Phonak Audeo V90 Hearing Aids
The Phonak Audeo V90
Phonak hearing aids are renowned for quality and reliability and the company is seen as one of the premium hearing aid manufacturers. Launched in 2015, their latest Audeo hearing aid range has been well received. As we said elsewhere, Phonak name their hearing aid types differently, their RIC range is Audeo, their traditional BTE range is Bolero and their custom range is Virto. Each range has four levels of technology running from the 90 at the top to the 30 at the entry level.
So the Audeo V90 is the flagship or premium Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) hearing aid range. RIC devices are hugely versatile covering many types of hearing loss. They are also pretty discreet options. RIC devices do have their pros and cons and are not suitable for everyone. Even if they are suitable for you, there is clear information you need to understand to get the best out of them. You can read all of the details on our Hearing Aid Types page.
The Audeo V (for Venture, the name of the chipset) replaces the Audeo Q (for Quest) hearing aid family. Phonak have introduced updated styles with newly designed casings. They have also made them available in the usual colours, both skin and hair type for discretion and loud fashion colours for the braver among us. As a flagship hearing aid, the devices deliver the best clarity available in even the most challenging listening situations. Phonak have also made much about the new Venture platforms handling of music sounds, Steve is wearing a set of Venture hearing aids. He is blown away by the advances in his ability to hear versus his old NHS aids. You can take a look at all of the latest and best Phonak hearing aids here. Alternatively, you can take a look at all the best hearing aid brands here.
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So, let's take a deeper look at what the Audeo V90 hearing aid range has to offer you:
Hearing Aid Types & Technology
The Phonak Audeo V90 range contains the highest level of technology in the new Audeo Venture range. It has 20 sound processing channels and a wide range of programmes and features to help you to hear in challenging environments.
The dustproof coating is also water repellent, ensuring that your hearing aid stays in great working order for longer. Phonak's Binaural VoiceStream TechnologyTM allows one hearing aid to recognise speech sounds and transmit the speech to both hearing aids in real time. This technology works alongside various other features to give you the best hearing clarity in different challenging listening situations.
The four behind the ear models of the Audeo are the V90-10 which takes a size 10 battery, the Audeo V90-312 which takes a size 312 battery. The Audeo V90-312T is the same again but with the addition of a telecoil receiver for a loop system. The Audeo V90-13 is the largest and fits a size 13 battery.
So what is AutoSense OS? AutoSense is in effect the operating system or management system in the hearing aids. It analyses the sound environment you are in and makes changes to how other features and technology within the hearing aid is working. It is the overall feature that ensures you are having a good listening experience. It is a completely automatic feature that seamlessly alters your hearing aids to your changing listening environment. The blurb says - AutoSense OS accurately captures the precise listening environment you are in, changing when it needs to, to provide you with a comfortable listening experience throughout your day, which is pretty accurate.
Speech in Loud Noise
This is as it sounds, this feature is designed to help you focus in on the single voice you want to hear from a noisy crowd. In essence, this is a setting on the hearing aids microphone management system. When noise reaches a level that makes understanding one person in a crowd difficult, StereoZoom, Phonak's excellent microphone management system is automatically activated, allowing you to focus on the voice you want to hear and ignore the noise you don't. Stereozoom (fancy isn't it?) is basically the microphones of the hearing aids focusing in a very narrow beam. This helps to reduce the effects of noise and allow you to hear the speaker a little better.
Speech in 360
First the blurb - Understand speech from any direction. The Speech in 360 feature automatically selects the direction of speech and sends this speech signal from one hearing aid to the other, improving clarity and speech intelligibility without the need for you to face the speaker. What this feature does is focus on the speaker no matter where they are, then the hearing aid with the best signal (hearing the voice the best) transfers the sound wirelessly to the other hearing aid. In this way, you get to hear the voice well and clearly in both ears, even if the speaker is sitting to the left or right of you.
Speech in Wind
The blurb - Enjoy conversations even on a windy day. When wearing hearing aids wind noise can interfere with your speech understanding and listening comfort. The Speech in Wind feature enhances your ability to understand speech well, even when the wind is blowing. A lot of people find wind noise irritating at best and maddening at worst. If you spend any amount of time out and about you really need to think about wind noise reduction as a feature. Phonak's, while not the best available, is pretty damn good.
Speech in Car
Listening effort is reduced so you can enjoy the journey and the conversation instead of listening to the noise. Steve says that this feature is just astonishing, it is the first time he has been able to have a conversation in the car for years.
Comfort in Echo
Reduces distracting echo, making listening in echoey environments such as large public buildings more comfortable.
Speech in Noise
Noise is reduced from the back allowing you to focus on the conversation in front of you.
Creates a comfortable listening environment to simply relax or enjoy a one to one conversation.
Enjoy your music again, the programme offers a full and rich music experience so you can enjoy listening to your favourite music again.
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As we said earlier, this range has multiple listening programmes both automatic and manual. The programmes include;
- Comfort in Echo, which reduces the noise of echo making it easier to hear speech.
- Speech in Car, which makes it easier to follow conversations when you can't take your eyes off the road. (Steve says this is amazing)
- Speech in Loud Noise, reduces the effect of loud noise making it easier to understand speech.
- Music, giving you better clarity when listening to your favourite music.
- Comfort in Noise reduces loud noise to make your hearing more comfortable.
- Speech in Noise, focuses your hearing to the front, reducing noise behind you.
- Calm Situation adjusts your hearing aids for comfort and better hearing in quiet environments and one to one conversations.
Speech in Wind
Again, if you spend any time outside at all, this is a great programme to have, setting it up as a manual programme allows the professional to customise it further to your taste. When you are outside, the sound of the wind can drown out all conversation.
How does it work?
This programme works out which hearing aid is getting the better speech signal and using the Binaural VoiceStream Technology sends the speech to both hearing aids. This improves speech clarity and also reduces the effect of wind noise.
This programme is designed to make it easier to talk on the telephone and will give you an excellent chance to understand even voices that are strange to you.
How does it work?
The hearing aid on the telephone side transmits the speech to both hearing aids simultaneously, which improves speech clarity whilst reducing the sound of distractions in the room.
This feature is designed to focus the hearing aids automatically on the clearest speech sound they can pick up. Ideal for noisy environments where there is background conversation.
How does it work?
This is part of the microphone management system in the hearing aids, Phonak's microphone management has always been top notch. In essence, it focuses the microphones in a narrow beam, allowing you the best opportunity to hear the voice.
Rather than just focusing on sounds in front of you, this features can focus on speech sounds to the side or behind you. This is ideal for situations where you cannot easily turn to face the speaker, such as when you are driving and trying to listen to directions from your passengers.
How does it work
Yep, you guessed it, microphone management. It simply changes the focus of the microphones to where the speech is coming from.
Directional microphones allow you to pick up the sound from all around you giving you a wide range to hear sound. The ultrazoom feature narrows this range to focus on a small area where someone is speaking. This gives you better speech understanding and reduces the effect of background noise. I don't think I need to explain this one, it is just another strategy that the microphone management uses.
This feature is designed to make it easier to talk on the telephone. The hearing aid on the telephone side transmits the speech to both hearing aids simultaneously, which improves speech clarity whilst reducing the sound of distractions in the room. This is the feature that the acoustic phone programme uses to help you hear a call.
Flexcontrol and FlexVolume
The Flexcontrol and FlexVolume feature give the wearer more control over their hearing. It enables the wearer to fine tune their hearing aids for better hearing in different environments. This is part of a wider movement from hearing aid manufacturers, they are giving more control to users to makes changes in how their hearing aids actually work. It can't be a bad thing.
Listening in assembly halls or places of worship is often a problem for hearing aid wearers due to the sound echoing around the room.
How does it work?
This feature recognises the sound echo by comparing time intervals, it then simply removes it, without distorting the other sounds around you.
This feedback elimination feature recognises the feedback sound and removes it before you know it is there. As with the Echoblock feature, it can do this without sound distortion.
This feature recognises continuous background sounds, such as traffic noise through a window, the dishwasher or office photocopier. It can reduce the volume of this sound so that speech is clearer and easier to understand.
Removes the sound of the wind when you are outside, this works in the absence of speech, in essence, it turns down the wind quite aggressively.
Sudden loud sounds can be unpleasant or painful for those with hearing loss, particularly when it is amplified by your hearing aid. The SoundRelax feature can soften the impact of sudden loud sounds without distorting the other sounds around you.
Real Ear Sound
This feature allows the hearing aids to mimic the way the ear naturally listens. This, as well as the receiver in canal design, means that it is easier for you to determine the direction the sound is coming from and you get a more natural experience.
This feature takes the high-frequency sounds which are outside your hearing range, such as children's voices and high pitched sounds, and makes them easier to hear.
Changing the volume or setting on one hearing aid will automatically change the other hearing aid as well. This synchronisation makes sure the hearing aids are always working together.
Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator
This feature helps to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus by generating a pleasant sound.
Phonak has a range of accessories which are fully compatible with the Audeo range.
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Connect & Communicate
Phonak Audeo V is compatible with the Phonak wireless communication portfolio. These accessory wireless devices deliver quality sound, ease of use and support you across many different situations that you face on a day to day basis.
The Phonak EasyCall connects hearing aids wirelessly with any Bluetooth enabled cell phone. It binaurally streams the phone call directly to the hearing aids for maximum speech understanding.
Phonak Dect II
The Phonak DECT II is the ideal phone for use both at home or in a small office. The phone signal is streamed wirelessly to both hearing aids simultaneously. This provides unmatched sound quality and great understanding.
Phonak Conversation Set
The small and stylish Phonak ComPilot Air II Bluetooth streamer, combined with the RemoteMic, transmits a distant speaker's voice directly to both hearing aids over a distance of up to 20 meters (66 ft).
Phonak Entertainment Set
TVLink II, combined with ComPilot II provides high-quality stereo sound directly to both hearing aids when watching TV or listening to music. 24 hours continuous streaming time and 30 meters range.