Volume adjustment range?

Hi all,

Just playing with the Oticon On app in demo mode, and I noticed it only has 4 steps of up volume, and 8 steps of down. Does this match the manual adjustment range when using the HA controls themselves? Is this pretty much standard for all aids?

Having only 4 steps of increased volume doesn’t seem very granular, but maybe it works different with aids, since I haven’t got my first pair yet. I know when changing the volume on my iPhone playing music, I sometimes get in a situation where 1 click up is too loud, but 1 click down is too soft.


I have Bernafon CN7 C HA’s, they also have 4 steps of “up volume” on the HA’s themselves. When I got the aids connected to fitting software I found that there were different ranges of volume adjustment. The CN7’s were set to the mid-range, so I changed to the upper range which then allowed for a 10dB increase over 6 “up” steps. If you don’t have fitting software and connection for your HA’s, ask your Audi if there is a higher adjustment range available.

HTH, Martin

SThanks. I’ll have to check some of the Genie posts and see if there’s a screenshot of adjustments possible.

I think there’s also the issue of how maxed out the receiver is. I don’t think one can turn the volume up much on a hearing aid that is already set to near maximum gain.

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It might need an audiologist to adjust it.

I know with my Phonaks, it can be set to 3 clicks up or 5 clicks up.

Good point, but I hope i’m a long way from needing max gain yet.

I would agree with you.

You can set it in the pro software. I set my Phonaks for 10 decibels up and 20 down because I rarely would need to turn them up more than that but like to have the option to turn them way down but not muted.

There is a reserve gain which depends on the maximum capacity of the receiver/speaker and your prescription. You might have 4 steps if the reserve gain is 10db but only one if the reserve gain is 2.5db. I concur with MDB that it depends on how maxed out your current receiver/speaker is

Depending on the acoustic coupling (dome type, venting etc) , it might max out much earlier than the listed db value once you consider the feedback margin.

OK. Since I was only in demo mode, I guess it’s just a generic setting.

You can still get more steps if your Adaptation Manager settings are not maxed (i…e 3) . By lowering the adaptation manager to 2 or 1 you will get more steps but a lower default amplification.

Re: Oticon OPN-S hearing aids: Does anyone know if one click on the volume button (up or down) is equivalent to one decibel… .or is more or less than that? Does it depend on how much reserve gain you have? I know that the audiologist can go in and tweak volume adjustments to increase of decrease overall levels (and possibly adjust volume just in certain frequency ranges too?). I’m just trying to find my “sweet spot” for volume that gives me comfort/clarity and the least amount of feedback. I’m at adaptation step 3 (max). I understand that level 3 is considered the prescribed baseline volume. I am trying the VAC+and NAL-NL2 fitting rationales in different programs. Would it hurt to try going back to adaptation level 2, or do I have to stay at level 3 to meet my prescribed volume? Thanks.

With my Phonak’s, one click is 2 dB.

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I got a custom modification of my Marvels to go up to 11.

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Thanks for that info @Zebras. Very helpful.

Thanks, @Zebras! I appreciate you providing this info!

“Ideally”, the aid is already set for a Best Gain. If hearing loss were simple, the difference between what you hear and what you “should” hear. You “should not” need much variation around that.

I doubt a 1dB increment. Most folks would hardly notice 1dB, and complain it takes too many clicks to make a difference. In old-time radio broadcasting the gain controls had 2dB steps. I’ve spent time at such a console teasing 2dB up/down and while I could hear it, I did not think the listeners would be aware of it.

Hearing loss is not simple. “Best gain” is never perfect. Even a ‘normal’ ear might want to dial-down on the bus, dial-up when grandchild speaks. (There are products for both aimed at non-deaf users.)

But as said, there is usually some range of gain available on the buttons/app. If you observe you never want the extremes, but do want fine control in the middle, the HA tech can probably set a smaller range.

For many of us the dynamic range is compressed. Our upper comfort level is near normal but our minimum audible level is raised. To “hear well” we have to compress 60 or 100dB into like the 30dB which is useful. This makes us “fussy”. Like at the eye-doctor where I want him to split the difference between available optic powers (because I can tell small differences). It may be that in my impaired range I can now hear sub-dB changes which never mattered when I was younger.

I plotted my “equal loudness” curves. Below 1kHz they show good spread; 3kHz up are hardly spread at all. A 20dB change below 1kHz is “equal” (in some sense) to a 10dB change above 3kHz. So indeed a half-dB change may now be “significant” to how I hear high tones. Since I also have poor understanding of high speech tones, I am probably “fussy” about what level I get them.

On the other hand, all good HAs have wide range gain compression, bringing up soft sounds and moderating loud sounds. While the setting is based on several factors and observations, it very often is near 2:1. A 20dB change in external sound is compressed to a 10dB change in sound delivered to the ear. This neatly un-does my 20dB:10dB upper-tone reduced range.

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