Phonak Paradise 90 questions after first audiology visit

I had my first audiology appointment to inquire about HAs today and I left with a couple of questions.

Notes of visit:

  • The audiologist offered Phonak or Oticon and after discussing all options they thought that Phonak was the better option for me given my tech environment (Apple).

The audiologist:

  1. said that I would do well with any of the three tiers but that the issue with my work and background noise in restaurants, conference halls, means that Tier 3 Phonak Paradise 90 13T BIE RIC was the model they would suggest for me. Question: How much better is a Tier 3 vs a Tier 2 vs a Tier 1 with respect to noise reduction? Am I being oversold? See below for Audiology Test and WRS scores.

  2. suggested the battery version of the Phonak Paradise 90 13T BIE RIC rather than rechargeable, and they thought given the travel and work I do that battery would be better and more convenient than rechargeable. Also the audiologist had a preference for battery and ease of use in general. My understanding is the battery version of the Phonak Paradise 90 is exactly the same as the rechargeable version - are there any differences I should be aware of? For example will it still connect well in the Apple environment if it is battery operated? I can be a rather heavy computer user / Zoom / Streaming etc.

  3. Anything else I should consider?

Note: I have gone to a Costco and do have a pair of KS 10’s rechargeable to pickup or return. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the HIS there. And so am continuing my research with going to a few independent audiologists. This was my first independent audiologist appt.

Audiology Report:

Left Right
(250,15) (250, 20)
(500,20) (500, 30)
(750, 25) (750, 40)
(1000,35) (1000, 40)
(2000, 45) (1500, 35)
(3000, 50) (2000, 55)
(4000, 45) (3000, 55)
(6000,55) (4000,55)
(8000,50) (6000,45)
(8000,50)

WRS:

  • 100% Right Ear
  • 96% Left Ear

Note: I’ve had a couple of audiology tests (pretty similar to above and WRS and in the other one test I was given was:

  • 80% Left Ear
  • 88% Right Ear

3 is worse for noise reduction. 1 is much better.

You won’t get tap control on disposable battery Audeo Phonaks.

Some people really struggle using bluetooth on computers as they don’t always connect as well.

I personally just use a Telecoil Neckloop for computer work to get around that issue.

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Why not try the lumity. I went from marvel 70r to lumity 70r. They work great on back ground noise and have tap control. The paradise has been out for a couple years.

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Also missing is the motion sensing focus control. I wonder if they can sense when you travel in the car well. The tap control relies on the accelerometers that also feed to the motion sensing. So ability to know you are walking vs still, and changing focus from narrow to wider to hear walking partners. Might not be important to some, but yet might be to others.

WH

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@WhiteHat

I hadn’t realise they also did that.

Very interesting.

:slight_smile:

I don’t get this part. Phonak is platform-agnostic while Oticon supports Made For iPhone features. So your Apple tech environment is a factor in favor of Oticon.

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@Zebras, Many thanks for your comments! I have a couple of questions:

Your comment that Tier 1 is much better at noise reduction surprised me, so you are saying that noise reduction is best in the least expensive model (Tier 1) than in the most expensive model (Tier 3)? Maybe I have the tiers reversed?

Regarding tap control, where my thinking is that tap control is the manual-on-the-HA control? you are saying that manual control is not available on the Audeo Phonaks (which is the same as the Phonak Paradise 90)?

Lastly, if I my computer setup uses blue tooth, which it does, you are saying it may have issues, at times, connecting with my HA’s so that it is better to wear a Telecoil Neckloop rather than have it embedded in the HA? Or, is the Telecoil Neckloop something I wear in addition to a HA with bluetooth, telecoil embedded in it?

@wyattwilliam891 - I appreciate your question! I did ask about Lumity and they said it definitely wasn’t for me because it only came as a rechargeable unit and was not available using batteries. I assume “tap control” means that it has a manual control on the HAs? The Lumity was dismissed out-of-hand practically. Hmmm?

@WhiteHat - I didn’t ask about motion sensing focus control. I will follow up on this! Thanks for the added info! What I do recall though was that the higher tier had a focus for noise reduction to the front and the higher the tier, the more narrow the focus. I didn’t get a sense, from that part of the conversation, that the HA’s would change focus, but I am going to ask about this, that would be something important to me.

Yes other way around.

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@x475aws - I thought, going into this appointment, that Oticon would support made for iPhone features. However the audiiologist said it wasn’t hands-free and that Phonak was the only one that had hands-free options. By hands free - he meant that I would need to move the phone to my mouth to reply to phone calls, so in that conversation, Oticon seemed less than with respect to the Apple environment and Phonak was discussed. Am I missing something here? Are there other things about Oticon / Phonak comparisons in the Apple environment that I should know about? I appreciate your bringing this up.

Then you have to choose rechargables (with tap/motion awareness) or disposable batteries… Can’t have both.

You should probably choose disposables.

Tap refers to tapping the ear to start/stop programs, answer calls, invoke your digital assistant (siri or whatever). You would need to do these via another means. Watch/phone/source device.

Best wishes as you choose! I have p90-r HAs and love them. But I use a tv connector to connect to my macbook for zoom/google meet. I use a USB to optical audio device to feed audio to the tv connector. The macbook uses its own mics, and I don’t have the HAs fighting me in disconnecting from the macbook as a call starts when I was using direct streaming. I can stream youtube & all the other garbage out there all day straight to the aids if I like. But the “calls” drop connection about as fast as it makes it.

WH

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There have been discussions here about hands-free phone calls with MFI. So that apparently is possible with the right combination of phone/iOS version and HA. But using MFI in the traditional way, without hands-free, you don’t always have to hold the phone up to your mouth. The phone can sit on a table or desk in front of you and your voice will come through fine at the other end. Maybe in a noisy place you have to hold the phone closer to your mouth. But hands-free calling with a hearing aid can be unusable in a noisy place, because hearing aids use the regular microphones to pick up your voice, and they (unlike the microphone in a BT headset) can’t be directionally oriented down towards your mouth. From what I’ve read, aids supporting hands-free calling with MFI also let you choose to talk through the phone microphone.

Another nice thing about MFI is that you can use the iPhone accessibility shortcut (3 pushes of the side button) to instantaneously bring up a hearing aid control screen that lets you adjust (depending on the aids) volume and/or program and/or equalizer. It’s much faster than using an app, even one that works properly (which some of them don’t).

A Google search like “oticon phonak site:forum.hearingtracker.com” will bring up some existing Oticon vs. Phonak threads.

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Yes lots of discussions on this forum about people struggling to get them connected to laptops / computers.

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These are difficult questions to answer because everyone’s loss is different. The best way to handle this is to trial each aid and decide for yourself. But based on your audiogram you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the top tiered aids. Also remember. Aids don’t fix your hearing. They help. But there’s no aids that return hearing to normal. Also if you trial you need to wear the aids at least a couple of weeks just to get used to them. You’re a first time wearer. Your questions are excellent. But when it comes to hearing aids and first time users there are a ton of things you have to deal with before you can answer your own questions. Hopefully your Audi will explain everything to you. But I’m a big fan of trialing aids. And since you’re a first time user you need to get used to just wearing the aids and your brain needs time to adjust to the increased volume the aids produce

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@hass5744 - I appreciate your thoughts. So far no one has offered - and I’ve asked - to trial a pair of HAs. I have to purchase them first. I appreciate the reminder that HAs don’t fix hearing. My issue is choosing the audiologist / HIS so that I have a chance at getting the best fit I can and the best chance to hear in the environments that most matter. I am really looking forward to that first pair of hear aids!

Everybody handles trial aids differently. I wouldn’t pay for anything in full. That’s not a trial

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@x475aws - Much appreciate this information! Very helpful! I will check out the google search you referenced as well. Hadn’t heard about the iPhone shortcut and my current iPhone should work with that. The issues with hands free calling was very helpful as was your comparison to the microphone in a BT headset.

@WhiteHat - I appreciate the clarifications! Why do you say I should probably choose disposables?

Funny that that audiologist insisted that the model he suggested: Top Tier Paradise 90 with disposable battery did allow for tap control? I’m grateful to know the actual story on this. I’m stymied that the audiologist didn’t suggest Oticon as I deliberately chose this audiologist for their tech expertise and the Apple environment.

My audiologist (VA) recommended rechargeables, but I requested battery. She ordered rechargeable anyway and asked me to give them a try anyway. It o9unle took me two days to asked her to order the battery version. The rechargeables are only good for ~ 12 hours and only then if you do very little streaming. I do a lot of audio books, so I was recharging by 4 or 5 pm every day. Also note that if you are using a Cross (deaf in my right ear) NONE of the software works!

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