Ways to Enjoy Listening to Music with Hearing Aids
The majority of people listen to music every day, whether on the train, walking to work or at the gym.
So what happens when you experience hearing loss and can’t listen to music the way you used to?
Instead of stopping listening to music altogether, we’ve compiled a list of different ways you can try to enjoy listening to music with hearing aids.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Musical Enjoyment?
Hearing loss increases an individual’s hearing thresholds, making music softer. Unfortunately, it also affects their pitch discrimination, melody, understanding lyrics, loudness perception and discriminating between musical instruments. This takes the enjoyment out of listening to music for many people with hearing loss.
Even with hearing aids, some people report that the music sounds unnatural or distorted. This is because hearing aids were primarily designed for speech understanding, as most people’s main goal is to understand speech.
There are many significant differences between speech and music. Speech occurs over a narrow range of pitch and loudness, which hearing aids are designed to process. However, the range for music, which is much wider, cannot be processed by hearing aids.
Hearing aids include speech enhancing technologies, such as feedback cancellation, compression and noise reduction to aid people’s hearing in complex, noisy environments. However, these features can, unfortunately, be detrimental to music.
Noise reduction technology lowers background noise to focus on the speech signal, and this can mistakenly categorise music as unwanted background noise and filter it out.
Feedback cancellation technology identifies feedback and cuts it out. Unfortunately, this technology can mistakenly identify parts of the music as feedback and cut it out. Hearing aid compression aims to increase softer sounds more than louder sounds, impacting music listening.
Ways to Enjoy Music with Hearing Aids
Ask your audiologist to create a music program for your hearing aids.
Many hearing aids have the option of adding customised programs that you can access in specific environments to improve your hearing.
Your audiologist can create a music program that you can access by pressing a button on your hearing aid, remote control or app. The program will have special settings to help you hear the music better; for example, it may enhance the lower pitch sounds (important for music) and have adaptive features disabled.
Most modern hearing aids have wireless connectivity, allowing you to stream music from Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops or TVs (with a TV streamer) directly to your hearing aids.
This can help people with hearing loss to hear music more clearly.
Invest in a Sound System
Some devices have poor quality in-built speakers, which affects the quality of the music signal. Investing in good quality speakers will provide better sound quality and improve musical enjoyment.
Invest in Good Quality Hearing Aids
Hearing aids come in different levels of technology. Therefore, the higher the level of technology, the more sophisticated the hearing aids are.
Since music is such a complex signal, hearing aids require sophisticated technology to process the signals. Higher-level hearing aids are designed with this in mind and are better able to process music.
Visit Your Audiologist
You may need to visit your audiologist multiple times for adjustments until you feel the hearing aid settings are right for you. Don’t be shy to discuss any issues you may be having.
If your hearing aids have a telecoil in them, then you can access hearing loop systems in specific venues. The loop system sends the signal wirelessly to your hearing aids.
This reduces the barriers of distance and noise and can help improve listening to music with your hearing aids.
Try An Equaliser
You may benefit from the use of a sound equaliser. They allow you to adjust the volume of different frequencies or pitches to fine-tune the sound to your hearing loss. If you are having trouble with this, your audiologist can help.
Adjust Your Hearing Aids
Ask your audiologist to enable volume control on your hearing aid, remote control or smartphone. By doing this, you can change the volume on your hearing aids when listening to music.
Try listening to music through Bluetooth headphones. You can wear headphones over your hearing aids which can improve the sound quality when listening to music.
Hearing loss affects not only speech understanding but also the enjoyment of music.
Modern hearing aid technology, assistive listening devices, hearing aid adjustments and other gadgets such as equalisers and loop systems can all be used to help you enjoy listening to music with hearing aids again.
If you’re looking at buying new Bluetooth hearing aids to help you listen to music better, EarDeals has some of the best deals on the market.