Phonak Marvel vs Bolero


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.



Hearing aid dependent. Other than the signia tinnitus options, I haven’t seen a lot of situations where newly released features get backdated (is that a word?) into older technology. Signia back-releasing the notched tinnitus stuff was really nice. I don’t know why they did it.

It would be nice if the old accessory line were still an option for the Marvel; I have a lot of patients who do not use smartphones and would still like a remote, and a lot of patients who really benefitted from the DECT phone. I like the Marvel better, but honestly for some pretty small reasons. The new toggle button is really nice, very functional and generally easy for patients to use. The receivers were updated and I am finding them to be a nicer fit in the ear. The new domes, which I initially thought were a silly change, I have generally found to offer a more comfortable fit. All these things were totally fine with the Belong, so it’s funny that I am swayed at all by them all being very slightly nicer now. (The new wax guard is so bad, but I hear they are redesigning it). And I’m very much looking forward to the seamless integration with the Roger Select, if it works as promised and the pricing isn’t absurd. In Ontario we (currently) get some nice government support for FMs, so we can offer it at prices that aren’t as outrageous as I see down in the states.



After another week going back and forth between the M-90s and B-90s, I can confirm that my B-90s have a fuller, richer sound signature at louder volumes (e.g. the B90s sound better when listening to music through my car speakers). The difference might be due to my fittings, or it might be inherent in the sound signatures of the devices (or some combination of the two factors). I plan to analyze my fittings with my audi the next time I see him. [EDIT: we adjusted the fitting for the M90 and it is now much fuller and richer. So it wasn’t an inherent difference, just the fitting]

I wonder if the difference is due to the larger receivers in the B-90s. I read that smaller receivers typically are limited to lower Max Power Output (MPO), which correlates with compressed sound at louder volumes. I posted a separate discussion of that here:

On my fittings, the B shows higher MPO for the mid-low frequencies (e.g. at 850: B=119, M=110). Perhaps my M’s MPO is being capped lower by my fitting, or perhaps that is the max MPO the little receiver is capable of producing. I’ll ask my audi. But if the B90 does indeed have higher MPO, perhaps that explains why the Bs sound better in some situations, capable of producing richer, more detailed sound like an audiophile stereo system with a strong amp and big speakers. Does anybody else have experience with this? [EDIT: in my thread linked above, a number of people replied to say that the opposite is true: the SMALLER receivers have better sound.]

My audi suggested that maybe I should try the M-90s P receiver, which is larger than the M. He chose the Ms for me because my hearing loss is not profound (60-70 dB across all frequencies) and I don’t need that much power to achieve a sufficient volume. But maybe it’s worth trying the P to see if it sounds “better”. Does anyone here have experience with the different receiver sizes? Does the P provide richer, fuller sound than the M, and if so, what are the drawbacks of the P? Too big for some ears? More feeling of occlusion? Lower battery life? Increased feedback? All of the above? Phonak offers 4 different receivers (S, M, P, UP) for different levels of hearing loss, so there must be some advantages to getting a lower power one if you don’t need the higher power… [EDIT: people are saying that SMALLER receivers have better sound. See other thread linked above].


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Why BTE:

  • my receivers in my last BTE-HA didn’t die at all in their life of 6 years, all receivers of my past BTE-HAs lasted for at least 5 years. In my case the costs for replacement are the same as for RIC-replacements
  • all people (5) I know that they use RIC have to change their receivers every 2-3 months and they have to pay for each replacement (fee or free depends on the audiologist)
  • normal tubes are more visible to others than RIC-cables - my point of view is: it is an advantage that the other people KNOW that your hearing is limited!


@Dani It took my BTE’s 5 years to die on one side–just outside of warranty. Costs were 120€ as opposed to 70€ for the RIC. The RIC I’ve worn and my family wears (brother&mother) haven’t died on us. However, it is easy to see how rough treatment will damage the wires. Of course we’re both generalizing from experiences too few in number: It’s almost like were psychologists.

In my experience people don’t see HA wires. It’s like they actually don’t look at ears at all. It’s like they are watching your face for social cues or whatever. Then again, I do have rather long hair. So that could be a factor, too. I wear the Phonak Compilot (and before that the Bernafon Soundgate) as a badge. Especially, young people are very interested in gadgets, so they ask about it and learn of my disability.

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Very interesting and hoping you can opine further regarding my situation. Got my HAs 9+ years ago. They are Phonak Audeo “Yes” model. I am still wearing them. My annual hearing tests show virtually no change from year to year. However, I am having increasing difficulty understanding speech in all situations.

Many of the posts on this forum make the Marvels sound like miracle hearing aids. Your comments seem more balanced when comparing Marvel to previous Belong. My Audeo “Yes” HAs have always been comfortable. They are the 312 size and I get good battery life out of them. I just want to understand speech better. I am wondering if going to Costco and buying the latest Brio might be good for my situation. Comments?

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Do you just have your hearing tested every year, or do you have your hearing aids verified as well? Hearing aids can break down in a lot of little non-obvious ways. Try something new. The Brio would be fine if you can find a good fitter. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d go to a Canadian costco with no qualms but American costco seems more variable.



Please explain with the new wax guard needs to be resigned. Other have also complained about this issue but with my older aids the “wax guards” are a snap to replace with nanocare wax guard replacement.



The disc is difficult to spin. Worse if there is any tactile/dexterity issues.
If you go in on an angle instead of straight up and down, which people with weaker vision often do when trying to line things up, it pushes the wax guard in the receiver askew and then the only way to get it out is to dig it out with something pointy.



Just have my hearing tested every year. I have not had my aids verified. Thanks for the suggestion. I have replaced each receiver once, due to the wire breaking.