iStock_000012110875_Small           Phonak logo - RGB 300dpi

“Optimal support in the most challenging listening situations, great sound quality and a discreet, modern design. So small that it virtually disappears behind the ear”

PHONAK AUDEO B50 10 (Midi range hearing aid – RIC style)

Alternative: Phonak Audeo B50 312 / 312T: The slightly larger model shell, with longer battery life – perhaps easier if manual dexterity is poor. The 312T model has a T-coil / loop function.

 

Our Verdict:

Pretty much unsurpassable – a very sensible purchase for the demanding user.
In today’s competitive market, you should be able to negotiate a free trial on all hearing aids. Just ask.

 

PRICE TO PAY: Around £2000 for a pair

 


APPEARANCE AND FEEL:

(the weight, size, shape, how well it fits ergonomically to the ear; the thickness and flexibility of the wire; the shell construction, quality, finish, IP properties, construction of buttons / switches / battery compartment)

4 STARS

Really well thought-through. A robust shell with IP57 protection. Equipped with the best wire on the market – flexible and very thin.

 


SOUND PRODUCTION:

(tested for how natural sounds are; how owner’s voice sounds; quality of classical and popular amplified music; naturalness of everyday quiet sounds such as indicator click, and loud sounds such as toilet flush, wind)

4 STARS

Sounds great.

 


BACKGROUND NOISE PERFORMANCE:

(how well the instrument appears to cope with the suppression of background noises, such as party speech babble, traffic noise, loud wind noise, car engine sound)

4 STARS

The B50 is very effective in noisy places, however it is a little harsh at times.


EASE OF PROGRAMMING:

(from the audiologist perspective – how easy and user-friendly the programming software is: this can affect the quality of the results for the end-user)

5 STARS

There is no real doubt that the Phonak fitting software is the best. It’s fast, obvious, intuitive.

 


MAINTENANCE & RUNNING COSTS:

(cost of out-of-warranty repairs, cost of shell repairs, spare parts, ease of procuring replacement parts, consumables such as domes, wax guards, receiver wires; shell integrity when put under stress)

5 STARS

Parts are readily available at low cost.

 


OTHER COMMENTS:

This is the best-selling make in Europe. They do spend a lot on research and development. It’s an obvious first choice IF you do get offered a free trial.

 

4 STARS

Overall score in midi class

MR (Dec. 2017)

 

iStock_000012110875_Small     12996_Watch_Web_Modules_B2C_556x428-4    res logo

“ReSound LiNX Quattro provides effortless hearing in the most true-to-life way. Spatial Sense™ gives you a natural sense of where sounds are coming from and helps you form a detailed sound picture of your surroundings. And, in a noisy listening situation, Binaural Directionality™ II makes sure you can still understand every word of the conversation”

RESOUND LiNX Quattro 5 (Midi class hearing aid – RIC style)

Our Verdict: An amazing product IF you own an iPhone, enjoy gadgets and value the idea of streaming music and audio. Limited functionality via Android phones.
In today’s competitive market, you should be able to negotiate a free trial on all hearing aids. Just ask.

 

PRICE TO PAY: Around £2000 for a pair of LiNX Quattro 5 RICs

 


APPEARANCE AND FEEL:

(the weight, size, shape, how well it fits ergonomically to the ear; the thickness and flexibility of the wire; the shell construction, quality, finish, IP properties, construction of buttons / switches / battery compartment)

3 STARS

Attractive design, well put together. Not a bad size considering the wireless properties and its ability to work directly via an app.

 


SOUND PRODUCTION:

(tested for how natural sounds are; how owner’s voice sounds; quality of classical and popular amplified music; naturalness of everyday quiet sounds such as indicator click, and loud sounds such as toilet flush, wind)

3 STARS

The LiNX Quattro sounds ok. It is rather harsh on loud high notes.

 


BACKGROUND NOISE PERFORMANCE:

(how well the instrument appears to cope with the suppression of background noises, such as party speech babble, traffic noise, loud wind noise, car engine sound)

5 STARS

The LiNX Quattro 5 seems to adjust well – seems really good for this price bracket.

 


EASE OF PROGRAMMING:

(from the audiologist perspective – how easy and user-friendly the programming software is: this can affect the quality of the results for the end-user)

3 STARS

Wireless connection is superb via Airlink2. Occasional unwanted feedback sound when connecting or if aids are removed mid-programming, Fitting advice section is squashed.

 


MAINTENANCE & RUNNING COSTS:

(cost of out-of-warranty repairs, cost of shell repairs, spare parts, ease of procuring replacement parts, consumables such as domes, wax guards, receiver wires; shell integrity when put under stress)

2 STARS

Parts are rather expensive, domes are still a clear colour which is a bad idea if one ever comes off loose in your ear, wax guards are fiddly.

 


OTHER COMMENTS: The app (fully functional on iPhone) is what has made this hearing aid so popular. You can stream phone calls and music straight into the aids, and the remote control features are wide and varied. Recent price drops will make the product even more appealing. A good choice if you own an iPhone.

 

4 STARS

Overall score in class (boosted by app. functionality)

 

AP (October 2018)