Man holding ear to represent bothersome tinnitus

Whistling Hearing Aid: Causes and Solutions

June 29, 2023

Living with hearing loss can be challenging, but hearing aids have revolutionized the way individuals with hearing impairments experience the world. However, one common issue faced by hearing aid wearers is the occurrence of a whistling or feedback sound. This blog aims to explore the causes behind this whistling and provide practical solutions to help you eliminate this bothersome noise.

Why Are My Hearing Aids Whistling?

The whistling sound produced by hearing aids, often referred to as feedback, can vary in intensity and pitch. It occurs when amplified sound from the hearing aid leaks back into the microphone, creating a loop that results in an annoying whistle. The feedback sound can be disruptive and embarrassing, but there are several reasons behind its occurrence.

Causes of The Whistle Sound

  1. Poor Fit: One of the primary reasons for hearing aid whistling is an improper fit. When the hearing aid doesn’t sit snugly in the ear canal, sound leaks out and gets picked up by the microphone, causing feedback.
  2. Wax Buildup: Accumulated earwax can block the sound pathway, leading to feedback. When the sound emitted by the hearing aid encounters an obstacle like wax, it bounces back into the microphone, resulting in a whistling sound. For more information on changing wax filters in hearing aids, see our videos.
  3. Volume and Gain Settings: In some cases, the whistling sound may occur due to incorrect volume or gain settings on the hearing aid. If the device amplifies sounds too much, it can create feedback.
  4. Feedback Suppression Issues: Hearing aids are equipped with feedback suppression systems, but sometimes these systems can malfunction or fail to work optimally, leading to the occurrence of whistling sounds.

How to Stop Hearing Aids From Whistling

  1. Proper Fit and Maintenance: Ensure that your hearing aids fit correctly and are well-maintained. Regular cleaning, including removing earwax buildup, is essential. Consult with your audiologist for guidance on maintaining your hearing aids.
  2. Professional Adjustment: If you’re experiencing persistent feedback, it’s advisable to visit your audiologist for a thorough assessment. They can adjust the settings of your hearing aid, ensuring the volume and gain are appropriately calibrated for your specific needs.
  3. Positioning and Orientation: Experiment with different positions and orientations of your hearing aids to find the optimal placement that reduces feedback. Slight adjustments in positioning can significantly minimize whistling sounds.
  4. Feedback Reduction Features: Many modern hearing aids come equipped with advanced feedback reduction features. Explore the settings of your device or consult with your audiologist to enable or enhance these features, which can help eliminate or reduce whistling.
  5. Different Hearing Aid Styles: If you continue to experience whistling despite trying various solutions, you might consider different hearing aid styles. Behind-the-ear (BTE) or receiver-in-canal (RIC) devices tend to be less prone to feedback compared to in-the-ear (ITE) or completely-in-the-canal (CIC) models.


Dealing with a whistling hearing aid can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that there are solutions available. By understanding the causes behind the whistling sound and implementing the suggested solutions, you can minimize or eliminate this annoyance from your daily life. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help from your audiologist to ensure you’re getting the best possible experience with your hearing aids. Remember, with the right adjustments and care, your hearing aids can provide you with the clarity of sound you deserve.