Speech sounds nasal

My latest aids are Smart IXs that are now working fine with one exception - many speakers seem to have a very ‘nasal’ tone to their voice, women more than men. I have found that this is improved somewhat by decreasing global compression from 100% to 40%. Does this make sense to any audiologist ‘out there’ and are there other adjustments that I might make? What exactly is global compression? Is it a form of frequency clipping?

Hi Barrie, what have you done recently to make the Smart IXs work better?

Other than playing with the Global Compression, trying Sound Recover on and off, and one or two other “fiddles” I have not done anything. The aids are working well both in noisy situations and with zoom control, which I use in the car with any passenger. The only remaining concern that I have is that many people’s speech sounds as though they are pinching their nose while they are talking! That is why I am still trying various program adjustments. My audiologist does not seem to have a solution and even the Phonak reps did not seem to recognize the problem.

The global compression kneepoint decrease has been a standard ‘fix’ on IPFG for lots of the Core instruments. We found the aids (especially higher power fittings) weren’t well adopted by existing users without fixing this.

As for the nasal tone in higher voices, watch the soundrecover setting isn’t too aggressive and reduce the medium and high gain levels around 2-4KHz. If you’ve got any other fancy expansion type settings turned on within the aid you might need to reduce them to a minimum. Get a recording/you-tube clip with the kind of voice you need to hear and keep re-playing it while you make one step change at a time. This will allow you to modify the output without ‘losing’ some of the fitting fidelity.

It’s a bit like tuning a high-end TV for your own personal needs with the 50 or so adjustments on them. You can get there eventually and then you turn over to a different channel and the film on it looks ‘wrong’. Chasing perfection is a bit of a time-vampire.