Back to audiologist or let brain adjust?

I have been wearing HA’s for about ten years and have rarely been satisfied with them. Due to very unusual insurance, and the fact that my company kept changing insurance companies I could get a new pair from each one. I’ve had three top of the line aids at no cost to me ,(two Phonacs and one Signia ). There was a brief period of time with my first aids, Phonac audeo 9s, that I was pleased and everything sounded natural. It took my talented audiologist for ever to program them, and even though she saved the setting, when I lost one and we set up a new pair, they never sounded good again. I sold my second pair as they never worked and I’ve been going back and forth with the Audeo 9s for music and the top of the line signias for everything else. I’ve bounced back and forth between a few audiologists and no one could set them properly. Very frustrating. I decided to go to Costco and try something different since they weren’t that expensive and I could return them if unhappy. I tried most of their models and most sounded a lot like what I had. Then I tried the Philips aids and I knew right away there was something different about those. They just seemed warmer with less background noise I decided to give them a try. I was initially disappoined since everything seemed a bit clogged so I went back and was given a new dome. Wow what a difference. They sound very natural to me with a wide soundstage. The treble is still a bit sharp and when people pronounce the letter s it sounds like heavy slurring. I told the audiologist about this and she made an adjustment. I’m still getting the slurring though.

About my hearing, low half is fine then a steady drop down toward, or even at severe, especially bad in higher pitched midranges, then a slight rise in higher frequencies. During this last hearing evaluation at Costco I even dipped slightly past severe toward profound at one high pitch midrange frequency. However, I took that test with a mask on and my breathing sounded really loud, like Darth Vader in Star Wars. I don’t have much faith in that test. My fogging up glasses were a distraction too.

Distortion has always been my problem, but lately it has been much worse. I can’t even listen to music with electric instruments, although I can use an equalizer that helps. My question is, should I go back to the audiologist for another adjustment, or should I just let my brain adjust. Is slurring something the brain can overcome? Perhaps I’m hearing new sounds from the letter s that my brain hasn’t dealt with? Or is this something strictly mechanical or electrical that needs an adjustment.?

I have to say I’ve never warmed up to a pair this quickly. I’m hopeful although I realize at this point I may never get the sound I’m hoping for.

How long have been wearing the Phillips aids?

1 Like

Between two and three weeks

The “slurring” or heavy sounding s sounds is from hearing high frequency sounds you haven’t heard in a long time. Things sounding sharp is likely the same thing. Do you have a planned time to go back to your fitter or did they leave it up to you? There’s no right answer. These are sounds you can possibly adjust to, but taking it in gentler steps is also ok. I’d also encourage you to think about what you’re after. Is it speech understanding? Is it “great sound?” The two often don’t go together.


With my new aids I want better speech understanding, and I have had to deal with sharp sounds for a while but it has really been worth it. The brain is a wonderous thing it adjust over time. I have had to turn the volume down at times, then back up to understand speech. Yes there is adjustments to be made, and sometimes even living out side my comfort zone.


Thanks, 2-3 weeks may not be long enough to adjust to properly tuned aids for your loss. Wearing aids off and on for 10 years really hasn’t allowed you to acclimate to hearing aids, it might take more time. Hang in there.

Slurring “S” can also mean frequency lowering settings might be a bit too aggressive for you pending on your hearing loss or just needing to get used to the new sounds.

Sharing your audiogram would help us help you.

1 Like

I have to agree with you guys about this. My new Naida M90s took a bit of getting used to because consonants and sibilant sounds are very different with them. It sounded as if the aids were over-compensating for the high sounds while they were probably doing a frequency shift. I have gotten used to them now and I find that I prefer them because of the difference (not in spite of). I now understand speech from people I used to ask to repeat constantly. So the Naidas for me are keepers.


Thanks to everyone wo has repled, I’ve read everything and its all helpful. I’ll be back as soon as I figure out how to post an audiogram.