Which works best for iPhone users, Phonak Marvel or Made For iPhone hearing aids like Oticon Opn?

Sara Nagel, AuD

Audiologist

10 February 2019 - 753 Views

Currently, the Phonak Marvel Hearing aids are the only ones that allow the user to answer a call by pressing a button on the hearing aid.  The hearing aid picks up the user’s voice, so the iPhone can stay in a pocket or purse.  All the others require the user to answer the call on the iPhone itself and keep it out for the duration of the call.  Other differences such as speech-in-noise performance, wind noise reduction, app controls, and subjective sound quality preference  can play into the final decision of what is best for a particular user.  Your audiologist can help narrow down the choices for you based on the configuration of your hearing loss, needs (and wants) assessment, speech-in-noise performance, and your comfort level with technology.  Note: I fit Oticon, Phonak, Widex, and Resound Made-For-iPhone hearing aids.  

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Christopher S. Frink, AuD

Audiologist

11 February 2019 - 685 Views

Both the Oticon OPN and the Phonak Marvel product lines work very well for iPhone users.  The primary advantage the Marvel product has over the OPN product is that if you don't have an iPhone, Marvel can still work with your phone utilizing direct connectivity whereas the OPN products cannot.  But if you have an iPhone, either product works great.  Some providers may have different views on this depending on which company they prefer to work with, but there is no clinical proof that one works better than the other in regards to iPhones.This being said, there are other considerations which may influence your choice that are more related to how the hearing aids perform irrespective of iPhone use.  As an example, Oticon has more physical designs available in the OPN product platform (both in-the-ear and behind the ear), whereas Phonak only has two small miniature behind-the-ear products at this time (although this is likely to change in the future).  There are also other feature considerations as to how the hearing aids work, such as performance in background noise, sound quality of music, battery drain, etc.

In summary, if you have an iPhone, either product will work great when it comes to direct connectivity, but there are many more questions you should ask your provider as to the hearing aids' performance in other life situations.

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Olga Lis, MS

Audiologist

11 February 2019 - 660 Views

At this time, both OPN and Marvel hearing aids have great connectivity to the iPhone. Marvel is the newer product, hence direct connectivity is only available in the RIC (receiver-in-the-canal) style at this time. OPN line has direct connectivity for some of its custom instruments, as small as the in-the-canal custom hearing aids. Marvel, on the other hand, offers a completely hands-free phone experience as you can answer the phone call and hang up by pushing a button on the hearing aid. Ultimately, in terms of sound quality, it's a matter of personal preference. I suggest trialing both devices and making a decision together with your audiologist, based on testing outcomes in quiet and in noise, sound quality, and physical comfort/ fit. 
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Chris Wahl, AuD

Audiologist

10 February 2019 - 744 Views

The Phonak Marvels are nice because they work as hands free devices for the iPhone. Where the Marvel falls short of other Made For iPhone Hearing aids is in the app. The other apps like Widex Evoke allow you to create custom programs, use directional focus, and find a lost hearing aid using the gps in the app. Geo-tagging programs and machine learning are other features you may like. The streaming is pretty good with the Widex Evoke but you do have to hold the iPhone to talk. In the end the best hearing aids are the ones that help you hear your best even in noise!
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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

10 February 2019 - 753 Views

Both devices you describe work perfectly with Apple products.  The big difference is that Oticon's system requires the phone to be in close proximity when you are having a telephone conversation.  Phonak's product allows you to answer the phone and have a conversation even with the phone at a distance.  All of the big six manufacters offer great solutions.

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Angela Lederman, MS

Audiologist

28 October 2019 - 133 Views

Both of the devices mentioned, along with many others on the market, work well with the iPhone.  To choose the 'best' is very subjective both from a professional perspective and for the end user.  The 'best' product is one that you can understand and sounds good to you.  Work closely with your audiologist and ask if you can get a demonstration of at least 2 different products, allowing you to see ease of use, connectivity and how good the associated iPhone app is.  Most products are in at least 2nd or 3rd generation iPhone products and as such, have worked out many of the 'kinks' that were seen in earlier versions of hearing devices.
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Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in Boone

11 February 2019 - 697 Views

In my experience patients have enjoyed the Oticon Opn very much so. The app for the iPhone has been extremely easy to use and also has provided the best hearing among the two. We have fit both products and both have done a good job but my preference is to work the Opn hearing instrument by Oticon. 
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