Difficulty hearing the beginnings of words in soft speech - what to change?


Maybe boh of us need a new patent-graded feature for our HAs? I call it PTSH “permanent time-shifted hearing” :smiley: :
Each time you realize that you missed the start of a sentence you just strike your left HA and it replays the recording of the last 5 seconds. (As soon as you strike your right HA there is a fast-forward feature to skip the most unimportant rubbish between the first and last word, very useful at bulls…t-bingo during office meetings).
I’m sorry for posting this idea here, it does not help the OP. But maybe anyone has some direct connections to any HA manufacturer? This idea is public domain.


Bonus points if you can adjust the volume and tone on playback to clarify the speech.
Even more bonus if the aids log your preference so your hearing professional has some guidance on how to adjust.

If you are going to dream, dream big. :wink:


Widex Evoke??? :slight_smile:


An interesting feature of ReSound premium hearing aids is the Environmental Optimizer feature, which they refer to as “automatic volume control.” The Optimizer function would typically be running most of the time if you are using the All-Around user program intended for general use all the time, letting the HA’s decide the best settings for volume, directionality, noise reduction, etc.

This feature might actually affect the ability to recognize the beginnings of soft speech if you suddenly change between environments. I think I’ve experienced it myself: a while back I entered Gold’s Gym from a noisy parking lot. Just as I entered, the soft-spoken person at the front desk spoke to me and the person’s voice was very muted, then in a few seconds his normal voice volume in my HA’s. I was wearing very occlusive domes.

In taking a ReSound Audiology Online course on Advanced Features settings, the presenter mentioned that for each ONE dB difference in gain (volume) change between environments, there is a ONE second delay in the time required to change volume settings - so don’t set too much dB difference between environments that you expect to transition between. ReSound has the environments arranged in the Optimizer in the relative order that it expects you to logically move between them. Part of the environment settings are shown below (can’t fit whole section on screen at once to capture):

As you can see, my problem may well have arisen because I was transitioning between a pure noise environment of Noise (loud) or Noise (moderate) set at -3 to -2 dB below normal sound volume (to lessen noise impact) to a Speech (soft) environment where the volume should be +2 dB above my normal sound setting. But according to the lecturer’s comment, this transition is going to take 4 to 5 seconds, so I was probably trapped at trying to capture the beginnings of someone’s soft speech by remaining at a suboptimal -3 dB volume setting that works great just for reducing the impact of loud noise by itself.

If one is aware of this potential limitation of automatic volume control by the Optimizer, it seems the best way to deal with it is to either be sure to talk first or to softly talk to one’s self during such a rapid transition in sound environments. (for the latter something like, “Aw, S—! Here we go again!”):grinning:

Hopefully as HA’s keep gaining processing power, the time required for such environmental switches will drop below the level of human perception and perhaps the time differential required for major volume changes is just a quirk of ReSound HA’s alone?


I’m a rookie in the HA area, so take this as such. I do have issues with hearing my wife clearly and distinguishing what words she is really saying, especially when she speaks from another room. I’m trying to keep an open mind about it, and have not come to a final conclusion whether or not that is a good thing or bad thing ;).

It seems to me that there are two dimensions to this issue. One is that the sound level is just too low to hear even with a HA. The other is that the overall sound level is OK, but the level in specific frequencies is too low. I believe that is the common situation in age related hearing loss.

If the level is just too low, then perhaps the noise reduction algorithm used is to blame. Or the compression needs to be increased by bringing up the low level amplitude sounds.

But if it is only certain words and letter sounds, then it would seem to be more likely to be a frequency equalization issue. It might be worthwhile to keep track of what word sounds give you the most trouble, and match them to the frequencies shown on this “Speech-Banana”. That could point you toward what frequencies may not be properly corrected. And as a last resort I gather some of these HAs can be set to frequency shift down if the higher frequencies cannot be corrected enough. Seems to me that would be a last resort thing.


Speech Banana is from this article on common words that are hard to understand.


Some of it is how long you went unaided because it means that the brain has had time to forget words completely. That has been my case, also with the English language so many words sound a like be spell different or sound different but spell the same. For me I have lost most of my hearing in the middle of the speech frequency range, making it even harder


basically doing same but different in presentation diagram etc and implementation differ like resound 1 to10db oticon 1 to 9 and soft 1 to 3 signia 5 step 1to5 to 12to 24 etc. but remember one thing as you levelup NR it will also cut speech when you can not seprate noise source from speech. that include distance speech since low frequency noise will mix up in speech. and in such situation better to give microphone to wife.


The dimensions that you point out are important but it seems more complicated than that. For example, just how open or closed your fit is can influence speech intelligibility to a certain extent - it’s theorized that sound bypassing your HA mics and going straight to your ear drum in a more open fit, say when you have good low-frequency hearing, with the right acoustics in your ear canal can interfere and cancel out at some of the sound frequencies produced in your ear by the HA receivers. And no matter what the problems of the listener, some speakers just don’t speak optimally, introducing doubt into what was said at the very origins of the speech! (post-nasal drip from a speaker suffering “cedar fever” allergy, for example - hard for an HA to program that out!).


Hearing aids have a shorter distance limitation than the natural ear. Train your wife to come to where you are if she wants to talk to you, and likewise go to where she is before you talk to her.

(edit: “shorter distance limitation” doesn’t make sense. I’m sure you know what I mean, though.)


I have been very lucky with my new OPN1s that I can normally hear my wife in the other room which is behind me. This is something that I had not been able to do for over 15 years.

Now I am not saying it will work for you, I feel I am just lucky it is working for me


:rofl: SCNR

Whenever I don’t respond to my wife’s commands she believes I have understood what she was telling. And complains she had told this or that to me. Yes, she did it but she did not check for an ACK. The information was lost on the WAY to my ears not within my brain.
Whenever I ask her to repeat she asks me to come over because she is in hurry or the cat (or her notebook, etc.) lays on her legs.
(Of course these situations are not always the case. Most of the time I can figure out what was ment).
How am I able to successfully train her without getting the risk of poisoned conversation? I was able to train both of my kids. They even start EVERY conversation by first saying “Dad” to me and wait until they have my full attention.


Have a serious sit-down conversation about what your hearing loss is like for you. Talk to her about how it makes you feel that she seems to have no interest in attempting these considerations for you. Let her know that you do not ignore her and you want to hear what she says. Acknowledge that it is difficult to change habits and try to get her involved in coming up with solutions as well.

Can’t argue with cat advantage, though. If there’s a cat on the lap, what else can you do but sit there and pet it?


While I agree with you I found out coming from me didn’t do any good. It only became obvious to my wife once my Audi sat her down and read her the riot act. I was getting to the point I was ready to say it was better that I was deaf than hard of hearing


Yes, always a great idea to bring your loved ones in to your appointments. I would guess that most providers are more than willing to talk to loved ones about this stuff, and sometimes it works better for it to come from the professional.


My problem exactly, though the cat’s always on my lap!

Maybe also turning Dani’s hearing situation with his wife into a win-win situation would be the best way to go about it. Find a way to reward her for paying more attention to your needs so she gets more positive feedback when she makes the extra effort to consider your needs.


Hm, this is difficult to implement. But it’s probably the best and most durable solution.