Phonak Naida Review/Rant/Fustrations LoL

I have been wearing the Phonak Naida 5 BTE’s in both ears for the past 2 weeks.
Its been a trying experience. I have been deaf since age 5 with a severe to profound hearing loss and have worn analog aids until now I’m 25. My sister’s dog ate my last hearing aid the Starkey Sequel BTE which is why I’m in this predicament now.
I tried the new Starkey destiny 1600 power plus aid and it was horrible b/c of the compression, it kept cutting off. Then I tried the Oticon Sumo DM which wasnt too bad but when I went back in for adjustment my audi was like i just got these Naidas in lets try these. So they pack plenty of power, the telecoil is ok but not great I liked the telecoil in the Oticon better and so far the autophone feature hasnt worked. But I keep having the issue of echoing or distortion of my voice and other people on certain vowel sounds. Last adjustment decreased it but still hearing it on certain sounds.
The only thing I cant complain about is the music program which is like surround sound in my ears. But I am afraid I am never going to get used to how quiet the ambient noises are. I keep feeling like my ears are all plugged up and I have a head cold. I wish there was a way to turn up some of the ambient noise alittle and decrease the distortion and then they would be perfect. I was thinking to try the Oticon Sumo DM’s again for a longer period. I am being really picky b/c I dont want to pay 4 k for hearing aids I am not entirely happy with. But I think i am driving my audi nuts. I am just so fustrated. Any advice?

you are important… that said if your audi is not happy or is giving you attitude ditch her…

find someone who is willing to work with you… but have realistics expectations.

I am trying Naida’s next week! I have been using Savia Arts but my hearing recently dropped to well within the profound range they don’t do anything for me anymore. I don’t have experience with other high powered aids but I wish you luck with whatever you choose!

Reading what you thought about the Naida was very helpful, thank you!

As an audiologist in Calgary I have to say that the Naida has been a great success in our clinic. I have fit approximately 30 of them this year and I have only had 1 person reject them. The Naida is quite complex to fit and there are many adjustments that can be made. I have found that many people enjoy the soundrecover feature however it is best to have it gradually introduced rather then introduced all at once. The noise management features can also be reduced or turned off so those of you who like hearing all the sounds around you can still experience that. It is important that you see an audiologist who is knowledgeable and has experience in fitting this particular product. Let me know if I can help you with your hearing aid and make the experience more successful.

I do have some questions…I have been fitted with two Naida V UP aids, which I have been using since the beginning of June. My hearing threshold is somewhat of a ski slope beginning at 85-90 dB in both ears and leveling off at 110 dB. I really have not understood what soundrecover is supposed to sound like. I do know the higher frequency sounds (F, S, etc) are supposed to be transposed into the usable hearing level, but I have not really heard a definitive F or equivalent…so not sure what to expect for my hearing level…maybe you can elaborate.

I currently have had 4 visits with a Phonak representative to help me adjust my aids to my preferences. It has been a mixed success though. I was able to get the background noises (humming of A/C, etc. ) reduced, but it seems it was at a disadvantage to my music sounds. I wanted to have this adjusted in my auto settings, but have my manual settings be adjusted to hear specific stuff like music* (*not entirely setup yet). Here are my current settings:

  1. speech in noise
  2. Tcoil
  3. FM
  4. Fm plus mike
  5. auto (default startup)

I do have a copy of my settings, but it has been altered a little to adjust for the background noise issues.

I also have a Smartlink SX and one ML10i receiver. I am also getting a second receiver to match the current.

Maybe you can give me a plan of action for the next visit, as I will when I get my second receiver. If you want me to send a copy of my Phonak configuration, let me know. I appreciate any help you can give me…

Your soundrecover can be adjusted to transpose more or less frequencies, it may be that it needs to be adjusted to include more or less frequencies. I would also recommend that you set up a music program which will reduce the amount of noise reduction and set the aids to be in an omnidirectional mode. In many situations, particularly with loud music, the aid will reduce the music thinking it is background noise. Hope this helps!

It makes sense to me…I don’t think we have been down this area yet, though the music program has probably been added to my list of programs somewhere…I just don’t know if it can be added in the auto mode. I will bring this up with my audiologist. Thanks!!

Hi – I’ve got a profound loss (90 db) and have been wearing ha’s for about 32 years (since I was 3 - some of us remember the “bra” days when kids wore their aids on their chest with wires going to molds in the ears!) So…one pair every 5 years, that’s about 6 pairs of ha’s I’ve gone through.

My current pair has been very frustrating. I’ve been trying Naida’s for the past month and about to give up on them…Some observations…

  1. no off button and 9-second “boot time”. And no way to turn off the boot lag. ARGH!

  2. high frequencies are too amplified, to the point that it makes me wince when I’m emptying the dishwasher or my 7-year old son is hollering. I’ve been wearing ha’s for 30 years and never winced from sounds before…I did tell my audio to turn the highs way down but they’re still too much.

  3. difficult to hear in vehicles due to the road noise being over-amplified (again, probably high-frequency).

  4. telecoil has too much electrical interference (I don’t care what my audio says about it being “rare” in these, it’s BAD. I just had Phonak Supero’s for 5 years and they were just fine, minimal background interference, but THESE…) I have computer monitors and some overhead electrical buzz at work, and with the Superos, I was fine anywhere in my cubicle without too much buzzing, but I find myself now leaning WAY back in my chair to get away from the monitors and ceiling, and still have a problem understanding on the phone.

5)although the Icom is fun, it’s annoying on how it cuts the mic off just to let you know the bluetoothed cell phone is ringing, and when there’s a pause between MP3 tracks, it’ll switch back to mic, and then 2 seconds later when the track starts, it’ll beep back into streaming mode

  1. Once in a while, if someone nearby is taking photos with a digital camera, it’ll make a small “pop” noise in the aids (think of the sound the old flash bulbs made)

  2. I do say the Naida’s are powerful enough - probably the first hearing aid I’ve ever worn that actually started out being 3 or 4 levels too loud.

8)The FM mode doesn’t sound right…doesn’t sound the same as the mic or telecoil modes

9)I do notice I hear “sh” sounds better, but crowd environments (think “family get-together”) are pretty much impossible to hear what anyone’s saying…I’d be better turning the Naida’s off and just going for lipreading.

And NO, I don’t want a separate program for each environment (which is what my audio was trying to suggest!) With the Supero’s, I had a mic, telecoil, background suppresion (great for listening to the radio in the car when no one else was around), mic+telecoil…and I was just fine.

The most annoyance I had with the Superos is that if I was whistling a tune, the feedback program would kick in and the whistling would sound a little off, but that was a very minor issue…

Why can’t I just get another set like the Superos??? I don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles…

I’ve been using ha’s for 30 years and never had a model before that required tuning up. Put it on pretty much “out of the box” and match to the audiogram, check the volume level, and away you go…NOT so with the Naida’s. I think I’ve had about 5 visits already.

Anyone have an idea for a HA that doesn’t require 5 trips to get “tuned up”, is digital so that it’s stingy on battery power, great telecoil, sounds like what I’ve used for 30 years, and has enough power for a profound user (90db)?

I’ve got an appointment with my audio on Wednesday, and right now am feeling like I’m going to request they find me another model to try since I can’t live like this for the next 5 years. Wincing when my son is excited is probably the worst…

I’m sorry to hear you are having some difficulties with the Naidas. Yes, these instruments do require a bit to get setup, as they are pretty complex as they have a lot of possibilities for adjustment and require an audiologist experience in adjusting these.

Here are my solutions to your observations on your aids:

  1. The off button can be added as a “mute” button., the boot time of 9 seconds can be lessened in the iPFG setup

  2. I don’t think the highs were softened enough, you audiologist needs to check other parameters on the iPFG setup. Sometimes the transposition from Soundrecover can be an issue here

  3. This can be adjusted with the Speech in Noise program

  4. Most telecoils have this issue with electrical interference. That’s why I opted for using FM with my aids, as it’s superior in connecting to the sounds I want to hear, especially on my cell phone with the Smartlink SX

  5. Do not have the iCom, so no solution here…sorry…

  6. Have yet to hear this issue, maybe this was because of the Easy programs activated? I used to have issues with EasyFM with weird noises, but since it has been turned off, I am now just fine!

  7. the default sounds can be adjusted to your hearing comfort, I had this issue too, but was able to get it set to the right loudness and the right program it boots to…

  8. The FM can also be adjusted to your hearing comfort…at least that is what Phonak says that can be done. You may need to have a Phonak rep come visit with your audiologist and help you make a positive change.

  9. Regarding the “sh” sounds, I feel for you, as I am trying to figure out this area too. It might be because I may have the soundrecover reduced or off. I will have to check this out…

  10. Regarding separate environments, these separate environments can also be added to the auto mode, so this is a plus for us that do not want to mess with our aids constantly. I, for one, use the auto mode and it consists of the calm and speech in noise manual programs. I used to use the EasyFM with it, but got tired of the beeping that the EasyFM produces to announce its presence. Regarding the battery use, the battery on my device lasts from 10-14 days (I use the Naida V UP aids)

How much longer is your trial for your aids? That right there is the deciding point, as you don’t want the trial to end and you get stuck still configuring your aids…The naidas. I think, requires a little bit longer for a trial because of the limiting factor of the audiologist experience in configuring these aids.

Hopefully you can find the perfect aid setup for your needs!!

The whole point to the Naids’s is all the adjustments that can be made to them, and a lot of time it takes more then one or two visits to get them right. Both you and your aud need to be patient, certainly two weeks of wearing is not enough time to adjust to the aids or determine whether you like them or not. If your AUD is already getting frustrated this early in the procedure then you need to find a new audiologist. Naida’s have a great reputation but take time to adjust properly, especially when a person has a profound loss. Remember how much these things will cost and don’t put up with any nonsense.

Ljjehl – thanks for the reply, this is helpful. I’ll take this to my audio (it’s at an HMO so I’m kinda limited in the choices of audios at their office).

1 ) I do have the “mute” program on, so that does help a little, but it’s not a true off - for example, I ride the bus to work, 1 1/2 hrs each direction. In the mornings, I like to turn the ha’s off and snooze. If I turn it to mute, I’m still draining power although at a trickle rate…so it means I need to take them out, turn them off and put them in my pocket.

  1. I’m aware all telecoils are susceptible to interference, these just seem to be unusually so (despite the audio and Phonak’s assertion that it’s rare!). I use the phone at work quite often, so it’s important to me to be able to get to a point where I feel like I don’t have to lay on the floor to get away from the ambient interference (although I’ve been tempted!)

Another reason I use telecoil is it doesn’t require the user to wear an external device all the time (ie the Icom or Smartlink)…

  1. Are you saying it’s possible to turn off the EasyFM program and yet still have the FM? So if I had a phone call, it wouldn’t automatically go into the FM mode, but I would have to push the program button? That would solve a couple of my issues (with the bluetooth and streaming switch-overs)

The trial issue is being extended while we work on the issues. I think (based on your help) that I’ll send an email to my audio today so that when we have our meeting on Wednesday, we can try to address these issues. Part of the problem I think is that he’s fairly new on these, and the local Phonak rep doesn’t really know anything about these. (I insisted on getting Phonak to attend but the audio says that it wouldn’t do any good in my case) Ah…don’t you love HMO’s? lol

you could try siemens explorer –
you could try Sumo DM - Oticon (here you have a choice of 3 programs you can set the 3rd program as HI off) if this is what you like-while this is a good instrument it is somewhat old technology…
You could also consider the Unitron 360

Whitewolf…I can understand where your coming from…a lot of sev-prof hearing losses don’t like any type of softening of soft sounds/“background noise” etc …it takes away many of the sound cues they use in everyday life. I’ve fitted the Naida with success also but there are certainly those that prefer a more simple type of amplification. Typically these have been born with a sev-pro loss and worn linear aids for a long long time.

I recently had to make a special request to a manufacturer dig out a refurbished linear power aid first made in the 1980s as the client I had tried all the power aids out there but we could not match the results of her existing aid…she only wanted a new one as a back up.

I also agree that the Supero was a good performer for those requiring a more simple unadulterated sound.

cdoniel–
I totally agree with everything you said about the Naida’s–could practically have written what you wrote word for word! I too had Supero’s–loved them–but wanted more power. That’s what the Naida’s have. But the icom issues, noise in the car, etc. etc. I’m on my 30 day trial period with my Naida V (after a trial with Naida III & Starkey Rhapsody) and if you hear of anything else that corrects all these problems with the Naida’s, please let me know. I’m frustrated with not being able to hear my family in the car anymore–sure cuts down on the quality of my conversations. That was a biggie. I will tell you that the Rhapsody’s were awesome for the speech in noise–but they didn’t have the power for my level of loss & didn’t have bluetooth either.

So we muddle along…

I seem to have solved most of the issues to my satisfaction…by having the audio set the compression to “linear” and getting rid of the “speech in noise” program. So it’s as manual as it can be. I also had him turn the low and high frequencies way down. Still not too happy with the telecoil, but I think if we get the low end down a little more, high end up a little more, increase volume, I can live with that program. The main issue with the telecoils on these is that they are way more sensitive than the Superos (or any other ha’s I’ve had in the past) - despite the audio/Phonak’s assertion.

I can hear a little better in the car with having turned the high freq way down…(not as great as the Superos but liveable).

Hope this helps. The biggest key was turning the compression off (“linear” mode). This makes it more like we’re used to.

So how do your aids work in noise then if they’ve turned that off completely?

What does setting the compression to linear do (I don’t remember that setting during the fitting; if it’s not linear what is it?)?

When you say they turned the low and high frequencies “way down” does that mean volume or what? Are you still able to hear things–volume and clarity?

The Naida V’s have can “push” high frequencies down so that though I cannot hear them anymore, by pushing them down to a lower frequency, I can hear them again. I am afraid that we’ll lose that feature if I have them “turn things down.” Any thoughts on this?

I had them turn the phone setting right off because I had so many problems with it (awful feedback every time I picked up the phone). I don’t use the phone much anymore, or use the icom/bluetooth with my cell phone.

Without the speech-in-noise, the aids work similar to the Supero’s. I didn’t like the feeling of “muddiness” I got each time the program kicked in.

I’m not exactly sure where it’s at in the programming, but you can choose a “compression” algorithm or a “linear” algorithm. It tells the ha how to process the inputs. Linear is what you’re used to with previous ha’s.

By turning down the gain on the high/low frequencies, I still have the feeling of volume, but what I hear is similar to what I’m used to…True, I don’t get to enjoy the “advances” in technology that the Naida can do, such as hearing someone breathe across the room, or my dog licking water from her bowl 30 feet away…but turning them down makes it so the high-end doesn’t overwhelm me - just taking dishes out of the dishwasher made me cringe. I admit it was fun to hear the things I never could before (hi freq), but it got to be too much.

The frequency shift is related to the input algorithm. You do lose that by shifting to linear, but the problem I had with the shifts, is that it sometimes made normal noises sound strange - some speech or music, for example.

I do use the telecoil a bit because I have the phones around the house and at work…but am finding that I tend to use the Icom more and more with my cell phone, since I get the “stereo” sound with the Icom. I can use my ha with the telecoil/cell phone pretty decently though. (if the background electrical interference is minimal)

The telecoil and FM modes do come with the microphone input (so you hear normal sounds in addition to the telecoil/FM) - I don’t like this since I’m used to shutting out all other noises when on the phone. (like the Supero). You can’t turn it off BUT you can get around this by having the microphone attenuation turned WAY down so it’s almost as good as having no mic volume (I think its something like -60 in the settings)

Thanks a lot for your experiences! I’ve printed off your response & will take it with me next adjustment I get. I am cautiously optimistic!:rolleyes:

Good luck!! If the audiologist is not familiar with the iPFG controls, there is user friendly stuff that asks for user input in auto and manual programs such as:

"Too loud, too bright, dull/muffled, hollow/tinny, hollow/boomy, echoing/reverberating, Not sufficiently Intelligible, /s/ inaudible, too much lisping…and more…

The program will take whatever response and “fix it” the response.

You can also download the iPFG program to look at it and run a simulation without the actual hearing aid hookup, so you can see what it looks like. I was able to help assist my audiologist with the adjustments, as she really was not fluent in the software. Once the audiologist gets ready to make the adjustment, he/she can actually she what it will be adjusting and make an educated guess on the ramfications of the decision. Here’s the link to the iPFG for the Phonak instruments:

http://www.phonak.com/professional/productsp/fitting/fittingsoftware_download.htm?Product=iPFG&ProductVersion=iPFG+2.1a&Language=English&Country=USA&PrivateLabel=

The telecoil and FM modes do come with the microphone input (so you hear normal sounds in addition to the telecoil/FM) - I don’t like this since I’m used to shutting out all other noises when on the phone. (like the Supero). You can’t turn it off BUT you can get around this by having the microphone attenuation turned WAY down so it’s almost as good as having no mic volume (I think its something like -60 in the settings)

There is both FM/Tcoil with and without the aid microphones. You can only insert 4 manual programs in the Naida V aids though…

The manual options for the Naidas are:

Calm situations, speech in noise, comfort in noise, music, acoustic telephone, tcoil, tcoil + mic, FM, FM + mic, and mute…

Only four can be used in addition to the auto mode. You also have the option to have EasyPhone and EasyFM enabled.

So…the Tcoil mode can run without the microphones on the aids.