Hearing loss and Hi-Fi design

Sadly at 52 years old I have significant hearing loss and am struggling in big meetings, especially with current social distancing. I am now intermittently wearing Widex Evoke hearing aids. I have typical high frequency sensorineural loss with slight loss for lower frequencies. I have spent over 30 years acquiring my dream system - CD555DR, NAC552DR, NAC300DR, Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition loudspeakers and Chord Music ‘full loom’ cables. Slightly heartbreaking and a problem some might love to have at the same time.

I still thoroughly enjoy my music without the aids with the volume turned up only a little higher. With the aids in the higher frequency stuff is raised but there is definitely a trade off. Ultimately I believe hearing aids are basically very miniature amplifiers and graphic equalisers. We wouldn’t dream of using such a device between source and speakers but what is their potential to spoil a great sound produced by a top Hi-Fi system when used after the speaker?

Are Naim and others missing a trick here? Everybody loses high frequency hearing to some degree as they get older whether they like to admit it or not. Would there be a market for a high end graphic equaliser/amplifier type product that would allow people like me to not introduce the downside of using hearing aids but replace the high frequencies?

Lovely system you have there! :+1:t2:
Sorry to hear about your hearing. Someone else maybe able to advise you better but if you were to start streaming instead of using the CD555, Roon software has built in DSP equaliser software built in. I also know there are companies who can tailor it specifically for you and alter specific frequencies. They can also be altered if and when it ever gets worse.
Maybe an option?




At what distance from the speakers do you sit ?


My ears are 3 - 3.5 metres from the front of the speakers.

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I have Widex hearing aids and they are set up to increase the volume at the frequencies I have hearing loss. So why do you need an external graphic equaliser.
That would make the music sound strange to others with normal hearing listening with you with enhanced bass or treble.

True. And in that situation I would use the hearing aids and set the graphic equaliser at a flat response.

But if I’m listening by myself I can’t help but think a high quality external graphic equaliser would do a better job than a tiny hearing aid.

Not sure because the hearing aids are set at similar steps to a graphic Equaliser.

Not sure that is necessarily true, however a good hearing aid should be precisely matched to your hearing, which may be difficult to do unless the audiologist gives you a spectrum. And it may be different for each ear. But importantly, every 3dB increase is a doubling of power. Driving your speakers with, say, 15dB boost at some part of the spectrum means that when there is sound there at the same level as the average level, the amp would be outputting 32x the power needed for the average level. 18dB = 64x etc: it would need to be able to do that without clipping, and the speaker driver would have to be able to take the power. Depending on amp and speakers may not be a problem, but it could lead to rapid destruction of the speaker driver, especially if you listen loud.

BTW, it may be worth searching the forum, as there have been at least a couple of detailed and interesting discussions about hearing aids In the past, at least one on this current platform.

Indeed! If you put the search term “Hearing Aid” into the forum search engine there are a handful of past threads that are well worth a read.

As you say when I had my hearing test I was shown a graphic representation of my hearing frequencies. The audiologist adjusted the relevant frequencies to level the graph

Hadn’t realised that every 3dB meant doubling power. What I’m suggesting is a bit of a non-starter in that case.

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