Both of these hearing aids are so good that it is almost impossible to pick which one is better. Two of the most popular hearing aids from two of the biggest hearing aid manufacturers in the world are the Phonak Audeo Lumity and the Oticon Real. Both of these hearing aids are impressive pieces of technology, but they're both so good that it's almost impossible to identify which one would be better for you. Now, I do have individual detailed hearing aid review videos on each of these products on my channel if you want to check them out as well. But I'm hoping that this direct head-to-head comparison of the Lumity and the Real will help you decide which one is actually better for you instead of creating even more confusion. But I guess we'll find out. The Phonak Lumity was released at the end of 2022 and the Oticon Real was just released early in 2023.
From a feature standpoint, both of these hearing aids could not be more different from each other than they currently are, which means that which one is best for you will heavily depend on what your specific wants and needs are. Just remember, it does not matter how awesome either one of these hearing aids are unless you've had them fit and programmed by a hearing care professional who follows best practices. Now, if you do not know what best practices are, I highly recommend that you check out my video in the description because that is the most important thing when it comes to high level performance with hearing aids. If you'd like to find a hearing care professional in your local area who follows best practices, make sure that you check out my website HearingUp.com to find a HearingUp network member near you. HearingUp providers have been vetted and are committed to following comprehensive best practices to ensure that you get the most out of your hearing aids.
If you want to treat your hearing loss the right way, find a HearingUp provider and experience the difference that exceptional hearing care makes. All right. Let's start out by comparing the differences in hearing aid styles. As of right now, the Phonak Lumity is only available in rechargeable receiver in canal form factors. This includes the Lumity R, the Lumity RT, which is the only model that has a Telecoil, the Lumity R Life, which is their waterproof version, and the Slim, which is their new fashion device. The Oticon Real is available in rechargeable and disposable battery receiver in canal versions, as well as a rechargeable and disposable battery behind the ear versions, including the miniRITE R, the miniRITE T, the miniBTE rR and the miniBTE T. And each of these devices has a telecoil. While the differences between receiver in canal technology and behind the ear technology are not that significant, it is significant to note that the Phonak Lumity lineup does not have a disposable battery option.
It also does not have a CROS transmitter for single-sided deafness, and they do not have a telecoil in all the models. They only have it inside of one of them. The Oticon Real, on the other hand, have both a rechargeable and disposable battery option. They are all compatible with a CROS transmitter for single-sided deafness, and they all come standard with the telecoil. So if any of these features are important to you, you need to take this into consideration. While we're on the topic of rechargeability, it is important to note that both of these hearing aids will get you all day battery life on a single three hour charge, but there are some differences between the rechargeable technologies in Phonak and Oticon. While both the Lumity and the Real hearing aids use lithium ion batteries, you cannot remove the lithium ion battery from the Phonak devices. They would have to be sent into the manufacturer to have that battery replaced if the battery goes bad. However, the Oticon Real hearing aids have a removable rechargeable battery, so your hearing care professional can change it for you, which can be an added convenience. Both Phonak and Oticon have multiple chargers to choose from both with and without battery packs. Phonak uses the Charger Case Ease, which is their small desktop charger, and the Charger Case Go, which is their inductive charger for their Lumity Life waterproof hearing aids. Oticon has their desk charger that needs to stay plugged in and their Smart Charger that has an internal power bank, and both of them use inductive charging.
The main difference that I've identified between Phonak chargers and Oticon chargers is the amount of space that the charger gives you for a custom ear mold to fit inside of it. Phonak does not have a lot of space inside of their chargers, so if you use a custom ear mold, this could ultimately be a problem. On the other hand, Oticon gives you plenty of space for custom ear molds to fit inside of their chargers, so that should not be an issue with them. As far as custom ear molds go, both hearing aid manufacturers are accepting 3D digital scans from hearing care professionals that are starting to replace physical impressions to ensure that you get an optimal physical fit. Custom ear molds can be extremely beneficial when your hearing care professionals trying to optimize your hearing aid performance. So having a high quality custom ear mold is critical in my opinion.
Phonak's C-shell custom ear molds are a little bit better than Oticon's MicroShell ear molds when it comes to physical fits as well as optimal acoustics using their acoustically optimized venting. Phonak also gives you the option of an ActiveVent receiver that actually opens and closes the venting based on the environment that you're in and whether or not you're streaming to give you better audio. That being said, I still do love the MicroShell ear molds from Oticon, and on top of that, I really like their power ear molds because they have a removable receiver wire, which can be extremely beneficial. If you need to change wire length or if the wire goes bad, you can easily have that swapped out in the clinic. All right, so we've got a ton of other things to cover, but before I get back to it, if you could do me a huge favor, click that like button.
It really helps out my channel, let's me know that you like me to make more videos just like this one. And while you're at it, if you are not yet subscribed to the channel with notifications turned on, go ahead and do that as well because that ensures that you never miss one of my newly released videos. That being said, I really appreciate it, and now let's go ahead and get back to the comparison. From a technology level standpoint, the Phonak Audeo Lumity line of devices comes in four different technology levels. You have the premium level 90 going down to the 70, 50, and basic level 30 device, except for when you're talking about the Phonak Slim hearing aids on the Lumity platform, those only come in two technology levels, the 90 and the 70 as of right now. The Oticon Real comes in three different levels. You have the top tier Real 1, the second tier Real 2, and the third tier Real 3. As always, I recommend that you go at the highest level of technology that you can reasonably afford. If you cannot afford it, you drop down to a technology level that you can afford, and then it is the job of your hearing care professional to get the most out of those devices, and the Phonak Lumity lineup gives you one tier lower to go to save a little bit more money if you need. And no, I have no idea how much these devices cost because it is heavily dependent on where you live, what services are included, and the quality of those services. All right, let's go ahead and start talking about some of the differences when it comes to programming capabilities between the Lumity devices and the Real devices.
And let's start with adjustment bands. The highest tech level for Phonak Lumity devices has 20 different adjustment bands that your hearing care professional can use to match your hearing loss prescription as precisely as they possibly can. However, the Oticon Real devices give your hearing care professional 24 bands to match your hearing loss prescription potentially even better. Will these four extra adjustment bands in the Oticon Real lead to better performance outcomes? Maybe, maybe not, but it will guarantee that they have more precise adjustments that they can make if you care about precisely matching your hearing loss prescription using Real Ear Measurement, and like I always say, the better that you match your hearing loss prescription, the better the chances are that you're going to hear better. I will also say that the Oticon Real hearing aids are second to none when it comes to amplifying high frequencies and matching high frequency prescriptive targets, which controls the amount of clarity that you get from your hearing aids, and they can even do this using a rubber dome.
If you want to be able to hit high frequency prescriptive targets with a significant high frequency hearing loss using a Phonak Lumity hearing aid, you're likely going to need a custom ear mold to be able to do it, and even then, an Oticon hearing aid can potentially outperform a Phonak hearing aid with a custom ear mold in the high frequencies as well. With that said, Phonak is significantly better at customizing streamed audio. Phonak gives your hearing care professional a ton of controls to adjust streamed audio from phone calls as well as music media and speech media. This means that with the Phonak hearing aid, you can make streamed media sound almost exactly the way that you want it except for the limitations that are incurred from acoustic perspectives when it comes to a big vent size and a custom ear mold, as well as an open dome.
Oticon, on the other hand, does not give your hearing care professional a ton of custom adjustments for streaming, which is unfortunate. Oticon does give you a three band streaming equalizer inside of their Oticon Companion app, but you have to go into this equalizer every single time that you start streaming media, which can get a little old. From a digital feature standpoint, Phonak is the clear front runner here because they give your here and care professional virtually any programming adjustment that they would ever wanna make when it comes to reducing different types of noise. Not that the Oticon hearing aids are bad at performing in background noise. They just don't give your hearing care professional a lot of adjustment there, and every single time that we measure the amount of noise reduction in an Oticon hearing aid, it is significantly less
than what you get in a Phonak hearing aid. However, when it comes to wind noise and handling noise, which is the sound of you touching your hearing aids or your hair hitting your hearing aids, Oticon is a clear front runner in this. Phonak just does not do a good job in a windy environment, and they do not do good when you're wrestling with your microphones, whereas Oticon does pretty good on this. Now, I am in love with Phonak AutoSense 5.0 feature inside of their Lumity devices. AutoSense can identify what type of listening situation that you are in based on the acoustics of your environment, and then switch you into the proper program settings for that environment. Then on top of that, I can adjust those settings in any way that I want for these specific environments. With Oticon Real hearing aids, you get four different manual program options and you have to switch between each one of them, and to be honest, I don't find that the customizations that you can make other than the gain adjustments are that significant.
Part of that is because the general program for Oticon is a really good program that you can use in a lot of different situations. Anyway, Oticon finally upgraded their data logging features, which helps your hearing care professional identify the situations that you're in and then counsel you better and make adjustments better in your devices. But Oticon, in my opinion, is still a long ways away from the benefit that you get from the data logging feature inside of the Phonak Lumity devices. When comparing the customization capabilities of the Phonak Lumity devices to the Oticon Real devices, I would somewhat equate it to using a Precision Sniper rifle with Phonak to using a shotgun with Oticon. Now, you can still hit the target with both of them. It's just different. As far as cool features go, I really like that the Phonak Lumity devices give you something called tap control because they have a motion sensor inside of them.
So basically if you want to answer the phone, you can double tap your ear. If you want to pause and start streaming, depending on whether or not someone's talking to you, you can just do simple double taps to do that, and you can even activate your voice assistant with a double tap as well. Oticon gives you no such feature. However, I do expect at some point that Oticon will make their Oticon Companion app compatible with an Apple Watch, which you will not get from Phonak. They used to have this feature with their old version of Oticon app software, but they do not have it with their new version, and I do expect this to come out at some point in the future. So that's kind of a cool feature that you'll get with Oticon that you will not get with Phonak. Since this is naturally leading us into Bluetooth connectivity, let's go ahead and talk about that a little bit.
Both of these hearing aids allow you to directly stream audio from a smart device into both of your ears, so you can listen to things like podcasts, music, audiobooks, YouTube videos, and of course, even stream phone calls. The Phonak Lumity hearing aids use a classic Bluetooth protocol, whereas the Oticon Real hearing aids use made for iPhone Bluetooth Low Energy, as well as an ASHA Bluetooth protocol if you want to connect them with an Android device. The cool thing about the Phonak Lumity hearing aids is that you can pair with up to eight different devices with two active connections at the exact same time, so if you want to
bounce back and forth between your smartphone and your tablet, you can do that without having to switch on and off Bluetooth. You just go and do it. The Oticon Real hearing aids will let you pair with multiple devices, but you can only have one device active at any given time. So when you want to go from your smartphone to your tablet, you have to turn off your Bluetooth on your smartphone, turn on the Bluetooth on the tablet, and then if you want to go back, you have to turn off the Bluetooth on the tablet, turn on the Bluetooth on the smartphone, and that to me is just annoying. On top of that, the Phonak Lumity hearing aids play very nicely with a variety of different Bluetooth devices, so if you wanna connect with your Android device or your Apple device or a dumb phone or a laptop or a desktop or a tablet of any brand, you can do that with no problem.
The Oticon Real hearing aids on the other hand, only really play nicely with Apple devices like an Apple iPhone or an iPad. They do not play well with Android devices because the ASHA Bluetooth protocol really kind of sucks. On top of that, you cannot directly connect with a laptop or a desktop or a dumb phone using an Oticon Real hearing aid. You have to use an intermediary device. The smartphone apps for both of these hearing aids are significantly different as well. With the Phonak Lumity, you have the My Phonak app, and with the Oticon Real, you have the Oticon Companion app. While both apps let you adjust between different programs, different accessories, different volume levels, and have remote care sessions with your hearing care professional, there are some differences. The My Phonak app is a little bit more glitchy than the Oticon Companion app because every single time that you close the app on your phone, it disconnects the hearing aids, and then it reconnects them every time you go back into the app.
But sometimes you get the spinning circle of death and it never really connects again, and you have to close the app out, open it back up again, and every once in a while you have to reboot your phone just so your hearing aids can connect with the app. The Oticon Real hearing aids play very nicely with Apple devices, but if you're going to be using an Android device, just be prepared for a nightmare because the ASHA Bluetooth protocol is horrendous. The My Phonak app does give you the ability to customize your own program settings with the three band Equalizer Noise Reduction Settings, speech focus settings, which controls the directionality of your microphones, as well as compression settings, which allows you to decrease loud sounds or increase soft sounds. You can then save these program adjustments, so you can go back into that program instantaneously if you want to.
The Oticon Companion app does not give you any ability to customize your own program settings, but it does give you a find my hearing aid feature, which can be very handy if you're the type of person who likes to lose your hearing aids. Just keep in mind that you have to have an Apple device to be able to use that find my hearing aid feature. The remote programming feature, which allows you to have a remote care session with your hearing care professional from the comfort of your own home is substantially better with a Phonak device compared to an Oticon device. You can get away with it using Oticon. It is just not as good, so keep that in mind if you happen to work with your hearing care professional from a different state or from a different city. It is also worth noting that if you have Oticon Real hearing aids and an iPhone, you can toggle the microphone inputs between the microphones on your hearing aids and the microphones on your iPhone when you're talking to someone on a phone call. This is extremely helpful, especially if you are in a noisy situation where your hearing aids had difficulty picking up your voice. If your voice has to travel back to behind your ear, it is much easier for them to hear you if you talk into your phone. This is not something that you can do with Phonak Lumity hearing aids. You only have the option of having the microphones on the hearing aids pick up your voice. From a durability standpoint, from what I've seen inside of my clinic, the Phonak hearing aids are significantly more durable than the Oticon hearing aids, especially if you're looking at the Phonak Audeo Lumity Life version, which is their extremely waterproof version.
Now, the Oticon Reals are still pretty good when it comes to a durability perspective. They still have an IP68 rating for debris and moisture resistance. They're just not as good as the Phonak hearing aids in my opinion. Last but not least, we need to talk about the different accessories available for the Phonak Lumity devices and the Oticon Real devices. Both hearing aid manufacturers have remote microphones that you can clip onto the shirt of someone that you need to be able to hear because it will pick up their voice and send it directly into both of your hearing aids. Phonak has the PartnerMic, and Oticon has the ConnectClip, and they both work pretty well. Both manufacturers have specific devices that you can connect to your TV to stream your TV audio directly into both of your hearing aids. Phonak has the TV Connector box, and Oticon has the TV Streamer 3.0, and again, both of them work really well.
I do have to say that if you are not yet streaming audio from your TV into both of your hearing aids, then you are missing out because the sound quality of that is unbelievable. Now, the Phonak Lumity hearing aids do have an unfair advantage when it comes to the Roger microphones since they have integrated Roger receivers inside of these devices that can be activated by your hearing care professional. You can connect up directly to the Roger On, the Roger Select, and the Roger Table Mic 2. These are by far the most versatile assistive listening devices currently available on the market. They have a bunch of multi-functionality. You really need to check 'em out if you don't know anything about them yet. The Oticon Real hearing aids do not have a direct connection with the Roger microphones, but you can technically use an EduMic that has a pin connector at the bottom of it for a Roger receiver, but you then have to use that as an intermediary device with the Roger devices.
Okay, I know I just threw a lot of that at you. Hopefully you were able to follow along pretty well. Of course, go back if you want to try to recapture some of the stuff that I said. Overall, though, both of these hearing aids are very good hearing aids as long as they're in the hands of a hearing care professional who knows what they're doing. But as you can see, there are a ton of differences between these two hearing aids and which one is best for you will heavily depend on what your hearing loss is and what your specific wants and needs are. So if you're considering treating your hearing loss for the first time, or you're looking to upgrade your hearing aid technology and you can't decide between these two hearing aids, I would highly recommend that you consult with your hearing care professional to make sure that you get the right one.
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