Thoughts on the Bernafon Zerena 9 at Costco?


#1

The Bernafon Zerena 9 is supposedly the model closest to the Oticon OPN-1 available at Costco. I demo’d the OPN1 and was very happy with it but it was far out of my budget.

I liked the Zerena 9 during my brief time with them, but I have seen little feedback on them. Does anyone have them?


#2

I don’t wear the Zerena 9, I wear the OPN 1. From what I can tell, they may have the same frequency lowering technology for better speech understanding, but the Zerena 9 doesn’t share the “open” paradigm and the associated OpenSound navigator sound processing that comes with the OPN.

If I have to guess, I would guess that the Zerena 9 is probably similar to the Sonic Enchant 100. You can search for the Enchant 100 review that I wrote on this forum and maybe infer things about the Zerena 9 from it.


#3

My wife has the Zerena’s from Costco and also trialed a different aid from her Audi. I don’t remember any more what that was but she is absolutely happy with here Zerena’s. For her they have been life changing.


#4

I’ve had the Zerena’s since February and like them very much. They replaced a pair of Brio IIs that I purchased because I got tired of waiting for Bernafon to come out with new aids. I loved the Brio’s sound but wanted to listen to books on my iPad and iPhone without something clipped on me that I constantly misplaced. The Zerenas fit the bill. I like the sound, they connect with my devices and since I got the ones with the telecoil, I can understand the dialogue of,our resident theater performances.
The only negative is that they come in boring colors unlike my earlier Bernafons which were available in apple green, blue, red and my personal favorite red with fire breathing


#5

I’ve had mine for about a month. Had Phonak Audeo q90’s, with the ComPilot previously.

The good:
“Live Music” setting is far superior for hearing what is going on when I play acoustic guitar. The Audi was never able to fix the terrible sound I was getting in that situation with the Phonaks.
The “Music at home/tv” does work well for just that - much better clarity while watching TV without a remote mic.
Better “in noise” performance - noisy restaurants, etc. Just last night I was pleased to hear my wife clearly at dinner, while she was the one asking “What?” all the time, for once.

The not-so-good:
I hear a slight background “hiss” in all settings (except Auditorium - see below) if there is even faint ambient noise, louder as the volume is increased. Techs at Costco are stumped. My theory is mic gain is too high, while the amplifier to the speakers is too low, but that doesn’t seem to compute with what the 2 different techs seem to understand about how to configure the HA’s. Maybe I am just hearing even more than I did before with the Phonaks.
Streaming volume and reproduction is terrible, except in the “Auditorium (Telecoil)” setting, where it is acceptable. Not as good as the Phonaks, but I accept that no HA can be the equivalent of good headphones. The Auditorium setting turns off the mics, so poor for hearing the outside world, and can produce an electronic humm in some situations. I’ve been told it is not really for use except with a telecoil. Unknown whether there is a program like it that is optimized for streaming.


#6

I have experienced this hiss on the low frequencies when I set my OPN and the Sonic Enchant 100 that I reviewed when I set them in directional mode (to focus on the front sounds). My audi has no idea why either. But I read up on it and apparently this is a well known drawback of using strong directional settings for hearing aids. It’s been covered in published papers on hearing aids.

You don’t show what your audiogram is, but I’m guessing that you have good enough hearing in the low frequencies to be able to hear this hiss.


#7

I assume that you wear open domes due to adequate hearing in the low frequencies (just a guess). This will cause the low frequency sounds from streaming to leak out of the open domes, making the audio sounds tinny. One way to improve it is to wear a more enclosed dome with much smaller vent(s).


#8

I have fitted a lot of the RICs (still waiting to fit the ITE’s). No complaints about the aids. Only issue reported is having the app connected to the aids can cause higher battery drain on the phone. This has meant the remote has been popular. The TV Streamer also works well.
Fantastic service from the manufacturer (in England)
Agree with the colour thing although only one patient has wanted anything not in the current colour palette.