Hearing aids

Every audiophile over 55 should get hearing aids....

OK.  that's a bit strong but many should.  Several years ago I had money left over in my Healthcare spending account.  I asked my doctor if there was any new cure for tinnitis and he sent me to an audiologist because there are now hearing aids that claim to help.  Well, long story short, they gave me a set of loaners and I immediately noticed a difference in noisy environments such as restuarants and I bought myself a pair.  They did not help the tinnitis for me.   My hearing isn't that bad.  I have some frequencies that are depressed but I'd say there are probably 20-40% of the people I know near my age (64) who have worse hearing and don't wear hearing aids.  I think of it like my eyes.  If you have 20/60 eyes, you get glasses.  Why do people wait until they have 20/500 hearing to get hearing aids?

Then I started noticing that music sounded better and started getting back into listening.  Since then I've bought a lot of equipment and am having a blast.  I'm sure my hearing isn't as good as it was when I was 20, but at 20 I couldn't afford audiophile equipment either.

Occasionally after a shower I'll find my system to sound bland and realize I don't have the hearing aids in.  But generally I wear them all day, every day.  Because I want to hear all the notes.

So a quality pair of hearing aids very much flattens the frequency response of your ears and does it in very high quality.  Don't go cheap. Don't worry what people will think when they see hearing aids (appparently a barrier to some).  But I highly recommend it as you get older and you want to get the most out of listening.




I've worn hearing aids for about 15 years or so, and have likely needed them well before that. Hearing loss runs in my family, plus I've been to hundreds of concerts! I love headphones and have a great headphone system as well as a 2-channel one. I do not blare them at earsplitting volume; dont do that with my speakers, either. I have in-ear hearing aids so I can use them with my headphones. I have hissy tinnitus too, but I've been pretty used to that for a long time. Sometimes it's louder, sometimes it's quieter. 

Carlsbad-- As I said, it's a psychological problem.  I never use headphones.  And yes, I have those modern hearing aids which are tuned to my hearing loss.  But couldn't I get the same compensation with a decent mixer on my system?  (This of course leads eventually to the unanswerable question of what music 'is'.  It's unlikely anyone in that orchestra has perfect hearing =- I'm told some are nearly deaf.  Plus we never are in the 'sweet spot' at a concert -- at least, I'm not. I hate 'enhanced sound' at the opera.  Why would I bring my own 'enhanced sound' with hearing aids?). This is not an argument--it's only what I at this point feel I need to do.  When my hearing gets worse, I might change my mind.

I put off getting a hearing aid for a long time because I thought it would distort the fidelity of my high quality music listening. What a mistake. I have typical high frequency hearing loss with age - worse in one ear than the other. So I invested VERY heavily in the highest quality aid out there. The hearing aid has computer controlled 50-band frequency equalization, tailored to my hearing response in each ear.

Now I almost never listen to music without them. What a pleasure that I was missing. Plus, I can understand conversations in noisy environments, as the aids separate background noise from speech. The technology has arrived.

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I’ve had hearing aids for six months now (I’m 68) and, like so many, I did NOT want to go there. Stubborn, vain and also cynical about their effect on music. I needed them years ago. I was wrong. Music is not artificial sounding (my big fear) and my speakers have tweeters again! The small wire from in the canal (ITC) transducer to behind the ear electronics often goes unnoticed. Even family, I had to point it out. Bluetooth. My phone automatically rings and audio through them. Answer on an Apple watch and listen crystal clear. The TV pairs through them too, app controlled. And most importantly - I can have a conversation with my wife. For all you old guys in the same boat I was in. Just do it. It’s another Viagra moment:  Didn’t want to, put it off, Holy s**t, should have done this years ago. Now you get it. Hah! Punny.