My hard ear mould makes my HA sound like a blown speaker!

I have used soft ear moulds all my life but changed to a hard ear mould about 3 weeks ago.

The hard ear mould is very comfy but makes my HA sound like a blown speaker. Change to my soft ear mould and every thing sounds normal to me again.

My tubing is new and clear so can’t figure out why there is an issue.

Anyone else found this as well?

Does either one have a vent or are the vent sizes different?

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Sounds like a venting thing to me too. Losing lower frequency sounds.
The soft molds are best for profound hearing losses because they seal better. At least that is what I have read.

Have you ran feedback manager with the new mold?

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@zephren and @Raudrive The venting is the same ie no vents at all.

The ear moulds both fit me really well.

I haven’t had the feedback manager re-ran, I’ll try that, thanks.

No amount of adjustments seem to correct the problem. I’ve emailed the ear mould lab to ask for another re make and I’ve explained the problem.

At the moment, I’ll wear my soft ear mould.

Why did you switch to hard molds? I would think soft is better no?

I find my ear gets quite wet with a soft ear mould. I did a lot of research and found people find that their ears don’t get as wet with hard ear moulds so thought I’d give it a try. Even tho the sound is horrible, when I wore it, my ear was a lot more dry.

Interesting! Thanks for that info.

Soft ear molds, especially with small or no vents absorb some of the highs. I use a hybrid which is a soft coated hard ear mold. If you don’t have a vent or have a pinhole vent you could be getting low frequency blow by where the air pressure created by the lows blows past the earmold.
If your ears get wet, try using a triple antibiotic ointment as a lubricant. This may also solve your sound problem by creating a better seal.

What do you mean by this? Sorry if it should be obvious.

At the moment I’m wearing a soft ear mould with no vent and the sound is great!

The hard ear mould is made from the same impression as the soft ear mould and does fit me very well. Again no vent.

EDIT - I’m 30 years old and up until getting this hard ear mould, I’ve always worn soft ear moulds. Maybe it’s a case of just getting used to the different sound?

@Zebras I believe your feeling is because you are used to “occlusion effect”.

I did the change the other way round. Till 2018 I had hard vented ear molds. At the end of that year I closed the vents. In 2019 I bought soft ear molds w/o vents. The “volume” sound increased dramatically. This is very cool for listening to streamed pop music. The soft silk reduced feedback so I could increase high pitched high amplified sound as well.

For your loss this is no longer necessary. You only need a little amplification in your lows and highs but you need much in the middle. In fact you don’t need any amplification in the lows. You get most information from speech in middle and high frequency range. You get little benefit by increasing low frequency. Indeed there is the most noise you don’t need for intelligibility. Without the lows increased it should be eayier for you to listen to someone talking. Open vented hard ear mold sound tinny but you get a better S/N ratio. In very loud situations soft silk may prevent low sound from reaching your eardrum. But damping is at most by 20dB. Most of the time you will like open vented hard ear molds. Try them a couple of times.

My age is 50%, em, increased but this factor decreases every year a little bit :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure what a blown speaker sounds like. But then in not sure what a normal speaker sounds like either. (wink wink).

Have you figured out the blown speaker effect yet?
Something you might consider is try a new client and do a new fitting from scratch. Run Audiogram Direct, Feedback Manager etc. and see what happens. The acoustics change may have thrown things off.

Would I hear better if I reduce my amplification in the lows? I have a conductive loss which requires more power then a SN loss. If I remember rightly, my lows are amplified to around 25 dB.

I haven’t but I’ll definitely try your recommendations when I get home tonight.

Argh, you’re right. I forgot this fact.
I don’t know if you can remove amplification in the lows completely (I don’t think so). But you should keep in mind that open or vented molds let low frequencies in or leak more easyly. Vented molds sound tinner but intelligibility should increase. I think raudrive is right you should try a new client from scratch when doing acustics change.

I gave myself a new hearing test and with the soft ear mould, my results are the same as the one in my profile but my results with my hard ear mould it’s a lot worse in the mid frequencies, I have no idea why but my hearing aid doesn’t fit my new hearing loss anymore.

Very odd! I’ve never had an hard ear mould before but never thought it’ll alter my audiogram.

I have my NHS Phonak V70 SP so going to try that HA now.

Makes since based on leakage. Maybe receiver angle to your ear drum? Interesting…

Now that you are redoing the settings with the new mold, how are things sounding?

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Sounds a lot better and actually a lot clearer. Doesn’t sound distorted or like a blown speaker.

Even tho my ear mould is made from the same impression, my hard ear mould is a lot rounded on the ear canal bit where’s the soft ear mould is quite straight and a lot bigger.

Going to wear my hard ear mould for a day and see how it goes.


@rasmus_braun please can you move this to the self programming section as this discussion is now a self programming discussion.