Can you enjoy music as much as you did before your hearing loss? That depends on your level of hearing loss. It also depends on how your aid processes music.
Healthy Hearing gets right to the heart of the issue: “The problem with hearing aids is that they were designed to amplify speech, not listen to music. They were not made to handle music’s diverse tonal quality and wide dynamic range.” Because of this, many hearing aid wearers often describe the process of listening to music as “unpleasant.”
While more and more aids are being shipped with premium connectivity features and complex “feedback reduction systems”, Healthy Hearing continues, the more complicated the compression system, the more processed the music will often sound. Thankfully, many aids can be configured with a music setting that temporarily disables the features that can inhibit how one can listen to and enjoy their favorite music.
But simpler might not always be better, and there is a lot of dedicated hearing technology on the market specifically designed to overcome this problem. Phonak devices such as the Phonak Sky V and Roger Pen, which can connect to your “music player, amp, or keyboard” and stream directly to your hearing aids, are popular and well regarded. Starkey’s Muse line of hearing aids, on the other hand, come built with a specific circuit designed for music receptiveness.
Outside of these options, many hearing aids also come with premium connectivity features. Oticon Opn technology, for instance, couples directly to your iPhone. Most other aids also have bluetooth streaming for a seamless music listening experience.
When considering buying an aid that’ll help you listen to music, there are many different aids and systems to consider. An audiologist can walk you through your options and offer demonstrations and trials. Most importantly – don’t get discouraged if you can’t find something right away that suits you. It may take some time to ultimately decide what sounds and works best for your needs.