'Hiss burst' after words end? Phonak SMART IX


I’m sure that this has been covered here already - but I’ve not seen any recent post about it.

I have a couple of clients with Phonak SMART IX

These clients have noticed a sort of hiss pulse/echo which appears after the end of words.

Reducing f/b manager, HF gain and/or SoundRecover can help a little bit … but NOT enough.

Any ideas what this weird effect is about?

I’ve noticed something like a “zz” after words. Especially male voices. Don’t know how to fix it. It forces me to pull the aids out so I can understand speech. Very frustrating to say the least. Would love some ideas.:wink:

I sort of know what you mean. I’ve had the Audeo Smart S III for 60 days now and I can’t believe they aren’t any better than they are. They’re terrible in noise (all they seem to do is amplify noise, the rear mikes never seem to shut off) and there is a lot of reverb that can’t seem to be tuned out. Voices, especially my own, do not sound natural. I’m about to conclude that Phonak Smart S series is not for me based on my own experience and the number of posts I’ve seen with problems.

I might give them up for (OMG) Starkey, or maybe try Widex. I don’t know, but I sure am disappointed in the Phonaks.

I have the same issue with my Ambra MicroPs, mostly in StereoZoom and ZoomControl. I am hoping to discuss it with the Phonak Rep later this month.

I also had the reverberation/echo with the phonak smart IX. I made sure everything was correct in the programming, used the occlusion control, my audi fiddled with the high and low frequencies to no avail. The problem was not there with oticon or widex which I tried later. However some people in this forum have said that the Phonak smarts are the best HA made. While some of the issues may be in the programming by the audi, there are enough complaints of this that I think that for some people Phonaks produce an echo/reverberation that is perceived negatively, and they may need to try a different brand, while for others it is not an issue.

I asked a Phonak Rep if they were aware of a problem like this one. They said the only issue they were aware of was when people were using StereoZoom or ZoomControl in a quiet environment. The processing in these modes are designed for noisy environments and it is possible to get some “circuitry noise” when using them in a quiet environment. The hissing I experience following a sound is definitely more pronounced in a noisy environment. Without the ability to look at my settings they could provide no more suggestions as to what could be the cause. They suggested having my audiologist speak with a tech rep during my next fitting when they can ask questions about my settings.

By-the-way, I don’t hear this in Manual Music which has SoundRecover turned off.

Were these clients fitted with CORE or SPICE technology?
If it is SPICE redo their fitting including re-running their FB manager after upgrading the aid’s firmware on Target 1.1.3. If the problem still persists reduce hf 40db input gain 2dB.

Thanks for your info!

I’m using the S models.

OK, as of two minutes ago my office Target system is now updated (via remote access from home) from 1.1 to 1.1.3 … not sure why it wasn’t automatically updated …

I’ll grab a couple of IX SMART S when I get to the office tomorrow and will check them before and after a firmware update.

I’ll report back!

Fingers crossed :slight_smile:

I also have this issue with the SMART IX. I am very interested to know if you resolved this issue with firmware update or other configuration.

I also describe it as a hiss (shhhhh), that is present after the end of words, but more specifically anytime audio level input ends, in a low audio level listening environment. For example, if I snap my fingers, which is a short impulse input, I hear the noise following it, which is then gated/muted shortly after by HA algorithm. I’m concerned this is the noise floor of the device, and that I’m hearing the receiver output being enabled/disabled in response to the audio level at the mics. In a low level conversation, such as a quite meeting room, I hear the shhhh cut in and out as the audio level in the room is just loud enough to enable audio output from the HA. At least that’s what I perceive, with admitedly limited knowledge of how they work internally.

I tried to correct this issue for 10+ days, using the Target 1.1.3 (latest) software and updated firmware in the Smart S IX’s (RIC); the distortion can be reduced, but not eliminated. Indeed, my experience is that the sound is nearly always distorted, and this can be demonstrated very clearly (at least to my ear) by listening to piano music in the music program with ALL xBlock features and SoundRecover turned off (except gain, of course); the sound of individual notes is always distorted. Overall, the quality is poor enough that I won’t even consider these aids (and I wanted to like them; see my posts elsewhere). OTOH, the Agil Pro’s sound is completely clean and music sounds just wonderful (and always brings a smile to my face). If only the Agil’s had stereo streaming… :frowning:

BTW, hearnow, I redid the FB test/setting multiple times during my 10 days, and tried dialing down various frequencies. Literally, the only way I could get rid of the sound artifacts was to lower everything from 1k - 3k down to < 2-3 dB of gain (in other words, it was useless by the time sound wasn’t distorted). Another aside; these were brand new (out of the sealed package) units, not demos, and (again) I updated the firmware to the latest in Target. I honestly believe that these aids are seriously flawed in terms of accuracy, though (again) some people might mind it less than others.

Do the usual:

One by one turn off the compression channels, next disable feedback surpression, then the noise surpression bands. Remote but see if the software allows pre-amp gain control…if so drop the gain handle. Last disable the MPO.

If none of these kills the noise…HELP! Call the rep. Ed

I’m afraid that none of those things will work; there aren’t manual controls for compression (but it’s not a compression problem; I have far more compression on the Agil’s and hear no artifacts). Disabling feedback suppression is a disaster; constant feedback. No pre-amp control. These aids simply distort sound.

The version upgrade seemed to work … so far.

Is this a recent upgrade? I have the first upgrade, which is 1.4 and I still hear the Hiss.

I think this is simply a “feature” of the aids.

I had something similar with my Rexton Cobalts (similar to Siemens Pure 700). I would describe it as persistent “S” and “CH” sounds. If the S or CH came at the beginning of a word then the SHHHH sound overwhelmed the rest of the word. If the S or CH sound was at the end of a word then there was a continuing SHHHH sound after the word. The word church sounded more like CHshhhhhCHshhhh.

I know this is probably not much help but the audiologist fixed it in about 2 minutes and it was not by lowering the gain. I stare at the treble, bass, and overall gain settings at every adjustment to make sure those do not get turned down in response to a request I might make. It might have been the compression she changed. It was something where there is a list of channels or bands (or something) with “settings” with numbers. If I remember correctly she changed the amount of some things on the list, not just clicking something on or off. Again, sorry, I know that’s not much help.


Are the Agil Pro’s as small as the Phonak Audeo S Smart IX? The Phonak’s have a very small diameter RIC wire, which is also one of the things I like about it. Some of the thicker RIC wire’s are rigid, and the receiver gradually slips out of my canal. How does the Agil Pro’s RIC wire compare to the Phonak’s?

The Agil Pro’s wire is a little bit thicker and quite a bit more rigid; the HA itself is also a bit larger than the Smart, though the shape is quite different.