Hearing aids

I’ve recently suffered an ear infection that’s left me with reduced hearing and, by fiddling around with the EQ on my Sennheiser Momentum 4’s after experiencing weird goings on with perceived tonal changes, discovered that I need to boost mid and treble frequencies somewhere in the 4k to 8k hertz area.

I’ve discovered that digital hearing aids with EQ adjustment via a Bluetooth app are available.

Has anybody had first or second-hand experience of these marvels and have advice to offer re: best makes?

I have a Widex pair that has an extensive range of adjustment through the phone app and Bluetooth
The audiologist was aware of my hi fi interest and specified them accordingly.
After a few weeks micro adjustment I was very happy, so much detail I had missed.
Thiat was eighteen months ago, still very happy

1 Like

Think there was a lengthy thread sometime ago with some great advice about hearing aids. Poss @HungryHalibut may have started the thread.
Try the search function.

My wife got an excellent service for her digital hearing aids at Boots. Worth checking, but I think you can give them back if not happy. Certainly they do the updates via this very complex app, which not only adjusts all the frequencies, but nowadays they detect the environment you are in. Following a minor echo issue in the dance hall, the boots lady brought up that environment, made a slight change, and voila all fixed. There is an app where you can force it into certain modes, but she has never needed it, just leaves on Auto.

Her make is Phonak

As well as hearing loss, I need to boost tone around 4-8k hertz. The EQ adjustment seems very basic with just three bands.

You didn’t find it less than adequate? :thinking:

Mike what happens if you buy proper hearing aids is that an audiologist tests your hearing and then sets up the aids using special fitting software which is not supposed to be available to end users.

Then the end user can tweak that to some extent using a phone app that talks to the hearing aids with Bluetooth.

There are several top quality brands. Personally I don’t like Widex, but some people do. Other top aids are made by Phonak, GN Resound, Oticon to mention just a few. They are pretty expensive though.

By the way, I said the special fitting software is not available to end users, but of course it is you really seek it out. The fitting software runs on a PC and communicates with the hearing aids using a special wireless device (again using Bluetooth).


Boots sorted me out three & a half years ago.

I stressed that hi-fi was very important to me & that’s why I ended up with the then top of the range Phonak’s.

I was told that for music, the more channels the aids have, the better. Unsurprisingly, more channels means more expensive!

I think the brand of aids is not as important as the quality of the audiologist. There are several well known & well regarded brands.

I am not at all interested in the technicalities of my hearing defects, it’s the audiologists job to identify them & correct them as far as possible.

I will say that I feel my audiologist has done a fantastic job and, as far as memory allows, I feel my hearing with the aids is closed or the same as it was when I didn’t need them.

Fortunately, my hearing loss is simply age related & I can still get by in most situations without aids if I really have to. However, the hi-fi sounds awful as if there is a thick blanket over the speakers, severely restricting treble and muffling mid & bass.

Interestingly, if I go to loud live music concerts, I hear normally whether or not I have the aids in or not.

I started a long thread about this several years ago which you should be able to find.

1 Like

Just to be clear, the EQ adjustment edits the audio from the room, or - functions like a pair of earphones?

I don’t think that question was addressed to me, but anyway the EQ adjustment in the app, with all hearing aids, just changes the amplification that the hearing aids provide.

So nothing changes for anyone else in the room.

lnterestingly, that other thread has a comment from a user of a particular pair of aids that gives a glowing report that directly contradicts the comment about “thick blanket over the speakers”…

Phonak here. I don’t normally wear them at concerts (classical); when I listen at home, I have a special setting (“Music”), which was tailored by the audiologist.
Don’t hesitate to pester your audiologist…

I’m waiting for my NHS Phonaks, the audiologist spent ages asking what I wanted from them, a completely different routine to when I accompanied dearly beloved on her appointments.
Dearly beloved has NHS rechargeable Bluetooth Phonaks, the audiologist gave her six presets, plus the ability to connect TV, phone calls and listen to audiobooks.
There is a basic overall volume control for each ear, then each preset has three adjustments, one of which is a bass, mid, treble equalizer.
I know I have written about them before, a friend of hers went private, paid £1500/£2000 for each ear for the same model.
The only quibble she has is that the tubes are covered by a filter so she has to book a service appointment if they need cleaning.

Pretty well all of them have a wax filter, but usually it’s easy to change them yourself if you have normal dexterity and reasonable eyesight. The filter is to keep wax away from the “receiver” which is the component that actually sends the amplified sound, what in Hifi worlds we would regard as a speaker not a receiver!

Mike it’s all in the setting up. A music programme shouldn’t sound worse at all and “thick blanket over the speakers” just says that it’s not set up properly at all.

Cheers but I just mis-read the post. Canaryfan was referring to what it sounded like WITHOUT the aids.

I’m seeing the audiologist on Monday but I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a pair of the Phonaks.

Especially as the price has more than halved since 2020.

Happy days

As David has said, my audiologist set up the aids to precicely match my hearing loss.
There are then levels of self adjustment and modes that can be adjusted via Bluetooth.

Another Phonak using here (Audéo rechargeable); other manufacturers are available. I have had them for a year and wouldn’t be without them; they have transformed my life for the better.

I suffer from aged-related hearing loss mainly in the higher frequencies - the damage done, I suspect, by excessive volume in the London blues clubs I visited in the late 60s and 70s; it was worth, though.

As some have mentioned it is all in the set-up. I was very circumspect that hearing aids could make a positive difference to my enjoyment of high quality music, especially as I suffer also from tinnitus. I have absolutely, comprehensively been proved wrong; my Phonaks have been a revelation.

They are so comfortable, I don’t actually realise that I am wearing them. After five years living with the curse of tinnitus, it has been reduced to almost zero. The aids connect seamlessly to my iPhone, everything coming through to my hearing aids. They automatically adjust and compensate for different environments, machine learning as you wear them.

Mention was made of the wax filters; with the Phonaks these are easy and simple to replace using a one-time cartridge system (caveat: obviously individual eyesight and dexterity dependent).

These aids have transformed my quality of life immeasurably, especially mutual engagement of those around me; I am most impressed with the vast improvement in my music listening pleasure.

Downside? I would like the rechargeable batteries to last longer. For the most part, I wear my aids from 0700 to 2230, and they just about last this length of time. The rechargeable Phonaks cannot be charged in the cordless charging case, they have to be charged via a USB wired case, but the aids do charge speedily.

Do your homework as best you can before purchase. Go to a reputable audiologist (I went to Specsavers) and discuss your needs; if necessary, get the set-up tweaked after living with your aids (Phonaks also can be user adjusted via their app).

Good luck.

Morning MikeD best of luck on Monday, had mine(nhs) for about a year found that they did make a difference especially with my tinnitus but then I started to get problems with wax buildup which was a real pain, so at the moment I haven’t had them in for about a month just to let my ears settle down so to speak.
I hope they work out for you as they can make a big difference if you get everything right, mine is still a work in progress, one issue I had listening to music was at low to medium levels they were fine but for full on sessions found they seemed to distort the sound, so now I listen without and at the moment it’s working for me.
One thing I found strange, they don’t give you another hearing test with the hearing aids fitted, not sure if this is the norm but I would of thought that would confirm how much of an improvement they make.
Anyway best of luck hope it all goes smoothly for you👍.

@MikeD, if you haven’t already do scan the existing threads. After getting my hearing aids a year ago I posted some things in this thread: Hearing Aids while this is one of the older threads I found of value: Loss of hearing but not bad enough to be proper hearing loss?. ((Both of these should link)

My aids have a pipe into the ear canal that does not seal, simply feeding a supplementary output of the high frequencies to add to the main sound entering my ears and make up for the attenuation of my ears. To begin with, with music I was aware of the source of the sound being at my ear, I guess due to fractional time/phase shift. However that disappeared as my brain became accustomed (or as they burnt in if you are a believer in that sort of thing!)

A bonus of the aids is that they can link to my pocket computer (aka smartphone) by bluetooth, and I can use as notification tone receivers and phone earpieses inaudible to other people. I can also play music direct to them from the smartphone, but with the disadvantage that there is no bottom end as it is only the hearing aid boosting output, so actually I don’t find bpvery good for that. This leads to a question for others: does anyone have aids for just HF boost that have ear sealing plug feeds, therefore full frequency range? If so how are they for music in the room? Presumably then little or no different with direct feed via bluetooth?