Phonak Naida Marvel/Oticon Xceed setting for musicians?

I am currently on trial for two hearing aids Phonak Naida Marvel and Oticon Xceed.

While both of these do a good job in streaming music, daily conversations etc… I find Phonak Naida sounds a bit sharper and harsh at times compared to Oticon, is this something that can be adjusted?

I found that when playing piano, especially a full piano concerto, both hearing aids failed miserably…

Phonak Naida Marvel auto setting is not workable at all, each note on piano wavers around some frequency. My audiologist later set a music program which sounds better but I am still finding that:

  1. I cannot hear the depth of sound like I do with analogue hearing aids I am missing things like the lingering note sounds etc…

  2. Lowering the hearing aid volume seems to increase the sound quality and details, but I still need to be able to increase the volume from time to time. When increasing the hearing aid volume, I found sounds get distorted and all jumbled up and not clear at all.

With Oticon, this sounds better but there is no longer any real increase or decrease in volume. It also sounds much more artificial at the moment.

Has anyone successfully fit these aids to musicians and if so, any recommendations to my audiologist so he can adjust them properly?

I am gearing towards Phonak Naida Marvel because Oticon is a bit of pain to use (different size battery, need connect clip) and I probably need to hear some of the high frequency sounds which seem to be missing with Oticon hearing aids.

Like many musicians, it is frustrating to not be able to hear things I could hearing with analogue hearing aids. This is not really about a different type of sound, but completely missing sounds and distorted sounds. The piano sounds like harpsichord for example, and I know it is not supposed to sound like that.


Welcome to the forum.
Sharing your audiogram would help us help you, thanks.
Both aids sound like they are doing pretty good. Getting used to new aids does take some time. For you to be getting power aids my thoughts would be to get speech right over all else. Usually once that is done the music will come next.
Both aids can be adjusted to improve speech and music. The remote programming can be very handy while sitting at your piano.
Good luck.


My audiologist programmed my oticons for music. She checked with oticon and they instructed her how to do it. Now when I play music they sound great. Very natural sounding.

Here is my audiogram:

Thanks for sharing your audiogram.
Hopefully some of the pros will chime in on this thread.
From looking at your audiogram I would lean to the Phonak Naida aids due to the better frequency lowering technology. I would think you will get better speech opportunities from frequency lowering technology than the little extra gain you might get from the Oticon Exceed aids. You would need to really get aggressive with Sound Recover 2 settings to bring the upper frequencies you do not hear down into your hearing range. It may take time for you to acclimate to all the new sounds. Initially you will hear kitchen appliance alarms, car blinkers, birds and crickets, etc. Then in time the speech should start to clear up and start making better since. It has for me.
Good luck.

Raudrive, would you expand on getting “aggressive with Sound Recover 2 settings”?

I’m in my first week with Oticon Exceeds. My back up aids are Phonak Naida Bs. We are observing self isolation just now, so measuring the full performance and shortcomings of the Exceeds is impossible. The Naida’s are disappointing in noisy restaurants especially. I am hoping for better with the Exceeds. Listening to classical music is important to me. So far, I don’t detect much difference. The Naida’s require a manual shift to “music,” while the Exceeds offer a specific program but seem to recognize music and expand the upper range accordingly, if that’s possible.

I suspect I’ll need to live with current settings for a while. Audiology offices are closed around here. I was fitted only because my Naida’s went in for repair at the same time I ordered the Oticon. I had nothing. Like barbers, audiologists will be popular when they first open up.

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Sound Recover 2 is Phonaks name for the frequency lowering technology. For those with dramatic high frequency hearing loss this frequency lowering technology can be a blessing. Others that still hear well in the upper frequencies might just need some more gain in those frequencies and not really need the frequency lowering technology.
When I said aggressive I meant adjust the frequency lowering settings more aggressively than the hearing aid software recommends. In other words drive the upper frequency sounds down into lower frequencies that can be heard. Those who are deaf in the upper frequencies will hear these upper frequency sounds again in the lower frequencies. It is very amazing for those who have not heard these upper frequencies in many years.

The OP has very little hearing in their upper frequencies, similar to my own.

Just tried adjustment with Oticon… not happy at all while on piano… I could not hear what I used to hear and there is constant plugged ear effect. Dynamics are seriously lacking.

Phonak didn’t really fare well either. It is a bit better in terms of accuracy of tone but still not quite there.

Anyone has any suggestions for the audiologist in terms of things he can try? I suggested he contact Phonak and Oticon to see if they can do better fine tuning…

Just me feelings and experiences what you hear is a combination of your hearing loss and the aids themselves. I have often asked my Audi what is normal, I have had hearing loss so long I now longer know what is normal.

I feel for you concerning your hearing. Your hearing loss is not an easy one to fit or to expect really good results. My hearing is terrible but not as bad as yours looking at your audiogram.
Do you know your word recognition scores?
Have you considered cochlear implants?

You have asked about music and not really getting answers on that. The Phonak aids have a bass boost that could be helpful.
Soft silicone earmolds are known to be best for profound hearing losses. The better the seal with very little venting will give the best hearing aid performance with profound hearing loss. Doing this will allow you to lower the (Whistle block) feedback management settings for better music. Lowering the settings on noise block, echo block and wind block can improve music also. These are Phonak names, not Oticon.

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The problem is that the industry sells aids as speech amplification devices. Notice the tests are all about speech recognition? The industry is stuck in a rut they expect sound modifiers to fix, and that only makes things worse. A rough starting point goes like this:
Shut off all sound modifiers. No, really, all of them. No noise reducers, speech enhancers, etc. The reason is these are active and they can’t handle music. If you get feedback - address the reason first then use anti feedback + mild o rmusic
In your case, change compression mode to semi linear
Change microphone to narrow band directional
Raise the Program EQ low end (250hz) to be about equal with 500hz, or maybe one step above that.
Open up the MPOs (limiters) to about 120db.
This will get you in the ball park. But you should get your own programming gear and learn to DIY. Your audi won’t be of much help, sorry to say

Your audi won’t understand a bit of this.

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Cochlear implant is definitely out of the question for piano. I have done quite well with an analogue hearing aid (with PhD, piano performance diploma etc…), so it is very annoying to have this digital hearing that does not deliver what I need and pretty much kills any prospect of performing in public.

I really think these hearing aid companies ought to be ashamed of themselves… I tried very hard to get to where I am today, and they refuse to provide a technology that existed 20 years ago so I could function properly…

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This video pretty much sums up the problem I had with these hearing aids:

I am currently trying out Resound, I think the dynamics is there finally, but the quality of piano tone needs adjustment I think.

I asked the audiologist to tone down the high pitched sounds based on speech, but now I am not hearing them properly on piano. Piano now sounds dull even with Mozart on a Yamaha piano…

Sometimes the high pitched sounds with certain chords give me a headache as well. So will need to wait for the next adjustment and see how things go.

I have also found my old analogue hearing aid profile as well, and forwarded that to the audiologist… hopefully I will get something workable soon.

Does anyone know if ENZO Q is worth trying or does it have different functionality to LinX Quattro (the one I am trying out now).

There is a guy in Canada that has written quite a lot on hearing aids for musicians.

I am also a piano player with bad hearing. I have a music channel on my Signia 7NX with no Frequency Compression/Sound Recover. Hence the comment about analog HA’s. I am getting the Naida Marvels, so I am yet to pass judgement on them.

I self tune and find sitting at the piano with live control the best way to tune the aids. You will find the shrill keys and know exactly what frequency they are. Usually turning down that frequency works. Remote control suggested above would do the same.

Your high frequency is totally lost, so could be frequency shift will be necessary. At the end of the day, your brain has forgten how a piano is supposed to sound. The upper harmonics are gone forever.

You are going to need a very patient audiologist.

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Here is a PDF of the above to send to your audiologist.

Guidelines for Musicians with Hearing Loss to Bring to Their Audiologist.pdf (212.3 KB)

Actually I can hear these high notes with analog hearing aid and it is never a case I forgot what piano sounds like, I was born with it. So to me it’s a technology issue…

You can get the highs with digital. I suspect they are clipping or shifting the highs. Read what I sent you and get your audi to dial in and fix it. For your hearing loss the Niada Marvel should be a very good hearing aid. I suspect the Resound is also.

As bad as your high frequencies are, you may have to use Sound Recover (Frequcy Shift) to get the very highs. Will take some experimenting.

He claims he has done all of these…

But I am still getting clipping with Naida.

Resound actually sounds not too bad with piano with default program, but it clips the sound.

Resound music program sounds too harsh but there is no longer a clipping of sound which is great… I am getting too much echo or reverb and piano sounds dull when it should sounds bright… anyone know if this can be fixed?

Pro pianist and music producer here as well. I’m having wonderful results with Widex’s Moment 440 rechargeables. The music default settings have zero latency. But getting any of the lower frequencies (below 1k) to sound good is gonna be difficult no matter the HA manufacturer. The HA industry’s focus on speech and small form factor has limited music tech and that includes the new Bluetooth music and call streaming too. It’s just not there, not compared to bluetooth music buds and the quality that new market can deliver. But for musicians needing HAs from my research I think Widex offers the best solution. PM me if you want info for the online audiologist and shop that gave me a super deal on them. Cheers!

Hey thanks for the reply! I actually tried Widex Evoke, which I did not like. So far I am fairly happy with Resound Linx Quattro (as indicated in my other post) so this might also be a potential solution for others.