Background noise

Yet another new model aid on the market - Phonak's Marvel. More bells, whistles - yes some useful like streaming to other devices, but after reading through many gushing ads about all these new benefits, one independent provider did thankfully point out that little had been done since their last major upgrade in 2015 to improve hearing in background noise, even for its top of the range model.

It's a subject that's been rumbling around this forum for many years, most - rightly,  pointing to excessive backgrounds of intrusive music, on TV, in restaurents and so on. Seldom have I seen discussed what I find the most problematic nature of background noise - that it is otherwise almost entirely of other voices.

It's therefore grossly misleading for manufacturers to claim any of their aids are good, better, or best dealing with background noise when the user is unable to focus on just one person a few feet away, without the conversation being drowned by others whether talking nearby or beyond, when their aids are primarily designed to emphasise the voice. I have had so many bad experiences, at gatherings whether weddings, funerals, meetings, even family get-togethers, that I no longer attend any unless really unavoidable.

I don't think manufacturers know, or care, how isolating this is, but they should at least be honest in their marketing and discriminate between different kinds of background noise and not just lump all into one category.  If even their extensive technology is unable to conquer this vital aspect they should make it clear, and not make misleading and unjustified claims.

I felt tempted to try Phonak's Marvel, until I read one honest independent appraisal of its many benefits, marred by the one aspect that matters above all else, and that hasn't improved. £3,400 on bells and whistles? I think not.

  • hi willemm1

    I'm pleased to read your post, they are exactly my views. I have a pair of new Marvel aids, which are okay to hear on my Iphone but only in one ear and the TV sender is just about working but of very poor quality, Boots are now giving them away, my biggest disappointment is with the speech recognition which is worse than my 6 year old previous Phonak aid. I can't hear at all in any restaurant and even at home when in my kitchen my aid wants me to hear the extractor and I cant hear my wife talking.  I have the app on my phone but all that does is turn the volume up and down and will tune into other programs which don't work very well either, I am about to take back my very hyped Marvel aids and claim a refund under Boots 60 day offer, I must say that boots have been very good and supportive and I have no complaints about them.