Those who have had an improvement in speech comprehension, what was the secret?

I’m interested in your journey, if you care to share!

What aids do you wear?

Was it a journey of a zillion tweaks, or did you understand speech better right of of the gate with your aids?

And what types of adjustments did your audiologist (or you) have to make? ie, lowering frequencies, etc.

Do you hear better now with background noise, in crowds? Or just in quieter places?

Have you had to change any logistics, like where you stand in a group? Or using accessories, like the Roger devices, to hear better?

Speech comprehension is is the thing I’m struggling the most with, and I’m not even sure what to tell my audiologist to tweak or change. So I’m very interested to hear any of your journeys with this! :smiley:

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For me personally and recently, it involved a highly skilled audiologist using the most advanced REM fitting I have experienced. It even checked the microphone positioning in the ears and head position relative to the speakers.

I am currently trialing Oticon More 1 but will get the Real with custom power molds in a few weeks.

For me, at 2 different Costco locations, their REM was not as thorough nor their staff as skilled. They are a good lower cost option though.

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Speech Therapy and the More1 hearing aids adjusted by an extremely patient and excellent audiologist.


Now Real 1 would be my recommendation.

First, I am essentially deaf without hearing aids. A nearby audiologist recommended I consider cochlear implants.
I went to COSTCO about two years ago and was fitted with the KS10’s
From my standpoint, they are perfect although sitting in the living room with ten family members talking it is difficult to follow the conversations. That really doesn’t bother me much. I have no trouble with a one-on-one conversation.
No accessories are needed. I still use captions on the TV but can understand most all speech except the BBC commentators.
My hearing aids are my computer speakers.
With my Samsung Android phone conversations are no problem at all because, again, my aids are the speakers.
No need for tweaks, but I do use the Phonak Easy Line application Clarity instead of the default Automatic Premium.

I will have to wait and see if my VA audiologist agrees, that will be sometime after the first of May. But even after reading all of the reviews and white papers and looking at the technical specs it will take a lot to give me anything close to a wow response after the way my More1 aids are adjusted. My thoughts is that if I do get the Real1 aids the program from my More1 aids would be copied to the Real1 aids and then adjustments done to incorporate the difference between the More1 and Real1 aids, that is what was done when I went from OPNS1 to More1 and it was a great experience and starting point.


Phonak Audeo Paradise P90R’s

  • It’s been a rough year and a half; they are acceptable now, after adjustments 2 weeks ago.
  • Audiologist has been very generous; he is very skilled.


  • I had to learn how to communicate with my audiologist to get results
  • The myPhonak APP was terrible at first; it’s been improved and I like it now
  • I could hear better if I put a finger in each ear. Result–changed domes that work
  • Phonak’s wax guards are terrible; hard to put in the receiver
  • Read an incredible book
    HEAR & BEYOND, Live skillfully with Hearing Loss; Shari Eberts & Gael Hannan
  • I thought turning the volume up was the way to hear better; Wrong.
  • Setup–had the Audiologist change settings. (Clarity. Dynamic. Volume.)
  • Setup–tried the Phonak mask fit program and it made a real difference.
  • Setup–had the audiologist change settings incorporating new settings from the mask fit program

FINALLY can use my Paradise P90R’s in auto setting! They are acceptable now. Word recognition in a noisy background is getting better!

Hope this helps.


Wow, great tips here! Thank you for your reply!

This is particularly interesting, and something I’m dealing with in making the switch from analog to digital. (Phonak Lyric to Rexton Bicore) I’ve seen the term “sound junkie” on this forum, and I had to LOL because that really sums me up perfectly :joy:

I have a mask program as well, and it’s definitely helpful. Unfortunately, when I use it, the feedback starts immediately. I will address that at my next appt, and also ask if he can incorporate the mask settings into the auto settings. Thanks for that tip!

Do you know what settings the audiologist made?

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May I get back to you?

There was a post on this forum showing how to use the myPhonak app, and settings to use. I have to figure out where it was. It made a huge difference for me.

When I saw my audiologist he used his set-up software for my hearing aids. It’s more sophisticated.

Promise I’ll look, ok?

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feedback–try turning HA volume down.


Do you have domes you can change?


Absolutely! I’ll be interested to know!

I don’t have extra domes at home, but i’m going to ask if they can be changed at my next appt, and possibly start the process of custom molds. Turning down the volume does help, but then I can’t hear as well :laughing: Always something!


Hi @Bubbly,

Some time ago, when new to this forum, I made the mistake of (unintentionally) implying that I thought one brand was the best for speech comprehension. The following outcry, my continuing experience with hearing aids (HAs) and other information I have picked up in this blog over time has taught me that, although most hearing aids have improved as new models get issued, different brands/models better suit some people than others. Don’t assume that what people tell you about models is the definitive answer for YOU. That even applies to hearing professionals - and I still respect them all after having changed several audiologists. So here is what I have learned and believe:

  1. The greatest improvement in my speech recognition, by far, was getting my first pair of HAs. In my case they were Phonaks and now I use Phonak Lumitys L90s. I have tried and used other brands but, as of today, these seem to work best for me - considering all their strengths AND weaknesses.

  2. The second greatest improvement was settling on my current audiologist (referred to me by a member of this forum who lives in my city). He “gets” me much better than my previous audis, all of whom I still consider, very competent. I’m not sure if it is because he has superior skill, but I know it has a lot to do with the fact that we understand each other very well. I would encourage you to make sure that you are really comfortable with your audiologist’s technical competence AND how well you understand each other. Understanding how your hearing is impaired involves a lot of nuances which are critical and if you don’t understand each other perfectly the audi can very easily set up your HAs perfectly for the wrong symptom.

  3. Do not be afraid to try different hearing aids. In fact, insist upon it. Find out what the different providers in your area allow for trial and what their free return policies are. Then try different aids even if the first ones seem to be quite good. If the provider you are considering or using has significantly worse policies than others, it may be time try a different provider.

  4. Another critical factor for improving my hearing comprehension was: time. I and so many other people on this forum have found that your comprehension definitely improves the longer you use your new HAs, even when you have been a HA user for a long time. Your mind has to get used to understanding how your HAs sound and work before it “learns” how to interpret the speech you hear.

  5. The longer I use and try new HAs and the more I read other people’s opinions, I am convinced that there are no hearing aids out there that do a “good enough” job of discerning speech in noise. They certainly have improved over the 20-odd years that I have used them but I think most people are disappointed that they have not improved to the point that they are satisfied with their speech in noise performance.

  6. One thought, which I’m sure my wife would be adding to this post. Don’t assume that, if you feel you hear speech much better, your partner/close friends will agree that its comprehension has improved. My wife comments, “I am really happy that you can hear my words better, but I don’t hear you saying “what” any less often. You still get what I said wrong, very frequently.” I believe that over time we hearing impaired people have become more and more proficient at filling in the gaps in our speech understanding with what we missed or even replacing what we thought we heard with what was probably intended (kind of like a cell phone’s autocorrect). We do this relatively accurately and especially with the speech habits of people we know. Even when we find that our speech comprehension appears to have improved, we are sub-consciously continuing our substitution habits.

  7. Although this doesn’t directly relate to your question let me say something about frustration. I am sure that you have or will experience people, especially those who know you well, getting annoyed at you for not hearing or misunderstanding them. This may frustrate you because you feel that they know you are hearing impaired, and they should be more understanding. What you may find is that, when you finally get the hearing aids that help you really improve your hearing comprehension and your partner/friend says something that you heard clearly but does not make any sense, they claim that it is your lack of comprehension and not their unclear statement. If someone else with good hearing points out that it was not clear, your partner/friend immediately clarifies their statement but if you do the same, they blame your comprehension. This may (at least it does me) make you extremely frustrated because you KNOW that what they said was unclear. I suggest that in those circumstances the onus is on us to learn to be understanding because your partner/friend has a long history of you not comprehending and it is fair for them to assume that first. This may be difficult for us, I know.

Sorry for this long essay which I hope helps you but is also a catharsis for my own frustration. :slight_smile:


Excellent commentary idonwantha. You and I seem to have the same experiences and probably many others have as well.

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Odd hearing loss configuration you have there. Is there a bone line that we aren’t seeing? If that’s a big bilateral conductive hearing loss and you are a surgical candidate, successful surgery might make a huge difference in your speech comprehension even though you will still need hearing aids. Maybe that’s all sensorineural but… Odd configuration.

Mask Program from Phonak…

I think this was posted by Dr. Bailey here on this site.

When I look at myPhonak App…

  • equalizer setting shows that Base is down one notch; mid is up one notch; high is up 2 notches…

  • App “clarity” setting is tagged, I think.




Hope this comes through…it’s from the “masking dilemma” above, in the section where they show how to created a *mask program" using the myPhonak App.

Except if you do that using a *calm" setting from the auto app, you lose the auto features in your hearing aids while using the mask program you save in the myPhonak App.




Wow, thank you for such an amazing post! So many excellent points, and I will take them to heart.

I was just thinking about your second point the other day, how does one even go about “shopping” for a fantastic audiologist? I’ve tried searching online, but that really got me nowhere. If anyone knows of a great audiologist in the Kansas City area, please let me know!

I had a good laugh at this :laughing: And I think it’s so true, it’s easy to believe that our hearing aids are really helping, but how many of our friends/partners would agree? Your point about “filling in the gaps” was so interesting, because I know I do this constantly, and am also wrong fairly consistently, LOL!

Thanks again for the excellent reply!

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Thanks so much for posting this! I will show it to my audiologist at my next appointment and see if he can make some adjustments!

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I’ve been told by every audiologist that I have very unusual hearing loss, so you are not the first person to point it out! I had meningitis as a baby, which is what caused my loss.

I’m not even sure what you mean by a “bone line,” I can ask my audiologist about it. And I’m interested in what you mean about the surgery? Do you mean cochlear implants?

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