Phonak Marvel vs Bolero


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.



I was interested in your remark about streaming from android. I am just trying out marvel aids with an ric fitted shell. I have not been able to stream from android or from my computerr. Previously I had no trouble doing this with much older aids and a compilot. Would you be willing to send me details explaining how you stream from android? I have tried pairing in android and pairing with phonak remote app with apparent success. But I have not been successful in getting music to stream from android. Apparently there is a final connection step before streaming that I have not been able to figure out.



Are they M-90s? Did you install the Phonak Remote app?



Yes M-90, yes remote. I have had much trouble pairing, but finally succeeded and reached the point where
the remote app reported searching, connecting but the only sound appeared to be from the phone speaker.
Terrible. Pairing seems stable, but no sound coming directly from aids. The sound I hear is from the phone speaker, picked up from the aid microphones, and persist when the app is closed.



On my Android phone, after the HAs paired via the Phonak Remote app, I then also had to open bluetooth and let the phone pair to the HAs a 2nd time (separately from the App). Occasionally if sound is not being transmitted to the HAs, I open bluetooth and tap the HAs to connect to them, and it displays a message “paired for audio and calls”. Then it starts working.