Hearing aids that works best in "Background Noise"

I’d appreciate users thoughts on new HA (2018 forward) that actually work in background noise. Lets keep it simple and just say “restaurant noise”. I have six year old Widex Super 440’s and have never been happy with how they handle background noise. Now I like Widex HA for several reasons, but my AU claims my 2013 Super 440 just lower overall sound in noisy environments and don’t really dial in voice conversations. I was never satisfied with that explanation since you could simply lower volume input manually versus using background noise program. My hearing loss is severe to profound so asking a powerful HA to improve conversation in noisy setting is a challenge.

In any case it’s now 2019 and I’d like to know where Widex Evoke, Resound Quantro and Phonak Marvel rank as far as background noise suppression and voice recognization. It appears that the Resound Quantro and the Widex Evoke have more software options/settings to deal with background noise then Phonak Marvel. I find that some what odd since Phonak claims its HA do the best in noisy situations. Not sure if that is true in 2018 and forward.

I’ve never had the option of cell phone HA software changes (dealing with noise) but wonder if most HA users just want a HA to do automatic noise reduction changes on its own, or as I do just hit a “channel button” to deal with background noise. Versus walking into a restaurant and then pulling out your iPhone and making HA adjustments to compensate for loud noise. Any way would appreciate thoughts on above hearing aids and how they handle background noise.

P.S. - Tired of AU saying all HA (basically) don’t do well in noisy environments.

I have the Oticon OPN1s and they in some way remove too much noise at times. But do I recommend them to you? I will only say try them and see if they help you.

The Phonak Marvel M90R aids actually have nine different programs built into the AutoSense 3.0. Additionally, any three of these programs can be added as manual that the user can switch to if the AutoSense is not providing the necessary adjustments. The audiologist can adjust these manual programs to the user’s preferences. I almost always leave my Marvels set to AutoSense 3.0 but occasionally I have used my manual programs. The three programs I currently have set to manual are Speech In Loud Noise; Music; and Speech In Car. The Marvels work well for me in noisy environments however my hearing loss is not severe. One feature you may find attractive in the Marvels is they have the RogerDirect capability built into them so when the firmware update is activated later this year you will be able to use the Roger Pen or the Disk very easily with these aids.

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Interesting that sometimes a AU hearing test will do word recognition with noise in the background. Basically to see how many words the person being tested recognizes. But my assumption is when someone buys a new HA, the AU does not test HA user for word recognition (with background noise) while wearing new hearing aids. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your AU office and have a noise background test done on several new hearing aids - and then walk out with one you’re satisfied with. So we all have to go through the 30 day trial and then make a decision to keep or return HA, versus logical HA testing of several brands at AU office day one.

I mean if I’m going to buy a car I can go out and drive several different models on any given day and decide which one I like to purchase. But with a new HA you can only go one brand at a time and then have to decide to keep or move on to something else. In any case thank goodness for chat forums.


My Audi tested me for word recognition with close to 90 dB of background noise. Now I did really bad but it really has paid off with my hearing aid fittings. There was a time that any background noise would mean I couldn’t hear speech at all. I lot of it is retraining yourself, and the other is the correct hearing aid fit.


Thanks Saratoga for response. Question regarding Roger Disk. I never bought into the Roger Pen since I didn’t want to carry something around that I had to point at people to use. But I was not aware of the Roger Disk which seems more obscure. So if you place the Roger Disk in the middle of a dinning table of say six, eight, ten people, can you actually hear better vs just using hearing aids by themselves? And how does the Roger Disk work if something is blocking it like a glass, pitcher of beer, salt shaker, etc. I’m all for new technology but it would seem to me the Roger Pen/Disk needs clear line of sight/no obstruction to work properly, versus a normal table setting (of what ever) that might interfere with it.

Been in the Evoke 440 for a month and a half or so. I love 'em. You can read my experience with them from start to present in the link below.

Sure testing before HA purchase. But why not testing after HA arrives (in background noise) so AU can tell if HA is helping or not before you walk out of office? Why do 30 day trial test with new HA, if AU can tell you immediately new HA is helping or not helping with background noise? As far as the hearing aid mold/fitting that’s not an issue with me and shouldn’t be if the AU is doing his/her job properly. When you go custom mold - hard case you (usually) don’t have a fitting problem at all.


At the clinic I use the first test is the typical tone test. Word Recognition test follows that. Aids are then set to prescription, a feedback test is run and then a REM (real ear measurement is done to verify that the aids are meeting the prescribed output at the receiver in the ear. Then back to the booth to do another word recognition and a quickSIN test. QuickSIN is speech in noise. That test is repeated after each adjustment. When all was done my aided scores on all tests are in the normal range which includes speech in noise and with a 100% WRS @ 50dB.


Yes that is important too. But few do it, the real ear measurements are vey important and make sure you have as long as possible a trial time

I wear 2016 Phonak Brio P-UP and I’ve just had UltraZoom activated. I now hear so well in Noise that I’ve stopped using my Roger System. My Dad said I was hearing better then hearing people in noise. I’m sure that UltraZoom is available in the Phonak Marvel.


Mark - While my Widex Supper 440 was out for repair recently I had a brief chance to try Evoke HA. My AU did not have time to do any major software adjustments (Evoke trial test wasn’t planned) so I pretty much walked out with zero fine tuning. With that said I was very surprised how well I heard in a quiet environment and how much different my voice sounded. I really had to make an effort to lower my voice when wearing the Evoke. Now on the other end I had a nightmare time wearing Evoke in a noisy environment. Again my AU made limited HA adjustments but incoming noise was so loud I had to take HA’s off. So many restaurants now play music along with the normal loud chatter, which all seem to be (big time) amplified into my ears. Evoke was only controlled by manual HA button, so all I could do was lower volume - which was of no help since incoming noise was still blocking all verbal conversation.

So mixed feelings but I can’t fault Widex or Evoke since HA were not properly programmed before I test tried. As I mention my old Widex 440’s didn’t help with background noise since all they did was lower overall volume input versus pulling in conversation while limiting background noise. So getting back to my initial question - are you satisfied with Evoke 440 in nosing settings? And by that I mean can you follow conversation of someone sitting next to you or across the table? Do you strain to hear in noisy settings or can you (for the most part) follow most of what is being said.

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Hi, Craig

A very similar thread came up recently calling for a systematic study by Hearing Tracker.com for the best hearing aid dealing with noise. So I’d recommend to @rasmus_braun to fuse the thread that you just started onto that one.

I think the basic conclusion of that thread (if there really was one) is that there are too many uncontrolled variables to arrive a definitive conclusion: the nature of the hearing deficit of the user, the skill of the audi knowing the HA and fitting and how user preferences skew the fitting (and actual use), the uncontrolled and dynamic nature of noise (no two users ever experience exactly the same noise type-of-thing, etc), etc. Just look at opinions offered on this forum pro and con the Opn 1, which is certainly one of the very best HA’s for dealing with speech in noise.

A basic fact brought up in the thread is that HA’s themselves, even the best (whichever they are), only have a limited ability to deal with noise and depending on the signal to noise ratio and the ability of the user themselves to deal with speech in noise, to deal with really serious noise environments, auxiliary devices such as remote microphones are often necessary. Neville and Stephen Bright’s posts in the other thread that I mention are particularly informative.


I have the Costco Phonak Brio 3, which is the Phonak Audeo B90, the model before the Marvel. Mine are very good in noise. If I have trouble in a noisy environment the hearing people are also having trouble. I have no complaints and very satisfied with these. I have the 360 directional program and the speech in loud noise program.

But, my opinion is that they all need to have adjustments to get the best results. I always need the noise reduction increased and that brings voices to the top. If I went with the default settings then yeah, none of them are good at their defaults.


ReSound Quattro 9 works in noise for me.

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I am not an expert by any means on the Roger devices. I only know what I have seen on the videos. I believe the disk has six microphones which can each be turned off one at a time to better focus conversations. Not sure what if any difference a salt or pepper shaker or glass of water will make??
I am a first time user and have had my Marvels for one month. Just went in this morning for a one month check up and did extensive testing again with and without the aids for word recognition and also phrase recognition in noisy environments. Audiologist made some adjustments. In general, I find the Marvels do very well in noisy environments but in a sports bar where everyone around us are drinking and shouting while I am able to understand most of what is being said at my table but I also pick up the shouting voices from other tables as well, so can be annoying.


I do not have problems in complex environments other than lousy left ear which has nothing to do with the aids. I’m delighted with them. If you read the thread I linked you’ll get my full review. Couldn’t be happier.

I’ve only had word recognition without my aids using headphones. I read here some have had the word done with aids and without. What is the point of doing this test without aids and just head phones? Isn’t the reason for aids is to know how well you hear speech in noise. Hope this makes sense.

I cannot stress enough “try before you buy”. Everyone is different. I have Resound Quattros and I find their performance in noisy situations appalling. But many people swear by them …

Cjpines - you run the gamut when being tested for a hearing loss or a possible hearing aid. Testing varies from AU to AU and set up apparatus used. I totally agree that when someone tries new HA’s they should immediately be tested with HA’s “in a sound proof room” for speech discretion. But I bet in 99% of the cases the AU just makes HA software changes in his/her office, asks verbal feed back, makes more changes as then says - “see you in thirty days” or less.

In my fantasy dream world I’d have three new/different types of HA’s to try during my first visit with AU. Then will proper testing of each during that initial visit, I could walk out with the one I liked. But alas the way the game works you are only supposed to try one at a time and then let it cook in your ear for a couple weeks before you decide to keep or reject.

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