One of the many reasons people consider treating their hearing loss with hearing aids is to improve their ability to listen to music. Whether listening to music at home or going to a live concert, hearing instruments can help you to more fully experience the joys that music offers.
The problem: Does music sound distorted?
Traditionally, hearing devices were designed for speech recognition, focusing on enhancing conversations. They also assist with hearing everyday noises, such as alarms and birdsong. Traditional hearing instruments did not, however, deal with the technical nuances of listening to, or playing, music.
If you already wear hearing devices and you feel that the music you listen to sounds distorted, you are not alone! This is a common issue. The reason is that many older hearing aids struggle to handle overly intense noises, such as live music.
The frequency of loud shouting is in the range of 80-85dBa, whereas even quieter music can reach over 95dBa, which is the common threshold for older hearing aids. This can create a distorted effect, which impacts upon the sound quality of music (hearingreview.com).
In addition, music is much more varied and subjective than speech, which creates issues with identification of sounds.
If you are a music lover or a musician yourself, don’t despair! Newer hearing aids, using ground-breaking technologies, are tackling this issue head on.
The solutions: How technology is advancing music appreciation through hearing aids
Advanced technologies are making this long-standing issue a problem of the past.
Newer hearing aids are better able to handle louder and complex noises, such as live music, by elevating the available A/D converter dynamic range.
Hearing professionals can also help to make small software changes to better fit your needs.
In addition, technologies such as Bluetooth make it easy to connect your hearing aids directly to your Bluetooth enabled listening device of choice, whether that is your iPhone, Android or at-home stereo. Finally, stay on the lookout for the audio induction loop (telecoil) symbol – many concert venues will offer the loop system to its listeners, which will allow you to connect your hearing aids (if equipped with a telecoil) to live music as well.
Hearing device options for music lovers
While hearing aids can assist you in appreciating a concert or a CD, there are specially designed devices that can really enhance your experience.
Widex Hearing Aids
Widex is well-renowned for its innovative approaches to fusing a love of music with optimal performance in its hearing devices. Using TrueInput technology, Widex ensures that the available A/D converter dynamic range is fully optimized. This technology also allows the input voltage to be doubled, meaning those loud noises that older hearing aids can’t handle are no problem for these top-notch devices.
Studies have shown that the top-of-the-line technology offered by Widex is a fantastic option for musicians and music lovers everywhere.
Siemens Hearing Instruments
Siemens provides great options if you are a casual, at-home music listener. Siemens’ many accessories allow you to sync your hearing aids with Bluetooth devices, such as your cell phone or computer.
Siemens offers a specific ‘music’ function, which provides a tailored option, especially if you are enjoying live music. In a 2014 experiment, test subjects concluded that Siemens’ music program offered the best overall performance when compared to four other manufacturers.
Phonak Hearing Devices
Phonak offers great all-around options for people looking for a hearing aid that will fit into a variety of situations.
All Phonak hearing instruments are equipped with the Venture platform, which not only reduces battery consumption and offers two times the processing power of its predecessors, but also includes a special ‘music’ function to capture the fullest spectrum of sound.
My Hearing Centers will find the perfect match for you
At My Hearing Centers, with over 50 locations across the United States, you can speak to one of our hearing professionals about which products are best suited to your needs. We offer a range of products from a variety of manufacturers, also including:
• Signia, with its HDMusic program, uses innovative 12kHz bandwidth technology to provide all-around ideal performance, whether listening to music at home or live.
• Starkey, which was the Silver Edison Award winner in 2015 for its Halo Made for iPhone hearing aid, recognizing its pioneering approach to developing hearing aids.
• Oticon, which is equipped with BrainHearing technology and wireless connectivity.
• ReSound, providing a leading Made for iPhone hearing aid.
Each hearing device is different, and there are special features to each product. Contact us at My Hearing Centers today and one of our audiologists or hearing instrument specialists will talk through the options with you to make sure you get, or are getting, the best fit for your needs.