erth64net (erth64net) wrote in hearingaidhacks,

Phonak Naida V UltraPower - dead as a rock

UPDATE @ 03:00 (pacific) on 08DEC2008:
I'm long-overdue for a status report, and I'm working to post a relevant article soon. Though in summary:
 1) Phonak did come through, and replaced all equipment. Though they're still haggling with my HA-despenser about double-billing issues (even though Phonak is the one who initiated this full-replacement).

 2) I've got an iCom now...and while it's alright, wait for my detailed posting/review :-)

 3) The water-resistive capabilities of the Phonak Naida V UP are under dispite (a design-flaw is heavily-suspected); I was told, in no uncertian terms "...if you're going to sweat, you must remove the
ML10i and put the original battery door back on..." That instruction (by Phonak themselves) flys in the face of their current marketing/website claim that the "...Naída with the design-integrated receivers is the world’s first water resistant communication system..."

 4) These HAs also require a bit more maintenence than prior models (very frequent filter replacements.

 5) My social "life is off"
for now (pun intended); largely because I simply cannot deal with the hassle of unreliable HAs. Its been this way since mid-summer, and I'm not exactly a happy camper at the moment. Though I haven't "give up" my cycling and ballroom dancing intrests, they have been put on hold for the forseeable future; simply because I cannot depend on my HAs to function as advertised. For instance, see the profusely-sweating woman on the main page at www.naida.phonak.com, and also their claims of "...WaterResistant: Dependability, no matter where or what. Complete protection..." all tacked on this photo:
Phonak Naida V
(source: http://www.naida.phonak.com/en/accessories/icom/ )

UPDATE @ 17:00 (pacific) on 22AUG2008:
Apparently, a higher-up at Phonak got wind of this posting. Their regional rep contacted my local specialists, whom in turn called me just barely an hour ago. I've been told a shipment of all-new equipment is on the way. From the sounds of it, Phonak may turn out to be far more responsive than Starkey ever was...I'll post updates as they develop.



In the past ~5 years, I've burned through roughly 10 HAs:
Phonak Supero 413 AZ
Starkey DaVinci PxP
Phonak Naida V UltraPower

That's the list of personally-owned pairs, the others were short-term (mostly analog) loaners used when my personal backups failed... The personal backups were always the retired sets (ie: when primary were DaVinci, the backups were Superos); once fitted with the new set, the then-backups were always sent-in for a review/tune-up/repair...something I'd expect to be "good enough" for the short-term...but even that's never been enough.

As for my current set; a pair of Phonak Naida V UltraPower units w/ integrated FM recievers (yes, brand new water "resistant" ultra-power HAs). One lies before me, dead as a rock, with rust/corrosion stains after just a day of vigours activity (I'm using high-quality stainless-cased Energizer brand cochlear quality 675's, that have NEVER shown rust with other HAs). The other HA whimpers along, while I wait for that final gasping beep (dying symptoms are the FM reciever making low-frequency humm/static type noises akin to a T-coil near a strong EMI source, and then the low-batt beeps, followed by the entire HA simply shutting-off, and then not responding to new/fresh batteries; the humm started yesterday...)... I'm left wondering what I've done wrong, should I retreat to the life of a hermit, or is there an alternative?

Throughout my childhood, I was accused by HA techs, audiologists, ENTs, counselors, and teachers, of destroying my hearing aids. Many (apparently) practically begged my mother to keep me from destroying yet another set. Once I entered the teen years I discovered computers, became less physically active, and generally very unhappy... Since turning 25, and now just cresting my 30th, I've returned to a life of vigorous activity; Argentine Tango dancing and distance-cycling are two passions I've latched onto. Given the root-cause of my loss (Mondini Dysplsia), I cannot play many sports I'd otherwise enjoy...must I also give up cycling and ballroom dancing too?

With a bilateral PTA around 95dBi, and an onset of recruitment, my loss is profound, and justifies the use of these more powerful HAs. Though at their price-tag, these otherwise common interests are turning into a very expensive endeavor...

Does anyone else burn through HAs this fast? I use a dehumidifier nightly, is there anything else I could be doing differently or better. I've tried those rubber boots, but cannot effectively distinguish road-noises, or understand music. I've tried those cloth "socks" for HAs, to no positive effect... Or is it simply a fact of life, that despite over fifty years of development, nobody is capable of engineering an ultra-power HA that can withstand the rigors of an active person? Or, is there something better out there?
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