Why can I hear soft sounds with hearing aids, but not soft voices?

I’ve only been wearing HAs for about a month and just went back to audi for second time. She made some real good advances towards helping me understand spoken words.

What I can’t understand is how I can now hear the clock in the kitchen from 5’ away (never knew it made ticking sounds) but can’t hear words from a soft spoken person. They surely are talking louder than the clock ticks.

Take a look at the link I am placing in this post. It is called the hearing banana chart for hearing it will help you understand the issues if you overlay your audigram on the chart. You can also google hearing banana charts that have most of the other sounds showed too.


Thanks for posting the link. My audi overheard me explaining to my wife about the speech banana when I saw it on here screen. I knew about it from this forum. She also explain it in little more detail. I just barely have a sliver of the banana in my audiogram.

So low talkers or soft spoken people are in the banana but the clock is not.

your hearing aids should boost your hearing up in to the area that you can here most of speech. I also have issue with soft spoken people, and any one that english isn’t there native language. You may need to have a few more adjustments to help you more.
What I do is keep a journal of what sounds good and what isn’t sounding right.
I write down everything I can think of that could help my Audi set my aids up to help me understand speech. I just had my hearing test yesterday, and I had emailed my notes to my Audi a couple of weeks ago. My Audi used the notes to customize the hearing test, then he made a few minor adjustments to my aids. Then we discussed what aids I am going to get in about 3 weeks. The aids I have now are really the best I have ever had but they cannot be fully adjusted to my target prescription, so I am getting new aids. What I have now is Oticon OPN1 ITE aids, and I am going to Oticon OPNS1-MiniRite-R aids with custom ear molds.
I am a Veteran and I get my aids from the VA and the system as really been great to me. My hearing loss is due to my Navy service.


I have been making notes in my phone to tell the audi. This seems to be a very important part of getting the aids set correctly. Emailing ahead is a very good idea, might save some time. I spent 2hrs there last visit and when I came out she had two waiting, she seems to be very patient and wants to help I think.

With the VA they have appointments scheduled every 30 minutes, and I have learned to make the best of the time. I have emailed my notes in before, and then go in for my appointment and my Audi has already pulled up my aids on his system and made the needed adjustments that he could make. He connects my aids to the system and uploads the changes to my aids. The longest time I spend there was when he had to updated the firmware in my aids, the connectclip, and the TV connect, that was time consuming.

You didn’t say what brand of HA. If yours have Sound recover that may help a bit, but with most of your loss being outside of the banana it might be difficult be a difficult ask. As the others have said go well prepared to appointments with a list of issues you need adjusting…
Good luck.

I’m in a 45 day trial with the Widex moments, not sure what they use for speech recovery, if any.

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Tim4, how are you liking your trial of Widex Moments? I am trialing the Moments while my Signia’s are being gone through on their 3 yr warranty checkup. After One week, I’m nit impressed. The speech clarity is not good for me. I had a friend stop over and I had to sit next to her in the sofa to enable me to hear her. Originally I was sitting in my recliner no ,ore that 5-6 feet away. These are rechargeable models and in the app, for the battery it only shows ‘ok’ - not a percentage of left. Maybe I dint know how to work the app. Right now I’m not impressed. I’ve set up special program i.e. TV but I don’t notice a difference. The pure sound program seems to have very tunnely sound lime I’m in the tunnel. Universal program is worse.
It could be the fitter that set them up :woman_shrugging:t3:

As of a couple of weeks ago audi is having custom molds made for the moments so I have only been using the OPNs. What did the fitter do as far as setup and tuning on your loaner moments? It took at least three or four visits for my audi to get them to sound better for speech but she never did get them to sound as good as the OPNs. So she and the Widex audi suggested custom molds. The remaining juice in the batteries never showed percentage left on mine either, even after all day of wearing them. OPNs will show a percentage which I like better. If the fitter didn’t even run a sensogram test, which it is my understanding this is important with Widex, then I don’t see how the fitter can expect you to know if you like them for you or not.

Just a FWIW on this. Your ears don’t hear speech, they hear different sound ptiches at different intensities. It takes anythung up to 12-18weeks of habituation for your brain to fully adjust to a major step change in your hearing level. This neural ‘rewiring’ can be a fatiguing proces at first as the brain has to make sense of ‘noise’ that it hasn’t percieved at that relative intensity for maybe 20years. Also consider that your mental plasticity is somewhat less than your average toddler - like the last time you needed to learn to listen to speech.

So noise is do good, re-learning to differntiate speech from within it is better, however, that’s a ‘process’ or like they like to say on the TV ‘a journey’.


I can tell after about 10 weeks of wearing my first HAs speech understanding has improved. My biggest problem now is some voices are causing a vibration that makes it difficult to understand. Someone suggested in another thread of mine that I may have nerve damage. My ENT or audi hasn’t mentioned that though.

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That’s feedback/saturation.

Again REM will sort that. If there’s a particular voice, record it on your phone and take the recording in with you. Expect to be shown the output screen Live during the consultation and discuss the peak resonances with your Audiologist as they are adjusted.

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The Audi did run the sensiongram test The phone calls directly to the HAs are not as good as my Signia. Cannot test the TV, as Moment has not come out w/ a TV streamer yet. :woman_shrugging:
The Audi did use the Senseogram and I ‘assume’ she got it adjusted for my loss. She did run a hearing test and did a another test with hearing aids in my ears. That the sensorgram test?? I’m not liking these at all, but it’s been only a week. I just can’t hear well with them.

That’s the first I heard of that, thanks, I will mention it.

She did run the REM but with tones or something. Seems to me REM needs to be with some sort of speech. :man_shrugging:

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With Widex Sensogram test is used in lieu of REM. It’s Widex software testing or some such.

REM is actually a family of tests, some are used for calibration or something, those with speach for help to adjust HAs. Ideally using calibrated recordings but can be done with real person, again ideally speaking through the device which helps to keep an eye on the output. That’s why recordings are better, every check it’s the same track, which is made to cover all vowels, in my case it looks like mix of english, french, hungarian, chinese and some other. I just remembered ‘pimyng the boss’ :rofl: and ‘shorosh’.

Also, nerve damage could be if you hear distortion with both pure tone audiogram tones and in speech.

If your pure tones are tones without prrr brrr and similar addition (so lows are ummmm and not brrrr for example), then I’d be inclined to believe. It’s HAs settings.

Hope this helps a bit :slight_smile:

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