Not Going With the Flow

As a Phonak user, I have found many benefits to my beloved Bi CROS hearing aids, (getting a sense of sounds coming from both left and right when I’m profoundly deaf in one ear for a start off) but there has always been one little niggle with the aids for me and that’s the Soundflow setting.


In the Soundflow setting (the default setting that comes automatically with the hearing aid), I’ve had continual problems with background noises suddenly and unexpectedly cutting out. This is very disconcerting; especially when the ‘background noise’ is the very thing I’m listening out for, i.e. traffic. But, even if it’s the sound of a river flowing or the extractor fan on the cooker hood, it’s still an odd experience.

It’s always baffled me why my privately procured hearing aids do this, because my NHS ones don’t. For this reason, I’ve always been convinced that there must be something that can be done with the Soundflow setting on my private ones. They’re the same make and model, just a different colour – the NHS one has an ear mould and the other has my preferred choice of a ‘receiver in the ear’. (The ear moulds give me ear infections so I had to ‘go private’ to get the fitting I needed.)

I’ve had three different audiologists at my high street dispensers’ and none of them have been able to solve this Soundflow problem for me, despite countless calls to the Phonak Tech Support team. So, I’ve lived my life on my ‘Speech in noise’ setting for three years but I’ve started to feel I’m missing out on the richness of sounds around me.

My most recent visit introduced me to a new audiologist and she’s come up with a way to help. She’s set the aids so they start up with a different programme (not Soundflow): they now start up with a new one, ‘Calm situation’. Soundflow is still on there (as the second setting but I can easily skip this and get to ‘Speech in noise’ or ‘Music’.

It’s taking some getting used to the new setting, as there’s more ‘noise’ than on ‘Speech in noise’, but that’s kind of the point and I’m starting to like it!

How have you got on with the Soundflow setting? Like it or loathe it? I guess we’re in the right place to have this discussion!

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