Audio Help for Hearing Impaired Part II

There are two feasibility questions that I was hoping some of you folks might help me out with regarding listening pleasure for the hearing impaired. The first involves convenience at the expense of fidelity, while the second is just the opposite.

At first I thought of placing these queries in the tech forum, but because of the high level of expertise that I’ve read here and because ideas in early planning often spring from real world experience, I thought I’d post them here before visiting the land of Ohm.

Because each question is a bit lengthy and involved I’ve broken it down into two parts.

This is Part II

My second question also revolves around a DIY project that I’ve been imagining for a long time. While I love my digital hearing aids, I realize that the driving force behind hearing aid design has long been miniaturization for sake of convenience and cosmetics with its attendant loss to fidelity. I truly miss analog. I’ve read about an AudioGoner who was working on the dc powering of tubes. What I’m envisioning (and I’m quite serious) are vacuum tube powered hearing aids. I see it with four main components (3 dual pairings and a belt pack) with interconnects. The headset, depending on feedback constraints, would consist of mini-omni microphones, quality earphones, two signal tubes and amplification circuitry with adjustable, but lockable eq sliders. The belt pack would hold the battery.

Realizing that appearing as the ultimate “tube head” might well look silly, it is a sacrifice I’d certainly take aboard for the ultimate in corrective hearing. Besides, as a fashion statement, somebody has got to go up against the “Blue-Tooth Borg”.

Thanks for your thoughts in helping out this AudioGoner (pun intended).

Mario, forgive my ignorance, but why wouldn't a great pair of audiophile headphones, cranked up a bit, and equalized to adjust for your particular hearing loss profile, do the trick?
Hello Mario, Yes, forgive my ignorance also, but Nsgarchs' suggestion crossed my mind too.I also thought about something else. What about some Binaural mics, usually on a headband, but not necessarlily, into a small mic preamp, then into a little tube amp imput with headphone output, and wear headphones with the mics? You could use the headphones of your choice and adjust volume on the amp! Here's the cool part, you could use that setup at home, and make a portable unit for concerts! I'm thinking a Sonic Impact T Amp -excellent sound, mini mic preamp, and senheiser binaural mics and small "audioplile" earbuds might work. That system would be small enough not to be noticeable, and you could probably ok it with the concert venue officials by explaining the situation. And, as a added bonus, you could bring in a tiny digital recorder and plug that in, and record the concert. for your own use of course! Take it home and compare to the home system! I'm not sure if this will work with your situation, but would be easy the put together and not too expensive to try. Check out whats available in binaural mics, i think i remember seeing a combo unit that has mics and spkrs, together. Another thought just crossed my small mind, some mini digital recorders might have a built in mic preamp and headphone output, so you wouldn't need a separate amp or mic pre!, just a small digital recorder, you wouldn't have to record, just monitor! I used to be .an amateur recordist , but years ago before the digital stuff got smaller/better. I used a Sony D5M cassette recorder I still have it to play master tapes i recorded, that unit had 2 mic preamps, and headphone output w/ volume. Kinda big , but they also made a walkman size recorder - D6,still available i think, not quite as good sounding but ANALOG! I don"t know where you live, but i'd be willing to let you try my Sony D5M cassette for experimentation. Hope this helps, it might work and seems much simpler than designing the system you described, maybe one of the listening techs can elaborate on that. Good luck and let me know if i can help. Regards, Alan
You are a true Audiophile! A true example to everyone who has thought to think about what that word describes. With stormy weather on the horizon I would worry you might become the target of lightning. Is this concern unfounded? Whatever you do, please consider your safety! Hearing impaired audiophiles are few and far apart and valuable contributors to the hobby.
Nsgarch & Jalanc

If there's ignorance to be had in all this, it is mine with regards to what is already in existence in components that could make this work.

Certainly, headphone use with equalization is a straightforward solution for dedicated listening (although in Part I, I'm looking for other conveniences inherent in the loop). Here, it's the real world, out-the-door, mobility question I was looking into. I love analog, but am not married to it. Alan, if mini digital recorders pass through monitor output in “tape pause mode” that can be equalized in dc, my search is over.

Hearing aid circuitry has made tremendous strides forward in both audiology and fidelity in just the last few years. Once the digitals became affordable (micro analog was the tin hallway zone) things really opened. So, I may be the case of the little spoiled brat whose got a taste something very good, and now wants it all via a little more macro circuitry.

And Alan, thanks for your kind offer, but you show the way, and I’ll try and lay my hands on it somehow.


This is a bit off subject but related. I learned about Bioflavonoids on Audio Asylum and its potential to help rebuild blood vessels in the inner ear. I have felt the beginnings of Tinnitus over the last year or two and have been taking Bioflavonoids for 4 or 5 months. I have experienced some noticeable improvement and plan to keep taking this stuff. Obviously I have no knowledge about your situation but wanted to offer what was a discovery to me. Best of luck.

Here is the source wher I purchase Bioflavonoids. You can also do a Google search.
Hi Mario, i did a little research on digital recorders and binaural mics, wow, they've come a long way! Check out Edirol R1[awesome,tiny, built in mic pre, headphone out w/vol,built in eq!, palm size! ,built in mics!, you might be able to just plug in headphones and have everything you need, depending on how good the mics are!],marantz pdm 660,670,&671,fostex fr-2[awesome,big],denon dn-f20r,sound devices 7 series-pro!,superscope,etc. Mics-senheiser MKE2002,,OKM[],,etc. Search google for binaural mics-much useful info. Man, i'd love to get back into recording with some of this new stuff! , there's a 4 day music fest[Grassroots Festival] in w. ny Finger Lakes july, with Rickie Lee Jones headlining[ i love her], and 60 bands!-TAPING ALLOWED!Too many hobbies[$$] right now, sigh, oh well, let me know if i can do anything to help, Alan