Unitron Fuse fine tuning?

Hi All, I’m from the UK and am trialling a pair of Fuse (Latitude 16) aids.

I have had NHS Zest aids for about a year but need to be able to hear when playing outdoor sports and when hiking/hillwalking without the risk of impact/water/sweat damage (I have “killed” two Zests - one by a headbutt and one from water damage already :)).

My dispenser is new to the Fuses and I am having a few issues with the sound quality that I hope someone might have fixed before?

Overall, the Fuses seem lacking in clarity and “air” versus the Zests (which are some kind of re-badged midrange Oticon BTE open fit with a thin tube & open dome).

I get a lot of warbling that makes it hard to understand speech.

Although the aid is loud, I miss soft speech and miss most words if the speaker turns away or looks down. The sound seems “thick” instead of clear. A case of loud but poor comprehension.

I could see some tuning controls (Speech Enhancement, Anti-shock, feedback) - she turned Speech Enhancement down (not sure why) but left the others at default. Could these be used to improve the sound or is it something more basic?

I have read mixed reports on here re the Fuses - some threads seemed to “fizzle” out? I just want to either fix them or move on!

If this is “how it is” with the Fuse, what else should I shortlist?
(I believe I need CIC to be able to wear during contact sport and to get the weather proofing I need).

Audiogram is flat 30-40dB loss up to 2k then slopes down to max loss of 60 at 6k then back up to 40 at 8k (NHS lady called it a “noise notch” - I was heavily into .22 rough shooting some years ago which might explain it!). Pretty close to the same in both ears.

Thanks in anticipation…

Jamie

The Fuse is great … if it’s for you!

You either love them or hate them.

Yes, tuning them is indeed tricky … a Black Art.

The reduction in the Speech Enhancement hints that your fitter knows what she is doing.

However a true CIC with your loss may be a better solution.

Thanks for the reply - I’m not sure it’s good news :o

Thinking about this, I’m in need of some clarification if possible?

“Speech Enhancement LD” is touted by Unitron as being able to selectively boost low level speech to make it more audible - i.e. to potentially address one “show stopper” issue I have with the “currently set” Fuses - I can’t hear soft speech/more distant speech or if someone is not fully facing me.

Is the algorithm flawed and therefore this results in a need to switch it down/off and therefore Fuse is “poor” with soft speech?

Is there a recommended set of tuning tweaks to “replace” Speech Enhancement on these aids?

(or am I off at a tangent).

I wasn’t able to get the Fuses sorted to sound clean and give me the understanding I need so they have gone back…

What CICs should I shortlist to meet my needs (given the long-winded process for CICs)?

Was the fuse offered with remote control to adjust the volume/sharpness? You seem to be ideally placed to wear one, were they fitted with a Tulip dome? You will probably find that you needed to have speech-mapping done to optimise the response. More and more I’m finding that the first fit is irrelevant, especially with the Fuse, as the secondary chamber that gets formed between the tip and the bulk of the body is sometimes fully vented, sometimes partially vented and sometimes sealed - this results in big fluctuations in the low frequency output.

If you want to try a CIC, ask what your dispenser fits the most of, as that’s what will give you the best result.

Hi,
I had the double-domes for the fuses as they worked there way out while eating/speaking with the open and tulip options (and the tulips drove me mad with itching).

I had the remote so could try volume changes - louder did not help with understanding. The remote had the comfort/clarity wheel function disabled so I didn’t get to try that.

The dispenser had no kit to do speech mapping…

The final tune was with the feedback setting on the first notch - this reduced the warble a lot but made the mobile phone screech a lot.

Do you think I had too much low freq “masking” the higher freqs? (it did sound “fruity” and a bit reverberating & my own voice sounded nasal- if you know what I mean!).

I had my daughter say “M” and "N and “P” and “D” while not looking at her and failed almost as much as with no aids! (the NHS Zests have open domes & give me pretty good results generally except in large meeting rooms and, of course, are not suitable for hearing while playing contact sports/hillwalking in the mist/rain).

Perhaps I need to try them again somewhere else?

Hey there

Did your audiologist use real ear measures for your fitting (a good start) and did she herself listen to the aids at every appointment(even better)? If you don’t listen to them how on earth do you know what they sound like!

Re CICs recommendations: you need good product AND a good “fitter” so if your happy with your fitter I like the Bernafon Veras. I would love to also suggest the new Oticon Agil but haven’t fitted any yet so can’t very well recommend them!..both these have a very fast processor inside that I think is behind their success at amplifying each sound in speech and tackling noise better.

There are heaps I would steer clear from prefer to praise the good ones rather than knock the crappy ones.

Good luck

Matt
www.hearcare.net.au

Without the REM it’s impossible to say, but I saw a customer last week who needed the 0-700 hz set to -20dB and a big 6kHZ notch to deal with a flattish/gently sloping loss - with open domes. I wouldn’t like to even guess at the variation possible with the double domes.

If you like them, try them again, if there’s no REM, you might struggle - but at least with the remote you can control the comfort/clarity.