How can I self program my hearing aids?

In a few of the posts here, I’ve seen comments about self programming hearing aids. I’m well educated in audio processing algorithms, and given access to the software and documentation, I’m confident I could do it. But, I don’t know how to obtain the SW and documentation for a given HA.

Is the SW generally available online?

Do only some manufacturers allow access to SW? If so, which?

How do I acquire the connection cables?

Use the search function of this site. Plenty of information.

See americahears and hearsource

Both sites have about the same aids and the programming software and cable for THEIR $995 digital aids comes with each aid.

Thanks. However, I’m interested in matching what my audiologist has. Plus, I expect over the years I will own many hearing aids from different manufacturers.

The NOAH software looks like a standard environment where each of the primary manufacturers create their own plugin. Then there’s an interface box, that seems to work with all of the hearing aids. Is there any way to get access to the box, the NOAH SW, and the plugins from Phonak, or Oticon, Widex, etc?

through three sets of aids by two different makers, both WDRC and ADRO,as my hearing loss worsened…

It ain’t easy.

Do not think you can run some music samples through your 2" computer speakers and figure out what you need to change. Don’t think that because you hear something as “harsh” you will be able to pinpoint what EQ band or compressor to manipulate.

I have been in music and music production for a very long time, so I have more or less trained ears, and I have a home studio with a playback system that I can trust as being more or less sonically accurate. I have hardware and software EQ’s that I can use to test adjustments before I make them on the aids, eliminating a lot of the guesswork.

When you adjust aids, you are adjusting response at at least two different volume levels, at (usually) 8 frequency (EQ) points, and the different volume levels interact with each other depending on the loudness of the sound source. IOW, what EQ curve you set for “normal” will not be the same as for “loud”. Complex is the word for it.

My suggestion to anyone that wants to self program is this:
1- develop critical listening skills- what is that sound I find annoying? What is it’s pitch range? How loud or soft is it? Is it also annoying at loud levels as well as at normal levels?
2- listen to a lot of music, especially pianos, trumpets and saxes. A good rule of thumb is that, if a piano sounds good to you with your aids, then the overall sound will be good, also. A piano will help you balance the response, at a “normal” volume level.
3- Study what compressors, limiters, expanders, EQs, etc., are and how they affect sound. Learn how to recognize what an overly aggressive Comp sounds like (it is very obvious, if you know what to listen for)
4- Be prepared to invest in quality sound reproduction gear. Unless you have your computer or CD / DVD player hooked up to a good stereo system that can reproduce real world sound levels, you are wasting your time.
5- Learn to identify common household sounds by approximate pitch. For instance a toilet flushing is around 500hz to 750Hz. a squeaky door is around 2K to 3K. Road noise in a car is close to 500Hz.

Now if I have not scared you by now, and have gotten you interested, I will say that for a person who wants to do all this, the results can be very rewarding. I am in a live performing music environment about every day, the sort of thing that would be impossible to try to relate to an audiologist who can’t be there to hear what I am hearing. And I have my aids dialed in well enough to be able to hear pianos, guitars and horns separately - this is, with out them mushing together. I can also hear the limitations of the aids themselves (they are three years old and I am looking for better aids).

If I have scared you out of self programming, that does not relieve the hearing aid wearer of the responsibility of self education. You STILL have to learn to listen, so you can tell your dispenser what is wrong, and, hopefully, they can accurately understand you and make the proper adjustments. There are great audiologists and there are lousy audiologists. But none of them are mind readers. You have to be able to tell them what is wrong, and they have to have the knowledge and the gear (like an in the ear hearing aid tester) to make proper and accurate adjustments to your aids.

But I came by this knowledge with a fair amount of bruises and blood loss, so, I will say it again- you can self program and I encourage those who are willing to take the time to educate themselves and make the gear investment to do so. However, if you are looking for a quick fix, you won’t find it by trying to do it yourself.

Thank you for your comments. I am software engineer with my specialty in audio digital signal processing (masters degree). I have designed and implemented (and managed teams) that have produced audio software for consumer and pro-audio devices for 18 years. At this point in my career, with the transition of hearing aids fully to DSP, I would love working in one of those DSP SW teams.

I’m confident I’m up to the task, given the proper documentation on operation. I’m really interested to learn if/how to acquire the interface box, and the SW from the major manufacturers.

My reasons for pursuing this are similar to yours. I know my hearing best, and I believe that once familiar with the tools, that I will be able to achieve the best possible fit for me.

I think WRDC is better for music, if it comes with 8 bands of comp and most important, you can cut the Attack release time to as little as possible. HAs do not behave like audio processing SW, so there is a bit of adapting to what the HA maker thinks the GUI should be. They tend to maker it cutesy and “Easy to use”. And there is almost no docs to learn from. I had to just fire up the SW and dig in, and twiddle, until I learned how the stuff behaved, but they all have the same basics, and, since you know this stuff already, once you adapt to the way hearing aid makers think about audio processing, you’ll be on your way. You’ll find that there is some pretty bad algos in there - a lack of isolation on the EQ bands, crosstalk, etc., and the Comps are about on the level of MXR stomp boxes. Some HA software will not let you access Compressor A/R time parameters. And they think that having EQs set at 250, 500 and 750 is acceptable for low end tonal adjustment. Two bands for half of a piano…

So I suggest D/L the software and study it before you buy an aid, then find out what the chip is and DL the White paper and study it. I have seen a lot of aids that look good (is this familiar to you?) on paper, but they totally fail when they get into final version, because somebody introduced a fatal flaw into the product, like crappy transducers or a front end that overloads easily. Or my favorite, using a wax guard that has a bunch of tiny holes in it, that acts like a comb filter and messes up the high end response…

There is more to deal with in hearing aids - occlusion, venting, type of aid, the type and quality of the I/O devices, all the bells and whistles that the HA makers insist on putting in the aids, so you have to think of an aid in terms of a project studio - an entire environment that has to work together as a whole. IOW the SW is just part of the package.

All that said, all HA software is proprietary and a lot of companies do the hardware copy protection Challenge response to their interface boxes (ala Digidesign). So some will work with NOAH and others will not. Some non NOAH boxes will work, too but it’s all catch can. This is all really frontier stuff, like in the beginning days of digital audio, when Sound Designer came on the market and plug in formats were not standardized. And don’t expect to get help from the HA makers. They don’t talk to us non credentialed heathens…

You can find the SW on line with a bit of digging, both here, from other people like you and at the HA makers’ websites, and I suggest D/L it before you buy aids, so you can see what is there. PM me if you want more info.

BTW are you a Cubase user also?

HearSource uses WDRC as do most of the mainstream hearing aid manufacturers. Their hearing aid fitting software does allow you to adjust gain in 12 different bands from 200 Hz to 7200 Hz. The system also lets you adjust the thresholds of compression and compression ratio’s divided into in four separate channels. Attack, release,and compressor times are also adjustable.

I have been doing my own personal programming for the last couple of years and have been completely satisfied with the HearSource hearing aid product, software and the company’s support.

Good luck on your quest.

You will find the folks who sell OEM DSPs offer a generic set of source code freely (likethis) for any DSP they offer. Now trying to get that from Phonak, that would be a problem.

All you need to program your aids is:
the aid manufacturer’s fitting software,
an electronic interface between your computer and the aids such as a Hipro box, or NoahLink, or a low cost interface as supplied by people like America Hears and others,
connecting cables,
and some basic understanding of the principles of human hearing.

To program you should have a source of natural speech (not music) such as a High Fidelity FM Tuner system tuned to speech programs or a quality Satellite Radio. (for the average HOH, using music is not going to tell you much about speech comprehension.)

You don’t need expensive Noah Software…that’s only for the professionals to record their many patient’s data.

It ain’t Rocket Science. But it requires dexterity both physical and mental, common sense, and time. Ed

I am a former America Hears wearer who is trying to upgrade to Costco hearing aids. My hearing loss has gone beyond the AH platform. I am trialing the Costco Bernafon Verite 9. I’ve been back and forth again and again to Costco and I would really prefer to work out the programming myself.

I’m looking for the Oasis software for the bernafon verite 9. I have the Aventa software for Costco Futures (downloaded from the Resound website) but I understand from this forum that the software may not recognize the Costco Futures. Though I like the Verite 9’s, I would switch just to have the benefit of self-programming.

Any help would be appreciated greatly. (I posted on the digital forum without response.)

This is a very interesting thread!
I have a right side sensori-neural hearing loss, which audiologists find difficult to deal with. Basically I can’t hear below around 1khz, and above that is distorted.
My left ear is classed as dead, but there is a little LF hearing below 500hz, also distorted.

I have two Naida VSP`s, and am programming them myself using iPFG and NoaH-Link with the blessing of my audiologist.
I have to balance the HF from the right, with the LF from the left to understand speech, which is about all I can expect. I rely very much on subtitles, although I can understand some TV speech on certain programs.

I have noticed copying from the HI to the program, does not copy all the information. After some success and many failures, I found that the “Former Signal Processing Strategy” was Undefined in the program.
This had been causing loud voices and laughter to seem uncomfortably loud. I have set this to “Nonlinear” with some improvement.

My main difficulty is, understanding people. Close up is not too bad. Shop assistants from behind a counter are much more difficult, depending on their clarity of speech.

I am now trying to introduce the right side to frequencies just below 1khz. It makes speech a bit buzzy, but appears to help around the ten foot range.

I am using SoundFlow at the minimum setting, and T+ mic which I find useful with an IR loop, but not so useful if the wife needs to speak. I get lots of HF and not much LF, but I have some thoughts on this. I have a manual program for speech in noise, and deleted the mute, because I always want to hear.

I am finding the Right side is working very near the MPO max, with a peak around 2 to 4khz @ 115db.
Compression is a bit strange. I know what it does, but it can look like a spider on some settings, although I can tune it to almost follow the calculated graph.

Anyone know if this is correct, or how much spacing should there be between them please? Any thoughts appreciated, as this is very time consuming.

Hi can i program a Delta 4000 Oticon thanks

I decided I would look into hearing aids and feel in love with what would end up costing me over 8500.00 I did not have. This made me look at what what 2nd hand ones were on eBay. I ended up buying Resound 3D 961 hearing aids what cost someone a year ago $8500.00 For $620.00 . Also bought additional one as a backup for $155.00 Then after educating myself on the net I bought a Noahlink wireless programming interface for $175.00 . I just found the correct cd software Resound Smart Fit for $39.00.
I did one of the best hearing test on the web and got it’s results as an Audiogram.
Today I fired up the software and programmed these hearing ads and boy do I like them.
For a total of $989.00 I have what I need. Good hearing and now control over it to boot. I like technology and boy this stuff is top notch.
If you happen to like technology you’ll love this stuff without the high price tag. The software is so advanced an old guy like me 66 years old is very happy with something new to play with.

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There is another copy of this software Resound Smart Fit 1.1. Aventa 3.12
For sale on eBay presently. Here’s the eBay item number 124115496769
If you have resound hearing aids and want to program you should think about programming them… it’s easier than I thought .

Don’t pay for free fitting software.