Auditory training (LACE or similar)

First, specific question about LACE
Can you tell me if the gender of the voice of primary speaker can be changed?
In demo for US version is male voice, while for UK version is female voice.
I can’t find any information about that. I’d like UK version but to choose gender of the voices.

Also, information about experience with the practice is really scarce, so if you can share yours, please and thank you :slight_smile:

For the results I’ve seen they might vary, however, I did have positive experience with real life training. Basically trainer was reading some articles while speaking into the device that gives noise to good ear and his speech into trained bad ear, while radio is playing. And then we had tests in hallway with my good ear closed with a finger. Of course, that was at the end. At the beginning it was all quiet, I only put finger in my good ear. I had to repeat what I’ve heard.

I definitely saw some progress with that, but it was more than 3 years ago and I’d like to do that again, especially in English or even German if someone can recommend something. Or some app.

LACE seems like having more things than ‘just’ ‘remember as much of a sentence you can and repeat it while being tortured with a noise that increases in volume with time’, I saw some thing like you need to remember word before target word and other stuff. How did you like that, if you tried it?

Interestingly enough, I was also demoing LACE this morning, and am debating whether to spring for the $75 USD.

I was looking into LACE earlier in the year but found it difficult to get feedback on it as well. It appears to have been around for at least 10 to 15 years. I’m not aware if they’re continually updating their software as required or new research is unveiled.

I’m also looking into clEAR which looks to be newer but the price tag is much more hefty. It appears to be based more on gamification.

@BrianH I was looking at that one too, now again, but I don’t see if they have a demo?

Demo from LACE looks promising, I don’t care about games/motivation, I care about having whole sentences and not only few words. I’ve checked some apps but a lot of them aren’t impressive.
However with my type of loss, I need to practice on males, while I’d rather have UK version, because of vocabulary and pronunciation plus those ‘cultural references’ or whatever is it.

I mean, I could use audiobook with textbook, but there’s no way that I wouldn’t read the next sentence before I hear it, if at all I’d be able to listen anything while reading, I usually tune out when reading.

I’ve heard from some that music ear training can also help with speech recognition. Here’s a possible website.


Yeah, I can’t find any demos for clEAR. I’ll most likely move forward with LACE.

I tested Angel Sound for an hour this morning and wasn’t too impressed. It’s a free download. I was using the most difficult setting and didn’t have too many problems.

My most recent WRS without hearing aids was 88% for L and 44% for R with severe/profound high frequency loss. My left ear’s WRS dropped significantly with my last hearing test so I’m motivated to get started with auditory training.

@BrianH When you say without HA, at what db were headphones? Or it’s without additional volume?

I have 65% WRS with HAs, speech through the speakers, I assume that test is 65 output? I was cca 1.5 m from the speakers. We haven’t done the same test without HA or other amplification, so my wild guess is that it’d be close to 0. I might hear some letters but wouldn’t expect whole words at such distance.

And thanks for feedback on angel. That LACE demo I found hard, so it seems to definitely be on the right track.

@MDB good tip, however I doubt is for me, since I have prrr-type of distorted sounds/tones :confused: but maybe someone else finds it useful.

@Blacky Without HA the WRS test was 88% with 80 db on L and 44% with 90 db on R.

As a side note, I’m loving working from home during COVID. All my verbal interaction streams directly to my hearing aids. It’s much easier to understand people through Zoom calls than it is standing right beside them.

There’s a few people at the office I can barely understand in person (soft spoken and/or accents). It’s almost pointless to try to carry on a conversation. Through streaming I have no problems communicating what so ever.


Speech recognition tests are normally done at a volume that the “testee” finds comfortable. It’s definitely a judgement call by the person doing the testing. I can’t quote the source, but my memory says there’s better evidence that music training helps than there is for more typical speech recognition training. @Neville I think I heard that from you? Does that sound right?

Hm, then I got two different things. First I got headphones and he’d increase volume, then he explained to me at which volume I get which WRS, and what I can expect from HAs, at least. He didn’t test all volumes just several points, but best one was at 85db, after that it falls off.

With HAs I was listening through the speaker in front of me, and definitely not feeling that 85db is hitting me (speaker + HA combined I mean). So it looks like I got two things.

I’ll look up into music more then, thanks :wink:

In Germany we use 65dB to express WRS. This is the test we normally use for comparisons.

Have you looked into AB’s ? There you can choose different languages and persons.

(I posted the wrong link yesterday, now I’ve corrected it)

So 65db on headphones, with HA, is the number? Then I’m 10% for words. I’ve just checked. :astonished: That means that HAs gave me 55 points of increase, and here I whine why they didn’t get me more :rofl: We humans, never happy :rofl:

Nope, that one didn’t came up yet, thanks!

Hm, that’s link for some band? I’ve found this one:
It’s slow to load but I’ll try it, thanks. Also, found this on their main site, have no clue what is it:

I’ve updated the link. “CI” was missing. Sorry for the confusion. But your link is correct either.

Not over the headphone but using the loud speaker when testing with HA in.
But I am a little bit confused by your numbers. 10% WRS is on your right ear without HA and 65% with HA? Your left ear does not have any issues so your left ear is doing most of the listening job all the time. In this case it is very difficult to increase WRS for your bad right ear. My guess is 65% is very well in your case (but I am not a professional).

Mmm, musical training helps with auditory processing. The study that always jumps to my mind was one that looked at speech-in-noise abilities in groups of older-adult musicians versus non-musicians, and the musicians did better even though they had hearing loss and the non-musician group had normal hearing. I’d have to start digging around for citations. There is a lot to be desired from the musical benefit research, but I would say it’s a bit stronger than the speech training research (which is easy, because evidence for a beneficial effect of speech training is weak). There are also more indirect music studies that I feel are suggestive–benefits of music for children with dyslexia, children with cochlear implants, stuff like that.

It also just makes more sense to me from a learning neuroscience perspective. Learning (brain change) is better when the stimulus is novel, multimodal, challenging, engaging, emotional, and pleasureable. It seems way easier to get there with music than with a speech training program.

Though, you could probably build your own speech training program with consideration for those elements out of books that you enjoy. Someone on here with good CI outcomes (Piper?) spent a lot of time listening to audiobooks. A motivated buddy could spend some time reading aloud in different environments, discussing the material, asking questions. There’s nothing magical about these speech training programs–it’s just about practicing the skills you want to be good at.

Not that you shouldn’t move ahead with auditory training, but WRS variability is high. It’s not uncommon to see pretty big differences from one test to another. For a significant change, you’d have to have lost about 10% in the left ear and more like 20% in the right. If it was done with live speech rather than recorded variability will be even higher.


The CI Sound Success link led me to a login page.

Here is a brochure page:

I love being with people, but with my single-sided deafness (SSD), I’ve found Zoom to be a great help, like you have!

In real life, especially in noise or around a table, when one person stops talking and someone else starts, I usually have no idea where they are, because sound location requires binaural hearing. By the time I figure out who’s talking and focus on them, I’ve often missed the first first few words.

In Zoom, I’ve set it in Gallery mode. When someone starts talking, it outlines their image in yellow and switches the audio to them right away. So, I instantly know who’s talking and can look at their lips.

I’ve also found the sound in Zoom to be excellent, and there’s almost no background noise to distract me, because each person’s mic focuses just on them. Add that to having it stream to my hearing aids, and it’s great.

So, much as I’ll love getting together with people again, I’ve loved using Zoom. I hope it will add closed captions soon, which Google Meet already has, even or free accounts.

I’ve bought lace uk, and there’s no settings to change anything (except password). However voices do mix on its own.

I tested few apps as well, but since they’re for new CI wearers, they’re focused more on sounds, phonemes, syllables, words, and I wanted to practice with sentences in noise. Those were mostly German ones. Some English ones aren’t available in Germany.
Audio fitness, after asking for so many information about me, ended being music sound based, but only 8 things (speed, pitch, length, so looks like really basoc and probably works with only simple tones, I didn’t try), plus it seems that you can’t buy premium (to get access to all features / exercises) unless you pair with offline provider. I couldn’t find the price, just find your provider link. Nearest one to me is 120 km away, not worth trying.

For music sounds I’m using the app version of that one recommended by @MDB
It’s definitely huge challenge to me. One thing it could be better is more precise explanation what I have to do exactly. Since I’m not musician I have no clue about terms. But, I’m not target population anyway. So I just take several turns trying to figure out how it works and what exactly I’m supposed to compare. Closing eyes helps.
Anyway, good challenge and definitely something new.

Back to lace. I did 2 sessions so far. They’re short. Compared to 45 min of continuous practice with the therapist, this is easy.
However, at the therapy I had only male therapist and he’d read several words 4-5, I had to repeat them. Lace gives you whole sentence, which I find more challenging. I don’t repeat out loud but to myself which I think isn’t that good but I try to be as precise as I can when I read the sentence and compare with what I have remembered that I’ve heard. So, at this moment I don’t want to conclude from context, but try to really hear it. If I don’t hear every word correctly, I say ‘no’ and then I repeat the sentence again. I’d like it to happen automatically since I sometimes forget to click it.

Tasks definitely vary in difficulties - I noticed background noise getting louder when I was good and then when I’m bad, it gets lower.
Fast speech is fast played track. Some people said somewhere that they didn’t like that because fast speakers don’t sound like that. However I do like that exercise because I sometimes increase YouTube speed for slow speaking people, and when they then say something faster, it’s really fast.
Competinf speaker is great. I couldn’t get any words out of it, so it will definitely be good challenge.

Overall I find the form really good. It’s short. However they do say at least 3 times a week.
I had 45 min usually once a week, so, I think it’s in the ballpark.

I trained only my right ear and streamed through the HAs directly. That being said, if I want to train both, I don’t see a way to repeat session or restart. I’ll see what happens at the end.

I might buy US version, for training both ears if I decide I don’t want to wait until the end to repeat this one with both.

I’m using it on the phone, through the browser, and it works fine.

It looks rudimentary, but since it looks like it definitely adapts, I find this good. My current quicksin with HA is 19. Horrible :frowning:
Yeah, you can’t just do quicksin.

I’d be happier if there’s few settings to adjust, and ability to redo some sessions. However since they adapt to you, it makes sense that it’s not repeatable, since you’d mess up with algorithm.

I was a bit surprised to realise that I understood man in quiet better than woman, while in noise was the opposite, complete inability to understand man while some success with woman. Kid was a disaster :joy:
However when I lost hearing, my first thing was to keep repeating to all those nurses to stop yelling, that I’m not deaf, and hospital stay was really hard because of echoing corridors, and mostly women speakers. For me, they need to speek a bit softer, regular voice has too much distortion. Men on the other side can be louder. Funny :joy:

I plan to buy hoerobic, in German, maybe I use that with both ears, since there’s no enough help for me to understand the Germans. I usually have no clue what random people are saying to me. Like, when they unexpectedly turn to me and say something. They have to repeat, several times. Might be that my focus isn’t on them, but I think it’s definitely because my vocabulary is still small and uses basic words, which people probably stop using after elementary school.

However they say it could not work on phones, and I can’t recall if I saw demo anywhere.

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Ok, I paid more attention to the length and I think it’s around half an hour long. Also, I’m on training 4, and I noticed yesterday and also today it gives je options to choose topics and indicates level of difficulty. Both time I chose easiest and it definitely was quite challenging for me. Memory exercises are hard, sentencea are long and by the end of the second I often forget the first one. So it should definitely work on my memory :joy:
Speech in noise is also challenging, not every time but it goes up and down. It varies between 3 speakers. Today I didn’t get the competing speakers nor fast speakers, but I definitely need a break after it.

So far, I definitely highly recommend it. Every several examples of gives some tips and tricks like ‘in theatre am for assistive listening devices’ and so on.

Hello Blacky,
I didn’t know that. So your goal is not mainly to learn distinguishing phonemes or syllables. In fact I guess your goal is to get word-boundaries within spoken sentences and get the meaning of each of them.

My recommendation for you is to listen to audio-books (a single person reads a complete book aloud) or even audio-plays (several persons speak only their role). For this you may install Smartphone Apps like LibriVox or If you are willing to pay for content then amazon’s audible is the choice. In the latter you are able to increase or decrease speed with only few distorting sound and no change in pitch, if neccessary for you.

For audio-plays try starting with simple plays which are made for children. My favourite play is “The Three Investigators” (German: “Die drei ???”). Funny sidenote: This series was originally published in the US and translated to german. This has been discontinued in 1990 but relaunched in German (because german boys and now grown ups like me still love the series) and translated back to english :smiley:

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Yeah, I’m not native German, I moved here 3+ years ago. Not knowing a word. Realised how bad I really hear, since now I need my ears, and can’t guess from the context, lip reading or whatever I’ve used non consciously to get by in quiet 1on1 situations.

I did listen audio books, I rented them through Libby. However, that was before this phonak marvel trial, and then I couldn’t stream to HA, so used headphones, mess up balance to get a bit more to the right, but I didn’t find it useful for brain training. I mean, my left ear took over.

I might give it a try again. However, reason for this training is that I don’t want to see text in advance but that I can check what I’ve heard. In Croatia, therapist was the one who did checking, but from what I’ve gathered, in Germany I can get something for the hearing aid, but not therapy. In Croatia was the other way around. :joy:

I had a feeling back then that it definitely helped sharpen my brain. But last time I went was a year before move, so long time ago.

I started digging if there’s a way to get more than that 600-700 eur, because marvels (M90) are officially 2700 per piece. I officially don’t need two, since I have one good ear. But, even with aid in bad one only, and low noise like white noise / fan behind me, and I can’t get more than 80%. Without aid it’s around 60%. And that noise is pathetic, compared to what I have around me in the house or in the city. I was at the pharmacy today, only HAs, lady didn’t have a mask but glass was between us, but also, open door towards the street behind me. Oh joy. Still, better than with previous one but still hard. Not to mention sun reflection that hit the glass in front of the lady’s mouth area :joy:

I mean, that’s the price I got at two places. At third, my chosen one, I got discount, but still, price is insanely high. If you have some tips to share how to convince KK to pay more, please do :slight_smile:

I found and I’m trying to understand DSB Beratungsrichtlinie Kostenübernahme Hörgeräte
It looks like I need to copy paste those boring letters at the end and I have a chance… Which doesn’t look like it really takes into the account specifics or rareness of my disability subtype… Maybe I misunderstood and it’s not that easy as to send example letters :joy:

Repeat out loud.

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