Oticon More3 With VAC+ & NAL-NL2 Installed [Notes & Conclusions]

March 25:(AM) Met with Chinese lady wearing mask in food court area (quieter) in Supermarket. Despite the NAL-NL2 [NL2] rationale sounding a bit louder, sharper/crisper, VAC+ gave me better comprehension of this non-native English speaker who was wearing a mask.

More3s permitted a great conversation to unfold. :+1:t2:

(PM) Mrs SpudGunner arrived home to great fanfare from the Newfs: switched over to NL2 with good results in terms of picking out salient sounds (not speech) from background clutter.

Was easy to understand what HerSelf®was saying, while also detecting stealthy doggies getting into trouble elsewhere in the cottage.:white_check_mark:

(PM/evening): Listened to webinar with Mrs Spud using her iPhone, sitting at kitchen table. VAC+ gave the better speech comprehension, but - after an hour of intense listening and taking notes - I found that my ears were getting tired. At this point I switched to NL2, but had to use ON app to reduce volume by -2.

[Suggestions as to what additional details would make my observations more valuable are welcome.]

Calling @jim_lewis: come in, jim!

I found @Volusiano’s narrative on the difference between the two rationales very informative, but I’m still curious …

What’s your take, jim?

@SpudGunner - the ReSound Smart Fit software has some speech-in-noise recordings. Although as I think either Neville or Um_bongo pointed out quite a while back, playing those recordings back can in no way capture the real 3D nature of sound in the real world, I just played one of the speech-in-noise conversations (the Bistro one, I think) over and over again and tried the different fitting algorithms, ReSound’s proprietary Audiogram+ (derived from the original NAL), DSL5-Adult, and NAL-NL2. I thought the NAL-NL2 could help me hear the two ladies voices in the Bistro recording the best but no fitting algorithm I tried made their speech 100% intelligible with all the restaurant noise and competing conversations, etc., going on. So I think it’s like my audi said when I asked about switching to Phonak. She said, “There is no best HA. Different people like different HA’s for different reasons. You have to find the one that works best for you.” (then I complained to myself that going with TruHearing.com doesn’t really allow trials, unless you want to pay them a “restocking fee,” I seem to recall. So maybe the same can be said about hearing loss, fitting algorithms, and different people with different losses and different situations at which they have the most difficulty as to which algorithm they’ll find most useful?

To go quite a bit off topic here, I’m very busy having just gotten my first weather station ever and wondering where to put it in a yard ~filled with trees and having a very steep, high upper roof and getting too old (75) to put it on the peak of the roof and go up periodically to switch out the batteries. So I’m working on a patio umbrella base, 10 ft of 1.5 in PVC pipe (that I’ll paint to protect from UV) and maybe really splurging to get a telescoping 20 ft house marten pole (with a winch) to go on top of that to put the dang thing 30 feet in the air (NOAA recommends at least 33 ft to measure wind speed and direction accurately). So if you never hear from me again, I probably fell off a step ladder attempting to launch my station into the skies … :slightly_smiling_face: I joined the Weather Underground but my station on the ground with the sun, rain, and wind shadows it’s in is probably not accurate enough to pass WU’s QC criteria relative to neighboring stations it trusts… :see_no_evil:

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Thanks for your input. Be careful with the Weather station, lest you wind up Underground.

@Um_bongo; @Neville, and @Raudrive … do any of you have anything to add?

I’m asking for lots of outside opinion here, because my damaged hearing is making it difficult for me to discern the functional differences between the two rationales.

Any and all contributions are welcome.

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:yawning_face:March 26/05:55h/ too EARLY! Am sitting at kitchen table. Alarm clock is 30’ away in bedroom, around a corner.

Morning babble on the radio sounds louder with NL2, but I can’t understand what they’re saying.

VAC+ sounds not as loud, but is somehow more intelligible. I have no idea why this is so.

So far, the NAL-NL2 rationale is giving me better speech comprehension of my soft-spoken wife, who talks to me from various parts of the house while I’m packing her lunch and clattering around the sink. That’s exactly what @Volusiano suggested might be the utility of having the NL2 rationale onboard.

With NL2, appliance humming is louder than VAC+, but it’s also allowing me to hear sounds that require my attention, such as my cat fishing medicine bottles out of the box on the counter they’re kept in, or my female Newf bringing me “gifts” like mommy’s spectacle case or gardening gloves. Don’t laugh! Being able to hear these sounds clearly is valuable to me.

Yesterday, while I was out and about, however, VAC+ seemed to give me better speech-in-noise word recognition. VAC+ also seems to create less fatigue when worn for long periods.

I don’t know the technical difference between the two rationales that would explain the unique responses of each.

Any technical gurus who can illuminate this dark corner of my comprehension?

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[Zoom in on the top table, around the sound hole, if you want to see a piece of Englemann with amazing silk,as well as a gorgeous rosette!:cupid:]

To my amazement, my beloved Taylor sounds much more beautiful using VAC+ than it sounds with either NAL-NL2 or the specific music program that my audiologist set up for me.

I’ll have to try the various options with an electric guitar + (class A) valve amp …:notes::musical_note::notes:

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:confused:I’m sorry, campers, but I fear my reports are becoming tedious.

My “Hearing Fitness” function in the ON app says I’m using my VAC+ rationale about 80% of the time, NAL-NL2 about 15%, and music about 5% of the time.

Spring mud chores are temporarily cutting into my morning practice (music) time - but music is going to increase significantly in the near future.

My use of NL2 is higher now than it will be - I’ve been toggling it up in a variety of situations to see how it compares to my VAC+ main program and logging more time on it than would otherwise be the case.

The scenario is unfolding much as Volusiano, jim_lewis, Raudrive, Um_bongo and others have suggested in a variety of places around the forum.

In short, Oticon’s proprietary fitting rationale (VAC+) affords me the best all-around performance over a broad range of situations.

NAL-NL2 is my go-to program when I’m having to focus on soft spoken individuals, with or without the presence of noise. It is, as several others have highlighted, more tiresome to use for protracted periods, but it has its place.

[:musical_note::notes:I think there’s some tweaking to be done in the music program, but that’s not my immediate priority :notes::musical_note:]

Thus, I’ll try to curtail repeat observations of the same details, and save posts for new and remarkable observations.

:chair::chair:
Chairs

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Don’t know if any of the below helps, but below is a description of the VAC+ from Oticon with some references to NAL-NL2.

The second screenshot below is a summary description of NAL-NL2 with some reference to NAL-NL1.

I generally find VAC+ to sound more natural and more full and more comfortable to listen to, probably because I already have a predisposed bias FOR it in the first place. But whenever I need to get that extra edge in sharpness to help me understand difficult to hear speech better, I would resort to NAL-NL2, or actually ultimately to DSL v5 Adult, because I find DSL v5 Adult even a little sharper than NAL-NL2.

If I listen with DSL for a long time, all the sharpness gets a little tiresome to me after a while. But after I switch back to VAC+ from prolonged listening to DSL, it’s as if VAC+ is dull, at least until I become re-acclimatized to VAC+ again to re-appreciate its well roundedness again.

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Pretty sure it’s NAL-NL2 unless there’s a NS2 version I’m unaware of. Beautiful guitar. Wasn’t aware Taylor made nylon stringed guitars. I used to play at classical guitar for awhile–rarely now.

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@MDB: Of course it’s NL2 - my old brain somehow forgot that detail along the way. I’ll edit for that recurring error tomorrow. Thanks for correcting me.

As for the guitar: I think in 2011, that particular Taylor NS32ce was issued as part of a President’s Series LE offering. The label is signed by Robert Taylor ( but maybe they all are - I don’t pay much attention to the marketing hype.)

It’s a great instrument for my Chet Atkins/Eark Klugh type of solo fingerstyle picking.

One day, I will have to learn to play it!

@Volusiano: thanks for the great information/insights you provide. I’ll cipher on the screen shots tomorrow.

Dumb question here, are you able to program different fitting rationale’s per stored setting? I thought the rationale was fixed for the whole device. Maybe my HA’s are too old. This is great news if you can A:B fitting algorithms at the push of a button. How do you make the comparison useful considering all the other program variables? Are all the other settings the same?

Yes, you can do it for the Oticon OPN, OPN S and More. Not sure about other brands and models but I would think that you very likely can also for the newer ones. And yes, you keep all other settings the same except changing the fitting rationales only. The OPN, OPN S and More has 4 programs available, so you can use the Oticon VAC+ in the default program, then make a copy of it and change only the fitting rationale in program 2, let’s say for NAL-NL1, then NAL-NL2 for program 3, DSL v5.0 Adult for program 4.

This is exactly what I did, and then after a while I decide which of the standard fitting rationale I want to keep, then get rid of the others. This frees up a couple of programs for me to use for something else. See example screenshot below of my program setup.

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That’s great news, thanks!

I’ve been living with two different rationales (one for left and one for right) which happened by accident at the audiologist’s, but is actually not too bad haha. My L/R ears have very different hearing unfortunately. I prefer some kind of ITE format (I use headphones quite a bit), so I will check out Oticon for sure next pair of aids, which should be pretty soon. I know the ITE formats have less features than BTE and RIC, especially when it comes to wireless it seems.

@grantb5: @Volusiano has said it for me wrt the reason why I’m trying to A:B two different rationales. Our house’s flooring is dense porcelain tile throughout, to make it easier to clean up after our dogs and cats.

The floor reflects sound very well - especially the higher frequencies - and sometimes the appliances, waterworks, critters’ noises, etc, create quite a din.

My wife’s voice is normally both high in pitch and low in volume(except when she yells at me! :joy:).

Even though the VAC+ fitting rationale gives me great results both at home, and in the world outside of it, I sometimes wished that I could understand my wife’s speech better, here at home.

I explained my desire, as well as Volusiano’s insights to my (IMO excellent) audi, and he had no objection to giving me NAL-NL2 to try, on the understanding that I not confuse my brain with constant A:B toggling. Being a pretty self-controlled individual, I’m having no problem meeting his terms, but I am discovering that NAL-NL2 is advantageous in certain listening situations, so it will probably keep its place in the 4 programs that reside in my machines.

My use of NAL-NS2 is tempered by my fear of diminishing the good performance of VAC+ that I’m experiencing. Your question was a good one, and I hope that I have answered it.

I have not been able to do this with Phonak P90s using Target, at least yet. Changing the fit function alters existing custom programs to adopt the new one. Hopefully I’m just missing something obvious because it would be really useful.

@parishd: I can tell you that I agree - having instant access to both rationales is a boon to me!

Good luck!

My experience like Zebras is Phonak can not have different programs set up with different fitting algorithms. Oticon being able to do this is pretty slick. Great for experimentation or as Volusiano uses his for different environments. +1 for Oticon.

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@Raudrive: I’m using my 2 rationales much as @Volusiano does, and it IS , indeed, slick! Very useful.

My $0.02

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Mrs Spud and I watched George Clooney’s “The American” last night [:-1:t2::-1:t2:] … the cinematography of the Abruzzo region and the SOUND were excellent!

I watch about 3 movies a year, and don’t use a tv streamer. VAC+ won, hands down, for intelligibility and comfort.

NAL-NL2 seems louder and “crisper” at first, but using VAC+, I wasn’t tempted to change anything but the volume, using ON.

This is great news for me, because lack of intelligibility is one reason that I watch so little tv.