Parasite sounds on Phonak Audeo bluetooth

Hi there !
I’m a new user of Phonak hearing aids. First i tried the Audeo M90, and i was really happy with it, but a little trouble was a parasite on bluetooth streaming.
After many tries with my audio professional, and the phonak support, we tried a replacement of the electronics, but the problem was still there.
I’m now on the Audeo P90, and i still have the problem.

This parasite sound occurs with low frequency sounds, like piano, whatever volume i stream. For complex music, like pop, rock for example, it’s not a problem because theses parasite frequencies are masked by the other instruments. But the simplest sounds are really not good. It’s a pity because i want to use it sometimes to cover my tinnitus.
I’m also able to hear it with a phone call.
It doesn’t sound like an overload, it’s a bit different.

The Phonak support seems to have some difficulties solving this problem, or does not care about it. It takes always 1 month to have an answer, so the discussions are long…

Do someone encounter the same kind of problem ?

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No clue what parasite sound would mean.

Ideally, can you find something similar on YouTube for illustration?

Hi !
I did an acoustics measurement of the hearing aid response to a sweep sine.
Here is the sound i streamed to the hearing aid :
And here is the sound emitted by the hearing aid :

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Is sound Recover 2 turned on? If it is, that could be the issue. I use it and it generates artifacts as a result of how it operates. The sound I heard on your sample was present when lower frequencies were being played. This doesn’t really sound like SR2 to me. Perhaps an artifact of the DSP in the aids. That might explain why you got it with both Marvels and Paradise. I must confess that I have never heard anything like that with my Marvels. I’ll have to try a sweep test like that and see. Very interesting.

So you mean this distorted sound with crackling?

My conclusion is that’s how HAs work. Eg there’s no ‘natural and good sound’ out of them. And with streaming you get everything in, directly, and you can notice the difference - as opposed to sound coming through the air first and losing artefacts along the way. Eg I think what comes in aid through the air is less than what comes with streaming, so processing it goes differently.

My fitter confirmed that those receivers are tinny and just bad for music or speech reproduction if you listen with normal hearing. As I have in one ear. And he in both. I mean, he checked and said that receivers are fine.

I don’t hear same type of sounds with my bad ear probably because my bad ear is that bad. Also, I have bass reduced on the bad ear. I mean, I don’t hear them in the same way.

Also, I get it only during streaming youtube videos, when people are talking. On bad ear voices sound ‘sharp’ while on good sound voices sound oversharp / crackling/vibrated at the end of words. Irritating but you get used to it.

HAs are not headphones, no matter what some ‘reviews’ say.

However, mine doesn’t sound that bad as in your example. But I do have many options removed from that good ear side - like removed feedback management, noise cancelling and whatnot, also reduced soft sounds to the max. Before those reductions I could hear people taking air before next word as really loud and sharp (on good ear).

If you dig through my latest posts I’ve even put a screenshot of my setup, maybe it can help.

Depending on your loss, maybe some less sound processing can be done in streaming programs?

I still find it funny that you describe this as parasite sounds. Glad you provided samples.
I described my issues as distortion. Found some YouTube examples of distorted sounds and mine is definitely it.

No, that was one of the first thing we tried to look at. But no, it’s not activated.

My hearing loss are mild, so the treatments are not huge in my case. I admit that the HA speaker is clearly not made for the music reproduction and i don’t expect a very high end result on this part…
As an acoustics engineer, i don’t use the term of distortion because it’s not really the case. The distortion is more an addition of harmonics. In this case, the added artefacts are not harmonic.

I did a time/frequency analysis of the “sweep test” and the result is not a distortion.
This is the kind of result we have when you sample a signal at low sampling frequency without applying a anti-aliasing filter.

To come back to a more “down to earth” consideration, i’ve got one very demonstrative example sound to ear these parasites : Agnes Obel - September Song.

If you want to try if you encounter the same issue, try to listen to this with a classic speaker, and then via streaming on HA.

If this forum is teaching me anything it’s that acoustics engineers need to wear more hearing protection. And, no matter what, when you don’t, and you end up with hearing aids down the line, you will absolutely be dissatisfied.


What strenght speaker are you using on the aids? S, M or P. S has no LF response to speak off and would distrort quickly, M would be somewhat better.

Unfortunately, despite wearing protections, i had an idiopathic brutal loss of hearing, that i recovered, but not totally… But yes, as an acoustician, i’ll never be satisfied, and that’s why acousticians try to do better and better.

I’m using S speakers. But as i said, it’s not about distortion IMHO. I can reach distortion when i push the volume, but that’s not the problem i’m talking about…

At 1:35, after 23% this prrrr I hear all the time during streaming, podcasts… So, human voice feels it the most.
This videos said distortion, I’m just repeating, I’m not good with audio terms :rofl: would like to learn though.

But your example sounds like something else, definitely.

Also, your example I’ve done on paradises and phone speaker, and in comparison to your output from aids, my paradises do less damage to the sound. Although of the same type, just quieter/less intensive.

So maybe yours can be tweaked to give better sound? But I don’t hope it’s going to be much better.

Maybe since it’s pure tone, feedback manager kicks in?

Btw, your aids sample through my aids is horrible :joy:

Also, ‘my’ distortion is on S receiver, however on P receiver it is the same (using same output like for S receiver). I hoped that bigger receiver will be better, but nope, exactly the same.

And aids have own tinnitus management, don’t know how it works, but maybe you don’t have to listen to pure tones from the outside?

Ask your clinician to loan you an M and P speaker to check the sound quality is all that I am saying. The audiologist also should not have fiddled with the MPO at all either, as I have heard this happen with my own set of P90-R when you do that. I have a mild loss, but actually use P speakers to improve streaming quality. It might not be for you as I can adjust my own aids whenever I want, but I am just saying that the Speaker have a role to play. S should be hardly ever used IMHO as M fits equally mild losses with less artifacts. I am listening to your original sample via the aids and compared that to the headphone sound. Very slight “parasites”. Nowhere close to the measured sweep sample you are getting". You may also want the audiologist to run the feedback manager and turn it off during streaming.

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Yes, indeed, it’s distortion. As you can see on the 100 Hz example, a 200 Hz is generated, as a 300, 400, 500, 600, etc. These are harmonics. In my HA case, there would be a 800-100 = 700 Hz, a 800+100 = 900 Hz, and also a 1500 Hz, 1700 Hz, 2300 Hz, 2500 Hz, etc. This is not due to a limit of the system, but a problem on the DSP IMHO.
I tried to deactivate the microphones while streaming, in order to avoid feedback, but the problem is still there…
To be honest, i was hoping a “yes, i had this problem and my audiologist found out this little checkbox, etc…”.

The tinnitus management of the Phonak aids are done by white noise added to a level just under the internal tinnitus. As the white noise is a “work tool” for me, it’s hard to accept it for me.

Yes, i’ll ask for a M speaker, that an idea. But as my loss starts from 3kHz, with a max to 6kHz / 8kHz, i’d like to have a speaker that is able to help me with high frequencies. It seems that the P and UP ones are less effective in high frequencies. The help in hearing still stays the main purpose. Streaming is a bonus, but for the price of the product, i’d expect it to work decently…

I think you might think going to the DIY route, getting the noahlink wireless and target sw, and trying it yourself. You have trained ear for such stuff and you definitely understand sound better than many fitters. Then you could sit and listen and test what each option does to the sound eg feedback control and so on for each program separately.

My fitter didn’t know how to remove this distortion. He just said that it is OK and that it just never can sound properly. He did try to adjust a gain a bit, I did some things with options, but I can’t say that I made much progress.

But on your sample it definitely doesn’t sound that bad, so maybe there’s hope. However I think you’ll be the one figuring this out :joy:

We were told that the S speaker was simply made available as a legacy option because the previous ranges had that strenght. Phonak recommended the M be used where possible over the S. The only times I would touch an S is where the ear canal is too small to fit the larger receivers and the client does not want a larger slim tube BTE version. This means rarely if ever in my experience.

I agree that there are only a few reasonable use cases for the S receiver. M is better.

Did you try connecting to a different bluetooth device though? The Samsung Galaxy 8s, for example, has a lot of distortion on the bluetooth. But it’s not the hearing aids, it’s the phone. I’ve had better luck with other samsung models. iPhones have been pretty good, too.

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Yes, i tried with my xiaomi, my wife’s asus, my macbook, an other iphone… Always the same.

To add one more reference, I have P90s with an M speaker and the first streaming file sound perfect with no artifacts. In fact, I think streaming in general sounds excellent with these with a more full sound than Widex Moment 440 or Oticon OPN S 1.

Thanks for sharing this, that’s exactly my phone! When you say other samsungs, I guess you mean newer ones?

Hm, but now I remember that I hear the same from laptop. I think both have BT 5.0 though, I forgot… But not the latest one definitely.

I wonder what phonak means with their list of where aids work on, I mean, if this distortion is for all S8s, then I wonder what they’ve tested in the first place, since this sound is very obvious.

Then now I wonder why my fitter wasn’t surprised by that sound :joy:

Edit: hm, but I get the same artefacts when I cast youtube to TV and get the signal through TV connector, optical link.

So this my issue doesn’t look like phone issue to me. But it was here with marvels 70 312, 90R, 90 13T, paradises 90R and 90 13T x2 (if I didn’t forget some combination I had :joy:). Both with TV and direct BT from phone. And I don’t notice anything similar with regular hearing, only in those streaming modes.
Hm, with phone calls I think it’s here but significantly weaker. I think with select voices are also ‘sharp’ in a similar way.

My assumption is that youtube video quality isn’t the best and that HA amplifies all imperfections. But I could definitely be wrong.