Music streaming quality, Phonak Audéo L90

I’m attempting to sort out issues with music streaming quality on my Phonak Audéo L90s, that have been persistent since I got them, and my audiologist has not been much help. Some details:

  • There are two main issues: ~zero bass, persistent static, and crackling in high frequencies.
  • This is not a bluetooth issue. The bass and crackling in particular can be partially sorted by manually “plugging” my ears with external pressure.
  • The static is highly dependent upon the “ambient balance” option in the Phonak app.

The bass and crackling seem like mechanical issues. My audiologist has repeatedly tried to pass this off as “you shouldn’t expect great music quality from $6k hearing aids”, which I find highly suspicious, especially when I’m able to “fix” the problem mechanically, however briefly. I’ve ordered new, larger, closed domes to see if that helps. Anyone here have similar experiences?

This does not, however, address the static issue. Whenever my hearing aids switch to Bluetooth streaming, a significant amount of static immediately kicks in. I’m able to make this somewhat better by adjusting the “ambient balance” setting a notch or two in favor of audio. But the damned thing switches back (sometimes even worse, by balancing more in favor of external sound, which increases the static level) every time I switch out of streaming and back in. There appears to be no way to make this setting stick, making a massive exercise in frustration. Only made worse by the fact that my phone (Android/Pixel) usually won’t connect to the aids to change this setting, if they’re streaming from another device.

I’d appreciate any advice or similar experiences others have had. I’m utterly fed up with getting my audiologist to even understand the issue, much less fix it. So I’ve downloaded a copy of Phonak Target from the interwebs, and ordered a Noahlink wireless so I can take matters into my own hands.

If you’re still within the return period, I’d return them and try again with somebody else. For $6k you should get decent service.
Bass with open domes is often a challenge. Solutions are either programming in more bass for streaming or using a more closed dome or custom mold.
Not sure about crackling /static. Sounds like hair rubbing against microphones but it would happen all the time, not just during streaming.
If you’re past the return period I’d suggest insisting that audiologist send them back for warranty work.



Crackling / Static is often due to your phone not supporting the Bluetooth type.

In the App, you can change between Adaptive Bluetooth and Standard (?) Bluetooth. Often phones don’t support one, so have to switch between the other one. Sorted a lot of crackling / static issues for people.

Thanks, I may have to fall back to that if I can’t figure this stuff out myself. I generally prefer to be able to fix problems myself when possible, which is why I’m also going down the route of at least trying to fix it by directly programming them. I find it incredibly frustrating to have really simple features controlled by a gatekeeper. Even when they’re willing to try, waiting weeks to get an appointment, and driving across town for each iteration is… sub-optimal :slight_smile:

The static is definitely associated only with BT streaming, so I’m hopeful that some programming adjustment can help with this. I do have long hair, but hair rubbing against the external mics is a pretty distinct sound I can identify. The crackling sound sounds a lot like a small speaker being over-driven, but also mostly disappears when I squeeze my ear canal from the outside, so I’m working under the assumption something mechanical is vibrating in resonance with high frequencies. Keeping my fingers crossed for better domes – the ones I have are “closed”, but seem quite small, even though the audiologist swore they were the largest she had.

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Good catch. I forgot about that option. It’s called Fixed Bandwidth and Adaptive Bandwidth. Adaptive is supposed to have better sound quality, but my understanding is if one isn’t working well, try the other.

Thanks, I did try that just to be sure, but it appears to be entirely unrelated to Bluetooth per se afaict. I’ve tried several devices, and the bass/crackling issues really do seem to be mechanical. The static thing with BT streaming happens regardless of the bandwidth setting, and/or device I’m streaming from.

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Please update on if you are ever able to get this sorted, I have these same issues when I would use my Marvel 30 RICs during streaming.

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The problem with doing stuff strictly on your own is that it’s really tough to get support from Phonak. They want you to go through your audiologist. Doesn’t seem fair if you’ve paid $6k for the hearing aids. You can get new online for several thousand less and even better if you can find a used pair.

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Hi @J15r. I have no comment about the crackling but I’m afraid you may never get the bass problem fixed, even with other HAs. I have been to several audiologists over the years and finally found one that really does know the facts. I have been using the L90s for a year and I have had the best experience so far, hearing music, with them. However, I always used to complain about the bass and no-one was able to “fix” it. It was only when I met my current audi that he explained the problem. Apparently all hearing aids only amplify sounds from about middle “C” and above. I believe this corresponds to a frequency of 120hz. The only one that go just a bit below that are, in fact, the Lumitys (I think to about 100hz). Even hearing impaired people can have fairly good bass frequency hearing so it does not affect them that much because they only need correction in the upper frequencies and they can hear the bass from outside the aids. However, that does not help you when streaming because the source of the sound is only in the HAs and the bass is missing and cannot be added.

The best solution is high quality headphones. i have even been known to wear them with the HAs inserted.

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I had crackling sounds while streaming music, but only on one of my Lumity 90s. My audiologist swapped out the receiver and solved the issue. Never encountered static, though. Good luck!

L90 is very very good for streaming and mine come with great bass sounds. However, I had to boost bass frequencies quite a lot in the music streaming program to get good results.

So, either yours is malfunctioning or it’s hasn’t been set ul correctly yet.

As mentioned above, the crackling could be a bad receiver. You could also try lowering the MPO for high frequencies (I need to lower the MPO for 4 and 4.5 kHz on my RE).

As for bass, you could try molds, they might help. In my case, I listem to music with over the ear headphones (I have a dedicated music program for that). I find it better than streaming to my Oticon More 1.

Your audiogram would help.

You will never get the reproduction that a good quality set of earphones will give you out of these little hearing aid speakers. That being said, you can make it pretty good for the average listener. Per your complaints, investigate the Activent receiver. Without your audiogram its hard to predict whether you could just happily move to a more closed fit, but you are correct that a lot of the bass is simply leaking out of your ears. If you are convinced that the external mics are causing the crackling, just get your provider to activate the mute function and turn them off when you are streaming. That said, the Phonaks aren’t super compatible with my old samsung galaxy 8 and I get a bit of a buzz that goes away when I connect to other devices.

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Domes, sadly, let the bass straight out of your ear canals. Custom moulds address this issue pretty well :frowning:

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I love my activevents. They seal off the outside when I stream anything and I only hear what is streamed mixed with what the HA mics pick up. And I mix that way down.


Good to hear! You aren’t bothered by that 75 dB SPL click?

No, not bothered by that sound. I describe what it sounds like to me as a squish sound. It telegraphs program changes for things like incoming calls so I know something is going on before I hear notification of what it is. I can believe that some find it bothersome. But it is fine to me.


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With some exceptions, the hearing aid industry and clinics that set stuff up for our ears lag decades behind audio expertise in general. Well, that’s how it feels!
Training (here in UK) rarely includes music fitting.
Your aids certainly should be able to output below 150Hz. My very old Phonaks, non-Bluetooth, can deliver 40 from mic or telecoil, when I block the vents.

More recent Phonak M70 gives me below 30 when on Bluetooth (I like organ music!) and that’s thanks
to a superstar audiologist but… music is disappointing because there’s a pitch flutter, like old cassettes! This is a known issue, arising from some BT codecs, and people using earbuds report similar.

I have phonak P90s. The static you hear is because whenever bluetooth is streaming to the devices the mic’s open up into a non compressed mode, amplifying the ambient environment sounds at levels you probably don’t need. So you experience a a low signal to noise response kinda like the inbetween station sound you get on FM radios.
To fix this you need to go to the my phonak app whilst you are streaming. You will see that it will indicate you are in BT streaming + mic program. At the bottom there will be a button saying ambient balance… Slide that to the right towards audio and it will stop that hissing.
A friend if mine says he got his Audi to set it so that when streaming, it will go automatically to full Audio on that slider.
I have high frequency loss so I wear vented domes. To get a more immersive bass response, the only solution is to block up my ear canals by pushing the extra soft ear plugs over the top of my domes. Sounds really good!

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I had a similar issue…plugged my ears with my index finger doubled the volume and increased base.

I use Phonak closed domes and they work for me. (I hate power domes.)

Check on amazon for domes for the L90’s. They are there. So are the wax guards. I find them very short lived. I change often.

Welcome to the forum.


ps You should change a setting for the domes from open to closed (or dome). I can’t do it; I don’t have Target. So I would have to see my audi/practitioner to get it done.