Why don't hearing aids do a better job at lowering loud talkers?

I’ve been using HAs for a few month’s now and I’ve adjusted pretty well to everything but the loud talkers. It seems HAs should have some sort of leveling filter that would lower the sound of voices along with loud noise. I’ve only tried two brands and both do a poor job with extremely loud voices. Widex does real good with sudden loud noise but not with loud voices.

I know with my video editor SW I can apply a leveling filter to the audio of a clip with speech and it will do a descent job of lowering louder voices. Raising soft voices not so good.

Are HAs processing power just not fast enough to handle this task, or are they, and I need to talk to my audi about it? Does anyone else have a problem with it? It could be I’m just to sensitive to it too. Even before HAs, for the past 12 years I have been sensitive to loud sounds.

Maybe it’s just meant for the HA wearer to reach up and manually turn down loud voices.

I figured you would have a bunch of answers by now.
The loud sounds you describe can easily be tuned in your hearing aid software.
The loud, medium and soft gains are all adjustable.
All manufacturers of hearing aids can do this.
Just ask your fitter and tell him/her what you have told us.

4 Likes

Some hearing aids have a feature called expansion. Expansion attempts the soften the loud noise. Like a yelling voice. You might want to check into it. When it was changed in my hearing aid setting it helped reduce or rather soften the loud noise while still allowing for the soft sound to be amplified properly. Another person in this forum gave a good idea as well. There are some videos on YouTube that explain the concept of expansion and compression and explain their effect on sound quality. I hope this helps you have a great evening.

2 Likes

@Raudrive I figured the question had been asked before but search didn’t pull up anything. I’m going to get molds @ 8:00 in the morning so I’ll bring it up.

@hearingaiduser2020 I’ll ask about expansion also, not sure if Moments or OPN’s have that feature but I will find out. Thanks for mentioning it.

With Phonak this is theTK35 setting. All manufacturers have soft gain adjustments. Seems the universal description is loud, medium and soft gains. At least this is my understanding of it.
Terminology is so different between all manufacturers, it is confusing.

1 Like

Good luck with everything hope you are happy with the results.

2 Likes

Suffering from pretty severe hyperacusis, I’m naturally extremely sensitive to loud talkers, especially when they’re female. Loud laughers are orders of magnitude worse. My first defense is to back up if possible; next I reach up and decrease the volume on my aids.

Do your HAs attempt to lower the loud talker/laugher any?

Is it that hard to just ask the person to speak a little softer. Now there’s something I haven’t needed to say in 40 years

1 Like

@Raudrive I believe the TK35 gain is the gain applied to very quiet sounds, not to very loud sounds.

Yes, agreed.
The TK35 comment was based on the post about expansion.
Trying to help OP with a description to pass on to his fitter.
Loud, medium and soft describes the different gain levels of adjustments.
Thanks

All hearing aids I am familiar with have different gains for different levels. The louder the sound, the less it needs amplifying. If you have open domes or vented molds, sounds coming from outside will enter your ear, and there isn’t much the aid can do about it. Loud sounds are still loud, even with aids. I am also sensitive to loud sounds, and have found that aids only make this worse. If I set the compression too high, loud sound environments just become a jumble of distortion. I agree with the others who suggest you talk with your provider to see if the programming of you aids can be adjusted to at least help .

1 Like

It is for a four year old boy (my grandson). He will lower his voice after I ask him not to holler but next time he says something, back to hollering lol

Just got back from seeing my audi. She tweaked on the OPNs but she didn’t act like there was a whole lot she could do about the loudness of some people. I haven’t tried the OPNs yet, probably won’t for a couple of days. Got the moments in now with the new molds and will try to keep them in a few days so I will get use to them before switching back to the OPNs.

Kids are great. At that age he understands grandpa doesn’t hear well so he tries to compensate. My grandson uses sign language. Neither of us know sign language. You just have to smile

2 Likes

I am not being facetious but you have to understand that hearing aids have their limitations and even people with normal hearing can do very little about loud talkers. :wink:

You sound just like my audi. :wink:

1 Like

And we should be entitled to some advantages over normal hearers. :grinning:

I find that my my hearing aids do actually soften the sound of loud voices a bit, but it takes a few milliseconds to kick in. A while back I had a big guy with a very loud voice next to me suddenly take out his cell to answer a call in the same cashier line that I was in (before social distancing and face masks) and he yelled into his phone so loud it made everyone jump. My hearing aids caught the force of the soundwave full force at first but it quickly toned it down to a bearable level. Thank goodness to the folks at Phonak!

If you find that the lowered gain at G85/90 gives you noticeable artefacts in speech, I’d ask the Audiologist to set the MPO lower than the 100dB default.

This shouldn’t clip the signal, but will provide a limit on the louder inputs. If they use REM, you need to get them to shout at you and see what/where the peaks are. Some systems/fitting algorithms coupled with your own ear may produce unusual resonances, relying on the manufacturer fit and what the fitting software says on the screen is pretty poor practice.

If your ear canal volume is significantly different than the software expects, the output will be wrong. If you halve the distance to the drum, you square the power.

3 Likes