etc. etc., just improved automatic switching so that your hearing aids actually go into the appropriate program in the appropriate environment. There is some suggestion that there are hearing aids on the market whose automatic programs are only in the correct program 50% of the time. So autosense 3.0 is a significant but probably subtle change. Autosense 3.0 is nice, but sonova (IMO) has already been leading the market with their auto programs for the last few years.

Real ear sound isn’t new–already in the Bolero B. And not that significant, frankly. Unitron and Resound both do better jobs recreating the pinna effect. Own voice pickup and environmental balance are both bluetooth streaming features.



Would you know whether this is Hearing aid dependent or whether the older series get this, too?



3.0 for the Marvel, 2.0 for the Belong.



The Belong seems like a proven solid product. The Marvel not having the streamer option is unfortunate given the connection problems. I’m looking at the Roger Pen, too, but not as good as the Compilot II for media.

Also, the Audeo B90 would be much more affordable now compared to the Marvel.

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I find my SpundFlow in my Phonak Brio P-UPs changes at just the right time. Never have I been in a situation where it hasn’t preformed.