I’ve had my KS8’s 3 or 4 months now. While driving to Fla in my SUV I noticed a high frequency repetitive noise that was fairly loud in the KS8’s. When I paid attention to the noise, I noticed when we were quiet … ie. not talking, no radio or other non-repetitive sounds … after about 2 seconds, the KS8’s DSP noise reduction algorithm would almost completely remove the noise. If my wife spoke or some other type of sound popped up, then the noise reappeared until the new sound quit … then the KS8’s DSP would again quickly remove the repetitive noise. It was a good demo of the DSP’s in the KS8’s to remove repetitive noise.
After some lingering back issue I went for my first bike ride in 5 months on Monday. Got home, took off my helmet and my left HA was missing. Searched the ground and went back to the beach to the only spot on my 20 mile ride I took off my helmet…no luck!
Next day my wife was walking and stopped to talk to a friend. She looked down and sees my hearing aid in the street. Was there for a day & a half. Lots of traffic and a bunch of rain. I dried it, put in a new battery and it worked like a charm. Very, very lucky.
You can return the transmitter if you want, but confirm the return period. It is very convenient. I have mine as program 2, so one click on the hearing aid and I’m hearing the tv stream.
I am having problems with a pair of KS 8 fitted last week. This is the most powerful BTE model with a HP receiver and uses custom molds.
My first problem is that the sound volume level of streaming, whether of music or audio, even at the maximum setting of my iPod is not adequate. I cannot follow dialogs without straining my ears. The sound level is much lower than what I used have by using ear pods on the better ear from an mp3 player and a wired connection. (This situation is also worse than what I recently experienced with OPN1.) When I finally managed to speak to the Hearing Instrument Specialist at Costco yesterday (nice guy - no complaint) he said I need up to 45 days for my ears to get used to the new system but he would try to increase the streaming output when I see him next time - 2 weeks later. This Costco is about 20 miles from where I live. Perhaps the only attraction of using Costco when there are dozens of HA clinics within 5 miles of my residence is the much lower cost of a pair of KS 8. Local HIS/Audios are more readily accessible. I have started wondering if I will return the aids and try a pair with a local outfit accepting the higher cost.
My more serious problem is that with the HIS’s setting (default volume at the middle of the range on Smart Direct App) I hear less than I hear without the aids. I have cleaned my ears, changed the batteries and cleaned the wax guards with alcohol soaked tissue paper with no effect. I was trying to replace the wax guards but I can’t manage to insert the fork like end of the small bar below the guard - maybe my poor eyesight is to blame. I can use a blade to remove it and insert a new one to see if wax guard is the problem. The sound I hear using the HA is not natural - muffled may be the description.
If any one here had a similar experience I would love to hear about it. Am I doing something wrong? If not, should I just take the pair back and return for a refund? Do I have to see the HIS for this - he may dissuade me from returning. Are there any formalities that I should follow? At my age (82) I do not care to drive except when needed.
Any comments? Thanks for your time and attention.
They should be able to turn up the default volume for streaming. For mine, regular streaming was about right, but the tv streamer was very low. It is a simple adjustment.
Also, for mine, the overall volume was low, and soft speech was very low. We’ve turned up soft speech twice and need it turned up a little more.
The frequency compression, where higher frequencies I can’t hear are compressed down into frequencies I hear better, was not turned on by default. When we turned that on it was like opening a new door to sound.
If it were me, I’d give it some time. However I’m not you. How readily do you change your mind? If you’re already thinking of returning them, what would it take for you want to keep them? I feel pretty confident they can make them better for you, but if you loved the Oticons, I don’t know if they’ll reach that level. You don’t necessarily have to see the HIS to return them, but you do have to go through the hearing aid department. My experience with getting used to hearing aids is that it’s getting used to things being louder. I doubt that sounds that are too soft are going to get better without adjustment.
Surprising that they didn’t at least try frequency compression, but then again they didn’t with me. They told me it was on, but it wasn’t. I thin it’s never turned on automatically if one is a “New User.” It will be turned on automatically if you’re “Experienced.”
Can you please tell me what frequency suppression is/does and why they would not turn it on for new users. Thanks.
Frequency suppression is used in bars. It suppresses lines like “What’s your sign?”
Thanks Ken, does it silence smart asses as well? Hahahahaha!!!
Frequency compression (not suppression) lowers inaudible high frequency sounds down into a frequency range where they can be heard. From Don’s audiogram, it’s pretty obvious he could benefit. You, maybe? It’s a software thing. Some manufacturer’s default it to “on.” Signia and subsidiaries (Rexton and hence KS8) default it to “off” in New Users. I think the thinking is that new users have enough to get used to without adding other strange sounds.
Thanks MDB for answering in spite of my misuse of words.
Now, can you give me an example of everyday “inaudible high frequency sounds”? Excluding Ken’s squeaky bar flies of course.
It depends on one’s audiogram. Note my 80 and 90 dB loss at 6Khz and my relatively mild loss at lower frequencies? There’s no way hearing aids are going to be able to supply enough gain at 6Khz for me to hear 6Khz if it’s any kind of reasonable volume (some bird sounds or the “s” sound in speech) However with a flatter loss (if all frequencies were 80-90 dB loss), it might be able to be made audible because a more occlusive fitting would be used and a higher power receiver.
Once again, thank you.
Thanks all for your comments.
When I spoke to the HAS at Costco yesterday about the inadequate streaming volume he said he could raise it, but not before my next appointment which is on the 22nd. I was going to accept that as the delay was not going to cause any real problem but since yesterday I noticed that I am hearing less with the HA’s than without them. So, I thought there was no point in waiting for two weeks while not using the aids.
As I mentioned, I could not use the small hand tool that came with the wax guards for replacing these tiny bits. Finally, I took courage and gently used a blade to remove them. Again, putting new ones using the implement was very difficult so I used my fingers to do the job - took me many attempts. This was indeed the main problem as the hearing volume both for streaming and microphones is now much better :-).
I do not think I can live with this situation where I have to change these wax guards and frequently; I am prepared to pay more if KS 8 came with a simpler tool for working on these guards. I think Resound has a kind of suction tool which makes the job easier for some one with poor eyesight and less than average skill with the fingers. For OPN1 with double domes the HAS provider used alcohol soaked pads to clean the receiver ends when I had a similar problem restoring the function - quite an easy task.
I may wait until my next appointment but definitely I have to ask for a double dome or similar in place of the custom mold so that I do not have to face this problem of playing with wax guards.
I wonder if any one has any suggestions for alternative receivers for KS 8 which use double domes (or similar) and do not use wax guards. It may not have the same power as the present HP - receiver I have but I would prefer that to the present custom mold with wax guard.
Regarding frequency compression, the HAS noted my profound loss at high frequencies and used frequency compression, if I understood him correctly. However, the Smart Direct App only allows selection from 6 programs, microphone pattern and volume on a slider.
Pardon me for asking the obvious. Are your batteries ok?
Yes, I changed them - it seems unnecessarily.
Not sure what the wax guard is like with a custom mold. With the domes/ click sleeves, one basically pokes the tool into the wax guard and repeats the motion with the other end of the tool that has the fresh wax guard. If the wax guard is a big issue and you have a lot of wax, you might be better off with a BTE with tube and custom mold. That would let you avoid the need for a wax guard as the receiver would be in the aid itself. You’d still need to keep the mold and tubing clean. To be clear, the KS8 is not available in a BTE version (that I know of) I’m also not clear if you’re clear on your use of receiver. KS8s have various power receivers that can be used with click sleeves or click domes or with a custom mold. With the click domes/receivers, the wax guard is under them and doesn’t usually need any maintenance for months.
This is the type of tool I will like. I don’t know if there is a KS 8 model with this kind of tool for wax guard replacement.
This gives the KS 8 Technical data and shows 4 BTE models. The P-receiver has similar fitting range as HP-receiver but I am not sure if it uses those tiny wax guards and the terrible hand tool for removal and replacement. Why could not they copy Oticon?