Widex Unique 330: Crackling with very low frequencies


#1

I have had these hearing aids for a year and a half, for mild age-related hearing loss (I’m 67), and they generally work just fine. I do have one issue at times, and would like some thoughts on this problem. I discussed it with my Audiologist, who has been in the business quite a while, but he wasn’t sure how to address it.

One of my passions is Home Theater, playing movies by projector on a large screen, with a fairly powerful and sophisticated audio system. I have a massive subwoofer, with 4 18" drivers, powered by a 6000 watt amplifier. It produces very deep and powerful bass, down to 15 to 20 Hz or so.

Sometimes, when I’m watching an action-type movie, with the subwoofer really putting out some energy, I’ll get a crackling type sound in my left aid. It rarely, if ever, occurs in the right aid. We switched out the Receiver to a new one, but the problem remained. So presumably this is originating in the aid itself.

I played some test tones, and found that this seem to be triggered in the 20-30 Hz range. This is obviously well below the frequencies that can be adjusted in the aid’s programming.

My question is whether or not this should be occurring, and whether there is some physical or electronic defect in the aid itself such that the aid is not handling this properly.

On the other hand, I recognize that this type of low frequency sound, played at a fairly loud level, is outside the ‘typical’ circumstances the aid was designed for.

So, am I expecting too much, or should I pursue this with my Audiologist and Widex? I’m still within the 3-year warranty. But again, is this issue indicative of a real defect?

Any thoughts or experience on this would be appreciated.


#2

Bump, to see if anyone has any insight here.

Thanks.


#3

Are your losses the same in both ears with same amplification? If so, and the other aid is not affected, I’d say the problem is with the aid and I’d want it fixed. Since it’s still under warranty I’d have them sent in anyway.


#4

Thanks for the reply, Mark, and that’s a good question.

Both ears are fairly similar, which would also suggest something funky going on with the left.

I wish they would do advance replacement, so I wouldn’t have to be without them for a few weeks. And the last time we did this (for a different problem), they wanted both sent back. I might have to insist that only the left be sent, since the other seems fine.

Any other comments appreciated, especially from any other Home Theater buffs!


#5

My hearing aids crackle sometimes. I’ve been told it’s when the speaker (part of the hearing aid) can’t handle the noise.


#6

Thanks for the reply.

That was my first thought: the crackling I heard sounded like speaker distortion, where it’s being overloaded. What made my second-guess that is that the other side (usually) doesn’t do it (with similar amplification on both sides). That made me wonder if it was some type of vibration of something loose in the hearing aid itself.

Do you find this takes place during very loud, and especially very low-frequency, conditions? Or is there something else in your situation that triggers it?

(And why the heck do they call this hearing aid part (that is actually the speaker) the “Receiver”?? Because of my familiarity with what a Receiver is in the world of audio electronics, it took me a while to figure out what the Audiologist was talking about!)


#7

My left HA has slightly more power then my right HA but the crackle only happens in my left HA.

I find it happens when the sound is too loud and has a lot of low frequency rather then high frequency.


#8

Thanks for the follow-up. Definitely sounds similar to my situation.

I guess my only option is to contact my Audiologist, and see if Widex would be willing to replace just the Left, and possibly to do an ‘advance’ exchange, so I don’t have to be without one (or both) for the couple of weeks it usually takes.

I wish there were some way to contact Widex tech people directly, but I’ve found nothing on their website that could be pursued. Does anybody know of any way to do this?