A few years ago, I bought Resound 3d Hearing aids and had nothing but problems with them, despite being relatively happy with my previous Resound hearing aid.
So I bought the Oticon Opn 1 hearing aids and abandoned the Resound 3d and will probably never go back to Resound as I have found Oticon far better for me in noisy environments.
You can view my previous lengthy posts on the Oticon as well as my hearing chart to get some idea of the initial problems that I had with them and how they were resolved which might give better understand of my current issue and question as I suspect that my initial problems and current problem are all related. But in brief.
When I first got the Resound 3d and Oticon OPN 1’s a couple of years back, that was my first time ever wearing a hearing aid in the right ear. I only ever wore hearing aid in the left ear on my previous very old Resound.
With the OPN’s I started off with domes, double vent and power domes and open domes - I honestly can’t remember which ones and which order. After a lot of tweaking, changing domes, getting a bigger receiver and then moving to moulds we resolved the dual problems of feedback and more critically battling to hear on the cell phone and in noisy environments (I use my left ear for the phone). I think the fundamental problem was that domes were not sufficient enough for my left ear. The right ear from day one (apart from some high frequencies initially being far too loud), the amplification and dynamic range was there in the right ear. But the left ear, the domes were not enough.
Since moving to moulds, doing REM tests and adjusting the frequencies more in the left ear to boost the volume and gain etc and slightly reducing the volume in the right ear, I am largely happy with the Oticons. They are far better in noisy environments than any of the Resounds I ever wore and I like the open sound of the Oticons.
Now to the question.
Due to Covid, I have not been in to see my audio for a while. I went this week and there is a new audio at the company that I use. We had a chat about my hearing issue which is basically the right ear has always sounded louder than the left ear and is particularly noticeable when streaming movies or in very noisy environments. Not so noticeable in quiet conversation environments.
I mentioned to him that the default volume on the streamer app is 14 and when I increase the volume on the RHS aid the volume goes up noticeably more than when I do the same for the LHS aid. I feel like going from 14-15 is three times louder on the right than doing the same on the left. He said that this is because the left ear has much more compression which affects the volume somehow.
This also might explain why the right ear sounds louder than the left ear because in the right ear I am getting more range of sound, whereas the left ear is more compressed. To put it another way, sounds in the left ear have always sound flat, whereas the right ear all the sounds are more dynamic, more sharp, more crisp etc. I wouldn’t say that the left is muddy, but leaning slightly in that direction - it lacks the sharpness especially in the higher frequencies which is probably what makes the right ear sound louder as high frequencies can seem loud.
For anyone who understands hearing aids, does the explanation that compression is the reason why the right ear sounds louder and all the sounds are more dynamic, crisp and precise where the left aid I feel like it’s flat and I am missing some of the range and this makes the left aid sound “softer”. I am not 100% certain whether problem is volume as in low frequencies and possibly higher frequencies not boosted enough, or whether it’s compression which is slightly muddying the higher frequency sounds making it sound softer and flatter?
Or does compression have nothing to do with my problems of getting the aids balanced volume wise?
While I had a lot of issues with the Resound 3d hearing aids, the volume imbalance (even if it’s not actually volume that is the problem) was considerably less on the Resound 3d than on the Oticons. As far as I can recall I streamed movies on the Resound with both aids at the same volume, but with the Oticon I watch the left on 18 and the right on 14 and even then some sounds are still louder in the right ear particuarly the higher frequencies.
I am just wondering if Oticon are not the best aids for compression if this is causing my “volume imbalance” as I did not have this issue with the Resounds. I do feel that the volume in the left aid is not as loud as it should be. Having said that the Resounds (both the 3d and the previous model) were always too loud in noisy environments.
Can anyone advise on the compression question and offer any explanation on why Resound doesn’t seem to have this issue and whether Marvel or another aid would offer the benefits of Oticon but address this compression problem causing volume imbalance and a feeling of sounds being flat and lifeless in the left aid. The right aid is perfect and only seems louder because the left aid is not working as it should be.
Thanks in advance for any advice.