Singing with hearing aids

I am a long time HA user. They work well in all aspects of my life except singing. It is easier to reach notes without hearing aids, although, paradoxically, I don’t hear as well, and that’s a bummer. Any suggestions? Thanks. --Steve

First thought is to have a music program setup and get it tweaked to your preferences.

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Singing and listening music is 2 different thing. Music program fitted to listen as a headphone, added sub. - depend on hearing loss. Singing with hearing aids needn’t this, just a simple correction without noise blocker and etc. etc. etc. Nothing at all.

But need a good piano and a teacher who help you.

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I believe the point of a music program would be to possible have a second music program. One for listening and another for singing. Each would be dialed in for its purpose.

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Noicito. Thank you for replying. I don’t understand your suggestion. The problem for me is reaching notes accurately when singing. I am more accurate on pitch without my hearing aids, at least according to my teacher. So I have to keep removing my aids and reinserting them because it is hard to hear my teacher or even the piano without them. I’d love more of your thoughts. --Steve

To follow up, what is “a simple correction without a noise blocker, etc.” --Steve

Starkey tunz check em out.

You just need more accurate frequency response.

MDB and Raudrive,

I have had a few “music programs” (at least those offered by Signia and Phonak) in my hearing aids. They don’t seem to help much. I wonder if there is a better third party music program out there?


The factory settings are not what I was saying. Any quality digital aid today can be adjusted to help your singing issue. A good fitter can do this for you.

There’s nothing third party that you can “add” to your hearing aid that I know of. However I would expect whatever hearing aids you use that the default music program would require adjusting by your audiologist. Have you tried going back to your audiologist with your concerns? There are lots of discussions on here about setting up hearing aids for music, but the basic idea is to remove as much extra sound processing as possible (noise reduction, feedback control, etc.) and go for a linear response. I guess if all else fails, you could try a psap like the Etymotic Bean, but I wouldn’t give up on your hearing aids too quickly.

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What a pain to have to continually take out and put back in the hearing aids. I hope you find a workable solution.

Dear Noicito, the problem is in the completeness of the sounds you produce without a hearing aid. With hearing aids you can hear the high-pitched sounds a lot and you sing without pushing the voice, which probably lacks more sparkling sounds. You could do a test with only one hearing aid when you sing.
Another suggestion is to buy or let you try old analog aids calibrated on lower frequencies. Every audiologist will have someone in the attic to let you try.
I could help you more if I knew which hearing aid you use and your tonal audiogram

The current Signia 7Nx series HA’s have three music programs available; Listening to Live Music, Playing Music, Listening to Recorded Music. They are not a lot different but basically they turn off noise reduction. Microphone focus changes from type to type. They do not turn off feedback suppression, but just put it in slow response mode. I suspect feedback suppression might be an issue for you. One of the techniques used to suppress feedback is to shift the frequency of sounds that the HA determine might be feedback. I would think that would be an issue in maintaining correct pitch. In the Signia aids feedback suppression can be turned right off, manually by the fitter. That is how I currently have my music program set up.

Steve, can you tell us any more about what you experience when you try to hit difficult notes WITH the hearing aids? Is there anything you can identify about the experience that’s giving you trouble? Or is it just that abstract: HA’s out, singing good, HA’s in, singing bad?

Also, your high frequencies have very high loss. Has your audi set up any frequency compression on your HA’s? That could definitely be a culprit.

Also, what kind of HA’s are they?

Thanks, Haggis for your response. Yes, I have a pretty significant loss, almost all in the high frequencies. The best I can describe the problem is when I sing along with the piano it is harder for me to monitor my voice and/or to accurately hit pitches. I get notes wrong more often with my hearing aids in, and apparently monitor the notes more poorly. So I end up taking out my aids to sing, then put them back to make communication easier.

My hearing aids are Signia Pure 13Nx which generally work quite well for me. There is a “music program” which I assume is meant for listening to music, not producing it. That program actually doesn’t do very much good even for listening compared the the universal setting.

I wasn’t aware of frequency compression or feedback suppression or noise reduction until you and another member brought them up. These all seem like good ideas that can be dealt with. That’s something I am eager to try.

Can you explain the point about analog? Analogs are what I started with years ago when I first started wearing hearing aids.


“Audiopiano” mentioned analog HA’s. People who like analog HA’s complain about the sound quality of digital HA’s, that it’s artificial and/or irritating.

No one’s exactly sure why this is but it may have to do with the phase distortion inherent in low-latency DSP (digital) filtering that subtly modifies the harmonic content of the sound.

That’s partly why I was asking about your subjective experience. What does it sound like when you sing with HA’s? Is it confusing or uncomfortable? Is it too loud? Do you get distortion or tremolo? Is there any subjective effect or feeling you get when you sing with HA’s? Or do you just make more mistakes and you don’t have any idea why?

My comment about frequency compression was to make sure you do NOT have frequency compression turned on. Frequency compression shifts high frequencies to lower bands and that will confuse the heck out of tonal perception. You would sing one note but hear a different one through the HA’s.

This hearing aid should have the same options as the 7Nx and the KS8 that I use. There are actually three music programs that the fitter can select, or select them all if you want to compare them. I would think that the one that would work best for you is the “Performing Music” one. You might want to have the fitter check which one you now have.

Your hearing loss in the high frequncies is significant and as Haggis suggested they could very well be set up to use frequency compression. That takes high frequencies and “squashes” them down to lower frequencies so you can hear them. It can work well for speech, but not so much for music and especially singing where you are trying to sing in tune. You won’t be hearing what you are actually singing.

However, it is normal to turn off the frequency compression in the music programs. Again you might want to check with your fitter to see if frequency compression is being used and that it is actually turned off in the music program.

The Signia Nx aids are some of the better ones for music. At least according to Signia!

Dear Haggis,

Singing is not really uncomfortable. There’s no distortion or tremolo. It can be loud, but volume can be adjusted. The best I can say is that I am less certain of the pitch and objectively less accurate in matching the piano. The bottom line is that I make more mistakes and can’t accurately monitor where I go wrong. I will ask my audiologist about frequency compression.

So I end up singing without my hearing aids and do the best I can to communicate. I wonder if properly adjusted aids could enhance, rather than diminish my ability to sing accurately.

I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to analog hearing aids. Even though my hearing has gotten worse over time, digitals are a great improvement over analogs and work well for me in everyday communication. I just wondered what analogs would offer in performing music, at least theoretically.

Would it be possible to discuss this by phone? I have no difficulty with the phone.


I’ve never noticed a problem with singing, and my hearing is generally worse than yours. But, perhaps people are being kind by not telling me that I’m a bit sour from time to time. :wink: Is it your own perception that things are worse, or are people telling you that things are a bit off?

Year ago, we had a guy in our church who had a great sense of pitch, but didn’t hear very well. One time, he started about a quarter step below the organ and managed to sing his whole anthem consistently a quarter pitch low to the end. I found it impressive, albeit a tad unsettling.

I had the same idea that others did that there might be a frequency-lowering (or compression) issue with the way your HAs are set up. I’m due to get new ones in two weeks and a day, and my audiologist mumbled something about frequency lowering. So, I’ll be sure to ask to have a way to turn off that feature when I’m in choir. Since I personally can’t sing above about 700 Hz (middle C is about 260, right?), I don’t get the issue, but I guess overtones or something.