Widex Beyond vs Phonak Belong

I'm looking at trying out some hearing aids from Specsavers and going for one of their upper end ranges as they have a sale on till end of September.

I do want to be able to stream TV and phone sound ( both mobile and landline) directly into my hearing aids. I had looked at the Phonak Belong range as they seemed to stream directly without the need for extra pieces of equipment. However the audiologist said that the streaming wasn't too good just now with frequent dropouts and that I would be better with Widex and their various accessories. He also said that sound quality is better with Widex than with Phonak - not sure how true that is though.

Just trying to see what's best.

I have an Android phone, not iPhone and some hearing aids seem to offer connection with iPhone only.

I've also read that the Phonak aids only stream to one ear just now - is that correct?

At the moment I have NHS aids - Danalogic iFit. However struggling to hear with them and appointments are about 7 months apart which is no use. I'm prepared to pay if it means getting something better.

Can anyone offer some help?

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  • There are a number of issues here. I am hard of hearing and am only writing from my perspective. I have worn hearing aids for 40 years and in the last 20, I have bought privately as well as wearing NHS hearing aids.

    FIrst of all, you do not have to limit yourself just to Widex or Phonak. There are 6 major manufacturers of hearing aids worldwide. Yes, I understand that Phonak and Widex are two major brands being offered by Specsavers. But there are others, including Resound and Oticon. If you go to an independent audiologist, they normally offer all brands.

    Yes, it is correct to say that the Phonak Belong only streams to 1 ear. I don't know if this is a major disadvantage though. If you go to the forum www.hearingaidforums.com, you will see some positive anecdotal reports of this aid, in-particular by a poster called bluejay. However, I am confused by the comparison of Widex accessories with the Phonak Belong, that offers direct streaming. This is not a like for like comparison. 

    If you take the Phonak Venture range, they use a streamer called the Compilot II. This is in fact, what I use, and the sound quality is superb. So in this sense, I don't understand the audiologists comment. I have seen, however, on the web site www.hearingaidforums.com, a lot of praise of the streaming capabilities of the Resound Linx (3d) - this is direct streaming.

    The current Belong range streams to any phone - either Android and iPhone. However, I understand that there will be a new release of an aid in November, that may have direct streaming to both ears. 

    A wider point that I would make though, is that whatever hearing aid you buy, I would really recommend that you have REM testing. I would really recommend you watch this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHR0Oa6I-wY

    I had REM testing with my Oticon NHS aids. And the results blew me away. Since then, I have insisted on it for any fit of hearing aids.

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