Phonak Bolero Q 90 Review
Note: The Bolero Q 90 has been updated with the Bolero V 90.
The following is a guest post by a Phonak Bolero Q 90 user who wishes to remain anonymous. At the time of this review, I’ve worn the Phonak Bolero Q 90 (ric style), for just over a week. I previously wore Siemens Pure 500 (also ric style), for 6 years, with a custom ear mold. I wanted to try some newer aids to see if the newer technology could help me out in more situations. I am 40 years old and work full time and attend many meetings/conferences, and so that sort of environment is what is most important to me. Hearing those voices across the room, whether they are subtle almost whispers or not- I want and need to be able to hear it all. So the workplace is my primary concern, but of course like many people I also struggle in places with background noise like restaurants, parties, or large crowds.
After wearing them for a week I can report that I am very pleased, and will probably be keeping these, though my dispenser has offered a 60 day trial. At the time, I have these set up with just 2 programs. Program 1 is simply my base or universal program, and that’s the program I use almost all the time. Program 2 is for the Duophone feature which makes it much easier to hear on the phone. Basically, I answer the phone as usual with my right ear, and after the phone has been at my ear for a second, the sound from the phone gets streamed through both ears, so I can hear the call in surround sound. This helps me a ton on the phone, the only issue is, when I do put the phone to my ear, the aid makes a little beeping noise (I think it’s an alert or sorts). I will ask my dispenser to remove this as it is distracting.
I am using the universal program everywhere, and didn’t buy any of the remotes or additional accessories. I wanted to see how I would do without them at first, and add them on later if I need to- the TV link is what I think I may end up getting. For the first time in a long time I am hearing the TV in my living room at an appropriate volume level that my family can tolerate. Hearing the TV is now much easier, though I still suffer from some clarity issues, which I think may be able to be addressed via the “Zoom” feature, or the TV link? Will talk to my dispenser about this. The real test for me was work environments, meetings and so forth. This past week I have had several good opportunities to test them, and have been very impressed. I sat at a round table with about 8 people at it the other day for a banquet, and I could hear conversations all over the room, and those at my table, which is a big improvement. I still would not be able to carry a conversation with someone on the other side of a large table with other people around it and a constant background chatter, but I think most people with normal hearing have a hard time doing this anyways so it’s not too much of a concern.
So far the Bolero Q’s have been a big upgrade from my Siemens, and I can justify the cost to keep them. I will definitely need to get a few follow up adjustments though and get these fine-tuned and learn more about certain features such as (ultrazoom?) or other “zoom” capabilities which I gather are supposed to let me cancel out certain noises and focus on on certain other noises. Not sure if this is done by remote, or manually pushing a button on the hearing aid or what, but am curious about it as I’ve read it’s one of the top reasons people get these aids. Once I’ve worn these for a few weeks I will report back and post a follow up review, but for now I am pretty darn happy with them!
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