Hearing Aids and Hi-Fi

A new blog about audiophiles and hearing aids for hi-fi listening.

Here’s the Ultimate Hi-Fi Hack Most People Ignore

Even the best gear can’t fix what you can’t hear.

Audiophiles obsess over every hi-fi component in their systems.

  • Yet many overlook the most important link in the audio chain – their own ears.*
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A fair article. This is the topic that originally brought me here and I have participated in the many music threads since. I have consistently said, and say again, that if you really know how music is supposed to sound you know that hearing aids are not there yet. Maybe someday but not yet.


Nice shout-out for hearingtracker as a source.
I’ve always made the comment that there are competing curves of enjoying music. As we get older and maybe have more wherewithal to acquire better gear - that competes with many of those same people experiencing declining hearing capability demanding more and better gear always chasing that perfect sound.
My problem is memory. If I listen to a familiar song, there are parts of it that I miss and can’t hear or make out. My memory tells me a sound should be right there but my hearing, even aided, can’t hear it. Sucks. Consequently, I listen to music far less than I used to.

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i have said so many times hearing aids are to help people to understand speech, not enjoy music. But I also argue that so many of us could understand speech if the frequency range of aids were better and closer to music enjoyment


What kind of frequency response and distortion measurements are good hearing aids capable of?

Jabra Pro 10 specs say they go from about 100 Hz to 9kHz-9.5kHz.


There is now an interesting alternative to music programs on hearing aids.
This is to use the new generation of integrated DAC (Digital to Analog Convertor) & headphone amplifer devices.
These devices are increasingly coming equiped with parametric equalisers controlled by smartphone apps. A person with mild to moderate hearing loss can use the app to set up the equaliser inside the device to compensate (to a reasonable level) for their hearing loss as indicated by their audiogram.
Then if the device is used with a pair of audiophile headphones (e.g. Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic) a good music listening experience can be obtained - note: this assume the headphones are used without hearing aids.

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These specs are always misleading. If you look at the gain curves it starts dropping off dramatically after 4kHz in all hearing aids that I know of.

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Maybe a question to ask yourself - how high can I hear anyway?
www.szynalski.com/tone-generator is a useful site for producing sound. WATCH THAT VOLUME. Turn it down all the way, press play and bring it up slowly.
Piped through bluetooth to my KS10’s from my phone I can make out the high pitch tone up to around 7k maybe 8k. Is that the aids limiting? Or my ears? Try it with someone that has “normal” hearing too. Watch that volume. The normal hearing person heard well into the teens as I watched them grimace :slight_smile: A “normal” child can hear into the 20’s.

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Wireless headphone systems, need a music source. But not for live music or loudspeakers.

It’s something I’m doing right now, with lots of equalization, for TV.
But equalizers can’t do the tricks that modern HAs can.

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You left out the key “+/- 3dB.” If Jabra’s specs left that out as well, you should be chuckling and calling “BS!”… at least to yourself about Jabra’s figures or any hearing aid pro quoting them. All audio gear has a wider response outside the plus-or-minus three-decibels range. But when response rolls off fast above or below the +/- 3dB range, you can’t really hear or appreciate it nearly as well, because the gear may be barely registering anything at all in the extremes they quote. So don’t buy into that hype. It goes back at least to 1950s marketing of “hi-fi” equipment and is a well-known SCAM. Even +/- 3dB can be misleading, if there’s a lot of variation around flat response. But without that, the range specification is useless and really a sign that a company or salesperson is trying to pull a fast one and deceive you.

Here’s a reasonably non-technical and brief article discussing the point. In particular see the “Problems obtaining a flat response” section, about one-third of the way down:

Part of the challenge is that most hi fi equipment and headphones colour the sound anyway. Unless you are listening on good quality studio monitors, you are not hearing a realistic reproduction of the original sound.

Getting a good set of well adjusted HAs will fix that. I have got into DIY programming of my HAs and have been able to exactly reproduce what music should sound like based on my memory of it. I have fallen back in love with listening to music because of this.

Good HAs are definitely able to reproduce music very well. The problem is it takes a lot of work to adjust them and that is beyond the capabilities and knowledge of most audiologists. You also can’t do it in an appointment setting, you need to be able to try different settings for a while and A/B them against each other. I can’t see any other way of doing it other than DIY at home.


At high fidelity and audiophile sites and sources, the frequency response gold standard is 20 Hz to 20 kHz. But in real world music listening, 14 kHz is more than high enough (cymbals might be the exception).
All the very high frequency over-tones are masked by the lower frequency music.

I get just below 100 to 4200 with my Phonak P70, but looking at my chart, it’s about right. I even had the Audi raise the high end a bit to my suggested adjustments. So that being said. I do listen to classical stuff and enjoy it a lot always keep in mind that if I take out my Ha’s, there will be nothing to listen to.

It wasn’t scientific but with my INTENT1 aids i can hear tones from 80hz to over 18khz. Now this is streaming from the app directly to my aids.
Using the hearing aid microphones i was able to hear from 125hz to just over 9100hz

This is a good point Chuck. Though not scientific streaming with my Jabra EP 20s, particularly in the Music program, is a much fuller frequency range then with the microphone. I can tell when I add gain to my Poweramp Equalizer in higher frequencies.

I hear none of the highs with just my earbuds without an equalizer. With the equalizer, only set to my hearing aid settings, I can still sort of enjoy music as I fall asleep. Loving my Jabra HAs for streaming.

That’s impressive given your ‘gram. Maybe it’s my aids and yours go higher but I got nuttin’ above 8 even turning the volume up. I tried streaming from my computer and the same result. Although I could be battling between it and my tinnitus which is up around there :slight_smile:

Are these devices marketed towards people with hearing loss? Or, it just happens to be an app and amp with an EQ? BTW, I just received my Sensophonics 3DME earphones. I’m an audiophile and concert goer. I’ll report back how they work.

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Your audiogram should tell you this

Agreed. As an audiophile, any measurements I read must have the parameters they are measured under listed, or the numbers are essentially meaningless. For example, I could say I still here out to 16kHz…yeah, but I won’t say that I’m 120dB down by that frequency.