Is this sound normal? (Phonak Lumity)

I’m trialling Phonak Audeo Lumity L-R90 hearing aids but I really dont like the sound in some speech.

I’ve mild hearing loss in low frequenciea sloping to moderate hearing loss in the mid and high frequencies.

Very experienced user my whole life, now in my 30s.

These are meant to replace my Oticon Syncro in the ear aids.

Have a listen to this 15 second recording of a lullaby.

Now have a listen to what I hear through my aids

This can’t be normal right? It sounds perfect through bluetooth but not so nice in normal mode.

As you can appreciate, music sounds terrible on the radio/tv, but it is also impacted my speech perception.

Audiologist is checking with Phonak what the issue might be…

Yeah that’s a very big change going from those old Syncro to Lumity, i think this is just a bit of extra adjustments to get them to sound more maybe… like your old Syncro, it’s weird, Oticon was claiming the first AI back in 05 on these models!
Let your audiologist work it out, but remember there’ll be a learning curve on these new Lumity from Phonak, the Autosence is most likely in play here.

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Different aids can sound completely different from what you’re used to. You said you’re trialing these aids and that’s the whole point. Give it a couple of weeks and go back to your Audi with a list of problems. He can make adjustments or let you trial another brand. My last purchase involved me trialing 3 different brands until I finally chose one. And to be honest they all sounded different.


Appreciate the responses. I expected differences in the overall sound but the Phonak sound seems a bit extreme. Hearing it in speech is distracting, and it makes music unenjoyable. But music and speech are excellent on bluetooth which leads me to believe that something is very wrong with the normal sound.

If theres other Lumity users here, could you listen to both sounds with bluetooth turned on and then turned off, and let me know if you hear sound in this way too please?

For those who cant listen to the two sounds, i get a lovely clear tone for each note without my aids (or using bluetooth), but with the aids the sounds in the higher frequencies (1.8Khz and higher) have a strange tremelo or vibrato sound to them. I hear this in speech and everyday sounds, but its more pronouced and easier to demonstrate via music.

Hi @LostInLondon this interesting because my first Phonak hearing aids (don’t remember the model) had exactly the same problem which was never solved. It was mitigated somewhat by adjusting the feedback settings. I now have a different audiologist, use Lumity P90s and that problem does not exist. They have the best musical sound of all the HAs I have ever used. So I agree with @tenkan and recommend you work closely with your audi (or switch to a new one if necessary).


I’ve got Lumity 90s and I’ve listened to both of those sound files.
I can confirm that the first sound file sounds identical if I listen to it over Bluetooth or directly from my phone’s speakers.

The second sound file sounds a little bit like there is some frequency shifting going on causing the strange layering effect. It reminds me of badly tuned Soundrecover2 which is a Lumity feature.
That’s only my guess and it could well be something else. Everyone’s hearing loss is unique and so are their fittings.

Does it sound just as bad if you set your aids to the Music program?

How did you record these?


Like Neville, I’m interested in how you recorded these. Would you share that please?

I don’t have Phonaks but have experienced weird warbling sounds. As I recall it had to do with feedback control and sound transition settings. But, this is rather soft, melodic music so it doesn’t seem like these should be issues but sharing it just in case.

@cleimer101 @Neville. I did nothing sophisticated to record the sounds. I just put the receiver (ear piece / speaker) up to the mic of my mobile, and recorded it this way. The feedback management is so good I was able to get a decent recording. But wouldn’t it be nice to record snippets of sound on your aids so you can play them back to an audiologist? It’s so hard to describe sound and what aspects you like and don’t like.

Thanks @BeLo and @idontwantha useful to know that specifically with Lumity it is not something that I should just be “getting used to”. I’ve played around with all the settings on the app (including music settings), and nothing seems to make a difference. I’m hoping the audiologist has a setting on their side that will magically fix this. What is also interesting is that I tested it a bit more with bluetooth, and it actually has the exact same issue except the aids fix this issue within a second or two!

I’ll let you know how I get on with my audiologist. I’ve gone beyond the 30 day trial but I’m hoping he’ll be able to extend it further for me. I really do want to give these a proper go. At the moment I’m finding that they not better than my 15 year old oticon syncros in most settings (and I think my wife is too).

Just to recap - the sound issue I’m having is for all sounds. It’s only that the cleanest and clearest way to demonstrate the issue is with that lullaby with (what is meant to be) clear tones.

I regularly listen through my real-ear machine to the sound quality of my patient’s hearing aids. It can be useful to catch real distortion issues. It’s less useful to catch interplay between hearing aid and the damaged auditory system.

As if the lumity is detecting music and flipping into the music streaming program, deactivation frequency compression and/or feedback management? This sounds like a solveable problem.

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  • Update: Phonak Tech Support got back to the audiologist saying that the aids are pre-empting feedback, so they manipulate the sound so that the feedback does not occur.
  • Solution: was to put in power domes (instead of closed domes), and rerun the feedback management system.
  • Result: is that the sound is much much better overall, much louder than the closed domes, and similar to what I had with my Oticon ITC aids.

I re-did my “tests” and now find that the annoying warbling kicks in at a higher frequency (around 2.1Khz instead of 1.8Khz) which makes it less noticeable overall across a number of listening scenarios. The melody from my child’s toy still sounds annoying, as are some songs on the radio. But it’s the trade off between having feedback or not. I value everyday speech vs anything else, so it’s just something I’ll have to get used to (and use Bluetooth to listen to music instead).

But I can’t stress enough, the massive impact that the domes make (and redoing the feedback management too). Originally I had medium vented closed domes which were very very painful to get in and out. After 2 weeks, I moved to small vented closed domes which were much more comfortable, but overall the sound was too quiet or dull in a lot of scenarios. So last week when I went in, I first tried the medium power domes which blocked up my right ear (could hear my heart beating, it was horrible, the occlusion effect I believe), but was so relieved when we immediately switched to the small power domes.

So I’m finally at the stage where I have a solid baseline to work from, and am trying to identify minor tweaks to make from here on in.


This, I been spent more than 100 bucks to find the right one. Its really long journey. I finally found one.

People may ask me “why not ear molds? custom to your ear and exactly match to your ear. And save your time as well?”. Well its complicated!

I will simple say: I don’t like the sound of my ear molds! its comfortable but some mid and high sound is missing.

I am quite shocked I heard the sound that I don’t hear it from my ear molds (don’t ask me why is that, I don’t know). And that driven me to go looking for new dome/foam tips for my HAs. To find the right one.

Ear molds is not wrong or bad. Its just dome/foam tips is better for me.

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Did your fitter re prescribe your HA in the fitting software when you got the molds?
Going from domes to molds changes the acoustics, and adjustment must be made.
You’d probably get those lost mids & highs back.

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