HAs for music and musicians

Hello! I am trying HAs for the first time (a few days into a trial of Oticon OpnS), and though they’re helping a lot with speech, so far I’m horrified by what they do to music or any sustained higher-frequency tones for that matter (warbling/flutter). I’ll be going back to the audiologist soon to see what solutions he may have for this, but I’m curious what experience others have had with listening or playing music with this and other brands. I see Widex Dream as being marketed toward musicians, but I don’t see that on their US website, so that’s confusing. Suggestions/comments appreciated!
Thanks.

Have them setup a music program. That will get rid of a lot of the extra processing. Bring a sample of music with you to the appointment to try out. Opn has a decent reputation for music. Widex are great too, but I suspect you’ll find a music program will help a lot.

4 Likes

As MDB says, have your audi set up a separate program that you can switch to while performing music. In the music program you want all speech comprehension enhancements turned off or minimized.

You should have any compression settings turned off. Very important: Have feedback elimination set to the lowest setting you can get away with without generating feedback. When your HAs hear a sustained musical note, they think that that note is feedback, and they try to disrupt the note. This is the “warbling” you hear.

Another hugely important factor is the HA’s input headroom. If the HA has insufficient ability to handle loud musical notes at the input stage, they will distort and sound terrible. Opn S should be fine for input headroom. Widex is known for excellent input headroom. Phonak (at least in the recent past) not as good. If you are considering a different HA you should have your audi contact the HA manufacturer about the input headroom of the particular HA you’re considering. Good luck.

1 Like

Try the Simplicity Hi Fi aids. They are sold online and can be purchased here: Hearing Aid - Simplicity HiFi Musician Hearing Aid

They are based on the K-amp circuit developed by Mead Killion and are the best sounding aids I’ve worn - for both music and natural sounds. The K-amp is an analog circuit but I think they are now sold in a digital form that are supposed to sound identical. Keep in mind that these do not have any of the newer digital features like directional mics, noise reduction, multiple programs, etc. I shared some more of my thoughts in this post:

1 Like

My friend www.eloisegarland.co.uk is profoundly deaf and wears Phonak Sky Q70 UP’s and is a professional musician.

She find Phonak’s to preform well for her. I have no idea what has been done to her aids to make them good for music tho.

1 Like

Thanks, everyone; much appreciated. I will be back at audiologist on Tuesday with lots of questions!

Signia (& Rexton, Kirkland Signature) have three music programs: Musician, Recorded Music, Live Concert. Here is a demo video.

2 Likes

Widex Dream is old technology. Evoke is the newest model. I have them and got them partly because of their reputation among musicians. They’re terrific. My last aids were Oticon Alta2 Pro and not nearly as good with music. Don’t know whether the OPNs have improved on that count or not.

1 Like

Thanks for this; I’ve been reading about the Evoke and def want to try them. The Evoke app look very useful, and connecting to apple watch is a big plus. Oticon app has very little control, and no watch capability. What is your experience with the SoundSense Learn? (Of course what I’d really like to have is at least 24 band EQ, buuut… :wink:

I am also wondering about getting Widex as opposed to Resound (which is what I am also trying and can return back if needed). I am going to trial Widex moment in about three weeks time, after getting another ear mould.

The problem I had with Resound is the pitch and harmony sounds very off… Beethoven’s moonlight sonata sounds unpleasant… and generally sounds like a harpsichord. I also wonder whether there is a bit of delay in sound processing because when playing Chopin etudes, the clear fast passages now sound blurry.

Everything I read about Widex Moment seems to suggest this is my best option, but then again, advertisements are still advertisements…

1 Like

FWIW, I ended up buying the Widex Evoke last year (after trialing Oticon and Resound) and I’ve been pleased with them overall, and especially for music; I definitely hear a big difference putting them in the “music” program, and it sounds great to me.

1 Like

The latest Widex generation is called Widex Moment. They just came out. They have a much faster processor. I’m trialing them now but will probably also try Oticon after my trial. I am very particular about my music and am still working through the fittings to get them where I want them.

2 Likes

Hey Dan! How are the speech clarity/understanding/ recognition w/ the Moments? Music is on my must have list.