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Manual vs. Automatic Hearing Aid Programs | Phonak AutoSense 3.0

By: Dr Cliff Olson
November 5, 2019
Video Transcript

Unless you just sit on a couch all day watching television, you probably encounter a variety of different listening environments.  Each of which typically require different hearing aid program settings to maximize your hearing performance.  For instance, if you are in the comfort of your own home, it is probably relatively quiet.  In this situation, you would likely do best in a hearing aid program that picks up sound from 360 degrees.Then, if you go for a ride in a car, you would probably do better in a program specifically designed to reduce road noise and enhance the speech of the other passengers in the car or the car radio.  Then, if you arrive at a restaurant and sit down at your table, you would need a program that is capable of reducing background noise and focusing on the speech of the other people at your table.Fortunately, programs in today's hearing aids are better than ever at maximizing your hearing performance in these specific situations.  The problem is, not everyone is good at changing their own programs.  

In fact, I would venture to say that most hearing aid users have no idea what program they are in half of the time, nor do they know which programs are best for each specific listening environment. This is where automatic programs, like the ones in Phonak's AutoSense OS 3.0 have made things significantly easier for hearing aid users.  Just like the name suggests, the AutoSense Operating System automatically senses your environment and places you in the best program settings for that environment.  AutoSense OS 3.0 has up to 7 different program settings designed to accommodate a variety of listening environments.  First is the Calm Situation program.  This is where the hearing aids are picking up sound from 360 degrees. Second is the Speech in Noise program.  This is when you go into a noisy environment, like a restaurant, and the hearing aid switches into settings to help reduce background noise and focus on speech of those at your table by narrowing the microphone pickup range.  Third is the Speech in Loud Noise Program.  This is when you are in an extremely noisy environment and the hearing aids switch into settings for maximum noise reduction, and narrow microphone pickup range.Fourth is the Speech in Car program.  In this program, your hearing aids identify that you are in a car and switch you into program settings that maximize speech understanding in the car.   Fifth is Comfort in noise, which reduces overall amplification because the hearing aids don’t identify any speech directed toward you. Sixth is Comfort in Echo, which reduces the negative impact from reverberation and echo, which can be one of the most difficult listening situations for hearing aid wearers.And Seventh is the Music program.  This program can sense the harmonics of music and switch you into settings that reduce the amount of digital features that could distort music sound quality.  

Basically, it means that you don't have to worry about adjusting manual programs because Phonak hearing aids do this for you.  Not only does this make things easier for you, it reduces the errors associated with picking the wrong manual program for the environment that you are in.  So the next time you are discussing hearing aid features with your hearing care provider, make sure you ask them if your hearing aids have automatic programs, so instead of focusing on changing your programs, you can instead focus on enjoying those moments with your family and friends.

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