Is Hearing Aid High Fidelity Music an Oxymoron?

I see that Signia claim to offer a special HD Music feature, as well as Extended Dynamic Range, and Extended Bandwith. Rexton-KS say Music Enhancer and Dynamic Extender. The Music feature is said to have three options; playing live music, listening to recorded music, listening to live music. Signia even have a demo video/audio of the feature. The music options all sound better than the “Universal” program in comparison, but I’m not sure that most of it isn’t just more gain.

I don’t play live music, and I seldom go to live music shows, so it would seem that the recorded music option would suit me the best? Has anyone compared the live music to recorded music feature using hearing aids with these options? What do you think? Does the Music feature already have the dynamic range and increased bandwidth built in? It would seem like bandwidth compression and amplitude compression used for speech recognition would be the last thing you would want when listening to music.

Years ago I bought a fairly expensive home music system in the stereo HiFi days, and still have most of my vinyl and CD’s of course. I was hoping to gain back some fidelity with HA’s. Pipe dream?

You’ll get a variety of opinions. There’s a recent post regarding Phonak Marvels saying they rival the best headphones. For me the best sound is with ear buds or headphones without hearing aids. Some like headphones over heaing aids. Hearing aids alone will not give you much bass.

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I liked music with the KS8. Phonak sounds good also.

What is the impact on bass when using vented sleeves vs non vented? I have a subwoofer in my system that goes down to 30 Hz. It can shake the floor and the couch, but I really would not like to just listen through my bum!

I am trialing Marvel M-90 Rs and just streamed Holly Coles Temptation album (Tom Waits covers) from my iphone. A religeous experience.

Compared it immediately using my Sennheiser Momentum phones without HAs. Smooth but really lacking on high end which I now notice having a comparable.

Then used Senns over HAs on Music with volume down. Best yet because ambiant noise from room gone and base has far more body but can still hear cymbals click and strings squeak.

In a quiet room will go with HAs. Going to get some closed buds to try as well.


I don’t know. My suspicion is that one couldn’t tell the difference. The receivers only go down to 100hz. Sounds on the “speech banana” start at 250hz so I doubt there’s going to be much gain at 100hz per the fitting formula. Theoretically, non vented domes would keep more low frequency gain in your ears (if it’s supplied by the receivers), but vented domes would let more in from “outside.” With streaming, there is no “outside,” so things tend to sound “tinny.” That’s why many prefer to headphones or earbuds to get some real bass.

I don’t really have any trouble hearing the bass without hearing aids, so it would seem to make sense that vented sleeves would let me still hear it at least to some degree naturally… My measure of good tight bass to set up my sub woofer is MJ’s Billie Jean and Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman. Orbison was way ahead of his time as he used two drummers with two sets of drums in Pretty Woman, and you can hear it.

I have always been a big fan of Roy Orbison. Saw him live a few times and he never disappointed. Anyway, on your suggestion I just streamed Pretty Woman from my iPhone to the Marvels and moved the balance in the App all the way to audio to shut off any external noise. Wow!! I never knew there were two sets of drums as you point out but you can really hear them separately. The base line is very strong and clear. I am so impressed with the music streaming on these hearing aids!!


I grew up as a classical musician with Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and the boys. I never listened to much pop music. In college I majored in performance on the violin and piano. I have a 7’ 5" concert grand in my living room with a ceiling that goes up 2 1/2 stories. I play several hours every day. So I’m very used to hearing actual live acoustic piano and live symphony orchestras with no artificial amplification. I can’t deal with the huge pounding bass in pop music that most people today seem to want to hear. To me my Marvels are delivering the full beauty of what I hear when I play my piano and what I hear at the symphony. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear things I haven’t heard in many years and I don’t feel anything is lacking.


I think it is a pipe dream. Back in the old days I was able to hear the 15,750 Hz ‘whistle’ from the fly back system of the TVs of the time. No more, 6 KHz is about all I can hear. I have to accept what I can get out of th HAs. For musc, I have my Rextons set on AUTO or MUSIC.

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I have tickets to see Lynyrd Skynyrd in May, in Tuscaloosa, at an outdoor amphitheater. I will let you know how the Phonaks do.

From my experience it all boils down to, what your hearing is, the hearing aids and most importantly what your brain is use to hearing. I also believe if your ears can hear it your brain can learn or relearn how to recognize it. My hearing in the upper frequencies is better than the middle frequencies, and my lower frequencies is best of all. As long as I can keep my tinnitus under control I am okay. And I believe my over the ear headphones are better for music than my hearing aids. But I am also someone that doesn’t carry a tune or know the fine art of music.

If you’re main goal is to listen to music and hear it as accurately as possible I don’t think HA’s are going to do the job. I still play live and have Signia Pure 7pxM HA’s. They are very nice HA’s and have music programs for playing live or listening. While these programs help and are better that the Universal, they still fall well short of what I’d like. The frequency response capability of my HA’s are 100Hz to 8,800Hz, well short of being capable of replicating music properly. These frequencies are fine for speech but you’ll likely have a hard time hearing the lowest 20 keys on a piano and at the high end you won’t hear many cymbals either. Most musicians that have hearing problems are using IEM’s (In Ear Monitors) that can be customized to your audiogram. The draw back is they have a cable that you would have to plug into you’re stereo system. This isn’t a problem for musicians as these IEM isolate the stage noise but give them a true representation of the music that is coming in via the cable from the sound mixer.

See for some IEM’s’


I see that the Pure 7Nx Specification sheet now shows an extended bandwidth up to 12,000. However, the basic Data sheet shows 10,000.

Do you hear any difference between the live music setting and the recorded music setting? I will ask for one program which will use for my HiFi music listening, and I am not sure which one to specify. I am confident my HiFi system can do 30 to 18,000 Hz with pretty flat response so it seems it should be similar to live.

I know of no hearing aids that can go beyond 10K and most only go to 8K.


I have the most common hearing problem, the ski slope. My hearing is normal up to 1,000 Hz and then slopes down to where for years I couldn’t hear the highest octave of my 7’ 5" grand piano. With normal hearing at the low end, I hear my piano down to the lowest key just fine and since the highest C on the piano is actually just 4,186 Hz, I can now hear the full piano range. I’m a classical musician and play Chopin and Mozart on an acoustical piano, so the amplifiers and IEM’s used in pop music have no meaning for me. I’m just fine with my Phonak Marvels.

Yes, perhaps Signia are playing with numbers…

I’m going from memory and it’s a bit fuzzy, but I think a lot of the difference is in how the directional mikes are set up. Live is directional (assumes your facing a stage) Performer is omni (assumes you need to listen to other musicians around you) I think Recorded assumes less dynamic range and is likely omni directional. The different settings are discussed somewhere on the forum, but I usually have better luck just using Google.

I’ll do a google search and see what I can find. It sounds like Live would be the best choice for me. When I listen to my HiFi that is all I do. I don’t use it for background music except at Christmas time, and then I go with iPod MP3 stuff feeding the system.

Are the features built into the Music Enhancer something that the fitting technician will see with the Connexx software, and will be able to describe the differences between the three settings?