I will have to decide whether it would be worth engaging in a trial with one of the better aids. I experience only pleasure
when listening to my high end home system. But, I am curious to hear aids which will compensate for my loss without
distorting the sound. My Mt Sinai audiologist insists that they have fitted high end Widex aids in folks like me looking to
improve their ability to enjoy reproduced music at home. They emphasize that I could return them if the experiment is
I have a semi-related question to this discussion. Does wearing a hearing cause any issues with wearing glasses due to the behind-the-ear hearing air interferring with the glass’s earpiece?
In my case, sort of. Taking the glasses on or off causes a very loud rustling as the ear pieces touch the aids and my hair. It’s not comfortable. With a mask which uses the ear, all three just don’t work well and aren’t comfortable.
But most of the time I don’t really notice when I have the aids and glasses on together.
My wife says it depends on the design of the glasses. Thicker plastic frames like her Ray Ban sunglasses annoy her when worn with aids. Thin lightweight frames like the Austrian manufacturer Silhouette are fine.
In my case, my aids and the glasses were uncomfortably fighting for space. Eventually I realized that for me and my ears, the only way the two devices could peacefully coexist was for the hearing aids to sit just “outboard” of the glasses earpiece. I would guess that if your ears tend to hug the side of your head tightly, you might have a harder time fitting them both in that constricted space (not that my ears flap in the breeze).
Thanks Ted. I seem to recall that you are using the Oticon. I have an appointment next week using the Widex.
I am able to hear virtually every change I make in my system. In recent months I’ve installed many Audioquest
Dragon power cords, and this weekend the Firebird interconnect to feed the amps. But, I am curious as to what
the system would sound like when my upper frequency deficits are neutralized. Much of what I have read tells me
that even the highest quality hearing aids are unable to, without adding distortion, accomplish the same task that
they are designed to tackle at the level of speech. Some guys then choose not to use the aids for listening to music
through their high end audio systems. What a conondrum.
Thanks for all your insightful comments. Are there alternative, totally in ear aids, that do not have behind the ear components? Just now looking online and it seems that there are. Unless they don’t show the integral behind-ear piece. Are these totally in-ear aids as effective as the others?
That’s a question best answered by an audiologist who can evaluate your particular situation. Online advice only goes so far because everyone has different ears, issues, and preferences. FWIW, my wife tried in-the-ear aids and hated them. Found them very uncomfortable and created a quite unnatural sense of hearing. She said the in-the-ear aids created a hearing experience like being in a tiny, claustrophobia inducing room with no ambience. The open ear canal transducer with the behind the ear aids create a natural ambience for her. Obviously one sees lots of folks wearing in the ear aids so they have to work for some.
Thanks for those examples, emphasizing the point that individual differences are important to not overlook.
It is now August and I have much to report. I did a trial run of the Widex hearing aids, recommended by the hearing unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital. I kept them for two weeks and was never happy wearing them, on a plane, in restaurants, watching tv, and especially listening to my high end audio system.
But, I did not give up. Next it was recommended that I go to a hearing aid office in Manhattan, The
audiologist said that a few months ago an American company came out with a new hearing aid which
was designed with a wider dynamic range and maybe it would work. This company is Starkey, made in America. I am presently on a trial run with them. Last week I spent considerable time ABing, listening to my PS Audio system with the SACD player, the DAC II, and Aspen 20 speakers with and without the Starkey hearing aids. These aids are terrific. When listening through the Starkeys I reduced the volume on the system. When listening without the hearing aids I increased the volume on
the system. I concluded that, while they sounded close to each other, I found listening to the system without the hearing aids to be the preferred position. I heard an ever so slight subtle distortion of the high frequencies through the Starkeys. So, I plan on returning the Starkeys and getting my almost $5000. back.
Perhaps in several years, after further deterioration of my hearing I may want to find out if there is
an even better hearing aid out there with even less added distortion than with the Starkeys.
Thanks for your review!
Question, as it comes as a surprise: don’t you need hearing aids for anything else than music reproduction?
Another thing comes to mind: do you happen to know if there’s compression involved in that (dsp) processing? That could perhaps explain the experienced distortion.
I just got the Phonak Audeo Lumity 90 RL hearing aides a couple of days ago. So far I’m very happy with them for general use and listening to music. I didn’t realize how much of the high frequencies I was missing. It sounded like the top end blossomed. Now I have a very expensive stereo system that I listen to through tiny-micro speakers in each ear. Very surprising that it works.
The audiologist originally recommended Oticon. When I told her I used Android devices, she switched to Phonak. Insurance paid for them, so I don’t know the cost.