Phonak is a brand of Sonova Holding AG, a Swiss company that develops and markets solutions for hearing loss. They were an independent holding company until 2007 when Sonova absorbed them. Likewise, Phonak Group was formed in 1965 when Ernst Rihs took over another hearing device company that began in 1947.
Today, Sonova Holding AG operates through Phonak as well as its other core brands such as Unitron, Hansaton, Advanced Bionics, and AudioNova. They have a presence in more than 100 countries worldwide with manufacturing plants in Vietnam, China, and Switzerland; research facilities in the United States, Canada, and Switzerland; and retail outlets in select countries.
Distribution for Phonak – and Sonova in general – is handled entirely by their independent sales partners and in-house wholesale network. The entire Phonak line includes standard hearing aids, cochlear implants, and wireless communication devices that are compatible with hearing aids.
Phonak hearing devices have a number of innovative technologically advanced features. They are designed to improve the quality of the sound Phonak customers hear as well as making their lives easier by allowing them to make the most of today’s world.
The AutoSense OS is designed to sense and adapt to your surroundings by automatically adjusting the hearing aid to compensate for changes in the environment. That may be why it is the top-rated hearing aid for music sound quality. Every 0.4 seconds this feature analyzes the sound level around you then precisely matches the exact sound environment utilizing and blending multiple features and more than 200 distinct settings including the ability to automatically:
Phonak also offers AutoSense Sky OS for those children and teenagers who wear Phonak hearing aids. It is uniquely designed to compensate for those situations that often affect younger customers. Classrooms, school buses, crowded playgrounds, and other areas that are common to kids and teens but not adults are the focus of this specific feature.
Phonak Rechargeable Technology
Phonak provides lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids. In fact, they carry the longest lasting, quickest charging rechargeable hearing aids on the market. Phonak’s specifically designed batteries provide a full day of power for every charge as well as a 40 percent increase in power over other rechargeable batteries.
Full charge time for these unique lithium-ion batteries is only three hours. However, if you do not have time for a full charge, a quick 30-second charge will last up to 6 hours. This adds a level of convenience and freedom that is not available with standard hearing aids that use disposable batteries or lesser rechargeable ones. Moreover, these batteries have been thoroughly tested and shown to last six years on average.
Phonak Audéo B-Direct Connectivity
The Phonak Audéo B-Direct offers the ability to connect to any cell phone with Bluetooth capabilities. Regardless of whether the phone uses Android, iOS, Windows, or another operating system this feature allows your hearing aids to be connected directly to your cell phone enables you to take calls easily.
Functioning exactly like a wireless Bluetooth headset, the Phonak Audéo B-Direct uses built-in microphones that pick up your voice. Calls are delivered directly to the hearing aid allowing you to hear without the annoying feedback that often makes phone calls difficult for hearing aid wearers.
This unique feature also allows users to reject or answer calls with the push of a button. Moreover, it can easily connect to the stereo system or television with the Phonak TV Connector – a dynamic new multimedia hub. It enables you to turn your hearing aids into wireless earbuds that allow you to enjoy movies and TV shows with exceptional stereo sound quality.
Phonak Marvel Technology Platform
The newest innovative feature offered by Phonak is the Marvel platform. This unique feature offers exceptional sound quality, speech recognition, hearing performance and more by combining several features into one cohesive package. All of Phonak’s leading technologies are integrated into a cohesive harmonious system in Marvel. They include Binaural VoiceStream Technology, Bluetooth connectivity, AirStream Technology, and more.
Binaural VoiceStream Technology
Developed from the basic fact that two ears will hear better than one can, this unique Phonak technology simulates what the brain does when sound enters both ears. It tackles difficult listening situations – like a crowded room – by streaming full audio bidirectionally and in real time. Linking the hearing aids in both ears enables the wearer to hear speech in both ears.
Marvel is the only platform that allows your hearing aid to directly connect to any Bluetooth enabled smartphone allowing it to stream any kind of audio desired. It enables audible notifications of calls to be sent directly to the hearing aids as well as enabling a truly hands-free experience. Furthermore, Marvel allows superior sound quality for streaming podcasts, e-books, videos, music, and whatever else you want.
The Phonak Marvel AirStream feature allows streaming from any stereo system or television. The Phonak plug and play TV Connector allows users to enjoy top sound quality for their favorite movies and TV shows. Just like the Audéo B-Direct feature, AirStream technology is like using wireless headphones with the ability to automatically adjust to provide an optimized sound experience.
Phonak products are not sold through their website nor are there any prices listed there. With their network of distributors, Phonak sells their audio enhancing devices via professional audiologists and audiology centers. Based on research into these third-party sites, an approximate price range was able to be determined. The vast majority of Phonak devices fall between $1,200 and $2,400.
Phonak hearing aid products are innovative and unique. Moreover, the company declares its commitment to continuous improvement in the industry. With the support of their parent company – Sonova – they have the ability to continue to grow and dominate the market.
It is worth noting that while Phonak and Sonova have an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, they also have a history of lawsuits. In particular, Sonova has had issues in the past with cochlear implants producing electrical shocks. It is worth investigating any hearing device fully before committing to its purchase. Read our full review of Phonak here.