HA newbie here: Are objective ratings of sound fidelity of various models available anywhere, or is there any sort of independent testing at all? When considering models out there, all I see are lists of proprietarily named features (e.g. Resound calls high frequency shifting “Sound Shaper”). Given the financial investment, and how cumbersome it is to try different models, it would really help if there were some third-party evaluations out there, of both basic reproduction quality, and accuracy of sound processing features such as directionality or noise suppression. (If there is something like this out there, I couldn’t find it.)
Why I am asking: I’m not happy with the artifical quality of the sounds on my new Resound Fortes. But the other ones I briefly tried in Costco, their Phonak and KS models, didn’t sound so great either. I had assumed that customizing the HAs for my hearing would improve it, but they still sound pretty bad, compared to listening to music or podcasts with earbuds, which sound much more natural. Originally the HAs sounded too tinny, but after some adjustments the tinniness was reduced, but they still sound like cheap audio speakers from a flea market. My earbuds never needed any adjustment period to “get used to” the sound, however after a few weeks, I still don’t like the sound from the HAs, and thus avoid wearing them unless I need them in meetings or groups (at which point I am very appreciative that I have them – previously I used Petralex).
I am mostly happy with the little bit of sound processing which I am aware of, e.g. directionality works nicely. I wouldn’t mind the little bits of pops and static if the basic sound quality were better.
I do understand that the receivers have to be small enough to fit inside my ears, and not consume too much power, so are not really comparable to earbuds or better audiophile speakers. But I’d like to see objective ratings of sound fidelity, to know if there are better models I should consider, or if this is the best I can expect. If there is something out there which is much better, I’d like to know that it is worth finding a provider and giving them a try. Lacking that, is there a list of best HAs for musicians, which I guess might be closest to offering the audio quality I am looking for?
Thanks for any suggestions. And thanks for this very useful hearing site & forum!