Hearing Aids

Wondering if anyone has any experience with Eargo hearing aids? They’re In-the-ear design, but claim to be the size of a the end of a Q-tip, and so leave much of the ear canal open, so those of us with good low end hearing can still get those frequencies naturally, and only have to rely on the devices to process the high frequencies). At least that’s the theory. They omit the vast majority of the bells and whistles of the BTE hearing aids, but I’d be happy if they improve my ability to hear conversations better, and don’t screw up the sound of my hifi. Any feedback on Eargo’s to report?

You may need to Google them first before you consider buying.

Also I suggest you get a proper hearing test before you do anything. No-one can advise you without knowing more than you do at present about what you can and can’t hear.

There are many threads about hearing aids in the forum. It would be worth reading some of them.

Get a proper hearing test. You might need adjustments at different frequencies depending on the results. Not just amplification.
It’s just like the graphic equaliser we u o have in our Hifi systems.
I had ne in y Technics Stacking system :grinning:

Yes, get a proper hearing test is my advice, also.

The whole procedure took a while and I have ended up with a Phonak BTE device.

In late night listening it is now the wife who asks me to turn the volume down rather that vice versa,


Appreciate all the replies. I have had several hearing tests with qualified audiologists over the past months, and I’m now taking the plunge into the world of hearing aids. In fact, the Eargo’s arrived 50 minutes ago and are charging across the room… I’ll update with the reactions of my 71 year-old ears. Thanks again!

Active speakers, then? :rofl: :rofl:

I have had partial hearing loss (around 50%) to my left ear for the last 10 years or so. It’s not getting any worse but won’t get any better either.

I’ve just grown used to the use of the balance control on my 252 to bias the volume to the left channel. After prolonged “encouragement” from my other half I eventually bit the bullet and went to an audiologist for a hearing test and a potential hearing aid for the first time.

A month ago I was fitted for a hearing aid in my left ear and it’s been a complete revelation.

It wasn’t cheap but I went for an Oticon Real 1.

It has provided me with a sound uplift and listening experience upgrade equivalent to a Naim black box!!! Yes, it’s THAT good.

And it’s pretty much invisible too.

Highly recommended.


Does anyone have experience of the Phonak Nathos Nova hearing aid, and more particularly how it compares performance wise with other models?

My NHS test appointment came through, and I confirmed what I already knew, with one ear noticeably worse than the other, peak loss around -50dB respectively. (In fact not dissimilar measurements to phone app, considering that the headphones I used on the phone were uncalibrated.) They offered me hearing aids, which from the very helpful reading on this forum I was fully ready to accept and embrace.

The NHS aids supplied a few days ago (FOC!) are the aforementioned model, and have a setting for music as well as other purposes/situations, including an ‘auto’ option for general purpose use, and are user-controllable/adjustable with the Phonak app. At present I am still aclimatising, and with boost backed off and now set to gradually build up to full over the first few weeks because it was verging on the unpleasant at full setting.

The positive effect on music listening is immediately evident, and I tried manually increasing level to have some idea of what it might be like eventually, to good effect.

Obviously until I have adjusted to them it is premature to attempt properly to assess their musical qualities, let alone considering “upgrading”, but I would be interested in others’ experiences of these particular aids compared to other ones.

This very interesting for several reasons: First, your positive experience is inconsistent with my experience with other manufacturers and types of hearing aids.
I’ve tried Oticon and Eargo, and my experience these highly rated HAs is that they dramatically degrade the quality of sound coming in my ears. Yes, it’s louder and they help me to understand what someone situated at the opposite end of a long conference room is saying, but they do so with sound that is artificial and annoyingly tinny – so much so that I can’t wait to hit the mute button or take them out completely. Ditto for the Music function. (My tentative explanation for all this, is that HAs are trying to reproduce natural sound through a very tiny “speaker”, which is unavoidably distorted and digital sounding.
I’ve read that Lyric and Earlens are analog products that produce a warmer more natural sound, but these require an audiologist to insert stuff way into the ear, and removal also requires an audiologist, the cost is high and recurring, and they block all sound from entering the ear, so if you turn them off or the batteries run down, you lose all natural sound coming to your ear drums.
I’ve begun to resign myself to the idea that if you want to hear more, you have to live with very highly processed, unnatural sound through HAs.
I’d appreciate any thoughts on this topic…

1 Like

This is almost certainly completely wrong. Many Naim users have hearing aids (you can find several threads in the last couple of years) and although it takes work, usually a good outcome can be found. Oticon and Phonak are often mentioned as giving good results, but there are other digital aids that are good too.

But it depends on your hearing loss and you can’t put back with a hearing aid that which has gone. All you can do is raise the level of the hearing that is still there to a more usable level.

You should discuss it with your audiologist who can probably suggest things to try.


They normally reckon it takes a month for new users to adjust to the sound of hearing aids and all modern aids have gentle adaptation or acclimatisation built in, so they start off at less than the prescribed gain and increase in steps over the first few weeks. It should be real win for you if you give it time to work properly.

I write about hearing aids from personal experience!


Further to my last post, there is one anomaly with music that I find a bit disconcerting and distracting: With a higher level of boost similar to the prescribed level, louder music passages give me distinct audibility of a source at my left ear (the more boosted one), at the same time as hearing the sound from in front. I wonder if it is something my brain will learn to deal with, or if something else is happening - has anyone else experienced this?

N.B. I accept that I am new to it and my ears /brain have yet to finish acclimatising.

Thanks for this feedback. I plan on continuing to try to get acclimated. My audiologist took a lot of time to adjust the various frequencies to give me the most natural sound, and I think there’s more improvement to be made with further tweaks. So we’ll see…

This is not surprising because you are having to deal with louder noises from the left than your brain is used to! But it could also be feedback.

I suggest listen very carefully to when it happens. For example what frequency is it? Is it single frequencies (which could be feedback) or is it the whole sound stage repeated on the left? Is it in tune or out of tune with your right ear? Does it happen at low levels or only at high levels? Does it only happen at low levels?

Feedback is the main thing I would look for, especially if you can stop it happening entirely by turning your left ear down a bit in music.

Also if it only happens at the prescribed level then you can consider just keeping your left ear less than the prescribed level on a long term basis. Anyway there is lots more I could say but that is probably enough to be going on with.

Good luck on your new adventure!

1 Like

My wife has them, initially saying they are better than any of the types she had previously. She is both non-critical and hyper-critical. The first in that she does not obsess about hifi, cameras, cars, kitchen knives. Functional items that as long as they work, it’s OK. Then, apparently little things can make her blood boil. The biggest one with hearing aids is that they amplify everything, there is no discrimination like the way the brain processes sound, shutting out the tick of a clock, the noise of the dishwasher, the tick of the car indicator. No matter how long she wears them, her brain no longer shuts these things out.
That said, she loves the way these work, the adjustments on her phone do what it says on the tin.
She says the biggest improvement came when the audiologist swapped the flexible soft cones for custom moulds.
It was also a bonus that she has NHS ones, a friend who could not wait for NHS audiology went private and ended up with exactly the same ones for £2500. The papers that came with the NHS ones show that if an aid is lost, replacement is £75 each.

Is your wife’s hearing a lot worse in one ear than the other? As a young teenager, playing with amplifiers and microphones etc, and putting a microphone in our longe and listening in from my bedroom, I found it very hard to follow my parents conversation because the TV was on. Doing the same with two microphones and listening in stereo, I had no trouble at all ignoring the TV and following my parents’ conversation. A decade later an elderly person I knew was struggling to hear speech whenever there was more than the one going on. Then, back in the 1970s hearing aids were only supplied singly, for one ear. I realised then that what was needed was stereo (or twin) hearing aids - which is what is normally used today. If one ear is non-functional, or, I guess, so poor that the more key information frequencies are too heavily suppressed even with aide, then that could be one cause of not being able to separate sounds.

Started out about 15 years ago as single sided with one aid and has deteriorated since, so now two.
Interesting bits, from RNID website

Signs of age-related hearing loss

You may be experiencing hearing loss if you:

  • think other people sound like they’re mumbling
  • ask people to repeat things for you often
  • have difficulty understanding what is being said in noisy places
  • find it hard to keep up with group conversation
  • get tired from having to concentrate so much
  • find other people think your TV or music is too loud
  • often have difficulty hearing on the telephone.

The third and fourth relevant.

Then, our employer decided to convert the office to a call centre, 150 people to a room, all talking at the same time. Baffle boards between desks were ineffective and the older inmates found it harder than young to understand callers.

Wife here of MSF.
I was interested to read about HA user’s and HiFi’s. I have worn HA for 55 years since the age of 5, so I don’t know what the real world sounds like!

I’ve recently been given a HA upgrade to Phonax Nadia’s from my trusty Siemens Octiv’s. My main problem and a real dilemma is music and listening to the HiFi.

Our music system over the years has been upgraded from various separates Linn, Project, Denon etc to an all new “Bells & Whistles” Naim separates _ streamer, amp, power supply and our wonderful Kudos speakers. Suffice to say that when we were at out Naim dealership testing things out, I was amazed at the difference that I could gear between units etc.

So move on a few years of really enjoying music on a great HiFi system, I’m now back to trying to sort everything out with these new Phonax HAs.

The NHS audiologist has set me up but it feels so way out and they are unable to match my previous Siemens settings as HA manufacturers have different set ups etc. Phonax automatic setting should be the way to go as this will change/ improve over time just like the Siemens did.

I simply just want 1 setting to enjoy everything, HiFi music included. At present I’m finding music very tinny, echoing and difficult to identify voices/ lyrics and music. It also sounds very overwhelming and no longer enjoyable. Traffic outside is also extremely loud and quite unbearable! Even changing the settings on the App still doesn’t bring any joy!

I’m trying to persevere with these Phonax HAs but at the same time I’m also waiting for a further NHS audiology appointment for a retune of settings. Here’s hoping it won’t take too long! Thank you for reading this.

This is very interesting, and with a totally different history from yours, my experience with HAs matches yours with Phonak quite closely. The sound I get is tinny, echo’y, and altogether annoying. I’ve never had HAs until recently, and used to have quite acute hearing. But over the past two years, a mild case of tinnitus has become worse, and there is an additional problem apart from the white noise of tinnitus that is degrading the tonal quality of ALL sound I hear. With the result, that the HAs just seem to be exacerbating my existing problems, rather than improving things. After wearing them for a few hours, I’m totally relieved to take them out, and return to “natural” tho degraded sound again.

I never use HAs to listen to music, just to improve my ability to discern speech in challenging environments – mostly large meeting rooms.

There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether the tinny/echo’y thing is common and you get used to it, or to the contrary, a problem that should be corrected, needs to be corrected – even though no one seems to have an easy answer as to how to accomplish that.

If you find a solution to your situation, I’d be grateful to hear about it, and wish you the best in figuring it out.