Ch-sh-sh sound and tinnitus


adioFor the last two years or so I have been hearing a ch-sh sound attached to some voices, especially high pitched female voices. I hear this particularly listening to tv and radio voices, on tv and radio almost all voices. Last week in a elevator filled with loud voices all I heard was a loud distortion of sound. In a small lecture room last week It was difficult to hear the male speaker even though I was in the second row. My VA audiologist says this is tennitus. I have Phonak Audeo B90 with frequency lowering. Is this really tinnitus? When I read about tinnitus hear no one mentions this type of problem. The audiologist has tried to adjust the HA’ for this but to no effect.


Unless someone jumps in here and posts, Yes, I hear the same sound, and it’s tinnitus, which frankly seems unlikely to me, I think it’s safe to conclude the VA audiologist is full of it and is snowing you, hoping you’ll just go away. You don’t hear this ch-sh with the aids out, right? If you do, then tinnitus is a plausible explanation, but if not, how could it be just tinnitus?

I think you’re reporting a form of electronic distortion related to the aids or their settings. I have tinnitus, and get a similar effect when I click the remote key fob to unlock my car doors and get the beep-beep. To me it often double-pumps, bee-beep, bee-beep, almost in stereo, and I don’t hear this with the aids out. Just some distortion related to the aids in my case, I’m pretty sure.


Yes, I do hear the same sh-sh distortion without the hearing aids, maybe not in all of the same exact type of situations, but enough to tell me that it’s caused by my ears at least a good deal of the time.


Oh, okay. I apologize to your VA audi in that case, because then it’s not just the aids, though they may amplify the distortion, so tinnitus may account for this. Tinnitus can do some very strange things, including sound distortion, and takes many different forms in different patients.


I wonder if anyone can suggest how my audiologist can properly adjust the Phonaks. I believe the last time I saw her she was increasing thr treble frequencies, but I am not certain. And her voice is somewhat low pitched so I cannot hear the results in her office. I need some teenage females talking loud, especially in a subway car or elevator to duplicate the problem. Seriously, those are some of the places I have experienced the problem, for example.


AlanM - Are you VA rated for tinnitus? I hear similar sh-sh distortion when my audiologist cranks up my high frequencies too much.


I’m pretty sure the Phonak software has some sound tracks of high pitched females speaking that he could play back to you. If you hear the ch-sh sound without hearing aids, agree that it could be tinnitus. Aids shouldn’t impact tinnitus (except possibly helping it)


Not saying this is exactly the same problem, but offering an observation / data point.

Last Thursday I got a new Phonak aid - BICROS rig - and it is amazingly powerful. However, I came to work after the fitting and was dragged into a meeting with three other people, in a small conference room. It sounded like grizzly bears fighting - growling and screeching. I noted that “S” sounds were rendered as “Sh” sounds - seven (numeral 7) became “sheven”, sushi became “shooshy”, and so forth.

Soonest appointment I could get was yesterday (Monday) and she told me it was the “Sound Recover” function, which shifts frequencies lower, to frequencies that are not as impaired. She removed that function and “S” sounds were Ss again, and “Sh” sounds were distinct, and “sushi” came through as “sushi” and “seven” as seven.

So, it might be that the Sound Recover function is causing some of your distortion.

You have my best wishes that the audiologist can adjust the distortion out.


Sound Recover (a form of frequency lowering) can certainly cause this effect (sibilance). However, it needn’t be a feature on or off kind of thing. It can be adjusted to eliminate sibilance, but still offer some added audibility of high frequency sounds. I wouldn’t think this would be going on in OP’s case as he has Sound Recover 2 which should greatly reduce or eliminate this potential problem.


I have the B90 Directs. I also have Menieres in both ears with extremely loud Tinnitus.
The B90’s stop about 80% of the Tinnitus. When I got them in June I told the Aud that one TV show (Elementary) had the 2 stars who spoke in low voices sound a lot like the S sound in their words.
She made frequency changes and it solved the problem.
My Tinnitus is loud enough in both ears if that caused the S sound I would still have the problem.