Phonak M90 hearing aids: Volume drop when using AutoSense program

I had been happy with the Phonak M90 HA during my 2 week trial. I tried both the battery operated and rechargeable, no problems. When I decided to get them on Monday, the office had 1 in stock so the audi didn’t have to order the aid. When she initially programmed the aids, we decided to go with a single closed dome instead of the double dome because it was too occlusive, plus the receiver kept falling out of my ear. She programmed the aids and gave me less bass. I’ve suffered from SSHL so I’m using the aid on my ear that has hearing left.

The programming was fine, but could use a little less background noise or volume on the higher frequencies. She reprogrammed yesterday and everything was fine. On my way home in Autosense, the volume dropped and it became hard to hear my husband. So the best program Pre- programmed into the aid that seemed like a good starting point to create a custom program for me was TV. When in my custom program and the aid decides to go back to Autosense, the volume dramatically drops and it becomes hard to hear anything around me. I switch it back to my custom program and it’s fine. I keep going through this process lover and over. Then the same thing happened when I was in the custom program a little while ago. Volume suddenly decreased. Verified I was still in the custom program, it was custom, switched programs, then back to custom and it was fine.

Part of me thinks it’s programming, part of me wonders if the aid is defective. Not one problem with the trial aid, now this. I’m at work and this situation is making it difficult to work and annoying. Plus with the sudden loss of my right ear, this makes me panicky; what if this happenes while I’m driving? I’ve put a call into the audi. I’d rather have the trial aid back. Anyone else had this happen or have suggestions?

sounds kinda like what I experienced…
the mics were set to turn down when audio was being streamed
so for example…I’d be driving and when the phone would start streaming to tell me to turn left in 2 miles, the mics would noticeably turn down the ambient levels. Sometimes it was so drastic as to be unsettling.

Your audiologist can adjust the mic turn-down for each program… as much or as little to none as you want.

The audi exchanged the aid yesterday. I guess she did the auto mike turn down in autosense. She didn’t tell me she did that when she reprogrammed the aids to rid the harsher sounds, but she told me yesterday. So, of course I had her up the volume, now I have overkill (and I don’t mean Men at Work and the song) in my ears! Yikes! She’s going to try a remote session in an hour to rid this noise.

She switched me to a single closed dome from a double closed dome because of the occlusive feeling. I think I’ll have to go back to double dome at an appointment I have Monday morning. The single domes feel great, but outside of the occluded feeling of the double domes, I didn’t have any complaints except I had her not mute the mikes completely in phone calls. The only other thing I noticed with double domes was the music playing over the speakers in a store sounded overly loud and certain sounds in restaurants were loud (like the squeaking of an HVAC fan In a Subway restaurant last Sunday) even in restaurant mode. I can’t think of any other way to help the sound. I do realize different domes have different sounding results.

Debbie - you’re some what experiencing what I went through when I trailed the M90 a year ago. My hearing level is worse than yours but I also felt “autosense mode” was unreliable as far as bringing in a steady/stable incoming sound. It’s as if the program changes slightly ever so often, which in turn throw’s off one’s hearing level. I’ve always wondered with the Marvel if it isn’t a good aid for those with a moderate hearing loss, but not a good aid for someone with a mid-level to profound hearing loss. Same goes with autosense mode

The M90 did not give me the gain I needed to really pull in sounds in quiet settings but in noisy situation I felt they were almost useless. I’m also not convinced if autosense setting makes sense in heavy background noise. Now I do like the concept behind the autosense program with HA supposedly adjusting (at very fast speed) on its own to deal with various hearing settings. On the other hand (and I could be off base here) maybe autosense when adjusting actually drops HA performance a notch, thus it feels like a one step forward, two steps back issue.

In any case I returned my M90’s and went back to the drawing board. I want a HA that provides power but also steady incoming sound that doesn’t swing (up or down). As a side note: you might find custom ear molds a better choice than domes since they can handle more power and also block out occlusion…

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Not sure how autosense works, but with my automatic programs in my OPN1 hearing aids, I have found that over time places that my aids seem to have too low or too high volume and I make the adjustments manually after a few weeks then the aids automaticlly adjust to my desires and I no longer have to make the volume changes.

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@youbgone I’m assuming by your reply that you haven’t found an aid that you feel handles your hearing loss. I was hoping you did because I would be interested in reading what choice you made (although I know everyone is different) and how you feel it helps you.

What I did find out when I went back the next day was that there is a volume-lowering setting that she choose and forgot to tell me she chose it when changing my settings. She did end up exchanging the aid to an aid that came in the shipment the office just received that afternoon. I also had her remove that auto lowering setting. It reminds me of when I suffered the sudden loss in my right ear before Christmas. You hear fine with the aid one minute, then all of a sudden sounds become lower and a bit muffled. It scared the living heck out of me when it happened.

Then I had her give me a louder volume because I want to hear some ambient background noise when no one is speaking. It gives me a bit of confidence in that I can hear something at all times with the only hearing I have left. Well what sounded okay in the office became too much in the car, at home, at work, and was horrible in restaurants even in the restaurant program. It was so bad, I requested a remote setting session the next day.

During the trial she had me in double power domes. Those gave me a rich close up sound with the only exception being that I needed the mikes on somewhat. The mikes off completely in a phone call made me it sound like I was in a tunnel and I hated it. Since I went 2 weeks with the double domes and didn’t complain sxcept for the phone calls, that I might need to go back to the double dome. However after the remote session, and her reprogramming, these single dones are better, so I might leave it.

@cvkemp My old pair are Oticon OPN2. To me those made people sound like they were distant. The audi I bought them from put a double dome on the end of my left aid and reprogrammed it. While it’s better than it was, there’s no comparison with the Marvel hearing aid. The Marvel just sounds better.

Let me say this I wear OPN1 ITE hearings. They are custom molded to my ears. The mics are in the ear and not at the back of the ear. I have worn mostly ITE hearing aids, but I have had one set of BTE Rite aids with domes and I did not like them. There is just something about the sound of ITE hearing aids that is different than the BTE aids. Second my aids are a step up from your aids, with more channels, and better noise reduction. And there is also other difference as for as soft sounds and speech controls that I can not explain. If I go with the Marvels it will be the new Virto Marvels ITE hearing aids.
To me the sound that you get with ITE hearing aids is just different and sounds more like normal hearing, to me the sound of the BTE aids with the mics on the back of your ears doesn’t sound the same and to me the sound does seem distant.
But I will tell you this if I could get the OPNS1 aids ITE models I would go with them due to me being use to the Oticon sound. My only issues with my aids at this time is one I am pushing them to the limits of feedback, not to their limits of sound output. That is due to the placement of the recievers in the ear canal and the vent size. I am not a professional when it comes to hearing aids, but I believe that if my aids were molded with the recievers deeper in the ears, and maybe a slightly smaller vent I would be just fine with these aids.

Do you know what this setting is called? I would like to see how my aids are set up concerning that setting.

@Raudrive No, I don’t know what the setting is. As far as I know I thought she said this was done with Autosense. Some others have responded stating their program was set the same way - set to auto lowering and it was un-nerving for them. With a program like Autosense, you would expect the aid to adapt, but not silent and not come up when someone is talking and then you can’t hear or understand them, so you have to try another program.

I think I’m just going to have to go back to double closed dome. The sound through the double dome is a richer sound and people sound closer, but I just don’t care for the Phonak double dome because they are big. The Oticon double domes are smaller and fit more comfortably in my ear. I have a small ear canal. Not sure why the Phonak double dome is so large. The Phonak single dome feels better in my ear, but the high frequencies are too loud for my ear. The audi did a remote session for me on Thursday where she lowered the loud and now I can even live with the Autosense program. I’ve tried to make a custom program with some of the noise reduction removed, but depending on environment, it can be fine or it can be loud. I don’t know, maybe a different brand would be better.

What IS the name of the ‘setting’ within a Phonak Marvel that ‘drops’ the sound when certain functions of the AutoSense are in use??
On a Starkey Livio, this is user-adjustable to some degree in the app, but I don’t know if it’s adjustable in the Marvel, maybe it’s the ‘Noise Reduction’ setting in the app???
Thank you, Tom