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Headphones for Hearing Impaired.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by SoulReflection, Nov 18, 2017.


  1. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    I left playing bass almost 50 years ago in order to get a day job, get married, get a big mortgage and raise a family! Now retired, I want to get back to the bass.

    Problem is, those early years of playing caused profound hearing loss. I have great hearing aids, but, after purchasing an Ampeg SCR-DI for practice, my Phonak hearing aids cannot handle the bass input from the DI, direct, without distortion at a low volume.

    Does anyone know of a solution? The Ampeg doesn't distort the hearing aids below 25% volume so it appears to have enough output. Are there any headphones out there, either amplified or not, that will work with or without hearing aids?

    Thanks for your help.

    Jim
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    What? Just kidding. No clue, but subscribed hope someone knows more. I was also wondering if it was possible to get in ear monitors EQ'ed for hearing loss (can't wear both IEMs and hearing aids at the same time).

    Luckily (I suppose) most of my hearing loss is in higher frequencies not affecting bass much - but makes it impossible to hear most women's voices, especially when there's background noise.
     
    Cliff Colton and MrLenny1 like this.
  3. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    After a bit of research (google), I found a possible solution for myself and any others out there with hearing aids or planning to get them:

    From a Musician with a Hearing Loss - Hearing Aids for Music

    Hope this helps.
     
    bholder and bluesfordan like this.
  4. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan

    Sep 3, 2009
    N.H.
    thanks for that link to the musician with a hearing loss blog
     
  5. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    You are very welcome. The blog made reference to ensuring your audiologist knows the requirements of musicians. I sent a copy of the blog to mine and she responded "bring some tapes of the music"! I am waiting for my combo amp to arrive so I can take it and the bass along. I have no trouble listening to recorded music with my hearing aids, just live bass. Time will tell...
     
  6. bluesfordan

    bluesfordan

    Sep 3, 2009
    N.H.
    I asked my audi if I could bring a guitar to my fitting once the financing is approved (got denied the first time). She said 'sure, no problem'.
     
  7. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    That sounds positive...let me know how it works out. Maybe she can run your bass through her equipment to find the right setting. Everyone's hearing loss is different. In my case, my aids do just fine for music played through a stereo or through a bluetooth or through an audio adapter direct to my aids (compilot). The problem I have is hearing the bass through an amp or a headphone adapter. It seems to over-load the aids, causing distortion.

    Keep me posted...
     
  8. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    OK, so now round two...I haven't heard anything (no pun intended) on anyone else's experience but, tomorrow I have an appointment with my audiologist. I will be bringing my bass, an Ampeg SCR-DI and a cheap ($25) set of in the ear phones. Strange thing is, these ear phones sound great when fully inserted in my ears. The problem is, my left ear needs more amplification than my right ear.

    I can't believe that I am the only one on TB with this problem and I am reluctant to give up on bass playing because I can't find a solution to practicing bass, privately, through my $4K hearing aids.
     
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    speakers.
     
    craigie likes this.
  10. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    I should have known...
     
    two fingers likes this.
  11. Deak

    Deak

    Feb 28, 2016
    Kansas
    If this is a pic of you, I can already hear your granny. "That boy, that boy, bless his heart. Sweet Jesus please make him tough!"

    It's ok. I made the stupid but also missed the tough, it's been a rough life! :laugh:
     
    two fingers likes this.
  12. Deak

    Deak

    Feb 28, 2016
    Kansas
    I wish I had an answer or help. I have severe tinnitus and 40% loss in both ears across the entire spectrum. My hearing aids can be set by the audiologist and seem to work fine, but just for regular life environment.
    My problem is switching from regular hearing aids to cans, to IEM's. Can't I get it all together in one unit, with auto switching? I know, first world problem.
    I would like to research the possibility of hearing aids with all types of monitor ability for the musician, but Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk I'm not.

    From a Musician with a Hearing Loss - Hearing Aids for Music as you suggested, is the best info I have found so far.

    Needless to say, I'm sub'd
     
  13. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    Thanks for the response, Deak. I was afraid this thread was going to go sideways into the comedy side. Although I have been known for jokes and silliness, this subject does not apply to those.

    Hearing loss, especially caused by what we, as musicians, have brought upon ourselves (knowingly or otherwise) is no joking matter. I hope that today's younger musicians protect their hearing because, as they reach their forties +, they won't have to listen to us say "I told you so" and deal with what we are going through.

    I will try to update this if and when I can but, I will ignore any jokes...
     
    Deak likes this.
  14. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    Today, I have an update.

    My audiologist only had a half hour to spare today but I brought my bass, Ampeg SCR-DI and cables. After listening to my problems, she called the hearing aid support people on speakerphone and it looked like reprogramming my blue tooth hearing aid adapter would solve the problem. She did what they suggested but, unfortunately the notes on the E and A strings were still "fuzzy":poop:.

    I have another appointment in two weeks. In the meantime, I am researching ear/head phone, headphone amp sources for possible solutions without using my hearing aids.
     
    Deak likes this.
  15. Door County Bass

    Door County Bass DC EMT 663 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Wisconsin
    I’m in the same boat (74 years old with double set of hearing aids). Mine are from Beltone and I can set the EQ on my iPhone. No buzz, no fuzz. Only had them two weeks and still making minor adjustments. The iPhone app lets me save settings for future playing, venues, etc. Hope you can get yours adjusted.
     
    Deak and SoulReflection like this.
  16. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    Good info, thanks. Are you using your Beltones for private listening (as earphones) or through your amp?

    Edit: Forgot to congratulate you on playing at 74! I'm 4 years younger and it gives me hope:thumbsup::thumbsup:.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  17. Door County Bass

    Door County Bass DC EMT 663 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Wisconsin
    I use them as normal hearing aids, but have the flexibility of changing the settings as I change environments. They are Bluetooth and I can listen to my music (on the iPhone), and phone calls go directly to the hearing aids (nice feature in a noisy environment). I’ll be giving them a real test when I see two concerts (Trombone Shorty)(Buddy Guy) in the near future. BTW, the hearing aids are digital in-the-ear, mic in helix. Nothing behind the ear.
     
    Deak and SoulReflection like this.
  18. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    Just as a followup, I tried playing my bass through an Apogee Jam, connected with my iPad, running GarageBand with headphone cable direct to my ComPilot. With the amp sim set with the lowest bass setting, I was able to get a good sounding bass sound without distortion. This was with the gain on the Apogee backed off.

    The nice thing about this is I can play along with songs and not have to connect any wall warts, provided I have a fully charged iPad and ComPilot.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. I'm from Kansas City, and as we used to say, Missouri loves company...
    It's heartening to 'hear' of others in the bass-playing world fighting back against and adapting to hearing loss.
    I play Upright only, usually amplified. At a 9-pc band rehearsal last night, I wore those squeezable yellow pillow earplugs that dampen 30dB. Band was tolerable except when guitar and/or vibes played sustained chords, and all those midrange overtones created a madras-bleed of distortion. Alas, the only frequencies that were very hard to hear were mine- the bass notes were extremely faint, even with the amp about waist-high and two feet to my right.

    I've got Hyperacusis and Duplacusis. The first is a heightened sensitivity to loudness of any kind - conversation, running water, music. The latter is a little echo of just-perceived high-frequency sound a split-second after the good ear registers the original sound.

    Since March 30 when I first noticed the hearing loss, I've been tested, stabbed through the eardrum with Prednisone (a steroid), dosed with diuretics and eating less sodium. The hearing tests have shown a pretty stable loss of lows and highs in the right ear, while the left is about average for a 68-year-old ear. I tried a single hearing aid a month ago, but I felt like a walking Picasso painting: there were two wildly divergent sonic impressions that the brain couldn't seem to blend.

    An hour ago I plunked down $300 for some Westone 2-driver UM in-ear monitors in the hope that an earbud might deliver more bass directly from the line-out of the amp than the speaker does. When Amazon delivers them Thursday, I'll report my findings here if anyone is interested.

    Tomorrow I have another appointment at HearUSA, where they primarily exist to dispense hearing aids. They form-fitted me for the ($170) Westone TRU earplugs I have, and haven't used yet; they fit extremely tightly in the ear canal, and I've since read that that only increases low-end distortion because of conduction in the middle ear.

    If the aids don't help, I'll cringe my way through the gigs and recording sessions ahead asbestos I can. It's like playing from memory when you can't hear your own notes.

    Any suggestions are welcome - anything but feedback...
     
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  20. SoulReflection

    SoulReflection Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    NorCal
    I can't offer any suggestions but do feel your frustration. Hearing loss for a musician is much like loss of vision for an artist or photographer. I hope you find a solution and am very interested in your findings.

    From experience, I do know that there is latency between digital hearing aids and normal hearing. Perhaps a properly adjusted hearing aid in your "good" ear may provide some benefit.
     

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