Here in this article, you will learn about the differences in Phonak hearing aids. There are not only different shapes but also technology levels available that make the hearing aids more capable of reducing noise for example. The lists below divide the whole line up from Phonak into the devices which sit behind your ears and in your ear and those ones which only sit in your ears.
Behind the ear hearing aids:
- Audéo (hearing aid with cable)
- Naida (Hearing Aid with tube)
- Bolero (Hearing Aid with tube)
- Vitus (With tube or with cable available)
- Sky (Hearing Aid with tube)
In the ear hearing aids:
- Tao Q
- Vitus +
Each of these devices is based on certain chip technology which is indicated by a letter behind the model name. For example, the popular hearing aid Audéo P belongs to the paradise platform. The successor was the marvel platform and the Belong series is even older than that.
Some of the devices do not get updated as frequently as the Phonak Audéo hearing aids because they do not require certain features like the newest Bluetooth protocols or new receivers. Let us have a closer look at each of the hearing aids in the list.
The Audéo hearing aids evolved over time and are have a lot of features onboard. Even the baseline models come with Bluetooth. You can stream the sound of your mobile phone directly into your ears which makes a conversation during a call very easy to follow. Those hearing aids are labeled as made for all devices which means you can pair an Android device or your iPhone with your Audéo hearing aid.
Compatibility is a big benefit. When you switch your phone you do not need to think about what might be compatible with your hearing aids and whatnot. This was introduced with the marvel platform. With the Phonak Audéo, your audiologist has three different sizes of loudspeakers/receivers which need to be positioned in your ear and can be instantly fitted in the shop with a silicone dome. Each of which has different max amplification levels.
When those receivers are not powerful enough Phonak also has a fourth option for the loudspeaker but this one needs to be custom-made by Phonak. With those options, the Phonak Audéo is very versatile and can be fitted from low to severe hearing losses. Depending on how your ear canal is shaped and what amplification levels you need your audiologist will choose the right for you.
You can buy the Phonak Audéo with rechargeable batteries and as well with classic replaceable hearing aid batteries. Both versions are quite small and deliver enough power for the whole day. The rechargeable option is the hot sell these days. You get 3 hours of runtime after charging your Audéo hearing aids for only 15 minutes. After you charged your hearing aids for two hours you get 24 hours of runtime. Here are some highlights which speak for rechargeable batteries.
- Battery lasts six years
- Extremely fast recharging
- 15% more reliable than hearing aids with replaceable batteries
One of the things that lead to hearing aid defects is moisture. With a rechargeable hearing aid like the Audéo with the ending R (which stands for rechargeable), you can not open the case like when normal batteries need to be switched. With a more closed case, less moisture can enter the hearing aid and this is why they are more reliable.
When you want to stick to replaceable batteries there are two different options available. The first is the 312 which only comes with Bluetooth combability. The second option is the 13 battery size which makes the hearing aid slightly bigger. In combination with the bigger replaceable battery, you also get a T coil which can be very beneficial in the church for example. Because then the sound of the speaker can be directly transferred to your hearing aids.
When it comes to the rechargeable battery the capacity does not change if you order a T coil with it or not. The color options vary a bit depending on what of the mentioned Audéo devices you choose. But this does not matter a lot to a lot of wearers. Most wearers of the Audéo hearing aids are interested in the technology or how Phonak calls them performance levels. The following are available:
The higher the number of the performance level the more features you could have enabled in your hearing programs and the pricier the hearing aids get.
As this is just a short overview of the hearing aids from Phonak I will cover the differences briefly between the performance levels. When you buy a Phonak Audéo 90 compared to a 50 you might have an easier time cutting through the noise. Because of the feature Ultrazoom.
It is a directional microphone technology and a proven method of effectively improving speech intelligibility in background noise. UltraZoom is the adaptive multi-channel beamforming technology, automatically available in AutoSense OS or in a manual program.
But when you buy an Audéo 90 variant this feature will work in its full capacity while the feature is less powerful with every performance level you go less price intense. When you stay most time at home this feature may not be important to you. But in a meeting, it might let you stay concentrated a little easier for a little longer.
This Phonak hearing aid is more targeted for people with severe to profound hearing loss. You can get the Phonak Naida as a rechargeable hearing aid which is a little smaller and provides a little less amplification compared to the option with the replaceable 675 battery. The expected runtime for the rechargeable battery is 16 hours, including 4 hours of streaming with classic Bluetooth and 4 hours of streaming via TV Connector.
Despite the power output and the power source the rechargeable (Naida PR) option also comes with a tab control. This means you do not need to take a call with the push of a button. It is enough to tap your ear and the motion sensor will switch to the call. The bigger Naida UP does not have this option. But Bluetooth is available on both devices.
The performance levels are always build up in the same fashion across the lineup of Phonak hearing aids. So you can get the Naida also in the 30, 50, 70, or 90 performance variant.
The Phonak Bolero is available as a slim tube or normal-sized tube variant. In most cases, wearers of hearing aids have a hearing loss in the high pitched sounds which eliminates the slim tube of the list for good choices for most people.
As this hearing aid uses a tube to canalize the amplified soundwaves into your ears you have no electronics directly sitting in your ear canal. This can be beneficial in cases when a lot of moisture accumulates in the ear canal. Moisture is a common reason for defects especially when the receiver/loudspeaker is directly placed in the ear canal like with the Audéo model. Here you do not have this problem.
You can also get the Phonak Bolero with a rechargeable battery or with replaceable batteries. A Telecoil is also built-in.
With a Vitus/Vitus+, you will get a robust, reliable, and very affordable Phonak hearing aid in the entry-level segment. You can get the Vitus as a RIC version where the loudspeaker sits directly in your ear or with a tube that connects the device behind your ear with the piece that is positioned in your ear.
The Vitus hearing aids come in different sizes. The smallest is the RIC version with a T Coil which is powered by a 312 replaceable battery. Then come the devices with a tube which is also powered by a 312 replaceable battery.
Other options come with the bigger 13 and 675 batteries which make the devices bigger. So even in the lower-priced category Phonak has something for you no matter if you have a mild, moderate, or severe to profound hearing loss.
The Sky hearing aids are available in three shapes. All of which are behind the ear variants. The smallest is powered by a 312 replaceable battery while the biggest and most powerful device in regards to the loudspeaker is powered by a battery with the size 13. The mid-sized option is powered by a rechargeable battery that charges up to 100% in only three hours.
With the Phonak Sky, your child has a big variety to color its hearing aid to their liking.
Now you know about the Phonak behind-the-ear hearing aid models. Next, come the in-ear models.
The Virto model is a custom-made in the ear which has a lot of options. You can get it in a very small shape with fewer hardware options or the fully equipped options with Bluetooth pairing and multiple microphones. Obviously, the shape of the ear canal influences the shape of the Phonak Virto. The smallest version is made out of titanium while the other options are made out of plastic.
When you do not need a Bluetooth connection the device can be manufactured very small. In such a case it sits completely in the ear canal and is practically invisible to an observer. In such a case it also has one microphone and the ways you can interact with the hearing aid are more limited.
For example, you need a little magnetic wand to adjust the hearing aids volume or to switch the program. See the video down below for more information but in most cases, this is a bit too basic for most wearers of hearing aids.
In contrast, the bigger Virto in the ear hearing aids which stick a little out of your ear canal and have Bluetooth have a great app that gives you a lot of control features. Not only can you easily turn up or lower the volume but you can easily switch programs and even turn on features like the directional microphones. The app even comes with an equalizer which is very popular.
But the magnetic wand is nothing I would use personally there are other small in-the-ear hearing aids that have an app like the Signia Silk which works well.
The Vitus + hearing aid from Phonak has a lot of options when it comes to the configurations. You can get in the following replaceable battery sizes:
Obviously, the bigger the battery which gets packed into the hearing aid the bigger the device will be. The smallest battery option is usually not visible to an observer while the 312 option and the 13 stick a little out of the ear canal.
You can control the Vitus + with the battery size 10 with the magic wand described earlier. As soon as the Vitus + is ordered with a small push button to control it the magic wand will not work. This is more of a simpler device. You can not order it with Bluetooth and there are no differences in the performance levels. It just corrects your hearing loss and you can order it with a T-coil as well.
The Phonak Lyric is a very interesting hearing aid that gets inserted into your ear by the hearing care professional and stays there for multiple weeks. When it comes to the sound characteristics of how the wearers perceive their own voice and the environment it is actually what most people want when they buy a hearing aid. Due to the position in the ear canal which is deeper compared to conventional hearing aids the ears do not feel as clogged up as with normal hearing aids.
Showering, putting a mask on or off is not an issue with this device. After 120 days the Phonak Lyric gets replaced with a new one by the hearing care professional. When it comes to the features like Bluetooth or directional microphones like normal hearing aids the Lyric has practically none. But it is also not needed.
Because due to the deeper position in the ear canal the wearer experiences a more natural-sounding environment. Compared to conventional hearing aids which process the sound digitally this is an analog device.
Digital features like a program to reduce wind noise are here not necessary because normal hearing aids stay behind the ear or have the microphone positioned in the outer part of the ear canal. This conventional position of the microphones makes hearing aids more sensitive to pick up the noise of wind due to the swirl of the air around the microphones. With the Lyric hearing aid from Phonak, this is not a problem at all.
Only certified Lyric partners fit this device. You can find a certified hearing care professional near you here. The link takes you to the Page from Phonak where a map shows up with the certified partners.