Newbie with Warble/Reverb Question

I am new to this forum (not all that familiar with any forum procedures) but this looks like a good place to find answers.

I am trying to replace a 10-year old GN Resound CC-4 (got stepped on) and have two digital HA questions.

First, I find new, digital alternatives to my old, low tech device produce a most bothersome reverberation or warble effect. An elevator bell doesn’t just ding, it echoes (wawawawa). Clarinet solos are nearly unlistenable with this effect. More important, my dear wife’s voice sometimes produces this reverberation also.

Some audiologists say this is coming from “sound recovery” and that it can be disabled. Others suggest it’s feedback limitation, that also can be disabled. Nobody has offered to disable anything, just said it’s possible.

My latest trial will be with Costco. What do I tell the audiologist to disable or change to eliminate this warble/reverb effect?

Second, even with all the digital enhancements the past 10 years supposedly have brought, in my new HA trials I have found nothing better than the Resound CIC (left) and Siemens Life BTE have provided. Not that these are so good, just that nothing new seems any better. The best of anything in noisy environments were a pair of Audibels with a “meeting” setting that made all sounds very loud. The idea was to be able to hear a speaker at some distance in a meeting or conference room. That “blast” setting worked the best of anything.

But devices that automatically reduced noise reduced the voices just as much making everything quieter but speech no more distinct.

Am I immune to the benefits of sound processing, directional microphones, and such?

As a seeker of impartial, expert info, have I gone about this the right way?

I found this post after searching Google for hours. I have a Naida HA with the frequency transposition maxed out and the anti-feedback feature active. I searched Google because of the weird warbling effect with any kind of sustained sound, especially music. It DRIVES ME CRAZY.

Now that I know what may be causing it, I can ask the audiologist to turn it (or them) off.


I have a Phonack Ambra (for close to 3 months now) and I need to get rid of the warble/reverb. Sound Recovery has been adjusted but it’s not doing the trick. I’ll see if I can get Feedback control adjusted. If the warble can’t be eradicated, it’s a deal breaker. They can keep the aids. I really, really want to go back to analog. My nerves are shot and now I’m no longer enjoying music at all. The “experts” don’t have to deal with this daily. It’s good to know I’m not alone with this issue. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum.

Many people have had similar issues the Phonak Spice chip aids. I tried the Solana (a level down from the Ambra) and had similar issues. I ended up returning them.

Phonak Spice chip aids are apparently very good if you have a professional who is very skilled in programming them. Otherwise, they can sound terrible.

If your professional can get a Phonak representative to help program them when you are there, that might help. Otherwise, I would try a different brand aid, or possibly a different professional.

I ended up with some Starkey brand aids. They sounded better direct from the factory than the Phonak aids ever did, even after 3 months of trying,.

I think that the warble is a problem with the Spice chipset. I tried to use the Audeo S Smart IX for almost 4 months from TWO different audis and never did get rid of the problem. I found that sounds in the 1000 to 1200 hz range were the worst causing the HAs to warble for 10 - 12 secs after the sound source was removed. A running tap, crinkled paper, car back-up alarm, cutlery on plates in a restaurant could all start the problem off. I finally gave up and am now trying Widex Clear 440 fusions. The are rock solid compared with the Phonaks.

It does sound like entrainment you are experiencing. The hearing aids were using an obsolete method of trying not to whistle (feedback) and in doing so they sometimes confuse themselves when they hear certain noises, and ‘panic’ adjusting themselves in such a way they end up making stupid noises as you describe.

The good news is that modern hearing aids shouldn’t suffer from this problem. Those Audibel aids sound like they need some adjustment to get the best sound.

As for sound processing and directional microphones, you are not immune to those benefits, just as long as the features on the hearing aids are set correctly.

Interesting comment. That sound like some of the issues I had with Phonak earlier this year.

The Spice chips are (or were) their latest chips. I think I got the Solana MicroP aids a month after they hit the market. Definitely not their old technology.

Some people are happy with these, though.

Well to some extent I’d probably argue that the exact prescription in the aid may have an impact too. So it may not be that the chip is faulty per se (although it could be), but it may be that this bug only shows itself with certain external noise stimuli, when certain options are switched on in the aid, with certain hearing loss profiles.

So I am saying that maybe this flaw will only show itself to some patients of this aid, in some situations.

There is something to be said for open platform hearing aids, a bug like this could be fixed by flashing the chip in the hearing aid with new software. But not an option when the program is hard wired into the device.

I don’t think that the warbling/oscillation problem is user dependant. My wife, with fully functional hearing heard it and I was able to demonstrate it to the Audi. It happened on two different Audio Spice Smart IXs set up by two separate audis. It can be kicked of by any noise that has a 1 - 1.2khz componant and can last, in decreasing volume, up to 12 secs after the sound source is removed.

Oui, vrais, mais… I was thinking that perhaps this aid may not do this with certain settings changed, for example if feedback management is turned off, and the patient has a mild loss so doesn’t need it?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s pathetic that a hearing aid is suffering from this problem in this day and age. Good aids should not do this. :rolleyes:

Ma femme et moi l’intention de visiter Paris l’année prochaine. Mes parents habitent en Angleterre, mais nous voulons voler à travers Paris sur le chemin et passer quelques jours.

“It does sound like entrainment you are experiencing. The hearing aids were using an obsolete method of trying not to whistle (feedback) and in doing so they sometimes confuse themselves when they hear certain noises, and ‘panic’ adjusting themselves in such a way they end up making stupid noises as you describe. The good news is that modern hearing aids shouldn’t suffer from this problem. Those Audibel aids sound like they need some adjustment to get the best sound.”

I think we have a problem with semantics here. There are two different effects that I’ve noticed with the Phonak Naida that I wear in my left ear (I have a CI in the right ear).

The first effect is a “rushing” type sound that trails each instance of sound input. When the sound input stops, the rushing continues for a few seconds and then stops. It’s extremely irritating.

The second effect, which I described in my earlier post in this thread, is a “warbling” effect. It is not a sound in itself, but a distortion of sustained sound input (mostly music). It makes me think of an underwater “bubbling” effect. As Lola Hagerty said earlier in this thread, it makes listening to music almost impossible.

We are English but have lived in France for many years. Paris is a lovely city.

The first problem sounds like the aid adjusting itself when it detects a sound. This should be seamless to the user, and I don’t know what they can do about that problem since I am not an expert on that brand. Heck, I know very little about Phonak except every time I have switched a patient out of one an into a Starkey they have thanked me for it.

The second problem is entrainment. The sustained sound, like a musical note, is being perceived by the hearing aid as feedback. In adjusting itself to try and remove the ‘feedback’ the aid ends up corrupting the musical note that set it off.

This is a hallmark of an antiquated system of feedback suppression, and your best bet is to have the hearing professional turn it off, or trade the aid for something more modern.

Ah cool. I can’t imagine moving to a country where they speak another language. I mean sure American English isn’t the same as British English, but it is more similar than French!

In any case, these days they have great electronic translators, which will make our first trip a little less scary! Should be fun.

I am sure that if Starkey was an open platform, there are some developers in the public that could improve things too.

The major manufacturers insist on keeping their platform (both firmware & the adjusting software) tightly closed. If you could convinced Starkey to use an open platform, people would have more tendency to agree with that statement.

I returned the Phonak Ambra after 3 months. They couldn’t tweak out the warble (like hearing through a whirring fan). My audi (good woman) loaned me a pair of Phonak Naida V UP (high powered with 675 batteries). Good strong aids, but the warble is still there. Consulted with a Siemens rep and tried their Nitro 700 - high powered. Same problem. He attempted to tweak it out and couldn’t do it. I think I’m going to try Oticon and see what they do.

I have a profound hearing loss and here’s what I’m beginning to wonder. Are the hearing aid manufacturers catering to baby boomers who are all just starting to lose hearing (mildly) - giving them lots of bells and whistles? That’s where the money is. But in the process, are they creating devices that don’t work well for the ones with profound loss who REALLY need them? I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 49 years and have never before encountered this issue. Any one out there wondering the same thing?

I don’t think that there is any doubt that the manufacturers are trying a ‘one size fits all’ policy by trying to jam as many ‘extras’ into the product in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition. Unfortunately, the down stream end of the supply chain has not, in many instances, kept up with the technical complexities of the product. I think that the Spice chip has been a good example of this problem.
I also gave up on the Spice chip after 4 months with 2 different audis and settled for the Widex Clear 440. I think that this is a slightly less sophisticated product doing far less ‘signal processing’ but giving excellent clarity of sound. You might want to take a look!

When I have patients that seem to have the exact same problem, but with 2 completely different hearing aids I tend to lean more towards the thought that it’s not an issue with the hearing aid, but something that is happening within the wearer’s ear. If it was an issue with how the chip is working/processing sound, then, theoretically, when you switch to a different company with completely different chips/sound processing, the issue should go away or at least change to a different type of problem.

Not so say that there isn’t a hearing aid out there that will work for you without the sound quality issue you are having, but putting it all on the device is missing the mark a bit. This is even more an issue sometimes in profound losses which can have some seriously funky things going on in the cochlea.

If this is prevalent with severe/profound losses, bet the ranch it is a feedback issue.

As the anti feedback system kicks in it often creates an oscillating gain change that is perceived as a warble. (electronic time constants in the anti-feedback system determine the warble frequency)
The fact that a patient experienced this warble wiih two different brands is not surprising as the sound leakage could be the same.

New long tight molds could cure this. Ed

Phonak doesn’t use gain applications to reduce/eliminate feedback, they use phase cancellation…so at least for the Phonak hearing aid, it’s unlikely that it was feedback.