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MallaRuth

Bilateral struggles and voice

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Hi All - I am messaging because I have an ongoing problem with trying to 1) even up my hearing and 2) get comfortable with the sound of my own voice. It's at the stage where it's causing problems on a daily basis.

I've had my right CI (RCI) for 20 years and my LCI for 10. I got upgraded to the Sonnet on both sides last year. 

I've always found my LCI much quieter than my RCI. That's to be expected because the RCI has had a 10 year head start and so is going to be much more dominant. Although I've had the RCI turned down and the LCI turned up over the years, they've never evened out and they probably never will. However, I DO hear much, much better when I'm wearing two, even if I don't have true stereo sound (what does true stereo sound even sound like? I'm not sure if I know...)

One thing I'm particularly struggling with is hearing my voice comfortably with both CIs. This got much, much worse last year so the point where I frequently switch off my LCI when I'm giving talks or presentations. I get really distracted and self-conscious. My voice sounds muffled and uneven, as though it's stuck in my head when I talk. With just my RCI, it sounds much clearer and as though I'm getting proper resonant feedback when I project it.

This could either be related to getting my Sonnets, or to having voice coaching, both of which I got at the same time last year. I have been deaf all my life and developed a habit of talking quite far back in the throat (pharyngeal speech). With my better hearing and awareness, I am working on projecting properly and speaking clearly, and listening to myself as I talk rather than feeling the speech. Perhaps this heightened awareness and better hearing has made me more aware of what I'm doing wrong, although I have to add that I have always been self-conscious about my voice. I have never had to take a processor off when speaking, however.

That's all a bit long and rambly - sorry! I would so appreciate any insights that this wonderful group is able to share - thank you.

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Hi @MallaRuth!

 

Although it may be common for speech clarity to differ from left and right sides, it may be possible to get the loudness to balance a bit better.

Are both MAPs set to the same sensitivity level?  Default is 75% sensitivity I believe.

Does everyone’s voice sound muffled in your left?

Was this true with your OPUS2?

Have you changed the mic covers recently?  One time things sounded so off in my left Sonnet that I swapped out the mic cover even though it was only 1 month old and that solved it.

If you run your finger over the left Sonnet mics while it is on your ear and turned on, does that clear things up?  I have had to do that several times on my right Sonnet to sort of reset the mic.  

Have you ever had your left ear’s thresholds set individually by your audiologist instead of using default thresholds of 10% of MCL or zero?  It made a huge difference for my left side because it turns out my left side has atypical thresholds.

 

It is frustrating when things sound off.  I hope you find a solution soon.

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