Siemens Pure vs. Phonak Audeo - can't decide

Hey there,

This is my first post here, so please forgive me if it seems very naive. Actually, I live in Germany, but the forums which I found there do not seem as friendly and great as this one here is, so maybe someone of you can help me (or refer to another section, if that question has already been discussed; but I couldn’t find it).
My audiogram is currently at my audiologist, so I cannot post it, but I know that in general it’s the higher frecuencies I am missing. I am actually 27, but my doctor told me that my hearing would be “within normal parameters” if my age was about 50 years older… ok, so I went to an audiologist here in Germany who is actually really nice and helpful, takes a lot of time to explain me everything and lets me test the aids several weeks if I want to. So far, I tested two Siemens models and one from Phonak. The Siemens are the very new ones which just realeased on the market; that is Pure Primax 3px and 5px; right now I have the Audeo V70 in my ears. He also recommended me to wait for the newest Oticon model to arrive at the market (which I understood could be in about two weeks already?) to test these too.

However, I think I did now enter some kind of dilemma (one could maybe say “First World Problem”?? I am very aware that my situation is not very precarious, but choosing turns out to be really difficult), because there are some features which I like better about Phonak, while all in all I thought I preferred the Siemens).

First of all, maybe the least important feature, is the design of the bluetooth devices: I like the color and shape of the easyTek far better than the Phonak ComPilot. Since I usually were T-Shirts without any buttons etc, the ComPilot Air wouldn’t be much more comfortable, I think, because I don’t like the feeling of having something directly on my neck. I also think the small transmitter is way handier and more elegant than the TV Link.

Ok, but on to the really important features:
In comparison with the Siemens, I have the feeling that the Phonak speech processing works better for me. I can hear what people are saying even if they stand behind me or mumble. That is just great. Of course, the Siemens does this only slightly worse, but still worse.
Then, however, some other sounds do really annoy me now. For example, rustling papers or kitchen tools. Also, some female voices sound now very annoying and jarring to me. When I am outside, there are some sounds which do not sound any natural to me now, and sometimes even make me aggressive. All in all, thus, the Siemens experience was much more naturally and comfortable to me. I also like having more control: as brilliant and wonderful the Auto-program is, I prefer to click a button to change between “Speech” and “Music” etc.
But, the Phonak speech recognition still works just brilliantly; especially in a full train, or outside, etc.

Then, there is the thing about the domes. Okay, I could probably change to ear molds to solve this, but still: I think the Phonaks just fit better within my ear, and move less. On the other hand, I constantly feel them, and am always aware of them.

I also found it way more comfortable to have two buttons on every aid at the Siemens than just one on the Phonaks. I won’t carry the bluetooth devices around everywhere, so this is another advantage of Siemens. It’s just a bit easier to turn down the volume.

Now, the problem is: I am going to be a teacher. So, speech comprehension in noisy class rooms is essential for me. Right now, I am already teaching, but not on a very regular basis. So I couldn’t test the Phonak within the classroom yet. I do predict, however, that they will perform better than the Siemens, because there are some students which I still couldn’t understand with these ones the last time I gave class.

So, basically, I have to choose between comfort and better speech comprehension. What do you think? Is it worth to choose Phonak and just endure the shrill sounds I am perceiving, hoping to get used to them in a future; or should I stick to the Siemens and accept the fact that sometimes (of course, still way less than when I hadn’t had any aids at all) I still have to ask my familiy, friends and students to repeat what they said?
Or, and that is the other option my audiologist would let me take, should I test also the Oticon; but then run the risk that I will only complicate my choice further?

I hope, I managed to explain my dilemma to you in a rather understandable English.
I would be very grateful, if anyone who made similar experiences could tell me how they made their eventual choice in the end.
Also, I have already read a lot in this forum, which really helped me. I couln’t find a similar post, but if there is one, I would highly appreciate the reference to it.

Thank you so much in advance, and sorry to anyone who thinks my problem is just a luxury one. I am aware that many experiences more severe problems (that is the reason why I avoided on of the German forums I know, where some users would reply just this), but right now, this decision taking is really driving me mad.
As for what I read in other threads, there are so so many nice people here; and I hope some of you can help me.
Again, thanks!

The numbers associated with the aids indicate a “quality” level. There are 3 levels from all the companies that translate to entry, intermediate, and premium. They are the same aid with certain features disabled in lower levels. You should look at the fact sheets to see just what you get. The 3 is an entry level aid. The 5 and 7 are intermediate.

The paper rustling and annoying things are part of the process of getting use to aids. The mind will begin filtering these sounds which it hasn’t experienced in some time.

Tim, you are the only one who can decide for you. However, I was faced with a similar situation when deciding which aids to go with. One pair was more strident and one more easy listening. I was fortunate enough to have both pairs to trial at the same time and compare, and as I started that comparison made up my mind I’d go with the aids that helped me hear speech the best. I had had the more strident aids for more than 2 months when I got the others and was already adjusting to the paper crinkling, etc., to some degree, and after all the purpose of hearing aids is understanding speech better.

Unlike you I could not discern any difference in the way the different brands helped me with speech, but I still believe that the aids that help speech recognition the most are the way to go (unless of course they bother you so much you wouldn’t wear them).

Just reading your post, I get the impression the size and color of the bluetooth device is a lot more important to you than you’re admitting - it’s the first thing you mention. Maybe you need to sit down and think about whether that should be the case.

there are nice people on the forums in germany, too (myself, for instance).

You´ll have to judge for yourself. But please consider the following:

  • you could adjust the siemens “sharper”. When I tried the siemens binax with nal-nl2 fitting (for different reasons that don´t matter here), they sounded much more similar to phonak. The first fit usually aims at comfort
  • there are new siemens aids out (sivantos primax). I´d try those, too, especially if music is of importance for you. If you don´t want to try the new aids, be sure to get a good price on the old ones
  • becoming a teacher, I´d sure try the new oticon aids. If what they say in the advertizing is true (clear speech for all in the room, not only for one person), this is exactly what you need as a teacher.
  • if you are not yet finished with your studies, visit a school and try the aids there. Or visit other crowded places where you have to talk to different people (a pub would be a good idea) and see how the aids do
  • as has been said before, also try the top-of-the line aids

I usually post at , if you want some opinions from Germany.



Thanks for all your wonderful answers!

I think you helped me a lot by a) telling me that it is up to me and b) by sharing your experiences.
As pointed out by tribalrose, it is indeed true that actually I consider the bluetooth devices to be important. This is maybe why I secretly hoped, so to say, the Phonak to be worse… but they aren’t and now I have this dilemma :wink:
I don’t think it is very reasonable to favour the Siemens just because the easyTek is better designed than the the ComPilot (since their functions are really comparable!).

I was afraid my description would directly aim at the Phonak to be better, because of the better speech recognition (it makes me think, it is the more reasonable choice). It is just that Siemens just felt cooler. But, yes, it makes me struggle now.

I know about the different technology levels; this is why I first tested the Siemens 3px to then change to the 5px. Next, I wanted the Phonak on a comparable level (the Pure 5px and the Audeo V70 cost virtually the same). The Premium ones are maybe a little to expensive for me, considering I was living rather well (but of course with misunderstanding) without any at all. As soon as I have it, I will post my audiogram :slight_smile:

So, if the configurations could make the Siemens more similar to the Phonak, that would be to put them sharper? What exactly to I have to ask for? I am sure, my audiologist would do just as I request. He’s really nice.

Thanks to you, too, Musician_72. I am sorry, if I misexpressed myself, I wasn’t going to offend German forums in general (I just made a bad experience in a medical forum some years ago; and maybe I overgeneralized my reservations).
Thanks for the tip about the Schwerhoerigenforum - I think I will post there tomorrow!!

So, you think testing the new Oticon in two weeks wouldn’t add another complication in my decision making? At least, there wouldn’t be another issue with the bluetooth devices, since I understand you won’t need an intermediary device.
Do you know, by coincidence, how many buttons the new Oticon will have? I have noticed that the button for turning-down the volume is one thing that I really am missing.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks for all that kindness!


of course will testing another aid add a complexity to your decision process. But if you hear better in the end it´s worth it, isn´t it?

Here is a paper about the phonak fitting formula:

What a fitting formula is is described here (in german):

Siemens uses yet another fitting formula. What I was trying to say: If you use the same formula for both, they will sound almost identical. I had the impression that siemens with nal-nl2 sounds almost like phonak, and in the phonak paper they say that the phonak-formula is similar to nal-nl2 for moderate losses (which I have and you probably too). So before discarding the siemens, you could use a more agressive fitting. Also you should ask the fitting to be verified by real-ear-measurements (auf deutsch: In-Situ-Messung).

Last but not least: Make a speech test to compare both aids.

As for oticon: I have a bernafon (which is almost the same aid, different software), they will probably come with one button. Left aid: volume down, right aid: volume up. Medium long and long press can be assigned differently (program change for instance). The rocker of the siemens aid is better, but the oticon-button is still useful.


Most of the different brands of hearing aid come in different sizes in the behind the ear/receiver in canal aids. The ones with the smallest batteries are not able to fit both volume and program buttons on the aids. The larger battery version has both sets of buttons so you could look at the size difference and see if the slightly bigger size is worth it to have more controls on the HAs. You could do this with most brands. There are also lots of other ways to control the volume or program changes eg. Via a remote control, a streamer or an app on a phone in conjunction with the streamer. After you accustomise to wearing HAs you may find you don’t need to change either volume or program very much if at all.

I also find the Phonak very good for speech and very comfortable in my ears (V90 312T with open domes). I had difficulty with ReSound domes slipping out and being uncomfortable. It is important that whichever ones you choose you are comfortable wearing them or they will tend not to get used. I do understand what you say about the streamers. I tried very hard to make the Resound aids work for me because I really loved the direct connectivity with all my iOS devices. I decided not to try the Phonak streamer because I really could not see myself wearing it. I like my jewelry too much and women’s clothes are not very compatible with wearing streamers. I did get the Easycall II which attaches to my phone via a custom Phonak case. It is very clear but I don’t absolutely need it because my iPhone is quite clear without it and has volume to spare for me.

The different manufacturers allow the audiologists to pick the fitting formula they prefer so you should be able to try NAL- NL2 with any of them. I used it for the Resound HAs and my audiologist compared it to the Phonak formula with the V90s and adjusted as she felt warranted.

It sounds like you have the most crucial part sorted - an audiologist wiling and able to program the different aids. I think it is quite an advantage to have choice and be able to try different brands. Good luck.

Thank you so much for all that information. I will ask about that nal-nl2 formula, then!
After having read your first replies yesterday, I gave it another thought over-night. And I came to the conclusion that there is just something about the Phonak which I don’t like. I can’t really say why that is… maybe it really has to do with the design, the bluetooth, the button, etc. But, honestly I couldn’t tell.
I am really grateful to all your explanations, and for the links to the German boards, too (@Musician_72). How many forums are there? Wow, I am really flashed.
Tomorrow I am in the university, and I will also have to teach. So I plan to try the Phonak there, and then speak to my audiologist on Wednesday. Let’s see what he thinks about trying different formulas etc.
Btw, he told me he will have the new Oticon on June 13. Unfortunately, I have to travel just the day after (attending a conference abroad) and will be gone for ten days. That schedule is of course somehow unfortunate; and I must admit that I started the whole thing a bit too naive. I had no idea about the whole world of hearing aids, and I initially thought it would be more like buying glasses.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Being a little tech geek, I really like that, and I think it’s fun to read about that and test different aids. But of course, it is really exhausting too. I think you understand me.

So again many many thanks for all that good advice. I will keep you updated.

Hi everyone,

I felt it’s time for a quick update. At the end, I decided to turn back the Phonak. I just didn’t feel well with them. And my audi said, after hearing my description, I would probably not be happy with them.
I now got the Pure Primax 7px by Siemens/Sivantos/Signia. And I really like them. As soon as I put them into my ear, I felt like changing back to “my hearing aids” so to say; the feeling was comparable to get into my own car, to type with my own phone etc. It just felt right.

Today, I got back for some more adaptions, and I mentioned the formula nal-nl2. So we changed it, and WOW! Everything sounds so much different now. It is awesome. I am not sure yet if better though; I am still in a testing phase. But everything is louder, clearer, and perceivable. Now my brain has so many things to get used to, it is really really cool. Traffic noise, air conditioners, people in a mall: there are so many sounds everywhere. I like it to be able to “turn them off” just via a click in my hearing aids, but it is good to know that now I can hear it.

Nevertheless, paper rustling, high pitch voices etc, do not seem as jarring and annoying to me as they did when I tried the Phonak. So I think, I will stick to the Siemens now. Knowing that there are SO many options one can test, this testing period could really last forever. Let’s wait till I will teach again next week, so maybe that will be THE experience.

However, I dediced to give the Oticon Opn a try, too - immediately after returning from my journey in the end of June. And then, hopefully, I can decide which ones to go with.

Thanks to everyone for their help again. If anyone wants to share their experience regarding Oticon Opn vs Siemens/Signia Primax, I would really appreciate that.

Oh, and here is my audiogram! Can anybody explain me how to transfer this into numbers I can put in my forum-signature like so many of you do, too? I am not quite sure how to include the two different curves (bone vs. air), because at my left ear the conductive hearing loss is essential (due to a damage to my ear drum I had as a child). Thank you so much!

Have you tried the Oticon Opn and if so, how does it compare to the Primax 7? I’ve been told the Opn is really good in crowds but so is the Primax 7. Thanks.

Hi, yes I did. Eventually I decided for the Primax. The OPN are really very good though, but didn’t fit right into my life. In many situations I found both manufacturers to be quite equal, but especially in class, when I am teaching, I liked Siemens better. Also when several people are talking to me: the opn focusses on all voices simultaneously, but that’s not really quite as good as the Siemens speech master, in my opinion. However, I would recommend everyone to test both devices if they have the ability to do so. It was certainly no easy decision.


Thank you, Tim. This technology is so new you are the first person I have found who has tried both. I appreciate you sharing your experience. Thanks again.