Feedback from Oticon Opn when wearing Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones


I find myself in the usual situation of needing to edit audio on a regular basis (thanks COVID-19). It’s actually really fun; I’m enjoying shooting video, editing it, and posting it…and I’m helping a friend, which is the best part. I am currently using some Bose QuietComfort25’s to do the audio editing, but I get feedback even with the noise cancellation turned off. There is a high-pitched tone that is hard to ignore while editing. I’m wondering if the Audio Technica’s would have the same problem (e.g. the m40x, etc.)? I don’t really know what is causing the issue. I wear Oticon OPN3 with an open dome.

Suggestions? Thank you!

Hearing aid is a high-gain microphone and (micro)speaker. It is liable to feed-back, squeal. The normal adjustment is just short of the feedback point. But then you put closed headphones over mike and speaker, the sound leaking out of your domes can’t dissipate in open air, so the microphone hears the speaker better. Which means more feedback.

The “obvious” path is loudspeakers (your poor housemates!) or an OPEN headphone. I remember some old Sennheisers where only open-cell foam touched your ear.

The more appropriate path may be to stream your audio directly into your hearing aid. I mean, it is already a pretty good headphone with as much power as you should have and enough bandwidth for video editing (opposed to music sweetening). My Marvel will do that on my ChromeBook or my Android and it is pretty slick. (Not my desktop which lacks BluTooth, tho that could be fixed.) I do not know if the OPN3 will do that?

I second Paul’s opinion that you are having feedback. That said, I have OPN S 1 aids and I’m able to use some old school closed headphones (Beyerdynamic 770 Pro) while wearing my aids without feedback. The headphones are large and seal completely around my head. They do not have active noise reduction but they do provide over 20 dB of passive noise reduction according to the manufacturer so they do significantly reduce external noise.

I think maybe the difference is that I have closed domes with two very small vents - probably less susceptible to feedback that your open domes. I don’t know if closed domes (maybe vented) with a different gain profile to match you loss would work for you, but if it would, you might have less issues with feedback with headphones.

I would also suggest trying streaming to your aids - I’ve been able to stream to my aids from a computer (iMac Pro) using a combination of an Oticon ConnectClip and a Sennheiser BTD 800 USB bluetooth dongle that came with my ConnectClip. I had to use the BTD 800 with my iMac desktop but not with my work MacBook Pro - apparently the bluetooth support is different in the two machines. The audio streamed in either case sounds reasonable except for low frequencies where the headphones have (much) better response than the hearing aid receivers. The mini-RITE 85 receivers I have are specified over a frequency range of 120-9500 Hz with an “ear simulator”. The low frequency cutoff depends slightly on the power level of the receiver - the lower power 60 receiver cuts off at 110 Hz.

When streaming, I’m able to mute the hearing aid microphones using the Oticon ON app - that reduces the influence of sound other than the streamed audio.

I have Oticon OPN1 ITE hearing aids and I wear the Bose over the ears headphones without any issues with feedback. But I have had in the past issues with BTE aids and the Bose headphones.

Thanks to you and Paul…you guys just changed my life. I never thought I could connect my hearing aids to my computer. I had the ConnectClip because I used to use it in school (I might have a much better career if that had been available to be for all my many years of schooling, but alas, I only got that for my very last class of my last Master degree - it revolutionized my academic experience!) Anyways, in about 15 minutes I was able to find out my computer has Bluetooth, turn on and pair my ConnectClip, and stream a sound to my hearing aids. I am SO, SO happy!!! Thank you so much!

I may use the other tips - like trying closed domes or open headphones - for listening to the audio live on set. Thank you!! I always get great advice here. This is the best forum!

Thank you! This is helpful…seems like it is a BTE (or maybe BTE+open domes) + closed headphones issue.

Update for anyone who may come across this with similar questions:

I’ve been streaming to my OPN3’s for video editing for two weeks. While it works for the most part, I still need a proper headphones solution so I’m looking for open-back headphones to try. My main issues streaming to hearing aids are:

  1. Volume. Even with my computer volume set at 100%, I feel that I’m lacking in volume compared to what I experienced with my closed-back headphones. If I turn up the volume on the ConnectClip, I hear too much ambient noise. I need to hear all the background “junk” (and more noise detail in general) so I can edit properly.

  2. Noise cancellation. It seems like my OPN’s do an excellent job of removing the fan noise that’s coming from my video lights when I stream the sound directly into them. Unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t wear hearing aids (LOL) so I need to be able to hear that noise and remove it from the videos. Wearing the closed-back headphones with the volume all the way up, I can hear the fan noise (at least some of it). This might actually be related to #1; maybe the volume is so low when streaming to the OPN’s that I just can’t hear the fan noise. Further investigation is needed!

I’ll try to post another update when I get a set of open-back headphones, just so future readers in this situation have some more info.

When I wear headphones with my OPN 1, I move the HAs to the inside “well” of my ears instead of leaving it behind the ears. What that does is that it put the HAs at the center of the headphones, ensuring that the magnetic field generated by the headphones puts the HAs into the “phone” mode. This basically disables the mics on my HAs (and effectively any potential for feedback) to allow my HAs to pick up the magnetic field of the headphones inductively and treat it as the sound source. Basically I enable the HA to operate in “telecoil” mode, even though my OPN 1 doesn’t have an official full-size telecoil.

Even though I don’t have feedback when using headphones on my OPN 1 if I leave the HAs behind my ears like normal, I actually prefer activating the (telecoil-like) phone mode via the trick above because it’s just a cleaner way to pick up the headphones sound via the inductive magnetic source than trying to pick up the headphones sound via the mics.

Why not get a pair of Aftershocz or another Bone Vibration set. They won’t interfere with your OPNs, you’ll still get full ambient hearing and they won’t retain perspiration either.

Do you think the bone vibration technology can give hearing impaired folks the ability to hear in the frequency areas where they’ve have sensorineural loss?

I’ve tried some bone vibration headphones a few years ago and they didn’t impress me nor did they restore my high frequency hearing loss. I don’t know if that technology is getting any better today or not.

If you have a SN loss, then the hair cells that sense your higher pitch sounds are degraded. So it’s a bit difficult to drive that part of your hearing system. My suggestion of Aftershokz, was to get around the practical issues faced by the OP.
I wouldn’t think that they would have really good bandwidth for music, but I reckon that you’d hear speech quite well. However, a bit of a graphic equaliser, might allow you to normalise some of the extent of your loss.
The issue with BC devices used to be that if your loss closely matched the principal harmonic of the output transducer you heard really well, but if it doesn’t; you can get issues of adjacent frequencies masking over the stuff you want to hear.