Hearing a location

Rather odd observation. Been wearing HAs for 8 years. Just got new Oticon More model. All is pretty good with them, but.

I went to my lake house for the holiday. When I went in more than one Smoke detector was sounding battery low.

I could not locate the problem units. I felt as I was not able to identify direction of the sounds. I could hear them, I just could not isolate them. I even walked around and stood under each unit and waited. Doing this I visited each of the units and still could not tell which one was beeping.

I had to have a neighbor come over and locate them for me.

Has anyone ever experienced that? It was weird.

Later, George

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Actually I wouldn’t think this is"weird" as such, I mean it’s not unusual for people with hearing loss and who are using HAs,to not hear certain frequencies and exactly where it’s coming from, now I wonder when you got your neighbour over and they found the source, were you then able to hear the sound coming from it, as in was it then obvious it was the offending one?
As I’m thinking it’s probably some kind of noise reduction/directional microphone issue, you could try an experiment by changing programs while the alarm is going, to see if your able to pinpoint exactly, as you have different settings for each program, finding this information out would allow you to mention this problem to your audiologist.


Don’t worry about it. Many pure tones bounce around and resonate so much they’re very hard to directionally locate. I used to work in a large electronic equipment room with safety systems that used alarms called “Sonalerts”. Once or twice a week one would go off and we could never tell where it was coming from, we had to walk around to each one and put our ears to it.


This is a fairly common phenomenon for folks with hearing loss @6b7958d1addc9d4c3949, especially if your loss is in the severe/profound threshold…… I have no idea whatsoever of sound directionality, absolutely none! All sound seems bidirectional, for instance, occasionally I will get my wife to ring my misplaced iPhone, she will here it, and locate it quickly, as I have a really loud foghorn ringtone :upside_down_face: I can hear it going off, even with my aids out, but I have no idea of which direction the sound is coming from…… Cheers Kev :wink:


I wear More1 aids there are a few sounds that I can determine location but there or others I can’t determine location of. The sounds of fire detectors is definitely one I can’t locate. But some birds and most times the sound of water flowing I can locate. Car horns when I am driving no. It is a mixed bag with locating sounds

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My cat…
Where the heck is she?
She can be screaming, and I’ll run upstairs, but she’s not there.
She was at the opposite end of the table I was sitting at!
Happens all the time
Oticon More 1


I have new Oticon More HA’s after wearing Widex Evoke for 4 years. I find direction of sound source to be different with the More’s, I have severe hearing loss but didn’t have a problem with direction (source) of sound until I started wearing the More’s. So far it’s not a problem, just an observation.

Once my neighbor pointed the two beeping alarms out I still could not ID them. As I was reaching out to remove one it beeped but I could not tell you that I heard this one.

They both sounded equal to me.

This is not the first time.

And tonight my wife and I heard a beep then nothing. Not on a pattern. I could not locate the direction.

On the third beep my wife found that my laptop was on in the office and Text Message notifications we the beep.

I can live with this but in a way it is scary. Bus, train or car. I’m glad they sound different.

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I’ve worn HAs for many years, both Oticon & Phonak (currently in Phonak P90Rs) & it is very difficult for me to pinpoint a sound like that. I can hear the noise, but can’t tell where it is coming from.

It’s inevitable with modern hearing aids because they are trying to allow you to focus on a noise without distraction and they will use their digital directionality processing to let you hear the sound most clearly. If you want to be able to tell which direction it’s coming from, assuming your ears can both give you the sound, then you need the directionality processing to be turned off.

Resound One use an additional microphone in the ear which is able to use the shape of your outer ear (the pinnae) to help you locate, but this doesn’t work for all hearing losses.

You know, your hearing aids pull sound from all around and in a different setting this could be seen as an advantage. There are many more knowledgable people here than myself but I know when I wore Oticon I could hear all around me, rather than just what I’m facing w/my Phonak’s. I am always asking for help to find sounds but I can usually tell if something is in the same room, but not always.

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With hearing aids I had pretty good directionality. Not sure why but did.
When I got cochlear implants about a year ago I lost all directionality for almost a year. It was a very noticeable thing, almost scary sometimes.

I enjoy the outdoors hearing all the different things. Not having directionality made it difficult to find the animal I could hear. With lots of practice and looking around for the source of sound I slowly started learning the direction the sound was coming from. Finding sounds has become much easier now.

Maybe it just a practice and learn thing.
Good luck

Usually I can pick up the location but I’ll be the first to admit, that’s not always the case. Nothing more annoying trying to figure out where that sound is coming from and then I get run over by the car


I’m sure your hearing aids are just fine. Looks like you were surrounded by hard surfaces and corners, and you created an environment that has reverberation issues. Typical smoke alarm is around 3,000Hz. Reverberation is reflection (sound waves bounce from wall to walls).Reverberation causes more severe degradation in directional sensitivity in high frequencies. Solution: change a program. There is an option: REVERBERATION program. Ask your practitioner to add it to your devices.

George, your problem is not unusual at all. I have been using Eargos(CIC) for years. The Eargos do not have this problem, but declining hearing is taking me out of their correctable range. I tried Oticon More and found the same issue. This problem exists for almost every RIC hearing aid. They are not as claimed “receiver in the ear”; they are in fact transmitter in the ear. The actual receivers(microphones) sit on top of the ear. With their placement the penna effect is lost. Without the penna being used it is not possible to accurately locate sounds. I found with Oticon Mores I lost the ability to find the direction of sound. Listening to my stereo or surround sound systems was more like listening to monophonic sound with absolutely no sound stage. I am currently evaluating Signia Insio AX ITCs. Directionality is improved as it takes some advantage of my ears, but it is not perfect. Other units from Signia that sit further in the ear canal would be better, but you lose bluetooth and rechargeable batteries. You might want to investigate Resound One as it has a true receiver in the ear. My hearing loss is borderline for Resound due to potential audio feedback.

No really,I had an electric small hair trimmer operate on is own in the Master Bath,I checked the AC Closet,adjoining Bathroom etc to find the signal/noise for about 5 Minutes.Went outside to get the Mail and when I came back in knew it was in a general area and finally located it and Im Deaf in One Ear Only and wear a Signa Augmunted Experience 2020.My Smoke Detectors are hard wired w/Battery back up so I look for the flashing light when the 9 Volt is going bad.

It’s much easier to compensate for location in the home then outside the home. Ever stop at a traffic light that is controlled by an ambulances. Traffic is stopped all 4 ways and you’re looking around to see which direction the ambulance is coming from. Not a good

Tracking/locating the source of sound are trainable skill. I strongly recommend playing the game with good quality headphone or in ear headphone because we were wearing hearing aids in daily basis. If you play with loud speaker. It may not simulating the way we were hearing with hearing aids. My ability to locate the sound direction is so naturally. My head just instantly turn to look the incoming of sound.

If my worse in high frequnecy hearing can do it. I believe anyone can do better than me with better high frequnecy hearing.

I love to play games a lot. I guess my ability to look out for source of sound is good also from playing the game a lot because you are always need to be in situation awareness all the time or you die (I talk about playing the game).

Play game is useful for training your ability to ID sound!

Oh about the game I recommend to play? Try Alien: Isolation. Hehehehe have fun!

I think the more severe the loss the harder is to locate the sound. People telling me to wear headphones just makes me laugh. And I don’t mean that to be insulting to anyone