Phonak P70 vs P90: How does Dynamic Noise Cancellation work exactly?

I’m currently deciding between these two tiers. I am a lifelong hearing aid user with sever-profound loss. I’ve always worn BTEs with custom, closed molds. My audiologist - who has fitted my last several pairs of aids (all phonak) and whose assessment I trust - recommended the P70 and felt that while I might see some additional benefit from the P90, that it might be a little overkill. In the past I’ve always gotten the *50/Standard tier for financial reasons. I’ve tried to research the differences as much as possible and seems they mostly boil down to:

  • More programs in the automatic setting - hearing aid (hopefully) chooses the correct program based on the listening environment.
  • Better “UltraZoom” - 33 Beamforming channels instead of 12 Beamforming channels. I think this determines how granular the hearing aid is about filtering background noise in directional modes (edit: yes it is).
  • “EchoBlock” - additional processing to suppress reverberation. Used for the “Comfort in Echo” program. Can only be adjust in Target software.
  • “Speech Enhancer” - Supposed to improve intelligibility of soft speech. Can only be adjusted in Target software.
  • “Dynamic Noise Cancellation” - Supposed to provide additional SNR in noisy settings and is only active in directional microphone modes. Can be adjusted in Target software and in the app.

I’ve been trying to understand how the Dynamic Noise Cancellation works and how it differs from the “regular” noise suppression (what Phonak calls NoiseBlock). I was initially under the impression that DNC is similar to noise canceling headphones and the hearing aid outputs an inverted signal to further reduce background noise in noisy settings. That’s what’s implied in this video, but after digging more it’s unclear to me if that’s how it works or if it’s just intended to have a similar functional benefit. I’m not an expert in this domain but it would make sense that if the hearing aids did have true active noise cancellation, then it would be of most benefit to people with less severe losses or open fittings, who don’t get as much isolation of sound from the hearing aids. My hearing aids completely block my residual hearing so I definitely don’t fall into that group. On the other hand if the DNC is just another, perhaps better processing algorithm (as implied here) to further reduce background on top of “NoiseBlock” then it might not matter as much what kind of fitting you have.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I’m mostly interested because I like the idea of having more things I can control in the app, but if it’s something that really only benefits people with more residual hearing than I have then it wouldn’t be worth it.


Hope someone can answer your question.

I’ll be interested to know.


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Well the first thing that comes to mind is, why don’t you try it yourself and see what benefit it gives you, nothing better then DIY to find out what works or not for you, as no-one else can tell what/how you hear, as you already know DNC is fully adjustable in target software, so could be fun
; )
Would be better for you to do DIY to find out if you really would benefit, as just comparing specific specifications between P70 and P90 on paper tells you nothing (as in, there’s no way to tell if you’d get any real benefit without actually using DNC )
As it seems you’ve already discussed on what’s available on the interweb, did you find the white paper which would give you something else to satisfy your curiosity on this.

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Which white paper? I’ve found a few on different aspects of the hearing aid (mainly the benefits of directional microphones). Is there a specific one you have in mind?

And yes, I know that ultimately the best way to know is to try it myself. However I also know that I will likely be very satisfied with either and likely wouldn’t see a need to try the other once I have them in my ears. I will also be getting a Roger On device which I and my audiologist agree has a much bigger impact.

So my question is less about “what hearing aid should I get?” and more “how does this tech work?”.

No idea, I was just asking if you’d looked for one.

Yes I understood this, however I was just pointing out that it hardly matters if your willing to try them both, with or without support from your audiologist
(going DIY, you could make the adjustments on the fly)

Getting back to the white paper, there must be one for them to make the claims Phonak is making, I’ll see if I can find one, maybe on the pro site ( Phonak pro )

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Makes sense. I didn’t know DIY tweaking in Target was even a thing until a couple of days ago so I’m still getting used to the idea. Even the phone app in its more limited capacity lets me do things I’ve wanted to be able to do for years, and DNC can be adjusted there. You’re right though, no way to know for sure without just trying it.

The only info I’ve found is mostly contained in the links I posted, which both claim a 4dB improvement in SNR in noisy settings but doesn’t cite where that number is coming from.

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So looking at the pro site, I didn’t see more on DNC, it could be in some other evidence based paper, check it out if you haven’t already.

I’m really interested in learning more about Dynamic Noise Reduction
Thanks for asking your questions.


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Got some interesting info from my audiologist who spoke with Phonak:

According to her, DNC is not adjustable in the app. This is at odds with what it says here and the video I linked in the OP. I think she thought I was confusing it with the Dynamic setting which controls compression. I’m going to clarify this as now I’m not sure what to believe.

Not directly related to the topic at hand, but I was also told that the only program that can be removed from the automatic program in the P90 is Speech In Loud Noise. I’d gotten the impression from the self-fitting board that this wasn’t the case and any program could be removed. Can a DIY’er confirm one way or the other?

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Yes this is correct.

I use a single program as part of my manual programs and have AutoSense turned off.

If you select Access, it just automatically puts them as manual programs.

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Ah, so that is how that screen works. Thanks for sharing. How would you disable Speech in Loud Noise if you wanted to do that? Is the option on that same screen or do you need to go somewhere else to do it?

Edit: Nevermind, it’s in the other image you posted.

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@Zebras I find your post so helpful.

Tomorrow I’m going to see my audi for a one year review. Phonak audeo Paradise P90R’s

Frankly I’m feeling overcome and overwhelmed. He has been very helpful. Yet I’m having issues with word recognition.

I’ve made gains late in this year of use. One was changing my domes. Another was coping with the awful wax guards. I’ve done away with the plastic tangs that heals my hearing aids in and I miss them. But i can’t change waxguards with them on.
Finally I made a big change/improvement when I discovered the Dynamic function which I couldn’t see on my APP!

So I’m using the auto program 99% of the time. Now I need more improvements. That’s where the overwhelm kicks in.

I’m really tired by the end of the day And then sleep apnea treatment kicks in. I don’t sleep well.

I have to get my hearing aids working for me. I’m exhausted.


ps So your answer here is really, really important to me. and libc your post has helped me a lot too!

I feel that I’m missing something in the setup

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page: you’re referring to the Dynamic setting in the app at the bottom of the list yes? That adds compression to loud or soft sounds if you move the slider to the left or right. That’s not what this thread is about. Dynamic Noise Cancellation, according to the sources I’ve read, can be controlled by adjusting the Speech Focus slider in the app. In the Noise setting, the top 50% of the slider controls DNC, in Loud Noise the whole slider controls DNC. It can also be set in Target, I don’t have it so I can’t tell you where but I think it’s clearly labeled. It’s only an option on the P90.

I’ve decided I’m going to try the P70s so unfortunately I won’t be able to contribute much real-world experience to this discussion. While I think DNC could be useful to me in certain scenarios, the benefit would be small and very situational. I’m also getting a Roger On which is much more effective and versatile in those same situations so it’s a little harder to justify the extra cost of the 90s when I’ll have that at my disposal. I am going to discuss it more with my audiologist during my trial of the P70s.

One thing I did notice: It looks like DNC is available on the 70 tier of the Lumity hearing aids. It’s not worth the switch for me because Lumity is only offered in rechargeable models currently, but it looks like Phonak is making the feature more widely available going forward.

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confess I found the Dynamic control at the bottom of the APP recently. I didn’t see it until recently.

Adjusting this control has made a huge difference for me.

I’m finally able to leave my hearing aids alone and use them.

I bought a book for hearing aid professionals about compression. I’ve read it; but it’s old. Therefore it hasn’t been very useful.

I haven’t been aware that Dynamic Noise Compression is available by adjusting th eSpeech Focus Slider in the App.

Same page–if you adjust the Speech Focus Slider in the App and save that program–you are no longer in the automatic program. You’re in whatvever program you were in when you changed it. For instance, it may have been driving in the car, or in a noisy environment, or watching tv. And it stays there. That’s my take. If I’m wrong I’d really like to know!


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Yeah, you can’t save changes to automatic. It creates a new program of the program you were running under automatic.


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Sleep apnea: me too! You indicate that you have treatment (cpap machine hopefully). This is yet another 'aid" that needs tweaking an dialing in. I’m far more of a DIYer with masks than I am with hearing aids. But the software is perhaps easier to download and understand, and the adjustments are non technical (try a different style mask.) Google apnea forums, if you haven’t. The two most popular have very good downloads that allow you to track your nightly events far more accurately than a DME will do. It’s easy, and worth looking into. Lovely sleep, and dreams! I feel a lot better when the cpap is working well.

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jeffrey—about 35 years of cpap. I use OSCAR and post on the apnea board. Similarities—for me the treatment is more stressful than the issue. OSA and hearing.

I’m leaving shortly to see my audi for a one year review of my new hearing aids. Phonak audeo Paradise P90R’s. Im still being told they don’t work. They’re doing better, but not well enough.

If only it would work like this, I would buy one in a heartbeat!

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How quickly do the microphones switch?
The literature says they are directional.

I have Lumity L90.

Noise cancellation doesn’t really work in the way shown by the video because, if you move the lever that way, the overall volume goes back to standard while maybe in a restaurant you need more.

But you can save a memory where you have noise cancellation set at the maximum level and switch to that memory when you’re in a restaurant.

It works very well, night and day with my previous HA (Starkey Halo 2).
Speech in loud environment is strong with these HAs.

(I haven’t posted my audiogram but I have a severe loss on high frequencies).