What should I try next after Phonak Audeo-B Direct 90?


#1

On my first consult, choice was immediately narrowed down to Audeo-B Direct, since I’m accustomed to using a Bluetooth earpiece on my left ear for Android phone calls. Now I’m dissatisfied with the Audeo-B Direct’s performance on phone calls in noisy places…my voice comes out mixed with noise at the other end. Fact is that I can still use BT earpiece in my left ear easily if I take out aid, and with some crowding share the ear with the aid. Or I think can get by with over-the-ear or on-ear BT headphones with mic (have to order a pair and try them). So I’m not compelled to switch to an iPhone, which I don’t want to do.

So now my question is, where to go next with my audiologist? Given that my Phonak experience has been decent so far, with little of the HA frustrations I commonly read and hear about, the obvious choice is the Audeo B-312 90. Or should I ask to try other brands? The audiologists’ featured brands are Phonak, Lyric, Starkey, ReSound, and Widex. Oticon lists them as a dealer but they don’t mention Oticon on their website. They’re a friendly, non-rushed practice with a very good local reputation. Price is not a primary concern. The Audeo B Direct 90’s are $5600/pair, and B-312 90’s are presumably the same.

One more thing: Listening to music while alone in the car is important to me. The Phonak’s Music program has been working pretty good so far. Still have to make some longer trips to fully evaluate it.


#2

Depends a lot on who you are. If you like trying different stuff and looking for “better,” try out different hearing aids. If not, go with the Audeo B-312 90. It should be less than the B 90 Directs and sounds pretty likely that it will work for you.


#3

One of the online places lists the B-312 for the same price as the B Direct, so I figured they’d be the same locally too.


#4

[NOTE: For some reason I got logged in on a very old account]

Most importantly, I recommend you switch to an iPhone, because as much as I despise Apple, the iPhone is, by far, the best for hearing impaired, with much better audio processing & routing, and a much more robust Bluetooth 4.2/Low Energy (“BLE”) stack. You can pick up an unlocked refurb iPhone 5S on eBay for $129. If you don’t want to switch phones, any iOS device with the lightning adapter, such as an iPad or iPod Touch 5 or higher, will also work well.

Just Thursday at a ReSound training session, the support audiologist was telling me of the constant “issues” with the Android platform, such as it only streaming music in mono. The workaround is to use a dongle (streamer), which can properly fix the A2DP 2.3 streaming problem; and also provide much improved transmitted audio due to the improved mic location, with directional mics. For Phonak, this would be the ComPilot II, and for ReSound, this would be the Phone Clip+

If you get good audiological performance out of your Phonak Audeo B90 Direct, I recommend sticking with them.

Otherise recommend the ReSound LiNX 3D #13 receiver-in-canal (RIC, the x62 chassis). They come in three flavors: 562, 762, and 962. The nice thing about ReSound’s 5th generation 2.4 gHz platform are the wireless accessories, especially the MultiMic, which is a vast improvement over the older Mini Mic.

Dan Schwartz
Auditory Associates
Atlanta


#5

The one I usually look at (Buyhear.com) shows a $600 difference ($3798 vs $3198)


#6

I would agree that if one wants streaming from iPhone and ability to take calls in stereo, getting an iPhone is the way to go. Who knows how long for Android to work things out. However, OP thought he could get by without and did not want to switch.


#7

Leaving BT issues aside, I’m starting to think that these aids aren’t helping with speech as much as they should. But I’m a new user so maybe my expectations are too high. At the supermarket (a big Wegmans with the usual background sounds, but not a “noisy” place I don’t think), the checker asked me whether I wanted a bottle of shampoo in a separate bag. I heard half of what she said, and figured out the rest from context. I probably heard more than I would have without the aids. But her voice didn’t jump out at me, and she was just a couple of feet away and I was looking at her. Is this expected for latest-technology advanced aids?

They’re set for 70% correction, and I’m using the auto sense program with volume 2 clicks up. My audiogram is there if you click on my avatar, even though the up arrow is missing.


#8

If they’re only set for 70%, you really can’t evaluate their effectiveness. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad to have them at 70% as you may very well have complained that they were way too loud if they’d been set up at full prescription. However, I don’t think any aid is going to make voices “jump out” at you from background noises


#9

Does raising the volume increase the effective % correction?


#10

Yes, but I don’t think it’s possible to know by how much.


#11

Ask if Auto Acclimatization is enabled. Usually, for first-time users, Phonak Target software defaults to 70% of prescribed gain. I usually start out new users at around 70% — 75%, and ratchet them up to 110% over 30 — 45 days or so.

If Auto Acclimatization has not been enabled, go back this week, ask her to look at the datalogger to see where your volume preferences lie, set the global gain to 80% of target, enable Auto Acclimatization, and set the end target for 110%.

Dan Schwartz
Auditory Associates
Atlanta
Editor, The Hearing Blog


#12

Really…110%??..


#13

I would always recommend the Bluetooth device. I had the Resound phone clip+ with the KS5.0 and now have the Rexton Smart Mic with the KS8.0. Both have high quality connections and high quality performance, plus you don’t have to get an iPhone, plus they open up all the other Bluetooth devices to you (laptops, tablets, Bluetooth transmitters, Panasonic Bluetooth phones, etc.). The Rexton has better sound quality but the Resound will connect to two phones at the same time.


#14

Does the Audeo B-312 offer the same possibilities?


#15

I believe they do, with the Phonak Com Pilot II?


#16

Most manufacturers targets tend to be underfit anyway. And in terms of intelligibility, adult targets are dramatically lower than child targets.


#17

I agree 100% what Neville said!


#18

After you’ve tried the Phonak Audeo-B Direct 90 at 110% acclimatization or whatever and if you’re still not happy with the speech clarity and have your heart set to try out another brand due to this and the Bluetooth issue, and if you’re willing to consider using an iPhone, the Oticon OPN may be a good candidate for your list, since that’s what you originally asked on this thread.

I found myself in the situation you described above very often before even with my previous hearing aids from Costco (Rexton CIC), granted they’re 6 years old technology by now. But with the Oticon OPN that I’m wearing now, speech clarity is hardly an issue for me anymore and I rarely have to half guess what people are saying to me now. Beside having a different usage paradigm, the OPN seems to be successful with speech clarity for many folks, me included.


#19

I bought an iPhone just so that I could get the Resound Linx3D direct to iPhone connectivity. For someone like me who uses their phone quite a bit, Apple’s Made for iPhone connectivity is a game changer. It’s that good.

Worth switching to iPhone IMHO…

Jordan


#20

Same with me. I had a Samsung Note 4 but switched to an iPhone to get the hearing aid connectivity. And it was worth it to me, too. I’d rather do that than go with a mono solution the Audeo B Direct offers. But some people are fiercely loyal to their Android phone and are willing to accept the mono solution.