Headphones that are hearing aids?


#1

It has been awhile since I have posted, but I am so thrilled with a new set of headphones (earbuds) that I wanted to share it with others. As a baby boomers I grew up on music. I played in a rock band in high school, was a radio announcer for years with my headphones loud, and also did concert promotions, loving the large, loud sound without earplugs. Needless to say, I wear hearing aids today. While I now lead an international children’s organization, I still do audio production and voice work from time-to-time. I’ve had an expensive set of Ultimate Ears custom fit in-ear phones and they are awesome - as long as I play them through an EQ app, like EQ 10 or the N7 player. But, watching video or movies on my phone or iPad is less than desirable, and I had put away my iPod Nanos that I loved because there is no suitable EQ in them.

I saw a review for Even earphones and ordered a set for $99. To set them up, you run through a 2 minute audiogram-like process that takes 8 measurements in each ear. The frequency range is much wider than that for hearing aids. When I finished and started using them, I was amazed. The clarity was incredible. The adjustment is locked into the headphones until you re-run the set-up. That means it is device independent. I pulled out my little Nanos and there was new life in them. I watched a movie and You-Tube videos and the voice clarity and sound was excellent. The phones require a charge that lasts about 9 hours, so you will have to keep them charged. But, no longer do I need an EQ program, and listening to audio on different devices - or watching video is a vastly improved experience. The clarity is pretty incredible.

I don’t promote products, but as someone who is hearing impaired, this is a Godsend. I emailed the company and they are working on regular on-the-ear headphones and Bluetooth headphones as well. I thought others in my situation might appreciate knowing there is a new answer to headphones out there. The web site is geteven.co. If this interests you I would check it out. I’d also love to hear from you if you use them. We’re in a new day for listening. Hear well!


#2

What I found with UE’s is that they are louder for me…higher db’s I guess what you would call it

…do you know the db’s for these??


#3

I don’t know the db’s for these, but with the earbud style, with a good seal, they cut off a lot of back ground noise. I like the UE’s because I normally listen at 60-70% volume. With the Even earbuds, I’m probably at 75-80%. The EQ in the phones actually raises the volume. There is plenty of headroom, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They also have clean, solid bass - not over the top like some headphones. The seal is important, but I have found the quality pretty close to my UE’s running with an EQ app on my iPhone. Not quite the volume, but when I crank it full bore, it is uncomfortable.

Mark


#4

I just got a pair of the Get Even earbuds. They are an improvement over listening to music through normal headphones because they are ‘tuned’ specifically for your ears.

My lower frequency hearing isn’t bad but I have quite a bit of loss in the upper frequencies. I use Phonak Solanas. I have been using normal (Sony) headphones to listen to streaming / recorded music. That works pretty well but the music does come through a bit muddy.

With the new earbuds, I get a more even spread of frequencies and music sounds natural / pleasant. With the headphones, I just put them on over my OTE HAs so it’s easy. With the earbuds, they need a seal so I remove the HA’s before I use them. The earbuds don’t have as much drive as the headphones but they don’t need quite as much volume to provide an adequate listening level. I think that there would be less fatigue using the earbuds. (Note: GetEven also sell headphones). The cord is a good length if you are carrying a portable device. For connecting to a PC / TV, I’ll want to get an extension cable. The ‘control pod’ and the cables to the earbuds will transmit any contact noise to the earbuds but for sitting and listening, that hasn’t been an issue.

I tried the earbuds with my PC, a Digital Audio Player, my cell phone (music and phone call) and with my Zoom (H4n) digital recorder. It worked well with all of them. The intelligibility on the phone call was quite good. Get Evens are equipped for use with cell phones as the ‘control pod’ has a mic, volume controls and a connect / disconnect button. I also have the ability to connect to my cell phone through Bluetooth (and the ComPilot) so I’ll have to try it both ways to see how the intelligibility compares.

The H4n provides an interesting option as I was able to use it in ‘monitor’ mode to pick up and amplify sound around me (in my initial test - the TV) then feed it through the earbuds. Thus, it acted a bit like the HA’s but for a broader spectrum of sound. I can also connect directly to the TV and I’ll have to try that as well since intelligibility of the TV sound can be difficult at times.

I’ll post an update once I try a few more tests.


#5

Could you point me to the manufacturer - or a retailer -website for these?


#6

You can find them at:

They have an online demo mode where you can set up your ‘earprints’ and listen to some sample music.


#7

I’m glad you liked them. I’d posted a little info on them under Assistive Listening Devices. Their tuning is pretty minimal. I contacted them and they got back to me and said the variation in gain was 5db. I’m assuming that’s + or - 5 db. Probably less than the volume control range on most of our hearing aids. I’m thinking the ideal way to listen to music would be a good set of headphones with an equalizer with exceptional gain variability. I do not know equalizers, but think + or - 12 db is probably about as good as it gets.


#8

Do they have comfortable level setting aka dynamic compression? Im little bit scared of destroying my ears with them


#9

I agree that the amount of boost isn’t massive but there is still enough of a difference (from the standard headphones) that is is noticeable (for me). I have a Mackie mixer sitting in front of my PC so I boosted the mids and the highs a little bit extra and that made it even better. Even without that however; there is still a benefit. The amount of benefit for others will obviously vary depending on their specific hearing loss.

Use With Cell Phone
I tried a sample call on my cell phone three different ways:

  • Normal use (with my HA's on but not helping)
  • HAs connected to the cell phone by Bluetooth through the ComPilot
  • GetEven plugged into cell phone (HAs out and earbuds in).

I liked the result using the earbuds the best. By comparison, the sound quality through the Compilot was pretty harsh. I can still hear well enough to use the cell phone in ‘normal’ mode. These other options help to improve the clarity.

Use With TV
I haven’t tried this for a while. My TV has ‘audio out’ plugs in the back so I connected the earbuds to those plugs (through an adaptor). I connected them through a headphone amp but that was mainly to get some additional distance from the TV. I was quite happy with the result. Listening to TV, especially movies where the volume can vary a lot, it can be hard to catch what is said. With the earbuds, I could hear everything well. They also had the advantage of blocking out other sounds (like people talking) so that also improved my comprehension. I also listened to some music on some of the TV channels and the quality was good. I’ve tried this in the past through the Compilot and the result wasn’t very good. Some of this benefit can be had by connecting any sort of earbuds / headphones to the audio-out but the customization in the GetEvens makes it a bit better than that.

Overall, I’m finding them useful. They have the online demo on their website so anyone who wants to know if they will get much benefit can try it.


Seems to me that it wouldn’t be a big deal for HA manufacturers to include something like this in their HAs and to have a switch to go from ‘voice’ mode to ‘wide-range / music’ mode. It just seems that they don’t care much about music.


#10

I don’t believe that there is any sort of automatic level setting. You just set them to a comfortable level and use 'em.


#11

What I don’t get is if we (the folks on this forum with hearing loss bad enough to require wearing HAs) already are wearing HAs, why would we want to use special headphones or earbuds with customized level settings? Even if it works for you, you still have to remove your HAs to wear there. Why not just wear normal/simple headphones on top of your HAs?

I can understand the value for folks who have mild losses who don’t need to wear HAs but want an improved listening experience for music or something. But for folks who already wear HAs, I just don’t see the value.


#12

You are correct that just putting on a set of regular headphones if you are already wearing HAs is simpler. I’ve been doing that for years. In that case, the HAs aren’t adding anything useful so from a sound quality point of view it is the same as taking off the HAs and just wearing the headphones. You are dependent on the natural state of your hearing.

Using the GetEvens provides a better balance of sound (for me!) than I get from the normal headphones / earbuds. If you prefer just slapping on headphones, GetEven also sell headphones. If your hearing is such that the GetEvens provide an improvement over normal headphones / earbuds then this is the only way to get that improvement short of putting everything through a multi-band equalizer and adjusting it to compensate for your specific hearing deficiencies. If music quality isn’t that important to you (or simplicity is more important) then just keep slapping on the standard headphones!


#13

If a person with normal (perfect) hearing still wants to get a little more kick, or more mids, or more highs, or less of any of those, then I can understand the value of the GetEven to give them the personalized preference. And that’s probably why they only provide 5 db adjustment and not more, because it’s not intended to compensate for your hearing loss.

Maybe I misunderstood you originally that you’re recommending these headphones as replacement for wearing the HAs when listening to music. But if that’s not the case and you’re only recommending them for even more personalized preference in tonal adjustment, then OK, I can see the point. But that’s what the bass/mid/treb controls in most scenarios are for. Does it make a big enough difference to have more than just those 3 bands? And I’m just talking about overall tonal control here, not hearing compensation (in which 16 bands and up is probably preferred to compensate more closely with your hearing loss).

However, I think most audiophiles don’t want any additional coloration in the tonal of their music. They want a perfectly flat response if possible so they can hear the music the way the producer intends them to hear.


#14

The title was someone else’s, I just added to the previous post. I wasn’t trying to support the contention that GetEvens can act as HAs. None-the-less, I find them useful in a few situations where my HAs aren’t doing the job very well.

They are useful (for me) for listening to music, especially at home in front of my computer where taking out the HAs and putting in the earbuds is no big deal. Headphones would be a bit easier (and they are available at higher cost). The seal on the earbuds results in good bass response and the GetEvens boost the higher frequencies (enough to make a noticeable difference for me).

They are also useful (for me) for watching TV, especially movies. I watched two movies today with the earbuds plugged into the TV audio out. I could clearly distinguish and understand the voices, something that would be difficult if I was using my HAs to listen to the TV.

I emphasize the ‘for me’ because the effectiveness of this approach depends on each person’s specific hearing loss. I have Phonaks and use them successfully for most things. The GetEven earbuds now provide me with an alternative for the situations outlined above.

'Nuf said.


#15

Do you have streaming from your TV to your HA? Either direct or through a streamer? If yes, is the sound still more difficult to listen to the TV with your HAs even via streaming?

Of course if you listen to your TV from its speakers with the sound through the air then picked up by your HA’s mics, it’s not going to be as clear as the direct sound you get from the Geteven earbuds. That wouldn’t be apple to apple comparison.


#16

Of course if you listen to your TV from its speakers with the sound through the air then picked up by your HA’s mics, it’s not going to be as clear as the direct sound you get from the Geteven earbuds. That wouldn’t be apple to apple comparison.

My most recent comparison is through the air versus plugged in to the TV with the GetEvens. That’s relevant to me because listening through the air (with the HAs) is what I would normally do. I’m pretty sure however; that the sound quality with the GetEvens is also better than running the TV into my ComPilot and then through the HAs. Since I haven’t done that recently, I’ll have to do that again before I can say that for sure (which I will do).


#17

I did the comparison of the GetEvens plugged into the TV versus using a cable from the TV to my ComPilot (and then to the HAs). It confirmed what I expected. The sound was quite harsh coming through the HAs whereas the sound through the GetEvens was much better balanced and more pleasant to listen to. I found that the intelligibility through the GetEvens was very good (for me) even though the amount of hearing correction in the GetEvens is much less than what is done in the HAs.

Note: I don’t have my actual hearing test results handy but I have the pretty common ski slope hearing loss. I am down about 3db at 2khz (compared to 1khz), 12db at 4khz (compared to 1 khz) and double that at 8 khz. With the GetEvens, I am pretty even at 2 khz, down about 6db at 4khz (and not much different than before at 8 khz). Since intelligibility of speech mainly depends on the 512 to 2048khz range, with the correction from the GetEvens I am pretty close to flat between 500hz - 2 khz (so it makes sense that the intelligibility would be pretty good). Most musical instrument notes are below 4 khz (although harmonics go higher) so music also works pretty well through the GetEvens even though there is still some loss at the upper end (as it approaches 4 khz). I Used this tool to do my informal test between my hearing with the normal headphones vs my hearing using the GetEvens. It was said in previous posts that the maximum correction with the GetEvens is 5DB (at each of the 8 EQ frequencies) and these results are pretty consistent with that.


#18

I’m hoping that companies like Geteven, Bose and others will see the opportunity that the current hearing aid manufacturers have left in the hearing market.

I suspect that a company that can use currently available technology to bring GOOD audio quality and a user friendly interface to the hearing market will be successful. The current business model of using an audiologist to make adjustments to hearing devices is I believe outdated. It makes no sense to me to go to an audiologist to make fine adjustments. They can’t actually hear the effect adjustments have. For me at least, the ability to do this myself is extremely attractive. Maybe I’m in the minority, but time will tell!


#19

It’s hard to say for sure without an audiogram, but it sounds like your hearing loss is pretty mild and your ski slope doesn’t start until the 2-4 Khz range. I think a lot of people with mild hearing loss like this don’t even bother wearing HAs, although they probably should.

I can see now why your Phonak HAs would seem to sound harsher compared to your GetEvens earbuds. I’m guessing that your HAs has the ability to compensate much more at the high frequencies for you, therefore the harshness you hear. So I’m guessing it’s not because your HAs deliver low quality (harsh) sounds, it’s more like your GetEvens earbuds can’t compensate as much for your loss at the highs, and thereby appears to be more balanced and pleasant for you to listen to, that’s all. So it’s probably not because the GetEven necessarily performs better than your HAs, and actually it sounds like your HAs performs better than the GetEven on the highs. It’s probably because your brain hearing is not used to the more powerful amplification of the highs by the HAs and rejects it as being unpleasantly harsh for you when compared to the GetEven.

In terms of intelligibility of speech, it’s very good to you with the GetEven earbuds because you don’t seem to need much correction (mild correction at most) in the range of speech anyway, so it’s only natural that the GetEven gives you good speech intelligibility. If your brain hearing is not used to handling the amplification of the highs by your HAs, this perceived harshness by your brain can probably interfere with speech intelligibility as well, especially in noisy environment.

I’ve noticed that folks with milder hearing loss tend to favor these devices like Nuheara, Doppler Labs, Bose and GetEven over their HAs in certain situations, and I think that’s understandably so. But the thing is that it gives the usually wrong impression/implication that the much more expensive HAs are not up to the job while these much less expensive devices seem to do a better job, which is not necessarily true. For people with more severe hearing loss, I think the HAs can perform better than these devices.


#20

I will get an audiogram this week and that will put this in a proper context. My hearing loss may be mild compared to some but I couldn’t operate effectively day-to-day (for speech) without the HA’s.