Best hearing aids for music

I received my first pair of hearing aids last September, from Audicus. One thing I’ve really enjoyed is listening to music on YouTube through the bluetooth. It’s astounding. Unfortunately one thing that isn’t so good is live music. I guess that’s because it actually has to go through the external microphone. The next pair I get I want to have good music capabilities, I come from a very musical family, and their musical sessions are absolute torture, every string instrument sounds like garbage right now (for some reason, clarinet so far sounds better, but not good). Also, I would prefer made for iPhone, but that is not a deal breaker. Any suggestions would be lovely, thanks :slight_smile:

I’ll insert my scores here for better recommendations

KHz 250…500…100…2.0…4.0…8.0
Left - 75…80…90…80…70…70
Right 60…60…90…80…70…70

Hello Maplesyrup.
I read your post, and I want to help. I have a hearing care professional, also a musician, also deaf, with a similar to your hearing loss. To give an opinion I need to know what the hearing aid model and what brand. You could also ask your audy. Know that many HA are made by the same company but have different brands. Example, Phonak = Unitron, Rexton = Siemens, etc.
The problem of digital devices today is that the preferred protocol is useful to understand the words, while with Bluetooth auto-matching circuit is not activated, and you can feel good music.

It’s easy to listen to pre-recorded music like on YouTube because that music is already processed and cleaned up and compressed, so you don’t need very good HAs to process the sound for you.

Listening to live music is another thing altogether because the sound of various instruments are very dynamic. The HA will have to be able to support a very wide dynamic range with its input mics to avoid clipping which will cause distortion. So you should be looking for this type of spec from HAs and find those with the highest numbers. I only know a couple of data points from a recent discussion, the Widex 440 and the Oticon OPN, both have 113 dB SPL for their input range. It shouldn’t be hard to do some more research online at other mfg brands and models to see what this number is for the other ones. If you pick the ones with the highest input dynamic range, there’ll be a good chance they may work out better for you.

Thank you very much! That’s exactly the kind of information I need to know. I’ve been hearing a lot about these opns by oticon. Are they worth the hype. I have also been looking at the widex. I’ll do more research about the range.

Thank you! Unfortunately the audiologist I went to initially had no idea. They weren’t very good. I know that I’m currently using hansaton, who is owned by Sonova, who owns unitron and phonak as well.

You said that you bought from Audicus, so I assume that you’re comfortable with going the online route to purchase HAs already. If so, buyhear.com is another online source that provides top of the line HAs from Oticon, Widex, Signia, Phonak, Unitron, and Resound. I think you get 60 days trial with them. As to whether the Oticon OPNs are worth the hype, only you can decide. There are several posters on this forum who bought the OPNs from buyhear.com and are happy with their service. I’m sure there are buyhear.com buyers of other brands as well, I just don’t know them however because I wear OPNs so I’m primarily focused on OPN discussions usually.

thank you :). I am familiar, and very comfortable with online purchasing. I’ll look into buyhear as well. They seem to have more options than audicus has. I also have a cousin who wears oticon, and he likes them, so maybe I’ll do more checking into them.

I remember in particular a poster named RForbes who is a music minister so he’s around live music a lot, and he bought his Oticon OPN through buyhear.com, and he seemed to have success with both the OPN and the buyhear.com experience. You can click on his alias to view all his posts on here, and maybe PM him if you have any other questions.

I guess the reason the string instruments sound bad on your current HAs is because they usually have a pretty sharp attack point in the beginning (almost percussion like attack point) before the sustain tone follows, especially big ones like the piano. Clearly your current HAs’ input mics must not be able to handle this attack point so it messes up the whole thing. I’m guessing the clarinet and certain other wind instruments may have softer initial points that makes it a little more tolerable to hear on your HAs, although I’m sure trumpets and the likes would still be torture. :slight_smile:

Or maybe it’s because the clarinet player is better than the others :}. I think it must be something like that. I’m going to do more research. Now that I have experience with hearing aids, I have a better understanding of what I like and don’t like. It also doesn’t help that I have no concept of pitch or tone lol.

maplesyrup, you probably have the same model aid that I got in Nov. from Audicus, the Alto with enhanced clarity 12 channel model, Hansaton , Phonak and Unitron are all owned by swiss holding company Sonova and share technology between them. The Alto is actually a Unitron model rebadged as sound hd ease minus the tinnitus feature and possibly a few other things. I am extremely pleased with both recorded and live music, however my loss is not as steep as yours

The Bernafon Juna 9 is available from Costco and is touted as a musician’s aid. You might want to check those out as well.

It very well could just be my ears, lol. Mine are the altos, with everything, and other than that, I am also very pleased.

— Updated —

I’ll look into that as well. Thank you :slight_smile:

maplesyrup, talk to jeremy at Audicus I think that the audiologist can add a special program to the altos for music

Hi, I have worn Widex aids for around 20 years and have moderate-severe hearing loss in both ears and wear ITE aids. I just tried Re-Sound but the music was terrible although okay with Bluetooth so back to Widex. The music sound with Widex is magical, no restrictions & pure enjoyment. However I do have a lot of problems with feedback and usually have to spend a few months tweaking them. However this is worth it for the amazing sound quality. Am glad I tried something else as it just proved to me that Widex are far superior and I will be going for the Widex Unique 440.

problem with live music is the directionality, even in 360 mode, OPNs should have the upper hand in live music, might wanna try them out.

I found older Widex aids sucked for music - it especially hated wind and brass instruments, clamping down on them, and in some cases actually cancelling out some flutes. That being said, I have a new Beyond 440, and its universal program is much better with music, and its music program is much, much better. Not yet on par with analog, but far superior to past technology.

There has been numerous threads on this site over the years regarding this issue: try doing a search using “hearing aids and music” or “hearing aids for musicians” and you will find many threads on the topic. Pretty much every HA has the capability to add a special program for music, the problem here is you want a program for live music which will be hard to do. To accomplish this you are either going to need the audiologist or HIS go to the concert with you with their equipment so they can make the adjustments so you will be happy with the results or you will have to have adjustments made then go to a concert and see how they are working and then go back to the audiologist for further adjustments, go to another concert and then back to the audiologist and this will or could go on for a very long time until you are satisfied with the results. The final piece of the puzzle is you hearing loss which is going to complicate things as well.

I just started programming my alto’s myself, get an Icube II wireless programmer off ebay about $250.oo , there is a link in this forum for the Hansaton software.