Expert Answers from Hearing Healthcare Providers

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Is it possible to upgrade my current hearing aid without purchasing a new device? I wear Phonak.

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
Currently, the only company offering technology that can be upgraded is Unitron, a sister company to Phonak (both are owned by Sonova) which has technology that parallels them for the most part (about 95% of Phonak technology is available in Unitron products, and vice versa).  Other companies may offer upgradeable technology in the future, particularly... Read more

Are there any differences between normal Phonak hearing aids and the Phonak hearing aids sold at Costco, in terms of quality and performance?

Asieh hariran
Asieh Haririan, BSc
Audeo uses a newer chip built and introduced to the market at the beginning of 2015, whereas Brio uses an older chip built in 2012. A few benefits of the newer chip in Audeo 90 are: Automatic Auto sense, comfort in car, comfort in echo, and good quality of music.

I am about to get my first hearing aid having lost hearing in one ear in 1969. I don't like to rush into things. I have visited three clinics and their recommendations have been either Phonak BiCros or Resound Linx2 with a Multi Mic. Thoughts?

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Lisa Goulart, BA
Two different solutions. To give you a direct and quick answer: my preferred choice for unilateral profound losses would be Phonak Bi-CROS. Most clinics would offer you a trial period allowing you the opportunity to trial both then you choose what suits your loss, life style and personal preference better. 

What's the difference between the Phonak Brio and the Brio 2?

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Julie Norin, AuD
The Phonak Brio and Brio 2 are products that are specially made for and only sold at Costco warehouses. I only work with the main Phonak products that are available to audiologists market-wide, so I am not all that familiar with the specifics of the Brio/Brio 2 products; However, I do know that they are not the exact same product as the current Phonak... Read more

What can cause a hearing aid, such as the Phonak Virto v90, to raise and lower volume randomly while watching TV?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
Most new hearing aid technology now features automatic analysis of your listening environment to react to background noise and take measures when this occurs in order to optimize speech intelligibility for you.  As an example, when you go from a quiet room to a restaurant, the hearing aids may react by initiating its directional microphones to limit the... Read more

I have a Phonak cross-over pair--one ear is deaf and the aid in that ear transmits over to the good ear. Are similar products available for the Audeo B-R?

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Rebecca Jahed, AuD
At this point, there is not an option for a rechargeable CROS/BICROS with the Phonak Belong series.  I check every so often when I call Phonak because it would be an amazing option to offer those with an un-aidable ear.  This information that I have been given is that the battery voltage is not compatible with the requirements necessary when streaming... Read more

Is Phonak Audeo V a significant upgrade to Audeo Q ?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
In addition to quicker processing and bandwidth which leads to brighter sound quality and understanding in a non-distored inner ear, the Venture line of Phonak devices has better understanding in noise. This includes car noise and background noise. All of the features available in the device does depend on the tier/level of device that an individual... Read more

Are LiNX2 ITE hearing aids more susceptible to moisture than Phonak Virto hearing aids?

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Custom hearing device products do not have IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, only behind-the-ear devices do. For moisture, the highest score a product can receive is an 8, which means it is waterproof. Custom devices between ReSound or Phonak are likely to be similar, with a rating of 7, which means it can be submersed in water for up to 30 min and still... Read more

Is Phonak Audeo B a significant upgrade to Audeo V?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Audeo B has faster processing time and teh main difference would be the introduction of rechargable hearing aids in certain models. 

Is Phonak's Sound Recover 2 much better than the original Sound Recover? I am considering upgrading but I am not convinced. Have your patients seen an improvement in their hearing with the new version?

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
Our clinic is actually conducting a longitudinal study on this to verify the improvement of SoundRecover2 over SoundRecover, and so far it is very promising, so the short answer is "yes."  But here's the long answer...We currently have approximately 12 participants in the study.  SoundRecover2 was introduced in April of 2016, but strictly using... Read more