KS10 bluetooth spoken word sound quality is bad

All, KS10 user since May and I like them, except that the sound quality is horrendous when listening to spoken word like a podcast or audio book. It sounds like the person is talking through a kazoo. or, like you are listening too loud to an old tape player with a tiny speaker. or a bit like the adults sound in Charlie Brown. It’s only noticeable in quiet environments. But, it’s annoying. Is no one else noticing this?

I’ve had the folks at Costco try a couple times to fix the issue. One called Phonak and had a couple of their folks work through ideas, none of which worked. I also tried a totally different pair to make sure it wasn’t just something wrong with my pair. I wonder if there is something wrong with my streaming setup, but if so the Phonak people should have caught it. Then again, this issue is something that I think would be all over the forum if everyone had it.

Thoughts? Similar experiences? Fixes?


What kinds of domes or ear moulds are you using? That can greatly help the improvement of the things that you are streaming.

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I should have mentioned that I’m using an iPhone with IOS 15. IOS 14 sounded the same.

I have the KS10 and spoken voice sound just fine through mine, I used them regularly for work calls and podcasts.

Maybe there is a setting that is messed up but I don’t think your experience is the norm

So as I said, what domes or ear moulds are you using?

If you’re using open domes, then streaming will not sound as good because the base is leaking out of the dome. That’s why it possibly could be why it’s tinny sounding.

Yep it certainly sounds like it, streaming can easily be adjusted in the target software, just need to spend time (sometimes a lot!) to get them where you like the sound, of course your iPhone has settings as well, and as @Zebras has said could be as simple as to what domes you use.

Hi Zebras, I’m using open domes. I’ve tried it with vented and there is a little better bass but no difference in the issue that I’m struggling with. The issue is not that the bass is leaking out or that the sound is tinny (both are true with open domes). The sound that is bothering me is more vibrational. Kinda muddy. Or as described above, like they are talking through a kazoo.
Thanks for your thoughts,

@leucurus: What strength are your receivers? Are they in good shape? (Ie. - do you have especially moist or waxy ears? Have they ever gotten wet? Do you use a dryer?) Has REM been done to verify MSP levels they’re operating at?

HI SpudGunner, I think my receivers are in good shape, I don’t have waxy ears and they haven’t gotten wet. I’m not sure on receiver strength - does it say on the receiver itself? My hearing loss is moderate/mild. Also, the issue I’m having happens even when the volume of the spoken word is turned down as low as possible.

They did REM during my initial setup. I don’t know what MSP stands for? My guy at Costco tried manipulating several parameters in the streaming voice program and none affected the buzzy/vibrational quality of the spoken sound of a podcast. He was at a loss and spent an hour trying things the Phonak folks suggested.

Maybe it’s in my head. It’s subtle enough that I only notice it in quiet environments. Thanks for your thoughts,

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@leucurus: Just trying to generate ideas …

My Phonak P90 are superb on streamed spoken word, totally distortion free, loud and clear. So so on music.