The Phonak Audéo Marvel is a receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing device with Bluetooth connectivity that can be controlled manually or via a dedicated app (iOS, Android). It has plenty of smart features to enhance your listening, and comes in a decent range of colors, all of which has earned it a spot in our guide to the best hearing aids.
According to tips from the American-Speech-Language Association (ASLH), a basic hearing aid should have a microphone to pick up sound, a volume adjuster, and a receiver to send the louder sounds to your ear. It should also have an on/off switch, and a built-in battery that is either replaceable or rechargeable. Additional features (found on the more premium devices), include a directional microphone, and a telephone switch for when speaking on the phone.
The Phonak Audéo Marvel devices were launched in late 2018 and work just like wireless earphones in the way they connect to compatible Bluetooth devices. In fact, at the time of launch, they were the first hearing aids that could stream audio in stereo to and from any Bluetooth-enabled device.
This functionality combined with a rich sound experience and advanced hearing tech makes them a popular choice for people with mild through to profound hearing loss. The Phonak Audéo Marvel also won the Accessibility category at 2019’s CES Awards. Here we’re looking at the device in terms of price, spec, design, features and user reviews to help you figure out if it’s the right choice for your hearing.
There are different Phonak Audéo Marvel models to consider depending on your level of hearing, and what you need from a hearing aid. It's one of the more expensive devices you can buy, but that's because it's packed with cutting edge tech and has a superb build quality. Though its certainly cheaper than the ReSound LiNX Quattro RIE 61, another rechargeable hearing device.
Phonak Audéo Marvel: Spec
- FDA classification: Class 1 medical device
- Design: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
- Fit: Universal (left or right)
- Noise reduction: Yes, AutoSense noise reduction
- Feedback Cancellation: Yes
- Battery type: 312 zinc air, size 13 battery, or rechargeable
Phonak Audéo Marvel: Cost and availability
It will be no surprise to learn that the Phonak Audéo Marvel's state-of-the-art technology comes at a price, so you’re looking at around $1,349 for a single hearing aid. It’s therefore worth looking online for discounts, or perhaps discussing payment options with your hearing aid provider if you don’t have the full cost covered upfront.
Despite the higher price tag, the Phonak Audéo Marvel offers plenty of genuinely useful features and a high level of build quality in return. If you do have a smaller budget, or you simply don’t need the level of tech on offer here, take a look at our in-depth guide to the more affordable yet basic MDHearing Aid AIR.
Phonak Audéo Marvel: Design
The standard Phonak Audéo Marvel uses a disposable 312 zinc air battery. There is also a battery version with Telecoil so you can connect to a hearing loop and get direct audio in theaters and churches, for instance. If you prefer, Phonak also has a version of the Audéo Marvel that takes a size 13 battery, but this version is not available with Telecoil.
The rechargeable version of the Phonak Audéo Marvel also comes with or without Telecoil. To recharge the battery, simply place the device in the supplied plug-in case and, in return, you’ll receive a full day of hearing, which includes streaming time.
The American-Speech-Language Association recommends checking your batteries regularly, and always keeping a spare battery to hand. Also, clean the hearing device according to your audiologist’s advice, or in-line with the instructions stated by the manufacturer if you’re buying directly. Finally, keep your hearing aid dry.
The Phonak Audéo Marvel switches on when removed from the charger and switches off when placed back to charge. While the charging process itself is quick, bear in mind that streaming will run the battery down quicker, so the full charge will not last as long. The rechargeable battery is engineered to last six years, while the disposable batteries run out much, much quicker.
The hearing aid itself is contemporary in design with smooth curves and a great range of colors that blend in well with most hair shades and skin tones. The wires are flexible enough to contour around your ears, while the removable domes and tips are designed to provide a snug yet comfortable fit. If you wear eyeglasses, the aids should stay tucked out of the way. For another slimline device, read our in-depth guide to the Hearing Assist HA-1800 CIC.
The weight of the Phonak Audéo Marvel starts at a barely there 1.1g for the standard non-Telecoil disposable battery version, and creeps up to 2.3g for the rechargeable Telecoil device. Meanwhile, the dimensions start at 26.8 x 11.2 x 7.1mm for the standard version, going up to 30.5 x 12.5 x 8.0mm for the rechargeable Telecoil hearing aid.
The slim units feature easy-to-use push buttons at the top for program control, volume control and audio stream mix. You can also accept, end and reject calls with a long press of the button. It might take a little while to familiarize yourself with the controls, but once you have, it will become second nature.
The Phonak Audéo Marvel colors include silver, beige, brown, black, chrome and white.
Phonak Audéo Marvel: Features
The list of features with the Phonak Audéo Marvel is long, but its main selling point is connectivity, so we’ll start with the fact you can connect the hearing aid to your smartphone, plus just about any other device that has Bluetooth. This means you can stream audio – whether that’s music, audiobooks or podcasts – directly to your hearing aid/s.
If you want to stream TV, you’ll need to use the plug-and-play Phonak TV Connector (available separately) to enjoy clear audio, with the Phonak Audéo Marvel able to distinguish between streamed speech and music signals, adjusting itself to provide an optimized sound quality. When it comes to phone calls, the Marvel is designed to pick up any calls that come through to your phone, leaving you to talk hands-free, even if your phone is in another room.
The superior tech on offer, the Phonak Audéo Marvel is a real innovator. For example, AutoSense OS uses sound recognition to automatically adapt to your surroundings and optimize your hearing experience. For instance, in a quiet environment, the Marvel device will adjust so that you can comfortably enjoy one-to-one conversations.
If you’re listening to someone speak in a noisy environment, AutoSense will aim to reduce any noise behind you, leaving you better able to hear the person talking. This improved speech understanding should naturally lead to less listening effort on your part, and therefore less stress overall.
Meanwhile, if background noise is a challenge (such as in a restaurant), the Phonak Audéo Marvel can be partnered with the brand’s slim Roger microphone (available separately), which can be placed on the table to more clearly hear the conversation. Roger microphones transmit directly to the hearing aids and no external receiver is needed.
For another device with plenty of features to boost your hearing easily in a range of environments, both indoors and outside, read our in-depth guide to the Oticon Xceed SP.
When you connect the Marvel to the MyPhonak app, you can then control settings, adjust volume, view battery life and more via your phone. You can even have adjustments made to the hearing aid by your hearing specialist remotely, and there’s a hearing diary in the app where you can make notes about your hearing and any changes you notice.
We also like the myCall-to-Text app feature, which converts speech to text so you can read a phone conversation as it is spoken, with the live transcription available in over 80 languages. Lastly, the Phonak Audéo Marvel features a tinnitus balance noise generator to offer welcome relief from ringing and buzzing sounds.
Phonak Audéo Marvel: User reviews
Phonak’s website features several video testimonials. This includes a user called Arlene who states that wearing the devices improved her day-to-day living, saying, “You’re hearing very clearly, very naturally and it’s changed everything I do.” She also added, “The Phonak Marvel hearing aids have given me my life back.”
A review from retiree Paul, who has impaired hearing after working around aircraft for much of his career, said: “I noticed more sharpness, more definition in all ranges of hearing.” He was also pleased that the hearing aids were always good to go straight out of the recharging case. He says the Phonak Audéo Marvels are “a step forward in technology, there’s no doubt about it”.
Also on the Phonak site, Pete, who previously had a career in music, was impressed when he first tried the Marvels, stating: “It was a crisper sound, a more brilliant sound.” He is impressed by the tech on offer, saying, “It enables me to do so much more than with my previous hearing aids.”
Phonak Audéo Marvel: What other websites say
There are plenty of glowing reports about the Phonak Audéo Marvel, with Hearing Tracker sharing more than 100 reviews of the Phonak device. Hearing Tracker itself says, “Phonak knocked it out of the park with Marvel. The hearing aid delivers every single one of the blockbuster features consumers have come to expect.”
Meanwhile, over at ZipHearing, one Phonak Audéo Marvels user review stated: “I love the Phonak Audéo Marvel. The features and clarity, as well as the app are outstanding. After just a few adjustments to the hearing aids, my quality of hearing improved greatly.”
Should you buy the Phonak Audéo Marvel?
There is no doubting the high build quality and cutting edge technology on offer with the Phonak Audéo Marvel, marking it out as one of the most innovative hearing devices we have seen in recent years. If you love listening to sports, music or audiobooks, or spend a lot of your time talking on the phone, the Phonak Audéo Marvel is definitely worth considering, if your budget can stretch to it.
The Phonak Audéo Marvel is designed to excel no matter how noisy (or quiet) your environment, with a raft of smart features enabling you to hear clearly with reduced listening effort. Our advice would be to first speak with a qualified audiologist to further determine whether this is the hearing aid for you.
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