Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rexton Cobalt 16 - added a new program

So I decided to switch up my programs a couple months back when I went in to get a replacement bluetooth receiver.  Program 1 is still "auto", but I changed program 2 to be "music".  The music program has basically no compression, and no noise cancellation.  Ironically, I don't use this program for music, but rather for meetings and really quiet, or really noisy rooms.

My office has a very loud air conditioner fan inside, but in "auto" I cannot hear it because my aids block that sound.  When I first got my Rextons, I found this to be a very difficult "feature" to get used to.  It sounds weird that I would have to get used to noise removal, but there are two reasons:  first, the noise cancellation is not perfect, and second, it's a weird sensation to know that something is missing that you should be able to hear, but you cannot hear it for some reason.

To elaborate more on the first issue.  The noise cancellation is far from perfect.  The program not only blocks noise, but voices become softer as well.  So now after a couple years of having these, if I walk into a room (that isn't a library, for example), and it seems that everyone is barely audible yet nobody else is struggling to hear, I can switch to another program, or ask someone if there is some sort of background noise.

So back to the "music" program.  If there's some fan or something, or I need a boost in dynamic range for more high-frequencies, I simply switch to this program and maybe bump my volume up a notch.  It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than any of the other programs I've used.  The "speech in noise" program seems to be the worst program for actually understanding speech in noise, since it works so hard at trying to cancel the noise, again bringing vocal volume down with it!

Bottom line:  the more effort you put into analyzing your aids and working with your audiologist to understand the problem, the better they will work.  Unfortunately though, for those of us with severe/profound loss, aids are still an imperfect solution.

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