Tremelo effect with Oticon Synergy Sense

Hi. I have had hearing aids for just 3 months now after holding off for probably 30 years since I knew I had hearing loss. I have a big dip at 4 kHz that I am told is a classic result of chronic exposure. I reckon it was long hours at high speed in my first car (a Renault 4) that did it. Anyway, I am getting on well with my NHS-provided Synergy Senses but have noticed what I would call a tremelo or beat effect when listening to music with pure frequencies e.g. a soprano or flute. I can reproduce it now by whistling particular notes in the 1500-3000 Hz range. I have tried the “music” setting but it makes no difference. And I still get it with just one aid switched on. My audiologist looked blank when I mentioned it so I thought I might try this forum. My underlying question is: Is this a common effect across many hearing aids or might I avoid it by changing? Thanks in anticipation.

It has to do with noise reduction compression whatever it’s called. The aids think “oh this is a noise I’ll clamp that out”. Then it releases. Then it thinks “oh still ok lets do that again”. etc I’ve had that effect. Try the beeps of a microwave or coffee maker.
I’m surprised though that you hear the same thing with a music programme. Maybe the fitter left some noise control in the music programme.

You may want to ask your audiologist to turn off or lower the hearing aid “feedback manager.” The feedback manager often treats a steady high-pitched sound as feedback, and tries to get rid of it, but in so doing a tremolo or vibrato effect is heard. In my experience, a music program usually turns off most or all of the automatic features of a hearing aid, so I’m also surprised that you experience the tremolo effect with your music program.

As a musician, I can’t tolerate the tremolo effect, so I’ve had the feedback maganger turned off in all four of my hearing aid programs. Although I get a little feedback when I cup my hand very close to my ears, that’s a small price for me to pay to not have music distorted. Whether or not this could work for someone might depend on the amount of hearing loss one has and the amount of gain needed to address one’s hearing loss prescription.

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Aha! Thanks for your replies. I have now noticed that it IS more pronounced on the general programme than the music one. On a steady frequency from a tone generator, after about 5s it changes from tremelo to a click and slight change of volume with a period of about 1s. Then when I change the frequency, the process starts all over again. Will indeed go back to the audiologist and get feedback control removed from the music programme. I AM glad I asked!

I shared all this with my audiologist and she removed the feedback control and stripped it all back to basics - only one programme now and delinked the volume control between the aids. I am trialling like this for a couple of months. They are certainly more prone to whistling which would not be a problem if it had solved the issue - but quite surprised that the tremelo effect is just the same…

I was in for a check up 2 weeks back and was told that Oticon is to be releasing an update within the next week or so. Hopefully they have fixed this issue with the feedback manager with it… I got one am anxiously waiting for the call back to try it out.