Hello to All,
I usually spend my time on the Hearing Aid Hacks (DIY) forum, but I have had some experience with my Bernafons that I expect some on this forum might be interested in knowing about. Besides, Bernafon seems to be a bit neglected here, so maybe I can raise their profile just a bit!
I first obtained hearing aids just over 3 years ago….Rexton Quintras from Costco. They were fine for speech, not good at all for music. Being a very serious music lover and sound system operator, this frustrated me and set me on a quest to find an aid I could tolerate for both recorded and live music. I had opportunities to try several other aids (Widex Dreams, Unitrons, etc), and none were acceptable. I must hasten to say that the main problem (in my opinion) turned out to be programming, not the aid itself as long as the aid could accommodate levels of up to 110dB. Out of desperation, I tried analog aids based on the K-amp chip, which seemed to be favored by many musicians. The instant I did, I started smiling!
This meant that I now needed to carry two sets of aids, one for speech and one for music….not very convenient. After reading material by Marshall Chasin, perhaps the most recognized current expert on hearing aids and music, I discovered Bernafon aids and their unique technology which on paper seemed to have advantages for music. So, off to Costco to give them a try. Same result, not good on music. Just on the verge of returning them, I decided to try my hand at self-programming. There is a thread in the Hearing Aid Hacks (DIY) forum describing the setup details, so I won’t go through that here. Bottom line, I decided to ignore my audiogram and change the Live Music program in the Bernafons to emulate the level-dependent frequency response of my General Hearing Simplicity Hi-Fi (K-Amp) aids. The results were wonderful. My analog aids are now retired…the Bernafon Juna 9 pico-RITE aids now do it all.
I won’t use this space to describe the details. Instead, I have written a report describing what I did, which can be accessed here for anyone interested:
Certainly what I did is not a general solution for music and may not work for anyone else. However, it has convinced me that perhaps programming aids for your specific audiogram just may not be optimum for music…in particular the auto-programming by the manufacturer’s software at a fitting. Please don’t spam me for this heretical comment! I would just like to see an open and intelligent discussion of this proposition. I would love it if someone else could reproduce what I did and assess the results. I hope the link to the report works. I’m new at this.