What makes one hearing aid sound 'warmer' than another?

Presently trialing a Phonak Marvel M90 and a Livio AI 2400.
The latter sounds ‘warmer’ somehow.
The former sometimes sounds harsh/metallic.
What do I ask for to make the Phonak sound more similar to the Livio??
Thank you, Tom

I would just use the words you used in your post. I’m guessing from your post that you have high frequency loss and that you haven’t heard high frequencies in some time. I’m also guessing that the Starkey’s were underfit and didn’t allow you to hear the highs and the Phonak’s were a more appropriate fit and allowed you to hear the highs which you interpret as harsh/metallic.


Totally agree with post from MDB. Well said.

Faster attack and release times will also contribute to this effect. It makes the aid apparently sound more Staccato especially during speech. Widex used to always hold a slightly longer release time to increase the ‘warmth’ of their sound. It became quite difficult to replace a Widex aid with a different manufacturer once someone had habituated to it.


I think the harsh, trebley sound is just “The Phonak Sound”. I have 3 different sets of Phonak aids, and they all sound that way. I have never found any combination of settings in Target that really did much for that. If The Livios sound better to you, go with them.

Audio technicians fix balance issues like this.

“Warmth” wants 3-5dB boost around 200Hz for man’s, 400Hz for woman’s voice.

“Clarity” is 4-6dB lift around 3kHz for men, 4kHz for women.

“Harsh metallic” may be the high end of the Clarity zone. Excess high boost on voice PA is annoying. BUT in this crowd, “metallic” can also mean loss of harmonic discrimination from nerve loss and lack of practice, especially new users or with a significant shift of prescription (perhaps secondary to a different brand’s biases).

Audio tech tips for voice and guitar below. Some of them get very geeky about their specific software, just sip the gist of the tips. Guitar is not voice but is more often strongly tweaked so there’s more about it. Yes, some of these sites have annoying “Newsletter!!” pop-ups.
https:// larryjordan.com/articles/eq-warm-a-voice-and-improve-diction/
https:// talkinmusic.com/how-to-eq-an-acoustic-guitar/
https:// www.hurlbutacademy.com/voice-sweetening-with-fairlight/

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My current aids are 11-year-old Phonak Naidas. I think they have a very “warm” sound compared to the Marvel M70s I tried this past December.

Naidas are bte aids. A different animal. And, it seems they don’t have the “Phonak Sound”. I have no experience with bte’s. A lot of folks don’t think the Marvels sound “tinny”. I suspect they either have much less high frequency loss, or more low frequency loss. Phonak says they have a very high first fit satisfaction ratio.