Analogue to digital struggles

Are there any superpower aids anyone can suggest, for a long term analogue user with a congenital severe-profound sensorineural loss (across all frequencies)? I am 38 years old and had a hearing loss that has gradually gotten worse since I was a child. Am considering the Signia Motion 3px SP or the new Unitron Max that is due for release early 2019 with Classic mode (minimal sound processing, linear type set up) for people like myself. Would be very interested to hear from anyone else who has struggled to go from analogue to digital.

Also, my Audi believes I need an aid with adjustable knee points for compression as I get a lot of speech warble in my Unitron Max E SP, she believes compression to play a part in this. Although this warble improved once the feedback canceller and all other ‘features’ including compression were switched off, however it is still quite tinny/robotic sounding and I am absolutely struggling with speech clarity. I have tried numerous digitals over the last 20 years but always gone back to my analogue Phonak Superfront PPSC, which finally died last week!! Music and being in the car are so horrible, I can tolerate most other sounds but they are very unnatural and tinny/echoey to me. Could this be recruitment? I’ve read up on so many audiology papers and forums, it’s all so confusing. I just want to hear naturally, comfortably and easily again, like I did with the analogue.

I do not know your country but @Um_bongo may have some suggestions. I think there are even some new analogue aids still made.

Thank you, I am in Australia. There is still 1 analogue aid on the market here but my Audi suggests that I get used to digital as the analogue will be obsolete soon and unable to be repaired.

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I believe @Um_bongo is in the U.K. But many models and tips cross country borders.

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The warbling is the Unitron shifting the peak power around to deal with the feedback internally - it’s a fault/feature of the Sonova power aids that (like the traction control on a Mercedes) even when you turn it off, its not fully off.

I’m not sure what the signia sounds like at that power, but the go to for me was the Enzo 3D. Not sure if there’s a Quattro version yet.

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That’s very helpful, thank you so much for your input!

Hi It’s a pity about your Superfronts dying on you. Manufacturers don’t seem to understand that often analogue aids are still useful. I still have a pair of Superfront PP-CL 4s that I sometimes wear instead of my Phonak Naida V_UPs.

I must admit that I can hear speech better in the right conditions with my Naidas and though I’m not saying they are the best power aids on the market try them if they are offered. Also try other brands too so you can make a choice of which brand and model you hear the best with.

Good luck.

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Are both superfronts dead? It can be useful to get a testbox measure of exactly what sort of gain the old analogues are providing. Digital hearing aids can be made to sound linear, but sometimes because there were limited adjustment options on old hearing aids users have gotten used to some odd gain curves and it’s nice to know what those are when you are trying to match the gain in new hearing aids to what they prefer.

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One of them is working intermittently, the other goes between muffled and high pitched (I sent it from aus to UK to be repaired but it hasn’t solved that issue). That is really good advice, I will ask my Audi to attempt that with the intermittent one, thanks!

I have that, almost effortless and natural sounding, with digital hearing aids.

My advice would be to forget how the old ones sounded and not try to change digitals to sound like the old analogs. They will never really sound like that, and in the process you lose all the advantages of the digitals. With the digital you can have a response that matches the input, for soft speech, medium speech, and loud speech. The gain can be set separately for each. You can also have the hearing aids zoom in on one specific cone so speech in the cone is enhanced and sounds outside the cone are somewhat suppressed. There are other options as well, like noise reduction, both steady noises and impulse noises.

You can also have sounds from devices (TV, phone, etc) transmitted to the hearing aids, like you were wearing headphones.

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Have a look on eBay for more Superfront HAs. There was one on eBay last night.

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I find it interesting that some, like Don, get natural sounds from digital aids, while others like me find them to be like fingernails across a chalk board. And, don’t tell me I will get used to the sound of digital aids. I would be in the funny farm long before that happens.

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I’ve listened to both and I don’t hear much difference, except analogs are duller. The features that digitals have help with word recognition, which I have a big problem with.

You will get used to it but you might have to start out more linear and at a lower volume and work your way up gradually. If your pro lowers the compression ratio to make it more linear it raises the volume so you also have to lower volume because of that, plus you probably need to start off lower anyway.

I hear much less speech with digitals and the other sound that I do hear cause me pain, headaches and sounds so horrible. I’ve tried numerous audiologists and different digital aids since 1998 and I have te same issue with them all. Apparently unitron have a Max coming out which is aimed at people like us that prefer the analogue sound, I don’t wanna get hy hopes up though.

I’m talking about current digital hearing aids.

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I have one from 2013 (unitron Max e sp) and find it worse for speech than the bernafon I had in 1998. I’ve had it adjusted about 10 times by 2 different audiologists. The newer aids like the oticon opn, Signia motion, new Unitron Max with ‘classic’ programming seem really good in their write ups though and I’m interested to trial those ones. My loss is between 75-90db across the frequency range. I have no usable hearing without aids, my speech recognition in one ear is about 90% and the other is 65% in the audiologist office. Not sure if these things make a difference.

Hi,

I have a severe to profound loss (I believe 70-90db across frequencies). Have been aided since 1984. Still clinging to my 30+ year old analogue phonak superfront ppsc but am trying to get my digitals adjusted with not much support or understanding from audi. The frequencies of the digitals sound good but my voice is too loud/boomy/echoey. TV sounds amazing. Music is good. My kids voices sound muffled and quiet. Other voices seem to lack clarity but it gets better if I increase the volume but then I am wayyyy too loud and annoying. And environmental sounds are too. Any ideas please? I tried adjusting treble and bass on the useless app but it doesn’t do much at all. Could less gain, more volume help and also reduce bass for the Echo issue? I have Signia Motion 5px SP BTE. Thank you for any suggestions. I have an appointment on the 10 may to ask for another hearing test and a Real Ear Measurement too. Hopefully I can hear clearly again soon. Still has me stumped how I have more clarity with an old analogue than a fancy new digital!!

Ask them about the expansion and compression settings. Together might offer help with voice. I too had to change from analog to digital it was challenging in fact it is still a challenge at times. I have sever to profound hearing loss. Good luck.

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Yeah pretty hard to make this change after using analogue HAs this long, these are linear single channel, your new digital are non-linear multi-channel, but all is not lost, most profound users will have better success with using the fitting algorithm DSLv5, which gives a more linear feel to sounds, although it’s also known that the standard gain in a first fitting is sometimes a bit louder than most people will tolerate.
So ask you audiologist if their willing to try DSLv5 for you, and to also lower some of the frequencys by a few dB.

Your lucky as these are usually a couple of the things that are quite hard to get right, hopefully if you do try DSLv5 it won’t ruin these settings for you.

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This sounds like tuning issues.
Are you streaming the phone and TV? Since they sound good. This will say a lot about how the aids are tuned comparing the good and not so good.

Somehow you and your fitter need to work this out or you need to find another fitter.
Good luck

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