Hearing Instruments and Lyrics
As a hearing aid user, you may have a special music setting for your hearing aids.
Simply wearing hearing aids can make listening to music a more pleasant experience. When your hearing gets worse, have you ever noticed that when a new instrument starts to play it’s indistinguishable from some of the other instrument sounds? Do you struggle to hear lyrics that are sung? Hearing aids can help you hear those sounds that you are missing.
Hearing aids are also helpful in reducing symptoms of tinnitus (beeping, buzzing, clicking sounds). Tinnitus is connected to damage that your ears endure as a result of exposure to excessive noise. Musicians usually experience tinnitus because they frequently perform concerts.
Anyone who has profound hearing loss generally has difficulty hearing soft sounds. Those who enjoy listening to music may blast the volume so loudly, that their headphones may risk more damage to their hearing health.
Average speech sounds reach between 35 to 85 decibels (dB). Remember, 85 dB is the threshold for safe listening. Music has double the range of volume - approximately 100 dB. Music also features many more frequencies than average speech sounds. A piano can emit 40 percent more frequencies than the average female voice.
Earlier hearing aid models were unable to manage larger ranges of frequencies without becoming distorted. The latest models have gotten better at processing music for hearing aid users. Talk to your hearing instrument specialist about different hearing aid options that can be helpful for your hearing loss. It’s important to be open and honest about your hearing health needs in order to get the proper treatment.
What are some issues that may arise with earlier hearing aid models?
Modern hearing aids now have a solution for the distortion sounds of music. It is recommended that hearing aid users listen to music in the same setting that is used when listening to a conversation in a quiet environment.
Earlier hearing aid models may cause users to be unable to hear lower frequencies. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), usually affects the higher frequencies. Are you unable to hear young children or some women? If you can’t, you may have high-frequency hearing loss. Hearing aids need to be programmed in order to hear those specific sounds. When it comes to music, lower frequencies are important sounds that need to be heard.
Many people with hearing loss, also have difficulty comprehending speech in busy environments, like a crowded restaurant. Modern hearing aids can be set to reduce background noise, but earlier hearing aid models may be programmed to misinterpret a sustained chord as noise.
Hearing aids that are programmed to reduce feedback noises from high-frequencies, like a whistle created by your hearing aid, could have unintentionally restrained pure tones in an organ or flute melodies from your favorite classical music.
There is a hearing aid feature known as “wide dynamic range compression”, which compresses the range to increase the volume in softer sounds. As a result, it can remove the lively range that the composer and performer had originally intended.
Modern hearing aids should not have these problems. If you believe that your hearing aids are altering the music from your computer, radio, record player, smartphone, stereo system, or TV, try lowering the volume. If there is a volume control on your hearing aid, you can raise the volume if necessary. If you experience mild or moderate hearing loss, you may simply remove the hearing aid.
Musicians: Discuss your hearing issues with your hearing instrument specialist
Musicians may occasionally miss having hearing loss when they listen to music because they are recreating the sounds in their mind. Ludwig van Beethoven recreated music in his mind when he became deaf. It almost becomes a sixth sense.
For musical performers, hearing aids can change the sound of your own voice or instrument. This is known as “occlusion”. In some cases, it’s helpful to wear one hearing aid instead of two. It may require the need for a more open earpiece or a hollow earmold, or lowering the amplification for the low frequencies may help.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive Listening Devices should be tested before making a commitment.
A hearing loop gives hearing aid users a wireless signal that can be detected on the hearing aid’s telecoil (t-coil) setting when using a smartphone or if you are in a church, concert hall, theatre.
Live sounds can be picked up and streamed through your hearing aids by placing a remote microphone by the source.
These are small devices, like the Roger Select TM microphone, that transmit sound from other wireless audio accessories to your hearing aids. Talk to one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing to enable a streaming program on your hearing aids.
If you or a loved one, miss listening to music, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test, hearing aid trial, and consultation.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require new hearing aid fittings, repairs, and re-fittings. We ask that you please wait in your car, while wearing your face mask, and place your hearing aids in a clean zip lock bag. We will come to your car to get them. If you are having any issues with your hearing aids, please contact us before visiting one of our office locations.