Lalo, I am trying PhonaK S Smart IX at the same time as Starkey Wi’s. Overall, I like the Phonak better but it has problems for me, too. The SurfLink works on a different frequency than iCom, so it does not work as well at distances and through walls. If you are line-of-site with the SurfLink you can hear the TV or what ever is connected to the SL, but if you go into a different room the sound goes away. With Phonak I can hear in a different room. Not a big deal but if you’re like me and walk away from the TV when the news is on, it’s better with the Phonak iCom. There is no neckloop with the SL but I don’t find the neckloop a problem with Phonak. My SurFlink with remote cost about $500 and it does not have BT. That’s another $200; whereas the iCom cost $400 and I get the TV Link, remote and BT. The Starkey Wi’s HA’s are about $8oo more.
I think the Phonak is better with noise in that there is a lot less of it in normal situations. I think wind noise and feedback is better with Phonak, although it’s only a little better. The BT is excellent with Phonak but haven’t tried it with Starkey. The problem that I have with Phonak is voices, particularly low female voices. Again I think the Starkey is marginally better but this is important and I’m still working with the audi on this issue. I have not made up my mind yet but I like the Phonak.
At first the Phonak sounded tinny but my audi has improved that.
I think you should try the Phonak, if you have the opportunity and the time. What difference does it make that the CEO got fired. That is a business decision for the company and probably has nothing to do with the product.
I’m trying to get my audi to let me try the Oticon Agil Pro, but don’t know if that will work out. I think this is a big investment and my HA’s have lasted 5 years in the past so I’d like to do a through evaluation. Obviously there are differences between the manufacturer’s technologies and there are different preference for each individual, so I think it’s better to try at least two different products.