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And your hearing aid tech at Costco made himself out to be something he's not. See my post below and you'll understand better.

You can't possibly know that.



He admitted Costco is a "volume" hearing aid seller - you come in for the exam, they can give you some demos to try, and then if you buy the setup once and that's it. No further adjustments re your concerns.

Not so, at least at my Costco.

In the beginning I went back several times for no-cost program tweaking, and once a couple of years later.

They also provide free cleanings and dome replacement.


The Costco tech thought the Audiologist must have meant per each hearing aid, not for both!

That may be the case; I paid $2800 for the Rextons, and I've heard elsewhere that HA's are quoted per each.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Noah, believe what you want! Its your $$$. If you Google onto Audiologist forums you will learn Costco sells non-Kirkland hearing aid models the prior chip generation. And if you think Costco pays the $$$ for Ph.D. Audiologists when I asked the right questions and received truthful answers that my hearing aid tech worked at Costco prior, got one month training, then a one year "internship" working with a Costco hearing aid tech, before going on his own. Currently, Costco sells its Phonak Brio 3 model per pair from $2500 - $2700, again, based on the 2012 chip. You can buy the more current with more features, later chip, Phonak Audio B-R 50 with Autosense for $2600 https://idealhearingaids.com/hearing-aids/phonak/phonak-audeo-b-hearing-aids#.W_W20XdFyF4 Your "audio engineer" is nothing of the sort - I got an honest hearing aid tech, you did not. Yes, your tech was willing to make some adjustments for you beyond the initial adjustments. But most like mine discourage this. And they do not have the years of education and training to compete with Ph.D. Audiologist, mine with 17 years of experience.

I like Costco. If I see their Optometrist I save $25 over what a private Optomestrist will charge me. But I am so glad my sister got after me five years ago to see a top Opthalmologist, who referred me to an Opthalmologist Surgeon for partial cornea transplants and cataract removal each eye. The Optometrist simply doesn't have to training and experience in this regard and didn't even identify the potential issues to make a referral in the first place. Its no different with hearing aids! Its good to know Costco's limits.

And over the years, I have found expensive appliances I can get as good or better deals with better features buying at a local discount appliance store as opposed to Costco.

Nonetheless, I still buy too much stuff at Costco, but I ask questions and do research! Especially for true audiophiles, recommending use of a good private Audiologist with experience and responsive to audiophile concerns (and finding a good one, not a poor one) is a must!
 

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Discussion Starter #23

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Discussion Starter #25
its nice to know VA should have my back if ever need hearing aids...


https://www.hearingtracker.com/ask/what-types-of-hearing-aids-does-the-va-offer
Yes, the VA has great buying power as they provide 20% of the hearing aids in the U.S. So the VA gets the hearing aids for much better prices than do private companies and Audiologists. The issue with the VA is waiting time for appointments but once you get to the hearing specialists, you should be well taken care of at the government's cost!
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
My demo hearing aids are Phonak Audeo B-R (R for rechargeable).

Next week Phonak's new Marvel series is coming out, with nice improvements albeit somewhat higher price. I will be discussing this with my Audiologist next Tuesday.

Detailed info on the new Marvel series:

https://www.hearingaidknow.com/phonak-launches-marvel
 

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Your "audio engineer" is nothing of the sort - I got an honest hearing aid tech, you did not.

That's rather presumptuous.

He told me details of hearing aid components and their sourcing which audiologists aren't likely to know or care about, and regarding pay, have you not heard of educated immigrants driving cabs because they lack English skills?

Regardless, I don't know nor care if he was an engineer or not, nor did I make any claims of his services compared to audiologists', nor is it germane here, so how about we drop it.


What is germane is what services an audiologist can provide that are relevant to audiophiles.

As far as I can tell HA mfgr's and audiologists are focused on speech intelligibility and processing for dealing with noisy environments, etc.

What can they do for us other than tell us to use the program with the least processing?

To be clear, I don't mean to imply that I know that the answer is "nothing"; maybe I didn't get the best service/advice.



Next week Phonak's new Marvel series is coming out, with nice improvements albeit somewhat higher price. I will be discussing this with my Audiologist next Tuesday.

Please ask if any of the improvements are related to basic transduction quality or anything of interest to audiophiles.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
That's rather presumptuous.

He told me details of hearing aid components and their sourcing which audiologists aren't likely to know or care about, and regarding pay, have you not heard of educated immigrants driving cabs because they lack English skills?

Regardless, I don't know nor care if he was an engineer or not, nor did I make any claims of his services compared to audiologists', nor is it germane here, so how about we drop it.


What is germane is what services an audiologist can provide that are relevant to audiophiles.

As far as I can tell HA mfgr's and audiologists are focused on speech intelligibility and processing for dealing with noisy environments, etc.

What can they do for us other than tell us to use the program with the least processing?

To be clear, I don't mean to imply that I know that the answer is "nothing"; maybe I didn't get the best service/advice.






Please ask if any of the improvements are related to basic transduction quality or anything of interest to audiophiles.
No question Audiology over the years has been primarily concerned with speech. However, in recent years improvements have been made for automatic (and in case of Phonak Autosense as far as I can tell so far also seamless) switching of modes for different environments, including music. In past, some manufacturers have had manual switching of modes, some had music. But my web sleuthing, and my Audiologist, advise that its best, if one can afford, to have seamless automatic switching of modes including music.

Now I am not an expert re each brand and how they work and features. I have researched Phonak as my Audiologist was of the opinion, given our lengthy discussion, that this would be the best for my concerns.

My web sleuthing indicates Phonak had the first Autosense with models that came out in 2012 (but its not in all models, not the cheapest models)
(the current Costco Phonak Brio 3 appears to use the 2012 chip); the second Autosense came out late 2015 with a newer chip, the Bolero line, of which my demo is; and Autosense 3 comes out this next week with the Marvel line.

So two weeks ago next Tuesday, my Audiologist provided me with demo of Phonak B-R with Autosense. Per my web research, this must be either the B70 or B90 models as they are the only ones with Autosense. I will be discussing with my Audiologist the Phonak M-R (Marvel Rechargable) just coming out next week, if she has a demo for me the try, how this may benefit me as an Audiophile given my mild to moderate hearing loss, so I can decide if the extra expense is worth it to me. My gut from the bit I could read on the web is that the Marvel with a faster more powerful chip and newer software with the third version of Autosense (Autosense 3.0) may be even better for hearing sound in 360 degrees with higher frequency extension, but I really don't know for sure, the Marvel is so new just coming out! The Marvel also can be remotely programmed by the Audiologist, so if I have an issue, I get her on the phone, discuss my issue, and she can reprogram - pretty cool, but of course at an extra cost for the Marvel!

My concerns as an Audiophile, one who frequents a lot of live music, mean that I am willing to consider spending more for a hearing aid, as opposed to a "normal" person concerned simply about hearing.

Today, I took my family to an Italian restaurant in Scottsdale, Buca Di Beppo, for Thanksgiving. Very busy, very noisy. Usually, I would be quiet, not listen much to folks talking, and have bit of headache from all the noise. Not tonight. Noise was in the background and everyone at my table was easy to understand. I could even eavesdrop some on other tables nearby. And no headache! A few times I took the hearing aids out briefly and I could hear the difference. The Autosense switched the hearing aid for the noisy restaurant without me doing anything (I'm sure some other hearing aids, again more expensive than ones that don't have this auto feature, do this as well).

I will post as I follow up with my Audiologist and each step of the way how I am doing.
 

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I always test pretty good at the audiologist but know I have some tinnitus, hear some high pitched noise in my ears at night when lying in a quiet bed. I’ve know for quite a while that I suffered some ear damage from too many really loud rock concerts in the early 70’s, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Spirit with Randy California and his guitar turned up to 12 and lastly a Dead concert at the Garden circa 1988 or so come to mind. After that last show my ears rang for days and hearing was a bit muffled. After that I got professional ear plugs made that a drummer friend recommended, fit for my ears but linear, so they lowered the SPL in a more linear way as to not kill the sound like foam plugs. That was 30 years ago and have never attended a concert or even most movies without using them. Definitely stabilized my hearing, hasn’t gotten much worse since. Hearing aids for audiophiles is a strange concept, not sure my MIT auricle cables would fit in my ears! But so be it, I guess we are not as deaf as most of the rock musicians that we idolized growing up, Pete Townsend for example. Soon someone like Martin Logan will be marketing ELS hearing aids for audiophiles. Good luck and thanks for the info. Regards joining you soon, Ned.
 

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A few more articles I just found dealing with hearing aid issues re music vs speech:
https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52460-Improving-the-sound-of-music-with-hearing-aids
Very good thread and links. The key, surprise surprise, appears to be no different from high-end 2 channel audio: less processing and simplicity. "The results of the study showed that, in general, the less processing that occurs at the hearing aid level, the better the music sounded." Any comment from audiologist about these key features that need to be disabled? Is that how yours is setup?

1. For starters, modern hearing aids are built with a complex feedback reduction system. High frequency sounds in music, such as flute or piano, for example, will be read by the hearing aid as feedback and the hearing aid will automatically try to reduce or eliminate them. The result? Distortion. By disabling the feedback reduction system while listening to music, the music will sound clearer and more true to itself. You can re-engage the feedback reduction system when you are done listing to music.

2. Noise reduction systems are another culprit when it comes to altering the way music sounds. Hearing aids are programmed to reduce background noise, necessary to hear conversation in a noisy environment such as a restaurant or party; certain musical sounds, such as sustained chords for example, are mistaken as background noise. Disabling the noise reduction feature will allow your hearing aids to hear all of the elements of your music as music, not noise.

3. Hearing aids can also be set to amplify an extended range of lower frequencies. For speech, hearing aids need to target high frequency sounds. In music, however, it is the lower frequencies that are the most important.
Luckily, almost any pair of hearing aids can be configured with a “music setting” that disables many of the automatic functions and reduces the amount of processing that needs to occur in the hearing aids. It is important to remember to return the hearing aids to their normal setting when done listening to music.

4. At the hearing aid level, the problem stems from what is referred to as “wide dynamic range compression." A feature that works well for speech, this compression leaves moderately loud sounds untouched but amplifies softer sounds. This setting wreaks havoc on music processing. In addition, a recording technique called compression limiting can cause music to be distorted before it even reaches the hearing aids. The loud and soft sounds are squeezed together in a narrower range, increasing the perceived volume overall. By the time the hearing aid gets its turn to process the music, it has already been through so many layers of processing that distortion is inevitable.
 

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Also, any comment on in-the-ear versus behind-the-ear models?

In the ear is inherently occlusive, and seems so obvious to me to be less desirable (since it blocks natural sound and natural reception, whereas behind the ear just seems to enhance your natural reception), but no one seems to be talking about this. Am I wrong? I am no expert and have no personal experience comparing the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Very good thread and links. The key, surprise surprise, appears to be no different from high-end 2 channel audio: less processing and simplicity. "The results of the study showed that, in general, the less processing that occurs at the hearing aid level, the better the music sounded." Any comment from audiologist about these key features that need to be disabled? Is that how yours is setup?

3. Hearing aids can also be set to amplify an extended range of lower frequencies. For speech, hearing aids need to target high frequency sounds. In music, however, it is the lower frequencies that are the most important.
Luckily, almost any pair of hearing aids can be configured with a “music setting” that disables many of the automatic functions and reduces the amount of processing that needs to occur in the hearing aids. It is important to remember to return the hearing aids to their normal setting when done listening to music.
I am just getting going on this. However, watching some 4k movies, in particular "Skyscraper" last night, and listening to my two channel music and two live concerts so far (Rodney Crowell & Bill Cunliffe/piano trio last week, next two nights Carol Robbins Harp Jazz Quartet & Jane Monheit), I can tell you that I have lost nothing low to high with the hearing aids on, and gained all around with them on! These Phonaks with Autosense are designed to lessen processing when you listen to music, whereas in a restaurant with lots of noise they decrease background noise so one can focus much better on conversations. And no doubt my daily intermittent headaches and tinnitus have much improved as well. My Audiologist told me she was initially making some minimal adjustments and may make more when I follow up next Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
1. For starters, modern hearing aids are built with a complex feedback reduction system. High frequency sounds in music, such as flute or piano, for example, will be read by the hearing aid as feedback and the hearing aid will automatically try to reduce or eliminate them. The result? Distortion. By disabling the feedback reduction system while listening to music, the music will sound clearer and more true to itself. You can re-engage the feedback reduction system when you are done listing to music.
High frequency sounds, mid bass on up, simply are better, clearer. Lower bass is undisturbed. I can hear cymbal metal I could never hear. I can hear drum brushes that were not or barely discernable. I can make out vocals at concert without effort. Whatever the hell Phonak and my Audiologist programming has been done has been wonderful! Especially much lesser and frequent headaches and tinnitus! And the Autosense feature does all of this automatically, you don't have to engage or re-engage, which to me is very imperative!
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
4. At the hearing aid level, the problem stems from what is referred to as “wide dynamic range compression." A feature that works well for speech, this compression leaves moderately loud sounds untouched but amplifies softer sounds. This setting wreaks havoc on music processing. In addition, a recording technique called compression limiting can cause music to be distorted before it even reaches the hearing aids. The loud and soft sounds are squeezed together in a narrower range, increasing the perceived volume overall. By the time the hearing aid gets its turn to process the music, it has already been through so many layers of processing that distortion is inevitable.
Fortunately I am not experiencing any dynamic compression or issues you mention above, and such issues have been a plague for audiophiles with hearing aids. But apparently these Phonak Audeo B-R HAs with Autosense 2.0 as programmed by a top notch Audiologist have banished these problems for me. And the new models just coming out, the Phonak Marvel HAs with new chip and Autosense 3.0 may well be even better. I can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Also, any comment on in-the-ear versus behind-the-ear models?

In the ear is inherently occlusive, and seems so obvious to me to be less desirable (since it blocks natural sound and natural reception, whereas behind the ear just seems to enhance your natural reception), but no one seems to be talking about this. Am I wrong? I am no expert and have no personal experience comparing the two.
My Audiologist obviously felt as you do that in the ear would be inherently occlusive and problematic for me as an audiophile. I didn't discuss this with her but I will and I'm sure that's what she'll say. My online web sleuthing indicates this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The Carol Robbins Harp Jazz Quartet last night at Tempe Center for the Arts was excellent. We were seated parallel to Carol Robbins playing her harp, maybe 12 feet away. I call this angelic jazz. With the hearing aids in (vs out) no doubt the presentation was more full bodies, higher reaching frequency, with the harp tones pulsating quite a bit better than without the hearing aids. Another unqualified success for this 'ol fogie wearing hearing aids!
 

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Good thread you started, Steve. You have been a member since 1999. I have been a member since 1998 but new account in 2001. We are old! :rolleyes:;):D

I went to costco and got my hearing graph. They said I was borderline and did not need it. I noticed that that was a particular drop off between 2k hz and 3khz. Of course, there was drop off above 8 khz and complete drop off at about 10 khz or so (forgot).

I did the following, which helped me hear the dialogues, clearly again.

I bought a Datasat LS10 with built in parametric equalizer. (Amazing and far superior to my Lexicon MC12). I submit that if you have hearing issues, get a Datasat LS10! :D

I have two electrovoice horn two way L and R. Center is an SLS Ribbon two way speaker. Their woofer was not bad but I replaced it with a JVC woofer - same as in their $20k speakers.

I lowered the SPL of L and R, significantly. I am interested only in center, for dialogue. I raised the side and rear SPL levels significantly (this gives me nice surround effects without interfering with my ability to hear the dialogue). I also put in two bose dual cubes as front side and fed them exactly the same as the center channel (yes, I know they are not audiophile but the point is, I want to be able to hear the dialuges!:D)

I removed the internal crossovers of the front three speakers.
I bought Ashly protea 4.8sp 4X8 processor/crossover.
I played with the parametric equalizer in the LS10. I also experimented, feeding the LS10 with a frequency generator and me being able to hear it (on amazon). I don't recall exactly how I arrived at the "ideal" parametric equalization setting but I can hear the dialogues better now.

Summary: I can hear better, thanks to the following;

1. Datasat (even without using PEQ, I could hear better with Datasat as compared to my prior, the Lexicon MC12).
2. Datasat's PEQ - play with it, modify to your personal preference. Never mind the auto equalization/calibration etc. What's the point, if you can't hear normally?
3. Discard internal cross overs of two way speakers (much more difficult to do with 3 say speakers). Protea is excellent. Sound is much more clean/clear.
4. SLS ribbon speakers help very much for audio dialogue. Again, this is NOT about, are they amazing or not.. It is about "can you hear it better now".
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Good thread you started, Steve. You have been a member since 1999. I have been a member since 1998 but new account in 2001. We are old! :rolleyes:;):D

I went to costco and got my hearing graph. They said I was borderline and did not need it. I noticed that that was a particular drop off between 2k hz and 3khz. Of course, there was drop off above 8 khz and complete drop off at about 10 khz or so (forgot).

I did the following, which helped me hear the dialogues, clearly again.

I bought a Datasat LS10 with built in parametric equalizer. (Amazing and far superior to my Lexicon MC12). I submit that if you have hearing issues, get a Datasat LS10! :D

I have two electrovoice horn two way L and R. Center is an SLS Ribbon two way speaker. Their woofer was not bad but I replaced it with a JVC woofer - same as in their $20k speakers.

I lowered the SPL of L and R, significantly. I am interested only in center, for dialogue. I raised the side and rear SPL levels significantly (this gives me nice surround effects without interfering with my ability to hear the dialogue). I also put in two bose dual cubes as front side and fed them exactly the same as the center channel (yes, I know they are not audiophile but the point is, I want to be able to hear the dialuges!:D)

I removed the internal crossovers of the front three speakers.
I bought Ashly protea 4.8sp 4X8 processor/crossover.
I played with the parametric equalizer in the LS10. I also experimented, feeding the LS10 with a frequency generator and me being able to hear it (on amazon). I don't recall exactly how I arrived at the "ideal" parametric equalization setting but I can hear the dialogues better now.

Summary: I can hear better, thanks to the following;

1. Datasat (even without using PEQ, I could hear better with Datasat as compared to my prior, the Lexicon MC12).
2. Datasat's PEQ - play with it, modify to your personal preference. Never mind the auto equalization/calibration etc. What's the point, if you can't hear normally?
3. Discard internal cross overs of two way speakers (much more difficult to do with 3 say speakers). Protea is excellent. Sound is much more clean/clear.
4. SLS ribbon speakers help very much for audio dialogue. Again, this is NOT about, are they amazing or not.. It is about "can you hear it better now".
Interesting. But of course this absent hearing aids does not improve sound at live concerts, and I go to at least two per week! And in my theater dialogue was pretty darn clear even prior to hearing aids!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Last night I got to hear Jane Monshein at the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum. Jane at 41 has a powerful, often quite high pitched voice! I did find that some songs I understood her words quite well, some I didn't. Whether this is due to how she sings at times, vs whether the mixing at the concert was fine for the jazz instruments but not as helpful for vocals, I don't know. More probably that as Cannga notes above, the music mode for hearing aids may disable a lot of the processing particularly for speech so that the music comes through. Yet not even two weeks ago Rodney Crowell's vocals were clear as daylight - but Rodney has a lower pitched voice, whereas Jane has a very high pitched voice much of the time! I will discuss this when I see my Audiologist this Wednesday! Once again the music itself was clearly better, more well rounded/3D, I could hear drum rolls and cymbals much better, etc like I've discussed before.
 
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