Resound Omnia vs Phonak Lumity

As many of you know, I’ve spent the last two weeks testing the new Phonak Lumity Audeo L90-RT hearing aids and I’ve posted my ongoing comments in another thread. My audiologist has now fitted me with the new Resound Omnia RU961-DRWC rechargeable hearing aids so that I could do a direct comparison. I’m starting a new thread so that I can post my comments comparing the two products.

Both the Lumity and Omnia hearing aids I am testing are their highest level (Premium) version and both are mini BTE’s with double domes. The RIC’s are just the standard receivers (not using Resound M&RIE or Phonak Activent).

The fitting went fairly well and my audiologist did a thorough REM test and adjusted the settings accordingly. Setup on my iPhone was identical to my older Resound Quattro 9’s where you pair the hearing aids via the iPhone Accessibility settings screen and then the Resound’s Smart 3D app. As I’ve stated in my Lumity review, the Resound Smart3D app is really simple and easier to use than the myPhonak app.

The biggest difference is there is a new program within the app called “Front Focus”. I believe this is Resound’s new UltraFocus mode that is only available in the 9-series Omnia. There are a bunch of pages and a white paper describing how it works but it appears to be a direct competitor to Phonak’s StereoZoom. Microphones are focused forward for the speech frequency range, noise reduction is ramped up and there is a bunch of extra processing that goes on. I tried this out at the grocery store on the way home from the audiologist and it worked fairly well with a conversation a had with the person behind the deli counter. In all honestly, it felt like Phonak StereoZoom. The user experience was high noise reduction with clearer speech from the person you are facing. I also noticed that when I went back to the automatic mode, it kicked back in automatically.

Sound was natural feeling but my initial impressions over the first few hours were that the environment sounds a little deader compared to the Phonak Lumity. With Lumity, the environment comes alive. With Omnia, it’s a more comforting sound environment. Maybe Resound designed the hearing aids like this by choice to accommodate older users who don’t like all the environmental clatter. Not sure what is going on but everything does sound a little less lively. Same goes for Music. Sounds like there is less bass and less punch. Could be this is adjustable and I will discuss this with my audiologist in a few weeks.

There are also interesting differences with the bluetooth connectivity. Omnia uses Apple’s MFi integration which works well. That being said, Omnia will only connect natively to iPhone and Android. There is no Windows bluetooth classic integration so you still need a Phone Clip+ to connect to your Windows or Mac laptops (Lumity doesn’t need this). The one nice change with Omnia (and I think Resound One) is that you no longer are required to use the iPhone’s microphone for phone conversations. If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you can keep the iPhone in your pocket and use the hearing aid microphones speaking . You can also revert back to the iPhone’s microphone if you are in a noisy environment. Apple’s Live Listen function is still there too. Another nice thing is that I already own a Resound Phone Clip+ and Resound Unite TV Streamer (that came with my Quattro 9’s) and both work with Omnia too. This means I don’t have to buy any new accessories. I do wish Omnia connected to my Windows laptop without the Phone Clip+. I will have to use the Phone Clip+ to connect to my MacBook Pro and Peloton Bike…which isn’t required with Lumity.

Battery life is supposed to be better than Lumity. Resound says 30 hours with streaming but I will see over the next few days if these claims are correct. AND YES! The charger has a battery for charging on the go!

I’ve just been wearing Omnia for a few hours. I will post more comments after I’ve had a chance to try them out in a few different environments. Lumity was pretty darn good so it will be interesting to see how Omnia stacks up.

Jordan

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I’m a fellow Omnia 7 bimodal with nucleus 7 user… don’t have much to say about it but it has a more sensitive microphone

also, the omnia has bluetooth 5.3. This makes the omnia ready for the bluetooth 5.2 LE audio upgrade soon, probably just need firmware update to support the LE Audio and you probably need to buy new computer/hardware that support bluetooth 5.2 or higher

Do you have trouble disengaging resound 2.4 ghz streaming devices via button on the omnia but can engage it fine

@JordanK , Thank you for your posts. To me, these head-to-head comparisons between brand-new, state of the art HAs are some of the most useful posts. Especially when the poster makes detailed and nuanced comments like you do. Please keep it up and know that you are appreciated!

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I think the Lumity fitting algorithm is close to NAL-NL2. In his Hearing Tracker YouTube review of the Lumity, IIRC, Matthew Allsop makes mention of this and says, in his opinion, that NAL-NL2 is the Gold Standard for performance (see my link to his YouTube video in the Lumity thread on the forum). I thought I heard, too, that ReSound was migrating to that. But an equivalence test would be to ask your audiologist if your Omnias are using anything akin to NAL-NL2. It is an option in the “Target Rule(s)” for fitting.

I have Experienced Non-Linear user experience settings in play for both fitting algorithms below.

My fit with NAL-NL2 for Quattro

My fit with ReSound’s Audiogram+, ReSound’s preferred fit for the Quattros

As you can see, for ReSound’s Audiogram+ fit, there is relatively less amplification of the high frequencies, which in my experience leads to less clarity and less “sparkling” high frequency sounds. That’s why I use NAL-NL2 with the Quattros and I think I get better speech recognition than when using Audiogram+.

You might ask your audi to show you similar comparative screens for your Lumity fit vs. your Omnia fit. That might enable you to see if it’s something in the fitting algorithm between brands that’s causing the hearing difference for you and the improvement with the Lumity vs. the Omnia.

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Lumity has NAL 1, NAL2 and APD 2.0 and more.
Default is APD 2.0.

I personally use NAL 1.

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I think audiogram+ takes a look at the useful gain and applies the perfect amount… the gain on the resound omnia with UP which is 100hz to 5khz and ignores the rest of the high freq, 5khz to 8khz…

Thanks for this information @jim_lewis. I think this is exactly what I am experiencing when I swap between the Phonak Lumity and Resound Omnia hearing aids. Omnia is good but the environment around me just sounds so much more alive with the Lumity hearing aids. My speech recognition is also better with Lumity. It’s not bad with Omnia but it sounds a bit muffled or over processed at times. Music is also much better on Lumity. With Omnia, music sounds like the low and high end frequencies are missing.

After wearing the Quattro’s for a number of years, I also felt that Resound was always a bit too aggressive with noise reduction in the automatic mode and you would often be in an environment where speech was a bit muffled. Going into the app and turning off noise reduction usually fixed it but I always got the feeling that Resound’s software was heavily biased towards comfort (for older users) vs taking in the full sound environment (which is what I want).

Another thing I believe that doesn’t work well for me with Resound is their approach Binaural Directionality (now called All Access Directionality with Omnia). The hearing aids basically put one hearing aid’s microphones in forward directional mode (for speech understanding) and the other hearing aid’s microphones in fully open or non-directional mode for environmental awareness. With Quattro, they used to always use the right hearing aid for directional because they claimed the right ear was closely connected to the speech comprehension part of the brain. The left always got used as the open/environmental hearing aid. This didn’t work well for me because my word recognition score on the right is much lower than the left and when the hearing aids were in this mode, speech recognition actually dropped. The Omnia’s are supposed to do the same thing but I think they now change sides depending on where the sound is coming from. Hence the name “All-Access-Directionality”. I’ll have to play around with different sound environments wearing Omnia to see if this works better for me.

I’d be interested to understand if anyone else feels that some hearing aids (i.e. Resound) have software that is more biased towards comfort (for older people) vs other hearing aids (Phonak?) which are more open and geared to people who want better awareness of everyone around them. Could be it’s what Jim says. It’s the initial fit algorithm that the fitting software defaults too.

Jordan

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The Lumity Life version comes with the “Charger Case Go” with a battery for charging on the go. I ordered the Life for its additional waterproof protection, but mostly because of the Charger Case Go. :slightly_smiling_face: It wasn’t that much more expensive.

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Apologies if you have already addressed my question… have you considered trialing Oticon MORE as well? From what you say you might like the Oticon approach. And it would be just great to have your views on the pros and cons of Lumity versus More.

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In case anyone is interested, here is a photo comparing the Resound Omnia and Phonak Lumity hearing aids that I am currently testing.

Jordan

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I realise you’ll likely not choose based on comfort etc but which one sits better on/in your ears?

They both seem to feel the same. Only thing I will say is that my audiologist still makes you wear a mask in his office. When I removed the mask yesterday after getting fitted for Omnia, the elastics on the mask got caught on both hearing aids. Not sure why other than the Omnia hearing aids stick up at the top a bit.

Jordan

The Matthew Allsop statement that I was thinking of is at 14:55 in his Hearing Tracker YouTube Lumity Review:

APD 2.0 is Phonak’s new and improved fitting formula,

14:58

which I am pleased to say,

14:59

is closer to the traditional NAL-NL2

15:02

that really is the gold standard in terms of targets

15:05

that we as audiologists need to match

15:07

during real-ear measurements.

Link to that 14:55 time in Allsop’s YouTube video review:

But when you look at the Phonak Pro description of APD 2.0, it seems like the NAL-NL2 approximation in APD 2.0 is mainly for mild to moderate hearing loss in the high-frequency range, not severe or profound loss.

I think there are three features of Phonak that ReSound may not have implemented in the Omnia. One is the dynamic compression of APD 2.0, where the amount of amplification compression applied is adjusted on the fly according to the sound environment and the beginning and end of speech passages. Then there is the Speech Enhancer function where just the low sounds in a soft voice, not the mid, and loud passages are selectively amplified(14:31 in the Allsop video), and the third thing might be as you say, Jordan, that Omnia attempts more of a Oticon More “All-Around” environment whereas it does seem like Stereo Zoom is more of Phonak’s favorite mode, funneling you, unless you’re moving, into concentrating on speech in front of you. I might be wrong but in the past critics of Phonak sound processing felt trapped in a bubble because of the tendency to forward focus, critics of More heard too much all-around to cope with, and ReSound was trying to straddle the somewhere in between and maybe neither succeeding brilliantly at either extreme. There was some other possible advantage of Phonak’s APD 2.0 algorithm, but it escapes me right now. I’ll add it later if it comes back to me.

Phonak’s White Paper on APD 2.0:

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OK, I also have that Charger Case Go. It’s the cradle that I put these Lumity Life aids in every night. I typically have that case plugged into the wall, but had read somewhere that this cradle also holds a charge for like 3 days, so that I could charge up my aids on the road without plugging it in.

Is that your understandinf of the Charger Case Go as well?

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The Phonak website states that you will be able to charge your hearing aids up to 3 times on the go with this charger case. I assume that means 3 full charges on 3 different days, or more partial charges if you charge them intermittently.

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OK! That’s where I got the number 3. Wow. That is good news to file away.

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Now I have a question for you @1Bluejay, if you would be so kind to offer your opinion. I just finished speaking to my audiologist. He said the Lumity Life is quite a bit larger than the other Lumity models–so much larger that I might not want it. He is going to get a dummy so I can see how big it is. What do you think?


Life is on the left. Standard rechargeable on the right.

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Thank you, Louie! Your pictures are very helpful!

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Wonder why it’s so much bigger? Might be an issue for people who wear glasses.

Jordan

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