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What is B-Direct?

The same as the regular Phonak Belong Audeo B70 only with additional wireless streaming capabilities. This is the first “made for any smartphone” hearing aid that can do fully wireless streaming without an extra device. It works with any smartphone that has Bluetooth. In addition, they have a new improved TV streamer box to go along with it.


So what is the difference? - Comparing the B90

The Audeo B70 is the second of four technology levels in the Belong range.  The B90 is a better aid than the B70 of course, hence the higher price. However, are the differences worth it? Here we list them, you can judge.

The AutoSense operating system that detects your environment and reacts accordingly has four settings rather than seven. They are Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, Comfort in Noise and Music. You miss out on Speech in Loud Noise, Speech in Car and Comfort in Echo.  This is because the noise reduction in the B70 isn't quite as good as in the B90 so if you spend a lot of time in "loud noise" situations or the car then you may be better off with the B90. The lack of Comfort in Echo is simply because the B70 model doesn't have the Echostop feature, which is a useful function that does pretty much as it says and removes echoes and reverberation.

Channels - The B70 has 16 whereas the B90 has 20. Both can be fitted very accurately to your hearing loss, the B90 just a little more so.

Additional manual programs - The B70 can't have Speech in Wind or Comfort in Echo programs but can have the rest.  Other than that the hearing aids are very similar.

CROS / BICROS systems

These systems are for people with one completely un-aidable ear. CROS is appropriate if your better ear is fine, BICROS if you have some hearing loss in your better ear. Phonak are known for producing good CROS systems that work well and now with the improvements brought about by the introduction of "Binaural VoiceStream Technology" they work better than ever. Also, prices can be lower too as in the previous generation the more basic V30 wouldn't function with a CROS whereas the newer B30 does. It should be noted that the CROS and BICROS are not available in the rechargeable option.


Accessories

The Phonak Mini-charger comes included with any of the rechargeable models. It looks nice, does the job well and is all you need. They also do a Phonak Charger Case which is a combination charger, hard carry case and drying kit in one. The main reason to get it is because it clips to the Phonak Power Pack which means that even if you had no mains electric access for a whole week you could still charge the aids from the power stored in the pack. It will hold seven full charges worth and could be very useful for those on the move.


Wireless accessories are exactly the same as the previous generation. We had hoped that Phonak would have done away with having an intermediary streaming device as other manufacturers have but they haven't yet. Therefore you can stream from your phone, TV or RemoteMic but you still need the dangly bit around your neck, the Compilot 2 or Compilot Air 2.


The whole Belong range can come in one of five different shapes.  These are:

Audéo B-10 – This is the tiniest of the aids with the shorter life-size 10 battery.

Audéo B-312 – This model uses the standard 312 battery.

Audéo B-312T – Has a telecoil, hence the “T”. Also uses a 312 battery.

Audéo B-13 – This is the largest of the five aids and fits a size 13 battery and has a volume control.

Audéo B-R – This is the Lithium-ion rechargeable model.

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