The attack and relaxation of compression can affect relative loudness of soft and moderate tones in speech. The default setting for all speech programs is “Per Syllable,” but there are also Fast. Moderate, and Slow settings (music is Slow for other reasons). An optimal setting raises the loudness of soft tones while not affecting moderate ones much. You might ask your audi or have her ask a ReSound rep, how the Fast time constant compares to the Per Syllable and whether there is any further desirable way to influence soft speech thru this setting. I think the standard ReSound recommendation. though, is to have your wife wear a remote mic.
Am grocery shopping. Will add link to Starkey compression manual when I get home.
Edit_Update: This is the text that I am referring to about attack and release times for implementing compression to input sounds, from p.16 of the Starkey Compression Handbook-Fourth Edition, Copyright 2017
AT = attack time, RT = release time, CR = compression ratio
“For time-varying inputs, such as speech, the effective CR is significantly affected by the AT and RT. When
the AT and RT are fast – i.e., shorter than the duration of a phoneme or syllable – the gain changes sufficiently quickly to amplify softer components more than the louder components. The result is an effective CR for speech that is similar to that specified on the basis of steady signals. On the other hand, when the AT and RT are slow – i.e., longer than the duration of a typical word or utterance – the gain does not change much between softer and louder phonemes.”
But then your other problem is this (since you have a serious hearing loss where undoubtedly high compression ratios are implemented (later on same page):
“Another example of the interaction between compression parameters is the observation that fast ATs and RTs are more detrimental to the perceived sound quality at high CRs than at low CRs (Woods et al, 1999).”