[I created a sig with my audiogram but changes don’t stick and it isn’t showing up, so I put it at the bottom of this post.
Also I’m posting in this forum hoping that I’ll be able to find satisfactory digital HA’s]
If the below is too much to wade through, please just skip to question 4)
Background: I just turned 65 and have had some impairment for decades from loud power tools and motorcycles, but over the last several years it’s gotten progressively harder to understand people.
The last straw was when I recently played a CD track with nice and pronounced cymbals that I hadn’t listened to in awhile, and was shocked that I could barely even hear them.
Re audio sensibilities, I hesitate to call myself an audiophile, as I can’t hear differences between good quality amps or DAC’s, but I’ve been an audio buff since my teen years and believe I’m rather discerning about sound quality.
I’ve put in about 10 hr reading after googling “best hearing aids for audiophiles” and feel like I’m at the point where I can ask some reasonably informed questions.
- Do digital HA’s have A/D and D/A of sufficient quality that they’re not a weak link?
For me that would just be CD quality, or even less; some of the best and most realistic recorded sound I’ve heard has been on DVD’s, which have lossy compression; I think recording quality is a much larger factor.
- Regarding HA configuration, it seems to me that BTE would be a non-starter:
The pinnae collect and focus sound from the front, while attenuating the sound from behind (esp high freq), while the mic location in BTE HA’s would do the opposite.
Do I correctly conclude that BTE HA’s should be dismissed out of hand if sound quality is the top priority?
If so, that leaves CIC and RIC.
Or so I thought; from what I’ve read, the “receiver” in RIC refers to the speaker, whereas I’d have thought that would be the mic.
So that just leaves CIC.
Or does someone make a HA that has the mic inside the ear but the electronics behind?
I’m concerned about discomfort of CIC, difficulty of battery changes and insertion/removal, and life of the tiny batteries.
- It sounds like most (hopefully all) of the issues with digital HA’s are due to too much digital processing aimed at speech intelligibility in difficult situations, with predictable damage to natural sound quality.
And with CIC, why the heck would all that processing be necessary anyway, unless the aim is to increase speech intelligibility beyond that of natural hearing?
- Presuming I’m not alone in my sensibilities, has anyone tried the following strategy:
Limit processing to using EQ to flatten frequency response, combined with gain to correct sensitivity loss.
Regarding the former, I gather that this may not be as simple as one may think; I read that the audiograms we get only represent threshold sensitivity vs. frequency, not the frequency response at higher, more relevant levels.
Still, I expect experimentation would yield a satisfactory freq response result.
If the above has worked for some of you, please share which brands/models.
- Despite my impairment, it seems odd that I have the same distaste for bright sounding equipment and recordings and shrill sounds; I still wince when children squeal.
Perhaps something to do with my ears’ having freq response that changes w/SPL?
Noah’s audiogram (7/6/16)