Best hearing aids for piano and birding?

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Assiciation of adult musicians with hearing loss

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The Oticon MyMusic program is awful! Oticon developed it based on listening tests using the Harmon Curve, which is unrealistic for musicians. The audience was made up of primarily walkman types, and no info was given about the music used or equipment/acoustics.
They than created a fitting rationale which is very difficult to manipulate for proper gains & compression values.
That being said, user @e1405 devised a custom Music program which works very well using a feature which only Oticon offers!
Other mfgs only allow for one fitting rationale for General programs, whereas Oticon allows a separate rationale for up to 4 General programs, which allows one the opportunity to do A/B comparisons without a trip to the HCP each time you wish to try something new.
Based on @e1405 's settings, I deleted the MyMusic program, and used his rationale of DSL v5A Adult, which is very linear, and provides excellent contol of gain/compression ratios.

I attended a jazz concert last night (Blue Note 85th Anniversary Tour) which featured Alto sax, Vibraphone, Piano, Bass & Drums. The sound was so realistic and lifelike as to take me back to the days before I wore HAs! Vibes have extreme overtones, and every sound rang crystal clear.
So b4 you give up on Oticon, ask your HCP to create a program using the above, and have them turn off all the More Sound Intelligence, and other features which distort music, and give it a try!

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This year I upgraded from Jabra to Oticon Real, and my audiologist added the music setting. Music sounds much more natural when I use it, and the setting makes a huge difference when I’m by myself listening to nature, birds, crickets, and leaves rustling. Of course, it requires having a proper audiogram for the audiologist to work with. The sound is too lively for noisy situations, where I use the general or speech-in-noise settings.

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I’d be interested to know what specific type of distortion are you hearing?

Clipping and distortion are typically setup issues from your hearing care professional, not the brand/model of HA. Distortion can rise if the receiver is under powered.

As for frequency range, hearing 7kHz shouldn’t be an issue, unless your HA is under powered for your hearing loss at high end… or, again, the setup is wrong.

As for music sounding awful, your hearing care professional (can you guess?) has the setup wrong. Even a default music program/mode shouldn’t sound awful.

Now, personally, I found Oticon Real very processed sounding and unrealistic, like there was a persistent 3rd order harmonic distortion or triangle wave added to ‘perk up’ the sound.

What you’ve got may not have a sound you like, but while you’re in a trial you should expect a few visits for fine tuning and exhaust the potential of the HAs to your needs.

I’d say all the top-notch hearing aids nowadays should be very good for music IF properly adjusted. I wear Oticon More 1, and they’re excellent for music. Recently, I tested the Phonak Lumity (I wrote about it here) and found that I prefer my More. I haven’t had any experience with Widex hearing aids.

As mentioned by @flashb1024, there are a few things to pay attention to (I also wrote about them here):

  1. Disable all the digital features you can toggle OFF, including feedback management. If you need any of these features ON, be aware that they may affect music.
  2. Ensure your music program sounds “flat.” Fitting formulas prioritize human speech, often leading to the middle range being louder than the lower range.
  3. I prefer DSL v5. It sounds crisp, and my acoustic and classical guitar resonate right with it.
  4. Think of your music program as a very powerful and effective parametric equalizer. It’s easy to go from “terrible” to “terrific” with the proper frequency setup. Unless you have an excellent musical ear, I recommend using an external source for fine-tuning. Peace Equalizer (Windows) has a testing tool you can use to get the frequency gain right. I use an equal loudness contour curve to achieve this (see pic below - orange). In this curve, I also correct for my headphone frequency response (green).
  5. A linear compression scheme sounds better if you can handle it. If not, use a compression scheme similar to your main program. I have two music programs: one with no compression (linear scheme) for my guitars and one with the compression scheme of my main program for everything else.

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Thanks for the recommendation for Peace equalizer I just installed it and looks like I will be playing around with it all day.

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Musical sounds, particularly sounds such as those from stringed instruments that have rapid attack/decay times like piano. banjo, and guitar are a problem, I’m not sure quite why. The most obvious anomaly for me is associated with the sound of a chiming mantle clock. The one we’ve had for years which sounded fine to me even when I was wearing cheap amplification-only devices now produces an extremely delayed “echo” effect that can happen 10 seconds after the sound ceases to be generated. Echo is in quotes because it is not truly an echo but some sort of distorted approximation to the original sound. This doesn’t really speak to your post but it’s something that has been bothering me for a while and I’ve never seen any posts that describe any similar problem. What sort of bird are you talking about? Or does it happen with most/all of them.

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Few issues with my Widex Beyonds and now Moments 440s. I do put them into a drier over night to help minimize repairs from moisture problems.

My hearing loss is in the high frequency area. I use custom ear molds, Widex Moments 440 hearing aids with power receivers. I am 73 years old.

I have mild/moderate hearing loss and an atypical (reverse cookie bite) audiogram, and I was sold Widexes and immediately ushered out of the audiologist’s office “See you in 6 months”.

Just by luck, I found a new audiologist who was also a musician, and having been set correctly, my Widexes are great for both singing AND playing my low brass instrument.

Pricey, but for me,worth their weight in gold.

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Me too. Very happy with the sound quality of my Widex Moments 440s.

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I am an audiophile and have used Widex exclusively. I was very pleased with the Widex Moment 440’s. Had them 3 years. Just got SmartRIC 440’s (3 weeks ago) and they are for me, the best Widex yet.

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As a musician, I whole heartedly agree with your opinion. I’ve worn Phonak, and demoed Starkey and Oticon as well. None are as natural sounding, especially for music.

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@jazzpete May I just for information ask which types of these brands you mentioned?
Thanks

Some hearing aid manufacturers that are known for their good sound quality and ability to reproduce high frequencies include Phonak, Widex and Signia. However, each person has unique needs and preferences, so it is recommended that you consult with an audiologist or hearing aid specialist to determine the best option based on your audiogram and personal preferences.

The premium of each.

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