Distortion on ReSound Forza


I have finally taken the plunge and had aids fitted. Having had no more than a little time with two different hearing aids in the store, I decided to go with the recommendation and I’m now the owner of a couple of ReSound Forzas.

I am surprised at how easily my brain is getting used to having the aids. After a couple of days I would not notice them that much, and now that I’m 3 weeks into it, I’m forgetting them for most of the day. And after the initial shock of there’s-way-too-much-noise-everywhere, I’m enjoying having hearing aids.

But one thing I’m not too happy with. I’m hearing distortions. When it is not noisy and someone speaks at a pronounced voice, it sounds as if the voice is clipping. This also happens if I speak. The distortion is so pronounced that I sometimes have a hard time hearing what they actually say. Think of a hardrock guitar at a rock concert and you’ll understand what effect I’m referring to.
I can also hear what would best be described as a low volume static noise. It happens when I’m in a quiet room and people talk normally, like in a meeting room. When someone talks, I can hear their voice, but also a static noise like an AM radio between stations at a much lower volume. When the person stops speaking, the noise stops too. This is very distracting. I don’t notice it when there are background noises.

I don’t think my ears are doing the distorting. We did a test to see how loud a noise I could tolerate and nothing the fitter dared to output through the headphones even came close to hurting or sounding distorted. I guess there’s one benefit to conductive hearing loss.

We tried after the first week to dial back the gain and allow the aid to produce more output (I forgot the term), and that reduced the clipping effect a bit, but also made it much harder for me to understand what people were saying.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? Is it something that is part of the settings? Do all compressing digital hearing aids do this to some extend? Are my aids malfunctioning? Do I need a different brand/model for my loss?

Lots of questions and I was hoping that someone here has run into this problem. Or at least can let me know what the best course of action would be.

Thanks in advance!

I went in on Tuesday to have some adjustments made while a ReSound rep was there. She sounded like she understood what the problem was and changed both some settings and gave me tulip domes instead of the normal ones. She was hoping that this would give extra volume in the low range and keep the receiver from having to work too hard and starting to distort.

This was the worst change I’ve now had. So bad that I had to go back the next day to revert to a previous setting. I could not hear NPR while in the car with the aids on because there was too much ambient noise. With the radio on the same volume, I could hear it just fine without my aids in. The clipping distortion was a bit less, but the overall understanding of speech was worse than the previous setting.

She gave me a Benafon aid on trail, a model without a RiC. No clipping distortion with louder noises/voices with this HA. Overall the sound quality is not as good as I perceive it. It sounds less natural to me (although I probably have no idea what things should sound like naturally). It does have the same problem as I had with the last setting on my ReSounds; ambient noise in the car is way too loud.

And it has another weird thing; when a sudden noise occurs, it temporarily lowers the amplification of sound drastically. It may be that because of my peculiar loss I’m more susceptible to noticing this, but I find it very distracting. One time I tapped a pen on my desk with my left hand and I heard it with my right ear instead. A little experimentation indicated that I was hearing the echo bouncing off the wall and not hearing the original sound because the left HA temporarily stopped amplifying. Fun for a moment, but not something I want to be affected by the whole time.

The ReSounds still make the clipping distortion on loud sounds (barking of a dog, for instance) and loud voices (even my own). I can also hear a crackling sort of static at a very low volume when I’m in my car (and it is not the car).

Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

ask her to let you try a pair of the Kirklands.

Any reason why RIC has been preferred for a flat/slightly reverse slope loss, I reckon you might be struggling with default fitting algorithm that automatically biases towards the higher frequencies. It’s definitely tuneable though.

I don’t know of any reason why RiC was used on the ReSound I was fitted with and not on the Bernafon. It might be that it’s just the way Costco sells these aids.

I did some experimenting over the weekend and if i play with the volume settings, I can influence when I hear the clipping distortion in the ReSounds. The higher the volume setting, the sooner I hear the distortion. In other words, with the volume setting lower, the noise of voice must be louder before I hear that it is being distorted. This made me think that the receiver (loudspeaker) was given too much volume and it was not able to cope with the signal. Much like when you turn up the volume too loud on your Walkman (remember those?) and the headphones would distort the sound. But then I realized that it could also be some form of compression or other processing that might be influenced by the volume setting of the aids.

The crackling noise I can sometime hear did not seem to be influenced by the volume setting, other than that it is of a lower/higher volume. It seems to occur with the same circumstances, regardless of the volume setting. Just at a different level, so it is more or less noticeable.

I still prefer the sound quality and noise reduction of the ReSounds over the Berfanons. The Bernafon sounds ‘thinner’ and seems to have less low frequency amplification. And I don’t have to chance programs on the ReSounds when I get in the car. The Bernafon has to be changed with I drive; the noise is just too much to be comfortable.

Anyone with ReSound experience that can shed a light on what could be causing this?

I really would like to be able to tweak these things myself. Then I could set up a better test methodology by tweaking one thing at a time and noting the difference that change makes. With one to two weeks between visits, that approach is not all that practical.


The sizzling sound is likely because the highs are set too high. I’ve experience both symptoms you describe before, and eventually got it corrected.

Your description about the echo is correct. You dont’ hear the initial impact, but only the later reflections in the room. This is actually a “feature” although it seems a little overly sensitive if a pen causes it. It goes by different names usually along the lines of “impulse suppression” (though I like to call it the “Steve Lillywhite” effect after the famous 80’s rock producer). The idea is to have really nasty loud sounds compressed immediately. In correct proportion it’s nice to have and it can save your ears and sanity. Too much and you feel like your stuck at the back of an arena of a really bad rock concert all the time.

Since I have a conductive loss, I’m not too worried about occasional loud sounds.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m experiencing. It almost makes me disoriented and giving me a feeling of loosing my balance. I would prefer those sounds to be compressed if anything. Not hearing them could be a safety concern too.

Do some people need to change the program when they ride in a car? I found that rather strange when I try the Bernafon aids.

Jay_man2, thanks. I was hoping there was something that could be done. Now I and the fitter will just have to figure out what that is.

RIC aids are made for high frequency losses and you have a flat loss. Strange!

Yet when I have the ReSounds in, which have a RiC, my perception is that I hear more low-frequency sounds than with the Bernafon aids, which have RiHA (The Bernafon has a thin-tube). The tips on each look the same to me. Any reason for that? Or is that just programming?

And why is one type preferred for my type of loss versus the other?

I have the Resound Forza with HP speaker(will put me on custom mold eventually) and what I notice I hear better the computer noise, freezer humming, fish tank sounds, birds wings flapping, rustle of trees leaves, and water spraying from the washing machine(about 25+feet away).

Anyway, I called in and will be heading tomorrow morning for adjustment. So far, I am satisfied with this HA, for this is the first time in many years that I enjoy Dr. Who(never ask questions “what happened”). Watching TV volume is set to 14 or 15 instead of 30-35. I don’t fall asleep during family movie night anymore.

My HA program1 is for general conversation, program2 for church(I sing in a choir), Program3 for TV, and Program4 for phone. This coming weekend I will try this in a marching band state competition(hoping to hear other parents conversation). I am also looking for a building with a loop to find out how this work.

The RIC unit isn’t going to suffer from losses down the thin tube - it sounds like the receiver is more closely matched to your ear characteristics too. Resound programming algorithm will be different from the Bernafon one. You might also have a different vent or insertion depth which will change the sound characterstics too.

Flat/reverse losses aren’t as well suited to the ‘open’ style of fits as the more conventional ‘forward’ sloping losses. In this case you are comparing two ‘open’ fits - thin-tube and RIC; whereas the comment above relates to the differences between an Open and Occluded fit (like a CIC).

There is no way the receiver is over-stressed, at your loss level. I have the normal power Resound receiver cranked up near its capacity and I get great sound (see my numbers below). If it is really the receiver that is distorted then there is something wrong with it.

It could be just the way you hear sound at that level but your hearing is really not that bad. I was at a concert many years ago and it was very loud and between songs I told the people I was with that I wish they would replace that bad, blown (distorted) speaker. Nobody knew what I was talking about.

Two things about loud ambient noise, one, it can be adjusted out. The Resound has slider settings under the Advanced link to increase speech and soft speech and to decrease background noise. Two, even if you don’t get it adjusted your brain will begin to filter it out on its own like a normal hearing person does.

Here is a website I like to recommend about adjusting to hearing aids.

I guess we’ll be trying different settings tomorrow and see what that does. Right now I’m constantly cringing when I expect or hear a loud sound. No way am I keeping them this way.

Someone on a different forum suggested opening the compression some. No idea what that does, but I’ll relay it to my fitter tomorrow.

The thing I like about the ReSound is that it seems to filter or reduce the amplification of noise really well. At least, in the setting they are in now. A rep from ReSound did some tweaking two weeks ago and the result was that I heard noise better than voices. I was better off without them.

I’ve read that and the article on reverse slope on that site. Very informative.