Hearing problems and speaker upgrade

Like many 68 year olds I have developed hearing issues at the high end. My new hearing aids help in conversation but to me interfere with the sound of my system— highs are clearer maybe but sharp and shrill (plus it just makes sense to me that the hearing aid speakers aren’t as high quality as the speakers/system I’ve put together over the years). So I remove hearing aids when listening. So I’m wondering… is it worth it to upgrade my 40-year-old speakers? Will better speakers help get me back closer to what I was hearing before? Should I just accept the change in sound and adjust to it? Any insights appreciated! Thanks 


I've worn hearing aids for 20 years or so, and even though I may not hear my gear as well as some other people, I can still tell plenty of relative differences between components, including speakers. Just bought a very pricey pair of 'bookshelves' a few months ago, in fact, and it's the best sound I've ever had in my room....

Are you using open dome or closed dome hearing aids.  Depending on the degree and type of hearing loss you have, the open dome ear piece, along with a hearing aid that has a separate programable "music" setting, can help you dial in the frequencies you need to boost without causing the shrill spikes or distortions.  The open dome allows natural sound coming from the speakers to still enter your ears, while getting a slight boost at the necessary frequencies. It takes a number of trips to the audiologist to get settings dialed in right.

Again, it might vary depending on the type of loss you have.  I have hearing loss only in one side, and no amount of speaker balance adjustment or EQ can solve my situation as well as an aid.

You need hearing aids with a hifi music setting.  Costco sells them. they are excellent.  Not quite like being 25 again but close.

Your hearing aids are focused on speach and eliminate "noise" including music.  A hearing aid with hifi music setting lets in all the frequencies and adjusts for your ears to flatten the curve.


Many modern speakers will sound better than 40 year old junk. You may appreciate speakers that can produce detail/resolution without resorting to brightness (to fake you out). Many dudes remain faked out thinking their bright speakers are detailed.

On a different note, the last thing on earth a guy with any amount of hearing loss/ degradation should do is be a purist. Use copious amounts of PEQ, etc to adjust to taste.

This topic speaks to me.

I say you deserve treating yourself to new speakers.

Just find a brand that your ears appreciate whether that's with aids or not.

I highly encourage you to consider some EQ/DSP to help you enjoy music better, including possibly using headphones and software to help compensate.  There are some really excellent sounding headphones and amps that with some EQ can really be satisfying.

A 'music' setting on a hearing aid may be some programmer's idea of what a 'music' setting should sound like with your gear in your room, but it may not be your's. The best ones to get are where you have some kind of EQ functionality from the remote to give you the most control over the sound. Agree with @deep_333 about hearing loss and quest for 'purity'. 

New speakers will sound better if you buy the right speaker - an upgrade.  You will never be young again, but given your current hearing status, new speakers will sound better then your old speakers, and yes, I think you will hear the difference - i.e. what you can hear, will sound better.  

Thanks for all the insightful responses. I’ll look into some type if EQ/DSP which I hadn’t thought of but new speakers are probably in my future. FYI my hearing aids do have a “music” setting that is set and can be altered by the audiologist, but even with repeated adjustments they seem edgy - though they do seem to add some high-end clarity. I might look in to hearing aid upgrades as well - though as Jerry points out hearing aids are intended to improve hearing speech… thanks again… additional insights still welcome!

I am struggling with the same issue .  I decided against the new speakers 

Also, to those of you with hearing aids, do you listen with them or without them? I know aids are designed for speech but some like my Signia aids have a music setting that the audiologist customizes. I use it occasionally but often listen without the aids, though clearly something is missing - clarity of highs - tho there’s also an edge sometimes so maybe not clear cut. But what do you folks do? 

Im with Mahler123 on this one.  The "HiFi" setting on the hearing aids produces a very high end raised fake presentation of what music really sounds like.

I recently tried a pair of expensive over-the-ear type hearing aids and I am returning them. I hated listening to music through them even though they had a music setting and some EQ on my phone.

They had a tiny microphone on the back of my earpiece and who knows what for a speaker in my ear canal. They sounded terrible. They showed me how much of the highs I have lost, but through the hearing aids the highs did not sound natural or pleasant.

I will consider getting an equalizer for my stereo and some ear bud type of hearing aid for conversation but I was greatly disappointed with the aids I tried.

So much depends on the severity and type of hearing loss you have.  Many people have sensorineural loss of the higher frequencies that can be compensated with programmable digital hearing aids.  Some people have frequency blocks and cannot hear accurately within certain frequency ranges.   Their audophile days are over.  I've had a sensorineural loss of higher frequencies for 30 years and still enjoy my audio experience so it can be done.  Highly recommend staying away from cheap, generic aids that are not programmed to your particular loss.  No hearing aids will fix your loss, but high quality aids programmed by a professional Audiologist can be life changing.  Don't go cheap on aids and continue to be an Audiophile!