Updated: May 13
I am deaf, a deaf audiologist. I try most of the new hearing aids as soon as they are released so I can provide better advice to my patients. This review is my own experience with Phonak Audeo Paradise P90.
In Aug 2020 the Swiss-based hearing aids manufacturer released their flagship Phonak Audeo Paradise. The news suggested the following advantages over the predecessor Phonak Marvel:
A completely new chip - Phonak Paradise comes with a completely new sound processing chip called PRISM or Processing Real-time Intelligent Sound Management. The chip has twice as much memory and processing power as Marvel. It is at the heart of other capabilities you see in this list including better and faster sound processing and better Bluetooth connectivity.
Bluetooth connectivity - Phonak Marvel could only connect to one device through Bluetooth. Phonak Paradise can pair to 8 different devices through Bluetooth and be actively paired to two. This means if you have an iPhone and an iPad that you use to read emails, answer phone calls, watch movies and search the Internet, etc. you don't have to switch between devices manually, as Phonak Paradise universal connectivity will keep you connected to your iPhone and your iPad all the time. At the time of writing this note, there is no other hearing aid in the market with this connectivity feature.
New tap control - In addition to using your smartphone to answer calls, end calls, or control the streaming audio to your hearing aids, now you can tap your hearing aids to do all that for you. You can choose which hearing aids do what when you tap them. Your AuD can set all the functionality you want for you, and even better, you can set this up on your new version of the myPhonak App.
Motion sensors for better speech understanding - Almost all hearing aids focus on the area in front of the wearer to process the sound for speech clarity and understanding. If you are walking side by side with another person you are not facing him/her anymore and most hearing aids have no means to notice that the speech is not coming from the front but they need to focus on the side to improve the speech clarity. Phonak Paradise is equipped with low-energy motion sensors that notice when you are not moving and when you are walking. Phonak motion sensor enables the hearing aid processor to better process the sound and provides clearer speech to the wearer. I personally found this feature very useful when I am having a conversation in a car, or when I am walking side by side with someone and talking to him/her.
Speech enhancer - Phonak Speech Enhancer is an adaptive algorithm designed to enhance the peaks of a speech signal in quiet situations. This feature would bring more speech clarity for those with difficulty in understanding speech in a quiet environment. I didn't have much issue with speech recognition in quiet environments. But the effect of this feature was noticeable as I noticed the speech in quiet feels a bit louder than the other hearing aids I tried.
Dynamic noise cancellation - Dynamic Noise Cancellation in Phonak Paradise is a spatial noise cancellation feature that works in combination with a directional beamformer to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in challenging situations. In simple words, this feature enabled the hearing aids to be smart enough to sense the noise level versus the speech level in every soundscape and reduce the noise for the wearer dynamically. I personally felt when that dynamic noise cancellation is in action when I am in and out of a noisy environment. The hearing aid seems to be smarter to determine what kind of environment I am in. I felt that the change in the noise cancellation and speech enhancement formulas happened more seamlessly compared to Phonak Marvel.
So what does the above mean in simple terms? I can categorise the above improvements in Phonak Paradise over Phonak Marvel into two groups:
Speech intelligibility: Phonak Paradise certainly offers better speech understanding over Marvel; thanks to its faster and stronger sound processing chip that in turn allows for better dynamic noise cancellation, motion sensor and speech enhancement.
Operability: PhonakParadise definitely provides better operability to the patient through features such as multi-device Bluetooth connectivity and tap control. Activating Alexa through tapping would be a cool experience for tech-savvy hearing aid wearers.
Even if you have an unlimited budget still it is smart to buy what you just need, right? So what different models of Phonak Paradise are out there to purchase? Phonak Paradise comes in 4 technology levels, premium, advanced, standard and essential. Each technology level provides a preset group of features to the wearer.
What technology level of Phonak Paradise is best for me?
As a piece of general advice, if the budget is not a concern, you would enjoy the full benefit of your new hearing aids if you purchase Phonak Paradise p90 premium. After all your investment in a new brand hearing aid is supposed to last 5-8 years. Given the reasonably small price difference between each technology level, one would choose to go for the top-of-the-range model to benefit from a full spec of the technology over the life of the hearing aids.
Here is a brief on how you can choose the tech level that works best for you to optimise your investment.
Is Phonak Paradise P90 the right choice for me? If you are stil