Thank you for analyzing this and posting it, Jim. I have a few weeks before my audiologist returns from maternity leave, but I am definitely going to check with her on this. Because I am totally frustrated in restaurants and at parties. I can understand speech better if I go without my hearing aids! When I complained about this, I recall she said that she made the noise reduction “more aggressive.” But that’s all I know.
Hi, Noreen. I’m a bit different than you. I have better low frequency hearing but much worse high frequency hearing and my two ears are very close in hearing loss. I believe my audi just used the default Noise Tracker II per environment settings. Perhaps because of my high-frequency loss, I like the Speech Clarity quickset, which ups the midtone and treble gain and I found in difficult situations using a Narrow Speech focus in a restaurant setting helped but then I was probably overapplying noise reduction since I’m sure that I’ve always been manually cranking it up to Strong in the Smart 3D app. Here’s what my Per Environment settings are:
And interesting aspect of the Audiology Online course that I link to in my post above on Advanced Features is that it kinda makes a useful test recording for fooling around with Noise Reduction and Wind Reduction settings in the Smart 3D app. The course I cite is a terribly made audio recording in spite of its excellent content. The speaker is all over the place with sound volume and speaking into the mic and she’s not using as high a quality mic as most of the other ReSound online courses are, which are typically stellar in presentation and audio quality. So her voice was fading in and out. There was a lot of reverberation in the recording from her mic/environment. I looked at my Smart 3D app and I had noise reduction cranked all the way up to STRONG and I had wind reduction at 100%. Hmmm…! I probably kinda don’t need to apply these two settings. So I turned them down or off and the audio became much clearer in spite of the fact that the recording was probably not one of the greatest ever made.
Hope there is an easy answer to your speech in noise problem, Noreen. As you may have read, I’ve found the degree of occlusion in my fitting makes a difference and for me, there does seem to be a sweet spot close to almost occluding where I still don’t have the fingers-in-the-ears own voice sensation but outside speech is a bit clearer, crisper.
The same video that I reference about noise reduction also mentions that attack/relaxation time constants for applying speech amplification (compression) usually work best if they go on and off very fast but that for some people a slower onset and relaxation for speech helps. Some such people are folks who unfortunately have trouble because of stroke or dementia but it also mentions that a slower onset and relaxation of amplification factors can be helpful for people who have poor word recognition - the change to slower time constants gives a softer, slower, more rounded sound to syllables.
Presumably your audi knows a ton more than any of us but almost all the training stuff that I’ve encountered emphasizes the audi talking in detail with the patient about what they’re experiencing and also says that delving thoroughly into the problem can really help because sometimes the actual cause or actual solution is not what seems obvious on first presentation. Some difficult speech-in-noise situations may just require a remote mic, unfortunately.
So, 6 months on, what’s the feeling in the room? Is Android connectivity really coming or was this a false start? I was very hopeful but now I’m not so sure.
Using the Clinician’s Report from your audi to see how occlusive a fit that you have.
The degree to which your domes or molds are open or closed can influence a variety of perceptual and physical hearing parameters: Article on open fit vs closed fit
Judging how occlusive your fit is and whether you’ve reached the potential nirvana for your listening experience can be tough. For me, what my voice sounds like, how easy is it to insert and remove the domes in each ear, what do other sounds sound like, how good is my sense of sound directionality (reduced with more occlusive fits) are all approximate indicators. But in taking ReSound courses at Audiology Online, a lecturer emphasized that the feedback analysis curve, which should be run for every fitting, can provide a good indication of the degree of occlusion. At least for ReSound fitting software, if you ask your provider, he/she can print out a Clinician’s Report for you that will include your feedback analysis profile as part of the graphics. I provide mine below for several different domes types, showing the degree of feedback susceptibility (which is inversely correlated with the degree of occlusion). Right ear is RED, left BLUE. The curves show dB of gain to be applied as a function of frequency for 50, 65, and 80 dB SPL input. The upper solid red and blue colors in the graphs show the range of amplification beyond the capability of my medium power receivers. The bigger lighter gray peak coming down shows frequency/amplification regions with the potential for feedback. The smaller darker gray overlapping area above is is a DO NOT FIT region with danger of serious feedback if amplification were to enter this region.
Medium Open Vented Domes
Small Power Domes - Both Ears (easy to remove power dome from right ear, harder from left)
Medium Power Dome-Right Ear, Small Power Dome-Left Ear
The second and third left ear tests were independently done so you can see that the test is pretty reproducible.
I’m quite happy with the third fitting situation. My hearing is somewhat occluded, I’ve lost some spatial directionality but I like the listening experience. The one thing that I don’t understand yet is why the potential for feedback shown varies with program shown (the one show here is the Outdoor program where the most gain is applied, Music program is essentially the same). Programs with lesser gain applied (All-Around, Restaurant) are depicted as having more potential for feedback?!
Edit_Update: To try to answer my own question at the end about the difference in potential feedback depicted on a hearing program-by-program basis, perhaps the difference is that Outdoor and Music are OMNI-DIRECTIONAL listening programs so the HA’s cannot focus on sound coming from a specific direction. The All-Around and Restaurant programs have the potential for variable directionality and can be focused (and amplify?) sound coming from a specific direction, which perhaps increases the potential for feedback.
Interesting information Jim, thanks for the post. A month ago I posted about looking at the Quattro’s, mostly motivated by a one-time insurance incentive. So I went ahead and took the plunge, my previous aids were Costco KS6 and KS7s. Like my KS6’s, I like the streaming options available from Resound so I’m hopeful it will give me more options. At first, I was not feeling like the noise reduction was much different but today I saw my audiologist and she made further adjustments, so hopefully it’l be better. Also I’ll study some of what you have written and see if there more ideas I can approach her with.
If your audi is agreeable and you have the time to delve into ReSound settings at least as far as just understanding what they mean, asking the audi for a copy of your Clinician’s Report as @bobd suggested could be very helpful:
I neglected to ask my audi for a copy of my REM test results - but she said the results matched my Audiogram+ fit very well except the right ear was a little off at 4K Hz but not worth fiddling with.
Everything that’s written below should be ignored by anyone who doesn’t want to delve into ReSound HA test sounds.
Too bad ReSound does not make the sounds available in the Smart Fit software media player (sound player) available through the Smart 3D app. I find the sounds very helpful because they are (obviously) highly reproducible just for playing around with the settings in the Smart 3D app and learning what works best in certain sound situations. I like the noisy bistro scenario with speech at 0 dB above background noise as a test of how my HA’s are working. There is one line in there, where the waitress asks if the couple is ready to order, the man says yes but the woman customer replies that she thinks she needs another minute that is extremely challenging to hear, as the woman speaks in a very soft, much higher-pitched voice than the man in a very noisy bistro environment. As Stephen Bright has pointed out, using the recording as a test would best be done if it were truly at least 5:1 surround sound with distinctly separate and independent sound channels, recreating a realistic sound environment but even as “TV sound,” it’s a very challenging recording to listen to. Versions with speech only and speech at 5 and 10 dB above background are also provided but the 0 dB above background is the great test of the HA settings one is using in the Smart 3D app!
Still trying to figure out if I can get true 5:1 separate channel sound out of the media offerings. There are two different “players” in the Smart Fit software. The Media Player does not appear to offer separate channels, whereas the Sound Player, available from the “hamburger” menu on the top right asks you to calibrate your individual speakers before proceeding, which the Media Player does not, and there is a third option to play the sounds directly to your HA’s, which one can only do if one has the requisite equipment. So I’m only about 1/3 of the way through deciding whether the wonderful variety of test sounds that ReSound offers in its software can truly be used in a 3D way to evaluate HA function. For the Media Player, the answer is decidely “NO” as I can hear the bistro speech sounds coming out of all the rear speakers although they mainly appear to be emanating from left and center front speakers when sitting in a surround sound environment. If I find the Sound Player or the direct to HA’s method are any different, I will update my post at some time later. I am projecting the sound to my TV and my ancient Yamaha HTR-5470 amplifier through Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter (a Miracast device) as HDMI input to the TV, which then sends the sound to the amplifier through an optical audio cable, so hopefully nothing is screwed up in the projection of 5:1 sound to the amplifier and I guess the Speaker Calibration test within the Sound Player software should allow me to verify that at least the channels are all divvied up as they should be when broadcast from their ReSound origins. A test of the amplifier itself shows all the speakers test out separately very well for their positions and relative loudness in the surround sound system. One problem of the setup might be that the speed and quality of the Miracast broadcast from computer to TV leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps the HDMI output on my computer only does the video and not the audio part, otherwise maybe I could get better sound reproduction by using a hard-wired link from the computer to TV…
Aha! As far as playing sound from a computer to a 5:1 speaker system hooked up to a HD TV, the following advice, originally of Windows Vista vintage (March, 2009) still appears to hold true for Windows 10 vers. 1809 (fall, 2018). The settings are available through the Control Panel under the Sound applet (type Control in search dialog). Presumably as soon as I hook my laptop’s HDMI output up to the TV’s HDMI input, I’ll be in business for playing 5:1 sounds out of my computer to my Yamaha amplifier hooked up to my TV to test HA perception in a Surround Sound environment and I shall be looking in SoundCloud and elsewhere for good DRM-free sounds that anyone can listen to as a test sound (suggestions welcome!).
See Third ANSWER down by Jonathan - Support Engineer:
As discussed elsewhere in the Microsoft Answers thread, I’ll need the right audio driver on my laptop, too, to be able to play 5:1 sound from computer to TV. Hopefully the migration path to Windows 10 has not obliterated the OEM driver provided originally with the computer.