Finally achieved hearing assistance with a 7.1 HT system + Listening to Classical Music via headphones

Achieving quality sound when one has hearing problems is a bit of an oxymoron but I’ve had interest in quality sound reproduction for the last 60 years so still continue to try to achieve the best possible result despite hearing disabilities.

For some time now I’ve been battling with the problem of improved intelligibility for our HT system which is used for TV as well as DVDs etc and have finally achieved success.

Obtaining a mediocre analog left/right signal is not such a challenge (or even mono from Bernafon gear) but I wanted a better quality digital signal to send to a set up with a quality DAC in a shelf beside where I sit. But many Audio-video items these days do not have digital audio outputs so it becomes necessary to extract that signal from the HDMI out. This can pose problems because of the protocols involved with HDMI technology.

The HDMI extractor I first tried was a Monoprice but it did not work but ultimately the more expensive Atlona AT-DT570 did - . Another problem that intervened was finding an optical to RCA digital convertor. A few sourced via e-bay did not work but I finally found one that did.

So far so good but a new problem arose. The audio from the speakers needed for others in the room was out of synch with the audio coming to me via the headphones using the new setup. What was needed was a digital delay unit to slow down the sound coming to the headphones. Such a unit was found at and was set for a 35 ms delay.

So I now have a quality analog output for headphones so I can listen to TV or whatever from the HT system. However the headphones do block most of the sound from the speakers and a better alternative is to use ear hooks. These allow most of the surround sound via speakers to be heard but add an excellent quality to speech to be induced into the Bernafon Acriva hearing aids. I can now finally understand 95% of the speech :owithout the need for subtitles. (Unfortunately subtitles are not always the answer as sometimes they can be confusingly badly out of synch with the video).

But the above setup is not satisfactory for serious listening to classical music via CDs etc. (And sadly, live music is now impossible to enjoy). Hearing aids are not designed for music so headphone listening to it is better without them. I have a dedicated headphone system for music listening and have found the best answer is to use a 15 band graphic equaliser to lift the upper frequencies. Nothing will restore frequencies above 6 khz for me but the equaliser does restore some of the sparkle to the music near this point and makes listening more rewarding.

Hearing loss can be frustrating, both to the individual and those trying to communicate. Hearing aids are designed to help with this and can be successful although only moderately so for me because my upper frequency loss of around 12 db per octave above 500 hz is quite severe. It appears to be quite linear so the graphic equaliser helps and is most likely genetic as my late mother also suffered deafness. But enjoying music is a challenge not really being addressed by the hearing aid manufacturers so the efforts described above become necessary. Hopefully this post might give inspiration to others in a similar situation. I’ve been playing around with audio gear most of my life so feel free to make contact if you think I might be able to help.


I am hoping you can help me out. I have 90% loss in my right ear (across the entire frequency band) and my left is not far behind. I really want to come up with a way to have full realtime equalization control for my left ear. The only solution I can think of is a pocket sized EQ that connects with a hearing aid. I have digital aids and they are great but I am finding as my hearing continues to deteriorate I need EQ to understand individual peoples voices. I think if I could tweek everybody’s voice I could communicate again. i am only talking about speech, unfortunately even the top 40 of my favorite songs are not recognizable to me for the first minute or so. Do you know of any products available? Thanks

Sorry if I appear rude for not replying more promptly but I have not been vising this forum regularly.
90% loss is pretty severe so I’m guessing only partial solution will be possible. As the result of another kind poster here I have on order a couple of these:

They have been overwhelmed with orders so it looks like mine will not be posted for a few weeks yet so I cannot give any personal recommendation. But I showed the promo to my audiologist and he has offered to set one up for me and thought them a good idea. Note the AUMEO is primarily for music so it might not suit your purpose.
For you situation as a start I suggest purchase of a portable mic and amplifier to feel into ear hooks which would then communicate to your hearing aids fitted with telecoil technology. This would use your hearing aid setting and could give the extra amplification you require. The AUMEO might or might not be useful inserted between the mic and the amplifier as your hearing aids should be appropriately adjusted like a graphic equaliser.
Ultimately the best aid is your audiologist. If he/she does not appear helpful then move to another.
Not sure if the above is much help but I empathise with your situation. Not understanding what people say is frustrating and something, despite excellent audiologist help and good quality hearing aids (I have ended up with Widex) I still cannot hear some people. Phone conversations were previously challenging until I installed a Uniden system with telecoil facilities (some are refurbished units are available on e-bay at half price and are fine - where I got mine).


I was just reading this and might add my input although the original post was a year ago. I was a backer of the AUMEO project and have had mine now for about a year I guess. I can now enjoy music!. I use them with my Kirkland 6’s in place with Apple Ear Buds. I generally turn the hearing aids off and walk along a busy noisy Toronto street enjoying music for the first time. I now can hear the sparkle and detail of the treble where I am most deficient. Things like the cymbals which I couldn’t hear before are now clear…great for jazz etc. I would highly recommend them. The unit isn’t perfect but it has improved my day to day life.