I assume when you say sh-shy distortion, you mean the “sh” sound seems oversaturated, especially on the high end component of a sound? If yes, I think I had that, too, initially, when I just got my Oticon OPNs. But it only happens on my right HA, where my hearing loss on the highs is about 10 to 20db worse than that on the left. I suspected that the cause was that the 85db receiver that I have is being overdriven on the highs because there’s no headroom left for amplification, causing the “sh” distortion. I hear it the most when listerning through my Bose SoundDock 10 speakers where Bose products have a reputation for sounding more tinny, but also when streaming certain videos when there’s a voice punctuating strongly the "sh"s, even on a male voice. It really bothers me as well.
I asked my audi to cut down a couple of dbs in the 8KHz and 6 KHz range, and even down 1 db in the 4KHz range on my right HA, and the “sh” distortion went away. I think your audi wanting to turn up the treble would be wanting to go in the wrong direction to address that problem. It’s not that your audi turned up the treble too much. It’s probably more like your hearing loss on the highs require large amplification on that end so the original programming (not your audi) set out to compensation for the severe loss, but the receiver can’t deliver and ends up getting distorted/saturated.
I suspect that maybe some of the headset/microphone combination people use emphasizes more on transmitting those highs compared to regular desk phones or cell phones (maybe because they’re lacking on the bass so they compensate by driving harder on the highs?). But high quality headsets shouldn’t be like that. For example, I have the Plantronics Voyager Focus Bluetooth headset with mic and there’s no issue with it being like that.
As to why you have problem with hearing in a small classroom, I’m not sure, but how far away are you sitting from the instructor? Are you still having trouble even if you sit in the top row? There can be many things at play there. If you sit in the back and the room is packed with students then maybe all the bodies in front of you absorb the instructor’s voice before it gets to you. There may be an issue with reverb in the room but if it’s a small classroom then there should be not too much reverb. Maybe the instructor is too soft spoken for you to hear. Maybe it’s harder to hear when the instructor faces the board with the back to you? Did you try to turn up the volume? Since the classroom should be pretty quiet when the instruction speaks, I would think turning up the volume would not cause anymore noise to be louder.
I don’t know why the TV Streamer would sound tinny to you if you’re wearing power domes. It maybe it’s the content you watch that’s tinny. If not, maybe there’s something wrong with the streamer if any content would sound tinny. You may want to ask your audi to see if she can turn up the bass for you in the TV Streamer mode or not.