Bling but dodgy new Naida hearing aids

A few months back, I got some funky new hearing aids. Called Phonak Naida, they basically take high frequency noises and turn them into something that those with a high frequency hearing loss can hear. More importantly, they come in a range of colours and I’m now able to abandon the boring old brown hearing aids and go for something a bit more colourful – black and silver. I sometimes now feel I’ve got more bling than Beyonce.

That’s not to say I haven’t had my teething problems. I had to take my first set back as the volume just collapsed within a few days. And then I started hearing strange internal feedback noises on the second set. But things now seem to have settled down and I’ve slowly been getting used to everything sounding different. And I do indeed seem to be picking up a wider band of noises.

However, the word on the street – or rather the NDCS Parent Place forum – is that these new hearing aids have been very volatile and unreliable, and that I’m not a one off. As a deaf, reasonably assertive, adult with a good audiology department, this is a pain but not a huge problem – I can just go back and get it fixed. I was also lucky enough to be allowed to keep my old hearing aid as a back up.

But we’re hearing that some deaf children are not so lucky – that they don’t have a back up and they’re not able to get a quick appointment at their audiology department. Also, younger deaf children may not necessarily realise there’s something wrong. It’s likely to have a major impact on children affected who will still be going to school, etc. So it’s a bit worrying, to say the least, that these technical problems seem to be sporadically popping up and it’s a problem that needs to be fixed asap.

NDCS is taking our concerns to the manufacturers, and calling for better quality control before new hearing aids are rolled out, and remaining vigilant. I guess the moral is that the bling gets you nowhere if you can’t hear Beyonce on the stereo.

In the meantime, have you come across any problems with the Phonak Naida hearing aids? How have they been resolved? Be good to hear from you if so.

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25 thoughts on “Bling but dodgy new Naida hearing aids

  1. I tried a Naida hearing aid last year and was quite disappointed at how problematic it was! 3 months of trying it out, and by the end of the trial period I just handed it back to the audiologist’s assistant. I was that disappointed. It’d been replaced a few times, shut off on its own frequently, volume’s gone haywire, and other problems. and I’ve spoken with others online who tried the Naida and are still encountering frequent issues TODAY, a year after initially receiving their Naidas. Unbelievable! I don’t understand why Phonak would continue to sell the Naidas when there are so many issues with them that need to be worked out. They could at least take the Naidas off the market until they completely get all the kinks taken cared of and are positive the Naidas wouldn’t be so problematic, then try selling them again. Wow. I’m sticking with my Phonak Supero (and I’ve been wearing various Phonaks since I was nearly 3)… 3 years old but less problematic, with plans of getting my left ear implanted whenever I get the insurance coverage.

    • I have gone through three pairs of Naida IX UP and one pair of the ‘S’ IX UP since November 2010, all replaced under warranty. My audiologist has been most sympathetic and understanding. Phonak too are trying to resolve the issues of resetting and switching off unassisted. I never wear them if sweating or in even light rain and store them each night in the drystore or original box and always ensure they are dry before opening the battery doors. A simple touch to the outer case switches the aids off. The RH unit always fails first, followed some time later by problems with the LH unit. Problem still not resolved but working on it. Hearing loss is common to all three brothers. Our children have normal hearing as did our parents. When working, the Naida is superb but really way too problematic at present. Recent audiogram results below:

      Left side 250Hz -40dB Right side 250Hz -55dB
      Left side 500Hz -70dB Right side 500Hz -70dB
      Left side 1kHz -95dB Right side 1kHz -95dB
      Left side 2kHz -85dB Right side 2kHz NR
      Left side 3kHz -85dB Right side 3kHz NR
      Left side 4kHz -95dB Right side 4kHz NR
      Left side 6kHz -120dB Right side 6kHz NR
      Left side 8kHz -110dB Right side 8kHz NR

  2. I have been reading this blog with particular interest. I too have Nadia’s hearing aids and within the first month of having these I had a problem that the right aid kept switching off when a loud noise occurred. I got my Nadia’s in January of this year, I made an appointment and returned to see my audiologist (who was leaving the week after my appt) to talk to them about the problem before they left. They told me this is quite normal and I was not to worry too much about it, the audiologist also gave me further tips on how I should ensure I change the 3 small felt water protectors every 3months to prevent any further problems. So after a change of tubing I went on my way and I didn’t seem to have any further problems with the right aid switching off….that was until over a month ago when the right aid just kept switching itself off triggered from a loud noise such a door shutting behind me, then this problem developed further to every time I tucked my hair behind my ear to continually switching itself off upon touch. It got to the point a few weeks that I just stopped wearing the aid out of pure frustration. Which I shouldn’t really do as I have two aids for a reason’s…..I had 3 comments how my voice had changed slightly too which as we all know is the result of not hearing my voice as I should with two aids.

    I have then recently started to get word of mouth about this “bad batch” of Nadia’s, so this morning I made my way to the hearing aid repair clinic in search of new hearing aid’s convinced I had a “bad batch” hearing aid. After waiting the standard clinic time (ahem) to see the hearing aid repair person, I explained the problem – maintaining my cool as I am fed up of getting into argument/heated debates with the hospital by now – only to be told ‘the aid is fine and it is more than likely a build up of moisture in the tube and ear hook (screwy part), still maintaining my cool, I went on to explain that I had heard about a ‘bad batch’ of Nadia’s, only to be met by a blank face not aware of any problem’s at all! So I thought I would be best to let the repair man change the tube (to an anti moisture-one!) and replace the ear hook that he was so adamant about changing rather than replacing. At least that way if my aid continued to keep switching off it was a fault of the aid as I suspected and I could go back with this ammunition.

    Upon my arrival I had also booked an appointment to see the audiologist in September, so if there are no further problems (touch of wood) I can discuss more with the audiologist then and update my aids from the boring beige to a more bling type like your own. So far the day has proved to be all ears and no switching itself off as of yet, even when a colleague let out the loudest most frightening sneeze ever, which would usually have made the aid switch off. So the trail continues….

  3. This is really disconcerting. I’ve been trying the Naida for three days and already noticed some problems with it. Not good. 😦

  4. I have had a small sample size (2 of 2 students that I work with) and one co-worker but the new Naida’s turn off on their own without warning. I have used Phonak hearing aids for years, and never experienced this problem. I got no response when I tried to email Phonak and asked why this was happening and should they notify consumers. This is a MAJOR problem.

  5. My 2 year old son is on his 2nd set of Naidas after we found the first set switching themselves off (after 2 months of use). Now the second set is doing the same thing, on the first day of use. I googled and found your thread, confirming my fears. My faith in the world of audiology is at rock bottom after professionals failing to diagnose my son’s deafness for 2 years – despite testing him several times at our request, and now we find that the hearing aids prescribed to give him that ‘vital access to speech sounds’ are faulty. We have no faith in the Naidas now and short of checking them every 15 minutes or so, we have no way of knowing that our son is getting consistent access to the vital sounds he needs to stand a chance of developing speech and language. It makes a mockery of all the hard work that his teacher of the deaf, SALT and his family are putting in to help him develop his listening. So irresponsible and completely unacceptable of Phonak not to address what is evidently a serious problem.

  6. It is important to take care to look after your hearing, I in reality like taking care hearing and whilst I do agree with the above-mentioned poster and I really hope I do not get shot down for stating this, but I believe it is essential to take all things in moderation.

  7. I am still using analog hearing aids. I have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. My next step is to buy digital hearing aids. I must say I did try digitals 3 years ago and found that I did not like the fact that the hearing aid would decide for me if a sound was too loud and cut it out. Now that it is 2010, I’m sure digitals have improved and can be programmed to accept sounds. The Nadia Phonak was one hearing aid the audiologist suggested that would be the best one out there for my type of hearing loss, etc. However, The cutting out sound everytime a loud noise would appear would be highly annoying, frustrating, etc. and I believe this is unacceptable. Something is wrong here. Phonak should do the honorable thing and get this faulty thing fixed ASAP. Now what, I believe I will let my audiologist know about the issue of the Nadia’s hearing aids cutting out when loud sounds happen.

  8. I’ve had Naida for 3 weeks now and so FRUSTRATED with it!!! It seems I’m getting no noise reduction at all and it’s like firecrackers going off all the time along w/noises. I’ve worn aids all my life. Is there anyone who’s gone from anaolg to Phonak and are happy with the results? I’m at the point of returning these expensive aids, mostly to save further headaches!!

    • yeah… I get the loud “SWOOSH” and some popping noises in my NaidaIIIsp. Does yours ever seem like it’s turning itself off at certain times? I also get what sounds like popcorn echoes and sometimes a whistle!

  9. I have a Naida III sp and work in the ER of a Houston area hospital. I’ve had the hearing aid for only a month or so and I’ve had a few problems. I was performing cpr on a patient and had alot of commotion going on around me then all of a sudden THE NAIDA TURNED OFF!!! I have also ben getting this wierd WHOOSHING noise along with popping sounds, can anyone explain this?
    I need a reliable hearing aid that I can depend on…. Naida, your days are numbered!

  10. I have found that Naida’s are far more sensitive to moisture than advertised (and contrary to claims of moisture resistant / repellent). I now use a Zephyr nightly (or at least every other night) and change the filters every other month. For those of us who never knew that we had so-called “wet” ears, the Naida can be a colossal problem unless the moisture issues are attacked consistently and thoroughly.

    I will say that after two years of the Naida I’m quite pleased, but it took a LONG time to identify the cause of the persistent shorting out, squiffy noises, and general misbehaviour, as my previous aids (analogues) weren’t so sensitive to moisture. Phonak even replaced both my Naida aids free of charge (despite the warranty expiration) to alleviate the difficulties.

    I suggest extremely assertive communication with audiologists; don’t let them pooh-pooh the issues. I changed my audiologist from one that was vaguely knowledgeable about Phonak to one with more experience with Phonak. That helped to identify the moisture issue/s.

    One other issue, I have found that PowerOne batteries are the best. I tried Rayovac and Energizer and Duracell – none were especially strong or cooperative with the Naidas.

  11. Hi all, yes I have same problems with Naida. It’s too automatic and very much like 3D sounds surrounds. When someone shouted at me, Naida automatically zoomed into that shout noise and reduced it to very minimum sound, so it was very hard for me to hear the shout noise while i was busy listening to other sounds (like talking to other adult or watching tv). These caused problems in communications. also at the traffic lights, i could not hear vehicle passing me by so well, whereas my old trusting Supero, I could hear the engine sounds, exhaust soound, etc very well. but naida did not deliver the same sounds. also someone from another forum (cannot remember), he said to switch off “bassboost” and this would solve the problem. i have appt with audio tmrw and will tell him to switch off bassboost and if it doesn’t work, then will demand replacement or upgrade. last time i went, they forced me to use oticon which was crap (at least i could hear better, but the sound quality is very thin and poor whereas phonak produce rich sounds quality). anyway, will update tmrw. cheers.

  12. My 8yr old has a new pair of Naidas and keeps saying they are cutting out. When I listen to them they sound fine but I also know he wouldn’t just say that for no reason. Any ideas?

  13. I am a therapist I use smart link to improve word distinction. I purchase two nadia phonak’s to use with my older smart link system. My right aid quite working within 90 days of purchase and had to be repaired. Purchase was 7/10 now my left aid has quit working as has the receiver in the smart link. I’ve never had this problem with new aids before. As well as a heavy bass sound. I don’t know what’s going on with the aids and sadly my audi is 60 miles away. I like the ability to hear in my left ear but this isn’t going to work for me if it’s so sensitive to mositure etc…what to do…..

  14. I have had a Naida V and for two years had no end of problems with it powering off and on spontaneously, or just shorting out and requiring me to jiggle the battery case open and shut repeatedly until it finally stays on. I also have a rough toddler and he only needed to barely knock it for the whole process to set off again. Sent it back for repairs three times and every time the problem came creeping back within weeks.

    So I did some Googling for what others have similarly experienced and found recommendations such as the one by LB above to try PowerOne batteries. Ordered a batch of these and ever since the problem has disappeared (touch wood). Before that I had just used various generic batteries bought from the chemist such as Duracell, etc. So in the end, for me at least, it really did come down to the choice of battery.

    For anyone having these problems, I definitely encourage you to switch to the PowerOne batteries as your first option and see if that helps. Whatever the flaw in Phonak’s battery electronics is, that brand seems to counteract it best.

  15. Can i ask whether anyone had trouble with the Naida hearing aids on T loop on the phone? they are fine with the other settings, but dreadful on t loop on the phone! too quiet, sound distorted, u even need to hold the aid at such a precise angle, otherwise you hear nothing!

  16. Can i ask whether anyone had trouble with the Naida hearing aids on T loop on the phone? they are fine with the other settings, but dreadful on t loop on the phone! too quiet, sound distorted, u even need to hold the Phone at such a precise angle, otherwise you hear nothing!

    • Hi ! I hv been using hearing aids since the age of 4….n after 30 yrs, i m finally ditching my analogue to switch to digital….yes, i did take a trial few years back that of naida as well as widex senso…but found hearing on phones too difficult, so dropped the idea n kept using my old widex p38 !…. now, i hv to buy a new good digital hearing aid and i m currently on a trial of naida 9….it certainly gives me better hearing in my environment….but it still poses this same problem of talking on phone…i have got its telecoil setting re-adjusted but still i just cannot hear anywhere – be in office or walking outside…..

      its strange n surprising to see that for any hearing aid user who has got severe to profound hearing loss, hearing speech and able to listen good on phones r two most important things….if naida or for tat matter any other digital hearing aid brand cannot give me good hearing on phone….i will have to return back to my old trustworthy widex p38 😦 ….with p38, i can hear quite clearly on phone without telecoil in normal situations….i just switch to telecoil setting only if i m in very noisy areas like mall or in train !

      i am considering getting a trial of widex super 440…..its receiver will have to customized for me….i have more hope from this model to give me proper hearing ability on telecoil setting just like its old semi-digital predecessor..

      any ideas or comments? thanx !.

  17. I purchased my Naida set a couple of years back, with the iCom loopset. It sounded marvellous … the prospect of comfortably hearing on my mobile, TV, computer. However, I have found it SO complex, even without the periodic dips in the hearing systems and now the iCom has been sent off for attention too. Trying to run my business is a nightmare, and if it weren’t for Skype, and my speakers, things would have been disastrous. Really disappointing. Who is going to let Phonak know what is being written on this blog, and get some action to rectify! Very unfair, as these are NOT cheap, and there is no support for hearing problems … so it’s payment every time, for audiologists, repair and reset. What is your response Phonak?

  18. my daughter has nadias, we have found several times when we have taken them out they are not working, as she is yet to obtain enough speech to tell us they are not working and is not yet three, you can imagine my frustration! hoping we get a new set very soon, hopefully a different model… but who knows what! thanks for the information i have shared this with our audiologist, finally feel i am not mental!

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