HA's for a singer?

I’m 47 and recently diagnosed with high frequency loss due to spending most of my 20’s seeing bands and dancing…at least it was fun!

I trained as an opera singer and, while I only sing occasionally now, I do want to hear my voice and music as naturally as possible.

Are there any HA’s which are best to get a more natural sound please?

I saw two audi’s and both recommended the Oticon Agil Pro BTE so I can hear the lower frequencies through the ear canal but they are expensive at AUD$9-10,000 and the arguments for getting them seem to be about technology and clarity rather than realistic sound. For me, I’d compromise whizzy features if the sound is more pleasant to listen to.

Any recommendations please? I’m in Victoria Australia but willing to travel if there are better options interstate or OS. BTW thanks for all the great info on the site.

HZ --250- -500- -1k- -2k- --3k- -4k- -6k- -8k

All of the top end items are expensive. Full technology, blue tooth, etc. I would be sure you shop around in your area to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Not sure that $10k AUD converts to in US. If it’s about 4-5k then about right. If not . sounds high…
Try different aids. see what fits you best…

Agil Pro BTE $2220 - on a web site.

Your hearing loss appears to be somewhat like mine:


What works really well for me (after an abortive attempt with another model) is the Resound Be 9000. The device gives a natural quality of sound, and has made a big difference to my life as a violinist. I get minimal occlusion, since the rectilinear cross-section of the device leaves plenty of room for sounds to get past the device naturally. Incidentally, the degree of any occlusion with this device seems to be dependent on the physical size of the ear canal. In my case, my left ear has a somewhat smaller canal than the right, and I had to ask my audiologist to increase the gain accordingly to compensate for the occlusion.

Overall, the downside of the device is that it is so expensive: AU$9000 for both ears. On the positive side, sounds are as near to “natural” as a hearing aid can get, and the device is unobtrusive enough for few people to notice you’re wearing it.

Thanks Matthew, Given our Aussie dollar is nearly the same as yours, it might be cheaper for me to fly over to the US to get them! Thanks for the info. Doesn’t seem to be the case that audi’s here give you different ones to try- hey make the selection and then you have the right to change if you don’t like it. Cheers Ros

Thanks Gargravarr, I haven’t heard of these models so have just checked out their brochures. They look like a similar concept and price to the Oticons. I wonder what the differences in the internal design is? I’ll ask if I can try one. I’ll know now to look at the ear canal size as well and ask for compensation if necessary. Thanks so much for your advice and great to know there’s at least one model that gives as “natural” a sound as possible. Cheers Ros

I am also a musician who is new to using aids. I am almost at 1 month now with the Bernafon Verite 9’s. I was attracted to them because of their unique setup (channel free design) and the Live Music Plus program. I have not tried anything else at this point, but they do make a difference for me. They still need some tweaks to get them where I want them to be, but I am certain that we are on the right track.

I have found that with the other multi environment programs and such, that the sound is more comfortable for everyday stuff but when listening/performing music, they don’t reproduce the lows and highs very accurately. I was playing my trombone this past weekend and nearly jumped out of my skin when the piano came in. It was amazing.

The other really good deal was that this item is available at Costco. I had looked at other high end products (Oticon Agil & Agil pro) and was shocked by prices. I had no idea. Anyway, Costco has been very good so far and the price was about 50% of what I was looking at other locations. There is good info on this site and Bernafon as well about the technology.

Well, electronics are a closed book to me, but the physical design is completely different. A BTE device is, well, a BTE (though many of these have a good rep for quality of sound). One thing with the Be is that directional perception is almost totally natural.

As a musician, I found it a big hurdle to admit to myself that my hearing wasn’t so great any more, and that’s why I gravitated towards the most discreet model I could find. The first HAs I tried were ReSound Live VT CIC “plugs”, and I hated them with a passion. They did nothing but amplify background noise.

The Be 9000, on the other hand, sits completely in the ear canal, with a thin, transparent microphone conduit fitting snugly under (behind) the pinna, so I have had several of my friends comment that few people would ever notice the device. I would have had a harder time coming to terms with a BTE hearing aid. Perhaps if my hearing declines further, I might have to reconsider that, but let’s not go there.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you try. Just make sure your audiologist works for his money to come up with a solution that works for you.

I know this is an old thread, but I have a question for those singers out there who may still be around. Has anyone had any experience with the hearing aids making sounds be “off” by a bit? What I mean is that (for example) my good ear says that the pitch is an “A”, and my right ear says it’s a bit between an A and an A#.

It’s possible that I just haven’t been getting all of the information all these years, and that I just need to start practicing again and retraining my brain, ears, and voice to work together.

I guess my question is - is there any way to make sure your hearing aid is “in tune”?

I’ve just started using Oticon Agil Pros – my first HA – and am a singer and flute player. I don’t have differential hearing loss like you describe; both my ears are roughly the same (haven’t had time to update my sig with my stats) with high end loss of roughly 60-70db in the 1.5K through 8K bands. Anyway, I just started practicing with these and, as I expected, pitch is not affected by these HA except that now that I hear the partials MUCH BETTER, I notice precise intonation better and have to work harder to tune. And, it certainly is a different sound with the voice! In short, I can see already I’m going to need to retrain myself a little. As a flute player, I’m used to referring to an external tuner–I love the app Cleartune on my iOS devices. But, probably like you, I don’t often use that when singing. I’m going to start, just to help guide my training during practice. I expect it’ll work fine and be a pretty quick retraining period.

Hope that helps.


Look into the Simplicity Hi-Fidelity OTE sold on Samsclub.com. Perfect for musicians that want a product that works and is not more expensive than their instrument.

Smooth, undistorted output over a frequency range of 100Hz to 10,000 Hz
90 days full return privilege with no-hassle money back guarantee
Each device comes with a full one-year warranty that starts at the date the instrument is originally shipped from the factory.

Whatever you get, make sure it is open fit.

When we talk, and even more so when we sing, it vibrates the skull. Some of these sound vibrations leave the ear via the ear canal. This is why if you put your fingers in your ears while talking or singing, your voice sounds funny (and hardly conducive to singing).

So you will be wanting a device that blocks as little as possible of the ear canal, thus allowing any escaping sound to escape. Then you need it to be able to deliver the high frequencies you need.

Ideally, you are going to want a device with multi memories, so that one memory can be programmed for singing. That way you can use the aids in day to day life, but when you sing you would switch on sing mode and the sound will be processed differently.

If you are feeling less than shy, you might even sing at your fitting, so that the sing program can be configured for you.

Some people claim an in the ear hearing aid helps to isolate the singer. This is one of the claims of hearing plugs like Etymotic. Personally I hate occlusion and returned Phonak in ears because the occlusion drove me crazy.

I like Bernefon Verite 9s which have a couple of styles of BTE receivers with wired in ear speakers (M and P). There are two styles of ear fittings that allow some sound to pass through. I have the tulip ear pieces and there is no occlusion. If you go on the Bernafon site, they have a fitting guide which tells you if your hearing loss is suitable for those ear fittings.