Question about Phonak Savia and Oticon Syncro

I have been on your site reading your opinions and
picks. Good site, found some good information. Interestingly enough one
of your picks for top high end digital aids is one I am looking at. I am
looking at the Phonak Savia (first choice) , Oticon Syncro and
considering the Siemens Centra. I was wondering which one you are having
the best luck with as in fewest returns for repairs and constant
reprogramming. I have worn Beltone for 22 years and Audibel the last 3
years. This is my second set of digitals and I am looking to upgrade
from Audibels’ Eclipse II. To many repairs and I feel I can get better
sound quality. I have seen 2 audiologist and each likes a different
aid. One likes Savias and the other Syncros. So I am looking for more
opinions on top quality aids.
I work in a automotive stamping plant which is about 90-100 decibles
when all the machines are running. Do you think I can run a program on
one of these aids and let them function like ear plugs?

As far as reliability goes, I have had the best results with Sonic Innovations products, such as the Innova.

Yet, for the purposes you are using the hearing aids, I would choose the Phonak Savia, as it is one of the few hearing aids that can incorporate a mute function, basically turning off the microphone completely, which can help to act as an earplug in noisy environments.

It also allows the best switching automatically between programs based on the environment and you can also override the automatic functions with either a multi memory switch on the aid or via the remote controls which come in 3 types, the larger and stronger remote, a smaller keypilot remote (like a car alarm size) and the watch pilot, built into a nice watch.

You can also add something called smartlink with the Savia’s so you can use a bluetooth wireless phone, for example and hear the conversation wirelessly and also be able to place the smartlink’s microphone closer to the person you are speaking to and hear and understand better in noisy environments.

The only drawback are the costs, as the Savia’s with smartlink and the remote will probably be between $6,000-$8,000 depending on your area.

I would have to say the quality well surpases any Beltone or Audibel.

Yet, the others you are considering, the Centra and Oticon are also very good hearing aids.

Please let us know how you do once you get your new instruments.

Thanks for the response. Actually ,as far as ear plug use, I was thinking that with one of the programs we could set it up to suppress the correct frequencies. Or use some of the features of the aid to cancel out the sounds I don’t need and knock the sound down to a comfortable level. My current aids can do this very well but by only having 1 program it doesn’t work well for the rest of my life style. To much compression for everyday living. When set on high I could wear the aids in the plant , hear people pretty good and not the machinery or ventilation system. They were there but really low volume. But for everything else it worked to well and the constant switching would drive me crazy.
Sonic Innovations is not talked about much around here. They prefer the Phonak because of being a great aid with great customer service and the other Audiologist says the same about Oticon.
I am still confused about my best options. Like I stated in the letter I have 3 choices and I gather any of the 3 would be good instruments. If cost were not a factor do you still prefer Phonak over my other 2 choices?
After reading your response again, do you refer to quality as sound quality or instrument quality. Beltones product quality was quite good when I had them but Audibel had a little better quality sound at that time. I got the hear things I never heard before and better control because their software was better for control and gave greater flexibilty with more channels.
Will any of my 3 choices be another step up in sound quality? I would hope so. Things have come such a long way in my 25 years of wearing these devices. Always for the better in my case.

The 3 you are considering are worlds better than any of the past hearing aids you have had. This is why it gets more difficult to decide which would work best for you.

As far as software and configurability to fine tune programs to match your individual needs best, I like the Savia the best. If I were in your shoes, I would want to have the flexibility and programability it offers, provided your audiologist is very up to date with the software. Usually, if they highly recommend the Savia, it is because they fully understand it. If not, they would never offer it.

Maybe one of the other audiologists/hearing aid dispenser can chime in on this one.

I am a Nationally Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist and have worked with many different manufaturers for the past six years. From my experiences, I strongly agree with Admin’s recommendation for the Phonak Savia. The aid will automatically change to preset programs for you based on your listening environment. Also, the noise reduction feature works very well so there shouldn’t be too much of a problem wearing them at work although I like Admin’s suggestion on using the mute function. What works well is having a watch remote control so that you can manually adjust the volume and programs with minimal effort.
If you like the freedom of adjusting the aids yourself and don’t mind having to reach into the ears to do so, I would strongly recommend the Sonic Innovations Innova hearing aid (which Admin also mentioned). In my practice, I have had the best results with speech comprehension in noise as well as the highest percentage of customer satisfaction with this product.
All in all, the three models you are looking at will do much better than the ones you had in the past. There’s also the matter of having someone programming the aids for you that knows what they are doing and has had the latest training with the product. Make sure to ask that before purchasing.

First off, thank you for the responses. If any of the new aids are that much better that what I have all I can say is I CAN’T WAIT!!! I think I’m hearing great with what I have compared to no aids. If there is that much improvement with these that I am considering I might have to have the smile removed from my face from joy of hearing more new things.
I do really appreciate all the help you are sending. Phonak is clearly becoming my leader. I have to admit that I think I need to research more on Sonic Innovations. From going to their web site I wasn’t that impressed with the details on their aids. Maybe the writing style of the descriptions makes them sound behind Phonak? I will look futher at them. Thanks to your help I am learning more about aids than in any of my past 25 years wearing them. I’ve been missing alot I guess.
I will check with the audiologist I want to work with and see how current she is with Phonak programming. She sounds like she is really on top of things. She has her Masters from Vanderbilt University in Nashville ,Tn and may have her doctorant(sp.?) as well. Do you suggest any questions that I should ask either person to be sure I chose the best one to fit my instruments. I won’t be qualified to get them until October so I have time to keep learning and get more informed about the product and process. Again thanks for the help.:smiley:


I would just make sure that he/she has dispensed at least a few of the Savia’s and has experience with the remote control setup, as well as has a good understanding of how the autopilot and manual program setups work in the software.

Most dispenser/audiologists can program the Savia’s but they are usually not too familiar with the manually controlled programs, they tend to leave the program settings on auto pilot.

Yes, Sonic Innovations also have very good hearing aids, yet they are not as well known and do not spend a whole lot of $$$ marketing as do Phonak (with their tour de france/bicycling, etc) and Siemens.

And their website is really bad, but they do have a great product, awesome customer support and very good manufacturing practices.

I personally have been at their lab and know the director there personally and they do an excellent job.

Yet, for the things you need the hearing aids to do, Phonak may be a better fit for you.

Hope this helps you out.

Also, thanks to JasCyn for chiming in on this one, as it is always good to get another professional opinion.

I am trying to recruit other professionals to also join in.

Any of our users: Please talk to your hearing aid dispenser/audiologist and encourage them to join our forum. The more heads we put together, the better for all of us.

I work in a automotive stamping plant which is about 90-100 decibles
when all the machines are running. Do you think I can run a program on
one of these aids and let them function like ear plugs?

I believe Savia has a mute mode that can be activated from the remote.Remember that for good “earplug” style attenuation (25 db) when muted, you don’t want an “open” configuration or even much of a vent (maybe none).Maybe someone knows if user installed “vent plugs” exist that could convert the instrument from work time use to low occlusion casual use.

Yes, that is a good point.

Even with the best features, if they are not configured properly, such as in this case acoustically, the features become worthless.

Hi Chris,

I’m currently wearing trial Seimen Centra SP for few weeks before I’m going to try Phonak Savia and then make up my mind on which one I’m going to buy.

I’m testing these two hearing aids in:

Sound clarity
Noise Reduction
Battery life
T-Switch Function between normal phone and mobile phone.

Seimen Centra SP are more powerful than the Phonak Savia just by about 5 db. A pair of seimen is $7600Aus and the phonak is $7000Aus

Please let know how did you go with these.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Please keep us updated of your progress and your rating in the 4 areas between the Centra and Savia…we are all very interested!!!

Thank you.