Hearing aid question

Decades ago I at least thought of myself as a bit of a "Golden Ear"; my Quad ELS/Pyramid supertweeter combo and associated electronics were a source of pride and joy. (All gone over the years, alas.) In recent years I have learned that I have essentially lost the top three octaves of my auditory frequency response, whether through natural aging or some other process I'm not sure; I also have a fair bit of tinnitus at this stage, but that has proved less of an issue in being able to enjoy music. So now I've gone from enjoying the transparent reproduction of great music to struggling to resolve the sibilants in my wife's speech. (In the overall scheme of things, the latter is arguably more important, at least in maintaining peace at home.) I still very much enjoy listening to music, but the high-end losses have somewhat diminished the joy of it.

I am of course starting to think about taking the leap into hearing aids as a genuine quality-of-life enhancement. I was wondering if anyone out there has dealt with similar issues, and perhaps formed opinions about which of the many available solutions has worked best as both a general lifestyle aid and a boost to their enjoyment of live and recorded music. Many thanks in advance.


whether through natural aging or some other process

I had a blocked eustachian tube in one ear. Maybe from ear infection. That caused a big drop around 3-7kHz

One quick test for differences in right and left ear is make the "money" gesture by rubbing your fingers together. You can move hands further away from ears and also rub harder or softer to vary the "volume".

I have had Oticon and currently Widex (~$3K). The best pair I had were a pair of Widex top of the line $7k. They blue toothed to the phone and could be adjusted and changed with a phone app. Really handy. Lost one somewhere and had to fall back to the less expensive model. I highly recommend them for conversations and general daily use but I still like listening to my main system without them. Or have them tuned for a setting that is open but turn them down.

Insurance may cover some of the cost. When I worked for a big Euro based telco they paid $2.5K. now I work for a USA company and the insurance sucks. Didnt really understand how sh!tty our insurance programs are compared to western Europe. Pathetic.

+1 on all the recommendations to get hooked up with an Audiologist. If you pay some of them will come to your house and configure them for listening to your system.

I have mild hearing loss and tried the top of the line Phonak behind the ear receiver in canal hearing aids and did not like the tin can sound when listening to music.  I settled for Resound but still don't listen to music with them.  Streaming Bluetooth, my $100 ear buds are much better for music than the $6800 hearing aids!  I found the open ear plugs to be more natural as they let in sound in addition to what the speaker provides.

It is not surprising to me that these fly weight devices can't come close to producing natural sound as they are primarily designed to improve speech recognition and while they do that fairly well the sound is to me artificial and un-analog, but in a noisy restaurant I am fine with that as I just want to follow the conversation.  How sophisticated can the DAC inside these tiny things be.  They are using a digital amplifier- no class A here. So it is no surprise that music sounds unnatural.  I will agree that there is an emphasis on high frequencies and when I use the hearing aids I hear a lot more high frequency than without, but it is digititis on steroids.

I suppose that as my hearing gets worse I may need to use hearing aids to make up for the loss.  

I would like to hear from anyone that is using the ASI 3DME as to the tone of the sound.

I went to hearing aid 2 years ago.  I bought the top Phonak aid.  They are designed with music in mind and have an adjustable music mode.  One of the main aspects of this mode is the removal of any “noise reduction” processing.  This can destroy the sound stage.  I have a PS Audio system which includes the flagship FR30 speakers.  The aids retail for more than $7k but I will not listen to music without them.

I researched most of the hearing aid options and landed on top level Widex ones.  The Music setting is very good in the range of this genre of aids. None of this kind of aids reproduces above 4k, however. 

I have recently learned about a new genre of aids that that use an "earlens" surgically attached to the rim of eardrum and vibrating directly against the eardrum.  They get a radio signal from a device that looks like regular hearing aid.  They claim to extend the lower range and more so the upper range up to 10k with a more natural sound throughout.  I am about to try them myself.

The problem is that they are very expensive comparatively, although a lot of us spend more on our systems or even some components.  For those both motivated enough and having the means this promises to be a superior improvement for audiophile listening along with the rest of hearing.  Check out earlens.com.