Favorite Hearing Aid Programs

I couldn’t find a thread on this via search, but if there’s already a great one, please feel free to point me in that direction.

What are the programs you like or use most on your hearing aids? I’m a new user, and my audi hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about what options there are in terms of programs for me to try, so I think it would help me a lot to have some ideas that I can ask about specifically. I know obviously everyone will have different needs and preferences based on the details of their own lives, but what do you find useful for your own use?

Definitely AutoSense - the other programs are really just for very minor occasional use. I have an acoustic duo phone option, music, tv (a custom one which I don’t tend to use)and public Telecoil.

You may find the Tcoil, music and phone programs of use but generally I have to say that the HAs do a great job in the automatic program. Changing programs manually is something you really want to avoid because it is a nuisance. I used manual programs more when I had an iPhone app for that but even then it was more to see how the programs functioned. You can also use the manual programs to temporarily try out some settings changes to find out if they help eg. In noisy places or places you have a particular problem.

Hi Wren,

the options you have depend, of course, on your hearing aid.

I have:

  1. Hearing as “natural” as possible, just nal-nl2 fitting with pinna-simulation as directionality, no noise-reduction of any kind.

  2. Same as 1, but auto-switch to “speech in noise” and a little noise-reduction. This I use when I have problems with speech in noise and / or when I find some static noise annoying (esp. when cooking). I could use this as program 1, obviously, but I don´t like it when the sound changes.

  3. Live Music: Less amplification, less compression. This is for playing piano, singing, live-music and sometimes tv, when it get´s a little louder

  4. Slot 4 is for experimenting, at the moment it´s tv/music.

Maybe more useful for you is the following information. You can change the following aspects in different programs:

a) Features, depending on your aid there are different ways of digital signal processing. Those are noise-reduction, impulse-reduction (for clattering plates, for instance) and advanced features such as reverb-reduction. Please test carefully which features really help you, because all features also distort the sound and may even decrease your speech undestanding.
b) Directionality: The way your aids focus to a certain direction. For instance, if you are talking to someone in front of you in a noisy place, you will want the aid to focus to the front. If you are driving a car (you are the driver) this won´t work, of course, because the talker will sit on side of you. There are lots of directionality options. Some aids offer automatic adjustment, too, and some can be controlled in some way (change the focus of your aid with your smartphone, for instance). It depends on yourself how much focus you need, because your brain can also focus on a certain speaker. But in general, this is more difficult for people with hearing aids, and the directionality is the best and most effective way to improve your signal-to-noise-ratio for speech in noise (esp. for speech in speech-noise).
c) Amplification / compression. You can set the amplification for different input levels and different frequencies. This results in certain compression ratios. Usually, it´s easier to understand speech when the speech-area is not compressed too much. That is why you need different compression settings for soft speech and for speech in noise. Soft speech is in, say, 40 dB to 50 dB, so that area should not be compressed too much. Loud speech (in noise) is in 70 dB to 80 dB, so that area should not bee compressed too much. You can´t have both at once, so you either need different programs or an automatic detection.

The combination of a, b and c gives you endless possibilities, and it´s obvious that you cannot try all of them. Also, having a hundred programs won´t help you. You could take notes in which situations you hear well and in which not, and then either add programs or change the settings of your automatic detection of some kind.



I use “auto” 99% of the time. I don’t want to be switching programs all day. I’m a set 'em and forget 'em kind of guy. I do have a “music” program, a “car noise” program and a “telecoil” setting as well but I rarely use them as the “auto” program does just fine for me almost all the time. Regarding the telecoil, mine automatically comes on when I use it near a telecoil enabled phone. The program is there if I ever find a location that has telecoil options built in. I haven’t found one yet but I’m ready if I ever do… :wink:

You might want to check out this thread on the programs used by KS6 owners: http://is.gd/xNPZlv

I just leave mine on universal which is the Widex term for automatic.

My Milo Plus hearing Aids, only has got one program. The universal program:(

The only program other than Automatic I’ve ever used on my Trax 42s is the Noise/Party one, and after 7 months, I use it less and less.

After 3 months everything is really beginning to sound normal like I’m not wearing HAs anymore. The honeymoon is over! When I take them off at night for my cleaning routine, I feel like I’m more deaf than before having gotten them. I hope that’s not true.

Nah, it the old brain<>ear thing in reverse. You are now use to hearing louder sounds. It all relative. That suppressed hearing is your bad hearing as if it had all happened at once instead of over time. Now that’s a bit scary. :o

Thanks for your input, everyone! I feel like the more information I can get about what’s out there, the more I’ll be able to get the hearing aids working as well as possible for my life. Much appreciated.

Statistically, most people don’t use their manual programs even when they have them. I know that when I was a teenager and had good hearing, when I went into a restaurant, I didn’t tug on my ear or poke my belly button to get my ears to change programs. So why in the world would I do that now, if I could avoid it?

6 months after people are given manual programs, they are generally unable to tell you what they are or what they were for, and their data log in the devices shows that they never use them.

In fact, I think it is detrimental to use them at all. All you are really doing is training your brain to be a lazy and not process changes in your environment. It would be like going to the gym to get healthy, but taking a wagon along to load your weights into, instead of lifting them and carrying them yourself.

What’s scarry is that I’ve become enslaved by them, just what the industry wants to hear, right?

No really, I can’t wait to put them on in the morning and I hate having to take them off at night. I’m enjoying them very much and I should have been wearing HAs for many years. I can only thank my wife. She pushed me out the door to get them. Never would I spend 6K for something I’ve learned to do without. Now that’s all changed.

Scarry is the thought that I may one day be without my aids due to some reason, repair perhaps. What if I can’t afford a replacement someday?

Scarry is the thought of $6,200 worth of equipment I depend on sitting vulnerable on the crest of my ears!

Wear a helmet…

all the time.


Yea, right. Hey, I think you mean store, not gym.

I have to agree, I don’t use any programs. I have one set for music but I don’t use it. It was set flat out, no reduction, no AE. Too loud as well and I’m not interested in having the volume set down. It’s good for one thing however; when I’m in a super quiet environment I can hear all the creaking noises in the house.

In my opinion, there are two good reasons for programs

a) Music. Of course, if the aid detects music automatically and this really works, you don´t need it.

b) If you don´t like changing sounds.

I have four programs (as I described), and I use three of them a lot. But, of course, I think I´m not the average user.

Not the best simile. :smiley:

I, too, play music. Actually, I just lost an entire reply, but I just wanted to say in summary, that I agree, that life is simpler if you do not have to treat your aid software like recording software, and give it as much attention. I use the auto programs, and the directional software. It seems that I do not think I can do two settings. This is Miracle ear Genius link software. Actually, with the update, I think it can be done. I have a non adventurous audiologist, however, and I have to concentrate on serious hearing quality of life issues, like severe irritation by ear molds, and having to force him to give me premade ones (domes) over his objections. They worked. Kind of like a dissatisfied marriage. Ironic! Anyway, do you know if there is anyway that I can program the app myself? It is worth a try!

As you know, it takes a while for your brain to adjust to getting hearing aids and begin to again separate the ‘important’ from ‘unimportant’ sound. So, after a while your brain begins to expect a better range of frequencies coming in from the aids and then your brain gets a bit lazy (or focuses on other stuff) so this will seem like worse hearing, but its just your brain. When the hearing aids are off, your brain doesn’t work as hard as it used to to hear those missing frequencies. Same thing happens with reading glasses - before you get them your brain works over-time to make out words. Once you do get them your brain moves on to other stuff and you cant read what used to be possible.

I use the tinnitus program even though I don’t have tinnitus. A half hour of listening to waves crashing usually helps clear my head at the end of the day.