Widex Mind to Clear and M-Dex

Has anyone out there gone from a Widex Diva or Widex Mind440 to a Widex Clear?

I have unilateral hearing loss, right ear moderate to profound. (sorry I can’t find my last audiogram to post the stats). I’ve been wearing a hearing aid for 25 years, and am pretty brand loyal to Widex but have used a Starkey and Oticon in the past.

I loved my Diva, and two years ago was talked into a Oticon Agil as a step up that didn’t work out. I swapped the Agil for the Mind (was also to be a step up) and have never been 100% happy with it like I was with the Diva. I’m now contemplating a Clear as the Mind just frustrates me.

I have the hardest time hearing in noisy situations and in groups larger than six, which unfortuantely makes up a large part of my job. The audiologist demoed the Clear for me using the party sounds in the background and so far things seem like this might be a good fit for me. She has answered all my questions and has been very patient, but since she isn’t a hearing aid user I’m not certain that she can truly relate. My questions are:

If you went from the Mind to the Clear did you find that it actually was an improvement? I know everyone is different, but knowing someone else had a good/bad experience helps.

Is the M-Dex as a remote control helpful or just a pain to carry around? As an experienced hearing aid wearer is it still just as easy to click the button on the aid or are there just to many program options to make that practical?

Does anyone stream music on their M-Dex through an Ipod? I am intrigued by this feature and think it will be pretty awesome to hear music in stereo :).

Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide.

Amy

Consider a CROS system to give yourself better spatial awareness. If you aren’t that happy with Widex, perhaps try out another brand before you buy. The m-dex is one of the better mono streaming options.

Hello Amy,
I have been using two aids for nearly 40 yrs. I started with Starkey, proceeded to Widex and apart from one disastrous attempt with Oticon have remained loyal to Widex ever since. I changed from Diva to Clear last October and have been very pleased with them when used with the small remote control. My hearing loss is quite severe and I did find after using them that it was very difficult to use the telephone. This problem was resolved by buying two special Widex phones and I now have clear conversations for the first time in many years. They are Bluetooth, as is the phone which speaks directly to the aids. My problem now is that I cannot hear on my mobile and am having to consider buying the m-dex. That means paying out another small fortune but I guess that we are only here once and spending the kids inheritance seems to be becoming a new hobby for me.
I wish you the very best of luck in your search for the right solution for you.
Emily

I agree with that dude, there are CROS systems by Phonak

I have the same story to tell. I like Widex Diva ITE but I haven’t been satisfied with Widex Clear Fusion RIC or Clear 330 ITE. The difference is in the bass, it is gone!

I think it is because Widex uses microphones which are designed to reduce wind noise. This may affect frequencies below 500 Hz.

10 years ago I was happy with my Widex ITE and I could notice wind noise (which did not disturb me at all).

Now I am very unhappy with my Widex Clear 330 ITE, and I cannot notice wind noise at all.

In fairness, your loss would indicate that you barely need any bass amplification at all (5 dB or less). If you want bass to be artificially ‘added’ that’s fine,but it’s usually an indication of past over amplification.

I use ITE with 1 mm vent. Therefore no bass is travelling the direct path to the ear drum. All the bass needs to come from the hearing aid. I believe there is less bass entering the ear drum from the hearing aid than naturally with no hearing aid. The resulting sound is harsh and not tolerable.

Unfortunately, that isn’t true, a partially occluded canal still gets inputs from venting and your skeleton. The absence of bass my be down to the receiver being out of phase with the naturally occurring signal and actively damping the signal.

You might ‘need’ the lower pitch to make the aid sound more natural, but you don’t ‘need’ it to hear clearly. However, without seeing the actual output on a REM system, I can’t tell you whether the high pitches are over amplified either, which is the other half of the equation.

What’s your audiologist’s opinion of the sound being too harsh?

Don’t forget also that there is a particular adjustment on this system to increase audibility: if that is set more aggressively than you like, it will make the system sound very harsh without any change to the normal frequency response of the aids.

The absence of bass my be down to the receiver being out of phase with the naturally occurring signal and actively damping the signal.

How does the receiver get out of phase and what is the remedy?

Thanks for a brief explanation.

Tommy

I went from a widex passion 440 to a widex clear 440. The improvement in sound and especially hearing in noise was significant. I find the remote useful and easy to use. I work in a noisy environment and need to shut off the aids when I talk on the phone to be able to hear and can do that with one button press. Also changing programs is very easy. For me the remote is better than when I had controls in the aids.

The phase of the speaker may be with or against the actual phase of the input signal: reversing the phase of the output is beneficial in terms of feedback, though there are different ways of doin that now.

If the aid is reverse phase, turning down the LF gain will actually increase the LF sound heard. Some more modern systems used for RIC devices will incorporate output smoothing technology.

Sorry, I don’t believe in that. If the ear canal is blocked with an ITE with 1 mm vent, the bass is attenuated by several dBs, except in case it is my own voice and at very low frequencies.

I dont ask my audiologist because I know he does not know the answer. My experience with audiologists has been horrible. They usually dont have fundamental knowledge in acoustics or signal processing.

I am using the music program as the standard program, with noise reduction turned off. It sounds much more natural.

I believe the improvement you noticed is probably from improved fitting only (except you have changed the model at the same time).

Anything else turned off or down in that program?

I’d suggest the HF gain is cut, and the speech audibility is reduced, hence the aid sounds more natural.

They’re your aids, it’s up to you at the end of the day.

I have been thinking. This sounds like a plausible explanation, delay at lows is up to 10 ms, which means that the direct sound is out of phase at these frequencies. Perhaphs I should get Bernafons which have much less delay.

I have tried this, but the truth is that the problem is in the bass, it sound nowhere like it is supposed to sound like.

I remember when I had REM (Verifit) at the hearing center when I was trying Widex Fusion, there was a significant dip at 300 Hz. The audiologist said it was resonance, but of course there is no resonance at this wavelength in REM.

So I believe it may be cancellation due to phase difference. The question is why I am having this problem with the new Widex hearing aids and not the old types. Also, what can be done?

Different processing delay than your old ones, which is expected given a different chip, also different residual volume/impedance of the canal.

Firstly, get the gain tuned down in the LF (below 750Hz only)to see if this helps.

Secondly get a bigger vent in the shell: if your Audiologist is capable with a Dremel, even shortening the length of the vent will have a marked effect.

Don’t discount the resonance argument entirely, I had a bit of a ‘fight’ with a 250Hz resonance on a Phonak Solana I fitted recently. The fitting software said it wasn’t there, but the REM said it was. The customer was complaining about the aid being loud enough but not clear: given that the gain was modelled on the resonance calculation by the aid itself, it’s entirely possible that the aid is over-compensating for an apparent lack of response in a certain frequency (in your case 300hz), the downside being that if the delay of 10usec is typical, there ought to be a dip there in real terms.

With the Widex I’ll hazard a guess that’s what’s happening, and you can tune it out by taking the steps above.

I could measure the output with my own probe microphone, I will post the results here soon. I will use high frequency resolution to detect dips in this area.

The wavelength at 250 Hz is more than one meter. It cannot produce resonances in the ear canal, it is impossible. The phase cancellation due to processing delay is not resonance.

Thanks for your advice. I could also describe the bass output has not clear but still loud enough in some sense. Lets see what comes out of the measurement. I don’t really like the idea to reduce the gain in the lows, but I will give it a try. I think increasing the vent diameter will increase feedback, so that will be a last resort.

The resonance of the system isn’t just a measurement of the air in the free space of the canal though. It’s the sum of the interaction of the drum reactance, thee flex in the canal walls, the air volume, the particular speaker resonance, the change in the impedance of the sound as it exits the receiver tube. Some of these factors become practically neutralised, others compound to give the kind of result you are experiencing.

Agreed that the delay isn’t a resonance in the strictest sense of the word, but when you model an aid the T function of the mic+circuit+receiver phase is something that needs to be carefully monitored as it may cause stray resonances and audible artifacts.