Hearing aids that have direction focus?

I’ve been trying the Costco Philips. Primary reason I selected Philips is that Oticon has done a lot of research on frequency lowering and I have significant high freq loss. I asked for a general program with lowering and one without. However I can’t tell much difference between the two for speech.

Over my time with the Philips I’ve discovered a feature I think I would use a lot is setting the direction or focus of what I want to hear. Costco in my area sells Philips, Rexton and Jabra but only the Rexton has direction setting.

Any advice on making this switch would be much appreciated. My audiogram is 20db down at 1k and 70db down at 4k.

Well, I have Resound Omnia, which I have been told is the same as Jabra. I have a program called Front Focus and it helps a lot in restaurants and such. My old Quatros had a restaurant program it didn’t help much for me.

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Yes I believe that’s the way some aids do it- via a program instead of a screen on the app where you can ‘point’ to where you want to hear. I think for focus to even be an option the aid has to be able to differentiate if sound is coming from front or back. I don’t know if this is done via more microphones or other sophisticated processing.

I’ve found wearing the aids increases my tinnitus for a while after removing them. When I have trouble hearing speech in a restaurant, theater, party, etc. my only option is to turn them up which can be painful from sounds I don’t want to hear (like people clapping around me) and perhaps increase the tinnitus rebound. I would rather have the aids amplify the direction I’m interested in.

I think some people who get aids are not the type who live on apps and like adjusting things. So when I go in to the audiologist and want to be able to change things like direction or EQ I think they are thinking I’m prescribing for the case of set and forget. But I also run sound and am very used to adjusting things :-).

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With the Jabra HAs, your Costco audi can activate a setting in the setup program (NOT in the user app) that narrows the “cone” of sound that gets amplified, and apply it to the “Hear in Noise” user program (or to a custom user program). My Costco audi did this for me, and it really helped. I think I asked for a 90 degree cone (up to only 45 degrees off of center for each side).

Costco of course does NOT charge you to do this. Not sure if the Philips has a similar adjustment.

Jim G


I found a youtube video from “The Hearing Club” where he describes how the ‘cone’ can be restored to the app. It’s complicated. Video is “Hidden Front Focus Feature Jabra Enhance Pro 20 App”. Has to be done by the audiologist using the config software.

I went to my Costco today and tried the Rexton’s walking around the store. The direction setting works and can be front, left, right or back. When selecting front it can be narrowed down to 5 deg. The Rexton’s were different than the Philips sound-wise. Didn’t seem to get as loud. Also a little complicated to get it to bind with bluetooth.

I’m trying the Jabra’s Wed. From what I think I know there is no focus on the Philips (which is weird because they are internally very sophisticated), the Rexton’s can focus in any direction and narrow focus in front all by the app, the Jabra’s can focus in front using the ‘noise’ program and if the audiologist does some magic then the focus ‘cone’ can be narrowed on the app similar to how the Enhance 10’s worked.

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I think Phillips/Oticon has 10 levels of frequency lowering, so did they set yours for strongest frequency lowering or weakest, or somewhere in between? You need to know and try the strongest.

Also, i have Phonak Lumity L90 and they have superb lowering. The problem has been getting my audiologist/s to really crank it down. I have multiple dead regions in the high frequencies so i only get clarity with extreme lowering.

I remember trying rexton and they had really narrow directionality, which is good.

Phonak also has good directionality.

I tried the Jabra’s today at Costco. The speech in noise program had the option to set the cone width on the app from around 180 deg down to around 30 deg. Indeed one can set a lot of things in their app including noise reduction levels, wind reduction levels, and EQ. I found the noise reduction to be really effective with the background noise in Costco.

However I don’t think the focus or directionality did much compared to the Rextons. My wife stood about 10’ in front and read. I could turn in a circle and didn’t notice any changes. I changed the cone width and didn’t notice changes. With the Rextons, which go down to about a 5 deg cone, I noticed differences.

Likewise I tested my Philips 9040 speech program and didn’t notice any focus. Perhaps Philips is thinking with their many channels and AI that a user wouldn’t need directionality?

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