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Apr 20, 2024 - 7:42:54 AM
41489 posts since 3/5/2008

If you use them..what is your findings n opinions of them..?

Best ones..?

New advances..?

Dose it help or hinder your banjo playing or listening..?

Apr 20, 2024 - 7:57:52 AM
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223 posts since 1/17/2019

What did you say?

Ok…in my opinion, Costco is the best place to buy..about half of a hearing aid center. Costco gives a full test and has a couple options. They did have a policy if you broke or lost they would replace. I’m sure there are other opinions.

From my perspective…others will agree or not:

Aids are a necessary pita. You need to adjust the settings and you need to clean them. I recommend rechargeable ones. I use mine mostly for ambient noise..restaurants etc. on most you can Bluetooth your car radio, your phone or tv…I don’t…just more to mess with.

My banjo sounds different. And I get a string buzz when I wear them. Luthier said it isn’t the banjo, it is the aids…he has seen it before. They Definitely increase banjo volume.

Hope this helps.

Apr 20, 2024 - 8:01:08 AM
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Owen

Canada

15324 posts since 6/5/2011

The ENT specialist tells me that HAs won't help with my hearing problem, and when I get my hearing checked, "they" don't offer to sell me anything, so .... ???  

But if I thought for a minute that they would help my banjo playing I'd be all over it!!

Edit:  I wonder (?) a wee bit about the wisdom/effectiveness of advertising that emphasizes the "nearly invisible" aspect of the units. Would one just resort to the "old" method that used to be used for contact lenses, and as I understand it, some still use to find lost picks?

* = i.e. the tried-and-true firm application of the ol' size 12.  

Edited by - Owen on 04/20/2024 08:08:16

Apr 20, 2024 - 10:01:19 AM

BobbyE

USA

3532 posts since 11/29/2007

I have Phonak Paradise Audeo 7s and would recommend them though a bit pricey. Wi-fi, Bluetooth driven and connect to your cell phone. When you get a call, text, or a calendar event comes up, you hear it all through the aids; don't even have to pick the phone up for a call. Just swipe it to receive and speak away. They also have customer programs that you can set up for various scenarios by cutting back treble, bass, and mids. I have mine programmed for my banjo and electric guitar. Of course you audiologists will set up the default program to match your hearing needs. Another neat feature on mine is when I stop at a red light and the radio is on, they increase the volume for my listening pleasure and then cut it back to reduce road noise from the tires when I start moving again. Tremendous technology in such a small instrument. An app is loaded onto your phone which also gives you features that you can adjust as needed.  That is how you set up the programs that you need and want. 

Bobby

Edited by - BobbyE on 04/20/2024 10:02:34

Apr 20, 2024 - 10:06:12 AM
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8585 posts since 9/5/2006

tinnitus is my problem so i don't know if hearing aids would help me or not... i do know my wife gets tired of hearing "what?"

Apr 20, 2024 - 12:33:20 PM

41489 posts since 3/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by 1935tb-11

tinnitus is my problem so i don't know if hearing aids would help me or not... i do know my wife gets tired of hearing "what?"


Try....

Huhgh...

Just to mix things up fer her.. :0)

Apr 20, 2024 - 12:34:33 PM

41489 posts since 3/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by BobbyE

I have Phonak Paradise Audeo 7s and would recommend them though a bit pricey. Wi-fi, Bluetooth driven and connect to your cell phone. When you get a call, text, or a calendar event comes up, you hear it all through the aids; don't even have to pick the phone up for a call. Just swipe it to receive and speak away. They also have customer programs that you can set up for various scenarios by cutting back treble, bass, and mids. I have mine programmed for my banjo and electric guitar. Of course you audiologists will set up the default program to match your hearing needs. Another neat feature on mine is when I stop at a red light and the radio is on, they increase the volume for my listening pleasure and then cut it back to reduce road noise from the tires when I start moving again. Tremendous technology in such a small instrument. An app is loaded onto your phone which also gives you features that you can adjust as needed.  That is how you set up the programs that you need and want. 

Bobby


Wayyyyy...too fancy fer me..

But thanks all the same... :0)

Apr 20, 2024 - 12:47:05 PM
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donc

Canada

7472 posts since 2/9/2010

Unlike eye glasses your hearing is never restored 100%. I wear them about half the time. When I'm on my own I feel more comfortable without them. In a restaurant or with company I will usually hear the loudest mouth in the building. The quiet person at our own table can still be hard to hear. Costco is the best price by far. I've had these Phonak units almost 10 years and last week they replaced a broken sound tube for free. The only drawback with Costco is getting an appointment in less than 3 weeks. A small repair is usually done on the spot without an appointment.

Apr 20, 2024 - 1:03:56 PM
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12790 posts since 8/22/2006

Or just nod in agreement and smile To what ever the wife says. Then ask the granddaughter later. What was she saying? Works sometimes.

Apr 20, 2024 - 6:00:24 PM
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slammer

USA

4562 posts since 12/30/2008

I’ve got a pair of MD hearing aids and they were $299.00 for the pair.
No Bluetooth, no phone, no Wi-Fi , no BS. 3 different settings and volume control.
I’ve had expensive ones and IMO, they were no better. My biggest problem is outdoor wind noise. My other problem was I needed them at work the most, but I work in the MRI environment and it ruined them. The company new this ahead of time and they were interested in my results also. They replaced them immediately and their customer service was awesome!!! I personally would never spend big bucks again on them unless my insurance covered them. They are all a pain in the arse and need maintenance. Unfortunately, they are necessary for lots of folks and I think the big dollar aids are a total rip off!!!
Slammer!!!

Apr 20, 2024 - 7:21:29 PM
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banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

13851 posts since 2/22/2007

I'm no longer wearing my Costco aids. While I did, I had mixed results. Good was being able to hear a conversation in a car over the road noise, which is venot loud but manages to make words unintelligible for me. What was not helped was being able to hear in a noisy environment, such as a lively cafe or bar. The HAs made everything louder including the clatter and I could not take it. I will admit that I gave up too early and should probably have forced myself to wear them all of the time, but they made me nervous and irritable.
The very best thing about them is the phone connection. It makes the caller's voice crystal clear and all I had to do to answer was to tap the side of my ear! Only had to be somewhere near my phone and I could answer and hang up without touching the phone itself. If I had had those years back I might have extended my working career as it was getting too difficult to understand people who hold the phone out from their face while talking, and that seems to be most folks these days.

Apr 20, 2024 - 8:57:52 PM
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15447 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by stevebsq

My banjo sounds different. And I get a string buzz when I wear them. Luthier said it isn’t the banjo, it is the aids…he has seen it before. They Definitely increase banjo volume.


Which Costco hearing aids do you wear? I ask because my banjo -- actually, every picked string instrument -- sounded bad through my Kirkland KS7 hearing aids (which I started wearing in 2016).

I've described this in three or four previous conversations. Through my hearing aids, my banjo sounded a bit like it was being played through a chorus pedal or micro-second delay. A very slight doubling sound. Recordings experienced the same effect. The sound of a full band could sometimes mask it.

Bowed instruments never had it. I don't remember how piano sounded.

I went to Costco and described my issue. Though he did make some adjustment to the "music" program in the hearing aids app on my phone, the technician speculated the effect I was hearing was the result of hearing the initial attack of the banjo directly through my ears sooner than the hearing aids could receive, process, and feed me the sound. The domes of the KS7 were the "open" variety with ports designed to let in air and natural sound and reduce the plugged-up feeling. I believed this explanation.

Mostly I stopped wearing my hearing aids when I played banjo. But I would sometimes wear them at a jam to give me a better appreciation of my volume.

In 2021 I got a pair of the KS10 hearing aids. I don't know if the technology is better or if the different dome design makes a difference, but the delay/doubled sound my banjo is gone. I still tend to take off my hearing aids when I play banjo, though when I do I suspect I'm not hearing my banjos' actual treble or volume. So I made a comfortable "banjo" listening program in the hearing aids app by adjusting the settings in the "music" program.

Apr 21, 2024 - 4:27:10 AM
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banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

Apoligize in advance for long post here.

The hearing aid issue is a complex one but I'll keep this post simple but hope it helps someone, and I sympathize with anyone who's spent years smiling and nodding to others that you 'hear' them but of course you don't. I could hear 'sound' but not 'speech' ... not 'words' or even specific music frequencies.... and always several seconds behind in understanding any conversation, or not understanding at all, therefore the smiles and nods. This was 17 years ago.


The first step is to seek out a hearing audiologist on staff at a reputable audiology clinic - not necessarily a 'hearing aid store' or hearing aid 'department'. Peruse their website. Search 'staff'. Check credentials, certifications, etc.


An 'audiogram' (hearing test report and results diagram) will clearly show not only how severe the hearing loss is but most important, the audiogram will show the loss at specific frequencies.


With a programmable hearing aid [a miniature computer] a qualified and experienced audiologist can manipulate/adjust the software driver program to sort of 'give back' the lost frequencies although, as DonC says above, your hearing will never fully recover from hearing damage.
The audiogram showed my hrg loss followed the typical loss curve due to 'industrial exposure' therefore they're covered (up to a limit) by Workers Comp. And FWIW, hearing aid prices are based from different price levels. Retail/walk-in pricing normally starts at 100% full price but roughly 50% of that for institutional or 'government' purchasers. So, for example, the gov't price for $5K is an affordable $2,000 for WCB.


Over 17 years I've been 'fitted' with and/or have 'experienced' multiple brands, types, in-ear speakers, 'moldings', and audiology clinics. I'm only an expert about what I've sorted through, settled on, and what works in an acoustic instrument environment including banjo of course, and the sound 'quality' I expect.


There are many online information resources to educate yourself about the process but would recommend to search for a local hearing clinic known for fitting professional musicians.
BTW, the best of hearing aids can't perform at their best if the wearer's inner ears aren't kept clean. Unclean ears can be a cause of many strange sounds and sensations that a person will inevitably discover.

Decent hearing aids can and do raise hearing impaired folks out of isolation and loneliness and back to the living.
Usually, if you're not satisfied with what you bought, there's a 30-day return option - I've done that too. Standard are an X number of allowable no-charge software adjustment sessions. Options for cellphone and TV Bluetooth. Simple stuff. Batteries vs. rechargeable. 'Air tube' vs. wired 'in-ear' speaker. There are many options.

The process riddled with potential mine fields, misinformation, misleading advertisements and no-good-niks. Homework necessary. Your experience may be different.

Edited by - banjoT1 on 04/21/2024 04:29:55

Apr 21, 2024 - 4:58:28 AM

41489 posts since 3/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjoT1

Apoligize in advance for long post here.

The hearing aid issue is a complex one but I'll keep this post simple but hope it helps someone, and I sympathize with anyone who's spent years smiling and nodding to others that you 'hear' them but of course you don't. I could hear 'sound' but not 'speech' ... not 'words' or even specific music frequencies.... and always several seconds behind in understanding any conversation, or not understanding at all, therefore the smiles and nods. This was 17 years ago.


The first step is to seek out a hearing audiologist on staff at a reputable audiology clinic - not necessarily a 'hearing aid store' or hearing aid 'department'. Peruse their website. Search 'staff'. Check credentials, certifications, etc.


An 'audiogram' (hearing test report and results diagram) will clearly show not only how severe the hearing loss is but most important, the audiogram will show the loss at specific frequencies.


With a programmable hearing aid [a miniature computer] a qualified and experienced audiologist can manipulate/adjust the software driver program to sort of 'give back' the lost frequencies although, as DonC says above, your hearing will never fully recover from hearing damage.
The audiogram showed my hrg loss followed the typical loss curve due to 'industrial exposure' therefore they're covered (up to a limit) by Workers Comp. And FWIW, hearing aid prices are based from different price levels. Retail/walk-in pricing normally starts at 100% full price but roughly 50% of that for institutional or 'government' purchasers. So, for example, the gov't price for $5K is an affordable $2,000 for WCB.


Over 17 years I've been 'fitted' with and/or have 'experienced' multiple brands, types, in-ear speakers, 'moldings', and audiology clinics. I'm only an expert about what I've sorted through, settled on, and what works in an acoustic instrument environment including banjo of course, and the sound 'quality' I expect.


There are many online information resources to educate yourself about the process but would recommend to search for a local hearing clinic known for fitting professional musicians.
BTW, the best of hearing aids can't perform at their best if the wearer's inner ears aren't kept clean. Unclean ears can be a cause of many strange sounds and sensations that a person will inevitably discover.

Decent hearing aids can and do raise hearing impaired folks out of isolation and loneliness and back to the living.
Usually, if you're not satisfied with what you bought, there's a 30-day return option - I've done that too. Standard are an X number of allowable no-charge software adjustment sessions. Options for cellphone and TV Bluetooth. Simple stuff. Batteries vs. rechargeable. 'Air tube' vs. wired 'in-ear' speaker. There are many options.

The process riddled with potential mine fields, misinformation, misleading advertisements and no-good-niks. Homework necessary. Your experience may be different.


Thanks...

To be honest....i liked yer post as soon as i read the first line.. :0)

 

But..

Upon reading your introduction..we have had something in common..

I have a neurological disorder..that garbles the sounds of vowels n allso consonants..

 

I tryed to learn music becose i figgered..if would help that situation in me..

 

It has not..

But i have n do enjoy this jonery very very much..

As i can hear tunes quite well..

 

I suspect..the best that i am going to do..is to hear backgroud sounds better..

N..enunciations..might get better as well..

 

Thankyou

Edited by - STUD figmo Al on 04/21/2024 05:00:14

Apr 21, 2024 - 12:10:32 PM

donc

Canada

7472 posts since 2/9/2010

Originally I went to a neighborhood hearing aid shop. I told them I wasn't ready to purchase anything. I was willing to pay the $50 for an evaluation report on my hearing. I didn't want to rush into Costco or anywhere else as I figured their priority was to sell me an expensive set whether I needed them or not. The local shop had prices starting at $4000. Within a day or two I started getting phone calls and letters explaining that I needed them NOW or else. Costco was much easier because their staff is not paid a commission. I never wear my HA's with the banjo. It was explained to me that a banjo makes a percussive sound. The noise cancelling electronics tends to garble the sound of a $4000 banjo and make it sound like something made from a cigar box.

Apr 21, 2024 - 2:54:33 PM

234 posts since 1/28/2017

I have HA called Truhearing. I have 4 settings with these aids. Universal, Noisy, Tv & Music, and Stroll. I use Tv & Music the most. I told him i played banjo and there is difference between the settings. Tv & Music the sounds are a little sharper. Noisy is great in restaurants or where there is a background noise. kind of mutes or filters the noise. Stroll is for outside in wind? I don't use this much. Universal is just the setting for everything else. You can make them go sharp or flat also.

I like mine. When I was tested, he said I probably couldn't hear my wife because of voice pitch.
He said these HA would take care of that. Maybe I shouldn't have got them??

Apr 21, 2024 - 4:12:43 PM
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banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

to Al....me to answer your PM but me needs time to think on it a bit.

to DonC .... (hi neighbor :)....the last paragraph of my first post gives a heads-up to exactly what you described. My opinion is that as a consumer/retail business the hearing aid industry is capitalism run amuck. But, the consumer can avoid or prevent coerced decisions by having the courage and mettle to say 'no' to aggressive sales practices and snake oil products. Be your own best advocate.

Early on I had a very upsetting experience with one particular franchised clinic chain but i had to overcome the sometimes gut-wrenching realization that I was being played, or being fitted or adjusted, by woefully inexperienced staff. I also cut Costco loose after a 2-year history with those folks. Hit or miss consistently. So, it's your money/your decisions to make. Even if purchased at 50%, Workers Comp will allow the claimant to choose any unit that suits their fancy within a preset price range.

But, DonC, PM me if you'd like further input.

Apr 21, 2024 - 4:49:55 PM

banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

BTW....... and to Cobra1: you may have many 'settings' and 'preferences' options and other electronic features - essentially electronic 'filters' that indeed will alter what is transmitted to the eardrum. So, after years of personal +/- experiences i've settled with (i.e., 'compromised) all settings that maximize hearing 'real, live, unfiltered sound' (including live music), and that the frequency curve is properly set for your hearing loss and hearing demands (meaning for music/live music.)

For you techies you may want to know a little about response time and sampling frequency - some indication of capability.

Or, ask for recommendations from friends, talk to a local speech pathologist or local ear/nose/throat specialist about qualified/competent area audiologists. Personally, I believe that treating a hearing loss (at least within the 'moderate', 'severe', 'profound' ranges) is one of the most important health issues regarding 'Quality of Life'.

Apr 21, 2024 - 5:06:58 PM

41489 posts since 3/5/2008

Well one positive note...
As me ears deminmish..
Me banjo sounds bettah..n..bettah..


;0)

Apr 21, 2024 - 5:17:22 PM
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banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

OldHickory brought up a good talking point.......that being, certain model's inner computer simply cannot work - for YOUR impairment - to give you back 'real' music sound, or, the microphones do not adequately pick up banjo string vibrations, or from guitar for that matter. A banjo's plucked string 'attack' phase is a real demad of hearing aids. I returned an earlier set within one week because it didn't have the inherrent capability to be banjo-compatible. 

Hearing aids = complex....I'm no acoustics engineer - just a picky user. Find someone you trust.

Edited by - banjoT1 on 04/21/2024 17:25:56

Apr 21, 2024 - 6:02:47 PM

15154 posts since 1/15/2005

I wonder if anyone has gone through the VA for their hearing aids. My present set was bought at Costco and I have to say that they have been satisfactory, but then I have nothing to compare them to. I will not know how good or bad they are until I get my next set, which shall be soon. Since I am eligible for VA benefits, I think I will try them, although I suspect it may be a hassle. Anyone else got theirs through them?

Apr 21, 2024 - 9:07:13 PM

banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

......about a VA claim:
I've actually been involved in claims and documentation since June/2023. Now receiving VA 'Decision Letters'.

go to 'VA.gov' or 'Veterans Benefits Administration'.

Search for option 'How To Make A Claim'.

When submitting service-connected hearing injury claim, best to attach/upload copy of an audiogram proof of hearing loss report. But, the VBA is providing roving 'intake' events around the U.S. - check for 'events'. My 'event' was located in Browning, Montana.

I know of Vets who've been rated at a 100% basis and are provided for-life hearing aid no/charge periodic exams and devices. If approved, the VBA will offer you hardware choices.

The process simply is what it is right now but much better than pre-2018. There are VSO representatives (Volunteer Service Organizations) whose mission is to assist Vets with these sorts of issues. Search for 'accredited' VSOs.

If all your ducks are in a row (meaning military documentation - and, claim docs) your VSO could quite literally upload your claim within 10 minutes. Some individual VSO representatives are more experienced with the claim process than many lesser experienced reps, and are aware that certain claim verbiage can enhance 'the likelihood of success', and who/where within the VBA to contact should there be problems or bottle-necks.

Online claims can also be submitted via the 'Quick-Submit' online claim option.

(...entering the process if you choose, can be overwhelming .... proceed with patience ....a little homework is always helpful to your own cause.)

Apr 21, 2024 - 9:27:55 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

5749 posts since 1/5/2005

I don't have personal experience with hearing aids but have had a lot do with them during my tinnitus counseling days. Two things to remember:

  • the centuries old "you get what you pay for" has been exploited for many centuries by all kinds of people hawking all kinds of stuff. Basically, it's total b.s. that hasn't been true for centuries so be really careful you're not getting promised the world with "sooooo worth the little extra..."
  • do bring & play your banjo while getting your HAs tuned/tweaked/adjusted when you're picking them up from the store

Funny the way things work out: you guys don't hear enough while my hearing issue is that I hear too much. These days I'm trying different ear plugs to see which ones work best for me as my custom musician's ear plugs no longer do the job...

Apr 22, 2024 - 12:33:12 AM

banjoT1

Canada

106 posts since 7/18/2019

1)....due to the hearing aid's electronic circuitry design a good quality hearing aid set is a nearly default tinnitus blocker/filter that typically exists with medium to higher priced unit sets regardless of brand/mfgr.

The tinnitus i experienced (constant hissing and tones) was 100% eliminated within the first day or two and never again since 2007.

2).....are there possible special discounted retail prices ? Probably sale price promotions (likely) .......but ask if the clinic or clinic branch locations have any 'last year's model' discontinued sets available, or returned sets from the '30-day trial period'. Clinics would rather sell full-priced devices than offer 'seconds' but deals do exist in the industry if the right questions are asked.


3).....there IS a fundamental difference of definition and functionality between 'hearing aids' and 'hearing enhancers'. Hearing enhancers work yes, for very mild hearing impairments, but because their purpose is mainly to increase volume - they do not necessarily correct for the audiogram frequency loss curve. For discerning and keen-eared recreational to performance players (banjo players included) a sound enhancer-type device may leave you very disappointed and disheartened.

Get the best for you that you can afford.

....disclaimer > I generate $0.00 from any source in submitting all banjoT1 posts above as a public service (!). Go forth enlightened.

Edited by - banjoT1 on 04/22/2024 00:37:53

Apr 22, 2024 - 4:39:06 AM
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41489 posts since 3/5/2008

Heh...
Looks like i hit a ..Jackpot of info..
On hearing aids..

On the Banjo Hangout...

I really do like this place.. :0)

Apr 22, 2024 - 6:02:39 AM

Buddur

USA

3960 posts since 10/23/2004

My Ex worked for a hearing specialist who sold hearing aids. Of course they work, but it's a racket where everyone gets a BIG cut of ca$h since they are way overpriced...by design.

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