Open Sound Booster

#1

I’m currently trialing both OPN S1 and S2. I can’t notice any beam forming effect with OSB turned on. In theory this should eliminate much of the competing sound as long as I’m facing the speaker. This feature ought to be the perfect complement to the Open Sound paradigm, allowing users the best of both worlds, a full natural experience of 360 sound and a more defined straight ahead slice of sound for particular situations, especially those with significant background noise.
I don’t know if the Open Sound Booster is not working for me due to an improper software setting or because it is not well conceived. What I expect to happen with the Booster is to hear the forward sound fade if I turn as is the case with more directional style HAs like Phonak when not in Sound in 360.
Any ideas?

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#2

That any hearing aid can “eliminate” sounds from beside or behind a user is a misconception based mostly on the way that hearing aids are advertised.

At best, a good directional mic system is going to give a slight preference to what is coming from the front, but nothing else changes, especially with open fit RIC devices.

The problem with managing noise is not in the aid as much as it is that most people wait 5 to 15 years beyond when they know their hearing is failing before they get help.

During that time, the acuity (the accurate nature with which the hearing system functioned when normal) is going away. One of the first things to go is the ability to “focus and filter.” That is the ability to focus on one voice in the presence of many voices, or the presence of other forms of background noise.

Directional mics help, but they are not a silver bullet to the heart of competing noise. Given time, effort, and practice, some of the ability to hear in noise can be regained, but it is typically 6 months down the road, and that is if the hearing aids are worn 10 to 12 hours every day.

Good luck.

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#3

I have the Costco Kirkland Signature 8.0 hearing aids which are essentially the same as the Signia 7Nx. Of all the bells and whistles that this thing is supposed to have, I find the narrow front focus feature to be the easiest one to identify as actually working. When you are in the Automatic program and use the app to adjust the focus to a narrow front beam it is quite impressive. However, I think they are cheating a bit in how they do it. I find that not only does the focus narrow, but the volume goes down. As a result I often increase the volume of the TV if that is what I am doing. The end result is that the TV becomes a more dominant source in the room, and at the same time you hear less of the background.

My thoughts are that anyone using the microphone focus from the app will notice the effect. It is there even with open fittings, but probably better with closed.

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#4

Thanks for your reply, Eric. When I trialed the Marvels I was impressed with the directionality it provided. When you turned 90 degrees the previously forward sound dropped off considerably. The problem with Marvel was that I did not adapt to the sound quality and I find that I hear much better with the Oticons. Marvels were a bit distorted. I can only assume that they were properly fitted as with the Oticon. I would like directionality as an add on program but can live without it. From what you are saying I take it to mean the beam forming technology is not impressive.

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