Hearing loss takes away one’s ability to hear and take part in conversations. Hearing aids can help in solving this problem. However, conventional hearing aids may not be ideal for listening to music.
Music has a wide dynamic range. The pitch and volume can drastically change. While speech sounds range between 30-90 dB, live music sounds can exceed as high as 120 dB. Therefore, hearing aids need a larger range to listen to music.
In this article, we will talk about how to listen to music with hearing aids. Here, we will discuss hearing aids good for listening to music, assistive devices, applications, hearing aid settings, and what to look for when buying hearing aids.
How to Listen to Music with Hearing Aids
There are a few measures you can take to elevate your music experience through hearing aids. Take a look at them and choose the best option for you:
If you are a music lover, make sure to let your audiologist know beforehand. Thus, your audiologist can help you choose a hearing aid suitable for you. The new generation hearing aids enable the user to adjust it for listening to music.
While buying your hearing aid, make sure your hearing aid can be adjusted for the following:
- Noise-reduction system
- Omnidirectional microphones
- Feedback reduction
- Low-frequency ranges
Your audiologist can customize your hearing aid for listening to music. Most hearing aids now allow users to create separate profiles for different hearing situations. All the users need to do is switch profiles according to the situations they are in.
So, ask your audiologist to create a profile for listening to music. Then switch to the profile with remotes, buttons on your hearing aid, or smartphone app for hearing aids, and enjoy your favorite band.
If you already have a hearing aid, you can elevate your music experience with assistive devices. Most of these technologies use Bluetooth to connect. So, if you have a Bluetooth supporting hearing aid, you can easily connect these devices and get a better music experience.
These devices help you transform your hearing aids into wireless headsets. Here are some assistive devices to help you listen to music:
Amplified headphones can help in sending music signals better than standard headphones. Also, you can use a headphone equalizer to adjust frequencies to suit your needs. Some also use noise-canceling headphones over hearing aids to listen to music well.
Hearing loops are excellent assistive devices for enjoying live music in concert halls. Hearing loops pick up wireless signals from mobile devices or cinema halls, theaters, churches with telecoil settings.
This device is quite straightforward; you connect the mic to your hearing aid device and put it near the source for hearing better.
Streamers are small devices that carry sound from other devices to your hearing aids wirelessly. One can receive sounds directly from television to their hearing aid with this device. Ask your audiologist to enable this streaming program on your hearing aid.
14 Tips to Enhance Listening to Music Experience through Hearing Aids
Suffering from hearing loss doesn’t have to mean you should stop listening to music. You can easily overcome that difficulty by taking some simple calculated measures. Here are some tips to enhance your music listening experience when using hearing aid devices.
- Adjusting volume can help you hear music properly. Reduce the sound of your music player and raise the volume of your hearing aid. This practice can help you listen to music with drastic loudness changes.
- Put on some clear adhesive tape on the microphone of your hearing aids. This will help to reduce distortion of hearing aids by lowering loud parts of music. This is an excellent practice both at home and during live music.
- You can use noise-canceling headphones to listen to music better. Some use hearing aids under the headphones, and some don’t - experiment with what works for you.
- If you are listening to music at your home, a better sound system is always appreciated. It gives you better quality music and enhances your overall music experience.
- An equalizer can help you listen to music better. It allows the user to adjust the volume of higher and lower frequencies on sound equipment. You can use either a physical or digital interface equalizer. Some phone apps also work as equalizers for your hearing aid.
- Music is a whole experience. Practicing enhanced listening skills can give you a better music experience. You can read the lyrics or music notation while listening to music. Tapping your feet with the beat is also a part of enhanced listening.
- Assistive listening devices can assist you in experiencing music to its fullest.
- There is always new technology appearing in hearing aids. Keep tabs and ask your audiologist if that technology will be a better suit for you.
- Some hearing aids now can adjust automatically with changing environments. You will need to create different profiles for varying situations, and the hearing aid will detect and change according to it.
- Streaming music directly to hearing aids is a good option to have. You may need additional software and devices for this.
- You can ask different forums on the internet about how you can listen to better music. Someone familiar with your condition can give you great tips that worked for them.
- Choosing an audiologist who previously worked with musicians and music enthusiasts can help you better listen to music.
- There are some aural rehabilitation programs around you to help you better understand your hearing aids. It can help you tremendously.
- Adjusting fully with your hearing aid may take time. Therefore, take it slow and take care of one problem at a time.
Common Problems in Listening to Music with Hearing Aids
As we stated earlier, listening to music through conventional hearing aids can pose several problems. Here are the issues one might experience:
Hearing aids are developed to reduce background noise to help the users listen to sounds better. Although it helps the user while listening to conversations, this very thing creates problems while listening to music. The hearing aid algorithm may detect a low-frequency chord as background noise and block it. Therefore, the user cannot enjoy music to its fullest.
In most cases, people tend to lose their ability to hear high-frequency sounds. Therefore, most hearing aids are focused on correcting that disability. As a result, hearing aids detect low-frequency sounds as noise and cancel them. It creates problems when listening to music.
Wide Dynamic Range Compression
Most conventional hearing aids are designed to boost softer sounds and compress wider-ranged ones. So, these hearing aids prevent the user from hearing different notes in a piece of music.
Another significant problem with older hearing aids is they omit some sounds like whistles as feedback. While this feature comes in handy during conversations, it can cause problems while listening to music. One can completely miss a flute or an organ melody because of this feature.
Hearing loss can be devastating for music lovers. It costs a considerable part of their identity, and conventional hearing aids cannot undo this condition completely. However, with better quality hearing aids and assistive devices, these problems can be minimized effectively.
So, here are the known measures to experience music better despite having hearing difficulties. Let us know which one works for you better.