sphearclinic: the aids you describe sound like ones I started with way back in the early '90s - no kidding! Yes, there are awful aids out there that merely amplify ALL sounds uniformly. I don’t even know the brand names of these aids (if they still exist!) because those kind of companies should go out of business. That is like handing everyone who needs any kind of corrective vision ware a big, hand-held magnifying glass! Obviously, you can’t drive a car, walk down stairs, or see anything beyond your nose when ALL things in front of your eyes is magnified! Instead, vision prescriptions adjust for each eye’s needs, to enable the best overall vision. Granted, folks over 45 still need reading glasses in addition to ones for general vision.
Similarly, HAs need to be fine-tuned for each ear’s needs. My ears are similar in their loss, so the fine-tuning isn’t as involved as say, someone with normal hearing in one ear and completely deaf in the other. It takes a qualified audiologist to work with a patient to fit aids to that person’s needs AND listening preferences. I’ve worn aids more than 30 years, and I can vouch that today’s aids do NOT amplify all sound across the board. In fact, with things like directionality and frequency adjustments, my aids compensate for my needs in a variety of settings (quiet room, noisy place, the phone, dynamic music listening, etc.).
I hope this will encourage you to open your mind to the possibility of a QUALITY aid, fit by a professional! Yes, new aids are rocket science in terms of repeated appointments to adjust the fitting - but if you are persistent and can articulate HOW you want to hear, adjustments can be made.