The ReSound Alera and ReSound Unite accessories provide users with unique opportunities for connecting to sound sources. However, the flexibility of the system also provides opportunities for confusion when the volume isn’t just right. This month’s column offers clarification on how the different volume adjustments affect the wirelessly streamed signal as well as the ambient sound picked up if the hearing instrument microphones are active.
There are five different means of adjusting the volume of the combination of sounds being streamed from a wireless accessory and picked up by the hearing instrument microphone:
Gain settings in the Aventa fitting screen
The gain settings that you see in the fitting screen are calculated according to the fitting prescription that has been selected and based on the client’s audiometric data. These settings apply to both the streamed signal from the Unite accessory as well as sound picked up by the hearing instrument microphone, if the microphone is activated. Change the settings here as you would in any other program. You can adjust overall gain, or tweak the frequency response if desired.
Mic-streaming balance in the Aventa “advanced settings” tab
The mic-streaming balance adjusts the gain applied to sounds picked up by the hearing instrument microphone relative to the gains you have set in the fit screen. So, for example, if the gains in the fit screen were at 20 dB and the mic-streaming balance control was set to -3 dB, this means that the gain applied to the streamed signal would be 20 dB while the gain applied to the microphone signal would be 17 dB. This setting is a starting point, meaning that the user can override it by using the remote control.
Volume control on the wireless accessory
The +/- buttons on the Unite TV Streamer, the Unite Phone Clip, and the Unite Mini Mic change the strength of the signal being sent from the accessory to the hearing instruments. By changing the volume here, the user is changing the input level of the signal that is going to the hearing instrument amplifier.
Volume control on the Unite Remote Control
If the user is in a streaming program, the volume buttons on the remote control increase and decrease how much the hearing instrument is amplifying the streamed signal. This is the case even if the streaming program has the hearing instrument microphone activated. Let’s say, for example, that the gain is set to 20 dB in the mic+streaming program, and the mic-streaming balance is set to 0 dB. If the user increases the volume in this program 2 clicks, then the gain for the streaming will increase 3 dB (1.5 dB per click), but the overall gain for the microphone signal will remain at 20 dB. Mic-streaming balance settings can be temporarily overridden by the user in this way. Default settings are restored if the user leaves and re-enters the mic+streaming program.
Volume control on the ReSound Alera hearing instrument
Finally, the user can adjust volume on the hearing instrument itself if it is a model featuring a manual volume control. Changing the volume via this control when in a mic+streaming program will increase and decrease volume for the streamed signal and the microphone signal simultaneously and by the same amount. The mic-streaming balance setting that was defined in Aventa 3 is maintained when the hearing instrument volume control is used.