Can Hearing Aids Cause Vocal Fry?


Yes, that’s why if it suggests the issue is with the mics (like I alluded to), then you need to keep the mics in the equation (the path of testing), not take it out of the equation.



I did the tone generator test with my computer speakers and my right HA turned off and out of my ear. At fairly loud levels approaching 80 dB I got distortion noise in my left ear at 2500 Hz, 2900 Hz, and 4000 Hz. At 5300 things were quieting down. Then I did the test by streaming direct to the HA next. I probably need to repeat the streaming test with a bit more volume. I also tried some music streamed. The overall balance when streaming lacks a lot of bass, but I don’t think that is the problem area, but with fairly loud music it sounded pretty clean.



OK, I think I understand now. So you were able to confirm that you hear distortion through the mics, but not through the direct streaming for the same tones, although the streaming is probably not as loud as the test for the speaker to mics.

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Yes, that it is it exactly. Next I have to try again with music cranked up to see if I can make it distort with streaming. HA battery went low and the Bluetooth failed when I was trying it earlier.



I did try the iTunes direct streaming to the HA’s at higher volumes. I won’t say it was perfectly clean HiFi quality, but it was pretty good compared to what I was hearing through the HA microphones. Not sure what volume level it was at, but my wife could hear it from across the room, so probably pretty high!!



Do you have frequency compression turned on? If not, and you turn that on, it will change which frequencies get sound. It will move everything left. If you still have distortion it might be a bad Mic and not just hearing loss distortion . You would probably be a candidate for it anyway.



Don, that was my first suspicion. I will find out when I go back for my appointment on Thursday this week.

Does anyone know if these hearing centers have any way of testing hearing ability or better still the level of loudness with the hearing aids in place? One thing I would like to know is how my loudness is at 80 dB. I have a feeling some frequency bands are being over amplified with a 80 dB input even in my right ear. In other words recruitment may be making my hearing non linear and in certain frequency ranges I have too much gain for an 80 dB input.



The REM would verify the output of the hearing aid. You can have 80db input turned down a little until you get used to it and it would not affect medium and soft sounds (65db and 50db input).



My unprofessional, uneducated understanding of recruitment or hyperacusis is that some sounds “seem” louder and are sharper or more intense than they would be perceived as by normal hearing people. I enjoy a degree of it myself.
I think distortion is a result of electronics…not your ears.
But I’m no expert.



I will say this I have been wearing aids for just over 14 years, but I went without them more than likely 25 to 30 years that I should have worn them. The first few weeks to a month my perception of sounds change a lot for completely distorted noise to reality great music. My speech understanding went from people talking with marbles in their mouth to being able to understand what was be said. And that was with my new aids set to only 70% of my prescription. It was almost 6 months with my aids before I was at full prescription. And by then I was hearing almost as I should be. My second hearing aids were so much better and were set to full prescription from the beginning, but for a while I had to turn the volume down for a few weeks. Since then I have always been at full prescription and do for a while turn down the volume for a few weeks. But every time I have gotten aids it was because my hearing had gotten worse and my aids couldn’t be adjusted to full prescription anymore.



Well, I am just past the two week mark with these KS8 hearing aids, and I am starting to believe my ears/brain has started to adjust for the new sounds. I just listened to some recorded music at about the 80 dB level, and it was loud enough for me, and unlike when I first got them, I did not detect any distortion in the 70 to 80 dB range. As far as the vocal fry, or raspy, crackly voice, I still hear some of it, but it seems to be quite a bit reduced from the initial level.

I’m starting to think these HA’s are OK, and do not have any defects. I am also thinking that if the fitter believes the levels are set appropriately for me, I will not ask for any changes before allowing more time for my adjustment to them. I still find that some noises like a water tap running, clattering dishes, and cutlery to be quite annoying to almost being painful, but perhaps that will improve with time too.

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I had a similar experience when I first got mine. Rather than “fry tones”, I was hearing a sort of ssh noise on a lot of consonants. It just went away after a month or two. I think I was just hearing sounds thatwere really there, but wasn’t used to.



A bit of an update. My evolution with these KS8 HA’s has been from an initial fitting with vented sleeves, then to a fitting with closed sleeves, and now to a “loaner” pair of KS8’s. Besides the vocal fry effect, I was also getting distortion at around 70 dB input or so with music.

The change to the closed sleeves did not do anything for the vocal fry, or distortion. And for whatever reason when I had the first fit redone and the REM testing and adjustment for the closed sleeves, the output went up significantly – I’m guessing in the order of 6 dB or so. If anything that made the vocal fry effect worse.

The fitter decided I may have defective hearing aids and she sent them back to be replaced with new ones. In the meantime I am using this loaner pair of KS8’s. Again for whatever reason when the fitting and REM was done for these, the output level has gone down (even though I am still using closed sleeves). The output is even lower than the first fit. So, it isn’t really an apples to apples comparison, but the vocal fry effect has been significantly reduced, and I listened to some music yesterday at very high levels, and could not detect any distortion. So now I am thinking that at least one (probably the left one) of the HA’s was actually defective.

I am hoping when I get the new ones that they are as good as this loaner pair, and the level can be increased back up to where the original setting was. I seem to be experiencing the Goldilocks effect, and hopefully the next REM fit with be the “just right” one…

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