Experience with Frequency Shifting?


I’m trying to decide which hearing aids I should purchase. I have a profound loss in high frequencies, have never used frequency shifting, but it sounds like a way to recover some of those lost sounds.

Every manufacturer seems to have their own method of accomplishing this. I’d like to hear how this has worked for people - your experience good or bad, brand of aid you are using.

Thank you for any input.



I use Kirkland KS7 (Costco) It’s made by Rexton and similar to Signia Primax. The highest I can hear with routine amplification is 4khz, but with frequency lowering (Rexton’s term is Bandwidth Compression) I can hear up to about 6.5khz. I like it. Would be happy to answer any questions. I’ve done a fair amount of research on frequency lowering and offer many references. Frequency lowering is likely the only way you’re going to have access to sounds above 3khz. That said, since you haven’t heard them in sometime, it would take some getting used to.

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Good to hear this is working for you. I’ve been reluctant to try it in the past because it sounded like hearing normally high frequency sounds mixed in with lower frequency sounds would be confusing. However am struggling with understanding speech more than I was in the past, so am willing to give it a try. When I look at my audiogram I’m not sure where they would put these sounds. I read something about Phonak having Sound Recover 2 which would place compressed sounds at around 1800 hz. Are there other manufacturers that could start at a lower frequency, or is Phonak’s placement the lowest?



I have profound loss in high frequencies, and dead spots. So I’m not going to hear those frequencies no matter how high the gain.

But frequency shifting moves those frequencies to a range I can hear and I’m hearing birds! Also, I have keypad front door lock, and I know now that it makes a little chirp every time you press a number.

I have Phonak Audeo B90 hearing aids (the Costco version, Brio 3) and i like the phonak approach. We have them set very aggressive, starting at 1100. You can go lower but things start to sound lispy.

I thought it would really screw up the way things sound but everything sounds normal, and audible. Music even sounds good. I will never be without it.



Phonak can place high sounds the lowest because it does so dynamically. When high frequency energy dominates it has the ability to lower the sounds as low as 800hz. When lower frequency sounds dominate, it won’t lower sounds so low. Frequency lowering is not a set it and forget kind of thing although many audiologists treat it that way. If you initially don’t like it, you can ask that different settings be tried. I found that it took some time to get used to. Let me know if you want references if you want to dig into this.

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Phonak’s SR2 is my preferred frequency lowering. Theoretically, correct settings should be verified using real-ear measurements. Your best chance of finding that would probably be to go to someone with significant fitting pediatric experience.



I use Phonak aids and also have profound hearing loss in the upper frequencies. It’s funny Don mentioned birds, I too can hear them using sound recover 2. At this time I am using Naida V90 UP aids. Due to dead areas of high frequency I plan to try the Audeo B90 with power receivers like Don. Should be a good comparison of RIC and sound tube aids.

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It sounds like Phonak would probably be high on the list to consider. Even with aids I don’t hear birds, smoke alarms. We have an older TV, and unaided I hear absolutely nothing. Turn on my aids and the world comes alive. I still rely on closed captioning. If Phonak can put things as low as 800hz I should benefit a lot. My hearing is better at that frequency.

I’m also considering ReSound because of their made for iPhone capability. Does anyone know how ReSound handles shifting?

Thank you all for your responses.



Resound’s system is not very sophisticated. I don’t think it would get low enough for you to benefit.



I use the Phonak Marvel that I program independently with the Noahlink Wireless device (@PVC please return to the forum with your valuable contribution) and I have activated the SoundRecover2. As indicated by other users I can hear many more chirps and also other sounds (not so basic) such as the various beeps of appliances (oven timer, dishwasher, thermostat and other high frequency beeps), it is undeniable that without this type of frequency shifting I would not hear thi sounds. As for the spoken word, I find that the letter “S” in many cases becomes “SH” (for example the word “asset” sounds like “ashet”) and this doesn’t excite me much, especially when I hear my voice and I almost instinctively try to correct repeating the word (in reality others people continue to hear it correctly). I also verified that by reducing the level of the SoundRecover this effect disappears but I go back to not hearing the various beeps I was talking about before. At the moment I’m trying to get used to it because I don’t want to give up hearing sounds that I wouldn’t otherwise hear.

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Frequency shifting, like everything else to do with hearing aid use, requires a period of adjustment. I have both Phonak and Resound aids, and the Phonak system is far superior in my opinion. Since it compresses the frequency spectrum, 5 KHz doesn’t sound much different to 3 KHz, and this takes some getting used to. There are factors that can be adjusted with SR2 to help customize it to your particular needs. In my case, just jacking up the gain on the frequencies where I have a severe to profound loss doesn’t work because I am also sensitive to loud sounds. Frequency lowering does help some in my case, but not enough to overcome all the other negative things about wearing aids, so I don’t wear them much. Do give it a try. I think it is way superior to just increasing the gain. I would stay away from Resound. I have experimented with my Linx 3D aids and their system just doesn’t seem to do much compared to Phonak.

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The frequency lowering technique used by Oticon (it does not compress the whole frequency band but instead copies sections of the high bands and overlaps them onto one another in the lower destination bands, called frequency composition) sounds very natural to me.

The nice thing about this approach is that you have an option to keep the amplification in the high bands intact if you want, in case your high frequency loss is not too far gone and you can still benefit from it somewhat as well.

It only lowers down as low as 1.5 - 2 KHz range, however.

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Neville - I wondered why pediatric experience would be something to look for in choosing an audiologist. My current audiologist has a lot of experience with Phonak, but I’m not sure she has done a lot of work with children.



Thank you all for your input. At this point I don’t know what to ask. The general consensus seems to be that Phonak’s SoundRecover 2 would be the way to go. I’m hoping to move forward with this, but may not be able to do much until after the first of the year - dependent on what my insurance says. In the meantime want to learn what I can.



If you could find out if you have frequency dead zones in your profound hearing loss areas that would also guide you to a better choice of aids. If you have dead zones in your profound loss area there is no need to amplify those areas. You might get by with less powerful aids. Ones that are not so big and more comfortable.
This is something I am checking out now.



Volusiano - you mention Oticon can preserve existing hearing from the high bands. Does that mean Phonak does not? I’m not sure that would help in my case because I’m in the profound loss area from 2000hz up, so doubt that I’m hearing much of anything high frequency anyhow.



One more question - what type of hearing aid would work best for frequency shifting, within the Phonak line? Would an ultra-power aid be best or could a somewhat lower gain super power aid work just as well when combined with frequency shifting? This is disregarding any consideration for cosmetics, just want to know what has the best potential for speech recognition - with or without frequency shifting (in the event that did not work for me - I am definitely willing to put in the effort, but there is that chance it might not work out. Am wondering because I don’t think I’m currently hearing anything over 2000hz even with aids, so am not sure exactly how much benefit ultra power brings to the table at this point.



You’d want hearing aids that have a fitting range at least up to 90dB for up to 2000hz. If you’re going to be hearing anything above 2000hz, it will be with frequency lowering. The Phonak Marvel with a M or P receiver should work. I think the reason Neville suggested an audiologist who does pediatric fittings is that they have a more objective approach. They’re used to fitting hearing aids to an objective standard because they don’t have the option of asking young children their preference



I am starting to think PVC is getting too old for this forum. You know old dog and new tricks. Yes, I am messing with him if he is still lurking. He gave the forum 10 years of help. It’s too bad he is taking away all the things we will remember him for.

Going to add a quick story. Years ago at my wife’s family get together an apricot pie was served. It was the best I had ever tasted. I asked who made it and asked for the recipe. My wife’s aunt said she made it and would not share the recipe. I said that’s too bad. A mentioned if she shared that recipe every time we had get togethers and ate her pie we would remember her. She then asked one of her nieces for a piece of paper and pen.



If your frequency lowering is fairly aggressive and your hearing loss slopes, you may actually need less power because you are moving everything into a range where you hear better. So if it worked before frequency lowering it should work fine with frequency lowering.