Phonak Audeo Q90
- Phonak’s top of the range RIC
- Premium algorithm suite
- Twenty channel processing from Quest chip
- New binaural WindBlock feature
- Premium UltraZoom with SNR Boost
- Wide choice of housing colours
The Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Phonak has replaced it extremely popular Audeo S range with an entirely new range bearing the name the Audeo Q. The commonality is the Audeo name and this indicates that this is Phonak’s receiver in the canal (RIC), behind the ear (BTE) range with suffix Q showing that this latest version has at its core Phonak’s latest chip platform called the Quest. So all new inside, what about the outside? The old Audeo had three different product specific names; the quirky Yes, the tiny Mini and the fully-featured Smart. The new Audeo has replaced the Mini with a model called the Q-10, and the Smart and Yes are superseded by the Q312 and Q312T
The Audeo S was marketed with four separate technology bands, the S1, S3, S5 and S9. The marketers may have increased the numbers but behind that the Audeo Q is presented in the same fashion with the entry level Q30, followed by the Q50, Q70 and the premium range being the Audeo Q90. The Q90 is fully loaded with all the features that Phonak has to offer so what is that and why could it be right for you?
The most obvious change is from the Spice chip platform (Audeo S) to the Quest chip platform (Audeo Q) and on the top of the range Q90 this gives a total of 20 channels to enable the Hearing Aid Audiologist to closely match the Q90 to your individual shape of hearing loss. The more channels, the closer the fit s with 20 at their disposal you should feel that this provide very precisely amplification in the frequencies and to the degree that you need it. The Quest is also a very fast chip so the days of sound delay and pumping as the chip processed the sound through various algorithms should be a thing of the past.
The algorithms involved in the improvement of the sound are many and complex. The Q90 has Premium UltraZoom as well as a number of sub algorithms to provide the very best directional benefit across a variety of sound environments. Directionality is the key to improvement of speech understanding in noise and so it is no surprise that Phonak have invested heavily in this field as it is the single biggest difficulty experienced by the hearing impaired and creating satisfaction in this area is the key to a high product acceptance. In addition to directionality Phonak have concentrated their efforts to improve the high frequency experience through the SoundRecover algorithm and with the majority of hearing aid wearers suffering more markedly at the higher frequencies this makes a lot of sense.
While logic dictates that hearing aids should be all about amplifying sounds, there is a selection of processes that operate to reduce or eliminate unwanted sounds. These are not unique to either Phonak or the Audeo Q but the Q90 does use all of its available technology to ensure that it provides sound amplification in the most natural and comfortable manner. The types of sound that the Q90 nullifies are feedback screech or whistle, background noise, echoing and wind rush that is caused by the microphone pick up.
As is now commonplace across a wide number of hearing aid manufacturers the Audeo Q is offered with a wireless option in both the Q312 and Q312T models. These two products can be paired directly with compatible wireless products and through a number of Phonak’s wireless accessories. In addition, the Q-312T has a telecoil option which while it does slightly compromise the Audeo Q good looks (this aid is more rounded and seems slightly less modern than the Audeo Q-312) will be useful to those who have become accustomed to taking advantage of loop systems in public buildings.
The Audeo S was a very well received product range and Phonak can be confident that with the improvements that they have made in the Audeo Q they may well have an other winner on their hands. If your pocket can stretch to it the Q90 easily justifies its “premium” label and HearingDirect have no problem in recommending this most capable product.
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