Phonak is a Swiss hearing aid manufacturer whose history can be traced back to the foundation of the “AG für Elektroakustik” with corporate headquarters in Zurich by a French-Belgian group of investors. Their driving force is their commitment to understanding the challenges faced by people who live with hearing loss, and to improving the quality of their lives. They measure their success by the positive impact that their technologies have on the ability to communicate and enjoy life’s rich sound-scape.
They are part of the Sonova group. Sonova also owns the hearing aid manufacturer Unitron. Phonak rank within the top 3 hearing aid manufacturers in the world and their products are often favoured by audiologists. Their technology is arguably the best in the world and their product design is innovative. They have been in business for over 50 years and are represented in more than 100 countries worldwide. The full range of Phonak hearing aids is available in our hearing aid centres in Stillorgan and Fairview, Dublin, and Ardee & Letterkenny and clinics across Ireland.
As announced on our news section, Phonak launched their latest hearing aid range which they call Paradise during a virtual global launch event on August the 20th 2020. It is completely new both outside and inside, although you would have to take a very close look to spot the exterior changes. As is normal with Phonak, the first hearing aid styles to be launched will be the Audeo (Receiver In Canal) range.
While the exterior changes are cosmetic in nature and are difficult to see unless you had a Marvel and Paradise aid side by side, the interior changes are dramatic. They have delivered a brand new computer chip to manage the aids, with brand new features, a motion sensor, increased connectivity, and a brand new sound. Phonak says that they all combine to make the Phonak Paradise the best sounding and easily used hearing aids they have ever produced.
While the Marvel hearing aids have been hugely successful for Phonak with their fantastic connectivity and hands-free calls, one of the bugbears for many users was that they could only be connected to one Bluetooth device at a time. It meant that you had to disconnect that device before using another device. For instance, you had to disconnect your tablet before connecting to your phone.
The Audeo Paradise aids offer an active connection to two Bluetooth devices. That means you can easily switch between two connected mobile phones or your mobile phone and your tablet without the fuss of dis-connecting. The new Tap Control feature increases the functionality and usability of the Paradise aids by allowing you to activate popular voice assistants like Siri and Google, answer or reject calls, and even pause or resume audio streaming by simply tapping on their ear.
The Audéo range will be the first hearing aids to benefit from their new sound processing chip. They say that the new chipset allows a host of newly developed hardware like the motion sensors and software features to help you rediscover the wonders of sound from the moment they are fit.
The hearing aids will deliver crisp, natural sound in any sound environment. The new speech enhancer feature works in quiet situations, it enhances soft voices over distance. The new Motion Sensor Hearing allows the hearing aids to detect when you are moving while having a conversation. It automatically adjusts the microphones to focus on the direction of speech of your companion.
The new upgraded myPhonak app will provide Paradise wearers with more control over how they hear thanks to a new personalized noise cancelling feature. The feature can be activated within the app and you can decrease or increase the power of it.
We loved the Marvel hearing aids and they proved to be an amazing success with our customers, I expect Paradise to be even more successful, if you are interested in trying them out, call me now for an appointment.
The Audeo Paradise range is made up of four Audeo hearing aids which you can see in the main picture above, two rechargeable hearing aids and two zinc-air battery-powered hearing aids. Only the rechargeable devices have the new motion sensor feature and also the tap control features which I will explain later. The new system also makes Paradise the most powerful Audeo hearing aids delivering a slight increase in output and amplification across the different receivers (speakers).
Phonak have just introduced their latest hearing aid platform which they are calling the Marvel. It is their latest hearing aid platform and interestingly enough it is a full range of Made For Any Phone hearing aids. The devices will be available from November 22nd 2019 and they truly look amazing. They are being offered in the usual four levels of technology, the Marvel 90, 70, 50 and 30.
The Audeo range is the first part of the Marvel platform to be introduced. The Marvel Audeo family will be made up of five hearing aids of which two will be rechargeable. The smallest traditional Zinc Air battery size will be the 312. The full Audeo range will not be available initially, below you can see a quick explanation of the devices and their expected availability. The devices will be available in four levels of hearing aid technology as you would expect from Phonak. For the first time ever, Phonak will make the rechargeable devices available at every level of technology.
While most of the hearing aid brands went for Made For iPhone hearing aids, Phonak decided that they would go a different way with their mobile phone connectivity. They chose one that would give them a direct connection to any mobile phone. Phonak relied on the traditional Bluetooth protocol, which offered huge benefits. It meant that any hearing aid they produced would be technically able to connect to any Bluetooth enabled device, not just phones. That strategy also presented real technical difficulties. The first Made For Any Phone hearing devices (The Audeo B-Direct) did not offer stereo audio streaming of phone calls or any other audio. It also ensured that Phonak's quite famous ear to ear features did not work.
The new Marvel platform does not have any of those limitations. The Marvel will allow users to experience stereo streaming audio from any Bluetooth enabled device, that includes most mobile phones available, computers, even some modern TVs. Marvel users can have that audio streaming with the full benefits of Phonak's ear to ear features (Binaural Voice Streaming Technology BVST for short). That all means an outstanding new hearing aid platform with no limitations.
As I said, these hearing aids aren't de-featured in any way. They include all of the latest Phonak features including their much-celebrated ear to ear features. They also have a brand new sound management system called Autosense 3.0 which recognises and automatically adapts to precisely match more listening situations than ever before. Autosense 3.0 also classifies streamed signals and will adapt how it works to better help you to hear the way you should.
These hearing devices are hugely multi-functional and feature-rich. The Marvel contains probably every single one of the current headline features in the hearing aid world, and they have even thrown in some new ones, here’s the quick list:
Marvel will directly stream stereo audio from any device capable of streaming audio via Bluetooth. This includes almost any device you can think of. You can connect it directly to your Android phone; you can connect it directly to your Mac Book or Windows laptop. You can even connect it directly to any Bluetooth enabled television. That is pretty amazing, that is a direct connection without any streamer. The quality of streaming audio is excellent; audio is full and clear. Music is warm and full, and phone calls are clear.
The Marvel delivers true hands-free calling in stereo. You will hear your phone calls in both ears giving you a better chance at understanding what is being said. Hands-free means you don't need to touch your phone. Your phone can be up to thirty feet away. You simply hit the button on your hearing aid to answer the call.
The Bluetooth connection is being used for more than just audio streaming though. They will also use that same connection for data exchange between the mobile phone and the hearing aids. This ability offers much more benefits for consumers and professionals alike. The data exchange is the core of the new ability to remotely fine tune the hearing aids in real time and for the user to give real-time day to day feedback with the new Hearing Diary.
The new Phonak remote fine-tuning system is excellent, a video calling system gives the same feeling of face to face interaction, just in a different way. While the remote support may not be for everyone, I think it will be welcomed by people who see it as a real alternative to in-clinic appointments
They have also introduced a new speech to text app with the new products. The new app acts as a transcription system which allows users to read what is being said by the person on the other end of the phone. It works in real time and thanks to hands-free phone calling you can carry on the conversation while you read the dialogue. The app will allow people with hearing loss extra help to understand people on their mobile phone.
Phonak's Roger system is the Gold Standard in FM assistive devices for people with hearing loss. All Marvel hearing aids will be able to be upgraded in late 2019 by hearing care professionals so that the new RogerDirect™ system can be added to the hearing aids allowing Roger microphone equipment to stream directly to Marvel hearing aids without having to attach an external receiver. That is something special and it will provide even better benefit for people in complex sound environments.
The Audeo Marvel R is Phonak's latest rechargeable Made For Any Phone hearing aid, it is quite discreet and can be used with several receiver variations meaning it can cover a lot of hearing losses. The device will connect directly to any Bluetooth enabled Mobile phone and will stream phone calls and audio in stereo. The devices are available from November 22 in the UK and should be rolled out globally through November and December.
The Audeo Marvel 312 is a very small RIC device which uses a size 312 battery, it is quite discreet and can be used with several receiver variations meaning it can cover a lot of hearing losses. It doesn't have a telecoil although as always it is a wireless device. The device will connect directly to any Bluetooth enabled Mobile phone and will stream phone calls and audio in stereo. The devices are available from November 22 in the UK and should be rolled out globally through November and December.
The Audeo Marvel 312T is a small RIC device which uses a 312 battery, it is still very discreet and can be used with several receiver variations meaning it can cover a lot of hearing losses. This device will have a telecoil. The device will connect directly to any Bluetooth enabled Mobile phone and will stream phone calls and audio in stereo. This device is now available.
The Audeo Marvel 13T is a RIC device that will use a size 13 battery. It will be slightly bigger than the 312, but still pretty discrete. It can be used with several receiver variations meaning it can cover a lot of hearing losses. The device will connect directly to any Bluetooth enabled Mobile phone and will stream phone calls and audio in stereo. This device is now available
The Audeo Marvel RT is a rechargeable RIC hearing aid which will have a telecoil. It can be used with several receiver variations meaning it can cover a lot of hearing losses. The device will connect directly to any Bluetooth enabled Mobile phone and will stream phone calls and audio in stereo. This device will not be available until late 2019.
Phonak have also changed the push button on the devices, they now offer a rocker switch instead for more functionality.
While the Marvel hearing aids will connect directly to Bluetooth enabled TVs, Phonak has also introduced a new TV Streamer. The TV streamer allows low energy streaming offering great audio and reduced battery usage.
The Bolero Marvel range is the latest range of Behind The Ear hearing aids from Phonak. It consists of just two hearing aid models, The Bolero Marvel M and the Bolero Marvel PR which is a little strange. Both devices really only cover hearing losses up to moderate to severe. Phonak would usually introduce a larger range of Bolero devices including a device that would cover severe to profound hearing loss. This time, they haven't.
The Bolero Marvel M is a pretty discrete mini BTE with a multi-functional button, not unlike the button used on the Audeo. The M can be fitted with a slim tube (which you can see above) or an ear hook for traditional tubing and ear mould. The M will cover hearing losses down to 75 dB in the low to 95 dB in the high frequencies. That, of course, depends on configuration, with the slim tube fitted, that reduces to 80 to 85 dB in the high frequencies. The M has all of the features of the Marvel platform with a direct connection to any Bluetooth mobile phones and Roger devices. However, the M does not have a telecoil onboard so a connection to a Loop System is out. The device will be available in the four levels of technology, the 90, the 70, the 50 and the 30
The Bolero Marvel PR is slightly larger than the M, but it is still relatively discrete. It uses the same multi-functional button as the smaller M. The PR is a lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aid can be fitted with a slim tube (which you can see above) or an ear hook for traditional tubing and ear mould. The PR will cover hearing losses down to 80 dB in the low to 100 dB in the high frequencies. That, of course, depends on configuration, with the slim tube fitted, that reduces to 70 in the low and 90 dB in the high frequencies.
The PR has all of the features of the Marvel platform with a direct connection to any Bluetooth mobile phones and Roger devices. It also has a telecoil onboard so it can be used to connect to a Loop System. Phonak say that you will get a full day of use out of one charge and use time is similar to the Audeo. The device will be available in the four levels of technology, the 90, the 70, the 50 and the 30
As part of the introduction of their new Belong hearing aid range, Phonak announced that they were introducing a new Virto in the ear hearing aid type as part of their Virto Belong range. The device is ground-breaking, it is the first hearing aid to use medical grade titanium for the custom shell. They have used the properties of the metal to ensure that they can offer discreet custom hearing aids to more people than ever.
They have called the hearing aid the Titanium and they say it will be the most discreet in ear device they have ever made. Having seen some of the early models I would have to agree. It is a very discreet hearing aid. It also looks and feels very nice with its titanium shell.
Virto B-Titanium is the smallest Phonak in-the-ear hearing aid ever! It is available as a completely in canal hearing aid and an invisible hearing aid device. The CIC can have a programme button on the face plate.
Using titanium allows for a shell that’s half as thin as traditional custom shells. This will result in a deep, comfortable fit. Phonak say that the overall size is reduced significantly, thus increasing invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) fit rate by 64%. That simply means that more people than ever will be physically suitable for their latest invisible hearing aid.
The device comes available with three levels of receiver which allows it to cover even more hearing losses than ever before. Because of the use of Titanium, it also allows for bigger vents in their hearing aids which means less occlusion problems for people with good low frequency hearing.
Virto B-Titanium features AutoSense OS™. It adapts to every sound environment automatically for excellent hearing performance everywhere. There will be no need to manually adjust the hearing aids. Although, they can come with an optional push button for just that.
The Virto B-Titanium will only be available in the B90 and the B70 levels of technology for the moment.
Phonak say that their new designs and materials will make the hearing aids physically suitable for more people than ever. However, the usual contra indications are the same as every other invisible hearing aid such as excessive waxy ear canals, history of mid ear infections or perforated eardrums. If you face these issues, this will not be the product for you. In these cases other discreet hearing aids may be more advisable to consider.
My husband went into see Angela in Stillorgan after meeting her at the RDS, and she did a hearing test, she was the 3rd Audiologist he seen with the first 2 telling him he needed a hearing aid. It was Anglea who told him he needed to see an ENT Doctor, which he did today to be told he would need grommets and that would improve his hearing.I would recommend anyone who needs a hearing test to visit Anglea as she seems to be more interested in the client than pushing sales. Thank you Angela.
Mrs Hogan - Dublin