Hearing aids advice

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Hearing aids advice

Post by DannyEldredTuba »

Hello everyone,

Without going into too much detail, I’m losing my hearing. I only have about 20 percent left in my right ear, and 40 in my left. This Thursday I have an appointment to get fitted with hearing aids, are there any other tubists here that have had good results with a certain brand and model? I’m looking for something that doesn’t distort tone quality, especially in lower frequencies . Any thing I should specifically look for? My audiologist really didn’t know how to answer some of these questions. Currently without them it’s hard for me to hear pitch, especially in lower frequencies.

Thanks for the help TubeNet,
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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by jbaylies »

I've been wearing Widex hearing aids since 2012. Ask for a Widex with the 'music' setting. They're expensive, but they've lasted me 8 years of daily use so far. I usually don't practice with the 'music' setting, though, because it's fatiguingly bright. I usually use the 'noisy environment' setting instead.
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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by TubaSailor »

I've had good luck with the Costco (Kirkland) brand - they cost about 1/2 as much as most comparable brands. The distortion I've experienced has been with the higher frequencies (Oboes) but that's where most of the amplification is also. I also have a "Playing Music" mode, which limits the clipping, but I usually turn everything down by about 1/2 while in the orchestra, and 3/4 or more in band.
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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by peterbas »

You'll need some good hearing aids but much more important you need the seller to know something about what a musician wants to hear or he has to want to put in the time to fine tune your aids.
The sellers are mostly only concerned to make the aids sound as good as possible for understanding speech which usually means more volume in the higher frequencies, 1000 - 5000 Hz. This can lead to very explosive or harsh sounds. Flushing the toilet can be a little traumatising when these frequencies are on a too high level or some sounds appear to be closer then they are in reality.
My first aids where Oticon's which were nice but the seller ddin't bother to listen to what I suggested trying out to make them sound better. In fact she did the opposite from what I asked so I did wind up with some non-human hearing. I could here female voices at 50 meters distance like they where standing next to me, which was sometimes really startling when you here people talk behind your back that are at a reasonable distance when you turn around.
Luckely we have a trial periode of 3 to 6 months so I went to an other seller where I got some Phonak vito's and people who are more inclined to make changes to see if the sound can be made better.

Greatest problem is that you can not get your hands on the software to alter your settings at home, because it takes time to adjust to new settings and I think you can only do that at home in an enviroment where you know the surrounding sounds really well. You can't do that at the shop.

I'm still left with 2 problems, some frequencies do distort like the beep on TV or some notes from trumpet and flute. Probably because I'm at the limit of amplification of the device. Second is applause sound, there is so much energy in the all the frequencies that they go in total compression and at that time I can't understanding anything any more.
Regarding hearing pitch, that works out for me just fine. But everbodies hearing problem is different off course.

Some links
https://www.hearingreview.com/practice- ... -musicians
https://www.bernafon.com/professionals/ ... -musicians
https://musicandhearingaids.org/2017/01 ... ring-loss/
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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by Yane »

I had good luck with Costco. The cost of the hearing aids made it worthwhile to buy the “Executive” membership for extra cash back, especially since the cost of the higher level membership can be pro rated for the remaining time on a lower level (Gold Star I think) membership. The exam is free, and the hearing aids from Costco were about half the price of similar hearing aids from an independent audiologist. Your hearing needs may differ; I have Resound over the ear models. The hearing aids work well for me, but took some getting used to! It is worth it to get hearing aids you can adjust with Bluetooth via your phone. I set mine up with less bass (pitch discrimination happens mostly on higher frequencies of the overtones anyway), less gain and less processing (the constant tones of music look like feedback to the hearing aid!) for playing, and ended up with presets for different groups and spaces. I turn down my left ear to avoid feedback from a sousaphone bell close to that ear, and added some padding on the bell by my ear as well. There can be bonuses to being your own monitor engineer: singing in a choir next to someone whose enthusiasm exceeded their ability, I could simply turn down the ear facing them. You can have your own click track with a metronome app, Soundbrenner makes a good free one intended to accompany their watch type device.

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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by royjohn »

You have some good advice here...for hearing aid specific stuff go to one of the hearing forums. They are always talking about the latest models and problems and audiologists, etc. I will have to say that a lot of people like the Costco aids. Your problem with pitch is not one of needing to hear low tones...the tuba tone has a lot of higher overtones, and the pitch can be gotten from those...in fact, it is unlikely that you have lost a lot of your very low frequency hearing, it is probably instead mid and high frequencies.

A lot of people (judging from the hearing forums) have a lot of frustration in dealing with audiologists. Some are undertrained, some are guided mostly by the dollars in it for them and many don't know much about music. Trying to explain what you are hearing in words is a frustrating experience, so brace yourself for multiple appointments to home in on a good setting. At least with some aids, the followup sessions are free until they are set up right.

What some people have done is to acquire the hearing aid adjustment software themselves and set up their aides themselves. This only makes sense and eventually it will be done this way. It does require that you find a brand that you can use with the typical software (iCube, I think) and then acquire the software off ebay and figure out how to run it. This is what I have done, although I have yet to delve into it. There is a subforum at the hearing aid forum of users of the software who will help you out if you go this route eventually. This is a group of people who were pretty abused by audiologists and they are pretty militant and only to happy to help.

It is a journey and you just have to take it a step at a time. I have gone to buying my own used hearing aids off ebay for a fraction of what I would pay on a new $2500-$5000 pair. I have my audiologist calibrate them for me. I go to the University, which is slightly less money-driven than a private audiologist, but they still try to sell me a new pair and look at me like I'm from Mars every time I go in there. I am delighted to have the software and I don't think it can be that hard to learn. You have an "undo" button on it so that you can always return to your former settings and start over. Good luck!
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Re: Hearing aids advice

Post by ScotGJ »

Another thumbs up for the Costco hearing aids.
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