Stepping up from Phonak Marvel to Paradise (Long)

With each new generation of hearing aids I always hoped that THIS would finally be the one that “fixed” my hearing. Obviously, I’ve gotten used to disappointment.

But I’m definitely impressed with this upgrade. It really feels like a several-generation jump. Although I have to mention that I’ve also gone from power domes to a fully-occluded ear mold, and I’m sure that contributes a lot of the improvement. Between the two, I find that I’m understanding a LOT more of what people are saying to me - to the point that friends have commented that I suddenly seem to be hearing much better.

I used the P90s with power domes for a week or two while the custom molds were being made, but I don’t remember enough detail at this point to be able to say with certainty what difference each change made, so I’ll try to concentrate here on things that are specific to the hearing aids themselves.

Bluetooth
The improved Bluetooth connectivity is wonderful. I can sit down at my computer and my ears connect automatically in place of the speakers. But my (Android) phone is still connected, so I can take cell phone calls by just tapping my ear. The Bluetooth range doesn’t seem to be markedly improved, though; streaming still sometimes cuts out and in when my phone is in my pants pocket, and it flips between stereo and mono. Walking with the phone in my hand cures that.
The remote control app in the phone used to be next to useless, because most of the time getting it to connect would take restarting the aids and sometimes the app too. In most cases it just wasn’t worth the trouble - and I didn’t want to abandon the other people at the table and disappear into my phone to play with it. Now, using the same phone, the app is almost always available when I want it (well, within 5 or 10 seconds, but it doesn’t need my attention during that time), and I use it a lot to try out other programs or make adjustments in the current program.

Noise Suppression
The ability of these aids to suppress environmental noise is amazing. Especially in car mode. My partner used to have to speak very loudly to be heard in the car. We made an 800 mile road trip last week, and while I still had to make a point of speaking up to be heard, she did not. In fact, I understood a few mumbles that weren’t meant for me to hear. When we stopped for a break, I found myself checking the dashboard to see if the car was running, because the engine noise was suppressed into silence.
I’m sitting on my porch as I write this, and my neighbor is mowing his lawn. Normally that would drive me inside within a minute or two. Today I heard a mower, but until I looked up, I assumed it was somewhere else in the neighborhood. I have previously tried noise-cancelling headphones to deal with his mower, but of course I’d have to turn the aids off too, to avoid feedback. Amazingly, these aids don’t need to be turned off to use over-the-ear headphones. Although I suppose the ear molds have to get at least some of the credit for that.

Acoustic Phone
I kept a headset plugged into the phone in my office, because even at max volume, I usually couldn’t make out what the caller was saying. The headset helped a lot. I no longer use that because the Acoustic Phone mode in the P90s works better. It boosts the phone frequencies and sharpens up the sound, and - best of all - sends the voice to both ears. Now I no longer have to run to the office to talk on the phone - I can pick up any extension.

Rechargable
I have always been leery of non-replaceable rechargeable batteries, especially in hearing aids. I’m not at all confident that they won’t quit on me halfway through an evening out, leaving me with no option but to go home. The rechargeable trial pair I was using usually got through a whole day (with some streaming), but the right one (the Bluetooth side) gave out around 10:30 PM a couple of times. And I assume those were fairly new. After a couple of years…?
I like the security of a spare battery in my pocket, so I decided to get P90-13s, even though I had to give up the double-tap. (Next paragraph.)

Accelerometer
With the P90Rs I could double-tap my ear to answer the phone - more convenient than holding the button down. I could also double-tap and ask “How many ounces is 3.3 liters?” or “How is the traffic on I-40?” and get the answer. That came in handy a few times, but the assistant would very often get triggered by something like putting my glasses on, and answer some random question I hadn’t asked. A lot less handy. Downright annoying, actually. But I did very much like being able to double-tap my other ear to pause/resume the audiobook I was listening to. That was very handy when I wanted to stop and speak with someone. I will miss that.

So that has been my experience with the Phonak Paradise P90s. My speech comprehension in all situations has been greatly improved (Thank you, Phonak!), and the “convenience” factors (environmental noise reduction, Bluetooth, etc.) are a lot better too. Hearing loss still sucks, but not nearly as badly as it did a few months ago.

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I am usually first on the block to get the latest and greatest and agree that Paradise does have some interesting new gimmicks. But I am convinced that hearing better is not one of the new features. Different molds or domes yes may make a difference. With proper adjustments Marvels are as good.

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Great review! Thanks! I’ll have to try car mode. Hadn’t even looked for that!

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Thanks. I want to follow this conversation.
I have a lot to learn (I’ve used Phonak HA for about9 years. My current ones are troubling me.)
Dave

Phonak, by default, sets the right side H/A as the master, and if you have your phone in your left side or back pocket, that could be your problem.
I don’t think you can change it yourself, but your audi can, if that is the problem.

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Thanks, flashb1024: As it happens, I do keep my phone in my right-hand pocket. It is a Galaxy Note 8, which is, I suppose, getting a little long in the tooth at this point - maybe a newer phone would help. (Of course, now that I’ve bought new hearing aids, that may have to wait a bit longer.)

Is it unusual for the Phonak aids to not maintain a strong Bluetooth link to a phone in the pants pocket?

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I don’t currently wear Phonak, but I had trialed the Audeo Marvel last year, and had no problem with Bluetooth streaming, even across a room.
From this link, you’ll find the Note 8 is quite robust, so I doubt the phone is the problem
Perhaps other users can step up, here.

Bluetooth doesn’t travel very well through your body. Also the ariel in your phone is most likely near the top. I certainly found that keeping the phone upright, closer and on the same side as the HA that receives made a difference after a lot of experimentation.
That was with Oticon Mores. My Phonaks are much better and much less fussy in that regard. Position your phone accordingly and you may get a better experience. Good luck.

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I stream Bluetooth from my Android phone (Pixel 3XL) in my left pants pocket to my Marvels all the time. I had my audi change the master HA from right to left, and that helped with connectivity, though I still get occasional dropouts. When it’s not too warm, I wear a jacket and put the phone in a chest pocket, and that eliminates the issues.

I tend to wear cargo shorts, and have found the connection is a little worse if the phone is in a (side) cargo pocket rather than in a front pocket… Not surprising, but wanted to point out that little changes like that can make noticeable improvements.

As others have said, Bluetooth doesn’t travel well through your body. I also find the connection is more reliable from my pocket when I’m indoors, presumably because there are so many walls and other surfaces the signal can bounce off of to get to the HAs.

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When I got new hearing aids in 2016. then it was topical Naida Q (quest), for me it was a big step for the better. I came home and my brother was saying something outside, the sound was a little distorted but I didn’t mind, I was surprised that I understood him much better.
Now he would like to buy new hearing aids, Naida Paradise, because he would like to improve his speech comprehension, mostly because of his speech comprehension in a foreign language. It’s hard for me to recognize what exactly he says on youtube, for example. . I hope that Naida Paradise will allow me to do this and that I can adjust the sound if necessary to make it better understandable and if it is a little distorted.

I experimented with the “equalizer” applications tried to adjust to make the sound flowing better understood but it helped a bit. I think the problem is that the hearing aid ultimately determines what I hear, because it has its limit to which it emits sound at what frequency.
I believe that Naida paradise can allow me to have the audiologist adjust it better and if I want I can adjust it myself.

The only thing that is not clear to me, if I go for a REM hearing test. Will I be able to change the sound at home on the existing settings if I get Noalink-wireless. I hope the current settings can be loaded into Phonak Target?

There is a lot of information on this topic in the Self Fitting section of the forum.
The DIY crowd will guide you through the steps , but basically:

  1. Connect Noahlink to PC
  2. Start target program
  3. Connect H/A’s.

Target will ask you to load the H/A settings, and save them.
Start a session with a new client, and have fun!
Go back to original settings anytime.

Look for the selection box at the upper left of the forum home page where it shows All Catagories.
Scroll down to Hearing Aid Self Fitting and Adjustment.

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I have a Galaxy Note 10+ and have problems with it cutting out if I put the phone in my pocket. I keep it upside down, don’t know if that makes a difference.

I do keep the phone on the right side (the Bluetooth side), but the natural way to orient it in the pocket is upside down. I haven’t yet had a good chance to try out the idea of putting it in there with the top of the phone up, but am looking forward to trying that. Thanks to all for the suggestions.

Thanks for the review. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Marvels…my only beef really is the one device bluetooth.
That double tap feature sounds really appealing too…but like you I’m not ready for rechargeable. I like my full week on one battery…and (instant recharge) on my keychain!
I haven’t had the issues you did with understanding with them, and I absolutely NEVER go into the phone app to change programs…then things are seamless for my needs…but those features you’ve outlined have me looking forward to the future…

I’ve had my M90-RT Marvels for a couple of years and am very pleased with them. The only issues:
– when I’m in confined quarters, i.e. close to a wall on the left side, the left h/a whistles. I can precipitate the same thing by cupping my left hand close to the ear. It does not happen on the right.
– Sometimes the left side will drop out during a phone call. Moving around will usually get it back.
– One pocket of the charger is misbehaving. I will sometimes remove the h/a after overnight charging and if I don’t quickly pull it straight out, the solid light will remain on rather than the h/a going into operation. I’ve also had blinking light come on and remain. Usually if I replace it in the charger for a few seconds, then pull it straight out again, it will cycle into the operational mode as it should.

Feedback……
Have you replaced your domes? If not try replacing them. Might be able to get one size larger dome to stop this or ask your fitter about the feedback.

Do you use a hearing aid dryer? The charger issues could be from moisture.

I don’t use a dryer; never have (we have very low humidity in Arizona!) Also, with rechargeables they go from one’s ears into the charger, so not much opportunity for them to sit in a dryer. I have replaced the domes and the wax traps. More telling is that I’ve swapped the h/a’s and the same thing happens when my right h/a is placed in my left ear; it does not occur when that h/a is situated where it belongs, at right. So I am thinking that I may have some impacted wax in that left ear which is reducing the volume of the chamber within which the amplified sound is directed. I see my audi next week so will bring it up then. Thanks for the suggestions.

I have had no issues with Bluetooth and my aids. I can carry my phone in any pocket. Pants, jacket, cycling jersey and Bluetooth works fine. Might be your older phone.

P70R
Motorola Zoom

Jim

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I thought that the Phonak charger had a place for a silica-gel dryer insert. I see pictures that show a round part with multiple small holes, which I assume is for the dryer insert.

Update: the pictures to which I referred are for the “genuine Phonak” charger. I do not see that part with the multiple small holes in the pictures of the Costco version, but it looks as though one could just drop one of those dessicant capsules in the charger anyway.

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You may be right. I received it from VA with no instructions or option for such a dryer, and had wondered about something made to fit that would go into that part in the charger lid. Also, the smaller silvery disc between the two h/a sockets – I press down on it to keep the charger from moving while pulling out each hearing aid with the other hand. If it has some other purpose, it beats me, lol.