Phonak Technology Levels
Once upon a time, hearing aids were simply miniature amplifiers. They would take sound in from microphones and present it at a louder volume for the wearer’s ears. In recent decades, the development of digital signal processing (DSP) has allowed hearing aids to become much more than anyone could have dreamed in the last century.
The best hearing aids today can help determine where sounds are coming from, choose which sounds from which directions to amplify, reduce background noise, and dynamically compress audio differently at specific frequencies to make the whole experience a lot more comfortable. Most of the time, this is all accomplished automatically in the hearing aid, without the user ever needing to click through a list of different programs or in any way engage with a menu of options. The hearing aid automatically detects what is required, and provides it.
All Phonak hearing aids are sold within a particular category, which can be identified in the name of the specific hearing aid model. Take, for example, a Phonak Audéo P90-R. “Audéo” is a style category for Phonak, meaning that it is worn behind the ear. The “P” indicates that this hearing aid is in the “Paradise” line, which is Phonak’s latest hardware generation. The “R” indicates that it is a rechargeable hearing aid, meaning you never need to replace batteries, and the “90” means that it is in the premium feature category, offering the latest-and-greatest DSP available.
Price Categories and Automatic Programs - 90 / 70 / 50 / 30
Phonak offers four main price categories, with increasing feature sets, available across all of its hearing aid models. All four of them are very powerful compared to previous standards. They all have Bluetooth capability, allowing you to connect to various devices to stream phone calls and entertainment content with excellent sound quality. They all use Phonak’s app to allow you to make some adjustments and communicate with a virtual assistant or your hearing healthcare provider directly.
The main place they differ is in the adaptation they offer when moving between different environments. Some wearers may require a very adaptive hearing aid that constantly adjusts as they move through the workplace, public transportation, and other busy environments. Other wearers may just need hearing aids for streaming media and one-on-one conversations. Each price category will offer a differing number of automatic programs, and will be most suited to a different type of wearer.
- 90 - Premium - 7 automatic programs
- 70 - Advanced - 5 automatic programs
- 50 - Standard - 4 automatic programs
- 30 - Essential - 2 automatic programs
Automatic programs are powerful technological options that can significantly improve the real-world value you get from your hearing aids. They can assist with microphone directionality, suppressing background noise, and favoring speech over other environmental sounds, while still letting enough of everything in to keep you aware of the ambience.
In addition to having 7 automatic programs, the 90 category has newly-developed, advanced features which further enhance speech detection, allowing you to hear voices with even better clarity and crispness. Ask us for more information on these special features.
Hearing aids are a big investment, and at Silver Audition we want to be sure you’re getting the best choice for your life and needs. This is why, during your free hearing aid trial, we encourage you to try several price categories so you can see whether the increased automatic programming available in the higher-end models makes a difference in your life.