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revdocjim
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Gettin' Old...

I'm not seeking any sympathy but just curious to know how others are dealing with hearing loss. When I was in college I damaged my hearing significantly with some ill-advised shooting without ear plugs. My ears have been ringing loudly ever since (I just turned 51) and right after the accident I had my hearing tested and was told that in one ear the upper half of the frequency range was at about 50% in one ear and not quite as bad in the other ear. But over time it felt like my brain compensated for the physical damage, and although the ringing never stopped, I was still able to enjoy music a lot; even enough to consider myself a bit of an audiophile. I spent a lot of time at a high end shop in Seattle, and eventually purchased Magnepan speakers and Hafler electronics and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Twenty five years later I still absolutely love my system which has remained largely unchanged and my collection of music (acoustic jazz) has only grown over the years. But I can tell that my hearing is getting worse with age, especially in the upper frequency range. I still love jazz and enjoy listening to it, but I have to admit that the sound I hear from my system doesn't have the sparkle it used to. Some years ago I even used the Magnepan supplied tweeter circuit resistor to tame the highs a little in a bright listening space. My current listening space isn't particlarly muted at all (hardwood floor, sheet rock walls etc.) and yet I struggle to hear the highs. (no, the tweeter fuses are not blown..) If I cup my hands around my ears I begin to hear more of the high range that I recall from the past, but of course the sound stage gets jumbled and besides, who wants to sit there for an hour with hands cupped around ears!

I must not be the only one with this problem. How do others deal with the reality of hearing loss when you love listening to high fidelity music so much?

ChrisS
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Dated article...

Here's an article, though a bit dated, that may be useful. You may find that hearing technology is much better now, especially in Japan.

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_13_2/hearing-aids-6-2006-part-1.html

revdocjim
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Thanks

That is a great article Chris. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately the conclusions are very depressing. Now I'm on the prowl for up-to-date info. I've done some quick searches without much luck. I've also emailed ReSound. If any others have good info I'm all ears!!

ChrisS
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That article is dated 2006, so you never know...

Perhaps we can be hopeful that hearing technology will advance soon enough in our lifetime to restore full-range hearing to us geezers who still want to enjoy our stereo systems in a normal acoustic environment. With the explosion of portable audio and the availability of a plethora of audiophile earphones, I wouldn't be suprised if there's not already a good choice of audiophile-level hearing aids out there for us.

revdocjim
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Follow up

I just got the email address of the author of that article and am about to email him now. If I find good info I will definitely report it here! I admit I am a little worried though. When googling "audiophile hearingaid" and the like there aren't any obvious hits that pop up...

Chuckdog
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I'm in my mid 50's and have

I'm in my mid 50's and have become more sensitive to some sounds.

The sound many phones use for ringtones can send me into orbit, These same tones have no effect on others? Some music can become quite unpleasant at what used to be normal listening levels.

Shooting and loud engines I'm sure played their part, but most of the damage to my hearing was self inflicted rock-n-roll music.

Digitizing and compression hasn't helped any of us either. After a bit of exploration I've found the Sabre (dac) sound to be more pleasing to my ears. I also have Maggies, since finding the Peachtree Audio dac no resistors needed!

Youth is all about being 10' tall and sound proof!

revdocjim
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Making some progress

Since the last post I have visited a local hearing aid store where they did a full test and let me try several different models and ultimately let me borrow a ReSound Verso 9 pair of hearing aids and programed them to work like various ReSound models (since the verso 9 is way, way out of my price range). I also went to Costco and did a full testing there as well. The don't let you take hearing aids home to test but after trying out several models in the store I decided to try the Bernafon BTE model that cost about $2,000. They sounded good in the store; not quite as bright as the ReSound; but when I got them home and sat down in front of the stereo I knew within 30 seconds that they were going back! Pianos all sounded harshly out of tune with completely messed up harmonics. Later I realized that not having the speaker in my ear, but rather passing the sound thru a rubber hose was likely responsible for this distortion. Fortunately Costco has a no question asked, 90 day return policy. On my next visit I tried out the Kirkland Signature model (made by Seimens) in the store but it felt like the high end was always distoring; I just didn't like the sound. Then I tried the ReSound Forza which is supposed to be the same as the ReSound Alera 9. So far I have only don't limited music listening tests but have been relatively pleased so far. They cost about $2,500 but if they work for me it will be money well spent. I should know for sure within a couple of weeks.

ChrisS
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Thanks for the update!

I'll be checking out the ReSound brand when my hearing degradation has progressed further... Did you get the ReSound Forza from Costco?

revdocjim
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Yes. I'm pretty sure Costco

Yes. I'm pretty sure Costco is the only retailer that sells the Forza...

Costco can be spotty in terms of the quality of care you receive but the hearing aids are very good deals.

ChrisS
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shopping

Same issues as shopping for audio, or any other, products... Discounts from on-line or big box stores, or quality service from specialty bricks-and-mortar establishments?

BRuggles
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What about the hifi in-ear monitor brands?

I wonder whether Etymotic or Ultimate Ears could positively weigh in on the subject. And frankly, I thought they sounded expensive until I read what a hearing aid apparently costs. Last year's recommended component  Ultimate Ear  monitors were $1125, and Etymotic was $300. They both seem to be rather expert in terms of in-ears, the ear in general, and probably hearing in general. 

Also, *consider me whispering now* is EQing allowed for the advanced-life-experienced set dealing with "seasoned" hearing organs? Maybe a little tipping up of the treble? I would worry about further damage though. I don't know - this is me spitballing. 

BRuggles
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What about the hifi in-ear monitor brands?

I wonder whether Etymotic or Ultimate Ears could positively weigh in on the subject. And frankly, I thought they sounded expensive until I read what a hearing aid apparently costs. Last year's recommended component  Ultimate Ear  monitors were $1125, and Etymotic was $300. They both seem to be rather expert in terms of in-ears, the ear in general, and probably hearing in general. 

Also, *consider me whispering now* is EQing allowed for the advanced-life-experienced set dealing with "seasoned" hearing organs? Maybe a little tipping up of the treble? I would worry about further damage though. I don't know - this is me spitballing. 

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