What adjustment would help quiet dozens of voices?

#1

I have worn my Oticon OPN1’s now for about 2 months. They replaced Oticon Acto’s which I wore for over 5 years. I really am super pleased with the OPN’s and don’t need any additional programs other than the basic with a little increase in “soft” voice. I wear them morning to night and don’t even notice them any more.

Took my daughter to breakfast yesterday, first time visiting this place, and noticed it was more difficult understanding her conversation than I had ever noticed before. Was a big open room, wood floors, lots of tables and everyone was talking loudly. I have had no problem with speech in noise before but I guess when the noise is speech itself the OPN1’s don’t filter it out.

Are there any software adjustments to help with this situation?

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#2

I found that I need to lower the volume on my aids on click and it helped me understand my wife at the table.

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#3

I suspect that a noisy restaurant or bar is the most difficult hearing situation. I have tried a few different things with my KS8 HA’s. It has a Noise/Party program that seems to help the most. But if it is really loud I use my iPhone to cut the volume down a couple of notches. And I try to get a seat at the table with my back to most of the crowd. Best if you can stay away from highly sound reflective walls like glass too.

I think the problem is that the background sound level keeps changing, so the noise reduction can’t settle on a value. I notice that in a vehicle the hearing aids do a better job with a very constant background noise like the road. However when someone speaks the background elevates as it wants you to hear what is being said.

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#4

My wife has the OPN1 as well I have seen demos where you can select the mic you want to be the master and actually reduce the others so it picks up the person you are talking to. The IQbudBoost ear buds and the BOSE “HearPhones” headphones have iPhone features that allow you to adjust the direction of the incoming sound you want to hear and also adjust the frequency to tone out background noise - both also deal with background noise - they are not hearing aids - but I bet Bose comes out with Hearing Aids in 2020 or 2021 when the new regulation is finally approved. Also their equalizers do not have the 12 to 20 frequency bands that expensive hearing aids have.

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#5

A program that only uses the microphones in front of you helps. I’m trying out a program that combines speech in noise with the directional mics. It seems to help some.

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#6

Turning off all but the front mics isn’t actually possible with either the OPN 1 or OPNS aids. I heard this directly from Oticon.

Hearing in noisy environments was definitely better in my old Oticon 4000 and 8000 aids because you could do exactly that.

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#7

I have the OPN1s and only use the default program and my Audi has my aids such I have very little issues with speech in noise. I also have found no need for any other programs, not even music.
I put my aids in in the morning and forget them the rest of the day.

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#8

Thanks all. I have had no problem in restaurants prior to this weekend. This one is All wood with high ceilings, wood walls and floor. It is one section of a huge barn-like structure. Being Saturday it was packed. I believe the voices were bouncing off the walls and floors so maybe there is no real software setting that can compensate for this type of voice-noise.

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#9

I would talk to my Audi about it you never know there may be a setting.

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#10

Sometimes certain environments work against us in conversation, hearing loss or not. To answer your question, the Hearing Aids would need an additional “Program” with noise reduction set to maximum & microphone direction locked forward. Beyond this (assuming your Hearing Aids were set to REM prescriptions), it is a part of life.

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#11

@Jfenton, Am I misunderstanding? Do you mean that Oticon told you that there is no “full directional” setting for OPN1 or OPNS-1 hearing aids? Actually, there is. The audiologist can switch the setting from “Open Automatic” to “Full Directional” in the Genie software, which is supposed to narrow the listening beam more toward the front. I’m not sure if Full Directional limits to just one mic, but it is supposed to focus on speech in a more narrow listening beam.This is also supposed to happen when you switch on the new “Open Sound Booster” feature in OPN-S devices.

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#12

While it slightly biases toward the front it does not shut down the other mics. We asked Oticon this question on the phone the other day sitting in my Audi’s office. On my old Oticon Delta aids the back mics we’re completely shut down when desired for noise situations. It worked substantially better.

The Open Sound Booster provides an almost imperceptable benefit in noisy situations.

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#13

Will have that program (per hearingaidexposed) added at my next Audi visit just to try it.

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#14

I’m a new user of HAs, I have been testing the Resound Linix 3D5, 7 and now am trying out the Linix 3D9 model. I moved up to the 9s for more control of the Mics and sound reduction. I like the features of the 9s, but still have trouble hearing a conversation in a restaurant setting. It seems that if I turn them up enough to hear the conversation, that I also pick up a lot more of the surrounding people at other tables and especially glasses, plates and silverware noise. Can this be controlled by adjustments, or is it just the way it is?

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#15

If the opns detect someone speaking directly behind you, they turn off their processing that helps you hear near voices in babble. Try to position yourself so that no one is close behind you.

There is a manual directional program available.

No hearing aid works by turning off the back mics. That’s a misunderstanding.

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#16

I think to some degree this is caused by the use of compression in hearing aids. One common outcome of hearing loss is that we have much more difficulty hearing quiet sounds than we do hearing loud sounds. Our hearing becomes non linear with hearing loss. The HA industry response to this is to build in compression where low level sounds are amplified more than loud sounds. In theory it works, but my suspicion is that it can be overdone, especially with quiet sounds. It helps in speech for quiet sounds to be amplified more. But, in a restaurant situation there are many sounds some of which are not that loud, unless they are over amplified by a hearing aid. So bringing quiet speech up in level, also brings up quiet background noise up in level.

So yes, I think an adjustment down of the soft sound level can help some. But of course it is a trade-off with speech recognition.

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