Phonak P30 RIC Hearing Aids
Paradise: A place or condition of great happiness where everything is exactly as you would like it to be; Heaven.
Comparisons are with my Widex Beyond 440 aids, which I have been wearing for several years.
Comfort and Fit
The body of the P30 aids is compact but slightly wider than my Widex Beyond 440s. The extra width is probably to accommodate the rechargeable battery and its associated electronics. The difference in size isn’t large, but it is significant when the aids are vying for space with spectacles and facemask loops.
The size S domes on the M receivers are easy to insert in my ear canals. My LH ear canal is narrow, and the dome feels a bit uncomfortable at times. Widex makes a smaller size XS open ear-tip, which fits my LH ear canal better than the Phonak S.
Ease of use
The phone app is easy to use, and it has a comprehensive set of functions.
Volume and program change can be done using the buttons on the aids, but they are a bit fiddly to use. Notifications of changes made are by a series of beeps, which I found a bit confusing at first.
The Phonak P30s are bright sounding aids. I think that the brightness enhances understanding of speech.
The aids amplify head sounds such as breathing and chewing. I think that the reason for it is that the body of the aids is slightly resonant. I found it disconcerting at first, but I quickly got used to it.
I used the Universal program most of the time, but I also used Music with Feedback Manager and Music without Feedback Manager.
The Universal program worked well. My understanding of speech was good, including TV dialogue. Some sounds, such as those generated by cutlery on crockery, or running water, seemed to be accentuated, whereas others, such as the sound from a car engine, seemed subdued.
The Universal program is not good for listening to music. The operation of the Feedback Manager interferes with notes in the higher register causing an unpleasant tremolo effect. The effect was also present to a lesser extent with the Music with Feedback Manager program. The effect was not there with the Music without Feedback Manager program, which sounded quite good.
Feedback was an issue when using the Music without Feedback Manager program, but the problem was reduced by lowering the volume of the aids
I paired the aids with my Android phone and with my Windows tablet. The pairing was simple enough.
The streaming feature was useful for taking calls, but I was particularly interested in how the aids would sound with streaming music. The track that I used for testing was Madeleine Peyroux’s version of Careless Love.
I played an 835kbps FLAC CD rip and a 262kbps m4a version of the track using both the phone and the tablet. There was little or no difference in sound quality between the phone and the tablet.
There was a fair amount of background hiss. The sound of both versions of the track was acceptable. Jay Bellerose’s drums and Larry Goldings’ Hammond Organ came across particularly strongly, but David Piltch’s double bass sound lacked body and resonance. Madeleine Peyroux’s voice sounded good, as always, but it lacked some of the usual velvety smoothness . . .