Phonak Introduces Paradise CROS and ActiveVent

Phonak has introduced a CROS aid and a new receiver called ActiveVent for the Paradise range. First, let's talk about the CROS device. CROS aids are designed as a solution for people with single-sided or asymmetrical hearing loss. Although they look like a hearing aid, they are simply a transmitter of captured sound from the side they are worn on to the receiver/hearing aid on the opposite side. In that way, people who have little or no hearing on one side can still get access to the sound from that side.

They can be a very successful solution for people, meaning they no longer have to consider the good ear, bad ear dilemma. Phonak is one of the few manufacturers who has offered CROS systems pretty consistently. However, they never introduced one for their very popular Marvel range. So it is good to see them now introduce one compatible with the Paradise platform.

ActiveVent from Phonak

What is the ActiveVent?

The ActiveVent is a brand new concept that is designed to deliver benefits for people with predominantly high-frequency loss. It is a new mechanical receiver-type (speaker) that attaches to Phonak Audeo Paradise hearing aids. You can see the workings of the receiver in the rather colourful cross-section picture above. The receiver has a mechanical vent system that will change from open to closed based on instructions from the hearing aids operating system. The new receiver has to be fitted with a custom tip made from titanium to give the perfect acoustic seal.  The vent system remains open most of the time except for when audio is being streamed to the aids by Bluetooth or when the user is in a very noisy situation.

Who is suitable for ActiveVent?

The ideal candidate for ActiveVent is someone with good low-frequency hearing with a loss in the high frequencies. The candidate will also need to have generally clean and dry ears. Anyone with an earwax problem, or wet ears, just isn't a suitable candidate for the devices. The candidate will also need to be aware that you need to take care of the receivers diligently. If you don't, they will fail.

Why Open and Closed Vents?

Why use open-fit or open vent and closed-fit or closed vent?  With high-frequency losses, open-fit delivers comfort with a more natural sound, but closed-fit allows the hearing aids to work their best, but is unnatural and causes occlusion.

The closed fit is best to activate all of the features in the hearing aids, it also delivers the very best streaming audio experience. But with high-frequency hearing losses, it feels unnatural and there is a huge feeling of occlusion or stuffed up ears. ActiveVent tries to provide the best of both worlds, an open fit that converts to a closed fit in the situations where it makes sense.

The Experience!

Streaming audio provided with the ActiveVent receivers delivers a much better experience. The sound is comparable with a decent set of headphones. That also includes streaming audio for phone calls. When in noisy situations, the closure of the vent also allows the hearing aids to deliver the very best function to help a user hear better in the situation.

An Audible Clunk

When the ActiveVent system activates, there is an audible clunk, it is quite audible and noticeable. It is an unavoidable function of the system in action and nothing can be done about it. Initially, it could be a bit off-putting, but in general, most people report that they simply got used to it.

To Summarise

The ActiveVent system offers people with good low frequency an excellent balance of open-fit for normal use and closed fit when they need it. Beware though, when they activate, there is a clear, audible clunk, which can be irritating.

While there is a massive wax guard on the tip of the receiver, it will need to be changed when it begins to get full of wax. You will need to take care of the receivers, it is important to do so, the ActiveVents are an added extra and you will pay extra for them.  It should also be noted that Phonak only offers a six-month warranty on them.

Call us now on 832 4007 or 851 1911 to book an appointment to discuss hearing aids. We also provide in-depth hearing tests and earwax removal at both of our clinics.