Hearing aids for audiophiles.


I’ve chosen to walk away from the sirens, horns, gunshots heading both directions, and all the damage it’s done (doing) to my hearing.  Through the miracle of hearing aids I’d like to bring back my hearing as close as possible to my youth mostly for the purposes of accurate and full tonal musical listening, and then, of course, to hear the voices of my loved ones better.  To those of you who’ve gone down this road, what are recommended brands and non-recommended brands, as well as any pitfalls to be aware of?  Costs and sizes are factors also.  Thanks,
Bob
Bc12cb8c ff95 4c81 b394 253c3466e28eAg insider logo xs@2xanotherbob
Although quite expensive, my Widex aids have been a life changer. Strongly recommended.
Not again! HearingA is not for hi-fi, let's get real.
Widex Moment hearing aids worked for me. Very expensive but its like I upgraded my speakers. I was missing upper mids and high frequencies.

https://www.analogplanet.com/content/two-months-widexs-moment-440-mric-r-d-hearing-aids

If you really want good quality sound then I would do a modern version of what Bob Fosgate (I think it was) did with headphones back in the 80's. Modernizing it for today, get some high quality IEM, omnidirectional microphone, and an amp with EQ or at least tone controls. Today this can all be the size of a pack of cigarettes, at the most, and probably a lot smaller. 

Won't be much bigger or more obvious - or expensive - than some of the quality hearing aids I have seen, but the sound quality will be off the charts better. Another plus, you will look like a hip dude into music and not just another old fogey with hearing aids.
For ‘mild’ high frequency loss, aids like the Widex can be very satisfying.  For more ‘moderate’ loss, the benefits diminish.
BTW, I speak from experience.
Phonak Aude'o P-R, port & starboard.
Recommend molded earpieces over buds, more comfy and less likely to come loose if you wear glasses, ear protection, use a comb or brush....
Mid into Hf loss, tinnitus, loud machines, music, age...

Went shopping for 'audio quality' aids, and pretty happy with them.  Rechargeable, so no tiny weekly batts.  BT, pairs with anything that does.
Random non sequiturs from Google Assistant are funny.

@fiesta75, they're a lot better than you may think, esp. for those of us who like our 'hobby'.

Case in point:  When I got my 'new pair' (Old original ones are fine, thx), first impression was how noisy this world IS.....but I now have onboard volume control....and OFF.  *G*

Second, I could hear birds again. *L*

Third, on lighting up my gear.....I didn't have to adjust Anything on my eq.

All 31 bands of it, room eq as well.

That was a surprise, but a nice one....


My father lived to a very old age and was not only into hifi but as a boy was in at the dawn of broadcast radio in the 1920s.

He had some quite nice kit if, shall we say, vintage 60s but his hearing deteriorated.  Undeterred, he bought a pair of state of the art aids costing around £1500 in those days.
But afterwards I found he was still not listening to the hifi.  He said that even with the aids he did not enjoy the experience like he used to and it was not worth listening.

At over 70, still with good hearing but down at the top end, I am finding the excitement of the sound a bit dimmed and I don't listen as much as I used to.  But I don't think I will ever want to give up on music like my dad did for his final ten years or so.

Has anyone else found that if you hold your nose and pressurise your ears a lot of the high frequencies come back?  A bit inconvenient but nice to remember the full experience occasionally.
I was going to say cupping ones hands behind their ears! Really does work parabolicly speaking.
FWIW I have worn hearing aids for over 15 years. I started with "in the canal" versions. They are ok but the my current are behind the ear and give the best possible audio experience. They are Starkey Audibel Via. They a rechargeable bluetooth and pair with your phone for calls, music video. I got their TV interface and what an experience to understand conversations from movies again. Keep in mind that hearing aids are not a perfect fix for hearing like you can get for your eyes through surgery. 
Oticon More 1. Not cheap but excellent hearing aids. I could not believe how much sound I was missing in regular life, music was just an add on. 
The snobbery of audiophiles here is so awful that it is embarrassing.
@nitroxpro The snobbery of audiophiles here is so awful that it is embarrassing. 

your post is ridiculous, all I see here are great suggestions other than @fiesta75 and it was just a stupid post.
I have a pair of Eargo Neo Hi-Fi aids. Totally invisible, FDA approved, rechargeable, multiple programable settings, can vary bass and treble all through you phone apt and cost only $3500. These are their top model and supposedly made with the audiophile in mind. Made a huge difference in my hearing as well as re-enjoyment of my audio system.

J.Chip
My advice is don't wait any longer. This has been the biggest upgrade to my system...EVER.

Been using Apple Airpod Pro ($249) as hearing aids. (see video below) tested against Beltone hearing aids costing $5400. The Airpods pro are better!! IMO hearing aids are a HUGE rip off. No reason they should be SOOO ridiculously expensive. 

Using Airpods pro you still take a free hearing test from 'Mimi' and file an audiogram on your iPhone. BTW...It matched exactly the audiogram from the audiologist office.

An important point is that YOU get to control the software to make adjustments. You don't  have to go back and forth with your audiologist to adjust. You do it yourself fast, easy and accurately.

The sound experience is incredible. I have a typical moderate high frequency hearing loss.  Music on my stereo never sounded better. Detail is absolutely amazing!  Great dynamics as well as sound stage are vastly improved. Great bass also. 

You can also stream music, take phone calls or listen to TV directly using two modes. Transparency mode allows you to hear other sounds around you OR you can switch to cancellation mode that creates a completely silent environment perfect for music listening.

Coming in IOS 15 will have a new feature called 'Conversation boost" using  beam forming microphones to focus on the person speaking and cut down on surrounding noise like in a restaurant.

Watch this video for an explanation on how it works...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExMjW1nivOA
Oticon, behind the ear. Best "upgrade" to my system and life. I don't understand why people try to fix their hearing by messing with their system, proper hearing aids are WAY better!

+Widex - The Apple AirPod Pro may have software, but so does Widex. The audiologist sets the hearing aids to augment the frequencies your hearing test indicates need boost. You can customize the balance and there is a tone control for bass, midrange and treble. Also, using the Soundsense Learn function you can let the software suggest alternatives and create customized settings for different kinds of music. But all of this is moot to the extent that none of these products can restore your original hearing at the highest frequencies (above about 10k Hz). For me they made a material improvement to the frequencies above 3k Hz, where my hearing loss began. I now hear cymbals and similar sounds that were not audible until I got the hearing aids. If the Apple AirPods can effect the same improvement, great. But they are larger than hearing aids. The Widex products are far more costly at $4k or more per pair. 
I have had the Widex Moment MRR2D for about 6 months. Yes they are expensive but so is a new preamp and it can't help you hear your grandkids. The Moments are excellent but I don't like the Music Mode that comes with the top end model. It's sounds to electronic to me.  I use the PureSound turned down to a low setting and it is enjoyable.  Often, though, I just turn them off for music even though my hearing is 50db down at 2k and above.  I also use the Roon EQ in moderation. An inverse curve with just 5 -10 db boost is helpful. Anything more is counterproductive. It's all worth a try to help keep the music flowing.    
It is entirely possible to boost higher frequencies with Audyssey provided your equipment is capable of communicating with the phone app.

As an example, the curve editor could be set with a flat response to say 2k at -5dB and then 10k set to +10dB. That's at listening level of 0dB and at lower listening levels Fletcher Munson Curve compensation can be added by implementing Audyssey Dynamic EQ.

Aint nothin like the real thing baby......  hearing aids just don't do it.   It may help for some (didn't for me). They say the problem is the mic in the aids not the amplification....never the less ....just accept the loss 
Well yes, do accept the loss, although I'm sure you probably don't appreciate the gratuitous advise. As I suggested do what you can to improve your listening enjoyment and ignore the fact that others with better hearing might not appreciate the modified frequency response. If you are lucky enough to have Audyssey, the app can hold several settings, so you can download them as needed to your receiver.
There's a potential problem with compensation for high frequency hearing loss by utilizing system tone control corrections. Our neural processing tries to compensate for hearing loss and we become habituated to whatever our "normal" hearing situation may be. A sudden change in audio input frequencies relative to what one normally perceives is likely to sound abrasive and unnatural. It takes a while for our brains to become comfortable with a newly corrected input. 
It would certainly be well worth doing in small amounts and carefully assessing any benefit before proceeding further.
Phonak’s best model for me. On my second pair. They upgrade the technology every three or four years. Costly... about $6K although you can buy them for 40% and more off. Connect Hearing will bargain. I hear things the young guys in the high end stores miss. The key is getting them set up correctly for music and your listening abilities. All aides will take you time to get used to... it’s a brain adjustment thing. They will have adjustments for ten to more sound bands in each ear plus the thing on the end that goes in your ear. My guy also does the local symphony conductor. Keep going back and adjusting until they are right for you.
First of all, understand that if you have actual hearing loss in a certain frequency range you will never get it back.  Your brain no longer recognizes those sounds.  If you have diminished hearing in a certain frequency range, start to exercise that range by getting hearing aids tuned to your deficiencies.  If not, you will eventually lose those frequencies altogether because your brain will no longer recognize them.

Second, the best hearing aids for music are the old technology analog hearing aids, a.k.a. K Amps.  These will amplify all the sounds in their entirety.  Unfortunately these are harder to find because everyone thinks digital is better.  Digital offers many adjustable refinements that work well for speech.  But digital does not work well for music in hearing aids.  Remember, digital hearing aids take the sounds they receive and convert them into numbers.  Then they process the numbers and turn them back into sound; all in that  itty bitty device you put in and over your ear.  The best hearing aids out there have a maximum upper range of 8 to 10 kz; far less than audiophile standards.

It's only been in the past 5 years or so that hearing aid companies have begun to take music appreciation somewhat seriously.  Some have "mucic programs" with features that can be adjusted by knowledgeable audiologists.  These are noticeable and worthwhile improvements to music listening, but still not audiophile and probably never will be.

I have had 2 sets of expensive hearing aids; one set before the "music program" era, and one after.  I was fortunate to find a very knowledgeable audiologist who understands the details of specifically tuning and adjusting my hearing aids to maximize my music listening experience given the limitations of hearing aids.  By the way, my diminished hearing is in the upper ranges.

All of this was a noticable and worthwhile improvement, but I wondered if there was more.  So I did some more research and asked some questions.  This is what I tried and I like it a lot.  I purchased a Schiit Loki "equalizer" and put it in between my Oppo 205 and my Anthem AVM 60.  The improvement in sound to my ears now approaches "audiophile".  It's not as good as it was 30 years ago, but it has brought back the joy of listening to classical music.  The fullness of sound through my Paradigm Studio 100 v2 speakers without the hearing aids is better than when I use the hearing aids.

Three caveots:
1.  Diminished hearing is unique to each person.  Therefore the solution or improvement will be unique to each person.
2.  Audiologists selling hearing aids are just that............salesmen.  They make their living by selling you something, even if it is not the best hearing aid for your situation.  You must must must try several different manufacturers.  You must be allowed to take them home for a few days and try them out.  And the audiologist you choose must be capable of going into the "music program" and altering and adjusting the specifics of that program to suit your needs; NOT just switching from one music program to another music program.  This is a process.  You will visit the audiologist several times before you get the most out of the hearing aids.
3.  You won't find useful information on the internet about the specifics of a given hearing aid.  All the manufacturers are deliberately vague so you are forced to go visit one of their salesman, who by the way only sells one or two brands of hearing aids.  It is not like going to a M. D. where the doctor recommends a medication or treatment that is best for you irregardless of who makes the medication or provides the treatment.  That is why you must shop around and test drive several hearing aids.
Thanks to everyone who replied, more good information that I had no idea about!
@anotherbob
A highly skilled audiologist is essential.  Widex Moment 220's have exceeded my already high expectations.  After a few weeks with a few office visits to fine-tune them, they've changed my life. I could not be happier.  I tried the 330 and 440 models as well but did not find them as good. Also, the brain needs some time to adjust but soon you'll hardly know you're wearing HA's. Seriously.

Best of luck to you.