Alera FAQs – Environmental Optimizer II and NoiseTracker II

If NoiseTracker II removes the noise, how can low frequencies still be present for rich sound?
NoiseTracker II does not remove all noise. Depending on the estimated signal-to-noise ratio in the particular channel, it will reduce gain to a certain extent in primarily the very low and very high frequencies that are not the most important for speech. The maximum gain reduction is only attained for steady-state noise. Even for the stronger levels, NoiseTracker II is fairly conservative in how much gain is reduced in order to maintain natural sound quality and to provide enough audibility for the user to orient themselves in the environment.

Why is there a NoiseTracker II per environment setting? Doesn’t NoiseTracker II adapt automatically anyway?
NoiseTracker II does automatically change the amount of noise reduction applied based on an estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio. However, it is limited by the Aventa setting to mild, moderate, etc. This means that the maximum amount of noise reduction applied may not be what is most beneficial for the user in a given situation. For example, a smaller degree of noise reduction is often preferred for quiet situations, and a more aggressive setting for a noisy situation, such as riding in a car. This is why we have different NoiseTracker settings in different environment programs. The Environmental Optimizer II automatically sets the maximum amount of noise reduction possible that is most appropriate for the specific environment that is identified by the environmental classifier – without the user having to identify the environment and manually change programs for the optimum setting.

Why are there 7 environments to adjust NoiseTracker II in? Noise is not in all environments.
There is always input sound to the hearing instrument, even in environments with no noise. In environments with no noise, the inputs are low level, and the compression system amplifies low level sounds the most. Thus the hearing instrument can sound noisy to the user both in quiet and noisy situations. NoiseTracker II is of benefit in all types of sound environments, both with and without noise. It reduces amplification of both unwanted noise, as well as amplification when there is no sound of interest, making using a hearing instrument a more comfortable and less tiring experience.

When should I change the slider for NoiseTracker II per environment – based on what info?
Changes in NoiseTracker II settings can be motivated by complaints regarding clarity or noisiness, particularly when they are related to specific types of environments. For example, if the patient reports that it is a great effort to follow the conversation at a noisy restaurant and that other voices seem muffled, it might be helpful to increase the NoiseTracker II one step in the speech in noise environments. A patient with a severe hearing loss might complain that they aren’t hearing as much as they would like to or that they feel disconnected. For them it might be helpful to decrease the degree of NoiseTracker II in noise and speech in noise environments.

Why should I set sliders in NoiseTracker II per environment, and if I set it how does it affect other programs?
Setting the NoiseTrackerII sliders in one program does not affect the settings in the other programs. The settings can be different in different programs.

Can I turn off the Environmental Optimizer?  If so, how?
Yes, by moving all handles to 0.

What do the numbers on the Environmental Noise TrackerII represent?
These numbers are the maximum amount of gain reduction that theoretically could occur. These values would be achieved at signal-to-noise ratio estimates of well below 0 dB. However, since our system will not actually estimate signal-to-noise ratios much lower than 0 dB, the actual maximum gain reduction will be less than what is shown on the slider.

How do you reset the Environmental Optimizer?
Default values can be restores by the recalculating the fitting.  There is no “reset” button in Aventa3.  You can also set the all of the sliders to 0 manually.

Why are the Environmental Optimizer values set to 0 in my fitting?
There are two scenarios: One is when you can’t increase the EO levels. This is when you have hit or are near the max gain at any gain handle. For Alera products, if you have an audiogram with a threshold at 1k that is less than or equal to 20 dB HL, EO defaults to 0. As a workaround for these audiograms, manually set the sliders.

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