Hearing in auditorium, outdoors, noisy areas

New to the forum. Spent about an hour searching, couldn’t find discussions on my topic. So here goes:

I’ve been wearing HAs for 7 years, starting when I was 55. First were large BTEs . . . .they filled with sweat from sports. Replaced them with Sonic Natura (?). Never happy with them. Bothered my ears and hated the occlusion sound. Eating anything crunchy meant taking them out; else could not hear anyone talking at all.

Over 3 years ago, my audio suggested Oticon BTEs (litle triangle-shaped). They were a huge improvement over anything previous. But they, too, have drawbacks.

  1. Can’t understand anyone in an auditorium. Went to hear Glenn Beck and O’Reilly a month ago. It was a struggle to understand anything they said. Constantly had to ask my wife what they said. People around me apparently could understand them quite well.

  2. Cant carry on a conversation outside . . . much harder yet near a busy roadway. The sounds of cars are overwhelming. In a group outside a hotel, I just nodded my head when everyone else did. Didn’t have a clue what wat being said most of the time.

  3. I guess everyone has trouble communicating in a noisy restaurant. The Oticons were better than the previous CIC’s, but that may have been because of the CIC occlusion effects.

So now, I’m seeing a new generation of HAs out there. Oticon and Siemens in particular. Are they really any better? Or is this just life the way it’s going to be and I should be happy with what I have? :rolleyes:

I’m actually thinking of buying new aids, even though my Oticons are functioning.


Maybe that’s because Murdoch’s people never have anything real that makes sense to intelligent people. Nobody w. intelligence can understand them. <G> They do make great fodder for late night hosts.

I have worn HA only a total of 5 days, now.  Can't really comment except I noticed I had to change my Phonak HA to a different mode when walking along a city street w. moderately heavy traffic in order to hear conversation of person walking along side me.  In that mode, heard much better than w. the HA in off position.
The Phonak is an open fit BTE model that has 3 settings that are quickly changed by tapping on top of the HA.  Full strength, "mid-level", and off.   
Went to a 3000 seat auditorium - rebuilt Paramount in Okld.  Almost full of people watching a showing of Casablanca.  I don't know if it was I, but the HA only helped a little in understanding both a live announcer and the organ music player.  Movie sound systems are usually quite loud, so the HA only helped a little, just in understanding better.  The problem is, in that type of situation it also plays up whatever background "noise" there is.   Same with watching TV.  I "turn down" the amplification much of the time because the slight environmental background that is amplified gets annoying.  In the "middle mode" it is better if I simply turn up the volume of the TV slightly. 

It will be interesting to see replies from long time users.    My initial "problem" was getting used to hearing my own voice.  Wife said I was talking "low".   I am used to it now - although don't know about my speaking volume since wife is out of town.  Nobody is asking me to repeat what I say.


One of the biggest complaints amongst hearing aid users is being able to hear in a noisy crowded situation. How much you struggle will be determined by the severity of your loss and how poor your speech comprehension is. The newer digital aids try to address this problem with things such as sound suppression, directional microphones, etc. You should see your audiologist, have your hearing checked, discuss your lifestyle and the areas where you struggle the most. Hopefully he will recommend a few aids for you to try. But remember hearing aids only help they don’t fix and you may always struggle in certain situations because of the type of loss you have. Good luck

I am trialing the Costco Rexton Cobalt 16. I think it is based on the Siemens Pure. I think these have been out for a while (2008 or 2009 maybe) but they work especially well in noise. I’m noticing that I seem to have an advantage on my normal hearing friends and family in noisy environments. Overall I’m pleased with them so far. I have a slight fit issue and that is more vanity than anything else, but they back out to a point where the wire doesn’t fit snuggly against my head but I think with some more adjustment I can get that remedied. Having said all that, I might still try the Resound Future at Costco. It seems to be based on the Resound Alera.

Cheap shot Miket. Just because you do not agree with a particular philosophy is no reason to take a shot at the many that do agree with the particular philosophy. Stick to hearing related issues, please.

I’m finding Agil pro quite nice in noise, restaurants, etc… I often end up in very noisy places with friends in the weekend and I’m much better with them than without. I’m no longer just sitting in my corner in my own world, out of the conversation. Then again I don’t have anything to compare with as they are my first pair of HA, but quite happy so far

That was posted 3 months ago.  The  &lt;G&gt; after that 1.5 line comment means it was meant as a joke.  (&lt;G&gt; is Common internet lingo.)   The main body of the lengthy post was totally on topic.    Me thinks you need to develop a sense of humor.   I know most humorists/entertainers tend to be on the "correct" side - but there are a few on the right.  Huckabee had Ted Nugent on his show last weekend.   


I’ve also had a positive experience hearing in noisy places like restaurants and canteens with the Agil Pro’s. In fact I could hear better with them than the people with normal hearing around me! I don’t hear better though with them in places where sounds tends to echo like in big auditorium halls etc. so that’s something that still has to improve. Speech Guard is quite a nice feature. I wasn’t that impressed with Spatial Sound, but I think it takes some training to optimally use it.

I also found the agil pro’s good in noise when I tried them. The widex passions I now have are great in noisy restaurants and at parties. However I recently went to a Broadway show that was a drama, so all speaking parts, and I was very disappointed that even at the highest settings I could not fully understand the women, and at intermission had to get the infrared headphones they have available to understand what was going on. Just curious if anyone else has found a hearing aid that is good in that setting?

Miket, My bad. I am new to this forum and have never seen <G> before…
Guess I have some catching up to do.

Actually “<G>” (for “Grin”) might be old. Many people now use “<LOL>” for “Lots of Laughs”. Internet speak is a whole new language.

Welcome to the forum. I picked up a lot of useful info here. It made me a knowledgeable consumer when I, belatedly, bought my first HA a few months ago.


Thanks, Miket. I thought LOL meant “laughing out loud” and of course there is “ROTFL”…(rolling on the floor laughing) :slight_smile:
Picking up a lot of very good info here in the forum. Glad I found it.:smiley:

With a 100% speech discrimination score at 45 db, it’s no surprise that you do so well in noise. Unfortunately, many with HL also have poor discrimination scores and the hearing aids do little to help in noisey environments. I think this score is a very important aspect in understanding how well hearing aids will help you.

Even though my speech discrimination is still good, I definitely perceived a significant benefit from this with the Agil compared to the Acto Pro in noisy environments. I had a feeling that with the Acto Pro that my hearing was restored slightly worse compared to normal hearing, while with the Agil Pro this would have been better. It is my suspicion that for some people this might be the difference between being able to hear some conversation in noise or not at all. I think it is definitely worthwhile for other people to try this out.

honestly i have no problem hearing in crowds or auditoriums, im a college student and i have a hearsource bte. i go to sporting events and class and i have no problems at all.