Bluetooth hearing aids and sound quality

I’ve been wearing bilateral BTE aids for many years, and the ‘music’ setting seems to work pretty well with the equipment combination I currently have (SN3, ND5 XS2, Arkaydis floorstanders from back then when they were good). Recently domestic circumstances have evolved somewhat, and it would be really useful to be able to use Bluetooth hearing aids instead of routing through the speakers.
I would value advice on the best path to follow, initially on what make/model of hearing aid people would recommend.
I would also be happy to use headphones, but I fear that BTE aids and over-ear phones would not work due to feedback problems. Has anyone had success with this possible combination?
And just to highlight the extent of my ignorance, is it possible to isolate the speakers and just use Bluetooth? I assume that plugging headphones into the amp would automatically switch off the speaker output.
Thank you in advance for any comments.

Much recent discussion of hearing aids here, you might find info or like-minded people :slight_smile:

Suedkiez, thank you. Just what I needed.

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I’ve got BTE Hearing aids and use them with over the ear headphones. You have to be careful how you wear them otherwise I get feedback.
I’ve got Widex ones from Specsavers and had them for 4 years. Recently I’ve found my system doesn’t sound as good, even though on my recent audiology checkup said my hearing hadn’t changed.
I’ve read in several places that the life of hearing aids is 4-5 years, so wondering if the hearing aids are the cause of my problems.
As said above you are looking at a considerable cost to replace them.


I started the ‘Supernova’ thread & if you have read it you will realise that I have very limited experience of hearing aid use so far & there are many others on these forums better qualified to answer your queries.

That being said, here is what I have found so far with my Phonak Paradise 90R aids.

They enhance, very noticeably, the headphone experience when used with my open backed Sennheiser HD599’s. I have not experienced any feedback issues & the earcups on this model are large, easily fitting over my ears when wearing the hearing aids. They feel no different whether I am wearing hearing aids or not.

I have only used the Bluetooth option so far with Spotify from my old Asus 10" android tablet. This works reliably & the sound quality is ‘adequate’. It is about the same as on my ipod nano that I have used for years when outside in the garden, washing the car & going for solo walks etc. I am usually listening to Audiobooks on it but do sometimes listen to music. It is nowhere near as good as listening via proper headphones, which is probably understandable given the difference in drive unit size & the totally different primary use each unit is designed for.

When using the Bluetooth from my tablet there is volume coming from the tablets speakers & if I reduce this to nil it also cuts the sound to the hearing aids. I don’t know if there is a way around this & probably won’t bother finding out as I doubt I will ever really use this feature. I was just initially finding out what my new hearing aids were capable of.

Hope this is of some help to you.

Thank you, Canaryfan, most useful. I think you’ve settled the issue of sound quality for me - lashing out of Bluetooth aids will not give me what I hope for.
I’m encouraged by your headphone experience. What I need to do (when we’re allowed to do it!) is go shopping to try out as many types as possible. A perfect excuse to hang out in hifi shops!

As far as I am aware most, if not all, top of the range hearing aids now include Bluetooth. I think that this is most useful to people who use a mobile phone a lot &, whilst I am not in this category, I can see it being a facility of real value.

I have been told that the more channels the hearing aids have the better. Again it is the top of the range models that have the most channels so you will inevitably get Bluetooth with these whether you want it or not. The more channels the aids have will likely enhance music reproduction so it would not seem a good idea to automatically rule out expensive ones just because you don’t require Bluetooth.

Obviously, with something as expensive as hearing aids it would not be sensible to invest in a pair without consulting an audiologist to obtain a pair most suited to your requirements & get them set up properly for you.

Using the phone is so much easier with a Bluetooth aid. You can hold the phone away from your face, or even keep it in your pocket and still speak. I do yoga classes over Messenger at the moment so it’s really easy to hear the teacher, rather than having to strain to hear a tinny voice through the iPhone speaker: feel the floor, feel the stretch, focus on the breath…

I am on my second pair of ReSound. Have the new (2020) Linx that uses the ReSound 3D app. My health plan covers a big part of the cost; my friends can get them from the US Veterans Administration. Otherwise you are looking at Chord Music pricing for a 3-4 year useful life. It is easy to set up an audio setting and modify the treble as needed. It works with my iPhone to play phone calls and podcasts, even on a bike ride. I can turn up the volume and resolution in a board room or a noisy restaurant. Music sounds like crap. I am listening through a phone. But podcasts and phone calls are the killer apps. Decent battery life. Maybe just short of week.

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