New Audeo Q70s - Clicking / Popping Noise


#1

Hi -

I purchased new Phonak Audeo Q70 aids less than a week ago.

From the first time they were installed, I noticed an occasional sharp clicking / popping noise coming from the aid I have in my right ear (the one with the more significant hearing loss).

The clicks / pops are very fast, probably just a few hundredths of a second. During the clicks / pops, the audio from the aid is cut off, and the aid audio returns instantly. I have noticed that the clicks / pops seem to occur when there seems to be speech or environmental sounds where there is sharp high frequency content, for example when metal hits metal.

Is this normal behavior? Is the aid attempting to protect my hearing? I do have significant loss (85 db) in that ear for higher frequencies. I would suspect that there may be a lot of amplification by the aid at that end of the spectrum. Maybe the amplifier is cutting out?

Or, is the aid just defective?

Thanks,

AzJazz


Phonak Hearing Aid making a popping / crackling sound
#2

Definitely something for your audiologist to deal with. As an ET I would say it could be several different things but would just be guessing.


#3

Mine only pop when the bass hits in my car while listening to my stereo.


#4

I’ll chat with my audiologist at our next appointment. I already suggested to her that she should have a replacement handy, just in case.

Another newbie question: Am I supposed to pull out the battery every night, or just leave my aids sitting idle in the dehumidifier canister?

I can see the advantage of saving battery life by pulling them out (I haven’t found an “Off” switch on my aids), but I can also see a much bigger advantage to reducing wear & tear on the contacts/battery door. New batteries are cheap compared to replacing the aids.


#5

There could be a number of reasons why you are experiencing popping/clicking sounds from your new right hearing aid (and not the left).

-I’ve had some patients who had so much loss in the high frequencies that wearing the hearing aid at target (or even close to it) would cause popping/clicking because we were amplifying dead spots in the high frequencies (you do have a pretty steep loss).
-The receiver may be distorting from so much high frequency amplification (I don’t think a power receiver is necessary because more than likely the hearing aid is not amplifying 6k and 8k because of the roll-off after 4k and also Soundrecover may be activated).

Overall, I would recommend just turning the high frequencies down. Your audi should be able to make the proper adjustments.

Also, I would remove the batteries from your hearing aids if you are using a dehumidifier at night. This will allow you to dry out the inside of the battery chambers plus your batteries may last longer.


#6

Thanks, JayCyn!

I’m curious - One of the main reasons I purchased the Q70s is to reduce (or, hopefully eliminate) what I call the “blown speaker” effect that I now experience with my bad right ear. Certain high frequencies generate a loud buzzing/distortion noise exactly like a blown midrange speaker, sometimes making speech and music uncomfortable - especially at high amplitudes.

At first, I thought that the Q70s might be helping reduce this problem, but now I have noticed that the Q70s are actually making the problem worse. I was just listening to music in the car a few minutes ago, and I noticed the distortion / buzzing occurring very frequently in the music. I pulled out my right Q70, and the distortion effects went away.

My question is this: With the clicking/cutouts I am still hearing, could my right Q70 have been ruined by excessive amplification @ 6k and above? Do Q70s (or hearing aids in general) blow their tiny speakers if amplified hard? Or, will reprogramming my Q70s to have lower amplification above 6k fix the problem?

I am more interested from both a usability and warranty standpoint - If I experience more of this distortion problem with the Q70s in than when removed, I am a lot less likely to wear the aids. Or, if my brand-new Q70 has been ruined in my first week of ownership, I would want the audi to cover the replacement without affecting my warranty.

Thanks!

AzJazz


#7

AzJazz,

I don’t think the speaker has gone out on your hearing aid in the first week. If by chance it is a bad speaker, your audiologist should have spares to change it out for you. The standard receiver you may be using is sufficient for your degree of hearing loss and shouldn’t malfunction for a very long time when properly cared for (although moisture, wax and dogs are arch-enemies of hearing aids and receivers).

If you are experiencing the clicking/popping while you are at your audis office, ask if you can get a demo aid programmed with the same settings you have in your right aid. That way you can be for certain if it is your new aid malfunctioning or not.

Did your audiologist run a Speech Mapping verification with your hearing aids? This test will measure how the hearing aids are performing in your ear canals in relation to your hearing loss (Phonaks are actually pretty spot on when it comes to this test but it’s good to be sure). Since the important frequencies for conversational speech goes up to 4k, you will notice from the Speech Mapping results that the amplification starts to roll-off after 4k. Therefore, in my opinion I do not believe that the 6k and above frequencies are being over-amplified.

When you go in to see your audiologist, you may want to see what level your hearing aids are set to. Your aids should be turned down initially since you are a first time user. Over a period of time, your audi will slowly increase the amplification as your brain gets acclimated to the new sounds. Sending someone out at target/100% prescription and telling the user to “just get use to it” is just asking for a return. Also, your hearing isn’t symmetrical so (for example) it’s not uncommon to have the better ear set at 80% and the ear with more loss set lower to 60-70%.

Are the overall soft to mid volume high frequency sounds comfortable like the newspaper or water running? And is it just the louder sounds you mentioned that is causing the clicking/popping? Then there’s the possibility of recruitment where a compression adjustment is needed.
Sometimes the SoundRecover feature you have in your hearing aid may make the high frequencies sound artificial whereas turning it off may help (although SoundRecover is an awesome feature, some users don’t adjust well to it).

Overall, I would start by just turning down your right hearing aid and go from there.


#8

AzJazz, as mentioned earlier, you have a precipitous drop in your audiogram which is a telltale sign of a cochlear dead region. People with dead regions may perceive high-frequency tones as clicks or buzzes. There’s conflicting research about whether it’s beneficial to provide high-frequency amplification in dead regions, and how much amplification to provide. You can do a Google search for more background information. In the case of your Audéo Q70, with SoundRecover set to default, you would hear 10K at 6K. And 6K would actually be at 5K. You might want to try increasing the strength of SoundRecover so it shifts the high frequencies even lower, into an area where your hearing is better.


#9

JayCyn & rasmus_braun - Thanks for your help! I will be seeing my audi tomorrow, and I will bring up your suggestions.

See my answers below …

I did hear the clicking/popping at my audi’s office. I noticed it after initially wearing the configured aids for only a few minutes. I will try to remember to bring some silverware to her office, and see if she detects the clicks when she listens to the right aid. I’ll also see if she can program up some demo aids like you suggested.

Regarding the level set by my audi, she told me that she set the levels low at first, and would raise the level to meet my comfort zone on subsequent visits.

I would say that mid-volume high frequency sounds are comfortable at this point. The clicking/popping does occur frequently at normal volume levels, but usually with sounds with a lot of high frequency content. I rarely hear it occur during speech. But, when my wife is working at our stainless steel sink, I hear the clicks/pops a lot as various objects impact the steel sink. Silverware is very noticeable. When I did some dish cleaning, I noticed the clicks/pops at the sink water sprayer hit some metal bowls. It happens during music, too - but, not as frequently.

It’s taking a little getting used to. I’m not a big fan of the noticeable frequency compression, but I’m also a realist that I need some level of enhancement.

I have suspected this as well. I will see if my audi hears the clicks/pops if we can find a reproducible scenario.


#11

I had a popping noise in my HA and it turned out to be the mic that needed to be replaced as it was faulty.