How does Phonak SoundRecover2 affect music for you?

I use Sound Recover 2 with my marvels, and they wouldn’t be worth much without it. I thought SR2 would wreak havoc with music, so I created a separate “Music” program with it turned off. At my last trip to the VA, they deleted all the programs except for Autosense. I have listened to music streamed from the TV, as well as heard through headphones placed over my aids. I have been surprised that I can’t tell that it affects music. A singer’s voice has the usual artifacts, but I don’t seem to hear musical notes shifted down. If I run a sound generator program through headphones, I can definitely hear the higher frequencies being shifted. Are these aids smart enough to distinguish music from voice and steady tones? That is difficult to believe, but in listening to at least several hours of music in the last few weeks, I just don’t hear the typical SR2 artifacts in music. How about all you other SR2 users?


Music to truly be enjoyed requires a much wider range on the hearing scale than autosense provides. Autosense is more focused on the speech range, a narrower range. Ask your audi to add a music program to your aids.

It doesn’t actually shift pitch of the fundamentals. It shifts the attack of the transients so that they can be perceived. What DOES mess with music is the feedback management (Whistle Stop)That HAS to be shut off to listen to music without that pitch shifting warble.

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Thanks for responding. I agree that the Marvels don’t have the frequency response to handle music. But, when that’s what you are listening through, oh well. The VA told me not to fool with the programming, and I haven’t for the last 2 months. But I am going to add back the T-coil program and another without all the Autosense nonsense. I had that before the VA removed them and that was what I used most of the time. It seems to me that SR2 does move the fundamental tone because I can put a pure tone into them and hear it lowered. I can go as high as 9 KHz and still hear it with SR2 enabled. I have pretty much gotten used to everyone sounding sibilant, and the frequency lowering does actually help with word recognition. Funny thing is, I hear it much more on voices through the TV or radio than with actual in person speech. The Marvels seem to use notch filtering to handle feedback. When I first got them, the VA had turned Whistle Block up fairly high, and I couldn’t hear the beep my car makes when I turn the ignition key. I turned it nearly off, and things got much better. I have never heard the warble produced by other aids with my Marvels. I didn’t like the warble. I have the TV connector and though I didn’t like it at first, it has become the way I watch TV. I can turn the volume as high as I want without disturbing others, and SR2 helps with speech understanding. I still keep captions on because it has become a habit I can’t seem to break. I have been trying to get the VA to give me a Roger Select iN to help with speech in noise, but so far, they have refused to do so. I am going to keep pestering them about it. Maybe I can break down their resistance.

I have the music program and asked my audiologist to turn off the sound recover on that setting. It definitely lowers the pitch of high frequency sounds. I play handbells, and am at the top of the table, Bb6 to C7, and the octave above. Basically, with sound recover, I hear the C8 bell when we’re doubling the octave, but it’s definitely out of tune with the C7 bell. That is, less than an octave apart. With sound recover turned off, I can’t hear the C8 at all.

When I’m just listening to music in the kitchen, I don’t really notice much difference in my enjoyment of what I’m hearing whether I have the music program on or off. Perhaps it’s a bit fuller sound with it on. Yes, music will sound much better if one can hear the high frequency overtones, but I’m guessing that if the only way to hear them is to have them out of tune, one would be better off not hearing them at all.

I wonder why they wouldn’t offer an octave shift as an option?

Interesting article. According to that, I shouldn’t be able to listen to music with SR2 turned on. I do not hear the off sounding notes. I have noticed that if I put a pure tone of say 6 KHz, which I normally would not hear at all, in, I hear it at a much lower frequency. But, if I raise that to 8 KHz, it sounds about the same. That makes sense because I only hear reasonably well up to about 1.3 KHz. If the aids compress and translate the frequencies above about 2 KHz to 9 KHZ down into that lower spectrum, the sounds I hear will be much closer spaced than the original. I have noticed that after lowering, there don’t seem to be any low frequency sounds produced. So, SR2 is really compressing the frequency spectrum a lot. I don’t have a good ear for music. While I like music a great deal, I can’t distinguish which note is which. I watch a certain Youtube channel where music is discussed in detail, and the fellow can listen to a piece and tell you what guitar chords are being played. I have never been able to do that. I guess you could say I am tone deaf. Still, I find it fascinating how SR2 does what it does.

Interesting to read the different opinions from different members about Phonaks Sound Recover.

Not everyone that turns Sound Recover on needs it. This tends to throw opinions all over the place. Another thing I have learned about Sound Recover is it takes time for each individual to learn or acclimate to the these adjustments.

I am essentially deaf from 2000 hertz up so Sound Recover setting are set very aggressively for my loss. Doing this really messed up sound for a couple or three months but then sounds started getting clearer. This includes speech and music. It’s been about 6-8 months now since these very aggressive Sound Recover settings have been in place. Music sounds very normal to me now and speech has gotten much better.

Hi Rick,
SR2 isn’t for everyone, for sure. An Audiologist told me it had more success with younger people. I agree with that. Unfortunately, frequency lowering is the only way I can hope to understand speech. I found the sibilance produced by it annoying. Especially my own voice. Hearing my own voice played back for me sounding like I am talking into a cheap microphone is one of the things I dislike most about wearing aids. My ski slope begins in earnest about 1.5 KHz, so I first set the low frequency cutoff at that frequency. I couldn’t stand it. I raised it to 1.8 KHz, and things got better. The VA currently has it at 2 KHz, and I might leave it there. I promised not to touch the programming for 2 months after they last changed it, and that time is about up. I am going to make quite a few changes in the next couple of days that should help my satisfaction with them some. Everyone says I will get used to them being too loud, but that hasn’t happened. I tried lowering the MPO to a point where they couldn’t get too loud, and that was a mistake. They started compressing, and with Autosense, they were just awful. If I selected a program that didn’t have it, they were better. I talked with a tech at the VA recently about getting a Roger Select iN, and he sounded hopeful. The final decision is up to an Audiologist, and I have not had much luck getting them to do anything. Even if I can get the Marvels fine tuned to the extent I want, I don’t expect to wear them all the time. There are a lot of times I just find them unnecessary. SR2 has helped me though. I don’t think I would have kept the aids without it.

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It’s complicated. As the several responses suggest.

The “20Hz-20kHz” is a hi-fi industry fable. Music fundamentals are rarely played over 1kHz; while the chart shows higher, they are rarely used. The first three harmonics are most important, so 2-3-4kHz. On many instruments the higher harmonics are increasingly sharp; most instruments have some form of stiff high-cut. (Electric guitar has to be cut hard at 5kHz or it hurts.)

Certainly tons of music has been played through 78s or AM with much less than 5kHz bandwidth. We don’t NEED 6kHz for pleasant music; the need is for s/sh speech discrimination.

Target’s suggestion for a loss like yours. (I see you have tried lower.)

Range of instruments. Fundamentals blue, extreme overtones (harmonics or noise) in red. Typical SR2 zone in yellow.


Consider a more likely case. The played note is 200 or 400Hz. Harmonics appear 400Hz-1600Hz. This is generally below SR2’s action. Moreso for the bass.

I don’t like the term “tone deaf”. In many cases better discrimination can be learned(*). I got some in a music school sound course, much more when I maintained the school’s gear, especially the modular Synthesizer where overtones are perfectly defined and controllable. However there is rarely a compelling reason for non-players to practice pitch perception. Music developed because these intervals ARE obvious to most people without special training.

(*) Yes, nerve damage and prolonged loss lead to reduced pitch perception which can be re-learned only slowly. I used to be a whizz with my KHz, now I can hardly tell one from another, and only slight improvement in 3 months of hearing that stuff again.


You are quite right, of course. Most music lies well below the SR cutoff. If some upper harmonics are being shifted, well, I am not hearing them. That fellow I see on Youtube offers an ear training course which I consider too expensive, and with my “tin” ear, I doubt I would have much success anyway. I believe I will leave SR2 active in the non Autosense program I plan to restore to my aids. I understand that Phonak was trying to make the aids automatically adjust to all sound situations, but I am not at all sure they were successful. In my case, at least, Autosense seems to do the opposite of what it was intended to do.

I have had Marvel M70s only since April 1 (2.5 days so far). My previous aids were Phonak Naidas which I used for 11 years. I know they had SR built in, but I don’t know if it is turned on in these new M70s. How can I find out?

These new M70s do have a Music program, and music does sound slightly better with that setting rather than AutoSense. But that doesn’t necessarily mean SR is turned off in the Music program. It could be just a different frequency response curve.

Ask your Audiologist if SR2 is turned on. Generally, a “music” program leaves off a lot of the sound processing and automatic stuff Autosense does. You would have to ask your Audiologist specifically how it differs in your case. I have some older aids with Sound Recover, and SR2 seems quite a bit different to me. The Marvels are a good bit different to the Naidas, so it will take a while, and probably some adjusting as well to be comfortable with them. Good Luck!

1/2 the orchestra is below 1k. So much is what the brain does with it. Phonak M90s ate brilliant with blue tooth especially when available in surround sound.


I have never found the sound quality of the Marvels to be very good. They are good for voice, and that is about it, to me.

I find the sound quality of the Marvels for music to be excellent. I am an, amateur, musician who believed that no hearing aids, or Bose headphones, reproduced music accurately. But, my M90s are superb. Not as good as my trusty Senns but i no longer travel with headphones.


Agree wholeheartedly with your comment on Marvel M90.
Within the past 4 years, I had also worn Phonak Brio with ComPilot and Costco’s KS8.0 (which was a Rexton/Signia product). M90 clearly excels, especially when streaming music.

I don’t have the Marvels but I do have SR2.

When I had my old Phonak’s with the original SR, it sounded awful. Using SR2 with my new Phonak’s, music actually sounds okay. SR2 as a whole, sounds more natural.

For me, the only change is cymbals and some elements of a drum, ironically. Sometimes the hitting of the drum stick makes a high frequency noise, which obviously gets drowned out by the overwhelming bass sound - but that initial sound is there, and SR2 lets me hear it. (M90-13T’s with SR2 for 1 year now)

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They seem pretty LoFi to me. And, I have never considered myself to be picky when it comes to sound quality. As we used to say back in the day:“Different strokes for different folks”.