Spikes in volume with my Signia Pure 7Nx under certain conditions

I’m new to hearing aids and currently am trialing the Signia Pure 312 7nx. I am consistently experiencing an issue where the amplification will spike on it’s own anytime a fan or AC is on at the same time while another auditory input is ongoing (music, tv, another person talking). The amplification will intensify on it’s own for 3-15 seconds and then return to baseline. It repeatedly happens at random intervals and I have hyperacusis so I’m very sensitive to it. The worst is when I’m at a restaurant or somewhere loud but it’s still annoying enough in quiet environments because it’s always happening. I use two programs 99% of the time and it occurs in both.

My hearing aid consultant relayed that Siemens told him the issue had to do with input compressions and that little could be done as it had to do with the algorithms of the smart chip. When I asked him if there is another hearing aid I can try where I will be less likely to experience this issue he said the algorithm technology for the smart chips are all very similar so I’d likely experience the same issue. I then asked if anyone else anyone else complained about this and he said I was the only one! It was very frustrating to hear that considering how much an issue this is with me.

Has anyone else experienced this? If yes, did you find a solution? And if no, can you please tell me which hearing aid you have so I can look into it maybe trying it out? I do like the Signia Pure 312 7nx but this issue is a troublesome one so if I can find something comparable, I would be open to trying it out (so long as it fits my hearing loss profile).

I have the Costco Kirkland Signature KS 8.0 aids, which are pretty much identical to the Signia 7Nx. I can’t say I experience anything quite like what you describe. About the closest thing I can think of is when I am in the car or truck. I either use the default Auto program or the i360 made for vehicles. Both act somewhat similar. What I notice is that if all the road noise is pretty steady the aids cut back in gain to make it pretty quiet. But if I hit a bump in the road, or another vehicle goes by with a loud exhaust, or if someone in the vehicle starts talking the gain comes right up. I believe it is doing it to help me hear it, and it doesn’t really know what I want to hear and what I don’t want to hear. Then the noise level goes down and down again if everything is constant. One thing that I noticed first was that the aids seem to amplify the sound of the ventilation fan of the vehicle. It sounded like a loud hissing. But then as the gain dropped the hissing dropped. It was almost as if someone was adjusting the fan speed, but they were not, and it was not happening due to auto fan control. It was just the gain going up and down. I learned to live with it, and now in fact appreciate they way it attenuates the road noise. I think my car seems quieter now than it ever has been!

My theory is that this is the result of the automatic noise reduction. It is by default in auto. Here is what the manual setup looks like. If it was to be put in manual, the fitter can adjust how much noise reduction is applied. One thing you could ask the fitter for is to copy the main auto program into another program slot, and switch to manual noise reduction. Then adjust the noise reduction setting lower. It might help. Don’t know, as I have never asked for it. I have been mainly trying to get used to the way it works in auto.

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The other thing that is going on is microphone directionality. It will try to focus on the source of the sound that it thinks you want to hear. That has some variations as to how it can be set too.

I think your fitter may be understating what they can do for adjustments.

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The way you describe this issue, is worse than anything I have experienced. I am wondering if the aids were properly set up for you. Was the Real Ear Measurement (REM) done, and the aids adjusted to the prescription curve for your loss?

The Signia aids use what they call a 3D Classifier to determine what your hearing situation is, and then they adjust automatically to it. It claims to identify 24 different hearing situations. However it requires three inputs (3D) to make it work. You can read about it in that article at that link. The inputs are the audio, which is always there, but the other inputs come from the Own Voice Processing. That is a system where the hearing aids are trained to recognize your own voice, so they know when you are speaking and engaged in conversation. The normal method to train it is to count starting at 20 until the computer confirms it has recognized your voice. The main function is to adjust the gain when you are speaking so your own voice sounds better to you. But, the secondary purpose is to be an input to the 3D Classifier. The last input is motion, so the aids can tell what you are doing. They get the motion input from your smartphone. So, to make it functional you have to carry a smartphone that has the myControl app installed, turned on all the time, and the Motion Sensor turned on in the app setup. It is on by default.

Having all the 3D inputs active could help your aids identify the situation better, and make more appropriate auto adjustments.

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Thank you for your detailed response Sierra. I have an appointment with my hearing aid consultant tomorrow and will discuss your ideas with him.

The frustrating thing is it’s always happening under those conditions. If it happened infrequently I wouldn’t mind but it’s literally every few minutes (or less) in these conditions where the volume is amplifying up and then down again. At best it’s irritating and at worse hurts my ears. And since I almost always have a fan in the background either for ventilation or as white noise for my tinnitus in might be a deal breaker for me. Otherwise I love the aids minus this one issue. When a fan or ac isn’t on in the background it’s rarely an issue.

The aids are fit to my hearing loss profile but I never had real ear measurements done. Was told they weren’t needed.

The REM should always be done. If you don’t have it done, you don’t know what sound level the aid is actually producing in the ear canal. All you get is a gain based on the computer’s best estimate of what is needed. The computer cannot compensate for the size of your ear canal, and where the receiver ends up sitting in the canal relative to the ear drum. REM actually measures the actual level achieved in the ear. It may not be the perfect level for you, but at least the starting point is known. REM should be redone when any change to the fitting type or size is made.

Sure sounds like Noise Management (call it what you will) to me. I had the same issues with both Oticon and Phonak aids, but have always told my audi to reduce the Noise Management to nearly OFF. Yes, it helps to mute a fire engine screaming by, but how about the rest of the time?

I’m sure I’m an oddball here, but I found the Oticons especially disastrous in amplifying ALL SOUND that was NOT speech! I could literally not even hear a person right in front of me if I was in any location with other ambient noise. Their speech was utterly overwhelmed with the mechanical sounds from every direction.

Hope your aids have a simple fix. Be persistent till they do the job for you.

I trialed the Oticon just prior and I experienced the exact same thing. Disappointing considering the price tag. I’m new to hearing aids and the experience taught me to take anything that’s touted on a manufacturer’s web site as just marketing and nothing more.

I want SO MUCH for the hype to be real. That’s what convinced me to try out the Oticon Opn a couple years ago. I guess we need to go in to any new trial with eyes (and ears!) WIDE open. And we also need to push back when the stated benefit is utter BS in our experience!

I must’ve had a dozen follow-ups with my audi about the frustration I had with the Opn. He was as perplexed as me, and spent a lot of time tweaking the programs. Best of all, he took the Oticons back after 9 long months, gave me credit for the cost of one of them, and got me my first pair of Phonak aids in over a decade. I’d been a very loyal Oticon wearer up till then.

No matter what the sites (or audies) say about a pair of aids, WE must be the final determinator for what works for us. Hey, if I heard better with a wad of chewing gum in my ear, I’d go with that. Imagine how cheap it would be, LOL!

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