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Philips HearLink 9040 & Oticon Real 1

Philips Hear Link 9040 and Oticon Real 1 hearing aids

The Philips HearLink 9040 hearing aid seems to be a comprehensive device with features comparable to some of the more expensive brands like Oticon Real 1.

Comparison to Oticon: The Philips HearLink 9040 is likened to the premium Oticon Real 1. While both have similar features, the Philips model is presented as a more cost-effective choice. The Philips HearLink 9040 is priced at €1500, while the Oticon Real 1 is available at a higher price of €1900.

Manufacturer: Both Philips and Oticon hearing aids are manufactured by the same factory Demant, a prominent and long-standing manufacturer in the hearing aid industry.

Channels: The Philips HearLink 9040 has 64 channels the same like Oticon Real 1. However, the emphasis is made on the fact that the number of channels isn't the sole determinant of a hearing aid's quality. The quality of sound and the user's ability to understand speech are more crucial.

Sound Quality: The Philips model is praised for its natural sound quality. It doesn't sound as artificial as some other models. However, it might pick up more background noises which can interfere with speech clarity.

Connectivity and App: The hearing aid connects via Bluetooth to both iPhone and Android devices. However, streaming is more consistent with newer Android models. There's an app called Hear Link 2, but it's noted that the app experience is not exceptional.

Features for iPhone users: iPhone users get some added benefits like using their phone as a portable mic and a built-in tinnitus program.

Programs: The Philips hearing aids come with a default general program and three additional programs. These include speech in noise, hi-fi music, and classroom programs. Users can switch between these programs using the hearing aid buttons or the app.

Artificial Intelligence: One of the standout features of the Philips HearLink 9040 is its use of AI, especially in noise reduction with Soundmap 2. This AI helps in filtering out background noise, handling noise, and sudden loud sounds, thus enhancing speech clarity in noisy environments. The same system is also available on the Oticon Real models with the name deep neural network.

Potential Drawbacks of the Philips HearLink 9040 Hearing Aid

When it comes to hearing aids, it's essential to highlight both their strengths and areas of potential concern. The Philips HearLink 9040 boasts some advanced features, but there are aspects that might not cater to everyone's needs:

Sound Quality in Noisy Settings: Though the Philips HearLink 9040 integrates AI to minimize background noise, it's not flawless. Some users might still grapple with challenges in bustling environments.

App Functionality: The Hear Link 2 app, which complements this device, has received mixed feedback. This is a potential concern for those reliant on the app for adjusting their hearing aid settings, particularly if they face usability or stability issues.

Compatibility Concerns: A notable limitation is the selective streaming compatibility with certain Android devices, a disadvantage for those not owning the latest smartphones.

Ambient Sounds: At times, this hearing aid might amplify unwanted background sounds, hampering speech clarity.

Battery Longevity: Depending on the intensity of usage, especially with features like Bluetooth streaming, the battery might deplete faster than expected.

Price Point: While the Philips HearLink 9040 is pegged as an affordable alternative to some luxury brands, it might still stretch the budget for certain buyers.

Another thing I don’t like at this price point is that some sellers, will charge you extra for the wall charger while the travel charger is optional.

AI Shortcomings: While the integrated AI can be a game-changer, it's not immune to errors. There might be occasions where it doesn't judge ambient sounds correctly.

Tinnitus Management: For users grappling with tinnitus, the in-built program might not be comprehensive enough, necessitating supplementary solutions.

Overall, the Philips HearLink 9040 is presented as a reliable hearing aid with features that rival some of the more expensive models in the market. The inclusion of artificial intelligence and its focus on enhancing speech clarity in noisy environments makes it a compelling option for those seeking an effective hearing aid solution.

Is Philips 9040 or Oticon Real1 Waterproof or Water-Resistant?

Many sellers and even users often interchange the terms "waterproof" and "water-resistant", especially when discussing the Philips HearLink 9040, Oticon Real 1, and other such devices. The truth lies in the device's IP rating.

What is IP68?

IP stands for "Ingress Protection" and is a standard set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The IP rating typically has two numbers.

The first number (6 in this case) indicates the level of protection against solid particles, such as dust. A rating of 6 is the highest level, signifying that the device is dust-tight.

The second number (8 in this case) represents protection against liquids. An 8 rating means the device can be submerged in water, usually up to 1.5 meters, for a duration of up to 30 minutes without being damaged. However, the exact depth and duration can vary based on the manufacturer's specifications.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

It's crucial to distinguish between these terms:

Water-Resistant: The device can resist the penetration of water to a certain extent but not entirely. It might handle splashes or brief immersion in water but isn't designed for prolonged underwater use.

Waterproof: This implies that the device can be submerged in water entirely without any water ingress. However, even "waterproof" devices have their limitations, depending on their IP rating.

Considering the IP68 rating:

Devices like the Philips HearLink 9040 and Oticon Real 1 with an IP68 rating are highly protected against dust and can handle immersion in water for specific depths and durations. But, they are NOT indefinitely waterproof. For instance, they shouldn't be worn during swimming or taken into a sauna.


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