- Multiple sound algorithms
- Nano-coated cases
- Water-resistant Bolero Q50 M13
- QUEST sound processing chip
- Wireless enabled for compatible products
- 12 channel sound processing
The Phonak Bolero is available at three different levels of technology; the Q90, the Q70 and this, the entry level Q50. There is clearly a significant difference in the price points of each level but what will be the experience of the user? Is each product worth its price and should you pay a little more for a lot more?
Typically, the answer is that entry level models of multiple technology level products can represent outstanding value for money as long as you do not have specific requirements or are going to use them in extraordinary sound environments. The reason behind this is that they tend to be powered by the same engine as the higher technology levels but with fewer bells and whistles available. So the core sound processing is very good but it may not have quite the functionality that is required for extreme users. Is this the case for the Bolero Q50?
The answer is "yes" as it contains the Phonak QUEST chip platform and although its number of channels is reduced to 12 (16 in the Q70 and 20 in the Q90) its basic sound processing is very good.
One now has to consider what features you are left with and judge whether they will be sufficient for your listening needs.
The Bolero Q50 comes with a feature called DuoPhone that is identical to its higher tech brothers. This enables a phone call to be heard in both ears through a wireless link.
It has a directional feature called UltraZoom which is the most basic of the three levels and care should be taken to ascertain whether this will be good enough to provide the improvement in speech understanding that a good directional system can deliver. It is well worth exploring this further with your Hearing Aid Audiologist.
It has a number of algorithms that are common across all three levels of technology so these are where it really scores as a value for money product. The common algorithms are SoundRecover, WhistleBlock, NoiseBlock and QuickSync.
It has only three streaming programs and the same number of manual programs. There are more available in the Q70 and Q90 products, so carefully consider whether three will be sufficient for you.
In summary, this is an entry level product containing the highest level of basic sound processor. Examine the detail and select the right level of Bolero for you.