The magic of technology


AI’m wearing Phonak Bolero B 70 SP. I’ve been having trouble with word comprehension of recent. So much so that I haven’t been wearing my expensive HA’s as I couldn’t understand what was being said, I was far better off without them in, even in noisy situations. Today I saw a different Audiologist in the practice, after explaining what was happening, a few quick adjustments within his program and I was a happy client. As he explained a large portion of the consonants, vowels and sounds fall into an area of high frequency that makes it very difficult for me to hear. So he shunted as many as he could sideways into my residual range. This was instantly noticeable, the tone of his voice was lower/deeper. My word comprehension score went from 39 to 78, simply amazing. This was only tested in a quiet environment, time will tell in a noisy one if it’s any better or not.


Sounds like he enabled the Sound Recover (1 or 2?) frequency compression technology on the Phonak for you?

I’ve had good luck with the frequency lowering technology on my OPN as well. It really helps.


Glad it helped.

I couldn’t get on with Sound Recover myself but I have a flat loss.


Bolero B would be Sound Recover 2. Certainly an impressive improvement in word recognition.


Hi - What exactly is the frequency lowering technology you mentioned? Is this something that needs to be configured by my audiologist? I don’t see any controls for it through the ON iOS app… Thanks!


Yes, frequency lowering needs to be enabled by your audiologist. It takes high frequency sounds and shifts them down to lower frequencies where they can be heard more easily. It is basically for people who have severe enough high frequency loss where no amount of gain is going to make the highs audible. It is definitley not for everybody, but can have notable impact in some cases.


I have the Costco KS8 and it was like a new world of sound opening up when frequency lowering was turned on.


It’s kind of funny how the technology (frequency lowiering in general) has waxed and waned in popularity. When it first came out, it was seen as the “latest and greatest,” It seemed like it was tried on just about everybody and many didn’t like so hearing aid fitters stopped using it. Seems like it’s having a bit of a resurgence. It’s definitely not a cureall, but for the right situation, it can be very helpful.


SR2 feels like a big improvement over other frequency lowering algorithms.


Can anyone tell me what the highest frequency is that can be made audible using this frequency lowering?

I don’t need it for speech, not yet anyway, but I wonder if it would be useful for hearing bird calls. I would love to get access to 10-15kHz or higher, even if it does make everything sound weird.


It would depend on the hearing aid and the type of frequency lowering and settings. Looking at your audiogram, I would think you could get 10Khz. This site has examples of what bird songs might sound like. SongFinder Sound Samples

I don’t think any hearing aid goes above 12Khz so that would be absolute max.


Thanks, I’ve listened to SongFinder samples before, and it’s that device that gave me the idea. Why buy a $750 device when an extra HA program might do the same thing? I suspect though that mine might not have the capability - Oticon Ria2 Pros.

It’s curious that HAs might be limited to 12kHz. That’s surely an artificial limitation. I have a $300 bat detector that divides by 20, so I can listen to sounds over 100KHz. I should probably give it a try with birds, but I suspect it filters out lower frequencies.

Apologies for hijacking this thread.


Now I’m sorry I missed this earlier. What a great site. Thanks. Frustrating of course :slight_smile:
Unaided and using my equalizer settings I could make out many. But the ones that reach up to 8 or 9 or so not. The grass hopper sparrow I barely caught one bit of it.

As for the frequency range of HA’s…it’s interesting that they might possibly get up to 12khz but that audiograms only go to 8.


Signia is the only one that I know goes to 12kHz. I understand that they just use the rest of the audiogram to predict the amount of gain. Most max out at 10kHz or even lower in more powerful receivers. Z10: Have you played around with frequency lowering in your KS7s? Your relatively flat loss doesn’t make you an ideal candidate, but I’m pretty sure it could let you hear a little higher sounds. I think the settings are under Fine Tuning and Bandwidth Compression


I seem to think our KS7’s are just 10k too.

I have not played with frequency lowering. I frankly don’t see a lot of value in hearing past say 10k as I don’t really NEED to hear that particular sparrow. It would mostly be just harmonics for music after that as well. I’m well inside speech hearing where I just need some boosting here and there. I was all about hearing music a year ago but really it’s hearing speech that brings us all here.

I sympathize with those with worse hearing than I though.


Yes, KS7s max out at 10k. Certainly no “need” for frequency lowering, even for me, but I enjoy hearing bird songs more easily and other high frequency sounds (dog tags clinking together). The audiologist I was seeing doesn’t worry about frequency lowering unless word recognition scores are impacted. Seems like kind of a high bar, but it does have pragmatic appeal. I think most people find that it does not enhance music, as most means of frequency lowering don’t maintain tune.


What do you use your bat detector for? Have you seen that video of rats laughing when their bellies are tickled?


I use my bat detectors (I have several) to record bats, to see what types are in what areas. A hobby. I’m also a birdwatcher. Some bird species are far more easily found if you can hear them, but they have high pitched calls. Hence the desire to make them audible.

Thinking more about this, a likely reason for hearing aids being limited to around 10kHz is having a low sampling rate. I assume a faster sampling rate uses more battery power. This isn’t a problem for devices like the SongFinder, as size isn’t an issue, and the user only switches them on for a few minutes anyway. My bat detectors will flatten 3 x AA batteries overnight sampling at over 200kHz.


And no, I haven’t seen the tickled rats video. On my to do list for the weekend.


I’ve heard the frequency range is limited by the natural resonance of the armature. Just repeating what I’ve heard. Can’t offer further explanation.