Phonak is one of the most well-known brands on the hearing aid market, they are one of what audiologists refer to as the “Big 6” hearing aid manufacturers. Phonak’s line of hearing aids are one of the broadest in the industry, and even their CROS products can be found across a few of their hearing aid lines. The Phonak CROS P is not Phonak’s first attempt at a unilateral hearing solution. In fact, as far back as the early 2000s, Phonak had a FM-based CROS system called “CROSLink” and then their first wireless CROS device in 2011. Phonak is known for quality and innovation in the CROS category and the CROS P hearing aids are no exception.
The CROS P is a solution for unilateral hearing loss from the Phonak Paradise line of hearing aids. The CROS P helps people suffering from complete hearing loss when speech or other sound is presented to the non-hearing ear. The Phonak Paradise line of hearing aids contains their most technologically advanced features and connectivity, and the CROS P uses that technology in a CROS system. The CROS P is one of the most “in demand” CROS systems based on the success of the Paradise line of hearing aids, and they have not disappointed. The following is a review and description of the Phonak CROS P hearing aids.
Why Are CROS Hearing Aids Important?
The term “CROS” is actually an acronym that stands for “Contralateral Routing of Signals.” CROS hearing aids are the solution for people who have profound hearing loss in one ear and rely on their good ear for all of their hearing. Many people can hear very little in one ear, sometimes to the point that a hearing aid will not help. If you can only hear in one of your ears, your head actually prevents your good ear from hearing things on the other side of your body. In some environments, this phenomenon is not that big of a deal, but in bars, restaurants, or other crowded social gatherings you can miss the majority of vocal communication if it happens on the side of your body where your “bad” ear is.
CROS hearing aids help to fight this type of hearing loss. With CROS hearing aids, even though you can only hear out of one ear, you wear hearing aids in both. Sound is detected by both hearing aids, but the sound detected by the hearing aid in your “bad ear” is transmitted directly to your “good ear.” You are then hearing all sounds and all frequencies heard on both sides of your head in your one good ear. You are a candidate for CROS hearing aids if you have severe hearing loss in one ear or cannot hear in one ear at all, and approximately 60,000 people in the U.S. develop this problem every year.
The Phonak CROS P hearing aid consists of two parts:
- The CROS with a microphone that is in the ear with poor hearing picks up sounds and voices from that side of your body. Those sounds and voices are transmitted, unprocessed, to the hearing aid that sits in your “good” ear.
- The Audeo Paradise hearing aid sits in your good ear and receives the sounds from the CROS device. The Audeo Paradise hearing aid processes those sounds with all of the technology available and plays the processed sound to your good ear.
Things to Consider Before Buying
CROS hearing aids are available to be used with quite a few of the higher end hearing aid lines in different brands. Oticon, Phonak, Lively, Bose, Kirkland, and ReSound are just a few of the brands that offer a CROS solution. The thing that differentiates the Phonak CROS P is that it uses the technology and features of one of their most popular and technologically advanced hearing aids to provide hearers with the best sound quality and listening experience possible. Basically, not all CROS hearing aid systems are created equal, so it is important to look deeper into each one prior to making a decision on a hearing solution for unilateral hearing loss.
- All of the features of the Phonak Paradise in a CROS solution.
- Universal connectivity feature that allows you to connect directly to almost any smartphone or Bluetooth enabled device.
- You can follow conversations in quiet and loud environments without having to adjust your position.
- There are 2 models available and one of them is a rechargeable option.
- The ActiveVent receiver is an innovative speaker technology built for challenging listening environments.
- Hear speech better from the side of your body where hearing was not taking place.
- The AutoSense 4.0 analyzes the sounds around you every 0.4 seconds and uses that information to detect the environment you are in and then changes the settings based on that environment.
- Hearing takes less work and concentration compared to most hearing aids.
- Numerous apps and accessories to aid in your listening experience.
- High sound quality both in speech and streaming.
- It is an expensive system for a CROS hearing aid.
- No In-The-Ear (ITE) options available.
Features & Benefits
Design/Type of Hearing Aid
There are two models of the CROS P hearing aid, and both are BTE style hearing aids. The CROS P-R is rechargeable while the CROS P-13 uses the size 13 disposable batteries. There are eight different colors to choose from, and even though it is a BTE device, it is a pretty discreet hearing aid.
Fit and Wearability
The device sits comfortably on your ear and is lightweight and discreet enough to be comfortable and unintrusive. The eight colors mentioned above are mostly skin-toned so that discretion comes along with the the fit and comfort of the device.
There are two models of the CROS P hearing aid, one uses disposable batteries and the other is rechargeable. The rechargeable option gives you at least 12 hours of hearing on a full charge, and that includes streaming.
- Sound quality
The main advantage of CROS hearing aids is that they give you the ability to localize the origin of the sound you hear. The Phonak CROS P gives you access to all of the sound in your environment with 360-degree hearing, and then it allows your hearing aids to work together to provide the directional hearing that you would miss if you could only hear out of one ear.
Adjusting to any new hearing aid takes some time, but with a CROS system it can take even longer, especially if it is your first CROS hearing aid. Processing sound from both sides in one ear can be a lot to handle at first, but with the features and technology of the Audeo Paradise, you can adapt to the change more quickly.
- Noise cancellation
Dynamic noise cancellation is a new feature found in the Audeo Paradise. It uses a beamformer when you are in a noisy environment and trying to understand speech.
- Automatic sound adjustment based on environment
The AutoSense 4.0 analyzes the sounds around you every 0.4 seconds and uses that information to detect the environment you are in. The device then changes your settings to fit that environment.
You can stream sound from almost any other Bluetooth device directly to your hearing aids. This feature takes away the need for many additional accessories while also allowing you to stream high quality audio directly to your device at any time and with most devices. You can also get hands-free calling as an option on the majority of smartphones.
- Roger Microphones
Even with all of the available technology to help boost the performance of hearing aids in noisty environments or over distances, many hearing aid wearers still report challenges with their hearing in these situations. Roger digital wireless technology can boost the performance of your Phonak hearing aids even in the most challengeing environments. A hearing professional can install a Roger receiver directly into your hearing aid so that all you need is the Roger microphone. These high end microphones help to improve your speech understanding in noisy places, enhances your listening experience in groups, and gives you access to multiple talkers in meetings or other gatherings. The available Roger Microphones include:
- Roger On
Created for when conversations are held in places with a lot of background noise or over a great distance.
- Roger Select
Designed to help with group conversations like around a table, in a small group setting, or any other time you are conversing with a group of people and want to hear everyone.
- Roger Table Mic
A great device for business meetings where you can set the device on the table and it can use its multiple microphones to pick up everyone’s voice.
- Roger Touchscreen Mic
A classroom-specific microphone that is designed to be placed anywhere in a classroom so that a child can actively participate in the classroom with the teacher, small group, or whole class together.
Unique Perks and Features
You can connect to up to eight different Bluetooth devices at a time and up to two simultaneously. The phrase “universal connectivity” can almost be used to describe the CROS P because you can connect to almost any other Bluetooth enabled electronic device.
The myPhonak app free to access and use with the purchase of the Phonak Audeo Marvel hearing aids and using this app is the best way to get the most out of your hearing aids. The app is compatible with most smartphones out there, and it will help you both control your hearing aids and allow them to reach their full potential. Here are some of the features included with the app:
- Remote Support
With remote support you can video chat with a hearing professional and that same professional can adjust your hearing aids remotely in real time.
- Remote Control
You can control your hearing aids with your smartphone simple by adjusting the settings and features you desire. You can adjust volume, select programs, adjust noise cancellation, and create your own preferred settings and programs.
- Hearing Diary
With the “Hearing Diary” feature you can rate your listening experience, see your usage, share feedback with your hearing professional, and more. This feature helps your hearing aids learn how to help you more.
- “My Hearing Aids”
Everything going on with your hearing aids can be found in this section of the app. You can find your battery level, Bluetooth configuration, wearing time statistics, etc.
AutoSense OS 4.0
The Phonak CROS P utilizes the AutoSense 4.0 operating system that the Audeo Paradise uses. The AutoSense OS senses your surroundings automatically by scanning your environment 0.4 times and adjusts your hearing aid accordingly. It orchestrates various features such as Binaural VoiceStream Technology and the “smart receiver” to enable CROS P to wirelessly transfer sounds from the poorer hearing side to the hearing aid on the better hearing ear.
The ActiveVent Receiver is controlled by AutoSense 4.0 and can intelligently balance speech clarity in noise with listening comfort. It also has a feature that mechanically switches the vent so that you can hear your own voice naturally while still optimizing hearing performance.
Prism Processing Chip
The Audeo Paradise uses the PRISM (Processing Real-time Intelligent Sound Management) sound processing chip which are powerful and fast and produce one of the crispest, most natural sounds on the market.
The “Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator” generates a broadband sound for use in tinnitus management therapies. You can either mask the effects of tinnitus or add a sound therapy like “Tinnitus Retraining Therapy” to train your ears to fight against it.
Phonak produces a feature-rich and high quality hearing aid, and you can expect to pay for those features. WIth the Phonak CROS, you should expect to pay at least between $3,000 and $5,000 or more depending on your needs and level of hearing loss. You also have to take into account doctors visits and after care to get a good idea of what the total cost of the hearing aids will be.
- How much does Phonak CROS cost?
At least $1,500 per ear and oftentimes more. The more features and technology you get, the more you pay. You also have to take into account where you purchase your devices as well as the level of service y0u will pay for before and after the purchase.
- What is Phonak CROS?
The term “CROS” is actually an acronym that stands for “Contralateral Routing of Signals.” CROS hearing aids are the solution for people who have profound hearing loss in one ear and rely on their good ear for all of their hearing. The Phonak CROS P means that you get the CROS system in your bad ear and a Phonak Paradise hearing aid in the other. The Audeo Paradise is the highest end hearing aid sold by Phonak so you know you are getting a high-quality, feature-rich device.
- What is the difference between CROS and BiCROS?
CROS hearing aids are for people with single-sided deafness (SSD) and normal hearing in the other ear. BiCROS hearing aids are for people who have some form of hearing loss in one ear and total hearing loss in the other.
- What is a CROS-P hearing aid?
The Phonak CROS-P hearing aid is a CROS hearing aid in one hear and the Phonal Audeo Paradise in the other. The CROS hearing aid simply receives sound that it then sends directly to the Audeo Paradise hearing aid in your other ear. With the CROS P hearing aid you get all of the benefits of the Audeo Paradise hearing aid but in a CROS model that was developed for SSD.
Studies show that up to 60,000 Americans develop SSD every year which means that CROS hearing aids will continue to remain a wanted and needed product each year. The Phonak CROS P takes one of the most technologically advanced hearing aids on the market with great sound quality, connectivity, and directionality features and turns it into a device that alleviates SSD. Features like a 360-degree soundscape, universal connectivity, and Roger Mics all combine to make this one of the best products on the market for people with total hearing loss in one ear.