Which Are The Best Hearing Aids For Listening To Music?
Music to your ears
A major concern for many people with hearing decline is the loss of the richness of music. Hearing aids, until more recently, were not able to compensate adequately to achieve a fullness of musical sound.
The other major concern is that music could be contributing to hearing problems, giving you a noise induced hearing loss. Let’s look at these issues in more detail
Can music harm hearing?
The short answer is yes – if played at excessive levels for long periods of time. For most of us who listen to music on a recreational basis, music generally won’t cause a noise induced hearing loss. However, if you wear earbuds, and play your music above the recommended 85 dB (decibels) for extended periods of time, you could be giving your ears an early start to noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus. And if music is your career, then you are four times more likely to develop hearing loss from noise exposure according to the Hearing Health Foundation.
Musicians across all genres are at risk, including roadies who are often in front of the speakers, controlling the sound. The other consideration is if your work isn’t in the music industry, but you have a noisy job and also listen to loud music in your leisure time, this will have a cumulative effect on your hearing cells, and this will speed up the damage.
If you’re in the music industry, consider purchasing custom made musicians’ earplugs which have special filters to ensure you can still hear the music, while reducing the risk of damage. Your Hearing Clinic can assist you with getting musicians’ earplugs made. If you enjoy recreational music you can reduce your risk of NIHL by following a few simple rules.
- Check the noise limits of your earbuds and don’t go over the 85 dB level.
- Better still, purchase yourself a set of noise cancelling headphones or just listen to your music through a set of speakers, rather than a headset.
- If you enjoy your music at concerts and festivals take some ear plugs or get a set of musicians’ earplugs. You’ll find your ears won’t be ringing when the concert is over, and you’ll still have enjoyed the music.
It’s important to also give your ears a break from time to time. Just like every other part of our body, they need time to recuperate.
Hearing aids for listening to music
If you’re a musician, or just a music enthusiast but find your enjoyment is waning due to decreased hearing levels, the loss of your pleasure in sound can hit hard. You need to be open about this part of your life and discuss it with your Audiologist to make sure that the hearing devices selected will give you best opportunity to continue to enjoy your music.
The main priority of technology in hearing aids is improving speech, and this technology can sometimes be detrimental to the fullness of musical sound. However, some manufacturer’s have understood the significance of music and developed excellent music programs.
ReSound - the LiNX Quattro is described as the best hearing aid for listening to music. These hearing aids have an outstanding capability in the specific Music Mode, which allows all the nuances of high and low notes to be heard, giving the listener full, layered music quality.
Widex – the latest release for this company is the Moment range which were designed with music in mind. Initial reports and reviews are giving very positive responses to the results of this hearing aid, with professional musicians giving it the thumbs up for music enjoyment.
Phonak – This company has always excelled in technology and their latest hearing aids, the Audéo Paradise, are providing listeners with outstanding streamed music quality.
Signia – the latest technology in this brand have three settings to listen enjoy your music. You will find settings for:
- recorded music,
- live music at concerts, and
- for musicians and singers performing music
Each manufacturer will have options for music – discuss this with your clinician to ensure you get the music sound you want from your hearing aids.