Is it normal for new hearing aid users to feel like they are hearing from the back?

My dad text me yesterday saying that his best friend is always feeling like she is hearing from the back rather then the front.

My dad’s best friend is in her 60s and has had her HAs for the last 2 years.

She’s always thinking that sounds are coming from the back.

For example - they were on a bike ride together and the bike computer magnet which is on the front wheel makes a clicking noise. When they stopped, she said to my dad, there’s a clicking sound coming from the back wheel.

She is wearing NHS Siemens with open domes with the shortest thin tube.

Is there anything the can be done about this or is this an experience of every later in life new hearing aid wearer?

I’ve had hearing problems since I was 3 years old so I can remember if I had this issue.

Me 5 years ago, nope, I can’t say that I had that. It could happen that for sound from the back I can’t say if it’s from left back or right back, but if sound is in front, it was always in front. No confusion there.

I’d suggest going to audi and check settings, maybe omnidirectional or similar feature is turned on for wrong situations.


This would have been my thought. Shorter tubes or wires bring the aids forward, higher on the ear. If she has tiny ears and the aids are back on her ears maybe the fitter can use a heat gun and reshape the tubes to shorten them more.

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I found the smallest Siemens tubes to be too big for my ears so it’s possible that the microphones are sitting too far back. Are they any better if she holds them up into the position they should be in so to speak? I went to the audiologist about poor speech in noise (NHS Siemens Teneo) he did say he could adjust the microphone direction on a speech in noise program but I need to hear noise from all around me at work, not just in front

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Well I find even with the Oticon OPN aids that claim that they allow you to hear the full 360 degrees that I still mostly hear in front of me and to each side. I still do not hear that much from behind me.

Update now with my new Oticon OPNS1 aids I am truly hearing all around me. It is a great feeling, and it is getting closer to what I remember and normal hearing. But I know I will never have really have normal hearing again.

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My previous hearing aids were Phonak Ambra BTE hearing aids and with them I always had the illusion that there was a car or truck bearing down on my from behind. When I turned to look, there would always be a car or truck but it was going away from me, not getting closer. It seems that the directional nature of these hearing aids tended to amplify signals to the rear. It gave me an eerie sensation an made me want to move to the side a few seconds after a vehicle had gone past me from front to back. I don’t get the same sensation with the Naida BTEs that I am wearing now.

I bought her some silver tube twists which twist on to her thin tubes and now they are sitting higher up and she no longer hears better from the back.

Once lockdown is over, she wants me to come with her to see if the problem can be resolved by another means.

I haven’t seen her in person but my dad said there’s a good width of his thumb nail of tube behind her ear.

When I wore an HA in my right ear, I had only maybe a few mm of thin tube behind my ear.

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I think your dad’s friend needs to see her audiologist again. does she have the same problem in all situations? If not then she needs to make a note of when it happens so that she can give the audiologist specific details of each situation when it does.

Does her NHS provider supply other manufacturers aids? If they do, can she trial a different set of aids?

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There are setting that can make microphone on hearing aids active and inactive. There are also directional setting. Best bet would be get the audi to check the current settings

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If she keeps on hearing sounds from the back, there is a possibility that she may have positioned her hearing aids incorrectly and hence the microphone which is intended to be beamed towards the front is facing towards the back but further checks maybe needed (e.g has she been experiencing similar situations in the past or would this be a once off thing)

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We found out that her thin tubes are too long but the audiologist said there’s nothing that can be done as they are the smallest size.

Hm, I thought that tubes can be cut and adjusted really precise, as opposed to wires for RIC which you can’t cut?

She has thin tubes which can’t be cut. They come in different sizes. She’s already in smallest child size.

I see. Crazy.

I started thinking about ideas how to raise the HA then, but I can’t get a hold of something that would rise and push forward, only things that come to my mind are only raising solutions (like glasses, pen, silicon tube or something to put on the ear for testing purposes)

Oh I just reread and saw that you found one, awesome. At least she has you :slight_smile:

I’m a bit disappointed to see that her HCP just left it as it is. I’d expect to hear about some profess solution, I doubt she has the smallest ears in the world.

There are no single microphones ‘beamed’ towards the front, please don’t talk balls.

Each aid has a pair of Omnidirectional mics. Directionality is a computerised delay function in the chip. You can achieve various cardiod patterns at different frequencies by altering the delay function. ‘Beam-Forming’ is when you start to manipulate this pattern using several mics to create areas that have higher sensitivity to sound. There are cardiod and hypercardiod functions that have a significant rearward sensitivity, though they can be effective in noise.

Usually the main risk with poor placement is the reduction of forward effect if the angle of the mics is too elevated (by 15 degrees or more).

Part of the issue with narrow/paed fittings is that the there’s less separation of the ears and the pinna effects are lost, meaning that you struggle to isolate higher pitch sound too.


It’s always so nice when someone on this forum corrects someone else by being outright rude. Although I have to admit it does make it easier to weed out the morons.

@Um_bongo @hass5744 I think that was a bit harsh; I think it comes down to a perhaps language barrier issue rather than anyone spouting inaccuracies. If @ronny_kurniawan is the person whose CV I just found on LinkedIn, it’s a rather impressive collection of experience, and also definitely not a native English speaker.

Please don’t talk balls sound pretty damn insulting compared to, you might be wrong about that. But maybe that’s just how I was raised. It doesn’t matter. But if you don’t speak English well you should be even more cautious how you express yourself because it brings your credibility into question

Sorry if it was harsh, but someone who claims to be a Research Engineer and a Registered Provider needs to be fundamentally clear how they are claiming Hearing Aids work. Knowledge of microphone function is Hearing Aid Technology 101. You only need to pick up one of the basic text books, like Andy Vonlanthen’s to get a very understandable explanation.

I formally apologise to Mr Kurniawan, for calling him out like that, but stand by the explanation I followed it with; especially the parts about the likely nature of the issues arising in that fitting.

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