Muscians & DJ's wearing CIC

Hi guys

Is there anyone on this forum that has had any experience with still being able to produce music and play whilst wearing CIC HA?

I contracted german measles as a child and always had bad and loss of hearing, I’m now 31 and struggle with my hearing and seem to conpensate the volume on my tracks to hear certain high frequencies ie shakers, high hats etc.

The time has come now where I need support with my hearing but due to my job I need to wear invisible hearing aids.

I guess the thing I’m asking really is, as a none hearing aid user can wearing CIC HA improve sound quality of making music and if so what type of HA should I be looking at?

I have a consultant that has offered me HA on the National Health Service but need discreet ones.

Any feedback would be appriciated with CIC users around how music etc sounds with your HA :slight_smile:

Thank you

Hello Owensda,

There are plenty of musicians who suffer with hearing loss. As well, there are plenty of musicians who wear hearing aids and continue to be a musician. You are not alone.

With respect to a CIC and your success with it, purely depends on your hearing loss. Find a competent and patient practitioner who is willing to work with you not only as a patient but a patient who is a professional musician. There is a difference.

Good luck.

Thanks for that…

I think it’s a bit of a delicate area as I need to try and stop any further damage to my ears but also maintain and try and improve the quality of the sounds I’m natually receiving. Years of playing in clubs and been in loud studio will not have helpled but always having poor hearing from an early age would not have helped I guess.

The problem is I’m in the UK. I’m going to book an appointment with a local private hearing centre to get some advice.

Also If anyone can help me overcome a barrier why I’ve always refused to wear HA’s before is that simply I’m under the illusion if I give into HA’s will I be then dependant on them all the time? Yes I struggle a little now hearing people etc but it’s always been a fight I’ve manage to contain within myself until now ‘deterioation of my hearing’


You should be able to set a decent monitor level through a set of elacin/etymotic/puretone custom monitors that doesn’t destroy your residual hearing. Mounting in custom plugs will give you sufficient isolation from your surroundings so you can mix properly without being overpowered by the music from your set.

If you need to hear the crowd, you can set up a mic on a dedicated feed, back to the input of your monitors. This will allow you to isolate it or just shut it off when you don’t want the input (or just feed it to one ear, so that you can cue the next track using the other side).

I’ve done a few sets of the elacin drivers for a local sound-system firm around here. It’s handy for anybody doing PA to be honest.

The use of hearing aids is a separate issue: your brain will be a lot less stressed when you get used to them, which makes life easier. If you stop using them you won’t hear as well and your auditory system will become more stressed as you struggle to re-adjust to the lower level signal.

That’s quite interesting, how does the sound compare using hearing aids in your opinion to your natural perception of sounds unaided?! I know our hearing will be totally different so it’s a ‘how longs a piece of string type of question’ but I’m very intrigued by this as to whether I’m going to encounter more distortion, tinny effects, compression effects etc.

I’ve got an appointment with an independent audiologist on Friday for a Hearing test and to look at all my options, they are aware I’m looking for discreet Hearing Aids with the cost not being a primary issue for me, so I will probably be making another post if I have specific questions about HA they recommend :slight_smile:

If you’re mixing or doing anything involving any composition involving relative levels of music, wearing the aids is going to make the sound much more compressed, plus there’s the limits of the mic/amp/speakers within the aids: that’s before any reverse phase damping or digital processing delay. Yes - they will sound tinny if you high frequency damage - your auditory ‘gamut’ will have been missing tinny sounds for a while.

Most aids are vented these days (even for fairly hefty losses), so you’ll get very limited protection, which will mean that you’ll have to consider a different approach for your work.

Where are you in the UK?

I’m in Manchester.

I don’t even need to wear HA for writing and producing the tracks in the studio as the final mix and master of my tracks tend to go to the labels own mastering houses.

I guess it would have been a bonus to have them to enhance my experience of doing what I love but if they’re just gonna disrupt and complicate things they will just come straight out.

The main purpose for the hearing aids are for my face to face job that involves me having to speak with clients, this is my real need for hearing aids sadly. I can get by reasonably well but a little bit of help is all I require so I’m not having to ask people to repeat themselves.

My hearing isn’t dire and my speech is no way impaired, some people I can hear perfect and some people in my ears just sound like they are just mumbling lol.

This has always been one of my put offs about HA is that in some circumstances I need them and they would help but I can also get by and able to professionally produce music and sell lots of records.

That’s like saying you can get by without a leg: except when you need to walk :wink:

You’ll be a lot better informed once you have seen a hearing aid dispenser. If you want a second opinion, I can give you a couple of recommendations in your neck of the woods - let me know.

Have you had any luck? I’m a former Touring Rock Drummer. I’ve had many of the same issues. as for playing live, i use the InEar monitors. I got 1 starky Soundlens IIC and am having trouble adjusting to it. it’s only been 2 weeks. it’s not 100% invisible, but it’s really hard to see unless somebody is looking right into your ear. the sounds are all compressed and Tinnie. but I’m still working with my Audi to fix that. it’s hard to pull voices out of a lot of back round noise. so there is a trade off for size with quality.
please let me know what your experiences are.

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I am a musician with mild-moderate hearing loss only in the very high frequencies (6khz & 8khz). After having done much research, I was fit with a pair of Bernafon Chronos 9 Nano RITE hearing aids. I purchase them from Costco, and had a great experience with the hearing instrument specialist there.

These aids have a frequency range up to 10khz, and they employ channel-free technology. There is a dedicated music program which turns off all the automatic features, including the feedback manager, since the feedback manager can distort musical notes.

The aids I have are the small behind-the-ear type with a very thin wire leading to a receiver with “open domes” in the ear (RITE or “receiver in the ear”), which allow the low frequencies to enter the ear naturally. I really like these aids, and actually use the music program as my default program in almost all circumstances, since it sounds more natural to me, and doesn’t do strange things to music.

I think this aid is also available in a CIC version, but perhaps there might be some occlusion with a CIC.

According to my research, one of the best experts on musicians and hearing loss is a man named Marshall Chasin. He has some great articles that are available on the internet. Google his name along with “music” and “hearing loss” and you’ll probably find the information.

Everyone’s hearing loss is different, and what works for me might not work for you. But I thought I’d share my positive experience, in case it might be of some help, especially to other musicians.

this time in english perhaps?

I have a composer friend in exactly the same position. He hasn’t bitten the bullet and seen an audi yet, so you are at least being proactive.

One thing that was interesting to me is that someone said that venting will prevent the hearing aids from working as hearing protection. I assume that to be true to a degree, considering the source, but I notice with my CICs that when I turn them off (say at a nightclub), the sound is quieter than with them removed. Perhaps the insertion loss (think that’s the right name) happens across only some frequencies. So I tend to use them for earplugs this way sometimes. I also would have thought the built-in compressors might help here?

One thing I have found regarding sound quality is that they are not all created equal. Some sound like cheap mics/speakers and other way more “hifi”. This is one of my big concerns as I wear mine all the time. So my first step is to find one pair or more that sound good, then try and adjust from there. And yes, they will sound tinny at first because you are not used to hearing the highs.

I wear CIC’s and virtually no one notices them. I tried RICs and same thing. I would say RICs are slightly easier to see, but most people won’t notice I’m sure. Other advantages of CIC are that you can use headphones and telephone like you are used to.

I have been wearing hearing aids for as long as I been a musician. It can be done.