Hearing aids for music listening

Yes, the little silicon caps on the end of RIC hearing aid wires are called domes. Domes from many hearing aid manufacturers are interchangeable. Just find the ones that fit your ear canals and give you the right sound. The ones I use, Widex large tulip domes for my Phonak P90 HAs, are classed as vented domes. There are open, vented and closed domes in a variety of shapes and sizes. A crude rule of thumb is:-

Open domes will give you the most ambient sound and least bass.
Vented domes will increase occlusion and increase bass.
Closed domes will be the most occlusive and give the most bass response.

My own experience is primarily concerned with keeping the domes in my ear canals without them backing out within minutes of wearing, a point which most audioligists i have come across don’t seem to regard as that important, or something that is easily resloved.

You can tweak your audi’s fitting to your heart’s content with DIY fitting but for me the key to good sound quality is getting the right domes.

Of course, logical. But it will take a while before I get the Noahlink via. I might as well start investigating :slightly_smiling_face:

What you are saying about domes makes total sense to me. Since I am only corrected above 2kHz I would need Open domes. I will need to check the ones she gave me. Thanks.

On the topic of domes, my personal experience with my ears is that I seem to have fluctuating pressure in my ears. (for all I know so does everybody) But what it does is makes it extremely uncomfortable to use closed domes due to that pressure buildup. I would rather have complete control of all sound being output from the HA’s but the pressure buildup precludes that option.

It’s the same with Oticon, you can just load your settings that are in your aids into the software. The client file from your audi is not needed.

If @bernard.danino is concerned that the audi may not like you doing your own programming, just load the settings from the hearing aids into your Genie 2 software to play around, but don’t save the changes back into the hearing aids when quitting. Stick with the audi’s adjustments until you get to a point where you’re happy enough first and things are stable before you start making your own tweaks.

There should be no reason why doing your own programming would affect the warranty. If you screw things up in the programming, your audi can always restore the hearing aids back to the last settings she has on her file and go from there again. Of course she may not like that you’re messing around with it on your own, but that’s no excuse to refuse warranty to you. But of course if you can get her on-board to support your own programming, it’ll be easier for everyone around.

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The More has great feedback prevention technology so there should be no whistling due to feedback. If it’s a brief tinny whistle sometimes only when you do something that results in a loud sound, it may be your initial hearing reaction to new loud high frequency sounds. If it doesn’t go away after you’ve adjusted to the hearing aids in a few weeks, you can ask her to set the Transient Noise Management to Medium or High to help make loud sounds more comfortable for you.

If you put your hands near the hearing aids or wear headphones and get the whistling, then it’s feedback and your audi can run the feedback analysis and turn on the Feedback Shield to help manage it.

A question about the Oticon Bass Domes. Apparently for having different sizes ear ducts my audi gave me 2 different dome sizes.
So now I have one that is loose and sometimes I can feel it move slightly. At first it was distracting but with time I think it is more comfortable.
The other one is really espousing the diameter of my ear duct and sometimes it is firmly in place.
I am not sure which sensation is the right one to get used to.
The loose one is more “breathing” I guess…

The Oticon bass dome should have either 1 or 2 small vents, so you shouldn’t get the total occlusion sensation from it. I have the bass dome with 1 small vent and I only get the occlusion sensation when my vent gets plugged up with ear wax. A little toothpick to clear out the vent opens it up again.

The bass domes are flexible so if you have one that keeps slipping out then maybe you should move up a size on that ear. But before you do that, if you didn’t get the retention wire that keeps your dome in place from your audi (by snuggling the wire at the bottom of your inner ear well), then ask for the retention wire and try it on first. Sometimes it’s good enough to keep the dome in place.

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I use Oticon More 1 and one of my programs is dedicated to listening to music or movies in my home theater. ALL the special features are disabled for that purpose. Only the feedback control is set to low. But when I listen at high volume somehow intermittently my hearing aid step the volume down for a second of two. As if there was some kind of limiter or protection engaging. What can it be? This is really annoying.

This is what is happening, it’s kicking in when you don’t want it, have it turned off completely.

Check and make sure your Transient Noise Management is set to OFF. It should be OFF in the built-in Music program but just double check in case it was turned on for some reason.

It’s possible that the feedback prevention technology detects the onset of feedback and tries to insert STM (Spectro Temporal Modulation) signals to break up the feedback energy loop right from the onset. At times, STMs can be audible, but maybe in your case, it may manifest itself as a momentary volume step down. You can try to turn off the feedback altogether to see if this problem goes away. You probably need a low amount of feedback or otherwise you would not have set it to Low. But disable feedback completely at least just to verify whether it’s the culprit or not. If yes, then at least you know, and it may be a compromise you have to decide between having some feedback or not having intermittent volume disruption.

After all, you said you’ve turned off everything but the feedback control. So might as well turn that off as well to see what gives.

I thought it was the MPO levels. Ok I will try disabling the feedback control and see. Thanks

That’s when it’s “clipping” you’ll notice the difference between the two in most cases.

There are 3 different musical types, recording, live, and instrumental, so one needs to explore these with your audiologist to try and set them up just the way you like it sound.

Disabling the feedback control helps reduce the problem drastically but not entirely. It still happens while listening to music. And I cannot see a pattern. It’s just random. Everything is disabled so the only thing I can think of is the gain control. How does the MPO act? Can it lower the volume by a whole step when clipping?

The MPO (Max Power Output) is the max output level your hearing aids can deliver based on the size of your receivers. If the input is loud enough to cause the receiver to exceed its MPO level, the HA will go into compression limiting to avoid saturation on the receiver from being overdriven beyond its MPO level. Maybe the momentary pause in your high volume peaks is the compression limiting that you’re experiencing for a second or two, where it seems like the volume is automatically stepped down momentarily. The going in and out of compression limiting to handle the peak is probably slower than your ears’ response so it becomes a discernable difference to you.

You don’t post your audiogram and it’s not obvious what size receiver you’re using so it’s hard to say if you’re using a big enough receiver or if you’re at the edge of what the receivers can handle. If it’s easy enough to do, try to upgrade to a larger receiver that can deliver more output to see if this helps.

If you think the Music mode already should prevent the HA from doing any compression at all, it’s possible that it’s not doing normal compression at the normal level (for the wide dynamic range compression to match your hearing loss range), but it may still do MPO type compression to prevent saturation. If it doesn’t do MPO compression, then what you’re hearing is probably the clipping/saturation, possibly accompanied by a mechanical buzzing due to over saturation, all blended together to maybe sound different than normal and perceived as a momentary lapse in volume loudness.

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Here you go. Maybe with all the info available you can better understand the problem I describe and if I should ask to upgrade my receiver from the 85 to the 100.

Thanks for sharing your audiogram. I think the 85 dB receivers are appropriate for you overall, assuming you’re wearing at least bass domes and not open domes. But even then, it is at near the edge of the 85 dB performance at the 3 to 4 KHz range. I’m guessing that that’d be where you’re hitting the saturation point and run into compression limiting once in a while when exposed to higher volume.

If the 100 dB receivers don’t require custom molds (I assume that you’re not wearing custom molds with your 85 dB receivers anyway), then it wouldn’t hurt to try the 100 dB receivers to see if it solves the issue for you.

Why would I wear bass domes? I hear quite well in the low range therefore I need them as transparent as possible, open domes is what I wear. Not?

You certainly can wear open domes for less occlusion, at the expense of not be able to get sufficient amplification for your hearing loss at 3-4 KHz. If you look at the 85 dB receiver fitting range in my last post, open domes can only fit up to 65-70 dB loss while bass domes (with double vent for the More) can fit up to 85 dB loss at 3-4 KHz.

Another thing that occurs to me is that with open dome, if there’s some kind of compression limiting going on due to over saturation at high volume, the delayed response in the compression limiting can possibly cause the (late) sound coming from the hearing aids to become out of phase with the natural sound coming through the open dome at those frequencies, triggering some sort of phase cancellation, resulting in nullified or reduced volume perception. This is all an educated guess, of course. Nothing can be proven. But there’s a lot of trade-offs between wearing open domes and bass domes and this may be one of those things.

But this discussion brings up another point, and another thing you can try. Before trying out 100 dB receivers yet, maybe try to switch from open to bass domes with double vent first to see if this would help with your issue. I wear bass domes with single vent and I find it to be a very good compromise that would give me better high frequencies amplification and still acceptable openness and I really don’t feel a noticeable occlusion except for when chewing maybe.

One other advantage of the bass dome vs open dome is that if you find speech in noise a challenge, the neural noise reduction with the bass dome would be more effective than the neural noise reduction with open domes, because no matter how much noise reduction you can apply through the hearing aids to clarify the speech, the noise bled through the open domes tends to render the clarified speech muddle again anyway.


I got me some sample bass domes today. I will try them. I discussed the subject with my audio while picking them up. She is certain I don’t need the 100 (maybe a hassle to exchange now?). And told me that the culprit is in the MPO values (what I thought on my own at first). She said to experiment with the MPO but couldn’t spare me more time. I have the feeling I toyed too much with the gains. Can you have a look at my screenshots and tell me what you think? Yesterday I watched a movie, using the music mode. I had to set the volume to -1 using the phone app because it was uncomfortable , and yet the limiting phenomenon occurred at least twice.