New to hearing things, and not sure if I'm being misled. Help appreciated!

Hi,
Been very hard of hearing for 40 years and finally took the plunge.
Been reading some great tips on here but can’t find what I need to know, wondering if anyone has any advice…
Long story but basically I’ve lost all high frequency hearing.
I went to an audiologist who recommended Signia Charge n Go (NX, I think)
Having worn them for a week, I found that around the 3-5khz range was too loud, and dropped off sharply after that so I still couldn’t hear for example ‘s’ or ‘f’. Things like crinkling paper and running water are too loud, and nothing above that. Hope I’m making sense!

I asked the audiologist to drop the mid-high frequency around 4khz, but boost everything above that. (Used to be an electronic musician so know lots about frequency etc)

He said it wasn’t possible, if he boosted the highs, he’d boost the mid-highs too. He ended up turning everything up, which helped the high frequency, and sounded good in his office but when I left the office and went into the train station, the distortion was incredible and nearly gave me brain damage! I had to take them out.

So my question is, does this sound right? (Scuse the pun)
Where I am, these things are nearly €4k… I’d expect to be able to tune out any frequency band to my liking. Also this “Made for iPhone”, what year is it, 2005?
I also feel like the audiologist could have damaged my ears more by tuning the aids so badly. Just wondering about his level of competence you know?
I’m in France if it makes any difference.
Any advice much appreciated; I have these things on a month trial before I pay for them and at the moment they’re sitting in their charger, useless.
Thanks!

Welcome to the forum.

You describe having a high frequency hearing loss. If you could share your audiogram it would help us help you.

Your comment about mid/high frequencies being too loud is typical for those that have had a hearing loss for a long time without hearing aids. It may take weeks or months for your brain to start understanding the new sounds you are getting from the aids. This can be be difficult but patience will pay off.

All new modern aids will connect to smart phones. This can be done differently pending on which set of aids you have and the type of phone you have. This needs to be thought out before buying your aids.

You have come to a great place to learn about your hearing loss and about all the different hearing aids. Try to make your own opinion about what you need and go for it.

Good luck on this new journey.

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Signia Nx aids are generally good ones. They come in three levels; 7Nx, 5Nx, and 3 Nx. The higher numbers are higher level aids, but most of the basic features are in all levels. The 7Nx has 20 adjustment handles, like sliders on a music equalizer. It should easily be able to boost the real highs but not the midrange in the 3 Khz range. The problem may be that your loss at the highs is so much that they cannot be boosted. If you post an audiogram you will get much more specific suggestions. The other thing to consider is that if there is no hope of amplifying the very highs, these aids have a feature called frequency compression where the frequencies up to 10 kHz and beyond are squeezed down into the more mid frequency range. This can help you recover the highs you are missing. However for music purposes I’m sure you will understand this messes the pitch up. It is really for speech only.

Not sure what your comment was about the iPhone, but if you have one, you can control the aids to some degree, and at least turn the volume down. There is a bass treble adjustment too, but I don’t find it does much. That should be possible with the buttons on the aid too. Here is a link to a document on what you can do with the iPhone myControl app on Signia aids.

If you have access to a Costco in France you may want to consider going there. Their current KS9 hearing aid I see sells for €1,600 a pair. It is a premium Phonak Marvel M90, but uses 312 batteries. They also have (at least over here) a Rexton Adore Li aid set which is likely pretty much the same thing as your Signia Charge and Go. Rexton and Signia are two different brand names for basically the same aids. See this link:

Costco Services Centre Auditif

I suspect the level of service may improve at Costco too. What you are being told at your current dealer sounds a little suspicious…

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I see Costco has some stores in France. I have no idea if they offer hearing aids. If so, they can help you save some money (which seemed to be an issue)

Again, your audiogram would be helpful. My suspicion is that your high frequency loss is bad enough that you’re not going to hear those sounds without frequency lowering. The Signia NX can offer that, as well as most other brands. My personal bias is Phonak’s system.

I doubt seriously he damaged your hearing.

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Sounds to me like someone who needs to learn how to program his own aids ain’t hard and you will likely be happier

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When I first got my hearing aids I, too, was disappointed at the limitations in the programming. My audiologist is great, and very talented, but she showed me the technical issue. It’s just not possible to boost just certain types of sounds and not other types of sounds in the same frequency. I was really bummed out about the loud background noise: wind, crinkling paper, fans. They drove me nuts. My audiologist did her best, but there was just no way to boost people’s voices and not boost other sounds in the same frequency range.
But time solved the problem. It took a couple of months, but eventually my brain started tuning out that background noise of the same frequency that I wanted to hear. (Who knew - my brain is smarter than technology :-> ) I will also say that eventually my brain started picking out the voices better, too, so I could turn down the actual volume and still hear fairly well.
I hope that you are able to adjust, too. But now I understand why so many people try hearing aids and give up on them in a fairly short time period. Those initial months are not really pleasant, and are so disappointing after high expectations of being able to just put those things in your ears and be able to hear just what you want to hear.

Peace
CJ Rhoads

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Me too.

I have not heard highs for decades. The first week with Beans (not a big gain), 6kHz just seemed to SCREAM. Now after 3 weeks it seems more right. (Also I’m learning I don’t know my 6kHz from my 4kHz like I used to*.)

Your brain is saying “WOW! 4kHz!! I have not heard that in years!!” and getting a bit freaked-out. It has to re-learn how things sound and sort-out the proportions it has forgotten how to hear.

I have a steep slope midband (click my name). I think I hear 1kHz too well, but even with Bean I hear 2kHz hardly at all, and <4kHz quite/too well. Yes, paper, foil, old wood floor, keyclacks, pee in the toilet all sound funny with new boost.

You will NOT get back 99% speech recognition or “audio flatness” right-away or even in a week. You have to re-learn. It may take a month to say “This is good and the rest will come back to me.” (But you may never hear like you were 16 again.)

(*) You may like this test (the whole site is useful). EQ Training
It is a snip of pop-music, with a 24dB(!) octave-wide boost, various centers. In my past life I used to hear a PA system ring and reach-out to the right EQ slider by reflex. I am still spot-on for 250 and 500, but 2kHz versus 4kHz is random chance, and even 1kHz I am as wrong as right. Both lack of practice and probably another layer of nerve degeneration.

That site has frequency sweeps which may guide you and your audiologist to your sore-spots better than your disused sense of frequency bands.

Note that you very likely have “recruitment”, some sounds come up from “zero” very quickly.

At 40dB SPL I hear nothing over 2-3k; at 80dB SPL I really do hear highs pretty well. So level is important.

2 weeks ago I drove in snow and the windshield wiper SQUEEOUEK was driving me nuts. Yesterday in similar damp, not a problem. I doubt (I am not an expert) that the occasional environmental squeal could cause “brain damage” or even ear damage. (A train station may be a place where you should take the aids out for a while; work up to that racket.)

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Thanks for this; don’t have my audiogram as I’m on hols at the moment. Apologies.

I can’t wear them just now as the distortion is deafening so I’ll take them back asap for adjustment!

Thanks again

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Thanks for this too.

I’m in the middle of nowhere so won’t be able to get to a Costco but will ask about being able to control frequencies myself.

The “Made for iPhone” thing was very “early 2000s” in Europe and very quickly became a synonym for a rip-off. Android now has 90% of the market here. Seems absolutely absurd to limit it to Apple.

Back to the audiologist I go! :smiley:

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Thanks CJ

Sounds like time has a lot to do with it! Might have to put up with hearing people peeing from 30m away! :wink:

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Oh, I’d be soooo happy!

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Thanks, really helpful stuff!

Will have a look at that when I get back, on mobile just now so everything a bit wonky

Since you and I both use Android phones, you may want to look at the Phonak Marvel. When I got my Phonak Marvel it was the only HA that used Bluetooth Classic and connected directly to my Android Pixel 3 XL without the need for an intermediate device that you have to wear around your neck and keep charged.

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I used to be real anti Apple, and would not let their stuff in my house, although my kids thought differently. However once I got hearing aids early this year and figured out what the advantage of MFi (Made for iPhone) was, I kind of changed my tune. I discarded the Android phone and got a discarded iPhone from one of my kids and now use it with my KS8 MFi hearing aids.

It is true that the Made for i thing started about 2005, and originally stood for Made for iPod. The reason Apple went to the technology was that classic Bluetooth consumes a lot of power, and is a single channel technology – no stereo. That was not a fit for the iPod thing so they went for BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy. It used less power and was two channel capable.

Now jump forward 10 years or so, the hearing aid manufacturers started to think integration and streaming from smart phones. Classic Bluetooth presented the same problems – too much power and single channel. So they jumped on the BLE technology which by then was well established in the iPhones. Apple even created the Accessibility, Hearing Devices screen (probably for air pods or something else originally) but it fit well with hearing aids. Without any manufacturer specific app needed you could stream direct from your iPhone to any MFi capable hearing aid set. They paired with each aid independently and sent a separate left and right signal to each ear, and didn’t kill the batteries on the aid or the iPhone while streaming for extended periods of time. It was a big hit. For purposes of streaming to hearing aids, the iPhone MFi method simply ate the lunch of all the Android phones. There are probably over 100 different hearing aid models that support MFi. Until very very recently Android had nothing to compete with it. They tried to use Classic Bluetooth and often required expensive intermediate hardware devices that were powered to overcome the power drain problem.

Currently there are only two models which can kind of do the same thing as MFi with Android. Those would be the ReSound Quattro Linx. And it is limited to Android 10 and only on one or two very specific Google Pixel phones. The only other hearing aid somewhat capable is the Phonak Marvel (or KS9 at Costco). It still uses Classic Bluetooth, but streams to the right ear, and from there to the left. This is not quite as reliable as the direct streaming to both ears in parallel, that BLE is capable of.

Sorry for the rant, but iPhones currently have really significant advantages over Androids when it comes to direct streaming to hearing aids. The gap is closing however, and in perhaps 5 years or so, Android will have caught up.

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Well stated! I was a hard core Android enthusiast, extensively modifying mine for many years, rooting, custom rom, dark theme overlays, sideloading apps. Hearing aids changed all that, when I realized my personal bias against a company was indeed “cutting off my own nose to spite my face”. I decide to test an iPhone (I have no relative who use them, mostly my influence) so I bought the least expensive one I could.

The MFI took me into a completely different hearing aid world than my Android with the large, expensive, cumbersome, intermediary device around my neck. It required charging so often I need to carry an even heavier power brick along to recharge that device three times to get through a typical day. MFI meant I did not have to carry those two additional devices that needed recharging very often.

I returned that intermediary device for a refund and saved the power brick for the emergencies that was the original acquisition reason.

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I’ve had my Phonak Audeo Marvel M90-R for almost a year. Sierra, when you called the Marvels “somewhat capable”, do you have experience using them with the 2.0 firmware update? Phonak is using a nano micro architecture with their newly developed SWORD chip that allows them to use a power low enough that at the end of the day you can still have 30 to 60 percent charge left (depending on how much you stream music and I often stream several hours every day.)

You are correct that Bluetooth Classic does not stream in two separate channels, but it does stream in stereo using one channel. The second stereo channel is then sent wireless to the other HA. I’ve listened to Primephonic lossless CD quality music for the past year both at home and when out walking. Audio quality is superb. I have yet to have a dropped signal or any problems with audio quality. Consider that high quality wireless headphones have been using Bluetooth classic for many years now.

I now have almost a year’s experience with Phonak Marvels and I would recommend Marvels to an Android user without hesitation.

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BLE is not perfect, but Bluetooth Classic is less perfect. Both use the same 2.4 GHz frequency which does not go through body parts well. The only advantage that BLE has is that it goes direct to each ear, and is more likely to get a straight shot at the ear. It depends less on reflecting off hard objects. Bluetooth Classic needs reflections to get from one ear to the other. I find even with BLE when I go out into open areas I loose the signal. For these technical reasons Bluetooth Classic is going to be less reliable than BLE.

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Sierra, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. When I go out for walks in open areas, I never lose signal. At least it hasn’t happened yet in the year I’ve had them.

I haven’t seen in the Marvel literature anything about the need to have a hard object close by to reflect stereo from one ear to the other. There are a number of makers of Bluetooth classic high end wireless stereo ear buds, Sony WF-1000XM3 comes to mind, and I’ve not seen any reports of that requirement for them to work.

I have the Marvel M90-R. Which model Marvels do you have and how long have you had them? When you lose signal, what is your signal source?

Edit:
Cancel the request for the model of your Marvels. I reread the thread and found that you don’t have Marvels.

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I first came here to rant and rave about how terrible music sounded with hearing aids. I always felt Bose headphones were sub par for music too. Now I am singing/ hearing a different tune. My experience is now similar to TraderGary. My marvel iPhone pairing is super and bluetooth has been rock solid.

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I am using KS8’s which are MFi Rextons, and my music source is an iPhone 7 with iTunes playing. I keep my phone in my right pants pocket and if I go into an open area outside it can drop out fairly frequently. Not both ears at the same time, but one or the other. If I walk by a car the drop out seems to stop. I sometimes play iTunes when exercising at the gym. Never drops out, but I am always beside large windows.

It may be like the Marvel system of using the HA mics for phone calls. Some report it to be perfect, and others say it is bad to the point of not being usable. Technically I can see why it would be less than perfect. Same with the Classic Bluetooth vs BLE.

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