Hearing aids and music appreciation

Here’s an outline about what this category is all about …
I came across this articles from an other forum. I thought it might be of interest …

I’m sure many of us have tried hearing aids, I’m very keen to have the views of those who’ve been using them for longer than I have. I must admit I’m a bit disappointed with what I’m hearing: I’m even thinking of replacing the speakers, which I find almost unbearably bright now.
Do things improve with time?

I am coming up on three years with the ReSound. They are adjustable via Bluetooth by my iPhone and they have a Music setting which eliminates the processing. I think they do a pretty good job and I need them for every day in any event. During this time, I have bought a 500DR and upgraded my 552 to DR. I am enjoying the music more than ever and my wife is happier with my attention to her comments. It is all good.

We have a local otolaryngology clinic and they have a doctor who has tried all the hearing aids. The choice was easy to figure out with a demo.

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I doubt it. Hearing aid companies, in my opinion, sell spectacularly overpriced garbage. I tried a couple different kinds and decided I’d rather be hard of hearing. I’ve got a 28 dB loss almost across the band, so it’s manageable. At home, I just increase the volume and it’s fine.

For situations in which I need a hearing aid (conferences, and some meetings), I had Noble Audio make me a custom pair of K10s. I run them through my iPhone and use its microphone along with a hearing aid app (there are many). Seems extravagant, until you compare the $1,000 price of the K10s to any hearing aid out there. A bargain! And there’s no comparing the sound quality. That would be like comparing your Naim setup to a 1980s casette boom box. It’s not in the same league. Good, custom molded IEMs are fabulous.

Highly recommend this approach, unless you need hearing aids 24/7 for everything.

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Like Skip I use Resound hearing aids. Every time Resound brings out a new “platform”, I buy a new pair and the last pair get a service and then are kept as a spare. My current ones are Resound Linx Quattro, which is the state of the art. As Skip says you can control all the Linx aids with an app on your iPhone or Android phone. With the Quattro and it’s predecessor the 3D, you get bass, middle and treble tone controls as well as volume controls and programme selection. This means that you can play around with the controls and use that to guide the audiologist in making adjustments at your next appointment.

My hearing loss is much too severe for me to be able to work or socialise without them, but with them I also enjoy music much more than without. I have had many different aids (Phonak, Widex as well as Resound) over the last 15 years, but for me the successive Resound Linx models have been by far the best for music (and I’ve had all of them), but I know that others on the forum here have tried them but prefer other makes. As with hifi kit, it’s listen before you buy. Fortunately the hearing aid industry expects that and you can easily try whatever you want for a week or two, adjusted for your own hearing loss, without laying out any money.

If you can afford to buy them privately then that does give you the right to get many adjustments done until you are happy with them. The NHS is a bit more hit and miss and whether you will be satisfied depends more on how your hearing loss is and what the fitting software makes of it. You only get one or two follow up appointments.

In the UK a pair of top spec Resound Linx Quattro hearing aids will cost you about £4K, but speaking personally, I get far more value and enjoyment from that than for example when I added my XPS DR to my 272 for similar money.




You need to get them adjusted @SamClaus. It’s easy for an audiologist to do and doesn’t take much time. Modern aids also give you tone controls, which allows you to handle situations where things seem too bright.



I’ve had them adjusted three times already, they’re the latest top-of-the-range Phonaks which can detect when I’m listening to music. Still, some CDs sound terrible… to my ears, of course. On Buniatishvili’s Kaleidoscope, the piano sometimes sounds like an out of tune harpsichord.
Anyway, as Rich says, I will probably grow into them.
Your replies have been very useful - and, to be honest, 20 or 30 years ago, no one would have bothered: age-related hearing loss was just one of those things you lived with.

I had some top Phonaks a few years back. They are long gone but were the bees’ knees then and cost me £6K. Music sounded terrible and I thought that was how it was going to be. I tried two successive different pairs of Widex over the next couple of years (which are supposed to be great for music) and they also sounded terrible. Then I tried the first Resound Linx and everything changed. I started buying Naim because I could enjoy the sound again as well as the music. The Linx 2 was much better still. The Linx 3D was a slight improvement and the Linx Quattro which is the current one is better still. When I bought the Quattros I also tried the current best Widex again. A disaster. I stopped using them after a few days. They were too awful.

But I don’t leave things to the audiologist. I do the online courses so I know how to use the fitting software and I go to appointments with precise instructions for him on what I want done in terms of dB and kHz and what are the settings for the different digital processing I want. I have two music programmes set up, so I can swap things for music that sounds too bright for my less good ear. That’s on top of the tone controls which affect both ears.

But I know one of our number who chose the Phonaks over the Resounds a couple of years ago. Maybe he will join in.

Anyway I hope it works out for you and don’t accept what the audiologist tells you. They are your ears and your life!


I have Phonak and at the time ( 3 years ago] also tried Resound and received great help and support from @davidhendon.

I found I needed a separate music setting with all extra processing turned off and music sounded better than ever. With Phonak just recognising music was playing things were just too bright. If you want to email me (in profile but leave out the naim). I can try and find the page that outlines the exact settings used.

Now when I sit to listen to music I just press a button on a remote or on the left hearing aid to select the “music” program.


Thanks a lot, will do.

Maybe you didn’t send the email or my disguising it was a bit obtuse but these are the setting for my music profile with Phonak Audeo V70.

The first is the preprogrammed music where it automatically detects music.


This is the manual setting for music


Obviously the numbers pertain to my hearing but the relative difference in the numbers give you an indication of what can be attempted. I was back and forth several times trying both Phonak and Resound. I’m not sure whether it was just the experience of the audiologist or whether the second set of figures are an off the shelf change for serious music listening.

Roon has DPS that I can use to recalibrate in order to compensate for my hearing loss but contrary to what I thought beforehand the sound is actually better with hearing aids in than DSPed. (This may be a relection of my acumen with DSP however)

I’d never mistake the automatic over manual music mode. When I first came home with the automatic one only I nearly cried. This was sorted on the very next visit with the manual set-up.

As mentioned I also tried Resound LiNX2 9 but found the Phonak better (for me obviously as David had the opposite experience).

I hope this helps you.


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