How to solve a whistling sound when wearing over the ear headphones with my miniRTE hearing aids

I’m used to wearing my MiniRTE hearing aids while I’m wearing over the ear headphones. Been lines this forever… i like having the correction vs needing to adjust my EQ to do it. Also truthfully, it’s less logistics to worry about to avoid needing to remove my hearing aids when I put on headphones.

HA wise, I’ve got the Oticon More.

I was using Airpods Max for a few years and had no issue. Before that I used to have Bose QC35 but that was years ago.

I just got new Sony XM5 and Bose QC45 headphones to try out. Both of them have this weird thing where when music is playing I’m hearing a whistling sound. It’s not there when music isn’t playing. I’m guessing it is due to feedback but I never used to have this issue and am trying to figure out a solution.

I have dabbled in self programming and have a NOAH wireless working for firmware updates at home. Anyone help or offer advice on what I can do?

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I’m a little lost here. The most obvious thing to use HAs with headphones is to use the telecoil feature if available. I think the More has telecoil built-in, no? Just add the Tcoil built-in program into one of your available programs and use it whenever you use headphones with your HAs. It’ll deactivate the mics on the HAs and use the Tcoils to pick up the electromagnetic field generated by your headphones instead. No mic, no feedback.

You do not tell us the settings you use to listen to music. I would guess you are having feedback issues though. Just check whether it is possible to lower or disable feedback shield in your Mores. You can create a test program or session and run the feedback analysis in Genie too. I’ve never tried what @Volusiano suggests, will do it when I have some time and report back.

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Oticon More has two options: “T-coil” and “Mic & T-coil”. I did not enjoy music with my over-the-ear headphones and the “T-coil” program. However, I have set up a “Mic & T-coil” program as similar as possible to my Music program and will compare then in the next days. My first impression is that they are very similar…

The Mic & Tcoil program is geared more for the scenario where you are in a theater or church environment where there program is broadcasted via an audio loop for the Tcoil in your HAs to pick up on, yet you still want to be aware and hear sounds in the environment mixed together with the audio loop content.

The Tcoil (alone) program is geared more toward the use with over/on the ear headphones, where the use of the mics on the HAs is not desired due to the potential feedback. That’s why I suggested using the Tcoil (only) program to the OP, because his issue is with feedback when using the headphones. While you have the headphones on, the use of the mics on the HAs become less effective anyway due to the fact that the headphones will probably block most of the surrounding sounds from being picked up by the mics, so people who wear over/on the ear headphones don’t expect to be able to hear sounds in their environments while listening to the headphones anyway.

Regarding enabling Feedback Shield, or rerunning the Feedback Analyzer with the headphones on to increase the feedback resistance, that’s another way to solve the headphones wearing problem. However, the disadvantage of that is that when you’re not wearing headphones, the margin for amplification is unnecessarily reduced excessively (in order to accommodate the headphone feedback management) that you won’t be able to get as good of a signal to noise ratio as before when listening to the normal environment when the headphones are not in use. That’s a big reason why the Tcoil is made available, so that you can just use the Tcoil and turn off the mics for headphones use to avoid the compromise of having to eat up the gain margin by being unnecessarily more aggressive with feedback management using Feedback Shield.

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I have been listening to music while I work today. I have a bunch of hi-res albums in an external HD, a small dac/amp plugged to my computer, and a pair of beyerdynamic DT 990s plugged to the dac/amp. I have a player that bypasses the OS mixer.

As I mentioned, I own a pair of Oticon Mores. I wear custom molds with little to no ventilation. I am comparing the music program I crafted to a “Mic & T-coil” program with the same gains and automatics: 1) transient noise management is OFF; 2) spatial noise management is OFF; 3) feedback management is OFF; 4) neural noise supression is OFF; and 5) mics are set to “fixed omni” and virtual outer ear is set to “aware”. Linear compression in both (for the most part, anyways). The relative volume of Microphone to Tcoil is set to 0 dB.

The two programs don’t really look similar below 500 Hz, but the gains are the same as you can see in the screenshots below:

Mic & T-Coil Program:

Music Program:

So far, I think the “Mic&Tcoil” program sounds slightly better: the program has a bit more of clarity and it feels like it brings some instruments forward (that were sort of in the background with the music program). I do not know if that is due to any difference in the frequencies below 500 Hz (I don’t think it is, did not notice any difference in the “eq” of the music) or the fact that the Tcoil is another input, and thus the HA picks up a better signal overall from the headphones. Or maybe this is just bias… in any case, the difference is minimal (if any).

I have no idea what telecoil is… what does it mean to disable the mics in this case? How does getting sound in work? You say it’ll pickupn the “eletromagnetic field generated by your headphones instead” but is that as good?

Telecoil is a coil of tightly wound up wire inside the hearing aid. It’s designed to pick up sound waves presented in the form of electromagnetic waves. The telecoil get induced by this electromagnetic wave and the signal coming out of it resembles the signal coming out of the HA’S mics, both of which get digitized and processed by the HA.

Speakers (headphone size and above) are basically magnets that causes the paper membrane part of the speaker to vibrate and create sound pressure in the air which is picked up by our ear drums. These magnetic speakers also generates the corresponding electromagnetic waves which goes to waste because we can’t hear it. But with a Tcoil, this electromagnetic wave can induce its field onto the telecoil, which in turns generates the analog sound signal that gets processed into digital form for the HA.

Some theater or churches that are equipped with an audio loop basically have a device that will broadcast this electromagnetic wave throughout the whole area ( instead of just a near field localized broadcast like with the headphones). So Tcoil in HAs can pick up the broadcasted waves as well.

The whole idea of using Tcoil is to avoid the need to use the mic so that the broadcasted content is isolated from the environmental noises that would be picked up by the mics.


You seem to be implying that Tcoils can work with regular headphones, even if they don’t feature Tcoil compatibility. Is thie really the case?

Thanks for the explanation, that’s helpful. However, Oticon More models to not all have telecoil. Only the “T style” ones do, and I do not have those because I have the rechargeable “R style”.

In their newest “Real” model, this is the same thing. They have a telecoil specific model which I’m guessing most people do not have.

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If I may, I think you do (mine is also a miniRITE R). You may find it in the “Program Manager” menu.


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I’m just using my standard program that my Audi setup. I don’t have all the settings handy but it’s not a headphone/music specific program.

How does this work at home? I’ve never done a feedback analysis or really any other programming other than updating firmware

Search for the DIY category in this forum. There are tons of valuble info there.

Woah interesting. Will check this out!

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Look at the datasheet below for the Oticon More miniRITE R, on the right side (white lettering against black background), it says in the second sentence “The style features telecoil, and a double push button.”

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The feedback analysis mentioned here is the Feedback Analyzer option. It’s only for the older Feedback Shield technology available in the OPN. Starting with the OPN S, More and now Real (and others after the OPN S), the Sound Optimizer is the replacement Feedback Management option for the traditional Feedback Shield. However, the old Feedback Shield didn’t go away. It’s just inactivated by default, but can be revived and be used either as a stand-alone or even in conjunction with the new Sound Optimizer Feedback Management feature as wished.

The way the old traditional Feedback Shield works is that you wear your hearing aids and run the Feedback Analyzer in Genie 2. It will emit a series of white noise across the frequency spectrum and determine where in this spectrum the white noise tends to generate feedback. Once this region is determined, it’ll gray out in the gain curves the region where the gain is not supposed to go over due to the potential for feedback development if amplification goes beyond this level. This means that in those areas, the amplification can only go up to a certain point and is not allowed to go past that point (like it would be allowed before if left unanalyzed) in order to contain feedback. This means that you will now have a lower signal to noise ratio than before because you now have a lower ceiling limit for amplification → they call it reduced gain margin. So this is the tradeoff you’ll have to live with → reduced gain margin → lower signal to noise ratio → harder to understand speech in noise → as a price to contain feedback.

One should try to use the Sound Optimizer Feedback Manager feature first, and only if it doesn’t help or if it must be put in Low (from Normal) or turned off due to excessively unacceptable fluttering, should the user fall back on the Feedback Shield and activate and run the Feedback Analyzer in Genie 2 to engage it.

And note the it can be used in conjunction with the Sound Optimizer Feedback Management feature, if the later is still not enough to control feedback, especially for people with very heavy hearing losses that require very strong amplification.

If non-headphone use never causes any feedback, then I would recommend leaving the Feedback Analyzer alone and just manage with the Tcoil program, which is the better approach. Like I said in an earlier post here, there are negative trade-offs for activating and using the traditional Feedback Shield, so if you don’t really need to activate it for normal listening (non-headphone use), then you should leave it alone.

Headphone makers don’t know anything and don’t care about whether the listener has hearing aids’ tcoil, so they don’t really specify whether their headphones are compatible with Tcoil or not.

Generally, any headphone set large enough and using magnetic base/driven loudspeakers will generate an electromagnetic field that can be picked up by the HA’s tcoil as long as the headphones are worn on the head, in very close proximity to the HA.

Most on-the-ear or over-the-ear headphones should work with tcoil. The speaker part of the handset of a landline phone should also work.

What wouldn’t work? → The speaker on smart phones (they’re not magnetic based/driven, in-the-ear earbuds (probably too small to generate any significant field that can be picked up by the Tcoil.

Below is the type of loudspeaker that should work with Tcoil.


This makes perfect sense, but is not something I ever would have thought might work. I pick up my new HAs in two days; if their T-coils work with my headphones I will be ecstatic. Thank you for the info!

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@Volusiano: It is also possible to have some programs with feedback prevention running, and some with that feature disabled. I have the feedback management set to low in my daily programs (P1 and lecture) and OFF in my music programs. Actually, my P1 and the lecture program have all the “digital features” ON. However, when it comes to music, I have my programs trying to “mimic” an “analog” hearing aid (the Oticon More is not an alanog hearing aid, so when I say mimic I mean with all the “digital features” in Genie 2 toggled off). Edit: Always important: YMMV. I do not have a very complicated loss compared to some other people here on this forum.

And a bit more about my expirience with the “Mic & T-Coil” program: I listened to music the whole day. I would keep the “Mic & T-Coil” program if I had more slots available. I don’t… so I am going to delete it and restore my other music program (with a compression rationale similar to my P1). As I mentioned, I don’t hear much of a difference between the two. I think there is, as I mentioned in a post above, but it could as well just be bias. Moreover, the “Mic & T-Coil” program has a hum that spoils the music if the volume you listen to is not loud enough to mask it.

Is the whistling sound present when you turn off ANC on the cans?
If so, set the ANC at a lower level.
Do you get the whistling when you plug the cans in wired mode?
My gut feeling is the sound is generated by ANC.