A breakthrough in hearing aids: We “road test” Phonak’s remarkable new Audeo V90
A Review of the V90 By Mark Schneider – client of Value Hearing
Phonak’s Audeo V range of hearing aids is brand new to Australia, though they’ve been available elsewhere since late last year.
The technology promises plenty, with twice the processing power of the previous model and the ability to call on over 200 settings to cope with a range of sound conditions.
So does all that technology deliver the goods?
I borrowed the top of the range Audeo V90 for a week for this “road test” and was keen to see how they performed in the most difficult conditions.
I’m moderately to severely deaf and a couple of years ago I went completely barking mad and bought an Asian take-away restaurant. A smart move for any partly deaf person!
With powerful exhaust fans sucking away the fumes, roaring wok burners, music and chattering guests and staff, a Noodle Box kitchen is a helluva place for a deaf person to work, and a great test for any new hearing aids.
With all that noise I avoid serving people at all costs, preferring to leave it to others. But with the new Phonaks plugged in, and a new sense of confidence, I decided to plunge in at the deep end and get behind the till.
With my usual five year-old hearing aids my approach is to crank up the volume, then try to pick out what people are saying amongst the din. It’s never easy and always exhausting.
The Phonak V90s were a revelation. With the roaring from the fans and wok burners considerably diminished and even the music quieter, for once I had no trouble taking customers’ orders. Their voices were clear.
And that’s what makes these new Phonaks so great. It’s not just what you can hear with them, it’s what you can’t hear. They’re very, very good at suppressing the noises you really don’t want to hear so you can hear the things that you do.
All that computing power gives them a solution to every difficult hearing challenge. Best of all, it does it all so seamlessly that as you move around your day-to-day environment they automatically switch to the best program to optimise your hearing.
Most of the time you don’t have to do a thing. For the odd times when you do there are manual programmes to handle problems like speech in wind, comfort in echo and speech in loud noises.
The new Phonaks (there are four in the range) make it particularly easy to pick out the human voice, and that voice has never sounded so good, with an unusual warmth and timbre to it.
Music, too, sounds rich, natural and vibrant. If you’re listening in the car you’ll be pleasantly reminded that it really does have six speakers, and that some of them are behind you.
The Phonak’s sophisticated programming picks up the sound coming from behind and balances it nicely.
I am hoping to “road test” the range of Phonak accessories that are designed to make life easier. They were unavailable at the time due to heavy demand.
They include Phonak EasyCall, which wirelessly connect your hearing aids to any Bluetooth enabled mobile phone.
The ComPilot Air 2 is a clip on streamer and remote control that connects your hearing aids to other Bluetooth devices like TVs, tablets and computers, as well as mobile phones.
There’s even an App to turn your mobile phone into a remote controller for your hearing aids.
Phonak’s Audeo V series is hearing aid technology at its best, making daily life easier. More than that, however, they put the joy of better hearing back into your life, and that’s a priceless gift.