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The Phonak Audeo Q-50 consists of three products that make up this third tier of technology. With a total of four levels and the three products being present in each level Phonak believes that there should be an Audeo Q that would be suitable for most people suffering from hearing loss. The previous Audeo based upon the Spice processor certainly delivered great results for very many thousands of people across the globe so much is expected of the new Audeo Q. The Q of the Audeo Q-50 stands for Quest which is the name of Phonak’s latest sound processing chip and is replacing the Spice processor. The Q chip is already in use in a number of Phonak products such as the Bolero, Virto, Naida etc. so what does it deliver to the well established Audeo range? The new chip is faster than the old and allows a greater degree of sound processing to improve the listening experience of the Audeo wearers. So let’s take a look at which algorithms are available within the Q-50 and what they can do for hearing impairment. All Q-50 products use the Standard level of Phonak’s UltraZoom which is their directionality system. In addition and in combination the SoundRecover algorithm is used to provide a more positive experience with higher frequency sounds that are typically the more difficult for many hearing impaired people. The Q-50 is also the first technology level that has access to the SoundFlow environmental algorithm (not present in the lower technology Q-30). To further enhance sound quality there is WhistleBlock feedback suppression and an Enhanced WindBlock algorithm. These all may confuse first time hearing aid wearers but those experienced users will recognise the areas that Phonak are addressing with the sound processing algorithm bundle and can be assured that the Audeo Q-50 will provide a good quality outcome for the vast majority. The Audeo Q-50 comes with three manual programmes and two of the products (the Q-312 and Q-312T) are wireless enabled allowing connection to a wide variety of wireless enabled household devices. Phonak have lead the way with connection of hearing aids to other devices, primarily off the back of their excellent paediatric products, so it is well worth while investigating whether you can use a hearing aid to take advantage of the increasing number of wireless enabled devices. Phonak have their own remote accessory range which you should discuss during a hearing consultation with your Hearing Aid Audiologist. For those who have traditionally taken advantage of loops systems in many public buildings such as churches, post offices and theatres the Q-312T has a built in telecoil. As with all Audeo Q products there is now a Tinnitus function that can be enabled to help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus. As with most tinnitus solutions this may not be a miracle cure but for those who suffer from this debilitating condition it would be worthwhile exploring how this may assist and at least help manage the tinnitus. Phonak have always been well known for their quirky style and the Audeo Q range is available in many different colour options, so there should be something that will appeal to even the choosiest wearer. In summary, we have no hesitation in recommending Phonak as a manufacturer and the new Audeo Q as an excellent product range. The individual choice of technology level and product should be dictated by your lifestyle and where you are looking for assistance in dealing with your hearing impairment. Take time to consider all options and if you have the opportunity, definitely discuss these with your Hearing Aid Audiologist.
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