New Sound NSG275 DOA Evaluation

New Sound had been a wholesale hearing aid supplier for years, so when they opened their new retail website, I decided to take a closer look at their products, which use Sound Design Technologies DSP chips and include virtual office software. I finally yielded to my wife’s “urging” to get hearing aids and bought a pair of their ADRO NSG275 DOA units.

Summary: they fit fine, and I hear well, including children’s squeaky voices, in restaurants, the TV (at my wife’s volume), in movie theatres (loud sound control), etc. I have yet to silence my lawn mower but I’m working on it. My wife has reset her “What? meter” to near zero!

All in all, I am quite satisfied with these hearing aids and would recommend them to anyone with a mild - moderate hearing loss** and a computer, for tweaking them. New Sound has joined America Hears and Hear Source as suppliers of top quality hearing aids with virtual office and Internet support.

I received the units exactly 7 days after ordering them through www.lovehearing.com. Ordering went smoothly although their new retail web site was / is still under construction. The Tube and Dome Fitting diagram was made to print on A4 size paper, which is larger than the 8.5x11” US standard (one must print at 100% for an accurate measurement). I persevered by printing the ear measurement chart without borders. I found more information in the New Sound Product Catalog on page 31. A nice lady named Alice helped me out via email with fitting questions and was able to make quick fixes to the web site.

I was able to pay for the units with my VISA card through PayPal and shipping was via DHL, which was quick and tracked all the way. Seven days is pretty fast from China to Arizona.

Everything arrived in a 6.5” x 5” X 2” storage case. The Has were packed in a smaller night storage case (3.5” x 1.5” x 1”). The NS-PRO USB adapter and cables that connect to the hearing aids were included along with brief manuals, a CD with the “MyFit” programming software and USB driver, which installed with no problems on my Vista personal computer.*

The open-fit aids fit very well – more comfortably than I had expected. As soon as I could hear that they were working (they had been set to my audiogram), I had to try out the adjusting software and so plugged the ribbon cables into the aids. They fit right behind the battery door, which makes tight contact when the door is closed. These cables plug into the NS-PRO USB adapter and a USB cable plugs into the other end of the NS-PRO and connects to a standard USB computer port.

When I started MyFit, it detected the aids right away but did not save the original HA settings properly, so I emailed Alice and she got the software engineers working on the problem.

Meanwhile, she sent me a link to their older, more thorough but more complicated fitting program, NewSoundFit 5.0.7 (NS-Fit), which I downloaded and this worked much better. There were a few bugs but they fixed them right away and I used it to reprogram the hearing aids from scratch. (BTW, this was an engineer’s “hog-heaven.” :smiley: )

NS-Fit lets you enter all your audiogram data, temporarily sets that information into the hearing aids, then lets you do an InSitu hearing test with sounds played through the aid’s amplifier, speaker, acoustic tube, earpiece and into your ear canal. This refines the sound processing beyond what is possible from the audiogram, alone. One can SAVE that information to the hearing aids and/or modify the settings manually and SAVE again. One has custom control over the complete set of hearing profiles.

*Also included were custom measured charts for each aid of the OSPL90, 60dB Full on gain curve, and 60dB response curve.

** For reference, my audiogram is 250: 45,45; 500:40,45; 1K: 35, 35; 2K: 25, 50; 4K: 65, 70

See next installment for using the NewSoundFit v. 5.0.8

The following fitting adjustment procedure applies specifically to New Sound hearing aids with ADRO sound processing firmware in the DSP*. It cannot be used for hearing aids with WDRC firmware.

Plug the supplied ribbon cables into your hearing aids just behind the battery door, with the raised emblem on the connector facing away from the door. Make sure that right (red) and left (blue) connectors go into the proper color coded connectors in the NS-PRO. Then connect the NS=PRO to the USB connector in your computer and start the NS-Fit program. After a few seconds, it should “Detect” your hearing aids.

Client Manager Screen
Enter, at least, your name and age.
Then use the toolbar at the bottom of the screen to move to the next screen (Audio Curve).

Audio Curve Screen
Enter your audiogram here. Note the menu at the top of each chart. ACL=Air Conductor, BCL=Bone Conductor, UCL=Uncomfortable Level.
Also note that the correct frequency scale is at the BOTTOM of the chart. The scale at the top doesn’t match the one at the bottom and can easily cause data to be entered incorrectly.

Product Select Screen
If your hearing aids have been detected correctly, you will see the model numbers displayed in the drop down controls at the top of the screen.
Below, you should see the fitting range displayed, with the audiogram data that you just entered in the previous step. Move on to the next step.

Personal Configuration Screen
Here you can define the number of programs and their basic characteristics (Microphone, Directional Mics, Audio, or Telecoil).

I set the Power On delay to six seconds and the Low Battery Warning applies to both Right and Left units.

Fitting Screen (InSitu tab)
The first task is to do a hearing test through your hearing aids. The Has are initially programmed with your audiogram data but the InSitu hearing test corrects for the effects of the amplifier, speaker, accoustic tube, earpiece, and your ear canal.

This screen is used for both right and left hearing aids, but only one is Active at a time. The Active hearing aid (Right) is displayed in the yellow box (1) in the upper center just below the “AutoFit” button (2). You can select a different Active hearing aid by using the square buttons below that are labeled “Right” and “Left” (3). Switching takes a few seconds. Make sure the new Active program selector (4) is set for the Program you are working on.

The tabbed sliders in the lower center have five tabs. The “InSitu” tab (5) should be selected. Here, the sliders (6) should be used to adjust the sound for a most “Comfortable” volume, as heard through your hearing aids.
Select a frequency by clicking the slider. Then Click the “Stimulate” control (7) to hear a tone at that frequency. You can hear all frequencies in sequence by pressing either “Play Down” or ”Play Up.” Adjust the sliders until all frequencies have the same loudness.

After adjusting all frequencies for most Comfortable level, press the “AutoFit” button (2) at the center top. You can, optionally, also “SAVE” these adjustments to the Active hearing aid. The “SAVE” button (8) is on the left side of the topmost toolbar. Edit: SAVE will take several seconds, during which the lights on NS-PRO will blink. Caution: Do not click the mouse on the screen until you get notification that SAVE has completed. NSFit locked up a couple of times when I did this.

Now switch to the other (left) hearing aid and repeat the above steps for it.

After SAVING, you will probably discover that the volume has to be increased in order to hear soft sounds well. Proceed to the MG (Maximum Gain) tab (9) to do this.

Fitting Screen (MG tab) (Maximum Gain)
The MG is shown as the black (lowest) line. The simplest way to bring up the volume is to use the “ALL” slider, which raises the gain of all frequencies at once. I found that 6 – 12dB was usually adequate but try not to push any frequency’s gain beyond the upper limit of the Gain Range (dark purple region) on the graph. Do this for both left and right aids. You can return later and use these screens to tweak any hearing aid parameter.

Now save your work with the SAVE button (8), which writes the changes into both right and left DSP memories, for the selected PROGRAM (4). Wait for notification of completion before clicking on the screen.

I have not used the Fitting Wizard screen, yet. I may add information later.

John Hunter

* Technical Information: The engine in these hearing aids is made by Sound Design Technologies. The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip is the Advanta-Open GA3223, which is designed to optimize ADRO sound processing performance. ADRO stands for “Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimization,” which is a Trademark of Dynamic Hearing Ltd.

Advanta Feature Summary
Advanta for Audiologists
Advanta for Engineers
Advanta Open Fit™ ADRO™-Enabled DSP System

Wow! Thanks for the evaluation JC.

I have downloaded Fit5.0.7 and MyFit and was playing with the screens because I don’t have the HAs yet. I think (as you discovered) that Fit5.0.7 is the fitting software and the MyFit software allows you to perform your own hearing test by using your HAs as audiometers.

Now I have a much better understanding about fitting after reading your description of InSitu and Max Gain settings. Thank you so much for that. Nice presentation.

You are welcome. I would have had this up sooner but China ended its national holiday / celebration just last week…

Now, I don’t know how different the Fitting screens will be for WDRC. ADRO fitting has different requirements and I suspect that is why I had problems with MyFit. Time will tell.

In any case, it is good to know that the New Sound software engineers are so responsive to problems and quick to make update versions available for download. This attitude, alone, makes them a good bet for the future.

Awesome writeup!

I do find it a little humerous that their model # ends in DOA, which of corse is slang for dead on arrival.

Yes, I admit that this gave me some pause. I have run across quite a few humorous acronyms. e.g., at one time I worked on a Software Hardware Integration Team. :smiley:

On my NSFit 5.0 fitting screen the InSitu and Max Gain Tabs were not present for the BTE NSG275 D8s. So I went back and used Product Select to switch the HAs to NSG275 DOAs. Yep the tabs appeared just like in your screen prints. So the type of fitting screen obviuosly depends on the Product Selection. Duh. Mine has Gain, Output, Compression, and Noise Reduction/Feedback Tabs.

NSFit doesn’t seem ready for 64-Bit Vista so I’m running it on a secondary WinXP computer.

Sorry, the picture was lost.

I had a hunch that WDRC would have different screens. NSFit may work more reliably for your D8s because there seem to be more NewSound hearing aids with WDRC compression than ADRO.

BTW, I get a different Fitting screen when I select the DOAs (not connected) than when I connect them and they are detected properly.

See if you can find out the exact DSP that is used in the D8. Then you can look up the technical specs and also get adjustment info from Sound Design Technologies.

Edit: I am running Vista 32 bit. See if Alice can get the software guys to fix the 64 bit problem. I found them very receptive to bug reports.

I assumed that the Audiogram/Audio Curve would automatically be saved with NSFit customer data. No, you have to click the Save button on the Audio Curve screen and it saves a new fitting session for that customer.

Though, anytime I try to export/import customer data or delete a fitting session, it wants a password??? I didn’t setup any password so I can’t use those functions. I sent a question off to support about the default password.

I got in by typing “newsound”

The 2009 Newsound Product Catalog that you pointed out to me says it’s the ASANA DSP (see below). And thanks for the password. Works great.

On second thought I don’t think that’s a DSP name. I was thinking ADVANTA.

Sorry, the picture was lost.

AFAIK, Advanta is internally wired for ADRO, so the D8 probably uses something else. Alice can probably find out.

I asked if it was; for example Inspiria Extreme (SA3286)?
She said it was a SA3285 DSP.
I think she meant INSPIRIA Ultimate (GA3285) DSP, not SA3285 DSP.

At sounddesigntechnologies.com I find:
INSPIRIA Extreme (SA3286)
INSPIRIA Ultimate (GA3285) <<<< It must be this one
INSPIRIA (GA3284)

The higher-end SA3286 has these additional features:
iSceneDetect Environmental Classification 1.0

The brand-new iSceneDetect Environment Classification algorithm automatically senses wearer’s environment and dynamically adjusts hearing enhancement algorithms (such as Feedback cancellation, Noise Reduction, Compression etc.) without any user involvement.

iSceneDetect 1.0 accurately predicts speech in quiet, speech in noise, wind, music, quiet and noise environments and make the necessary adjustments to the parameters in the audio path in a gradual smooth and virtually unnoticeable manner. This feature will enable the hearing aid wearer to have an instrument which will work in any environment with a single memory.

In-situ Feedback Path Measurement Tool

The Feedback Path Measurement Tool uses the onboard feedback cancellation algorithm and noise generator to measure acoustic feedback path of hearing aid during patient fitting. Real-ear measurements enable accurate analysis of the hearing aids feedback path in the wearer’s ear and enables customization of hearing aid fitting to in-ear acoustics.

Verified that mine is the INSPIRIA Ultimate (GA3285) DSP.
“Yes, GA is old saying, SA is new saying. Alice”

Sorry to take over your thread which was about your (ADRO) model NSG275 DOA; with my (WDRC) model BTE NSG275 D8. But we both have in common the NSPro fitting hardware and the NSFit/MyFit fitting software.

PVC,
I found this information on Automatic Directional Microphones http://www.sounddesigntechnologies.com/pdf/47709_IN_Rev0.pdf
I would make sure you are getting this option.

Edit: No problem. Your information is on-topic.

Yep, it’s in there. See this picture of the specs.
Sorry, the picture was lost.

After lots of real-world listening tests, I made the following adjustments. Note that these apply specifically to hearing aids with ADRO sound processing firmware and do not apply to those with WDRC:

  1. Male voices were sometimes too soft, so I boosted the Maximum Gain (MG) of the mid frequencies (500, 750, and 1KHz).

  2. Sudden loud sounds were sometimes too loud, so I decreased the Maximum Output Level (MOL) at all frequencies to 6dB above the Comfort target.

  3. I have not changed the Comfort Level target curve at all. However, I did not attempt to fully correct the high frequencies (3 - 4KHz, where I am most deficient) because I experience enough awareness of high frequency sounds with lower settings. My word comprehension for high-pitched voices is vastly improved.

  4. I have experienced better hearing in noisy restaurants (subjectively) but I would like some objective tests that show that the directional mics are working properly. I would like the Virtual office software to be able to display the sound reception pattern in response to a noise source from the rear. (The source code is available from Sound Design Technologies. See page 6 here.)

All in all, it is very satisfying to be able to adjust my own hearing aids whenever the need arises. :cool:

I agree! And the ability to get a remote fitting from Hong Kong is way cool too.

I have a question that perhaps you might be able to answer while Alice is asleep. I want to keep the hearing aid (HA) onboard VC (volume control) at the same levels when I make fitting changes. I’m thinking that I need to turn VC all the way up to 4 before I save the fitting changes to the HA. Does that seem right?

This is just a guess, but, IMHO, the adjusting the firmware should have no effect on the manual volume control.

When I was using the AutoFit button of NSFit (I don’t use AutoFit any more) the on-board VC was not set correctly after my settings.

For example I saved settings to the HAs with VC at #2. Then later when she wanted to increase VC to #3 and #4 the HAs would not increase the volume. They were already at maximum volume at #2.

During our remote fitting I watched the mouse movements. The engineer set each frequency one-at-a-time. He also set the Overall gain on the left which moved all of the frequencies up. My wife could tell that the HAs were getting loud (by hearing something akin to the electronic buzz of a powerful amplifier). But then he pulled the Overall gain down several clicks, had us set the HA VC to #4, and wrote the settings to the HAs.

We were instructed to remove the HAs from the programmer, and turn down VC to comfortable #2. Now when we increase the VC on the HA it does increase the volume.

Also I got this answer from Alice:
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