Can't get Centras adjusted correctly

Hearing loss
freq: L: R:
250 45 25
500 50 50
750 65 65
1000 75 75
1500 105 75
2000 105 75
4000 115 75
8000 n/r 65

I was fitted with Siemens Centra BTE’s recently and have had two visits to adjust the aid. I am frustrated as they thus far are LESS useful than my Oticon DigiFocus ITE fullshell aids. The Centras are set correctly for use in a quiet office environment only. They are not as good for watching TV or having conversation in normal (not loud) environments. Also, they are blocking out a tremendous amount of low sounds compared to the Digifocuses. I am struggling as to what to have the audio change to make these work for me before the trial period is up (if they don’t work better than the digifocuses then I will try another model). I am thinking of having the low freqs increased during the next programming. Should I ask for more or less compression or a change in gain? Also, is this a good choice (open ear BTE) for someone with my hearing loss? The Centras just seem to “block” out so many lower sounds I normally hear and want to hear e.g. car engine and frig. They are too “quiet” except for loud freqs that come along - e.g. speech and dishes.

Based on the hearing loss, open fits would be borderline ok.

Yet, if you are used to ITE Digi Focus aids, then switching to open fit may seem to not have enough volume, too much tinniness and overall difficulty in detecting a whole lot of benefit.

You can have them try really raising up the lows–raise them a whole bunch (since the slim tubes don’t push low frequencies well). I really don’t think it is much of a compression issue.

Otherwise, you may want to stick with occluding hearing aids such as ITE, Canal or BTE w/ custom molds.

You can also have them try a standard earhook with a temporary tip and see if that helps.

I don’t believe an open fit would be appropriate with the kind of loss that you have.

Open fit is going to do better when the low frequency results (250/500) are 30dB or better. I personally would never fit an open mold for your kind of loss. The aid/mold should be vented, but that is not the same as ‘open.’

I’m going to suggest that with your loss you may prefer less compression and more gain. Unfortunately if you have a truly open fit, it is going to be hard to give you the bass you want. Open fittings by their very nature are not very ‘bassy.’

Thanks for the responses. My Centras are Centra P will custom molds.
From what I read, my options are as follows (in order):

  1. increase the lows dramatically in the and see if I get the lows I desire.
  2. decrease compression to increase the lows.
  3. switch to full shell ITE Centras.
  4. switch to a receiver in canal BTE.

A follow up question - I still like the fullshells for comfort and familiarity reasons - is there any reason I should go BTE instead of fullshell ITE? My understanding is that the power difference is minimal between them.

Looking forward to your responses - Shawn.

I am considering the Phonak MicroPower as my next choice to try if the Centras do not work out for me. Given my hearing loss and speech discrimination (60%L 70%R estimated) and past accustomization to occlusion, would MicroPower with the receiver in the ear be most suitable for my loss? Or would another product be more suitable? BTW, the Centras are with custom molds in which I have been trying different sized vent plugs - is this still considered an “open fit?” Thanks, Shawn.


I am an audio from the South west of England.

No your instrument is not open fit, the open fit centra would not be a suitable instrumment for your loss!

I have fitted a fair few pairs of centra’s:

The centra’s have a feature on them called sound smoothing; which is designed to provide wearer comfort by suppressing impulsive non speach sounds, e.g. rustling paper, clanging dishes etc. while leaving speech signals intact.

I always find that for experienced hearing aid users; sound smoothing reduce’s too many sounds that the user would prefer to hear!

Ask your audio to turn sound smoothing off in program 1 and to the minimum setting in your program for noisy environments!

Hope this helps,



Reducing the smooth sounding and increasing the lows made a tremendous improvement. I’m to the point the are working better than my old DigiFocus aids. Now it is just a matter of whether I want to keep them in a BTE or have a fullshell ITE mold made. Any thoughts on whether the Centras would be strong enough for me in an ITE setting?

Your Left ear is WAY out of the range in the higher frequencies for a custom hearing aid (ITE), your right ear is borderline as well. Stick with the BTE’s or you’ll be dealing with a hearing aid that you hear worse with and feeds back non-stop.

Stick with the BTE’s!