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Thread: Hearing aids

  1. #1
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Hearing aids

    I've been using a hearing aid in my right ear for about 5 years now for a pretty severe high end frequency loss. I recently got a new pair- my left ear wasn't bad but having two has made a big difference in most cases.
    Yesterday I was wearing them when I put a new set of strings (Mapes) on my Breedlove Crossover,old model. When I got the strings stretched out enough to play a tune, I couldn't believe my ears-- it sounded like I had fret buzz to some degree on all strings, every fret!Previously I hadn't had this happen at all. I checked, and string clearance on the frets was fine.I was going nuts over this until I took out the hearing aids. Problem solved! The new strings sounded fine. Apparently the aids were picking up some frequencies which came over as string buzz.My wife who has perfect hearing verified that there was no buzz.
    Anyone else had hearing aid issues with mandolin or other instruments?
    Playing a high D whistle wearing the aids is out of the question.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I too wear hearing aids for upper range hearing loss. When my granddaughter was small, my end of the phone call was mostly "yeah...yeah...is that right?" When I started playing music with hearing aids, perhaps ten years ago, it made quite a change in my hearing of instruments. I was taking fiddle lessons, and the first time my teacher, who didn't know I had them, heard me, she said, "Finally, you're lightening up on the bow." Everything seems louder to me with the aids, but I have no idea what the norm should be. My ear doctor figured that I'd damaged my hearing on the rifle range when I was in cadets in the 1960's, and it had further deteriorated since, so it's a long time since I heard well. Sometimes, I think, "This is how I heard when I was a kid." Other times, I think, "This is much too loud." Perhaps it's both, as everyone's hearing deteriorates.

    My hearing aids have different channels: 1) for normal conditions; 2) to hear directly in front of me (good for conversation in restaurants, bars, and parties); 3) for electronically mediated sound (TV, amplified music, etc.); and 4) for the telephone. For playing acoustic music, I've found that I have to keep my hearing aids on the #2 (right-in-front-of-me channel) at mid to low volume. Like you, I sometimes get noisy rattling, mostly from the G-string on both fiddle and mandolin. In my case, I can eliminate the annoying sound by lowering the volume in my hearing aids, but I'm not clear on what others are hearing. By the way, I've found that my hearing aids limit my ability to jam, as I have trouble distinguishing my own instrument from others, especially with mandolin. I do better with the louder fiddle and banjolin. However, when you get three or four guitars going, add an accordion, banjo, and another fiddle, I don't have a fighting chance. Despite improvements in hearing aids, a wearer still has a hard time focusing, that is choosing one sound over another to concentrate on. With a lot of noise, I hear everything equally, though channel selection helps to a degree. I try to limit myself to groups of no more than seven musicians. Apart from hearing issues, I think musical communication, among people of fair-to-middlin' skills anyway, is usually more effective with five or fewer players.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I have had programmable hearing aids for over a year. They have a "regular" program which listens and cuts the volume in loud situations. It also has a "music" program which doesn't listen and change. The music program adds some compression to boost the volume and adjusts the EQ. I like it a lot.

  4. #4
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I got my hearing aids from Costco and they have programs for normal, background noise, and music. I have lost 25% of my upper range due to a well spent youth going to concerts in LA, in the 60's. I occasionally get a little feedback from the E string, but I just lower the volume and I have no problems.
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  5. #5
    Registered User FredK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I've been wearing hearing aids for almost a decade. Electronic hearing has its pros and cons but it sure beats not hearing. I'm currently wearing Resound Lynx2 model which, like other wearers mentioned above, have multiple settings for All-Around, Restaurant, Music and Outdoors. It provides the ability to volume up or down manually or using my IPhone app. If I leave them on All-Around while playing, I get irritating feedback on the E string up through A. It also makes it difficult - for me, at least - to tune in relation to other strings. As others have said, changing the setting is usually the way to go. Use the music setting to get the most for your money while playing to keep from filtering out other instruments or if you are playing with a back-track. It sounds like you have your problem pretty well figured out. Since my hearing aids are bluetooth, it might be neat if I could set up a bluetooth connection with my mandolin like I have with my IPhone.
    "If your memories exceed your dreams, you have begun to die." - Anonymous

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    Spencer Sorenson Spencer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Sounds(?) familiar. When I have mine on the program for speech, everything sounds a bit "buzzy" and metallic. The higher frequencies are really amplified, because there is a big loss there, and so all the buzzes and stuff are probably overdone. Was also told that when I play things sound ok to people with normal hearing, and as time goes on I either get used to it, or else my brain tunes it out so I don't notice it. If It gets bothersome, I have a program for groups/parties that cuts back on the highs and that quiets things down quite a bit. All in all, to me its a small price to pay for being able to hear better.

    Spencer

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hearing aids

    You need set up -adjustment . I have used a pair for 4 years was hard to adjust every thing was rough .I have #1 master #2 music,#3music 2,#4 room back ground. Now i can play mandolin or guitar on all setting or without aids at all . I'M sure i've loss more of my hearing . My DR . work with for about year now i like settiin #2& 3 better. I like the sound using them . Good luck & enjoy.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I don't have hearing aids yet, but there are quite a few times when I hear buzzing on my mandolin in one ear, but not in the other. It comes and goes. I have a low action and when this happens I am never sure if it is buzzing or my ears making it sound like it. It is worse when playing in a group. I can play at home, mandolin ok, go out, buzz, come back home ok. It is weird, and it doesn't do it all the time when I am playing with others.
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  9. #9
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I am approaching anyone's definition of "elderly" and I have significant high frequency hearing loss. No hearing aids (yet). My somewhat serious fear is that with improved hearing I will no longer like the sound of the mandolins I have invested in, precisely because they sound really nice to me. Hearing aids could well turn into a highly significant financial event.
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    I am approaching anyone's definition of "elderly" and I have significant high frequency hearing loss. No hearing aids (yet). My somewhat serious fear is that with improved hearing I will no longer like the sound of the mandolins I have invested in, precisely because they sound really nice to me. Hearing aids could well turn into a highly significant financial event.
    Yes, well, buying the hearing aids themselves can be "a highly significant financial event!"

  11. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    tinnitus, VA says no solution , inner ear nerves get going & wont stop.
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  12. #12
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I think the high frequencies I hear best are just tinnitus.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Paul, same story here. When I first got my hearing aids I got the same distortion when I played my mandolin. After a few weeks of wearing them constantly my brain got used to them and I stopped hearing the fret buzz.
    Steve



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  14. #14
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Yes, well, buying the hearing aids themselves can be "a highly significant financial event!"
    Yes indeed.I previously had a Resound Lynx and even with insurance that paid a good part of the cost, they still cost me thousands.For reasons too long to go into here, I decided I couldn't live with mine any more. The Costco house brand looked to be the best value for professionally dispensed and adjusted type but still around $1700 which is a lot on fixed income.Then I came across a self adjustable hearing aid that cost a LOT less. I bit the bullet and have been very happy so far.These are what I got, one for each ear, plus the hearing test and programmer:

    http://www.ihearmedical.com/ihear-max/

    I have no financial interest at all in these. You can read a ton of reviews on Amazon.
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  15. #15
    Registered User FredK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    I am approaching anyone's definition of "elderly" and I have significant high frequency hearing loss. No hearing aids (yet). My somewhat serious fear is that with improved hearing I will no longer like the sound of the mandolins I have invested in, precisely because they sound really nice to me. Hearing aids could well turn into a highly significant financial event.
    Henry, If the hearing aids are of decent quality and set up correctly, I think you will enjoy the sound of your mandolins even more. I've listened to you play and they sound great.

    Cost can be a killer decision, though. I go with the higher end hearing aids because I need it in my profession and my ministries. Once I retire, I intend to go with the cheaper ones from Costco or the like. One thing I do know - for me - is that I wish I got hearing aids much earlier in life.
    "If your memories exceed your dreams, you have begun to die." - Anonymous

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  16. #16
    Registered User Mike Arakelian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Wearing hearing aids definitely changes how things sound...hopefully for the better. I took my mandolin in to my Audiologist's office and had her set one of my programs for "music". We worked back and forth for about a half hour while she adjusted frequencies so my mandolin sounded really good to me. In making this music program, I found that negating the suppression function on the hearing aids helped. If compression is left on the hearing aids want to reduce background "noise". The compression feature is great for conversation, but not so good for a musical setting.
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  18. #17
    Registered User FredK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Arakelian View Post
    Wearing hearing aids definitely changes how things sound...hopefully for the better. I took my mandolin in to my Audiologist's office and had her set one of my programs for "music". We worked back and forth for about a half hour while she adjusted frequencies so my mandolin sounded really good to me. In making this music program, I found that negating the suppression function on the hearing aids helped. If compression is left on the hearing aids want to reduce background "noise". The compression feature is great for conversation, but not so good for a musical setting.
    +1 on this
    "If your memories exceed your dreams, you have begun to die." - Anonymous

    “The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” - Vince Lombardi

  19. #18

    Default Re: Hearing aids

    I have hearing loss ever since my granddaughters could talk. I had the hardest time hearing them. So I thought about getting hearing aids for about ten years, and what FreK said: " One thing I do know - for me - is that I wish I got hearing aids much earlier in life." is so true.
    As for music, inparticular mandolin and guitar tone all I can say is mute. It sounds so tinny and hollow. When I mute them it all warms up and sounds normal. So if I sound as bad as my aids have me hearing with them, it is no wonder I am not the most sought after player around.
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  20. #19
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hearing aids

    Wore mine to my first concert last night-- a Johnny Cash tribute band called Cash Unchained. They worked very well for me. I had to experiment a bit to see which of the hearing aids' 4 settings worked best and ended up using a quieter mode than the default because the band was pretty loud. Lyrics were a lot easier for me to understand too.
    The concert was pretty good btw. If you're a Cash fan you might want to see if they come near you:

    https://www.cashunchained.com/
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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