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Hearing aids that compensate ...

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Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:33 pm

I'd be interested to know if there are any hearing aids that can compensate for one's compromised hearing?

Assuming I have dips at specific frequencies that throw my hearing out of sync and I want to compensate for that specific response and elevate it to a more normal response: can this be done?

I know there are hearing aid manufacturers that claim this can be done but are they genuine claims?

I am fully aware I could set up some form of eq curve to accommodate for my particular hearing response but I would like to know if these 'aids' exist and if so who makes them and do I need to sell my remaining nut to buy one?
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby garrettendi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:55 pm

Pretty much all digital hearing aids can be programmed to the specific frequency curve of your hearing, and if you go through an NHS audiology department they will give you a proper test to find your frequency curve and once it's ready, the hearing aid will be programmed to compensate for that exactly, to a fair degree of resolution.

I had digital aids from about 10 years old, until I was 28. I used analogue before that and the programmable digital aids were a vast improvement.

EDIT: FINALLY a thread that I can answer with some degree of expertise :D
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:03 pm

I have a pair of hearing aids, although I've barely used them. This isn't down to vanity so much as to the fact that I'm working extremely hard to perfect my 'miserable old git' persona and I'm not interested in what anybody else has to say.

Today's digital hearing aids are tailored to compensate for the specific frequency dips of the user, however, it's a fairly blunt instrument. Probably akin to a 5 band graphic eq. There are also up to 4 different profiles that you can switch between. On mine I think that they are;

Normal
Music
Wife
Brexit

Profiles 3 & 4 being - OFF

Things may have moved on, I've just check my battery ration book and I've had the aids since 2014 and obtained a pack of replacement batteries just the once in 2016.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby garrettendi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:09 pm

I've just checked my last profile and it's 7 bands of measurement, so I imagine the most modern digital aids go up to is 7 bands.

Interestingly cochlear implants from the Cochlear brand have about 20-30 bands of EQ, with an extra 3 bands customization in the implant remote control
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:31 pm

garrettendi wrote:I've just checked my last profile and it's 7 bands of measurement, so I imagine the most modern digital aids go up to is 7 bands.

That's saved me a job. I was searching for the info online but then I got distracted with work (more bloody Brexit stuff. Notice how the 'Remainers' have to do all the Brexit related work. That's because the 'Leavers' can't be trusted with sharp objects - such as pens)

Anyway. If anybody is considering hearing aids then go down the NHS route. My hearing aids were free and I get free batteries (if I can be bothered to go and collect any). A company tried to sell me the same ones, on offer, for £1500 the pair. Only difference - a choice of colours.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby garrettendi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:34 pm

Music Wolf wrote:Anyway. If anybody is considering hearing aids then go down the NHS route. My hearing aids were free and I get free batteries (if I can be bothered to go and collect any). A company tried to sell me the same ones, on offer, for £1500 the pair. Only difference - a choice of colours.

100% agree. The NHS might have a long waiting list, but they are free and will tailor the aid to your requirements.

If it wasn't for the NHS I'd be relying 100% on sign language and wouldn't be a musician. I simply would struggle to have afforded the implant I have now, and my parents wouldn't have been able to afford the latest digital aids when I were a young 'un.

I know the NHS get a lot of slating, but they really are the best.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:55 pm

I already see an audiologist regularly for my tinnitus. Will chase this up.

Thanks for all the valued advice.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby garrettendi » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:57 pm

Hope it gets sorted. A hearing aid may help relieve the tinnitus as well, it does for some people (I have tinnitus and my implant helps).
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:15 pm

I have a hearing loss of a very significant dip of everything over 2kH since I was little. I had hearing aids when I was a school (Over 25 years ago) and they were awful, as they simpy amplified EVERYTHING, more over, the big ear mould was designed to block all sounds out and then they gave you everything back artificially. I couldn't wear them. I could get by without and did so until last year.

Fast forward to last year and my wife persuaded me to get my ears checked again and got new hearing aids privately... they are fantastic. It is like an acoustic veil has been lifted. Until last year, I realised I had never heard a dawn chorus before! Music is a complete transformation, hearing new artefacts in music I thought I new inside out!

I got a pair of 'Unitron' aids that can adapt to the environment using intelligent EQing... eg they know when to adjust to pick out conversation in a noisy or quiet environment or if I am listening to music etc etc. More over the new designs have an open mould in the ear so they still let the natural hearing I have work normally giving a far more natural over all sound.

Admittedly they were expensive, but no regrets, the audiologist was superb. What ever route works for you, NHS or private, the end result is definitely worth it.

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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:25 pm

I should add, by going with a reputable audiologist, I actually had a 4 month free trial, where I went through a program of testing all the various options and configurations. I was not made to feel like there was some obligation at the end either.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:28 pm

Reminds me I should get my hearing checked again.......

One thing to bear in mind is that the test measures your threshold of hearing at different frequencies. No audiologist has yet been able to answer the question (for me): “If your hearing is impaired, does the frequency response of your ears vary between hearing threshold and normal listening levels”? A sort of compromised ‘Fletcher-Munson’ curve.......

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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby ef37a » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:42 pm

Geezz Bob! It is bad enough that our hearing is frequency/level/level-history dependent if we have to think about how it works now one is deaf one will go mad!

My hearing has been poor for some 20 years and I had a digital aid but only use it when I have to. Stuff on TV that is not subtitled NHS waiting rooms now wife can't come and hear my name called. They are pretty good but music sounds like bee in a tin.

At one time I had the idea of getting some top line, really high output headphones, building some seriously state of art class A amps to drive them and yes, using the inverse of my loss curve. Never got round and in any case the SPL needed to correct a 30dB loss at 5kHz say might, I thought just accellerate the loss?

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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:57 pm

You've reminded me of an incident some years ago where we invited my aged, hearing impaired and somewhat forgetful, aunt for Christmas lunch. She had a habit of keeping her hearing aids in a 'safe place' which could mean anywhere in the house, such as the fridge, pantry, pots and pans etc, but she also had a habit of immediately forgetting where she'd put them!

After a prolonged search we gave up and I had to improvise a home-made hearing aid solution to avoid a shouting match over lunch. This consisted of a rather nice studio microphone fed into a mixer with a good headphone amp and a very nice set of closed-back headphones - she reckoned it was the best hearing aid she ever experienced :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:26 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:Reminds me I should get my hearing checked again.......

One thing to bear in mind is that the test measures your threshold of hearing at different frequencies. No audiologist has yet been able to answer the question (for me): “If your hearing is impaired, does the frequency response of your ears vary between hearing threshold and normal listening levels”? A sort of compromised ‘Fletcher-Munson’ curve.......

Bob


There are sound reasons why audiologists test hearing at thresholds rather than at more normal listening levels. Yes Fletcher Munson complicates it, but so do other factors.

We arent born with a sound level meter in our brains. Human hearing is not good at gauging absolute sound pressure levels. We're much better at gauging comparative levels. (F Alton Everest 1989) but it gets worse...

We have poor ability to remember relative sound levels with accuracy. Estimates on our reliable acoustic memory seem to vary from a few seconds to fractions of one second!

What are the implications from that in how we evaluate difference items of audio gear by listening tests?

As Ethan Winer says, "ears are not perfect" and he isn't talking about hearing loss. Even with good hearing, it seems we can be easily fooled.

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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:33 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:You've reminded me of an incident some years ago where we invited my aged, hearing impaired and somewhat forgetful, aunt for Christmas lunch. She had a habit of keeping her hearing aids in a 'safe place' which could mean anywhere in the house, such as the fridge, pantry, pots and pans etc, but she also had a habit of immediately forgetting where she'd put them!
My Gran was similar but with the batteries. After finally being dragged back to the doctors, after a period where her hearing was particularly bad, they discovered one of the hearing aid batteries wedged in her ear canal.
It was a 'safe place' in a way.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:38 pm

Seeing the doc on Wednesday to collect my referral to the audiologist. I think I definitely will need some form of frequency response management as I do not have trust in my hearing at present. I have also noticed that my tinnitus has got considerably worse since the hearing issue appeared.
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby garrettendi » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:40 pm

Good luck Eddie!
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Re: Hearing aids that compensate ...

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:25 pm

Indeed - the very best of luck with this most tricky problem Eddie!


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