Sunday, July 30, 2006

Phonak Savias, frustrating to use.

I have had these aids now for a good few weeks, even had them adjusted yet again, and I have to say, if there is anyone out there who is using them, please leave me a message as to how you find them.

I am personally finding them difficult to use, though they are supposed to be perfect for my hearing loss.

These things, cut out when I don’t want them to, they drop the volume way too much for my liking, have ruined my appreciation of music, heck listening to my music now, whomever I listen to, be it Green Day, Depeche Mode, or anyone, it totally destroys the sound that I get, and it is made so much worse if any other noises come in when the music is on.

I do wonder if it is me, as I grew up with analog aids, and then aids with adjustable settings but still analog. These digitals are so very different from the NHS ones, supposedly better equipped to deal with the normal day to day of life, but I do well wonder that, because it don’t feel that way. Talking on a phone now is a chore, rather than a joy.

Maybe the specialist setting them up, isn’t doing it right, though he says he is doing what he can within the program, and I know Phonaks should be fine because I had them for so long until I was forced to switch over some years back.

So if there is anyone out there using them, please let me know how you got on with them, did they improve your life, do you find hearing to be easier, less work, etc than before, or did you have to admit defeat and change to something else. Me as an ex-power junkie (termed not set by me, but the audiologists I have had over the years) is finding these aids hard work, more than it should be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too, am a "power junkie" with a very serious hearing loss. Previously used to Phonak analog aids.

I now have a Savia (deaf in other ear so only need one). I have a very serious ski-slope loss (essentially hear well up to about 800 hz, then drops to nothing at about 1000 hz.

I like the Savia, but they do take some tweaking by your audiologist. They have zillions of features to tweak and not all audiologists are familiar with the different things they can change.

There are multiple programs (about 5, I think), each with it's own settings. For each program, your audiologist can set the input source = mic, telecoil, FM, or some combination. They can also set the gain and the amount of compression over several frequency ranges for each of the programs. For mic input programs then can set how directional you want them to be. Finally, one of the programs is usually dedicated (but I don't think has to be) to an "automatic" mode, which automatically invokes some level of noise reduction (directionality) whe the background noise reaches a certain
level (that's probably the setting you find cuts things out at times.

The automatic function works well normally and helps you better understand speech of someone in front of you when there's noise around you, but it is not good for music.

One solution is to have a music program as one of your program options. A music program will not have much (or any) compression and will not "cut out" when things get loud.

You need to keep a list of what things sound good or not and explain to your audiologist (or one that understands Savias better if needed).

I love the other things about the aid ... the wind noise and feedback management work pretty well (very well compared to my old analog, which didn't have these features).

I also use the FM and the remote control, which I find useful for going to a specific program directly rather than toggling through the sequence with the button on the aid.

If you have other questions about hearing loss, you can email me directly at or you might consider joining one of the Yahoo groups about hearing loss. I particularly like Beyond-Hearing so you can see that (and join if you want) at